Monday, September 8, 2014

The Woodpecker Returns

Between 1976 and 1989, the USSR operated a radar system that became known as the “Russian Woodpecker.”  It was a type of “over the horizon” (OTH) radar known as the DUGA-3.  It operated on frequencies populated by shortwave broadcasts and amateur operators and produced a very strong signal that produced a tapping sound similar to a woodpecker, hence the name.  The Russian Woodpecker was phased out and replaced with satellite technology.  The signal was not heard again until recently.

                One day while browsing Reddit’s /r/amateurradio “subreddit,”  I found a post where a user recorded a strange signal in the 20 meter band and suggested it was an over-the-horzon radar.  I switched my receiver on the very next day and heard the same signal.  This particular sound wasn’t like the Russian Woodpecker, but it was an unusual signal that lasted 30 seconds or so.  My Android was sitting on the desk and I was able to capture a recording.  I left the radio on all day with the volume turned up so I could listen for the signal while I went about my day.  At about five minutes to midnight, a very strong signal blasted through the speaker.  It sounded EXACTLY like the recordings I’d heard of the Russian Woodpecker.  Unfortunately, my Android was in the next room and the signal was gone before I could record it.

                I’m certainly not an expert in amateur radio.  I’ve only been dabbling with it for about four years, but this signal seemed unique.  It didn’t sound like usual sources of interference that normally originate from inside or near the home, like AC power adapters, lights, transformers and similar devices.  I revisited the subreddit and searched around the net for answers.  It turns out that I wasn’t alone, and there was quite a bit of chatter on the topic.

                Since the summer of 2013, Russia has been operating the 29b6 radar, another over-the-horizon system.  Most radar, like what we’re used to seeing at airports and in police cars, transmits a signal along the line-of-sight, like a searchlight.  OTH uses the ionosphere to reflect the signal over the curvature of the earth in the same manner that amateur radio operators communicate with each other over very long distances.  From what I’ve come to understand, what I heard was a sounding or sampling signal from 29b6 radar system that is used to adjust the radar for maximum efficiency.  Some reports indicate that it became more active during heightened military activity.  Other sources indicate that Iran and China are deploying similar systems that can be heard in the USA. 

                 The original DUGA-3 lies in ruins near Chernobyl, so this isn’t a refitting of the old system.  It’s completely new and apparently uses newer technology.  Old hams who operated during the DUGA-3 days are not happy to see OTR on the air again, as the interference sometimes makes for tough conditions.  If you’re interested in jumping through the rabbit hole, there are videos of Russian news reports on the new radar, tours of the old DUGA-3 along with plenty of foil-hat theories to dig through.  If you’d like to hear it for yourself, tune somewhere around 14.270 on a shortwave and see if it pops up.

