The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season

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August 7th

To date, this has been a relatively tranquil Atlantic Hurricane season. That is not unusual. It is typical for few named storms to form prior to August 1st, as shown in this graphic from Wikipedia:

Graph of tropical storm and hurricane frequency, Atlantic region, monthly, based on data from 1851-2017.

The National Hurricane Center tells us that “A tropical wave located just off the west coast of Africa is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the far eastern tropical Atlantic. Environmental conditions appear generally conducive for gradual development of this system while it moves westward to west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic, and a tropical depression could form around the middle part of this week.”

The next named storm will be called Danielle. Will it be this disturbance? Yes. Or no. We don’t know. Stay tuned.

June 24th

Although it is too early to say much, about half the known models now put this storm (as yet unnamed) strengthening to hurricane level, possibly reaching or going beyond Category 2. Most of the models also having it brushing the coast of South America and possibly making landfall in Central America, which is a bit odd.

June 23rd

There is a disturbance in the Atlantic.

It is off the coast of West Africa, and heading due west. It is expected to strengthen to Tropical Storm level and will probably be a named storm, but it may or may not become a hurricane. Then, early estimates suggest it will weaken. That does not rule out the possibility that this storm would then seed another cycle of strengthening, but it is way too early to say.

June 12

Sorry to intrude, and this is probably not a very important update, but here goes: There is nothing of interest happening in the Atlantic Basis with respect to tropical storms.

But, there is a new storm forming in the Eastern Pacific, and you know what happened last time that occurred! (See below.)

This newly forming storm is likely to become a tropical storm, but not likely to become a hurricane. It is likely to not land ashore, but it could bring some stormy conditions to Mexico’s pacific coast or along Central America’s coast. It is highly unlikely to make the transition to an Atlantic storm.

So, really, this wasn’t very interesting. Sorry.

June 5

Oh yea of little faith, shut up!

Alex Lives! Impressive and important Eastern Pacific Hurricane Agatha ran hard into Mexico, lingered as a giant wet spot over the land, emerged in along the Gulf/Caribbean border, rained on Florida, exited to the Atlantic, all the time being unnamable, but then got itself organized to become Alex the Tropical Cyclone!

So, one storm system, two names, each the first in it’s own basin for the year.

Alex nee Agatha will move across the mid Atlantic from west to east, menacing Bermuda, as a tropical storm, until it turns back into a tropical depression about a third of the way to Europe. There is a tropical storm warning in effect for Bermuda.

June 3

It turns out that the storm we have watching has failed to become sufficiently organized to be deemed a tropical cyclone. It remains a tropical storm, with several different centers, and is not expected to become a named storm. It will rain all over Florida, but will not exhibit the remarkable behavior of being the first of the season hurricane, or even just a named storm, in first the Eastern Pacific then the Atlantic.

June 1

This is the first day of the Atlantic Hurricane Season of 2022.

Nee Agatha is now heading towards the Atlantic the hard way, through the Yucatan. This is probably not good for the Yucatan. There is a high probability that this disturbance will turn into a namable tropical storm over the weekend or soon after. It would become Alex, unless another disturbance located near the Bahamas gets to that stage first (unlikely). For reference, here are the storm names for the Atlantic basin this year:

The list of names for 2022 is as follows:


Note that last year, the name “Ida” was retired from the list.

May 30

If you go right now (mid day Tuesday, 31 May, 2022) to the National Hurricane Center’s site and look at the Eastern Pacific and the Atlantic (go back and forth, look at Mexico) you’ll that the Pacific side shows the remains of Hurricane Agatha over the highlands, and being ripped apart into a possible tropical depression. Then, if you look at the Atlantic side you’ll see a “large and complex area of low pressure” that has a 70% chance of developing into some sort of tropical storm over the next 5 days.

And they are the same thing!

So, the first storm of the season in the Eastern Pacific basis, named Agatha, was the strongest storm recorded yet to hit the west coast of Mexico (most Eastern Pacific storms move westish and don’t hit Mexico), and that first storm of the season, a few days early by the way, is not crossing Mexico where, with good timing and the right conditions, it will become the first tropical storm for the season in the Atlantic.

