tiwhatnraam – a. g. russell’s odin’s eye

So on the last day of the NRA Annual Meetings, we arrived in the Media Room and noticed that someone had left sheets on all the tables proclaiming, “Writers, we have a present for your wives! Stop by booth #XXXX to pick it up!”* 

I will not lie, we did not really make any serious plans to actually do so, but by complete happenstance we stumbled across the booth, which happened to be owned – and manned – by none other than A. G. Russell himself.  Let me get my fanboyism out of the way and just say that Mr. Russell is an outstanding individual, and it was a distinct pleasure to be able to chat with him about his business and what he does.  I will not lie – I have lusted after a few of his knives for quite some time, but I have never really reminded myself of that when I happened to have the necessary money free. 

Anywise, the gift Mr. Russell had for us was, predictably, a knife – specifically, one of his Odin’s Eyes

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As you can tell, this is meant to be a “punch” knife, with one of your fingers through the hole, which is just a hair over an inch in diameter.  The knife comes with a ball chain for neck carry and a keychain ring for attaching it there, with both accessories fitting through a loop at the tip of the sheath.  The blade is made of 8Cr13MoV steel, for those of you who know what that means, and is about 1.75” long overall and has about 1.5” of edge.  It is important to note that this is a double-edged knife (and both are double-bevel edges, not chisel grinds), and thus may not be legal in all jurisdictions.  Additionally, the knife is manufactured in China, but Mr. Russell has an honest explanation for that

Anywise, the gift was only half the experience – the other half was Mr. Russell explaining exactly how he came up with the idea and who he intended it for.  To put it very simply, Mr. Russell is very much on our side, in that he very much believes in and supports the right of self-defense, and by that I mean he wants people to be able to do whatever is necessary to stop a threat against their person. 

His concept for the Odin’s Eye (and please bear in mind this is all hypothetical / fictional) was that a woman was walking back to her car after work one day, alone and in a darkened parking deck.  An assailant approached her and she held out her full keychain in her off hand and shook it at him, indicating she would whack him with it if he came any closer, and screamed at him to go away.  He continued to close the distance, making all outward indications of wanting to physically assault her; she put her off hand to her side as if she were prepping to do a swinging backfist at him… and then hacks and slashes at his face with her Odin’s Eye in her dominant hand once he was close enough.  The knife was on her keychain, and she used the distraction of the keys itself to draw it.  Mr. Russell was quite clear that he meant this knife to only be deployed as a surprise, and that he wanted folks to consider slashing their opponents diagonally across their face one way, and then diagonally across their face the other way, to get the full impact. 

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His demonstrations were quite energetic, involving demonstrating the slashes and targets he had in mind… on me.  With a sheathed knife, and at a distance, of course. 

Perhaps the best part was at the conclusion of his demonstration, where he indicated the victim should just go home and have a stiff drink to steady her nerves after successfully defending herself.  I commented that calling the cops might be good as well, and his response was something along the lines of, “Oh, yes, that too, if you think of it.” 

The man is not wrong, though; I would never suggest a push dagger as a primary defensive tool, but as a back-up or emergency tool, the simple truth is that punching is a natural movement, and if that punch happens to have something sharp-and-pointy included with it, all the better.  Once you get your finger through the hole, you are not going to drop this knife, and even flailing becomes a potentially lethal threat to your assailant.  I am sanguine with that, and apparently Mr. Russell is too. 

(* – As I was talking with some of the folks behind the booth with Mr. Russell, one of the ladies there passed on a story that the sign they left in the media room was not a hit with everyone.  Apparently a female media person – I do not know who so asking me will be of little use – came by the booth and vociferously expressed her displeasure at the gender-specific phrasing of the signs.  I will not deny that “spouse” would have been a better term to use, but the truth is an older man from a past generation was trying to be nice and give a family member – or you, he did not actually require people to be married – a gift, regardless of how he phrased it.  Sometimes we are embarrassed by what old folks do, but the polite thing to do is to smile, say “Thank you,” and move on with your life.  Or maybe I was just raised right.  (And, yes, I have run this line of reasoning past Better Half and she agrees.)) 

quote of the day – h. beam piper

For words written in 1963, they surely do resonate poignantly today:

You were there; you saw what’s happening. The barbarians are rising; they have a leader, and they’re uniting. Every society rests on a barbarian base. The people who don’t understand civilization, and wouldn’t like it if they did. The hitchhikers. The people who create nothing, and who don’t appreciate what others have created for them, and who think civilization is something that just exists and that all they need to do is enjoy what they can understand of it—luxuries, a high living standard, and easy work for high pay. Responsibilities? Phooey! What do they have a government for?

