Technology, The Second Amendment, And Hong Kong

The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong should be instructive for everyone in this country. You have a territory that was once a colony of Britain and is now essentially a vassal state of Red China. The people there have never been entirely free. While freer as a British colony, they were still ruled by edicts from London. Now as part of China with the “one country, two systems” policy, they are still ruled from afar. What they want is what we take for granted in the US – human rights, freedom, and democracy.

These protesters understand something that all the Democrats running for president, much of the media, and even too many Republicans don’t. That is the real purpose of the Second Amendment.

Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

They don’t plan to go duck hunting or deer hunting in Hong Kong. They fully understand the Second Amendment is what gives the people the power to change or overthrow a tyrannical government. While former presidential candidate Rep. Eric “Nuke’em” Swalwell is incredulous that people armed with mere small arms could take on a world power, one need only look to Afghanistan or to our former adversaries in Vietnam.

Modern technology gives the pro-democracy protesters a communication advantage that is hard to stop. They have found that Tinder can be used for more than hookups and that Poke’man Go isn’t just for my son-in-law to drive my daughter crazy.

Posting information about protests on Tinder is just one of several creative ways Hongkongers are using technology to mobilize people. For more than eight weeks now, technology has been at the center of organizing demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill.

People primarily communicated through Telegram groups and streamed their actions on gaming platform Twitch. As violence has escalated in recent weeks, though, police have been cracking down harder. So now protesters are resorting to more unorthodox methods of organizing and communicating online.

One of those methods, besides Tinder, is Pokémon Go.

When the Hong Kong police denied protesters permission to march in one of the city’s suburban neighborhoods on safety grounds, the protesters decided to say that they weren’t going for a march — they were just showing up for a game of Pokémon Go.

Rather than sneaking out messages like dissidents did using samizdat in the old Soviet Union, protesters are using Apple’s peer-to-peer AirDrop to pass on information to visitors from the rest of China. These visitors normally would only hear what the government allowed them to hear in China.

What makes AirDrop the ideal communication tool in this case is that it bypasses Chinese censors; news of protests in Hong Kong against the extradition bill have been blocked on popular social media platforms in China such as Weibo, WeChat and Baidu

I don’t know what will eventually happen in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, we in the United States should be paying attention. This is true especially now that you have media and technology giants controlling some much of what we see and hear. When you combine that with the statist nature of most politicians, right or left, it becomes an imperative that alternate voices are heard. You know like ones that ask the hard questions about the efficacy of background checks or red flag laws.

Great Use Of Technology To Advance Gun Rights

I just saw something that I wish every state’s gun rights organization would adopt. It is a voter app customized to where the voter lives and has the ratings of the candidates on gun rights and Second Amendment issues.

The Buckeye Firearms Association is on the cutting edge of the fight for our rights. This app is only part of it. The other is their F.A.S.T.E.R. program which teaches armed defense to school personnel in those districts that will allow it. My colleague Rob Morse went through the F.A.S.T.E.R. program so he could observe what they do. Here is his report on it. In addition, BFA has provided trauma kits to schools around the state of Ohio.

More info on their app:

Now Ohio voters can create a voter guide customized for the ballot in their district with the new mobile app will allow Ohio’s gun owners to quickly see which candidates support Second Amendment rights.

The app reveals grades and endorsements from both Buckeye Firearms Association PAC and the NRA Political Victory Fund on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

This easy-to-use application eliminates the need for voters to know their exact voting district or be forced to choose the correct district from a list of several hundred races which are on the ballot across Ohio.

“Our organization represents the interests of more than 4 million gun owners in Ohio,” said Dean Rieck, Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association. “And these gun owners are highly protective of their Second Amendment rights.

“So we created this app to give them the power to see exactly which candidates in their voting district best understand their concerns and have demonstrated support for gun ownership, hunting, sport shooting, and related activities.”

In addition to showing statewide candidates and candidates running for the Ohio House and Senate, the app also shows select local candidates who may be running for Judge, Sheriff, Commissioner, and other positions. Note: not ALL candidate have been graded, only those in key or contested races.

The application is simple to use:

•Visit on your phone, tablet, or desktop.
•Enter your LAST NAME, STREET NAME, and ZIP CODE. (If you live at 123 Main St., enter just MAIN. If you live at 2500 N. St Rt. 741, enter just 741.)
•Select your COUNTY from the list of Ohio counties.
•Press “Lookup Voter Record” and select your name to see the candidates on your ballot.

The app uses the Ohio Secretary of State voter records to find the exact voting district for you. So the results you see are just the candidates who will appear on your ballot for this election.

“It’s no secret that gun owners are a serious voting block,” said Rieck. “They are politically active and have high expectations of their elected officials. They do their research and they vote. Gun owners can easily turn an election when they feel their rights are at stake.”

Interested voters can also download a printable Voter Guide listing all the grades and endorsements of Buckeye Firearms Association PAC in the BFA Election Center.

Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation.

H/T Outdoor Wire

History Of The Various Types Of Magazines

The Firearms History, Technology & Development Blog has been running a series on the various types of magazines ranging from tubular magazines to pan magazines. Most of us are familiar with the box magazine but few of us would know that a Krag-Jorgensen rifle’s magazine is termed a “capsule magazine.”

The whole series is well worth a read especially if you are interested in the development of firearms technology over time.

Tubular Magazines

Box Magazines

Capsule Magazines

Drum Magazines

Pan Magazines