American Gun Control in 2018

Since I haven’t seen anyone able to get their shit together and make the case defending legislature – nor any advocates get their shit together and clearly state what exactly they’re asking for, here’s the lowdown on gun control.

The reason it seems like no one is doing anything about this is because no one knows what to do. There are strong federal (NICS) checks for every primary market gun sale, and secondary market loopholes account for only 2% of convicted gun crimes – none of which being high profile massacres.

Here’s an article detailing how legal weapons used in recent massacres were obtained.

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/02/16/us/ap-us-school-shooting-how-they-got-their-guns.html

The majority suggest not a failure of laws – but of systems, databases, and interagency communication. Systems need streamlining, and mistakes were made, but none of them seem to be the result of overly lax laws. There’s been a political meme about Trump lifting a rule preventing some disabilities from buying guns. This Vox article tries to set the record straight by holding that the rule in question would have “done nothing to prevent the Parkland shooting and would have set a dangerous precedent restricting the rights of people with disabilities without due process.”

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/2/6/14522132/gun-control-parkland-disabilities-republicans-nra-obama-liberty

One of the defining lines here is urban versus rural. Of course people living in densely populated apartment buildings don’t want to worry about their neighbors having guns. Of course people out in the country where the police take 25+ minutes to respond would like to have surer means of defending themselves. That’s why handling this federally doesn’t make sense.

Now I won’t make farfetched anecdotes about being in bear country (bear spray is more effective), nor a long-irrelevant tirade about protecting ourselves from a tyrannical government (if the U.S. Govt. is going to kill you, they’re going to kill you. Plus the police and military aren’t going to unjustly take up arms against U.S. citizens). And both sides pretend that there’s a possibility that we’ll ban guns and then go door to door collecting them from citizens. If you’re worried about this you’re paranoid, if you’re suggesting this, you’re stupid. Ironically, this is the first thing I imagine that would trigger people into justifying defending themselves against a tyrannical government, and the bloodshed would far outweigh the gun violence we see in America today.

Laws get murky and ineffectual when they concern themselves with loose categorizations such as “assault weapons”. There is nothing special about an AR-15 other than generally looking more militant. They’re high-powered and semi-automatic, but there isn’t much practicality, political or otherwise, in banning all high-powered semi automatic rifles. There are hundreds of millions of guns in the U.S. and there will always be ways to easily obtain them, no matter how much you restrict the legal marketplace.

So if that is where the argument has arrived at, then I’m going to go ahead and vote no, banning the sale of all semi automatics, be it of a certain caliber threshold – or banning them altogether, will probably not stop mass shootings. I may be wrong.

The problem we have is indeed a problem of culture and mental health, peppered by tragedies which are enabled by the prolificity of firearms in our country. As with most issues, neither side is particularly right or wrong, These issues are complex. It isn’t a question of morals, but of logistics and irregular loss functions. I don’t believe one side is less upset at dead kids than the other. We’re all frustrated because the other side seems so unreasonable, but they aren’t. This spreads to every issue. We react to what we perceive as wildly off base and out of touch, and we allow it to reinforce our own beliefs.

I may be wrong. Maybe it is as simple as giving up our ballistic toys. Maybe it is as simple as allowing a conversation about what’s pushing the less stoic of young white males to lash out so awfully. But this isn’t about being right or wrong, it’s about convincing all of you to get a goddamn grip. Breathe. Think wholesomely. Question your viewpoints. Consider Everything. Sure as shoot question the articles you read, the talk radio you listen to. Aimless wales and heated rants are about as useful as thoughts and prayers.

So what can be done? I don’t have many suggestions. Perhaps move centerfire semi-automatic rifle sales laws to be on par with restrictions on handguns (Higher age, longer wait to purchase). Perhaps enforce secure storage of guns. Perhaps punish failure to report stolen firearms on the first offense. Unfortunately, any of these restrictions on citizens that concern themselves with the law will have little affect on those who already don’t, which both eats away at our freedom and fixes nothing.

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How to Install Operating Systems to USB drives and SD Cards. [Proficient]

Novice | Proficient | Expert

¥ is a variable for the disk you’re using. The red texts are commands for a terminal.

Linux

list the currently mounted partitions
df -h

unmount the disk you’re writing to
umount /dev/sdd¥

write the image file to your unmounted drive
dd bs=4M if=/Users/You/Desktop/anOS.image of=/dev/sdd¥

OS X

list the currently mounted partitions
diskutil list

unmount the disk you’re writing to
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk¥

zero out the disk in a once over
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk¥ bs=1024 count=1

write the image file to your unmounted drive
sudo dd if=/Users/You/Desktop/anOS.img  of=/dev/disk¥ bs=4m

Windows

run a program called Diskpart
Diskpart

list the currently mounted partitions
list disk

select the disk you’re writing to
select disk ¥

write zeros over the drive
clean

create a new scheme
create partition primary
select partition 1

configure the partition
active
format fs=fat32
assign letter=y

exit the program
exit

How to Install Operating Systems to USB drives and SD Cards. [Novice]

Novice | Proficient | Expert

This guide details an common way to write disk images, raw files, or binary to any removable data drive. Some things to take note of before you continue:

  • The character ¥ is used as a stand in for the number of whatever disk you determine to be yours. Where sda¥ is written could mean you’re looking for sda2 or disk3 or something crazy like mm39fda4clp.
  • Be sure of which device is yours before manipulating it, because if you have the wrong disk you could accidentally delete everything ever. So take care.
  • Red Texts are commands to be entered in Terminal or Command Prompt
  • First make sure your download file is an image (.img .dmg .iso etc.) and not an archive (.zip .tar.gz .rar etc.)
  • If it is an archive you’ll have to uncompress it. Most Operating Systems will have native zip support, but if you run into something more exotic try Keka for Mac OS or 7-Zip for Windows.

