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Ethics?

Years ago, I had to take a class called “Ethical Decision Making” in pursuit of a college degree. The course required a textbook, as most do. Colleges make a lot of money through the school bookstore selling these textbooks at prices that fall anywhere between $100 and $500 each. Many college students, in a quest to save money, buy used textbooks from students who took the course last semester, or even last year. This means that the college loses those sales.

To combat this, the colleges pull a lot of underhanded tricks. In the case of this ethics class, they added a chapter to the book that no other college had, and they further changed that chapter every year, which meant that the only place that the book could be had was from the school bookstore. There were no used books to be had. I thought that this was ironic, considering that this was an ethics class.

I didn’t know this, and bought a copy new on Amazon at a cost of $225. When I got the book, I discovered that the book was not the correct one, and had to buy the correct book at the full price of $300 at the school bookstore. This meant that the text book cost nearly as much as the $350 course it was used for. I put the used book on Amazon at $175 (so it would sell quickly), complete with a warning in the description that this was not the correct book for that college and that course. When the book sold, I noticed that the buyer lived in my city, so I sent him an email, telling him it was the wrong book. he replied back that he still wanted it, so I shipped it. I had never even taken the book out of its plastic wrapper.

A week after shipping, I get a note from the buyer stating that he did not need the book, because it was the wrong one. Amazon told me that their policy was that you always make the customer happy, and informed me that I had to refund his money, but since it was the customer’s fault, I could charge him a restocking fee of 20%, but only if he returned the book.

When I informed him of that fact, he changed his complaint to say that the book was not new as advertised, that the book was written in and the cover was missing. Amazon forced me to accept the return for a full refund. When I got the book back, it was still in the wrapper that I had shipped it in.

I sent pictures to Amazon, and Amazon said that there was nothing they could do. I eventually sold the book, but I didn’t get as much for it, and the entire episode also cost me the extra shipping charges for having to ship the book out twice.

To add insult to injury, the buyer gave me negative feedback, saying that I was dishonest and gave Amazon a bad name.

The first day of class, the sonofabitch was sitting right in that classroom with me.

He needed that ethics class far more than I did, but a college with this kind of textbook policy was in no place to teach it to him. Here is the kicker: He was prelaw. I keep waiting to see if he runs for political office.

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Guns and employee wellness

My employer, as most do, has an Employee wellness program. The wellness program is a voluntary program that gets you a discount on your involuntary (thanks to Obamacare) employee insurance coverage.
Some employers are now saying that, if you refuse to participate in the wellness program, you will lose your employee heath insurance. How is this legal, you ask? After all, multiple Federal laws, including the ADA and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) state that this is not legal. Well, leave that to the Federal Courts:

Not so, said a federal judge in Madison, Wisc., who ruled on Dec. 31 that employers can deny coverage without violating the ADA as long as the data gleaned from the wellness program is used for purposes of overall health coverage.

This is where guns enter the picture. The anti gun forces in this country want to have firearms added as a public health issue. Now suppose this comes about and your employer wants to use data on gun ownership to enhance your overall health coverage.

Take this one step further: say your employer wants to say that gun ownership is a health hazard, and you must give up your guns or give up your employer sponsored health insurance. You would be forced (by Obamacare in concert with your employer) to have one of three options:

1 Give up your guns
2 Pay a $2100 “tax” each year for not having insurance, plus the full cost of your healthcare
3 Pay a minimum of about $3600 a year for a basic health plan that has a $6000 deductible

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Gun training DERP

Here is a video from a police training site. There are so many testosterone laden idiots passing themselves off as firearms training experts, it simply makes me want to shake my head in disbelief. Is this REALLY what constitutes advanced police firearms training?

Why in the world would you ever need to train for an environment where you are in a gunfight with a disassembled pistol, a disabled arm, and wearing a gas mask? Seriously? This is simply pure stupidity, not to mention the multiple range safety violations.

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Florida Open Carry bill

The proposed bill that would permit open carry in Florida is still alive.

As usual, the anti gun forces come with their main tool: Lies and misdirection. One of the things that makes me laugh is this part of the story:

Marion Hammer, long-time lobbyist for the NRA in Tallahassee, said that without open-carry, concealed-weapons permit-holders “are in danger of being arrested and prosecuted like a criminal if your gun accidentally and unintentionally becomes exposed to the sight of another person.”
“I don’t want to be arrested if my jacket blows open and somebody sees my gun and calls police,” she said.
Hammer cited anecdotal cases, but no statistical data, about people who have been arrested for inadvertent open-carry. Gaetz acknowledged there’s been a “small handful” of cases.

