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Missive #61

How does an Airman First Class, third enlisted rank in the US Air Force that is typically promoted to Airman First Class after ten months as an Airman, gain access to Top Secret Documents? This smells like a setup to me.

Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira was arrested Thursday over his alleged role in leaking secret files from the Pentagon that have embarrassed U.S. allies and cast doubt on Ukraine’s ability to succeed in its war with Russia.…
The New York Times reported earlier Thursday that Teixeira, 21, was the leader of the Discord server where the files were shared and is an Airman First Class with the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. — What we know about suspected Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira by Brad Dress

Fort Huachuca is home to the largest unmanned aircraft system training center in the world, with over 350,000 square feet of training space, four hangars, and 24-hour operational capacity, training more than 1,300 students annually. This includes the military occupational specialty 150U, unmanned aircraft systems operations technician.

USGOV conducts assassinations by drone aircraft all of the time in countries we are not at war with. Isn’t anyone bothered by that? Imagine the howling if Russia or China did that systematically. Drone assassinations are like phone sex. They solve the immediate problem, but they leave you unsure of what exactly you got out of it.— The Truth is Out There by Larry Lambert

“Anarchy, old chap, occurs when the Government is weak, not when there is no Government. For there is always some kind of a Government, only when things go badly there are several, that’s all.” — André Malraux

Fun and Games With TV Ad ResponsesorEngaging in a Battle of Wits With an Unarmed Opponent
By John Ross

Copyright 2004 by John Ross.  Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.

One of my current endeavors is giving (well, selling, actually) training courses so that people can take advantage of Missouri’s new Concealed Carry law.  To this end, I’ve been running television ads on local channels.  To the best of my knowledge and research, I’m the first trainer in the country to do TV ads for firearms training, other than gun stores and ranges running ads for their facilities, where training is a sideline. 

        So far, I’ve done seven different spots, each one starting with a blue silhouette target that has five bullet holes appear in quick succession in the chest area.  Then the scene cuts to me, where I give my pitch, the phone number to call, and then each ad ends with me saying “Remember, more concealed guns, less crime.”

        These ads get people’s attention, and I’m getting a lot of very positive feedback.  In three months, only one person called to say “I don’t agree with what you’re doing.”  That was as negative a call as I ever got, which surprised me a little.

        Then, two weeks ago, a young man called at about 10PM.  He wasn’t rude or abusive, but seemed very much in earnest.  He had a Jeff Foxworthy/Bill Clinton accent that made me smile as soon as I heard it.

        “Ah jist want to say, Mr. Ross, you’re SCARIN’ people, and that’s not raht! Crahm is DAH-OWN, an’ you’re makin’ it out like we’re all in DYNE-GER!”

        I let him go on like this for a minute, ’til he ran out of steam.  I was sorely tempted to do a Clinton impression and say “Ah feel yore pyne,” but instead I asked, “May I point out something?” and waited ’til he said yes.

        “An American who drives a car today is about one-third as likely to get killed in that car as a person who drove the same amount of miles per year in 1974. Yet everyone says ‘Wear your seatbelt’ more strongly than ever, even though it’s much less important today than 30 years ago. “

        “Okay, okay, I see your point…” he inserted.

        “Now, 2/3 less people are dying in car crashes, but the number is nowhere near zero yet, so the companies are still working on better rain tires and antilock brakes, and the legislatures are passing laws where the police can fine you if you don’t have your seatbelt fastened,” I pointed out.

        “I get what you’re sayin,” he said, so I went on.

        “Crime is down, as you say.  It’s not down by much, just a little bit, and for lots of different reasons, so the crime rate is still nowhere near zero. It used to be illegal in Missouri to have a gun on you to protect yourself.  This was kind of like if it had been illegal to wear a seatbelt.  Now you can carry a gun to save your life, but only if you take an approved training course first and get a permit. People that want to carry a gun to be as safe as possible need to know where they can get their training.  I offer that training, and I run TV ads to let people who want to get a permit know they can get the required training from me.”  Then asked him a question:

        “If instead of a gun safety and proficiency school, I ran a driving school, and in my TV ads I said ‘Want to be better able to handle driving emergencies, like when you suddenly hit a patch of ice, or the semi right in front of you throws a tire tread at 65MPH?  Come to my driving school and I’ll teach you the skills to handle these emergencies safely,’ would you call the number and complain that I was trying to scare people, and that driving was safer than ever?”

        “Uh…no. Uh…I never thought of it that way. Uh…good luck!” he said, with genuine cheer in his voice. Then he hung up.

        I thought the call was priceless.

        Then I got another call last night, at about 10:30.

        “John Ross.”

        “Uh, is this John Ross?”


        “Uh, yeah, what’s this ‘More concealed guns, less crime’ mean?”  I wasn’t sure if the caller was slightly drunk or not.  He was speaking just a little more slowly than is normal for most people.

        “Oh, that’s how I end all my ads, to remind people that guns in the hands of honest people save lives and reduce crime.”

        “What do you mean by that?”

        “Well, there are 46 states where you can get a permit to carry a gun for protection. In those states, there are a total of about 2 1/2 million permit holders. Not one has ever even pointed a gun at a police officer. Those 2 1/2 million permit holders don’t cause any problems, but they stop a lot of crimes in the act, which the police almost never do. Don’t take my word for it—call the Attorney General in any of those 46 states. Permit holders don’t do anything worse than get traffic tickets.”

        “It just seems to me that more guns on the street would be worse.”

        “You’d be exactly right, if the ‘more guns’ were in the hands of criminals. But with the new law, the ‘more guns’ we’re talking about are only in the hands of the intended victims. That’s a good thing.”

        Pause. “I just think it would be better if no one had guns.”

        “So that any person out alone is defenseless against anyone who is bigger and stronger, or against a group? Arthritic men on Social Security defenseless against any mugger who is young and strong? Women helpless from being dragged into an alley by two or three men? That doesn’t sound very good to me.”

        Longer pause. “It’s just that more guns out there would be bad. It’s just common sense.”

        “Common sense is what tells us that the earth is flat.”

        Still longer pause. “Well, I just wanted to know what your ad meant. Thanks.” Click.

        I think I might have caused his brain to overheat.

John Ross 11/5/2004

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