Linux

Open a terminal. From the taskbar or your applications folder or search it or something.

List your connected disk partitions by inputing this command and hitting enter
df -h

Identify which disk you’re trying to write to. if you can’t figure it out by looking at the storage size and format, you can unplug it and run the df -h command again to see the one that disappears. But plug it back in.

Keep it plugged in, but unmount it from your system by entering the path of whichever drive you just determined it was.
sudo umount /dev/sdd¥

Write your chosen disk image file to the drive using dd, but make sure you’ve chosen the correct drive. Replace the if=path/path with the location of your image file. You may be able to drag and drop the image file after if= to insert the path.
sudo dd bs=4M if=/Users/You/Desktop/anyOS.image of=/dev/sdd¥

OS X

Open a Terminal. From the Dock or from your Applications folder or hit Command+Space and search for it.

List your connected disk partitions by inputing this command and hitting enter
diskutil list

Identify which disk you’re trying to write to. if you can’t figure it out by looking at the storage size and format, you can unplug it and run the diskutil list command again to see the one that disappears. But plug it back in.

Keep it plugged in, but unmount it from your system by entering the path of whichever drive you just determined it was.
sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk¥

Write zeros over the drive to “clean” the data off of it. Sometimes dd has problems on Mac if you skip this step.
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk¥ bs=1024 count=1

Write your chosen disk image file to the drive using dd, but make sure you’ve chosen the correct drive. Replace the if=path/path with the location of your image file. You may be able to drag and drop the image file after if= to insert the path.
sudo dd if=/Users/You/Desktop/anyOS.img  of=/dev/disk¥ bs=4m

Windows

If you’re on Windows probably just use the Win32DiskImager to create your boot media or whatever you’re doing. Run it as an administrator, choose your image file and make sure you choose the correct drive letter and click write.

How to Install Operating Systems to USB drives and SD Cards. [Expert]

Novice | Proficient | Expert

¥ is your disk.

Linux

df -h
umount /dev/sdd¥

dd bs=4M if=/Users/You/Desktop/anOS.image of=/dev/sdd¥

OS X

diskutil list
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk¥
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk¥ bs=1024 count=1
sudo dd if=/Users/You/Desktop/anOS.img  of=/dev/disk¥ bs=4m

Windows

Diskpart
list disk
select disk ¥
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active
format fs=fat32
assign letter=y
exit

Reading Response 4: Usability & Accessibility

PROMPT: What is usability? What is accessibility? Have you ever considered the usability of the websites you visit? Why is it important for web designers/writers to consider the usability of their sites? What design principles or general information did you learn about from the Universal Usability chapter and the w3 website that you found most useful or applicable to Project 2? What strategies did you learn about for testing the usability of a site that you might use as you work on Project 2?

Reading Response 3: Ethics to Personal Site

PROMPT: How did this week’s readings change, complicate, and/or complement your existing knowledge or thoughts on ethics and copyright in regard to text and image use online? Spend your (minimum 200-word) response this week highlighting what you found most important about the “Image Manipulation” and “Copyright” readings for this week. Some possible questions you could consider: Is seeing believing? What are minor or “acceptable” alterations for images? What’s “OK” in regard to borrowing, using, repurposing, etc. text/content online? You might even consider: What about the ethics of borrowing others’ coding? How is that the same and/or different from writing? (We realize, of course, that there may not be straightforward or clear-cut “right” and “wrong” answers to these questions. But what would you do if you were faced with a decision about what is OK or not in a given situation?)

Yes, yes, I’ll get to it.

South Pacific Website Prototype

I’ve thrown together this website concept for the musical South Pacific using the InVision platform, which my autocorrect would have you believe is called invasion.

Invision Live Prototype

So the first step of mounting an invasion – I mean building with InVision, is knocking out their communication – I mean… drawing up our main page in Photoshop.

I’ve taken a stock image of a bay, presumably somewhere in the pacific since that was my search term. It wasn’t quite the relative height and width that I needed so I added on some 150px to the right side, and used the clone tool and the spot healing brush to continue the image and mend the break. Then I brought my new, slightly wider bay image into Illustrator and applied an Image Trace to make it cartoony / vectory.

The design concept is alright, but it doesn’t function really in InVision like it would be able to in html. I’d like the bay image to be a fixed height but expand with screen width. The text of the navigation bar would be fixed at the top – but only the text, not what’s behind it. And the secondary pages (history & lyrics) would have the vectory bay image fixed in the background, filling up the entire page, and only the grey overlay box and text would scroll.