                This link is a recording of the original DUGA-3

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Jefferson Bible

     One of my favorite high school teachers was a former Methodist pastor who was once tasked with teaching a biblical history class in a Midland, Texas public school.  It was not a class on religion or theology, but a study of the Bible itself.  It didn’t last, and one of the principal reasons for the failure was constant debate of how it should be taught.  The teacher told of daily phone calls from parents with corrections and additions to the syllabus from varying viewpoints, not from the text itself.
     I studied Deism as it occurred in Thomas Jefferson’s lifetime.  I became fascinated with Jefferson’s take on the religion of the time and discovered that he published what became known as the “Jefferson Bible.”  I quickly ordered a copy and inquired about the history of the book.
      It’s important to understand that the churches in Jefferson’s time were different than today.  They were often intermixed with politics and many became very corrupted.  Jefferson served as Minister to France, which gave him perspective on the Catholic and protestant churches in Europe.  He also studied the history of the Bible and believed that it had become contaminated with political agenda, misrepresented facts and even propaganda designed to turn people away from Christianity.  He clearly believed, as many do today, that surreptitiously motivated people had distorted the tenets taught by Christ.
     I took a great interest in Christian apologetics, especially in the Catholic and Lutheran churches.  Even the most devout biblical scholars struggle with the history of how many of the writings in the Bible came to be.  There are numerous conflicts and inconsistencies within the Judeo-Christian Bible which have led many away from faith and practice of religions.  They come into great conflict with biblical literalists who accept without question.
     My own spiritual path has led me to fascinating conversation with ministers, biblical scholars, laymen, church parishioners, Deists and atheists.  What fascinates is that many of the most devout Christians do not have a completely literal view of the Bible, but a very strong spiritual faith in the tenets of Christianity and respect for their traditions.  For them, their belief does not require a suspension of reason and bonds a person with what I believe is a strong understanding and practice of what Christ intended for us.
     Jefferson was suspicious of supernatural claims in the Bible, including miracles, virgin birth, resurrection and ascension.  Again, it is important to understand that Jefferson faced a very different religious and scholastic climate in his time.  He believed that many of the supernatural elements were introduced to turn people from the scripture or to perhaps engage others.  This is important today, as many people can’t grasp why we are not witness to similar events in modern times.  Religious leaders vary greatly on their explanation of this, and it greatly divides Christianity as a whole.  The same occurs within conflicting scripture and other ambiguous elements of the ancient text.
     What resulted was a compilation of Gospel scripture known as The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, where Jefferson included only the teachings by Christ himself.  It became known as “The Jefferson Bible,” a title not placed by Jefferson himself.  Jefferson did not write the book, rather he physically cut New Testament passages from Greek, French, Latin and English variants of the Bible and arranged them chronologically to form a clear depiction of the life and teachings of Christ.  While not all supernatural events were redacted, the majority of these events were.  What remained was a very clear reading of the moral tenets taught by Christ and a clear historical picture of his life.
    In 1904, 9000 copies of this book were printed and distributed to members of Congress and their staff.  In a copy that I own, a foreword indicates that these were distributed well into the 1950’s.  It is clear that Jefferson and others believed that Christian morals and philosophy should be a part of our nation’s foundation.  Jefferson’s compilation spread the word in a manner easily acceptable by Christians, Deists and even atheists.  I consider this a great victory rather than an aberration of the text.
     What fascinates me about this topic is that in our time, Jefferson has become a central figure in the separation of church and state, and he has become the center of debate in much the same way as the teachings he sought to preserve.  Atheists use his anti-church quotes to push their own agenda, and Christians exemplify him as supporting the USA as a Christian nation.  YouTube has plenty of videos where Jefferson’s thoughts are bent to conform to one viewpoint or another although he was very clear in his own writings on exactly where he stood. 
     I’ve had conversations with people who refuse Jefferson’s book because it is not the accepted text of their religion.  Some consider it blasphemy while others see tremendous value in it.  It was never intended as a replacement, but it is an effective means of passing the teachings of Christ.  It is very clear and concise, and most certainly easier to grasp than the King James Gospel itself.  I often compare it to the numerous movies about the life of Christ where there are additions and retractions from the Gospel due to denominational belief, conciseness or brevity.   It’s not uncommon for well-meaning writers to edit in this fashion, as evidenced by the many variants of the Bible.  Since every Christian denomination is commanded to be evangelists to some degree, I see where works of this nature are critical to the livelihood of today’s churches. 
     The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth should be in everyone’s library.  Even if you are a complete biblical literalist, it is highly useful in bringing others to an understanding of your beliefs.  For those who are not Christian, it is a valuable means of understanding the true fundamentals of Christianity without bias or church dogma.  It’s an invaluable tool for those who are searching, frustrated and confused in a spiritual world obstructed by countless interpretations, illogical dogma and misunderstandings and agendas.  It’s available in print and the original 1904 copies are quite valuable.  The Kindle version is $0.99 through Amazon, and there are free online versions and “modern English” versions available as well.
 "In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics, the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their logos and demiurges, aeons and daemons, male and female, with a long train of or, shall I say at once, of nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an octavo of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines."  - Thomas Jefferson, 1813

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Militarized Police - A Reality Check

In the late 80’s, our high school’s government department hosted talks given by different law enforcement agencies from local to federal levels.  When a local police officer gave his speech, a kid began arguing with the cop over an injustice committed against him.  He insisted that he was unlawfully stopped and searched, as well as harassed.  I was pretty appalled by the story and couldn’t understand why he would be targeted.  This kid belonged to a wealthy family and was a delinquent attention whore, but that didn’t justify his treatment at the hands of the police.

