Tuesday, January 29, 2019

What's wrong with a bump-stock ban?

The end goal of gun prohibitionists is total elimination of private firearms ownership. 

They have a national history that goes back four score and five years to the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA 1934).Being unable to succeed in their goal in one fell swoop, they have implemented bans on various firearms; and created a slowly growing list of prohibited persons who may no longer legally possess firearms.

Here is a short list of just some of their actions, both nationally and in various states and localities:
  • 1911 - Sullivan Law in New York
  • 1981 - Morton Grove, Illinois gun ban
  • 1982 - Chicago gun ban
  • 1990 - Mayland Saturday Night Special ban
  • 1986 - Hughes Amendment gun ban
  • 1997 - Lautenberg Amendment people ban
  • 2018 - A proliferation of Red Flag laws, including one proposed in Tennessee.
Additionally, we saw the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, which banned firearms with certain cosmetic features. A partial list includes semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and with two or more of the following:
  • Folding or telescoping stock
  • Pistol grip
  • Bayonet mount
  • Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
  • Grenade launcher
This Federal ban, which had a ten year sunset, could have been called a lipstick and eye-shadow ban because of the fact that it had no effect on the functionality of a firearm. It also included a ten round magazine capacity limit. A number of states and municipalities passed similar bans which are still in effect. Recently, there has been a spate of similar Goldilocks bans passed around the country.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Using a spare Android as a GPS

Some GPS's, such as a Magellan I once had, require that you download software to a PC, connect the GPS to the PC, download updates, stand on your head, and jump through three hoops to get an update.

Smartphones, on the other hand, can be updated wirelessly, and Google Maps are kept well up to date, for the most part*. The problem I have run into with several Androids is that, even when plugged into a 2.1A vehicle charger, the battery still discharges. On a long trip, the battery would go too far down for the phone to be trusted to get around at my destination.

I had to get a new phone because  of switching carriers. My old Alcatel phone is GSM compatible, and I needed to use Verizon towers which use CDMA technology.

After getting a CDMA compatible phone, I decided to press the Alcatel (6" screen) into service as a GPS. Even with the SIM card removed, I still had the problem of the battery continuing to discharge over time. This is not as critical, of course, as having the primary mobile phone go down....but still inconvenient.

I tried several things, read lots on the internet, but could not find the answer. Finally, I put the phone in AIRPLANE mode. That did the trick. Now, the battery stays charged while travelling.

I did some experimenting, and here is the procedure I follow:

  1. Download offline maps for the region(s) I will be travelling in.
  2. Create an itinerary on the laptop and email it to myself.
  3. Open the email on the phone while WiFi is available (important).
  4. Set the phone on AIRPLANE.
  5. Plug into power in the vehicle, and go.

Since I am operating offline, I will not be getting real-time traffic on my GPS Android. That's a trade-off for keeping my battery operating. I still have my operational phone, which I can get traffic on as needed.

Let me know your results, or share your ideas...


*I discovered that it is possible to send new street addresses to Google Maps, and they will update them in a week or two.