Most new gun laws since Sandy Hook shootings relax gun ownership restrictions

A year ago, Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Since then, every state has enacted at least one new gun law, writes The New York Times--and most of them loosen, rather than tighten, gun restrictions.

TSA seize tiny, itsy-bitsy gun from sock-monkey


The sock monkey above is called "Rooster Monkburn," and he was created by Phillis May, who makes a sells sock monkeys. When Ms May and her husband traversed the TSA checkpoint at SEA-TAC St Louis airport, an eagle-eyed TSA operative noticed that Rooster was sporting a sub-two-inch toy pistol, which she seized, threatening to call police. Altogether, now, everyone: U! S! A! U! S! A! U! S! A!

May said the TSA agent went through the bag, through the sewing supplies and found the two-inch long pistol.

“She said ‘this is a gun,’” said May. “I said no, it’s not a gun it’s a prop for my monkey.”

“She said ‘If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn’t know if it was real or not,’ and I said ‘really?’” said May.

The TSA agent told May she would have to confiscate the tiny gun and was supposed to call the police.

“I said well go ahead,” said May. “And I said really? You’re kidding me right, and she said no it looks like a gun.”

“She took my monkey’s gun,” said May, who has retained her sense of humor.

TSA agent confiscates sock monkey's toy pistol [Susan Wyatt/King 5 News]

(Thanks, Gary!)

(Image: Phyllis May)

Christmassy science fiction ebook to benefit Autism Speaks, in memory of teacher killed at Newton

Liz writes, "In the spirit of Charles Dickens, bestselling author Elizabeth Hand is donating all royalties from the new e-book edition of her holiday classic, Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol, to Autism Speaks in memory of Anne Marie Murphy, a high school classmate killed in the Newtown shootings. A finalist for the World Fantasy Award, Hand's modern carol recasts the original with a Joey Ramone wannabe, the ghost of a beloved childhood TV show, and the redemption of a father estranged from his autistic child. Reviewers call it 'a delight' and 'absolutely perfect reading.' 'There are people who reread 'Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol' every year, and that makes me happier than almost anything.' -Clarkesworld."

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NYPD shoot at unarmed man, hit bystanders, charge man for making them shoot


It's the most heartwarming NYC Christmas story since Miracle on 34th Street: the NYPD shot at a mentally disturbed, unarmed man who was lurching through traffic in Times Square. They ended up wounding a bunch of bystanders. So the DA charged the disturbed man with a felony because his conduct resulted in police officers shooting passersby. He faces 25 years in prison. The officers have been placed on "administrative leave," but their names are withheld because it might be hard on them, being known as the cops who were forced to shoot those bystanders by the unarmed man who was lurching through traffic in a state of mental breakdown.

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Assemblage sculpture raygun


The latest confection from mad steampunk sculptor and clockmaker Roger Wood is this spiffing assemblage raygun. Want.

Terrifying weapons made with objects from airport shops


Last March, Evan Booth presented a blockbuster talk at Kuala Lumpur's Hack the Box conference, explaining how to improvise lethal weapons from items in airport gift shops and duty-free stores. He's kept up the work since then on a website called Terminal Cornucopia, and he's presented 10 of his scariest weapons for a Wired story. And though the functional, breech-loading shotgun made from Red Bull cans, Axe body spray, and batteries (above) is impressive, it's only for beginners. There's also fragmentary grenades made from coffee tumblers, and a dart gun that uses braided condoms for its elastic.

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Study: racists more likely to own guns

"For each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home." [Discovery via Gawker]

19th century 9lb, 100-blade multitool with a pistol


This 9 lb, 1-foot-diameter "multi tool" was designed as a calling card by the F.W. Holler Company of Solingen, Germany, who were seeking to make a name for German knife manufacturers in Solingen (who had a centuries-long reputation for knifemaking) among the emerging market for Swiss Army Knives. It has 100 "blades," including a .22 revolver. And a straight razor.

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Manchester cops trumpet seized "3D printed gun" -- turns out to be parts for a 3D printer


Police in Manchester, UK made a huge show out of having seized a "3D printed gun." Then, it turned out that they'd just seized parts for a 3D printer. But it's still very scary, as Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood copsplains: it might have been a 3D printed gun, and they had "intelligence" about a 3D printed gun, and if we search the computers we stole, we might find plans for a 3D printed gun, and also, our botched, humiliating cockup "opens up a wider debate about the emerging threat these next generation of weapons might pose."

Thanks, Officer Hypothetical, for saving us from this dire threat!

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Guy who preemptively shot his BBQing neighbors says that self-defense includes killing people who pose "imminent" danger, like Saddam and drone-victims

You know how Obama and GWB's spin-doctors redefined "imminent" (as in "we attacked pre-emptively to prevent an imminent attack")? Well, if it's good enough for the Prez, it's good enough for Florida's neighbor-shooting yahoos. The yahoo in question is William T. Woodward, whose lawyer argues that he shot his neighbors while they were having a backyard barbecue because they were going to attack him. Eventually. Which is to say, imminently. And that, argues Mr Woodward's lawyers, is just self-defense as defined in Florida's "Stand Your Ground" laws.

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Bill to cut off funding to schools that ban brandishing a pastry in a gun-like manner


Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) has introduced legislation that would cut off funding to schools whose zero tolerance policies lead them to punish children for brandishing pastries in the manner of a gun, for making gun-fingers and saying "bang" (or similar), for pointing pretend guns that are smaller than 2" in length, drawing a picture of a gun, making a gun out of legos or pencils or whatnot, or wearing a t-shirt "that supports Second Amendment rights."

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Bullets underwater in super slow motion

The beauty of bullets fired through water in superrrrr slowwwwwwww motioooonnnnnnn…. [video link]

Hunting license for Fed drones

Deer Trail, a small town near Denver, is contemplating issuing $25/year hunting licenses for Federal drones. No drones are reported to have ever flown over Deer Trail, and it would likely be a federal crime to destroy one, but the mayor clearly views this as a way of sending a message to Washington, and of making some easy money for the town. (via MeFi) Cory 16

"Half of jury" wanted to convict Zimmerman, were talked out of it by others

From The Telegraph: "The juror, who appeared on CNN in silhouette to maintain her anonymity, disclosed how the three were talked out of convicting Mr Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, during more than 16 hours of deliberations. Her comments will stoke further controversy after she described how jurors found the laws "very confusing" and struggled to follow the judge's instructions."

Rifle umbrella

Rifleeeeeee

Poizen Industries' umbrella that looks like a rifle is probably a bad idea. But if you must. (Thanks, Sylvia Thompson!)