I don’t think this has happened recently, if ever.

If and when this large and complex thing makes this transition, they will go from Agatha to Alex. Agatha will be Alex’s dead name, meteorologically speaking. Alex will have some work to do to break its own record, other than being a transitional Pacific to Atlantic storm, early in the season, and all that.

Of the too early to really use available models, most have Alex not developing past tropical storm strength, but some have it barely touching hurricane status. But if it is ever going to get to hurricane status, that would be in a few days from now. I wouldn’t put much faith in these predictions, either way, until at least two days from now, so mid day Thursday.

Those few models that have the storm moving away from the southern Gulf at all have it slicing Florida in half. Not literally, just in terms of its route. But again, tool early to say. This will be an interesting storm to track.

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Happy Anniversary Anthony Watts!

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One of the most odious individuals to exist on the Internet is Anthony Watts, climate science denier and all round ass.

But you knew that.

What you may not have been thinking when you woke up this morning, and you are forgiven since there are some other important things going on in this world, is that this is the approximate tenth anniversary of the end of Watt’s credibility, which also coincides with the end of Roger Pielke Sr’s credibility, and a few other related casualties of ill intentioned fake science.

I’m reminded of this fact by my friend Victor Venema, who woke up this morning with a blog post: The 10th anniversary of the still unpublished Watts et al. (2012) manuscript .

The object lesson from this anniversary: Science marches on while pesudoscience withers and dies.

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The Amazing Non PFAS Frying Pan

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If you manufacture or sell a product you’d like me to endorse, forget about it, I don’t generally do that. But every now and then I come across something I want to blog and brag about.

Friends, I want to tell you about this Amazing GreenPan Frying Pan* thingie. I needed a new non-stick frying pan. I hated the idea of getting a PFAS spewing cooking utensil. I did not want to spend a lot of money. The Amazing GreenPan Frying Pan* is a non-stick ceramic surface aluminum 10 incher with a glass cover.

The key term here, I think, is “GreenPan.” I don’t know anything about this company. Maybe they are evil, or green washing. But it seems pretty legit to me.

It is inert, has excellent heat distribution qualities, a nice fitting lid, does NOT go in the dishwasher but practically washes itself by hand (it is, after all, non-stick).

Apparently it was invented in 2007, so there is a good chance you have not bought a new frying pan since they existed. They sell all sorts of pans. I did not know about them. Maybe everybody else did but not me. But now I know and so do you as well.

I love my 10″ GreenPan with glass lid. No kidding.

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Horror, Fantasy, History, Cheap Books

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Lovecraft complete collection*

H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection Kindle Edition is probably a amazing horrible book. Or, at least a book of amazing horror.

Lovecraft is classic. Racist. I would say he is misogynistic but his literature regards women as virtually non-existent so maybe it is hard to tell. I find his the craft of Lovecraft so offensive in this regard, but the love of his writing so abiding in the science fiction community, that I decided to re-write The Call of Cthulhu. My version is novel length, and the main characters are two women. The setting is the modern era and there are no benighted wild natives. I’ve written one chapter. It will be a while before you can read it.

In the mean time, get Lovecraft’s complete works and verify my assertions.

In cased you needed the Chronicles of Narnia* in Kindle format for nearly free, here it is.

Burry My Heart at Wounded Knee* buy Dee Brown is also cheap right now, maybe free depending on your account.

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Is The US On The Verge Of A Civil War: Yes, apparently

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How Civil Wars Start* and how to stop them” is a new book by Barbara Walter. Not Barbara Walters, Barbara Walter.

I quote from recent WaPo article:

“[There is a] scale that goes from negative 10 to positive 10. Negative 10 is the most authoritarian, so think about North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain. Positive 10 are the most democratic. This, of course, is where you want to be. This would be Denmark, Switzerland, Canada. The U.S. was a positive 10 for many, many years. It’s no longer a positive 10. And then it has this middle zone between positive 5 and negative 5, which was you had features of both. … scholars found was that this …variable was really predictive of a risk for civil war. That full democracies almost never have civil wars. Full autocracies rarely have civil wars. All of the instability and violence is happening in this middle zone. “

The US is in or near the middle zone.

