Posted: December 2, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Guns and Gadgets, Science & Technology, Space & Aviation, War Room | Tags: Carl Higbie, DF-21, Donald Trump, INF treaty, intermediate-range ballistic missiles, James Mattis, Pershing II
Show of force comes amid transition to Trump
Chinese state media reported Thursday that the simultaneous flight tests of 10 DF-21 intermediate-range ballistic missiles were carried out in China.
The missiles “can destroy U.S. Asia-Pacific bases at any time,” the dispatch from the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The flight tests were disclosed by China Central Television on Nov. 28 and coincide with President-elect Donald Trump’s high-profile announcements of new senior government officials.
Disclosure of the missile salvo launch comes as Trump announced on Thursday that he will nominate retired Marine Corps. Gen. James Mattis as his defense secretary. Mattis is one of the Corps’ most celebrated warfighting generals. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 1, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Guns and Gadgets, Self Defense, U.S. News | Tags: al Qaeda, Americans, Background check, Black Friday (shopping), Christmas and holiday season, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System, Thanksgiving (United States), United States
Trump election does not slow gun sales
So far this year, the FBI has processed24,767,514 checks through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as NICS, which puts 2016 more than 160,000 checks above the yearly record set in 2015. The record comes after November 2016 set its own monthly record with 2,561,281 checks, nearly 320,000 more than the previous record set last November. This gun sales spike has lasted for over a year and resulted in monthly records for 19 straight months.
November’s record comes as the firearms industry is beginning its seasonal upswing with millions of Americans purchasing firearms in the lead up to the holiday season. That upswing is likely to add to 2016’s record because December has traditionally seen the highest number of NICS checks for the year.
“Reports of the industry’s demise were greatly exaggerated by the liberal anti-gun media,” Larry Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president, said of the new record.
The number of checks processed through the FBI’s system is generally considered one of the strongest indicators of gun sales in the United States because nearly all sales made through federally licensed firearms dealers require a NICS check. However, the number of NICS checks made in a given period of time is not a perfect representation of the number of guns actually sold in that same period of time for a number of reasons. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 24, 2016 Filed under: Entertainment, Food & Drink, Guns and Gadgets, Mediasphere | Tags: .50 BMG, AR-15, bulletproof, Bullets, Pumpkin Pie, Thanksgiving Dinner, Turkey, video
To get you in the spirit, here’s a video of the CEO of BulletSafe (a bulletproof vest the Daily Dealer team tested out in person) shooting through Thanksgiving dinner with a .50 cal Desert Eagle…(read more)
Posted: November 23, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Guns and Gadgets, Law & Justice, Robotics, Science & Technology, Self Defense | Tags: Antonin Scalia, Democratic Party (United States), Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Political campaign, Republican Party (United States), Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, Supreme Court of the United States
“It doesn’t matter what the origins of the Second Amendment were,” says Cody Wilson, creator of the first 3D-printed gun and author of the new book, Come and Take It: The Gun Printer’s Guide to Thinking Free. “With the internet, we can transform this thing into right to resistance on a global scale. If it’s just a fact that the government serves guns now, this is just a point of political life.”
CORRECTION: The Ghost Gunner sells for $1,500 not $250. The deposit is $250.
[Order Cody’s book “Come and Take It: The Gun Printer’s Guide to Thinking Free” from Amazon.com]
The full transcript of this interview is available here.
Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 11, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Law & Justice, Politics, Self Defense | Tags: American Federation of State, Antonin Scalia, Aurora, Colorado, County and Municipal Employees, District of Columbia v. Heller, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, National Rifle Association, Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, Supreme Court of the United States, United States
Though Donald Trump’s presidential victory represents the greatest opportunity for policy changes that have widespread impact, there were many unexpected wins at the state and local levels. The National Rifle Association won in nearly every race where it invested money.
