Kuya 808 comments

Posted in: Lava from Kilauea volcano enters ocean, creating toxic cloud See in context


You find a lot of folks like that in places like Puna. That area is probably the last place where a back to nature type can go full hippie. For obvious reasons land is super cheap when compared to the rest of the state. The medium house price in Hawaii is right around $600k but you can buy a one acre lot in places like Puna for around 16k. It's cheap because it's sketchy. Perfect hippie paradise. One good bud harvest and you're good to go.

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Posted in: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing 10 people See in context

Why are all mass school shooters male students and not female students? They are both using social media and iPhones.


Because boys and girls are different. The suicide rate among adolescent girls has risen by some estimates by as much as 200% between 2010 and 2015. Maybe some girls tend to kill themselves while some boys tend to kill others. Same basic stressors with different outcomes based of the fundamental differences between adolescent boys and girls.

If you don't think there are negative ramifications to wide spread smartphone use in Japan then you are kidding yourself. America and Japan have different cultures their problems tend to be different as well.

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Posted in: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing 10 people See in context

How do you know that it's technology that is responsible.

I don't. But there is research out there that shows a possible relationship. It's available if you look.

You're right on about the meds. The money that the pharmaceutical companies make and enormous amount of money they spend on direct lobbying seems to have a dampening effect on that line of discussion. It doesn't really get that much traction in the media as well. I really don't think it's a very popular subject.

A while back, on this site,I shared my experience at a Human Services seminar which I attended where the main topic was the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and the increased incidents of suicidal and violent ideations among adolescents and teens. I was informed by a poster here, that because the NRA had publicly raised a question about that issue, the argument was invalid. Unfortunately, at least from my experience, that attitude is common among control advocates.

This is all about human behavior, there is motivation behind it. Unless society addresses the motivation, no amount of gun control, including complete confiscation, will solve the problem. Anyone can go online and learn how to make Sarin, if they are motivated enough.

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Posted in: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing 10 people See in context

Finding, at the very least, an understanding of what is causing this tragic increase in school shootings is the only way to explore possible solutions. In the current environment the knee jerk reaction is invigorate the gun debate and any earnest discussion about other pieces in the puzzle is drowned out in the rhetorical white noise.

The rate of firearm related crime (including murder) has been in a steady decline and is at the lowest rate since the 90s. Two statistical areas that have increased within the overall decline are suicide and mass school shootings. In the case of school shootings not only have the number of incidents increased but there has been a progressive increase in the frequency. Why is that?

A growing body of evidence is showing a strong correlation between the rates of adolescent suicide, violent behavior and the level of smartphone access and social media involvement. Other researchers have identified what they call the "media contagion effect" which results from the intense media coverage, including social media. Smartphones and social media have changed the way that Americans relate to themselves and to others and it is not all positive.

Both Pagourtzis and Cruz had significant social media footprints that, in retrospect, should have raised some serious red flags. That is, if anybody was taking a look at it. They pretty much sent an invitation to law enforcement to intervene, but in both cases the opportunity was lost. I'm sure that the cops and the FBI are capable of effectively identifying and addressing potential problems. It might be that they just weren't seeing it for what it could be.

If recent advancements in technology have had the inadvertent effect of setting the stage for this type of social dysfunction; then how far is society willing to go to rein it in? Is that new iphone and Instagram account more important than human lives?

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Posted in: Senate panel backs intelligence agencies on Russian election meddling See in context

So? It's been pretty much established that Russia tried to influence the election. This is old news. Matter of fact, governments around the world try to influence elections in other countries to serve their own national interests all the time. The US has done it plenty. But my question is where is the evidence that Russia actually made a difference in the election outcome. Did they hack the voting machines or something?

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Posted in: Peace grows more remote with U.S. Jerusalem embassy move, violence See in context

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was passed by a bipartisan majority in the US Congress. It called for the recognition of an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In June of 2017 the US Senate unanimously (90 to 0) reaffirmed the Jerusalem Embassy Act and called on the the president and the US government to comply with the law.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act has been on the books for 23 years. If people have a problem with the move then they should take it up with the 104th Congress for passing the Act and the 115th Senate for unanimously re-affirming it.

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Posted in: Huge fissure opens on Hawaiian volcano; some defy evacuation order See in context

If you choose to stay in your house, you are risking the lives of rescue people.