I asked him about the incident after class, and told me another version where he was lawfully stopped.  He went on tell how they were drinking underage and smoking weed, hence the search. The kid admitted that he took creative license with the story for a chance to annoy a cop.  This was my first experience with the “more to the story” scenario.  The “militarized” police issue bears little difference.

Cop hatred is an increasing fad, and it spreads to otherwise rational and conservative citizens during a Democratic presidency.  A recent example was the “New World Order” fear that reached popularity during the Clinton years.  Although the FEMA “Death Camp” wave originated under Bush, we’re now apparently facing a UN invasion under Obama.

The most important thing to understand is the “militarized” aspect.  Critics most often cite military appearance as evidence, but if this whole mess were real, one of the most important factors would be jurisdiction.  Law enforcement in our country exists on the federal, state and local levels.  These levels determine what laws can be enforced by a particular agency and where they may be enforced.  Federal entities have no command authority over the smaller jurisdictions.  They can investigate each other and take legal action against them, but the feds can’t command the other branches.  The military doesn’t even come into the picture.  Thus, if the federal government issued death warrants for all [insert group here], other jurisdictions don’t fall under their command.

While state and local agencies receive federal grants and equipment, this assistance does not come with instructions to follow orders.  Programs like 10-33, which provides surplus military gear like armored vehicles, are designed to provide gear to agencies that can’t afford it otherwise.  The intent is to provide options to deal with increasing levels of violence in acts of terrorism, active shooters, increased cartel activity, etc.
The critics of late cite the physical appearance of SWAT teams and similar groups as evidence that they are acting as the military.  The use of military gear and combat tactics is nothing new.  It goes back as far as the “Tommy Gun.”  When gangsters deployed the submachine gun and against the police, it was time to step up the game.  The 1997 Los Angeles bank robbery shooting underscored a situation where the police were behind the curve in gear and tactics. 

As I explained to an online critic, if a fleeing murderer took shelter in the home across the street and fired on police, I assured the critic he would be alone in charging into the situation in a polyester uniform with a .38 special in a Crown Victoria.  When the call is made to scrape up his bleeding body from the street, it will be done by a specially trained team wearing tactical body armor, driving an armored vehicle and equipped with shields, rifles, less-lethal munitions and a bomb robot. 
Understand that police don’t have the option to fight fair.  We must win and come home when the shift is over.  The feds aren’t providing cannons, frag grenades, machine guns, mortars, missiles or tanks.  They offer law enforcement tools.  Just as our nation has done for ages, we endeavor to stay tactically, technically and logistically ahead of the criminal element because we don’t want to be another third world stain on the map living under a criminal cartel like Mexico or much of the Middle East.  

Share this blog when you see the paranoid posts.  Often they will reply with memes or links to screw-ups and incidents where police have screwed up, but challenge them to show military action.  Police are more liability conscious and careful than ever, but that’s fodder for another blog.  Ask how it differs from a citizen using military technology to defend their home (AR-15).  Chances are you’re dealing with someone who’s still butthurt over getting busted for that joint back in high school.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The BBS Days

Before the internet, there were Bulletin Board Systems.  These were systems much like a modern day forum, where users could post messages, share e-mails, play games and swap files.  They used dial-up modems and the user called the other computer directly.  It was a different experience than the widespread nature of the internet.  Most users were local because long distance charges were steep back in those days.  BBS’s were popular in the 80’s and started to die out when Compuserve, GEnie, America Online and similar services set up national systems where users could reach through local numbers.  The internet as we know it was the next evolution.

For a teenage computer geek, which I was, BBS surfing late on summer nights was paradise.  High-traffic times meant there were lots of busy signals, so the wee hours were prime surfing.  Public domain software was a big thing, offering games and other wares for free.  Online games became pretty popular.  There were multi-user games based on various themes.  It was a blast.

My friend, James Stormes, was (and still is) the alpha computer geek.  We had always talked about a BBS, so one day Jim built one up.  It was based on Galacticomm software, which was a big deal.  Jim bought a multi-user system which was state-of-the-art compared to most of the shareware systems of the time.  He pieced together an IBM PC clone and replaced the original 8088 processor with a “V-20” upgrade.  I think the BBS operated at a smoking  10 megahertz.  I can’t remember the drive size, but I’m sure a modern day thumb drive would have backed the system up 10 times over.

