Showing posts with label Guns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guns. Show all posts

August 5, 2019

Shootings in El Paso and Dayton

Another bloody weekend...this time in El Paso and Dayton. 

With at least 29 dead and 53 injured in mass shootings.

We still don't seem to be able to get a state of security in our country. 

Whether it's gangs and violence in our decaying cities (yes, like Baltimore). 

Or mass shootings by racists and nut jobs attacking our schools, houses of worship, shopping malls, and places of work. 

People can buy assault rifles with mega mags of ammunition and go crazy.

And they do!

While I was impressed with the response in Dayton especially, they killed the perpetrator within 30 seconds of the start to his killing spree, in other cases it takes considerably longer,

Moreover, while generally the first responders are brave and heroic in going after and taking out the bad guys, in places like the Parkland shooting, the officer apparently hid behind a tree while the students got massacred. 

We need a rethinking of how we deal with these terror situations. 

Can technology help (and I know these may sound crazy, but we have to think out-of-the-box at some point)?

We have the ShotSpotter technology to pinpoint where shootings are occurring. 

Why can't we have persistent armed drones on patrol with AI ready to swoop in (even through an open door or window) and respond and neutralize the shooter (while law enforcement makes their way through our busy city streets). 

Other ideas...embedded chips in humans (yes, it is coming) that would drive the privacy wonks nuts, but can identify occurrences of extreme violence and potentially stop it.  

I am sure there are other technology ideas out there.

Certainly, we do need to balance privacy with safety, and it will be tricky to make sure the AI is getting it right, but as we figure this out, tragically there are fathers, mothers, children not coming home because they are dead.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 12, 2019

Border Security - The Facts

So in this longest of U.S. government shutdowns, one thing that is missing from the debate are an articulation of the facts. 

All I hear day-in and -out is that President Trump wants to build a wall or barrier on the Southern border because there is a crisis. And the Democrats in turn say it's not necessary, it's a waste of money, and even that it's immoral, and that they will resist Trump!

But this is not a reasoned debate!

Who cares who wants what and who hates who in politics.

We need to be presented with a solid communication of facts, figures, and why should we support a position or not. 

Yes, an endorsement by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is helpful, but the opposition can just claim partisan politics. 

So here are some simple facts to inform the discussion:

Gun Trafficking:
- Over 253,000 guns annually cross the border from the U.S. to Mexico.

Drug Trafficking:
- Cartels send $64,000,000,000 of drugs annually from Mexico to U.S. 

Human Trafficking:
Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked annually into the U.S. 

Gang Members:
Almost 6,000 gang members in 2018 were deported by ICE.

Illegal Immigrants:
- The U.S. and Customer and Border Protection apprehended more than 500,000 illegals trying to enter in 2008, and there are between 12 to 22 million illegals in the U.S, today

Looking at these numbers, I am not sure how anyone can say that the current border situation is secure--it isn't. 

So whatever we are doing with agents, sensors, surveillance, intelligence, inspection, and interdiction --no matter how good it is--it is not enough. 

Certainly a request for Border Wall funding for $5 billion out of a $4.4 trillion dollar budget and placing barriers on hundreds of miles out of a 2,000 mile border, does not seem at all extreme!

While I do not like to be on a government shutdown, I certainly don't see why this can't be resolved with some reasoned border security funding that includes among the other security measures, a wall/barrier. 

A strategically-placed border barrier only stands to reason in a layered defense/system of systems approach to security. 

For some of those that don't want the wall, and only want votes from a broken immigration system, this is a fight for power, rather than a genuine argument on how to help secure the country. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 13, 2018

Outgunned Yes


I liked this saying that I heard:

"Outnumbered and outgunned, but not outsmarted."

I think there is a lot of truth to this. 

Might does not make right. 

Right makes right. 

There is a G-d above who watches over us. 

Those with the big guns may just end up shooting themselves in the foot. 

G-d reigns supreme and he gives wisdom and courage to his faithful. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 7, 2018

Spiked Battle Hammer

Saw this at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and thought this was a notable weapon/art piece. 

It's a War (Battle) Hammer with a spike on one side and an animal head for the hammer on the other. 

TV shows like Vikings and Z(i.e. zombie) Nation have made these sort of famous again.