In reality, the risk to life in events like this is extremely small. The flows issuing from the vents are moving at a slow pace, about like a casual stroll. There's plenty of time to get out of the way. There have already been incidents of looting so a lot of people have deemed it prudent to stay with their property until, and if, it becomes absolutely necessary to bail. If that time comes it would just be a matter of getting out of the way, you can walk faster than the lava.

The lava lake, no longer at the summit, has dropped several hundred meters, and some scientists are connecting the drop with the fissures and flows further east.*

Just prior to this most recent event the lava lake in another crater, Pu'u O'o, experienced a dramatic drop in volume immediately followed by the opening of the fissures along the east rift zone. Pu'u O'o crater and the main crater at the summit, Halema'uma'u, are connected in the Kilauea magma chamber so as the lava drains from the east rift zone eruption both craters are affected. Two possible scenarios that could result from this would have a dramatic effect on the current eruption.

One scenario is that the level in the magma chamber falls below the water table, the resulting infiltration of water into the magma chamber could predicate a potentially massive and explosive event. An event like that could potentially blow ash clouds tens of thousands of feet into atmosphere and have ramifications seen thousands of miles away.

Another scenario could result from the draining off what is relatively older and more sedate lava and having it replaced by fresher more dynamic magma from deeper in the chamber. The lava coming out now is the leftovers from an eruptive event dating back to the 1950s. It's a little cooler, more viscous and less gassy than the magma in the main chamber. As it is drained away, internal pressure will force fresh magma into the upper chamber and allow it to erupt to the surface. If that happens, vents where the lava is sort of bubbling up and overflowing, could develop into roaring fountains shooting molten lava hundreds of feet into the air.

Both of these scenarios (among others) are possible if not probable. But whatever happens it will definitely be something to see, that's for sure.

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Posted in: Huge fissure opens on Hawaiian volcano; some defy evacuation order See in context

"It is a near-constant roar akin to a full-throttle 747 interspersed with deafening, earth-shattering explosions that hurtle 100-pound (45-kg) lava bombs 100 feet (30 meters) into the air," said Mark Clawson, 64, who lives uphill from the latest fissure and so far is defying an evacuation order.

There are few natural occurrences that can match a volcanic eruption for sheer awesomeness. If I was in Mr. Clawson's place I'd stay, too. As a geology student at the University of Hawaii I had the opportunity to witness an eruption up close and I have to say that was an humbling experience. Having the chance to see something like that, feel the heat, smell the sulfur and hear the roar, in my opinion, is truly a rare privilege.

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Posted in: Hawaiian volcano destroys dozens of homes, forces evacuations See in context

There are two kinds of Hawaiian lava: A'a, and pahoehoe. 

A'a and Pahoehoe are terms used to describe the two primary forms of basaltic lava encountered in Hawaiian eruptions.

Pahoehoe flows appear as streams of molten rock with relatively smooth, corrugated surfaces. It occurs when there is a lesser volume of lava and it is moving at a slower rate. The one term that is used to describe its appearance is, ropey. It is that swirling and ropey surface that gives this type of flow it's Hawaiian name. The ancients saw a similarity between the surface of this type of lava and the swirling of water when stroked by a canoe paddle. The name pahoehoe derives from the word "hoe" which literally means "to paddle".

A'a flows occur when there is a high output of lava and a slope. As the lava travels down hill, the high rate of flow causes the lava to spread out. As the lava hardens on the surface it is broken into chunks that are carried along with the flow until they roll over the leading edge and then are covered by the advancing lava. It's like a giant tractor tread that relentlessly advances inundating everything in its path. A'a in the Hawaiian language means, to burn.

Interestingly, the terms pahoehoe and a'a are not uniquely applied to Hawaiian lava, they are the accepted descriptors of this these types of lava by geologists and volcanologist world wide.

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Posted in: Hawaii's Big Island on high alert after earthquakes, lava fissures See in context

I guess the owners would need volcano and earthquake insurance as in Japan earthquake and tsunami insurance are needed in some zones.