This idea makes a lot of sense. This appears to be a must read book.

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Moving The Dial Towards A Survivable Future

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Electric Cars are catching on. Survey says, 14% would by an eV right now if they are going to buy any car at all. See: Americans are coming around on electric cars. An additional 22% say they would seriously consider an eV. That adds up to a lot.

Deadline August 19th!!!!: President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is in place “Clean air advocates are trying to get the word out about the U.S. EPA’s 2022 Clean School Bus Program, which offers rebates to help public schools replace up to 25 diesel buses with electric, propane, or compressed natural gas vehicles.” (source) Call your state legislator and see if they are filling out all the forms to get this free money!

The Department of Energy wants to give money to states and tribes to fix up their grids. From Utility Dive:

The Department of Energy on Wednesday started taking applications from states, Native American tribes and U.S. territories to receive federal funding for projects to bolster grid resilience in the face of increasing power outages driven by extreme weather.

The funding, $2.3 billion over five years, can cover a range of projects including hardening the grid, building distributed energy resources and setting up microgrids.

With applications due by Sept. 30, the DOE said it will put a priority on projects that will generate the greatest community benefit in reducing the likelihood and consequences of power outages because of extreme weather or other disruptive events like cyberattacks.

The EPA is pushing TVA to build non-fossil fuel infrastructure instead of methane burning plants, to bolster its output. “EPA’s statements, filed last week, are the latest in a tug of war between the federal government and TVA over carbon-reduction efforts. They also follow comments by leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which pressed TVA in January to realign its trajectory to match the Biden administration’s goal of a decarbonized U.S. power sector by 2035” (source)

Starved of interest, another coal mine dies. Ironically named “Sunrise Coal” will not dig its Bulldog Mine, the permit to do so having expired. “Sunrise Coal did not break ground or request an extension, and the land reclamation bond has been returned, signaling a permanent end to the proposed mine.” (source)

San Luis Obispo City Council adopted the county’s first mandatory all-electric building code on July 5, following cities like Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles in passing near bans on natural gas infrastructure in new buildings.

“Starting in 2023, all new buildings in San Luis Obispo will have to be all-electric, with few exceptions. The policy—which has been under discussion in SLO for more than two years—is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector caused by natural gas appliances and their infrastructure.” (source)

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Help flip the Minnesota Senate

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Minnesota is the only state with a divided legislature, and with “off year” election syndrome, it is possible that we will turn all red this November. As one of the few pro-choice island states in a sea of red misogyny, not to mention anti-climate change and anti-gay and anti-trans and all the rest of it, we need to not only stay not-red, but even better, get all-the-way-blue!

Help us please.

Go to the link below and make a donation. This donation will be divided among the dozen or so Democratic Senate candidates that still need to reach a certain small donation minimum to qualify for state funding. This will help one or two of them win, and that is all we need to take the senate!!! While individual donations to a candidate must be a certain size, make whatever donation you want (the larger the better!) and your donation will be automatically divided among the candidates in proper proportion.

So your $50 ()or $500) donation to this link will save America! In part!

Even $10. Whatever you’ve got. There is a deadline, so please do this right away. Must be done by July 18th.

Thank you for saving us all!

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Cheap books of interest to you, I suspect UPDATED WITH GREAT NEW BOOKS

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The Dark Tower I* by Stephen King.

The Sands of Mars* by Arthur Clarke!

Shalimar the Clown* by Salman Rushdie.

The book of unnecessary quotation marks* by “Bethany Keeley” on sale in “Kindle” format!

Also: Stephen Fry’s Mythos* (Ancient Greek Mythology Book for Adults, Modern Telling of Classical Greek Myths Book) is on Kindle cheap. Also the Marvel Encyclopedia*.

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All Minnesota Republicans Have Extremist Anti-Women Positions

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GOP Extremist Erik Mortensen
“Mortensen [invited] Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison to his home for a Thanksgiving weekend party last year during the pandemic, in defiance of public health orders at the time that discouraged … gathering to limit the spread of COVID-19.” -Minnesota Reformer
As far as I can tell.

Want me to go over them one at a time? OK, fine.

