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Winston

The Fish Doesn't Know It's Wet

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I recently tested out my new pellet rifle, mainly to check the accuracy of different weight pellets. I set up a chronograph to measure speed, and a decibel meter as well.
The rifle is Turkish, assembled in Arkansas, with a Chinese scope shooting Czech pellets.
I know this is geeky stuff. Don't judge me.
Seriously, there's a formula to determine the"knock-down" power of a pellet based on it's speed and weight. If I ever decide to dispatch a rodent, I want to make sure the rifle is capable of a "clean kill". There's too many yahoos out there that will injure an animal and let it die slowly. That BS makes me mad.

Well, I don't "math' well, so I took my velocity data to my computer and found an on-line muzzle energy calculator. The calculator was posted by an English air gun enthusiast. It was easy to use, but something quickly got my attention. After you enter your data, the calculator tells you if your air gun needs to be licensed, based on it's muzzle energy.

Yep. In Great Britain, they even register air guns.

Whether or not you find this absurd really depends on where you live. For most of you outside the United States, of course you expect the government to have the authority to regulate anything they think they should regulate. For some reason, I've always expected more freedoms from The Mother Country and her Commonwealth offspring (that whole Magna Carta thing). I won't say that I'm surprised that you have to jump through flaming regulatory hoops to own an air rifle in England. The slouch toward a nanny state has been constant and relentless for you folks. But it does make me kinda sad.

Full disclosure: I am a gun-nut. And I am also a civil libertarian. I just don't like anyone being restricted for capricious and arbitrary reasons. Can an air rifle be dangerous? Sure. Can a knife? Of course. Can a car? You betcha. And there's folks across The Pond that want to regulate or restrict all of those. And more. That has no direct impact on anything in my life. Yet, when those insane notions cross my awareness, it makes my head nearly explode. ARE YOU SERIOUS!?

Politeness in Canada mutated into "hate speech", where if someone speaks badly of a certain protected group, they can face jail time. Not using threats of violence, or even slander. Just disparage the wrong sociopolitical group and you're done.

Meanwhile, Australia has decided the best way to deal with unwanted immigration is to set-up an interment camp island. Yep, a dirty, overcrowded South Pacific gulag.
Excused by terms like "rule of law" and "public safety", the government can be as douchy as they wanna be.

I live in a glass house, and I'm throwing stones. Guilty as charged. But despite our many, many, MANY problems over here, it'd be nice to look to you folks and not see idiocy and insanity. So, keep laughing at our unrefined, tacky, self-important redneck arses. We deserve a lot of that ridicule.

But some of us over here still remember that we have this national contract called The Bill of Rights. It doesn't make us better than you, but it does give us something to fall back on when the folks in power get silly. Because we don't need to be protected from ourselves. We need to be protected from their abuses.

It turns out that my rifle is powerful enough to dispatch small game up to rabbit sized. Which means if I owned it in England, and I didn't bow to the crown and apply for a license, that possession would make me a criminal. But anyone can be a criminal in an over-regulated, bureaucratic state.

In the privacy of your own thoughts, ask yourself:
"How free am I? Really?"
But the harder question is:
"Is there anything I can do about it?"

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