The Big Island (Hawaii) is broken into 9 separate zones, each rated by the chances of a volcanic eruption occurring. The lower the zone number the higher the risk. In zones 4 through 9 the risk is considered to be fairly low. Homes in those zones are covered by regular homeowner policies. Zone 1 is considered so risky that you can't even get a building permit, in zone 2 you can get a building permit but good luck in finding someone to sell you insurance,at least at a reasonable price. There are special volcano policies available but they are pricey and they have their own "catch 22". They will only pay out if your house is directly destroyed by the lava flow or pyroclastic material. If the eruption sets the forest on fire and that spreads to your house, you're out of luck. Puna, where this current outbreak is occuring, is in zone 2. Most of the folks I know, that live in the Puna district, just forgo insurance all together and take their chances with Madam Pele.

I have a friend who bought a lot in zone 3 ( a little less hazardous than zone 2) on which he built his tropical dream home. He was able to buy a regular homeowners policy and felt pretty confident that he had his bases covered. Well... in a subsequent eruption, with a flow bearing down directly at his house, Madam Pele played a trick on him. For some reason the flow diverted around his home and it was spared. The trick was that although the house was spared destruction it was left stranded in the middle of miles of raw fresh lava flow.

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Posted in: Nearly naked man kills 4 in Waffle House shooting in Tennessee See in context

The Framers of the Constitution lived in a time of single-shot muskets. They wrote the law for single-shot muskets.*

Cherry picked from the 1st Amendment

“Congress shall make no law……..abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;”

The Framers lived in a time of oratory, hand written correspondence and the printed word. There was no radio, no television, no cinema and no internet. Are the American people’s protections afforded by the 1st amendment only valid for the communication technology available in the18th century? Is Congress free to pass laws censoring the broadcast media because it didn’t exist in the 1700s?

Cherry picked from the 4th Amendment

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,"

Are the “effects” specified in the amendment limited to what “effects” an 18th century American would have? Would it be “reasonable” for the government to search your hard-drive, your phone or your car, without a warrant, because they didn’t exist the 1780s?

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Posted in: Shooting at Florida school as students stage walkout See in context

Who exactly is committing these mass school shootings? And why? Violence is behavioral, what do we know about the motivation behind it? A number of studies have been conducted on school shootings and school shooters. In interviews with actual school shooters, researchers have found that these acts are rarely spur of the moment events but involve a progression from ideation, planning and eventual execution. Something is motivating these young people to take this path. In a study conducted by the US Secret Service it was found that 2/3s of school shooters reported that they were the target of bullying by their fellow students and that had a significant influence on their subsequent behavior. Contrary to a popular opinion people just don't look at a gun and start killing. They want to kill in the first place and the gun is the means to their end. Violent behavior is rampant in American schools with assaults, robberies and bullying behavior actually on the rise. If you want to reduce school gun violence the best place to start is with addressing school violence, both physical and emotional, in general.

It's easy to blame the laws, lawmakers, gun owners and the NRA. It's not so easy to take a good long look at the real issues behind the problem. The bottom line is, guns or not, as long as the cultural and societal stressors that lead to this type of deviant behavior are not addressed it will continue. Reduce the motivation behind it and a reduction in school violence will naturally ensue.

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Posted in: Hundreds of school walkouts planned on Columbine anniversary See in context

zichiApr. 20  04:00 pm JST*

They are the future!

Yes they are, but it must be remembered that in “the future” these kids will be (for the most part) very different people compared to what we see now.

The human brain develops in stages throughout the maturation process, with different regions serving the function of executive control at different times. In a fully developed adult brain the prefrontal cortex, the region involved with reasoning, is fully integrated with the other regions of the brain and in that capacity exerts primary control.

The full development of the neural pathways necessary for the prefrontal cortex to dominate takes time. Starting at puberty, that process extends into the mid-twenties. During that developmental period the function of control is dominated by the amygdala.

The amygdala is responsible for inducing emotional and impulse reactions to outside influences, it is the source of the fight or flight reaction. The amygdala’s function does not included logic or reasoning.

So essentially, adults think with the rational part of the brain and teens and adolescents think with the emotional part. Conscious decision making, understanding consequences, complex cognitive function, moderating social behavior are functions of the prefrontal cortex. Emotional outbursts, impulsive behavior, hypersensitivity to perceived injury or threat are in the domain of the amygdala.