[ALSO SEE – Dear Lefties: If You Don’t ‘Feel Safe,’ You Can Always Buy Some Guns]
The NRA spent more than $30.3 million in the presidential race, up from just over $12 million in 2012. $19.7 million of that went to opposing Hillary Clinton and $10.6 million went to supporting Donald Trump, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission documents by the Center for Responsive Politics. The group invested another $20 million in six Senate races and won five of them.
Hillary Clinton’s defeat comes after she staked out the most aggressive gun control positions for a major party candidate in modern memory.
[Read the full story here, at freebeacon.com]
“She has been more forceful on guns/gun lobby than any other person who ever seriously ran for president,” one of Clinton’s advisers wrote in an email posted by WikiLeaks in October. “Certain members of the dem caucus [sic] were freaking out about [her gun positions.]”
Audio first published in October 2015 by the Washington Free Beacon showed Clinton telling donors privately that she believed the Supreme Court was “wrong on the Second Amendment.” When asked about her opposition to the court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision at the final presidential debate, Clinton claimed she was concerned about protecting toddlers from unsecured guns but did not reverse her position.
Just two weeks after audio of Clinton’s comments on the Supreme Court was published, she endorsed an Australian-style mandatory gun buyback scheme at a public rally. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 7, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Mediasphere, Science & Technology, Self Defense, Space & Aviation | Tags: Aditya Agarwal, Afghanistan, al Qaeda, Albert del Rosario, Armstrong Flight Research Center, Barack Obama, Democratic Party (United States), Hillary Clinton, Republican Party (United States), United States, United States presidential election
The world is at the start of a renaissance in hypersonic flight, but the U.S. will need steady commitment and funding if it wants to lead the way.
MOJAVE, California — The world is at the start of a renaissance in supersonic and hypersonic flight that will transform aviation, but the effort will need steady commitment and funding if the United States wants to lead the way, congressional leaders and industry officials said at a forum late last month.
“What’s exciting about aerospace today is that we are in a point here where suddenly, things are happening all across the board in areas that just haven’t been happening for quite a while,” said former U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Curtis M. Bedke.
“There was a period where engine technology had just sort of stagnated — a point where all materials technology was going along at about the same pace,” Bedke added. “There just wasn’t much happening. But suddenly, in all sorts of areas that apply to aerospace, things are happening.”
[NASA’s Vision of Future Air Travel (Images)]
Bedke was one of five panelists to speak Oct. 27 at the Forum on American Aeronautics here at the Mojave Air and Space Port. Sponsored by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, the forum was hosted by committee chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and member Steve Knight, R-Calif. Bedke, Smith and Knight were joined by David McBride, director of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, and Craig Johnson, director of business strategy and development for Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works. Former Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt moderated.
Knight has taken the lead on the House Science Committee in getting NASA’s aeronautical program to focus on a new set of experimental aircraft. He said his passion for these programs isn’t just about improving American aviation — it’s personal. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 1, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Guns and Gadgets, Science & Technology, Space & Aviation, War Room | Tags: Beijing, Chengdu J-20, China, Communist Party of China, Li Keqiang, Philippines, Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China, Rodrigo Duterte, Xi Jinping
ZHUHAI, China (Reuters) –Tim Hepher and Brenda Goh report: China showed its Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter in public for the first time on Tuesday, opening the country’s biggest meeting of aircraft makers and buyers with a show of its military clout.
“It’s a change of tactics for the Chinese to publicly show off weapons that aren’t in full squadron service yet, and demonstrates a lot of confidence in the capability, and also a lot of pride.”
— Sam Roggeveen, a senior fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute
Airshow China, in the southern city of Zhuhai, offers Beijing an opportunity to demonstrate its ambitions in civil aerospace and to underline its growing capability in defense. China is set to overtake the U.S. as the world’s top aviation market in the next decade.
Two J-20 jets, Zhuhai’s headline act, swept over dignitaries, hundreds of spectators and industry executives gathered at the show’s opening ceremony in a flypast that barely exceeded a minute, generating a deafening roar that was met with gasps and applause and set off car alarms in a parking lot.
