atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3511: So much for going to Bible study.

Yeah, I slept right through that. See the previous post, "panic attack" and "Xanax". *sigh*

Now it's just about 11 PM and all I've eaten today are peanut butter sandwiches, so I'm going to go cook some hamburgers and french fries.

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Damn it, I like how Steven thinks! "When you have nothing else to post, post cheesecake!"

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Weer'd talks about why writers should know something about the guns their characters use.

When I was in high school, I remember a lecture given by a former teacher who used to run the Creative Writing class, Mort Castle. He talked about one story a student had written, about a guy who was going to assassinate the President. How?

With a "long-range shotgun with telescopic sight", from quite a long way away, on the order of a mile. Mr. Castle then proceeded to explain to us what was wrong with that picture, including the fact that even if a few pellets managed to hit the President, they would hit him with the velocity of raindrops. "Bip...bip bip WTF is it raining?"

"Deer slug"? From a mile away? Are you sure? But slug barrels are rifled, aren't they?

For the most part, when I have a character in a story armed, either I don't mention any specifics, or he carries something which doesn't exist.

My favorite weapon for the latter case is a catalytic laser; it uses a cartridge filled with reactants which--when mixed in the correct fashion--emit a pulse of laser energy carrying a few dozen watts or so. The laser doesn't burn flesh so much as it vaporizes it, leaving a wound behind that bleeds and (in the case of higher-powered weapons) causing a subcutaneous inflation that really messes shit up. (Because the flesh is vaporizing very quickly, the wound is pressurized and the pressure has to go somewhere. Basically, the target blows up.) Each cartridge is good for a multiple of shots, and depending on the configuration a typical gun can fire anywhere from 20-100 rounds before it needs reloading. Some are built to have multiple cartridges installed which the gun will change as needed, so a really high-end laser rifle could fire perhaps 400 or so rounds before reloading.

That one is a military-grade weapon, though, and most people use (to borrow the term from Traveller) slugthrowing weapons. Firearms, basically, good old-fashioned powder plus bullet in a convenient cartridge. Kinetic energy weapons, in other words. These are simple, easily manufactured, inexpensive, and do the job handily, which is why most people carry them.

And there are few restrictions on personal weaponry. Generally, if you can carry it, it's legal for you to carry--no papers, no registration, and no shock and dismay from casual observers as it's normal for people to be armed. Most places disallow things like hand grenades and other explosives, but if you want to tote around a fully-automatic AK-47 no one's going to stop you, or even remark on it (except maybe to ask, "Ain't that thing heavy?" because practical considerations still apply). Just, be ready to be gunned down by about half the room if you start shooting at people.

And the violent crime rate is effectively zero. There's still crime, of course, but it tends to be things like drug trafficking and burglary--essentially crimes where the risk of having to point a gun at someone is relatively low--rather than mugging, rape, robbery, and the like. "Burglary" meaning breaking in while no one's around and stealing stuff, where "robbery" involves sticking a gun in someone's face and saying, "Give me all your money!" Because in my SF world, sticking a gun in someone's face is a good way to get ventilated yourself.

I do like the idea of people looking at our hypothetical AK-47 carrier and saying "Geeze, why do carry that?" Not being critical; just wondering what the carrier gets out of lugging around a fully-automatic carbine (because they are heavy and bulky, even when slung over a shoulder) when he'd be just as safe carrying a semiautomatic pistol which would be less obtrusive and easier to use for self-defense.

Oh well.

* * *

Vox Day posts another bit on the Watts Up With That takedown of the BEST paper that claims global warming is real, happening now, and ALL YOUR FAULT!

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Liberal media is dying now that the public has a choice. Heh. Wish I could have shown this to Dad. He would have loved it.

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Oh well. Time to cook some food.

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