For some kids, the emotional, psychological and social chaos of the developmental years provides the impetus to achieve great things. For for many more this time is a scary and confusing period of their lives. This makes them especially vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation by, let’s say, more mature minds.

For fairly recent examples of this one has to look no farther than the Khmer Rouge or the Red Guard. So yes these kids are the future but what that future will look like is anybody’s guess.

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Posted in: Starbucks to close 8,000 U.S. stores for racial tolerance training See in context

And as the world turns, Tamika Mallory (Women's March co-chair and Louis Farrakhan devotee) is calling for a boycott of Starbucks because they included the Anti Defamation League in the group of advisers for their implicit bias training. Why? Because they're Jeeeewwwws.

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Posted in: Pompeo had secret meeting with N Korean leader, says U.S. official See in context

SuperLibApr. 18  11:44 pm JST

I think it's a good idea that they talk, without conditions. Even if a deal isn't made it's always good to get two people into a room talking.


Finally, a reasonable, intelligent statement. I've always thought that the game of dueling diatribes makes both sides look bad.

Thank you for your astute observation.

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Posted in: Starbucks CEO apologizes to 2 black men arrested See in context

“My responsibility is to look not only to that individual but look more broadly at the circumstances that set that up just to ensure that never happens again,” ( Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO)

I give Mr. Johnson a thumbs up for personally jumping in to try and make things right. This is in stark contrast to his predecessor's (Howard Shultz) reaction to a boycott predicated by his anti conservative, anti Christian, anti Trump campaign of a few years ago. Shultz' response to the boycott was to state that Starbucks didn't need those kind of customers and everything would be just fine. After a 24 percent loss of brand value, directly attributed to the boycott by many financial experts, Shultz was replaced by Johnson.

Johnson has a long row to hoe in light of the culture of elitist ideological superiority which Shultz promoted and reinforced within the Starbucks organization. Some people just feel better about themselves when they can feel better than someone else. Maybe the manager in this case just felt that her Starbucks didn't need those kind of customers.

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Posted in: Gun rights advocates rally at state capitols across US See in context

The call for stricter background checks is a common theme among gun control advocates and has been mentioned frequently in this thread. My question to those who advocate stricter background checks is, how do you propose to do that? That's a sincere and honest question. What would you suggest as an upgrade to the current background check system?

I have my own ideas about this. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System has been in effect since 1993 as mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. The law requires all commercial firearms transactions be conducted through a federally licensed dealer. The federally licensed dealer is required to conduct a background check through the NICS before any transaction can take place. The FBI maintains a database of prohibited individuals based on information provided by the individual states and since its enactment the NICS has prevented over 1.5 million from obtaining a firearm through legal means. The NCIS relies heavily on pertinent information provided by the individual states but currently only a minority of states provide full information to the FBI. Some states have their own background check systems but fail to share their information with the FBI. Consequently, in many cases, an individual prohibited in one state could cross a state line and buy a gun in another jurisdiction because the pertinent information about them has not been shared with other states, or the FBI.

I think a reasonable fix for this situation would be for Congress to enact legislation that would establish a mandatory minimum level of compliance for the states so that the NCIS could be effectively used on a national level. Some states report that technological and financial limitations hamper their compliance. Attached to the legislation could be a program of federal grants and assistance to facilitate implementation. The US has a law on the books but its effectiveness is diminished by the lack of universal compliance from the states. Getting the states fully on board would be a good starting point.

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Posted in: Gun rights advocates rally at state capitols across US See in context

The AR and the M16 both have a higher maximum effect range than the typical bolt action rifle

That depends entirely on what you mean by "typical bolt action rifle". The maximum effective range of a 5.56 fired from an M16 is rated (by the US military) as 500 meters. After that the projectile velocity goes subsonic and stability goes to pot and accuracy with it. With carefully hand loaded ammunition in a well made bolt action rifle that may be extended to 600 or so meters. A very typical bolt action rifle such as the Remington 700, chambered in .300 winchester magnum has an effective range of around 1200 meters, in 7.62x51 NATO it's around 800 meters. The reason that military and law enforcement primarily use bolt action rifles in their sniper programs is because they are mainly chambered in calibers that exceed the effective range of the 5.56 by a large margin.

 modified with a bump stock equals a very powerful “deer hunting “ rifle 

Have you ever fired a AR15 with a bump stock? The only thing those things are good for is making noise and burning up ammunition. I watched a guy fire off an entire 20 round magazine at a refrigerator from a distance of 40 yards, with one of those things, and the result was three hits. A deer would be in more danger from a man with a spear than someone with a bump stock. Personally, I feel that anyone who would hunt with a bump stock should have their hunting licence revoked and be prosecuted for reckless endangerment.