Let’s start with The Mort.

Republican Minnesota House representative Erik “The Mort” Mortensen (Shakopee area, southeast of the Twin Cities)* wants all civil and legal rights granted to a fertilized human egg. Mortensen only barely won his most recent race, and is running for re-election against Brad Tabke, DFL endorsed**. Marijuana candidate Ryan Martin is also running in this race, and is likely to spoil the election for the DFL as he did last time, allowing a rabid anti-abortion member back into the house (and forestalling the legalization of Marijuana***).

Mortensen has staked out his position on abortion very clearly in legislation he has introduced: He intends to control women’s reproductive choice by using a draconian law, and will do so if the Extremist Republicans running in the North Star state take over the government.

GOP Extremist Erik Mortensen
Mortensen recently got into trouble for doxx’ing a fellow legislator in the Minnesota house. A DFL woman, of course. He has no sense of boundary or respect.
If you want to protect reproductive rights in Minnesota, consider helping out Brad Tabke in this key race. If you want to see Marijuana legalized in Minnesota, do not support the legalize marijuana candidate, that won’t do it.

There are Republicans who will tell you that Mortensen is not so much one of theirs. He has, in fact, been in big trouble with the Minnesota Republican caucus (in the house), but not because of his extreme policy views. Rather, he has complained openly to and about the Republican leadership, and how they handle the process of making sausage, er, laws, from bills. Mortensen, in effect, knows nothing about how the legislative process works, so when he sees something he does not understand, he thinks about it carefully and learns, becomming a better person. Only kidding. What he actually does is to go off the handle and complain. He is not smart enough to figure out what to actually get mad at vs. what to learn from.

The problem with the MN GOP washing their hands of Mort is that Mort is right on board policy wise, and is a leader in the anti-choice movement within the Party of Strong Dislike****. The abiding truth is that the Republican Party has a single position on each issue, and it is easily discerned: Whatever makes liberals cry. In this case, as they see it, taking away the rights from each and every woman and giving those rights to a cell.

GOP Extremist Erik Mortensen
Mortensen drew an HR complaint on his first day on the House Floor when he spoke inappropriately to two DFL women, one of which happened to be Speaker. What an offensive dummy.
*Fort those outside of Minnesota, that’s Erik with a “K,” which goes along with Mortensen with an “en,” and the town is not “Shake -0- pea” (like when you make a veggie smoothie with legumes) but rather “Shock -a- pee” (like when you are shocked about something and have to pee). We also pronounce the K in Knute and Knife. Well, one of those anyway.

** DFL is Minnesotan for “Democratic Party.”

*** Yes, there appear to have been times when a Republican faked being a legalize Marijuana candidate in order to help another Republican win, though I’m not saying this is the case here. But it is. This particular candidate, Ryan Martin, is known to be a Republican and has ties to a known spoiler of this nature who ran for Congress in Minnesota’s second Congressional district.

****(Minnesotan for “hate.”)

New House Republican caucus gives Shakopee lawmaker the boot

Shakopee GOP lawmaker doxxes DFL colleague in Facebook post, could face ethics complaint

Freshman Shakopee lawmaker jokes about getting HR complaint on first day

Emergence of ‘Mort’ draws scrutiny of race where pot candidate pulled votes

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How U2 saved us from the 80s

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I am not a music person, in that I can name musicians or songs, or, Heqet forbid, actually sing. In fact, music is to me something like tiny physics or higher math. I know it is interesting, and I like to read or watch well written stories about it, but don’t ask me to explain anything. So, if I were you, I’d stop reading this post right about now.

I am a fan of U2, and I had assumed I was a fan because they make good music. But more recently, I realized that I like U2 also because they saved us from the 1980s.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with Guns N’ Roses, Queen, Metalica, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Journey, or Motorhead. Probably. Well, to be honest, I can’t name a single song any of them ever made. But my impression is that most of these bands were continuing traditions that date back to the late 1960 (which ran from 1971 to 1977), and not doing a lot of innovation. Doesn’t matter, I’m not an expert. But I’m pretty sure U2 innovated.