While earlier in the article, this was said:

Meanwhile, critics also worry that an open-carry law might be a deterrent for visitors, harm the state’s tourism economy and tarnish Florida’s image as a family-friendly destination.

Which isn’t even anecdotal, it is purely speculative.

Here is what one sheriff had to say about the proposal:

Some people want to be police officers, like George Zimmerman did. We don’t need George Zimmermans walking around with firearms exposed.

Except Zimmerman was fully in compliance with the law, as it stands to day, and as it is proposed. Open carry would not have changed this case one bit, because it had nothing to do with open carry.

Pro rights folks are required to provide mountains of actual evidence, while anti gun forces can respond unchallenged with hypothetical speculation that is based on the thinnest shred of popular tripe.

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Not funny

Following is a prank that involves a person dressed in Arab clothing, chanting in Arab, who then throws a book bag at passers by. The point of this so called prank is to scare the intended victims into thinking it is a bomb while filming their reactions, so all can laugh at the fear that they are causing.

Like the idiots who are dressing as murderous clowns to scare others into thinking that they are about to be murdered, they are placing themselves in a very dangerous position. The whole purpose of this exercise is to place people in fear for their lives. After all, if the intended victims are not afraid, there is nothing to video and laugh at.

The problem here is that in Florida,

A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

This clearly places a person in the position of being in fear of death or great bodily injury, because THAT IS THE INTENT OF THE PERSONS MAKING VIDEO.  Not only that, but look at the definition of forcible felony:

“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

This means that a person with a firearm would be legally justified in shooting you. Of course you could claim that the felony was no longer imminent once the “bomb” was thrown, but good luck finding a jury that would convict on that theory.

This just isn’t funny. In fact, it is illegal:

(1) For the purposes of this section, “hoax bomb” means any device or object that by its design, construction, content, or characteristics appears to be, or to contain, or is represented to be or to contain, a destructive device or explosive as defined in this chapter, but is, in fact, an inoperative facsimile or imitation of such a destructive device or explosive, or contains no destructive device or explosive as was represented.
(2) Any person who, without lawful authority, manufactures, possesses, sells, delivers, sends, mails, displays, uses, threatens to use, attempts to use, or conspires to use, or who makes readily accessible to others, a hoax bomb commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

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Winds of change

Recently, the theme of  training at my school has been a review of how teachers should be reacting to an active shooter. Our school resource officer was the instructor for the training. He had some interesting facts to share. For example he told us that my county, which is fairly rural, has three people living in it who have pledged their support for Isis.

He also provided a link to the FBI report (pdf warning) on active shooter incidents. It makes for interesting reading.

After the training was over, the floor was opened up for questions. The first question was asked by a math teacher, who wanted to know what the deputy thought of the proposed law that would allow teachers to carry weapons on campus. The deputy replied that he used to be opposed to citizens carrying weapons, because he feared that responding police officers might mistake an honest armed citizen with the shooter, and shoot the citizen by mistake. (The obvious hypocrisy here is stunning: so I shouldn’t be allowed to carry because of your irresponsibility?) The deputy then went on to say that he has since changed his opinion, because the evidence is mounting that armed good guys are the key to defending against armed bad guys. He said that all of the active shooter incidents that he is aware of occurred in areas where the intended targets were unarmed.

The deputy also revealed that, should the law pass, they are looking at a system where selected teachers  would be trained and certified by the sheriff’s office to carry weapons on school property. The sheriff’s department will place locked, secure cabinets at strategic locations on campus. These lockers will be opened by fingerprint locks that are keyed to the authorized teachers’ fingerprints, and will contain a handgun, spare magazines, and pale blue body armor with the word “Teacher” on the front and back. Responding deputies will be trained to look for the body armor before mistakenly blazing away at any armed people who aren’t law enforcement officers. While I have several issues with this plan, this is much better than the “only one” attitudes that law enforcement has had in the past.

In the group discussion that followed, another teacher at my table spoke up and said that this idea made her nervous, because she didn’t think that a teacher having a gun around children was a good idea, because in a shooting confrontation, this children could be hit in the crossfire. I sarcastically told her that I agreed, because after all, it would be better to have the shooter lining the children up and shooting them 20 at a time without having to worry about people shooting at him. The other teachers at the table laughed. Ridiculing these stupid ideas is, in my opinion, the best way to shut the idiots up.

Winds of change, indeed.