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Posted in: Gun rights advocates rally at state capitols across US See in context

Deer hunters do not use military style semi-auto rifles of the kind in the photos. For one, the 5.56 Nato caliber (223) is too small for deer hunting, and consequently both illegal and not used in most states which require a minimum 30 calber (7.62 Nato). 


Actually there are no states that require a minimum of .30 caliber for deer hunting. In fact, there are several states where the use of the 5.56 (.22 caliber) centerfire calibers is completely legal. Some states require a minimum of 6 millimeter or .24 caliber, others require a minimum amount of kinetic energy (foot pounds) either at the muzzle or at 100 yards (91.44 meters). Some others require a minimum weight for the bullet. Some states only require that the cartridge be a centerfire (California included). There are literally hundreds of legal and effective hunting cartridges smaller than .30 caliber. In my state the requirement is 1200 foot pounds of kinetic energy at the muzzle, a 5.56 millimeter loaded with a 70 grain bullet at 2700 feet per second comes in at around 1400 ft lbs and therefore is legal.

Last month I went pig hunting in a group of four hunters, I was the only member of the group that did not use an AR platform rifle. And it is worth noting that none of those ARs were chambered in 5.56 (.223). One characteristic of the AR platform is the ability to change the caliber by switching the upper receiver and a number of high performance hunting cartridges have actually been designed around the platform. As an example the 6.5 mm Creedmoor was designed as a long range target and hunting cartridge specifically for use in the AR platform. As an aside, one member of the group I was hunting with had a rifle set up pretty much exactly like the one pictured in the article, his was chambered in .308 winchester which is the commercial name for the 7.62x51 NATO. The other two ARs were chambered in non 5.56 calibers one being the aforementioned 6.5 Creedmoor the other in .458 SOCOM.

The Modern Sporting Rifle (AR platform) is accurate, reliable and an effective hunting gun and is used extensively for hunting wherever centerfire rifles are allowable.

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Posted in: Trump lawyer arranged $1.6 mil payoff to Playboy Playmate for Republican fundraiser: source See in context

There's way too much real stuff going on in the world to focus on this kind of crap. It's like the American media has devolved into a bunch of scandal rag sheets. I could really care less about who is screwing whom in Washington.

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Posted in: Woman shooter wounds 3 at YouTube HQ in California before killing herself See in context

When you have mental issues, it's easy to rationalize just about anything. Wouldn't you think that's why she was so "passionate" about her pet issues?

For sure there are some mental health issues involved in this story. I think there is some level of mental issue at work whenever people become "passionate" about anything. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

It was okay for her to be passionate about her message. Her content was pretty benign with videos about the vegan lifestyle, fitness and animal rights. She seemed to be kind of eccentric, but not in a scary way. It looks like that started to change when her problems with youtube heated up. Her narrative increasingly focused on youtube and the supposed injuries they caused her. Her postings started sounding more and more paranoid and she seemed to be developing a real case of persecution complex. And then she shot up youtube.

I don't think she was crazy to start with, just a little off center. Perhaps her eccentricity made her vulnerable to the stresses, that her bid for internet stardom and her subsequent negative experiences with youtube subjected her to. If she was somewhat fragile at the start, each stressor could have been an incremental step in her descent into madness, where rationalizing the irrational made perfect sense.

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Posted in: Woman shooter wounds 3 at YouTube HQ in California before killing herself See in context

This woman was a youtube content producer who expressed the belief that youtube had ruined her life. She openly complained that her videos were filtered unfairly, and to her detriment. Her anger at youtube was well known. Her website paints an image of a passionate and committed woman who felt she had an important message to share with the world. Her disdain for youtube and other perceived oppressors is also on display. She clearly believed that youtube was stifling her voice and suppressing her message.

On her site she posted a video of her demonstrating her vegan strength test which was her doing squat jumps to a music soundtrack. The music was written and performed by herself and in the lyrics is the line "Do you dare not to kill for passion, not wear bloody fashion".