Jim lived in town, and I lived between Midland and Odessa.  This was a prime situation because in those days people in my area could get a “561” exchange which allowed calls to or from Midland and Odessa without long-distance charges.   Yes, if you called Odessa in 1987 it was a long-distance call.  Jim set the system up, bought two lines, and we were rolling.  All we needed was a name.  After kicking around the possibilities, we settled on “Telegraph Road.”  It was a Dire Straits song from the time period.  We completed the act with business cards that were scattered about computer stores and software sections of bookstores.  Mike Spencer’s mother made us a batch of T-shirts with the album cover art.  Telegraph Road was on the air.

What followed was years of enjoyment in the geek community.  In those days, computers were expensive and less user friendly than today.  This made for an interesting social network of like-minded folks similar to amateur radio today.  Even back then we had to deal with porn uploads, endless online sex chats that tied up lines, and there were even a few relationships and marriages from meetings on “TR.”  Viruses weren't that common, but I remember an outbreak of the "Stoned" virus.  There were quite a few parties and friendships that made for great memories.

Jim went off to school in 1991 and I moved back to town, so the board was turned over to avid user Mark Smyth, who expanded it to twelve lines and added more games.  I remained a user until it finally folded up sometime in the 90’s.  According to Mark, the phone company designated him as a business and raised the rates to the point that he shut down.

There are a few sites out there that memorialize the old boards.  There were several in Midland, operated by individuals, some by churches, even one operated by the Ector County schools.  There were a couple of surreptitious boards known for porn, pirated software or stolen goods.  Porn back then consisted of poorly scanned images from girlie mags.  An image could take up to an hour to download.  I recall two monochrome videos that consisted of about ten frames looped.   Some unknown conspirators converted one to a virus-like PASCAL program and attempted to plug it into Lee High School's lab.  As an Explorer in the Sheriff’s Office, a move that spawned my 23+ year law enforcement career, I once helped detectives mole out some stolen gear from one of the sites.

The BBS system will always hold fond memories to me.  The internet has reminiscent offerings of those days, but nothing will compare to teen caffeine fueled red-eye nights spent in role-playing games at a blazing 2400 BPS with music blaring in the background.

Here's a site with some old BBS info:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Guns, Weed and Pit Bulls - Satirical Memes Weaken the Good Fight

     The FB experience is a hotbed for political expression.  The funny thing about the social media phenomenon is that many of the shared political and social memes are inaccurate.  “Satirical” material is the king now, designed to inflame and impassion people into action with outrageous claims.  The old adage about putting your best foot forward is definitely good advice.  With all the crap flying through the web these days, nothing beats solid facts.  I have some experience in these matters so  I’m sharing what I think is the best argument that cuts through the hype.


   Let’s start with an informational toke to let the inspiration flow.  Let it be known that I have never been able to use marijuana.  I got my student pilot license at 14 and have been in jobs that require drug-tests throughout my civilian and military career.  Pot just wasn’t on my radar.

     First of all, marijuana is not a miracle cure.   Sure, some studies have shown it to be beneficial in cancer treatment but marijuana doesn’t seem to stand out as a cancer fighter among other homeopathic treatments.  There’s no conspiracy keeping weed down to help the chemo companies make money.  Nothing works better than the current treatments, and no single treatment cures everything.  Believe me, if burning a doob dropped a patient’s CEA (tumor marker), M.D. Anderson Cancer Center would open a hooka bar.  I am a cancer patient and have discussed this with doctors and other patients as well as having done plenty of web research.  Money is made based on cure rates, not the sale of medication.  If a medication doesn’t produce satisfactory results, it’s kicked to the curb.  Weed is a hit-or-miss thing with cancer.  It’s highly beneficial to some in helping with chemo side effects, but not for others.

     Any cop will tell you that a stoner is typically non-violent and easier to deal with than a drunk, junkie, speed freak or coke head.  I don’t know the numbers on driving incidents involving weed, but I have extensive experience in arresting DWI’s and the number of marijuana related stops were dwarfed by those of alcohol.  The best argument for weed is that the criminal and sociological impact is far less than other drugs.

