Posts belonging to Category Things That Go Bang

Happy New Year… Have A Blast!

For once, an SMS text from a cellular provider proved useful:

A “Black Widow” suicide bomber planned a terrorist attack in central Moscow on New Year’s Eve but was killed when an unexpected text message set off her bomb too early, according to Russian security sources.

The unnamed woman, who is thought to be part of the same group that struck Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Monday, intended to detonate a suicide belt near Red Square on New Year’s Eve in an attack that could have killed hundreds.

Security sources believe a message from her mobile phone operator wishing her a happy new year received just hours before the planned attack triggered her suicide belt, killing her at a safe house.

I can visualize the text: HNY. HV A BLST.  LOL 😉

Snares For The Unwary

One of the things that I absolutely hate about Texas law is the pansy-ass way we treat fireworks.  They can only be sold during certain dates around Christmas and Independence Day, and a large number of cities and towns not only ban their use in the city limits, they also ban simple possession.

I can understand the prohibition on using fireworks in town, given that urban environments are not the best places for them.  But the possession ban is bad because it creates a legal nightmare for people who are traveling and have to go through one or more cities to get from point A (where they are legal) to point B (where they are also legal).  If caught in one of these cities, someone simply transporting fireworks could end up having them confiscated and find themselves being issued a fairly expensive ticket (I seem to recall McKinney posting a sign touting a $250 fine).  Worse, some cities (*cough* Waco *cough*) have even gone so far as to sit outside fireworks stands and follow people (who were just passing through) into town to confiscate their fireworks and fine them.  It was so bad at one point that one Waco fireworks stand owner was sending out decoys so that his real customers could escape. 

If I had my way, Texas law would be changed to treat fireworks more like firearms.  Texas cities are forbidden by law from prohibiting possession of firearms, but they do have the ability to regulate the discharge of firearms in the city limits.  The current system just encourages contempt for the law, in that I have absolutely no compunction about violating one of these stupid ordinances when I’m traveling and I happen to have fireworks.  Of course some people might say that you shouldn’t travel with fireworks and that you should just buy them close to where you’re going to use them.  My response to that is that there are some serious fireworks stores out on I-20 that have a massive selection that is hard to match elsewhere (although I noticed this year that one has sprouted up in Big Sandy, so perhaps I could get them there in future).  Further, bans on simple possession of some item when it is not being used in a harmful manner (or not being used at all), are not compatible with a truly free society.