It's sort of crazy the things people used in the past to fight and kill with. 

Imagine getting clobbered with one of these...ugly!

But before guns, when the battle was up close and personal, what choice did people really have to defend themselves with.

It was life or death...and many in the most gruesome ways ended up the latter. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 21, 2017

Calling BS on Germany's BDS

So I think this is the definition of irony and more blatant anti-Semitism out there. 

Hitler's Germany committed genocide and murdered 6,000,000 Jewish men, women, and children during the Holocaust--1 out of every 3 Jews in the entire world--and killed tens of millions more in their fight of World War II. 

And now one of Germany's top gun manufacturers, Heckler and Koch, has put democratic Israel, the Jewish Homeland, which is surrounded by hostile neighbors--on their banned list of countries to sell guns to because of war zones and corruption. 

-- Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black???

BDS is anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, and a form of terrorism!

My own family--from Germany--suffered at the hands of Hitler and his henchman, and no more Jews should suffer the same. 

Germany, please put a lid on resurgent anti-Semitism, and respect Israel's right to self-defense, and to peace and security. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 27, 2016

Planning For The End Of The World

I have never heard so much about the coming of the end of the world, Armageddon, the Apocalypse, and World War III as I am hearing these days...

The world seems to truly be going mad. 

And that MAD is as in CRAZY and as in Mutually Assured Destruction. 

- 25 years after the end of the Cold War, we are back in a nuclear arms race with Russia!

- Despite being our largest trading and economic partner, we are now going head-to-head confronting China over trade, Taiwan, and the South China Sea! 

- While setting some near-term constraints, we have in effect solidified Iran's getting the nuclear bomb!

- As North Korea continues developing and testing nukes and ballistic missiles, we have no answers for how to deal with them!

Not only have we failed to contain the many threats we face, but also in many or most cases, we have made them worse.

- The Middle East has gone from the promise of an Arab Spring to instead raging in flames and becoming the modern-day killing fields

Even as ISIS becomes more dangerous despite having less territory, they are likely eclipsed by Iran's global terror expansion as a threat to the world order

- The refugee crisis has meant that ISIS terrorists have infiltrated our borders and are now living among us ready to strike at will. 

- There is a real documented threat of a terrorist attack using radiological, chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons of mass destruction

- The European Union is falling apart and it's future is unknown. 

Increasing border attacks and escalating tensions are creating a risk of a dangerous Indian-Pakistani War

Obama has alienated our allies, reduced our stature among the nations, and destabilized the world

- While people are arguing over the state of hopelessness since the election or from before it, either way, there is huge divisiveness in America. 

Gun ownership is soaring and people are stockpiling ammo

Videos have emerged from people in near-death experiences claiming to have vividly seen the coming World War III and the prelude to the coming of the messiah. 

- There is even widespread recognition by our space experts that we are woefully unprepared for an errant asteroid or comet hitting the Earth

Clergy is warning and encouraging us to repent and do good deeds to merit G-d saving us from the coming cataclysm, whatever it ends up being.

I am certainly not a forecaster of doom and gloom, but always try to remain hopeful and encourage everyone to do their best to improve the world.

But I also must reflect on the voices of anger, frustration, and exasperation around the world that are growing ever louder and scarier daily...the latest with Obama's betrayal of Israel at the United Nations Security Council.  

What comes next politically may very well determine whether the end is near or the future gets bright again. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 5, 2016

A Matter Of Vigilance

Getting around town, I have noticed a stark and scary hands-off absence of security. 

So different than the immediate vigilance after the attacks of 9/11 is the sleepiness of our security establishment now. 

Recently, I noticed a security guard not on lookout, but rather on video games on his smartphone while standing post. 

And then again coming down the street today, another guard (no child that is) was putting up handprints on the fogged up glass instead of having their hands safely on (or off) their trigger. 

What was even more frightening was that the guard abruptly turns around while handprinting the windows, as if I did something wrong just walking by, and says to me, "You scared me!"

To which I promptly replied, "Really, you're the one with the gun!"

It's incredible how far we have fallen security-wise after the attacks from New York to Paris and Orlando to Kiryat Arba.

In the Wall Street Journal today, Bret Stephens writes, "It's depressing to think that the only way the world might understand the truth about terrorism is to have some experience of it." 