Tell me the situation Mr. Piper describes above is not happening around us right now. Oh, sure, the hitchhikers – or looters, to use another terminology – do not have one, single, individual leader, aside from Our Glorious President himself, but the rest of it… tell me that is not what you see going on around the edges right now? Crap on a crutch; there is a distressingly non-zero percentage of people in "modern" society who do not understand, at all, how the water in their sink came to be there, and all of the necessary steps, technology, and technicians necessary for it to arrive… but you can bet your bottom dollar that if it were to ever stop arriving, they would be up in arms, demanding that Someone Fix It. Those people may not be barbarians in the wearing-fur-skins-and-beating-down-the-gates, traditional sense of the word, but how long do you think it would take them to reach that level if the lights really were to go out?

I need to stop reading old-school science fiction. The prognostication abilities of these writers is a bit too uncanny for the engineer in me to accept.

quote of the day – mikeb302000

Michael Bonomo, writing under the pseudonym MikeB302000, is an inveterate, known liar and probable criminal who is physically incapable (by his own admission) of differentiating fact from fiction, performing basic mathematical functions of any type, or determining whether or not something he says is accurate or factual, who runs a blatantly bigoted weblog that advocates the abridgement of basic human rights, and who has been banned/moderated from too many pro-rights weblogs/forums to count (and is auto-moderated here, per the commenting policy).

All caught up? In short, Mike is anti-rights, anti-firearms, and anti-anyone-who-would-exercise-the-former-or-own-the-latter. Predictably, though, MikeB302000 has been somewhat… recalcitrant… in admitting to his particular bigotries, so you can imagine my surprise when I saw this quote of the day from him:

mikeb302000gunconfiscationAll right, I was exaggerating. If you guys suddenly cooperated with the common sense gun control laws that we propose and we saw a tremendous decrease in gun violence, we would naturally want stricter laws in order to lower even more the remaining gun violence. Eventually, I and most of the others would conclude that no guns at all in civilian hands is the best way to go.

(Emphasis added.)

After this paragraph, Sparky (as Mike is sometimes known) prattled on about how the failure of gun control is the fault of pro-rights advocates (in which he is partially right, though that is one failure I will never apologize for or regret), but, much like most of his comments, that part is somewhat irrelevant – I want you to pay attention to the above words… or, at least, some of them.

Ignore, for a moment, the logical fallacy that is "common sense gun control laws".

Ignore, for a moment, the despicable fallacy of using "gun deaths" as a metric of success.

Ignore, for a moment, the blatant lie that "gun control" reduces crime rates.

Focus exclusively on the last, bolded sentence – "… no guns at all in civilian hands …"

Complete and total civilian disarmament has always been the end-game for anti-rights cultists like MikeB302000, but they invariably beat around the bush, prevaricate, and generally avoid the topic as best they can… but this is the honest truth: they do not just want to stop people from exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights by lawfully bearing arms, they do not just want to ban affordable self-defense tools (aka "Saturday Night Specials"), they do not just want to ban semi-automatic, magazine-fed rifles (aka "assault weapons"), they do not just want to ban hunting rifles (aka "high-powered sniper rifles"), they do not just want to ban duck-hunting shotguns (aka "street-sweeping bullet-hose"), they do not just want to ban the ammunition feeding devices certain firearms were designed for (aka "high-capacity magazines" or "assault clips"), and the sad thing is they do not just want to ban firearms in general.

No, anti-rights cultists / "gun control" supporters want to take your property from you, by force, ironically at the point of a firearm being wielded by the government.

There is, of course, a simple answer to this authoritarian, unconstitutional desire: NO.

However, the rational, common-sense response to someone wanting to confiscate your personal property on the basis of their own baseless phobias is not really the point of this post – instead, consider the mentality of the person who would make such a demand. Through that one sentence, Mike Bonomo expressed that he not only opposes the private ownership of firearms (and thus the notion of a right to self-defense), but also opposes the right to private ownership of any product (if a government can confiscate your firearm based off his psychological shortcomings, why not any other item you own?), the right to privacy (the government could not get rid of your gun if they did not know you have it, after all), and the right to free association (i.e. contractual agreements between consenting adults, i.e. "private sales"). And why does he oppose those rights? Because his faith requires him to believe that doing so will result in some magical outcome that has never been witnessed anywhere else in the world… and probably because he has a narcissistic, authoritarianistic streak running beneath that not-so-cultured demeanor.