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Incredible changing of attitudes

My fiance, who I began dating two years ago, is from New York, and was initially mildly antigun, and was definitely anti-concealed carry. Her mother was even more so. Her mother would tell me stories about how one of their friends carried a concealed weapon, and how ridiculous and paranoid it was in this day and age, what with all of the police here to protect us, all the while ignorant of the fact that I was carrying a firearm at the time.

Eventually, they discovered my position on carry. There wan’t too much fuss, because they had already known me for some time, and they knew that I wasn’t prone to paranoia or violence. Two years later, we reached a breakthrough:

Yesterday my fiance and her mother, both from New York and both (formerly) moderately antigun, attended a firearm safety course in preparation for applying for their Florida Concealed Weapons permits. The course was billed as “taught by women, for women, with a focus on women’s issues with firearms.” At $100 a person, it wasn’t the cheapest course, but after looking around, I thought it was the best. All ammo and targets were provided, but there was an extra charge of a dollar for eye and ear protection.

According to them, the class began with a review of how crime affects women, and the laws behind firearms in Florida. Then they reviewed firearm basic terms, function, and safety. One woman began crying out of fear, and the instructors handled it well. After lunch, they went to the range, where they spent four hours firing 3 different semi-automatics and 3 different revolvers. They began with a 22 auto, and also fired .38 revolvers, a .380ACP, and 9mm handguns. My fiance’s favorite of the ones they tried was a brand that I had never heard of before. The instructor told them that they can retake the course once for only $10, if they do so within the next year. I thought it was a good deal.

I paid for the course, and now gun rights have two more people who won’t be voting antigun. It was the best $200 I have ever spent on gun rights. If every shooter did that for just one person, that $100 we each spend would double the number of progun people in the US, and the antigunners would virtually disappear.

As for my fiance, she has already made an appointment at the district office to get her CCW permit.

This is how we win: one shooter, one voter, one range trip at a time.

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Truth o meter tells lies

A Florida lawmaker advocating for a law that would allow teachers with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms claimed that school shootings happen in gun free zones, and used the shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College as an example. He stated that this college was a gun free zone.

Truth o meter from Politifact called him a liar. What did they use as the basis for this lie?

The school’s student code of conduct lists the “possession or use, without written authorization, of firearms,” among other weapons and dangerous chemicals or devices, on college property or at college-sponsored events as a punishable offense. There’s a similar policy spelled out on Umpqua’s website.
The clause “without written authorization” is important.
There is a policy prohibiting guns at Umpqua Community College, as Steube said. But students are allowed to have guns on campus if they have a concealed carry permit — essentially what Steube’s HB 4001 wants to codify in Florida.

That talking point can be found all over the liberal media. So who is correct?

It turns out that the anti gun forces are stretching the truth here.

In 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the Oregon University System’s longstanding ban of firearms on college campuses, allowing those with concealed carry permits to bring weapons on university grounds.
The following year, the Oregon Senate considered a bill that would have again prohibited the carrying of guns onto school, college, or university grounds in the state. That legislation lost by a single vote.
The day after the vote, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education took up the issue, setting a policy that allows guns on campus, but bars them from college buildings and sporting venues. Umpqua Community College upholds this ban, making an allowance for those “expressly authorized by law or college regulations.”

This is where even Florida law stands: In Florida, a concealed weapons permit holder can have a weapon in his car on school grounds, but cannot have the weapon inside the building. When a shooter is rampaging through my school, the pistol that is in my car 200 yards away from my classroom is useless.

As usual, the anti gunners have only one tool in the tool box: lies.

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Fishing

While reading a news story about police in one town planning to stop people who are not breaking the law, in order to reward their law abiding behavior with coupons and other free goodies, I was appalled. This is another tool that will be used as a police state tool. Let me explain:

The law in the United States is that police must have some idea that you are committing a crime in order to stop and question you. This is called “reasonable suspicion” and it must be based upon some specific set of facts that a person would reasonably believe to be an indication that the person being stopped is breaking the law.
In this case, the police would be stopping someone that they believe ISN’T breaking the law. This stop would then result in the police being able to stop anyone at anytime, for no reason at all. Of course, if a person is then found to be breaking the law, they can be searched and arrested. These stops would soon be used as a method for police to stop and detain people who the police would like to find reasons to arrest, and allow the police to go on a fishing expedition.
I am glad the idea was scrapped here, but there are other places where the policy continues.
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Gaming the system

An airline passenger gets a note from a therapist saying that a turkey is their support animal, so Delta must give it a seat on the plane without charge.

Yet another way that the Feds are destroying the airline industry. Imagine what they are going to do to health care, more than they already have.