Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Status Update

Unlike Rebecca, I don't suddenly have health insurance, but I did get screened last week by a foundation that offers low-cost mental health services to people who can't afford healthcare. For over a year now I've felt like something is wrong with me: I have trouble focusing, I lack energy and the desire to do most things, and generally my brain hasn't been working properly. There's more to this, but I don't feel like going into that right now and it's tangential to what I want to say. 

I also had to answer a lot of questions, but in my case I was asked those questions by a human being who listened and gave a damn. These were the usual questions which I could see through immediately, i.e. "This is the eating disorder question. This is the domestic/sexual abuse question. This is the mania question" and so forth, until we got to the expected suicide question where I was asked I was asked some version of "Do you ever think about killing yourself?"

In my opinion, the trick to these sorts of thing, is to say "Yes, and..." or "Yes, because.." instead of just yes or no. I mean, I could have absolutely just said "no", but I don't like lying to doctors unless it's absolutely necessary, partly because I want to build trust between us and partly because I don't want to be that idiot who hides something which ends up being the critical clue to what's bothering me. 

My response, then, was to say "I think that everyone has had thoughts like this. It's just part of being human. The real question is 'Have I ever attempted or seriously considered suicide' and the answer to that is No." Because the listener was a human who cared and not a bureaucratic drone filling out a form, she nodded in agreement with me. So having established the "Yes, and" baseline, I knew she would be receptive when we got to the obligatory gun question which I knew was coming. 

As it turns out, the question itself did a lot of heavy lifting for me when it asked "Do you have access to means of harming yourself or others?" because 'means' is such a wonderfully vague word. My response was "I'm an adult. I have access to all sorts of things that can harm people, like knives, matches, gasoline, cars, etc. Anyone who says otherwise is either a child, in jail, or a liar." I am very proud of that answer, because I answered the question 100% honestly while never saying the "G word."

They haven't gotten back to me yet, but I hope to hear from them this week; I'd like to get medication or counseling or whatever so that I can get back to feeling more like myself. 

Other than that, I don't have a lot to report. We're still dealing with the after-effects of my father's death, although that's mainly donating or disposing of his hoarded crap. Mom used some of his life insurance payout to get the master suite habitable, and I moved in there back in... March? April? I don't recall. Time has been really fluid for me lately. I'm still not 100% moved in but I'd say I'm at least 75% there, with the important thing shifted; once we finish getting rid of the last of dad's junk I can concentrate on sorting out all the crap in my old room and either moving it, storing it, or throwing it away as needed. 

In hindsight those are all pretty big things which I should have blogged about earlier, but see my above complaint regarding lack of creativity, energy, and focus. I'd really like to get back to feeling well enough to want to blog on a daily basis. 

I probably have other news I should report but my mind isn't cooperating. If you're interested, drop a comment below and I'll answer to the best of my ability. 

Goodnight, and don't let the bastards grind you down. 

Monday, April 29, 2024

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 296: Backdoor Threats


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • how ATF Agents violated Bureau policy in the killing of Bryan Malinowski;
    • the gun control legislation which has passed the Maine House of Representatives at the urging of Governor Janet Mills;
    • Biden's plan to restrict private firearm sales under the Safer Communities Act;
    • a National Shooting Sports Foundation report which found that the vast majority of magazines in public possession are over 10 rounds;
    • SCOTUS granting cert to the "Frames and Receivers" case.
  • Weer'd fisks David Hogg's debate against Spike Cohen in New Hampshire;
  • Oddball talks about the Linux xz_utils supply chain attack;
  • and David talks about America's Rifle, the AR-15.

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Show Notes
Main Topic

Weer’d Audio Fisk

Oddball’s Corner Pocket

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers

Monday, April 22, 2024

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 295: Raising Cows and Gutting Hoggs


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • the little-known April 19 holiday, "Patriot's Day";
    • two mass stabbings in Australia;
    • new developments in the Rust shooting trials;
    • an ATF report which proves that FFLs are not significantly responsible for "crime guns";
    • a law in Nebraska that will allow school staff to keep guns on campus;
    • a law requiring gun safety be taught in Tennessee schools grades 1-12;
    • a School Resource Officer who had a negligent discharge at school;
    • a Chinese immigrant putting David Hogg, and gun prohibition in general, in its place;
  • David covers a battle between two folding carbines;
  • and Myles talks about his time raising farm animals.

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Show Notes
Main Topic

Gun Lovers and Other Strangers

Southpaw Corner

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 294: An Eclipse, a Round Table, and Other Lunacy


In This Episode

Weer'd Beard went out of town to view the eclipse on Monday,  so we're recording this ACP Round Table on Tuesday.

Join Erin, Weer'd, David, and Oddball as we discuss:

  • The total eclipse of the sun;
  • a family in need;
  • the DC Police dealing guns that show up in crimes, and the ATF's response to that;
  • NRA members getting exempted from the pistol brace ban;
  • 2A sanctuary counties in Colorado being less likely to utilize red flag laws;
  • declining gun sales in 2024;
  • Hawaii banning ammo sales to people under 21;
  • David Hogg spending over a million dollars of his PAC's money on everything except its mission;
  • and a 3D printed .50 BMG rifle. What's the worst that could happen?