“I think we learned very little. We learned it is very loud. But we can’t tell what type of engine it has, or very much about the mobility. Most importantly, we didn’t learn much about its radar cross-section.”
— Greg Waldron, Asia Managing Editor of FlightGlobal
Experts say China has been refining designs for the J-20, first glimpsed by planespotters in 2010, in the hope of narrowing a military technology gap with the United States. President Xi Jinping has pushed to toughen the armed forces as China takes a more assertive stance in Asia, particularly in the South China and East China seas.
“It is clearly a big step forward in Chinese combat capability,” said Bradley Perrett of Aviation Week, a veteran China watcher.
State-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) was also bullish on China’s appetite for new civilian planes, estimating the market would need 6,865 new aircraft worth $930 billion over the next 20 years.
The COMAC forecast – similar to long-term outlooks from well-established rivals Boeing Co and Airbus Group – said China would make up almost a fifth of global demand for close to 40,000 planes over the next two decades. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 22, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Guns and Gadgets, Politics, Self Defense | Tags: ABC News, Ash Carter, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Executive order, Gun control, Gun laws, Gun rights, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Republican Party (United States), Second Amendment, White House
More emails from Hillary Clinton campaign staffers were made public by WikiLeaks this week, granting insight into the campaign’s deceptive attacks on your rights and the extent to which Clinton is in league with the country’s most powerful anti-gun forces. Further, the emails provide more information about Clinton’s insistence on pursuing gun control by executive order.
Medium.com purports to be “a community of readers and writers offering unique perspectives on ideas large and small.” However, there’s nothing unique about the perspective of a January 12 item purportedly authored by a gun control advocate who was the victim of domestic violence. In fact, according to leaked emails, the piece was authored by Clinton campaign consultants and planted on Medium.com by campaign staff.
On January 8, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta forwarded an email titled, “Draft medium post on guns.” The author of the original email is not clear from the WikiLeaks archive. The email states, in part:
Hey everyone –
Ron Klain wrote a riff for HRC and sent it to Teddy on guns. We thought it could make a strong Medium post from someone who could really speak to this issue (not HRC and not someone on our campaign).
Here’s the draft, which I edited and can personalize depending on who we want to use as an author. A survivor of gun violence? An advocate or family member?
If we can find someone, and if folks want, we could get this posted today to Medium in someone’s name (not us). Here it is, let me know your thoughts!
The email goes on to provide a draft of the commentary.
Ronald Klain is a prominent Democratic operative who served as the chief of staff to both Vice President Al Gore and Vice President Joe Biden. Most recently, Klain has consulted on the Clinton campaign.
From the email, it appears Klain developed an anti-gun commentary intended to be used by Clinton herself. However, the campaign seemed to have thought the item would carry more weight if it appeared under the name of someone outside the campaign who had a history with the issue.
The plan outlined in this email was carried out, as on January 12 a piece titled “I’m With Hillary” was posted to Medium.com with Clai Lasher listed as its author. Lasher was shot by her stepfather in 1970 and is a survivor engagement lead at Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. Just as the email suggested, portions of the piece were personalized for Lasher. The majority of Klain’s commentary was not altered.
This incident should prompt the public to question just how much of the pro-Clinton content appearing in the media has been directly orchestrated by the Clinton campaign itself.
Recently released emails also give more insight into the unsavory nature of the Clinton campaign’s attacks on Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The emails show that Clinton’s anti-Sanders messaging was tailored to the racial background of the target audience. In a February 7 email exchange between Democratic consultant Mandy Grunwald and Clinton campaign staff, potential attacks on Sanders were discussed. Specifically, the emails contemplated using the gun issue to attack Sanders’ support among African Americans. In one email, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook wrote, “We may need to use guns tactically in the AA community–just like we’ll have tactical skirmishes on crime bill, etc.”