So you have a passionate person, maybe even a zealot, who is driven to share their personal gospel with the world only to find herself censored, demonetized and relegated to obscurity by an oppressive, all powerful entity whose goal is to silence her voice and crush her message. To make matters worse, there is nothing she can do about it. She was powerless under the boot of an omnipotent bully, marginalized, ostracized and ruined.

Maybe while she was thinking about the events of her life she was watching her exercise video.

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Posted in: China slaps retaliatory tariffs on 128 U.S. imports See in context

A. majority of US farm products in USA. Chinese cultivate in own farms.

Remember the China /US trade war back in Obama,s time? The one over chicken feet.

US poultry producers found a market in China for the little tasty bits (feet and wing tips) that Americans usually just ground up for pet food and by the early 2000s it had grown into quite a large enterprise. Chinese farmers were not happy about the American imports and complained to Beijing that the yanks were underselling the local producers and hurting business. Beijing's response was to impose a 100% tariff on all chicken feet and wing tips from the US. The Obama administration filed a claim with the World Trade Organization against the Chinese move, and won. The Chinese lowered the tariff to 70%.

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Posted in: U.S. gunmaker Remington files for bankruptcy See in context

 unbelievably easy access to killing machines

I am a US citizen living in the United States, if I want to buy a gun in my home state I need to do the following:

1) Apply for and be granted permit to acquire.

All permit applications are processed by the office of the local Chief of Police.

All applicants must undergo background checks by the Federal authorities (FBI), state law enforcement, State mental health agencies as well as the state department of health.

All applicants must provide proof of the successful completion of a state certified firearm and hunter safety program (for the purchase of a long gun) or a state certified handgun safety course (for the purchase of a handgun). A separate permit to acquire is required for each handgun purchase.

All applicants must be at least 21 years old. (long gun or handgun)

A permit to acquire is required for all firearm transactions including private transference of ownership. If an authorised gun owner wishes to give a firearm to another person that person must apply for and be issued their own permit to acquire and the person giving the firearm is required to notify the office of the Chief within 48 hrs. with all pertinent information on the firearm and the individual the firearm was given to. Failure to do so will result in the seizure of the firearm and possible criminal charges.

All successful applicants are required to wait for a minimum of 14 days before the permit is issued. In the case of handguns the permit is valid for 10 days from the date of issuance and if the transaction is not completed within that time frame the process must be repeated. Permits for long guns are valid for one year.

All unsuccessful applicants will have the pertinent information relating to their disqualification officially forwarded, by the office of the Chief, to local, state and federal agencies and have this information entered into the national instant criminal background check database.

Any unsuccessful applicant who wishes to appeal the disqualification or wishes to have their status amended must do so through the courts at their own expense.

2) If my application for a permit is granted, and I complete the transaction, I then have 5 days to register the firearm, in person, at the local police station. All firearms purchased in the state or brought into the state from elsewhere must be registered within 5 days of acquisition.

The state has extensive regulations on the storage and transporting of firearms. All regulations pertaining to firearms also include ammunition. Any gun owner found in violation of any of these regulations may be subject to arrest, the seizure of their property and forfeiture of their right to possess.

From my perspective, there is nothing "unbelievably easy" about it. In fact, the state laws around here are so strict that as private citizens a sizable number of local police officers would be disqualified from owning a firearm of any kind. The state needed to amend their policies so that their own police could be allowed to be armed.

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Posted in: U.S. Justice Department to ban bump stocks See in context

"devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations."

National Rifle Association official statement about bump stocks.

"we find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act."

Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms official statement about bump stocks, 2012.

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Posted in: Trump wildlife protection board stuffed with trophy hunters See in context

really rich and vain Americans to bear arms while on safari in Africa and prove to their friends how manly they are?