     I don’t support the “gateway drug” ideology.  It’s not the substance that leads a person down the path of destruction, it’s the person.  I was raised to believe that only losers smoked dope, so I didn’t.  Experience has since shown me that many mainstream successful people use it, but it’s still common among losers.  I’ve heard people say they stopped because it made them unmotivated.  Others report a Ritalin-like effect that helps them focus and endure monotonous tasks.  This seems pretty consistent with alcohol.  Some people become lifelong drunks, others like a couple of drinks to loosen up before going on stage (ok, I can vouch for this one.)  In day-to-day calls for service, the average complaint about a pothead was that they wouldn’t get off the couch.  Drunks are a different story with far more violence and family impact issues.

  I don’t currently support marijuana use.  I do take my oath to uphold the law seriously and ganja is still illegal, but more importantly in our area, buying the stuff likely supports the brutal Mexican drug trade.  I’m hopeful that legalization will help topple the cartels, at least in the weed market.  They still have the harder stuff to profit from but weed remains a big moneymaker along the border. 

     The bottom line is that people smoke weed to feel good.  It’s not a miracle cure but there are some medical benefits.  It’s not for everyone.  It won’t make someone a heroin addict and it won’t turn everyone into Tommy Chong.  Heads are less likely to be violent and don’t seem to be the public risk that drunks are.  I’ve personally seen booze and prescription drugs cause more damage to families than weed.  I believe this ideology will help turn the tides into a legalize-and-tax situation.

 The Pit Bull

     I’ve seen some memes out there that tell us that people discriminate unreasonably against the breed.  The most frequent thing I hear is that a Pit’s behavior depends upon how it’s raised.  I know several owners of Pits, and there’s a common thread.  While they praise the animal’s friendly disposition, in other conversation they are leery or even proud of their potential for aggressiveness.  There’s a reason for this, and it’s not the fault of the dog or a responsible owner.

     I’m very lucky to have attended a seminar led by Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman.  He is a leader in the psychological effects of killing in soldiers and police.   He teaches police and military leaders how to deal with PTSD and other problems caused when a normal person is forced to kill another in deadly force situations.  In his teachings, he points out that animals are normally resistant to killing their own kind outside of a few circumstances like infanticide (i.e. a lion killing cubs of another male to make room for his own).  Most animals will fight and injure each other over mating rights and territory, but even the most dangerous animals don’t routinely kill each other.  In the case of the pit bull, however, animals are trained to kill their own kind.  The ones that kill are bred to similar dogs.  The less aggressive dogs are destroyed.    The breeding is fast and plentiful, unlike the breeding practices of responsible owners.  Over years of the fast-moving dog fighting market, this produced a sociopath.  Breed traits are very difficult to train out, and the traits have triggers.  Herders herd.  Pointers point.  Retrievers retrieve.  Greyhounds chase.  Terriers dig.  Fighting dogs kill dogs. 

     In my years on the streets, Pits were common in crappy neighborhoods and were often aggressive.  I was never attacked by a Golden Retriever, Great Dane or any other large breed.   Pits were a different story.  Especially in those crappy neighborhoods, owners were proud of the breed’s aggressiveness, citing protection for the owner.  Any breed will show protective behavior for their owner.  Some will alert and run, and some will hold at bay, some will attack.  I’m married to a former animal control officer who bears more scars than I do from Pit Bulls.  There is definitely a tilt in the scales toward aggressiveness in Pit Bulls, so it’s not discrimination that caused a cautious eye to be cast on the breed. 

     Even the ASPCA is very cautious in their attitude toward the breed.  U.S. Studies typically show the Pit Bull at the top of the list in attacks against humans.  The best any opposition has been able to spin the numbers is to show that the population per capita of attacking Pits is lower than any other dog.  I don’t understand how they know the numbers of all breeds, but even the more favorable studies show Pits as the top attacker.

     The absolute best argument for the pit bull is that media popularity is causing more responsible pet ownership.  Dogs with strong pet traits grow in number while those with sociopathic aggression diminish.  This takes longer because pets are loved, nurtured, live long lives in good care and are bred more slowly than fighters.  The support in rehabilitating the breed is hurting the fighting industry.  Responsible pet owners are slowly winning the battle of attrition against years of intentionally malicious inbreeding.