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Show Notes

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Just Stop.

I keep getting tagged by various people on different sides of the raging dumpster fire that is the most recent J.K. Rowling controversy. I had hoped to avoid friendly fire by keeping my head down, but it looks like I'm going to get fragged regardless, so as Capt. Harris in Platoon said as he called an airstrike on his position, “It's a lovely fucking war.” So buckle up, buttercups, it's Danger Close time. 
Here's the TL;DR version: both sides are being asses and you should really stop hurting the people you say are your friends. The end. 
Much, much longer version: while a lot of you see this as “Free Speech vs. Censorship” and another lot of you see this as “Supporting Transwomen vs. Transphobia”, from my perspective this is all a case of everyone saying “My preferred method of harassing people with whom I disagree is the only morally correct method.”

This is about the point where I expect people to stop reading, because attention spans and reading comprehension in this era have cratered, which is part of the reason why we're in this omnishambles to begin with. So let's tackle this and find out who reads to the end, shall we?

I believe very strongly in free speech, as it's one of the cornerstones of my culture and one of the first Rights listed in the U.S. Constitution. I believe that speech should only be restricted in very narrow and well-defined circumstances which provably harm others (slander/libel, acts of treason, breaking legally-binding contracts, pornography without the consent of the depicted, etc.). This restriction is critical, because the more the government interferes with our rights, the more we lose. See also: the War on Drugs, the Patriot Act, and so forth. 

I also believe that deliberately misgendering and deadnaming transgender and nonbinary people is incredibly rude, right up there with calling them a racial, sexual, or religious epithet. It shouldn't be tolerated in polite society, and the offender should suffer the full effects of social pressure and censure. As the saying goes, “Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence.”

However, please note that I didn't call for governmental pressure, be it penalties, censorship, or prosecution. The last time I checked, hate speech is still free speech protected by the First Amendment, and while I find hate speech abhorrent, I would rather it be out in the open so that I know who my enemies are rather than have it be hidden and spoken behind my back. I further believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and that instead of censoring and deplatforming the people who say and do things I don't like, I practice my freedom of association by choosing to stop associating with them. I unfriend them, block them, stop frequenting their sites, etc. and I try to get on with my life. I am not perfect at this, for I am human and therefore flawed, but this is the principle which guides me. 

Now just because I support Rowling’s right (inasmuch as she is a British subject and not an American citizen, and the UK doesn’t recognize the right to free expression the way we do) to speak her mind and don’t wish her to be jailed for that, please do not for one moment think that I endorse what she says. Regardless of how it started and however she arrived at her current position, it remains that she is using her fame to spread her belief that all transwomen are abusers who seek to invade, to violate, to assault and destroy other women, and when you amplify her words and support her position you are sending a very strong message to the transgender and nonbinary people in your life. Unfortunately, that message is “I see you as Rowling sees you.” I and many others feel betrayed by that. How can you look at me and tell me you agree that I am only doing this in order to abuse and harm women? That is just as hurtful, and just as honest, as saying “Anyone with a penis is either a rapist or someone waiting to rape” or “Anyone who owns a gun is either a murderer or someone who wants to murder.”

So if you are pro-free speech, please consider the effect your words and actions will have on me, and your friends and family like me, before you voice your support of Rowling, because you are likely hurting us when you do that. 

And if you are pro-censorship, please consider that hate is like mold: it thrives in dark places but cannot flourish in the light. Suppressing an idea only sends the message that you fear it, so let your enemies reveal themselves and mock them instead of silencing them. And please, for the love of all you hold dear, don't ask the government to tread even more on free speech. 

If you have read this far, thank you. I hope I have explained my position clearly, because I have no desire to revisit this topic. If you have any respect for me, please don’t turn this into a fight, and by the same token please don’t tag me in future arguments on other peoples’ walls or pages because after a year of this crap I’m just exhausted. I just want to live my life while advocating for everyone to have the same rights as everyone else. Thank you.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 293: Brainless


In This Episode

  • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
    • VA Governor Youngkin vetoing a slew of gun prohibition laws;
    • Spike Cohen choosing to debate David Hogg about gun control in America;
    • a Florida congressman presenting a law banning "Zombie Guns", and it's even dumber than it sounds.
  • Weer'd fisks two British talking heads who demand stricter knife laws, then presents some good news about knife rights in laws in Idaho;
  • Matt talks about some gun-related VR equipment entering the market;
  • and in Xander's continuing series about farming, he tells us what farmers do in the winter.

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Show Notes
Main Topic

Weer’d Audio Fisk

Matt From Geeks Gadgets and Guns

Independent Thoughts with Xander Opal

    Monday, April 1, 2024

    Assorted Calibers Podcast Ep 292: No Foolin'


    In This Episode

    • Erin and Weer’d discuss:
      • the terror attack in Russia;
      • a fatal ATF raid on an Arkansas airport executive;
      • the DOJ announcing a National Red Flag Initiative;
      • Chicago suing Glock over illegal switches.
    • Weer'd sits down with Kostas Moros over the various court cases that are working their way to SCOTUS;
    • and Oddball gives us part 1 of a series on 3D Printers.

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    Show Notes

    The Fine Print

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