C'mon, lighten up on the yanks. After all, the whole concept of African Big Game trophy hunting was conceived of and created by the Brits. Look at a list of top elephant killers, Brits. Or the top lion killers, Brits again. Names like W.D.M. "Karamojo" Bell, John "Pondoro" Taylor and Jim Sutherland are legends in the annals of the British exploitation of Africa's game animals. Between just these three alone they accounted for over 4000 elephants and many hundreds of lions, rhinos and buffalo. They also were writers, and the adventures and achievements outlined in their books fueled the imaginations of generations of young upper class Brits. Going to Africa on safari was seen, by many of them, as a cultural and social expectation, if not an obligation. It's what people of a certain status did, it was very British and proper. They did the same thing in India, think tigers from elephant back. For the most part these going ons were the forte of the very upper crust of British society and there was a social status attached to it. The professional guides (overwhelmingly British) could be a little sketchy at times but the clientele was top drawer all the way. The Americans came late to the game, and for them it wasn't so much about what school you went to or your family name, it was about money. In America, having an extra 100 grand or so for a hunting trip has a certain social status attached to it. And their cousins across the pond have shown them that this is what people of a certain status do. They're just copying their cousins across the pond trying to look classy. Modern American trophy hunting is all about conspicuous consumption, plain and simple. But the Brits started it.

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Posted in: Student walkouts planned across U.S. to protest gun violence See in context

It's great to see so many young people speaking up but instead of focusing on the standard rhetoric maybe it would be better to focus more on the "violence" part of it. Every school shooting has be done by somebody and every one of those "somebodies" had a reason for doing it. There was something going on in that person's life that brought them to that point.

Analysis of past shooters has identified a number of social and behavioral indicators that could help guide teachers, school administrators, as well as, law enforcement and social services in better identification and intervention. There are numerous resources available for parents and community groups for the same purpose. Basically, the "adults" have some pretty valuable tools at their disposal but all too often they are not used effectively by those who are in the position to make a difference. The kids should be saying "Hey look at us! Keep us safe" Part of this protest should be admonishing the people, who hold their safety in their hands, to pay attention and fulfill their responsibilities.

In the majority of recent school shootings, young people have been the targets and young people have been the assailants. This is like one part of a community going to war with the rest, for reasons that arise from the particular dynamics specific to that community. The question of why some young people feel driven to kill other young people is probably best answered by young people themselves. Maybe this demonstration can help inspire some introspection and maybe that can help some young people see what part they can play (beyond protesting) in finding a better place in the future.

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Posted in: Trump says he is prepared to meet N Korea's Kim See in context

Hey, maybe Kim just go tired of the whole "Dr. Evil" gig and decided his destiny was in being the Kim that opened the DPRK to the world. All this time he has been expected to run the family business just like his old man and gramps did; but where did that get him? He's a tin pot dictator of an impoverished, back water dead end of a country. He's surrounded by a bunch of old fart, weasley suck ups and programed sycophants, and for sure that has got to get stale after a while. Right now he's at the top of his heap, but it's a pretty small heap and shabby at that. On top of that, it's not like Kim gets a lot of opportunities to mingle with the rest of the world community and that must be kind of lonely sometimes. Just think of the splash Kim would make if he threw off the hermit cowl and joined the party.

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Posted in: U.S. Justice Dept sues California over 'sanctuary' policies See in context

Low rents, low taxes, and $14 an hour McJobs.

My God! It sounds like an absolute hell on earth. Add to that cheaper food, cheaper housing (way cheaper) and an overall lower cost of living, and it only gets worse.

Of course it's not only the trump voters who have drank the kool-aid. I hear that a bunch of businesses in Cali have moved their operations to Texas. Must have been unskilled ones. But they got theirs in the end by being forced to endure an average 20 -35% reduction I operating costs. Serves 'em right.

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Posted in: Global school security measures vary, but no arming teachers See in context

Saul Alinsky wrote is his Rules for Radicals “The standards of judgment must be rooted in the whys and wherefores of life as it is lived, the world as it is, not our wished-for fantasy of the world as it should be.” 

Whatever actions are taken they need to based on reality as it is now. The reality is that Americans have guns (that cat is out of the bag). Another reality is that, for whatever reason, a steady stream of dysfunctional young men get it into their heads to shoot up a school. People hold all kinds of opinions, this way or that, about each of these realities and an equal number of opinions about what should be done. Sometimes the basics get drowned out in the discussion but reality just keeps chugging along.

In the world as it should be no one would need to worry about guns or psychos or if your kids are safe at school, but that ain't the world as it is. If reality dictates a certain course of action, rejecting it because it shouldn't be that way, is irresponsible.

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