Why do we have to be lazy and lackadaisical, playing around with people's lives, instead of with it and ready to prevent the next one and the next one?  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 20, 2015

Violation of Home and Person

So I took this photo of a newscast recently about women being followed into their homes and attacked. 

What can be more frightening and violating?

A home is one's castle and sanctuary--that is where we go for shelter, safety, and unconditional love. 

When the the home space is violated, then fear and panic ensue as all bets are off to what can happen to everything one loves and holds dear.

Think of basically any scene where the ancient city walls are being broached by a marauding army, and you'll immediately see men, women, and children running and screaming, but alas the city burns and the people are doomed at the hand of their invaders. 

Similarly, when people are followed or suffer a home invasion--their privacy and security is violated to the core--and they easily become victims of theft, rape, and assault. 

I remember when growing up in New York how one local neighborhood kid was followed home one day by a gang, and they started beating him in front of his home until some neighbors came and chased the attackers away. 

But it didn't end there, because this kid was vulnerable for months afterward, not knowing if and when the attackers would return for more. 

It's like when people threaten someone and say, "I know where you live!"

That puts the fear of G-d into people, because it's not only themselves, but their home and family at mortal risk--and not knowing when or how it may happen...people can just piss their pants. 

The opposite is true as well, people tend to be big shots and aggressive when they feel they are anonymous--when their faces are covered by masks, and they have no identifiable insignias--you don't know who they are or where they are from. 

With anonymity, people feel they can do what they want without fear of reprisal. 

But someone who can be identified, they better behave themselves, because they can be found afterwards and "made to pay" for the bad things they did. 

Ultimately, peace comes from having both safety in the home and the serenity of mind that comes with not having to look over your shoulder all the time. 

Everyone should be able to feel safe in their homes and neighborhood, and the attacker be caught, killed, or damned. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 30, 2014

Security, In the Blink Of An Eye


Very short, but cool video of this spooky kinetic art that I took today.

It is by artist, Tim Tate and it's called The Guardian.

We talked about putting this right in front of the door when you walk into the house.

Keeping an eye on things:

1) G-d
2) Spirits of our ancestors
3) Guards
4) Smith and Wesson 
5) Dogs very hungry
6) Gates, doors, and other barriers
7) Surveillance cameras
8) Sensors and alarms
9) Traps and tripwires
10) This cool art piece

Hope you enjoy! ;-)
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February 13, 2013

Liquor Weapons

























So passing by this liquor store in downtown Washington, D.C. 

And I noticed these interesting liquor bottles in the shape of knifes and guns.  

The knife was full of rum, and I am not certain, but I think the gun was filled with Vodka. 

So in the age of gun control and other anti-violence movements, what is the messaging with these "bottles"?

Perhaps it's what many are looking for in stressful times, just a way to let their inhibitions go--a little bit. 

The weapons image--macho, alpha male, interesting, cool...but safely--no harm, no foul. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 14, 2012

Children, Our Future

20 children dead today in school shooting. 

Completely unacceptable!

We need better psychiatric screening, more treatment options, and safer schools.

How can we expect children to excel, when they can't even feel safe. 

Safeguard our children, protect our future.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Massimo Valiani, Source Quote: ABC News article comment by Quinn, and Mashup by Andy Blumenthal)

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August 19, 2011

Robot Fighters Coming Soon




I love keeping up with the latest in robotics, especially when it comes to battlefield versions.

The Wall Street Journal (19 August 2011) featured QinetiQ's Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS) today as "America's Newest Soldiers."

MAARS features tank treads, days and night vision cameras, a 4-barrel 40mm high-explosive grenade launcher, and a M240B 7.62mm machine gun.

"It can stand sentry at a checkpoint and warn people away with a police style hailer, a nonblinding laser, tear gas or smoke grenades. As a last resort, it can fire lethal rounds."

Watching this thing, I imagine the D Day landings in Normandy would've looked a lot different with a swarm of these fellows landing on those bullet-riddled beaches.

The nature of the fight is changing and whoever stands in front of one of these armed robots (and even better next generation versions to come) better be prepared to say "bye bye, it was nice knowing you." ;-)

(Source Photo: here)

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