During the Democratic primaries, Sanders called on Clinton to produce the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton refused, but WikiLeaks obtained the transcripts and has made them available to the public. While much of the speeches address financial and foreign policy, during a June 4, 2013 question and answer session with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Clinton used the forum to take a swipe at NRA.
Despite NRA being a nonpartisan organization that routinely supports candidates across the political spectrum, Clinton blamed NRA, in part, for what she perceived is an increase in partisanship that stymied her preferred agenda. In doing so, Clinton gave a ham-handed retelling of an instance where NRA pursued the best interests of our members by supporting the opponent of a Tennessee lawmaker that had obstructed the passage of important Right-to-Carry legislation. Clinton characterized NRA’s vigorous defense of the rights of the state’s gun owners as unreasonable. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 12, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Global, Guns and Gadgets, Self Defense, War Room | Tags: Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Aegis Combat System, Al Hudaydah, Ali Abdullah Saleh, Anti-ship missile, Arab world, Bab-el-Mandeb, Cooperative Engagement Capability, Houthis, HSV-2 Swift, Lockheed Martin, Red Sea, RIM-174 Standard ERAM, Saudi Arabia, United States Navy, Yemen
Mason launched two Standard Missile-2s (SM-2s) and a single Enhanced Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) to intercept the two missiles that were launched about 7 P.M. local time. In addition to the missiles, the ship used its Nulka anti-ship missile decoy
Sam LaGrone reports: The crew of a guided-missile destroyer fired three missiles to defend themselves and another ship after being attacked on Sunday in the Red Sea by two presumed cruise missiles fired by Iran-backed Houthi-forces, USNI News has learned.
During the attack against USS Mason (DDG-87), the ship’s crew fired the missiles to defend the guided-missile destroyer and nearby USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) from two suspected cruise missiles fired from the Yemini shore, two defense officials told USNI News.
Mason launched two Standard Missile-2s (SM-2s) and a single Enhanced Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) to intercept the two missiles that were launched about 7 P.M. local time. In addition to the missiles, the ship used its Nulka anti-ship missile decoy, the sources confirmed. Mason was operating in international waters north of the strait of Bab el-Mandeb at the time of the attack.
Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15) on April 11, 2016. US Navy Photo
According to a defense official on Monday, Mason “employed onboard defensive measures” against the first suspected cruise missile, “although it is unclear whether this led to the missile striking the water or whether it would have struck the water anyway.” The official did not specify that the defensive measure was a missile fired from the ship.
USNI News understands, as of Monday, the crew of the ship was uncertain if the suspected cruise missile was taken out by an SM-2 or went into the water on its own. In the Monday statement, the Pentagon said an investigation was ongoing.
The second missile launched from Yemen hit the water without being struck by a U.S. interceptor, the Pentagon said. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 30, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Space & Aviation, War Room | Tags: A-10 Warthog
Posted: September 13, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Guns and Gadgets, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics, Self Defense, U.S. News | Tags: Background check, Civil Rights, Documentary film, Epix (TV network), Floyd Abrams, Gun rights, Katie Couric, Philip Van Cleave, Second Amendment, Sundance Film Festival, Television, Virginia Citizens Defense League
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.
[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”
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.
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.
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 »
Posted: September 7, 2016 Filed under: Global, Guns and Gadgets, Self Defense, Space & Aviation, War Room | Tags: 2d Air Support Operations Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Air Force Global Strike Command, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Guam, Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, RAF Fairford, Rockwell B-1 Lancer, Strategic bomber, United States Air Force
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.
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 »
Posted: September 6, 2016 Filed under: Guns and Gadgets, Science & Technology, Self Defense, War Room | Tags: Chief of Naval Staff (Pakistan), David Axe, First Sea Lord, George Washington, London, Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom), Navy, River Thames, Royal Navy, Tower Bridge, United Kingdom, United States, United States Navy
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 »