Their greatest album is probably Joshua Tree. A couple of years ago I went to the Joshua Tree (revival?) concert performance at the Big Corporate Thingie Stadium* in Minneapolis. It was the best of concerts, it was the worst of concerts. Best because it was one of the great bands of the century (last century; too early to tell for this century) performing their arguably best album with all their own retrospect sewn in. Worst because Big Corporate Thingie Stadium was not built for musical performance despite the oversize duvet covers they hung on some of the walls. That stadium was built, more than any other stadium built to date since Roman times, to have the worst acoustics possible, which is necessary to confabulate the visiting offense during football games.

Eagle Rock produced a documentary on The Joshua Tree (1999), which includes conversations with U2’s members. (Did you know one of them is named The Edge? Well, that’s Mr Edge to you. Me and The, we’re on a first name basis. I wrote him a letter recently. It started out, “Dear The,” But I digress.) Anyway, the conversations are revealing because they pin down the ways U2 stepped aside from what was going on, musically, in the middle of the 1980s, and how they scraped against, and punctured through, the envelope everyone else was operating in. The thing is, U2’s hard turn from the usual direction “immediately catapulted the band into the category of rock superstars.” This catapulting caused the innovation by this group to be fully real, to not just fade away. Innovation, breaking away from traditional producing methods, paying attention to the rhythm section (aka drums), producing the album in a house instead of a studio, embracing encouragement over competition. All these things and more.

Joshua tree was in part a response to an ongoing takeover of of America by extremist Republicans (not recognized by most at the time) and similar deterioration of humanity going on elsewhere, and thumb in the nose to the stolid keepers of the musical way of the time (see list of bands above).

I won’t discuss the how or why here, but the album came along at a time in my life that was well suited to that particular soundtrack. That, however, means almost nothing compared to the meaning for the mothers in Chile.

A century and a half ago, my ancestors came forth on this continent because they chose a risky move over near certain starvation in Ireland. Just under a half century ago my distant cousins came forth to address America with a series of questions and inspirations. When you think about it, there is nothing more American than starvation. It also turns out that there is nothing more American than a foreign band adopting us as their errand child. Also, just so you know, Yucca brevifolia is endemic, nothing more American than the Joshua tree.

Songs on this album:
Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
With or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running to Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Mothers of the Disappeared

U2 Band Members past and present:
Ethe Edge
Adam Claton
Larry Mullen Jr
Dik Evans
Ivan McCormick

*I prefer not to partake in the “naming rights” scam, thank you. I refer here to the stadium the Vikings play in.

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Cheap On Kindle: Vonegut and Marvel

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Cover of Galapagos by Kurt VonegutCheap: Galapagos* by Kurt Vonnegut. If you have not read this novel, just read this novel. Don’t deprive your Big Brain.

Cheap: Marvel Myths and Legends*: The epic origins of Thor, the Eternals, Black Panther, and the Marvel Universe, Kindle edition, by James Hill might be necessary background reading if you care about the origins of Thor, The Eternals, Black Panther, etc. If you use primarily a Paperwhite Kindle, I would not recommend this book. If on the other hand you typically read ebooks on your computer using an open-source ebook reader or the like, or a Kindle Fire*, then you may enjoy the graphics.

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Kolata’s Flu and Shutt’s Heart: Two great books cheap

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Flu* by amazing science writer Gina Kolata, is currently available cheap in kindle form. This book takes you up to a critical point in time in the understanding of the influenza pandemic of 1918. A lot of things were discovered after Gina’s book came out, so it is admittedly not current, but it is nonetheless a classic.

Also on sale, the very recently released Pump* by Bill Schutt (see also our Ikonoklast interview)

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Some really interesting (mostly science) currently cheap on Kindle books about dinos, brains, electricity, and one novel.

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The Complete Dinosaur, an edited volume.* Editors: Thomas H oltz, James Farlo, Bob Walters and Michael Brett, is currently on sale in kindle form, and it looks like a great value. I don’t know the book, but I looked through the sample and bought it.

In a completely different vein, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil* the classic best seller by John Berendt is also available cheap in kindle form.

The Spark of Life* by Frances Ashcroft covers electricity’s role in physiology, focusing on the human body.

