The Obligatory “Gun Violence” Reference In Obama’s SOTU Speech

I guess it would be too much to ask to hope that President Obama might concentrate primarily on national security, economic growth, and jobs growth in tonight’s State of the Union speech. The obligatory reference to so-called gun violence (sic) along with a pledge to keep pushing gun control with or without the aid of Congress.

From the speech:

Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say “we are not afraid,” and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.

The British paper The Guardian notes, however, that it seems the First Lady has somewhat shifted her focus from gun control issues. The point out that she had four invitees last year post-Newtown to push the issues. This year the sole invitee representing “gun violence” is the school bookkeeper from Atlanta who talked a school shooter into giving up the gun.

From four invitees in 2013, the number of guests of the first lady invited this year to spotlight the problem of gun violence in the US is one. She is Antoinette Tuff, a bookkeeper from Georgia credited with preventing a shooting at an elementary school in an Atlanta suburb by talking the would-be shooter out of it.

Otherwise, the makeup of Michelle Obama’s viewing box for Tuesday night’s speech is largely unchanged from a year ago. Among her 22 guests (Jill Biden and Valerie Jarrett aside) are small businesses’ proprietors and employees, overachieving students, young immigrants, beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act and a wounded veteran.

President Barack Obama ended his 2013 State of the Union speech with an emotional call for Congress to vote on new gun legislation. Underscoring the point was the presence in the first lady’s visitor box of the parents of a Chicago teenager killed in gun violence; a police lieutenant who was shot 15 times when he responded to the mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and a teacher at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Let’s hope this is a harbinger of things to come.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a video clip of Obama and this part of his State of the Union address. I’m linking because it is an auto-play video.

5 thoughts on “The Obligatory “Gun Violence” Reference In Obama’s SOTU Speech”

  1. How to Hide ‘Treasure’ just in case…….

    Everyone has at least some metallic items they would like to hide away some place for safekeeping. Some are just round precious metal objects, others are hand held items and still others are long pieces.

    Some will say that the time to hide away these items is really the time to bring them out. And while there is a bit of truth to that, it is still wise to have back up items if the need should arise.


    The best method to determine how to hide something is to take the viewpoint of those that would be looking for “Treasure.” Someone looking to find what has been hidden away would most likely look at each one’s personal situation.

    You and the search for your treasure.

    What type of property do you have?

    Do you have a lot of property or do you live in the city? [Note: The ownership of your property is a matter of public record]

    What type of dwelling do you have? Does it have hide-a-way places like basements or crawlspaces?

    Do you have relatives or friends nearby that could hide things for you?

    Do you own any raw land or rent storage space?

    These are all questions that someone looking for your treasure would ask at the beginning of their search to figure out how many options you have to stash things away. Obviously the more options you have the better off you will be. Fewer options location-wise can make it easier for them by narrowing down their search.

  2. Search methods.

    Once someone has determined where one might keep their stuff, the next step will be to directly search for it. One has to examine any possible search methods to develop strategies to keep things hidden away.

    Searches may simply use their eyes to look for disturbed earth or other indications or resort to some specialty tools. Any search could use any of these methods so it is important that considerations are made for all of them.

    Metal detectors.

    Metal detectors operate on the basic principle of electromagnetic induction. A quick search on the web will yield some good overview articles on the subject and put one in good stead on what they face.

    Most detectors can distinguish between ferrous and non-ferrous materials, so it’s important that a mix of both types are used, or at least that one uses similar metals. Ferrous metals for ferrous treasure vice-versa for non-ferrous.

    If most of the treasure items are made of metal, there are really only two ways of avoiding this search method. That would be placing these items out of reach or having sufficient extraneous metal items in the area to render this method useless.

    Since it is difficult to know the detection range of this search method, by default the is only one method to keep items safe from prying induction.

    It would be best to borrow the concept of defense in depth here – instead of having one size and one type of extraneous material; it would be preferable to have different sizes and types of these materials.

    The first type would be small metallic objects that can be spread around the area as a way of masking the true treasure. Small so it is nearly impossible for a potential searcher to sufficiently extract them from the search area, but large enough to be picked up by the detector. While some detectors can filter out junk signals from individual pieces, a fair number of pieces will at least serve to collectively confuse the issue. This is also one of the easiest things to implement – all that is required are metallic bits and they just need to be thrown or scattered about the area that is to be masked.