   Like plenty of other problems in society, it’s a problem caused by stupid, greedy, criminal people who victimized the innocent.  It can only be fixed by responsible, civil and caring people.


     The most near and dear argument to me is that of firearms.  The second amendment is very clear, and is the default in most arguments.  Add to it the statistics showing that big cities with strong gun control have the highest murder rates.  The problem is media sensationalism.  It’s like a plane crash.  You’re safer in an airplane than a car.  I’ve never offered someone a car ride and had them appear nervous about crashing.  When I offered an airplane ride, some completely refused because they were afraid of crashing.  News media will report on a plane crash for weeks even when more people died in car accidents on the same day.  It’s the same for gun violence.  So, there are some of the best arguments.  Now let’s talk about some BS that hurts our case.

     The “Assault rifle” title has been around for a long time.  The concept of lighter, multi-purposed fighting rifles started with Germany in WWII and continues to this day.  There is absolutely no denying that weapons like the AR-15 were designed for shooting people.  If I were going to plan a mass shooting, it would be a semi-auto shorty and a wheelbarrow of magazines.  (They’re NOT “clips,” dammit!)  We’re better off countering with the second amendment along with the fact that it was designed as a multi-purpose weapon and there are plenty of “sporting” uses for it today.  Many sports have descended from combat and warfare and there’s no reason that the evil assault rifles can’t come along.  The overwhelming stats of responsible ownership versus criminal use are very much ignored by the anti-firearm community and are among the strongest arguments for keeping government away from black guns. 

    I can’t warm up to the concept of open carry.  For me, open carry is a pain.  To this very day I prefer to carry concealed when I’m in public.  The mere presence of a weapon changes the dynamics of everything.  It’s very popular for an idiot to cross a plain clothes cop in an everyday conflict only to later complain that they were intimidated by the holstered gun.  It’s a magnet for people I don’t know to talk to me.  There’s also the less-frequent occurrence of the personality change of some people when they strap on a heater.  I’m also very concerned that people will open carry when they are not able to retain their weapon from a criminal determined to take it.  Disarming someone is pretty easy, and there’s no shortage of prison training on the skill.  In some situations open carry may be a deterrent, but I’m not sure how much more so it is than widespread concealed carry.  Opinions may vary, but I’ve found that society grinds along much more quietly around me when my weapon isn’t visible.  It’s very comforting that I can ventilate an armed criminal if necessary.

     I’ve followed some local stories and had conversations with other officers in bigger cities about the popularity of open carry demonstrations.  There’s a trend among these groups to be a bit obstinate in arranging the proper permits and following the restrictions for use of public property for demonstrations.  It results in a cop telling them to disperse or be arrested for violation of a city code.  This turns to spouting of second amendment violation accusations and the show starts.  Liars like Alex Jones fuel the fire and we have a mess on our hands.  It is far more effective to demonstrate that gun owners are very much law abiding citizens.  I believe that gun rights demonstrators should show the public that we gun owners are respectful of the law so much that we’re willing to fill out the monotonous paperwork and pay the fees to demonstrate.  Neckbearded dimwits marching in the streets and taunting local cops is not going to sway opinions.
     In the recent memes about Eric Holder's bracelet idea, the concept of GPS tracking has been added by detractors.  The bracelet isn't a new idea.  Decades ago, Smith and Wesson introduced a revolver that required the shooter to wear a special ring before the weapon would fire.  Years later there was an electronic fingerprint ID holster that was marketed to police that required the shooter's thumb to be scanned before the holster would release.  These were well-meaning ideas but they both had fatal flaws.  They were useless if the shooter had to use his non-dominant hand.  I don't trust any system of this kind with my life.  Sure, I suppose GPS tracking could be added to the bracelet, but it's not worth muddying the waters while trying to make a good argument.  These systems are unsafe and there's more than enough government involvement in firearms ownership already.

     There’s my inflammatory $0.02 on some recent hot-button issues.  I encourage everyone to Google anything they’re considering passing along on social media and make sure it’s factual before passing it on.  Not only does it keep egg off  the user’s face, it perpetuates a better argument for the cause.  After all, if you’re taking the time to share something, it’s most likely very close and important to you.  Fight the good fight and fight it wisely!