MikeB302000 is the very model of a modern anti-rights cultist, in every sense of those words.

This is what we are fighting against, folks, and why we oppose people like Bonomo so vociferously – they have no respect for our property, they have no respect for our rights, and, worst of all, they have no respect for us as human beings, and yet they want to tell us how to live our lives, and what we are and are not allowed to do or own. I am not at all sorry to point out that that is simply not how America works, and while anti-rights cultists like Mike are welcome to believe whatever their bigoted little hearts desires, our rights are not subject to their beliefs.

(And, just for the giggles of it, I will close this post with a quote from the inimitable Robert Heinlein, writing as Lazarus Long: "Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house.")

truth and falsity

Given that Kevin will be forced to upgrade/change his commenting system in the near future, I figured this needed to be preserved for posterity’s sake:

MikeB,

I may be getting a glimmer of what it going on here too.

Could you please explain how it is that you determine the difference between truth and falsity?

What is the process you use?

I don’t think you know how to do it. This is a common problem and leads to all sorts of conflicts. Both internal and external. Many of which are exhibiting themselves in your writing.

Joe Huffman | 06.08.09 – 7:37 am | #

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Joe, I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about, truth or falsity. Unix-Jedi pulled my comments apart, exposed a bunch of contradictions and really ripped me a new one. Good for him. But really my points have been simple enough. Maybe I didn’t express them precisely enough.

I say some DGUs are bogus. That’s the whole point. The one’s we’ve highlighted in our blogs are examples of the millions if you believe Prof. Kleck. I don’t, I believe the ones who say they’re more like 100,000 per year. But, in these examples we can see the mechanism by which a shooter can do something wrong and then cover it up.

The truth or falsity of it would only be known to the shooter. For example, let’s say, hypothetically, because I realize none of us knows for sure, but let’s say the OK pharmacist saw that the kid was down and out, but was still so furious with so much adrenalin pumping that he said the hell with it, and shot the kid five more times.

Now comes the trial. His lawyer encourages him to say the kid was shot in the head but was still moving for his gun and was still a threat. The trial ends in acquittal, the DGU list gets one more entry, and only the pharmacist knows the truth.

Do you think that kind of thing doesn’t happen? Do you think it’s so rare as to be negligible?

mikeb302000 | 06.09.09 – 3:09 am | #

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My question is much more general than just relating to guns. It’s about the basics of your understanding of the world around you, “How do you determine if a statement/hypothesis is true or false? What is the process by which you make this determination?”

If you cannot articulate this then, in the most literal sense, you don’t have a clue as to what is true or false, right or wrong, good or evil. This is a common problem with many, many people that I debate guns with. They literally do not know how to figure out if something is true or false. One person said, “It depends on how I feel.” Another said, “Some people figure it out based on logic and facts and others do it based on feelings. Both ways are equally valid–it’s been proven.”

So tell us, step by step, how do you determine truth from falsity?

Joe Huffman | 06.09.09 – 7:55 am | #

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I’m a little bit offended by the question, Joe. It sounds incredibly condescending of you to speak as if you and your gun buddies are trained logisticians, philosophically speaking, and I and the anti-gun folks “cannot articulate this” simple idea.

I try to be objective and open minded. I try to inform myself of the necessary information. I take things with a grain of salt, but not excessively so. I use my best common sense and logic.

I guess there’s more, but that’s the idea.

How’d I do?

mikeb302000 | 06.10.09 – 5:45 am | #

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I’m sorry.

You failed.

No expression of the process. Not even the slightest clue.

You might try reading up on the Scientific Method (and here).

Joe Huffman | 06.10.09 – 6:48 am | #

MikeB302000 had some more things to say concerning the nature of truth and falsehood over at Tam’s weblog, but Joe Huffman has that preserved for the future, so I am not too worried about it.

Remember – these are the people who would strip us of our rights. These are the people who would turn us into criminals (like them) for daring to exercise those rights. These are the people who aid and abet criminals on a daily basis. These are the people who have no respect or regard for the sanctity of human life or the self-defense measures necessary to preserve it. …People who cannot even tell fact from fiction.

Scary, nyet?