And finally, What makes your brain happy and why you should do the opposite* by David DiSalvo, newly updated and revised.

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It is wrong to automatically assume an automatic rifle is the worst case scenario

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If you pull the trigger of a rifle and it shoots, and then you have to add a new bullet to shoot again, you might be firing an old fashioned weapon (that may not even be a rifle, technically) and you are probably a hobbyist.

If you pull the trigger of a rifle and it shoots, and then you have to wiggle a metal object around to move a bullet from a storage area within the firearm, into the chamber from which it can be shot, you are using a non-automatic rifle, and you might be living in the old days (as a soldier) or perhaps you are a hunter, because many excellent hunting rifles work this way. It is also possible that you are a sniper of some kind, depending.

If you pull the trigger of a rifle and it shoots a bullet, and then you pull it again and it shoots one more bullet, and so on, with no additional wiggling of metal parts, you are firing a semi-automatic rifle, or at least, a rifle in semi-automatic mode. This is the ideal rifle for accurately hitting several targets, and if the rifle has a couple of additional design features, it may be the ideal rifle for killing the maximum number of people in a given killing bout.

Like for instance, a classroom full of students or a church full of worshippers or a grocery store full of shoppers.

If you choose, instead, to fire a fully automatic rifle in that school room, church, or grocery store, then you are being a firearms idiot. A rifle on a fully automatic setting fires a lot of bullets all in a short time when you pull the trigger. Most of the bullets will miss their targets, and you will run out of bullets really quickly. The students, churchgoers, or grocery shoppers will duck out of the way, and then when you are out of bullets they will (hopefully) swarm you and rip out your liver.

In fact, an automatic rifle is not really designed, while in full-auto mode, to fire at targets, so much as it is designed to fill the air over and near a target.

Does this seem wrong to you? If so, that could be because you, as a non-gun nut, have fallen into a trap frequently set by gun-nut trolls.

You may ask, if a fully automatic rifle is not an effective means of killing school children, then what kind of rifle should I get for that job? (If you were actually thinking that, call 911 and turn yourself in.)

The misconception arises because non experts tend to put rifles on a spectrum, where on one end is the musket like firearm, in the middle are non-automatic and semi-automatic rifles, and at the far end is a fully automatic rifle such as the MG34, one of the earlier fully automatic war machines that could fire over a thousand bullets a minute. Clearly, the rifles on that high-yield end of the spectrum are best for a mass murder, right?

No, actually. Fully automatic fire is not for killing. It is for suppressing. Consider this scenario. Eight or so soldiers are advancing into a village they intend to occupy. A couple of them are carrying radios, or are medics, or in charge, or whatever. Most of them are carrying fully automatic rifles but set on semi-automatic, so they will be shooting one bullet at time. Two of them are carrying the same rifle, but set on full auto.

They are all hiding behind trees and rocks. The enemy is in sight, so if they advance, they will be shot at. So one of the full auto soldiers pulls out from cover an fires a burst of automatic fire in the general direction of the enemy, and ducks back down, while the other full auto soldier then does the same. They take turns doing this, and the enemy keeps their heads down because they are being suppressed. And maybe repressed too, depending.

Meanwhile, while these two are blasting thin air with lead, the other soldiers with the semi-auto settings turned on, don’t fire their rifles, but they run ahead to a better, closer location with a view of the enemy. The enemy did not see this because they were busy ducking. Then, a bit later, the semi-auto soldiers start picking off the enemy, one carefully fired bullet at a time.

The enemy backs off a ways, maybe one or more are wounded or killed, by they are hit by the soldiers firing one bullet at a time, and NOT by the “bam bam bam” fully automatic soldier.

So, when gun nuts* try to tell you that everything is OK because automatic weapons are not legal, only semi-automatic, you may want to tell them that you already know that the ideal killing machine in a school classroom, temple, grocery store, or nightclub is a semi-automatic assault style rifle, not an automatic weapon, and if you are using an automatic rifle, better set it on semi-auto mode to maximize the number of people you are going to tear apart with bullets.

*I chose the term “gun nut” to single out people who are not merely pro-gun, but rabidly so. Pro-gun people are not necessarily anti-gun regulation.

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