    These pieces could just be small metallic objects that are cheap and plentiful such as small bit of hardware like nuts and bolts, brass, bottle caps, and small bits of wire.

    The next type are medium to large sized pieces that will throw off the search – pieces of junk, old cans of various metallic composition, etc. While these objects may be large enough to be extracted, they will still bog down the search and protect the treasure.

    The final type would be ‘Simulated’ treasure – items big enough to arouse interest by both metal and ground penetrating radar searches.

    The likelyhood is that treasure will be hidden in certain types of containers – long boxes or pipes could be simulated by similar long boxes or pipes of the same size, shape, and material.

    These simulates need to be filled with metallic objects to look and act like the real thing.

  3. Canine search.

    Several sources have mentioned that dogs that are trained to search for specialty objects, hence this are being included in this paper.

    We can only speculate on what exactly these dogs are searching for. But, the best guess would that they are either following a trail someone would take to their cache or they are searching for the gases and such emanating from the cache.

    Canines have an incredible sense of smell, some K-9’s can distinguish between members of the same family and can pick up a trail that is days old. A person gives off a scent every minute of the day for they’re entire life so there is really no practical and sure way of throwing off this type of search.

    We’ve already discussed the tracking of a person to their treasure – again if this is on their property or a place where they normally hang out, their scent will be in the area so it won’t be that unusual and therefore may not be as useful to the treasure hunters.

    Timing is everything here – if one can sequester their treasure and leave it alone for at least several days it will be difficult for canine searchers to track to the cache. Especially if it’s in an area they normally occupy. The strategy here would be to hide the cache and then make it habit to walk around in the area to saturate it with their scent.

    In the case of having to suddenly stash in their cache it would be best to have been present in the area ahead of time to throw things off in the case of a search.

    As for the canines tracking the various components of a treasure, most likely as with the metal detectors the best thing to do would be to scatter about similarly scented items to make it difficult to find the actual treasure. These could be times that have a similar chemical nature to make it difficult to ‘sniff out’ they cache.

  4. Ground penetrating radar

    The last method they may use would be some form of ground penetrating radar. This method would be very slow, so it stands to reason that someone using this form would wish to narrow down the search area. The methods here would be similar to keeping things safe from the other methods – widening out the potential search area and having other objects to confuse the issue. These similar objects would be pieces that would look like the search item on the display screen of the ground penetrating radar. These could be scraps of pipe or boxes that are set out under ground that would muddy the water so to speak.

    Where to hide things Inside a home or other structure

    Here the key is to look for voids or areas in a dwelling that are normally hollow and could contain hidden ‘gems’ in a structure or in movable objects.

    False walls and floors could be created but these can be found out with simple measuring tools and making them is just extra unnecessary work when these spaces are already present.

    The options will depend on the item size and the amount of accessibility to these items desired

    Basement: the floors and walls of in a basement will not normally contain any hollow spaces but cutting into the basement floor and creating a space here is an option.

    Crawl spaces normally do not have floors so burying something there would work

    There are also small hollow spaces in cinderblock, but the size and accessibility can be a factor here.

    Now, the basement ceiling presents several options – they have naturally have spaces between the joists, there is structure around these spaces to provide support and there is a great deal of this space present in you home making a lot less obvious where your items may be. Heating and cooling ducts are a good choice as long as one beefs up the supporting external structure and contained to keep out moisture dust etc. for the items.

    First and second floors as with the basement, the floors and walls will have normal hollow spaces in which to stealthy ensconce items, in the case of walls the big factor will be access – this will entail the need to open up the wall and then be able to close it up some it isn’t obvious there is an opening.

    Finally there is the attic – almost and inverted versions of the basement – again the floor would provide some good hiding places. One factor here would be the lack of climate control.

    Outside and Above ground

    As with other areas, the priority is to find storage locations that have the space to hide the items and yet not be out of place so that they attract attention to themselves.

    The concepts on hollow spaces in floors, walls, and ceiling of a house are equally applicable to sheds and other out buildings. The best way to find a hiding spaces in other places it to apply the same idea of finding hollow spaces that aren’t out of place like certain types of fence posts or the obvious choice in this regard – hollow trees.

    One last note that hidden treasure is useless if it can’t be found again – so plans have to be made to find it again. There are multiple ways of doing this ranging from simply memorizing these locations to developing coded phrases such as mnemonic devices. A plain text treasure map would most likely not be a good idea for obvious reasons.

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