Sunday, December 16, 2012

Updates: All Over the Map

One thing I did after writing that last post about gun control is go to the internet and see how one of my legislators votes while he represents me in Congress. As I said, most of my political reps tend to agree with my stance on most issues. This guy? We are of different political parties, but I had not done my research on him. (We were re-districted, and he only became my rep this year, thanks to the re-drawing of lines.)

Oh, boy! Oh, boy! I was appalled. He has an A rating from the NRA in his gun-related votes and has sponsored bills with which I vehemently disagree. I guess I need to write some letters. I'm going to write real letters... not just e-mails. This guy needs to know that not everyone in his district thinks he's doing a hunky-dory job.

I find it kind of ironic that I wrote that first post on gun control, which for me felt like a surprise -- an "out of the blue" thought on my part. I mean, I did not set out to be an active gun control advocate. Now, due to more horrendous events just in the last month, I find myself being pulled into active duty, so to speak. I do not want to get involved, and yet I feel I must. A Facebook friend has issued an invitation to people in her(my) area to get together and work on gun control advocacy. I feel I must put my money where my mouth is, and join in. I don't want to. But, SOMEONE needs to get busy. So I will attempt to become politically active in an area that depresses me and feels way too huge to take on.

I hope some other people actively pursue changes in our mental health services. That is a big area of need as well. I simply can't imagine me taking on both huge areas. I will definitely support, as I can, any attempts to make mental health services MUCH more readily accessible.

In other news, Beth Howard of The World Needs More Pie is driving her little RV to Connecticut where she and other volunteers are churning out apple pies to be given out free to anyone and everyone in Newtown, CT. She worked through her own grief by making and sharing pies and feels pies are therapeutic. So.. off she went. I applaud her for jumping up and doing what she can do. I made a donation to help with her gas and supplies costs. Here is an article about what she is doing:
Pies for Newtown
She is posting regular updates at her Facebook page. A BUNCH of people in and near Connecticut are busy baking pies as we speak. It is wonderful to see everyone working together to show that we all care so much for the people of Newtown.

In the quilting world, I am continuing to make progress on a quilt which is colorful and fun. I'm really liking it. The idea came from Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. The pattern in the book is called "High Five." Mine is smaller, designed for a baby/toddler. Here's mine, as I pondered color and pattern placement on the design wall. Since then I made a few minor changes, and today I have started sewing it together. Can you say F-U-N?? I'm having FUN with this quilt! Later I will tell you where I plan to donate it.

In Friend News -- my pal, R., from Czech Republic, is a new grandma! I didn't even know a baby was on the way! She sent me this picture today.. her new granddaughter, born on Dec. 15. Isn't she just a cutie?? Now lucky R. is a Grandma. How fun! I hope she and Baby Girl get to be very close. She'll be a wonderful Grandma.


Sextant said...

Yep redistricting got us too. Now we have a newly elected conservative that replaced two democratic district reps. We also have voter ID.

That didn't happen, but only for this past election. A judge ruled against it for this election only because there was insufficient time. My guess is that if adequate steps are taken to ensure everyone has a photo ID, it will no longer be an issue.

People think that off year state legislature elections are a waste of time, but look what happens. It matters.

You are absolutely right, it is time to write letters. I don't remain very optimistic though.

I still can't fathom why they would have wrote an expiration date into the assault rifle ban.

Imagine our shooter with a bolt action rifle with a three shot non replaceable magazine. (You have to place the bullets in the magazine individually, not change change a clip. A deer rifle. Yes he would have succeeded killing some people, but not 26.

Deer rifles don't really inspire the imagination of glorious shoot outs like an AR-15 does. Is anyone's second amendment rights going to be violated by limiting the fire repetition and magazine size?

Carol E. said...

Yes, hopefully we can accomplish at least a ban on automatic assault rifles.. I don't even know the language like you do (fire repetition? magazine size?) ... and easy sales at gun shows. That is crazy.

Sextant said...

Actually that should have been fire repetition rate. A semi-automatic will fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, but each shot requires a separate trigger pull. A fully automatic weapon will remain firing repeatedly until the trigger is released or it runs out of ammunition.

A bolt action rifle requires using one's hand to grab the bolt handle, flip it upwards, pull it backwards about three or four inches, push it forward by the same amount and then push the handle down to feed another round into the chamber. During the process, precise sighting and gun position is usually lost requiring additional time. A skilled shooter could get off about a round per one to two seconds with a bolt action rifle. A fully automatic weapon (machine gun) will fire at a rate of hundreds of rounds per minute and is limited only by magazine size. The magazine is the storage device for retainng and feeding live rounds into the gun.

Fully automatic weapons are illegal for civilians and actually are not all that terribly effective in untrained hands. One can zip through 20 or 30 rounds extremely fast and because of the repeated rapid recoil the weapon generally goes wildly off target usually harmless up in the air. Machine gun sprayings or fare for movies not reality.

The sem-iautomatic in my mind is extremely deadly in that one can maintain very good control of the weapon between shots. There should be no difficulty maintaining 2 to 3 rounds per second by a skilled shooter.

Assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols use what are called clip magazine, or just clips. One can have additional clips on their person preloaded. This allows rapid reloading, by simply changing clips (you have seen it in the movies). Down time to change a clip is maybe 2 or 3 seconds. High capacity magazines allow far more shooting time and less magazine changing time.

Semi-automatic pistols have these same capabilities but generally have a less lethal bullet than a rifle. The clip capacities are lower as well. Pistols will repeat as fast as you can pull the trigger, but they have a significant recoil which throws the gun off target. More time is required to regain control of the weapon. Pistols are of course harder to shoot with accuracy.

I can see people owning arms for hunting or home protection. A three shot bolt action rifle with a fixed magazine (verses a rapid change clip) should be all that one needs to hunt big game. Small game uses shot guns which fires packets of bb like shot in various sizes. My self I feel handguns are total unnecessary for anyone but the authorities. However failing in that, if we limited handguns to revolvers, at least one would benefit in the slow down in reloading.

Now here is something that will amaze you. Apparently the Federal government prizes waterfowl more than people. Shot guns used in water fowl hunting have a three shot limit on their magazine by federal law. Assault rifles? What ever you can afford to buy and carry.