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Gender: Male
Hometown: California
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 26,396

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Journal Archives

What types of guns are turned in at San Francisco buybacks?

As San Francisco prepares for its fifth gun buyback this Saturday, organizers released statistics that give a window into what type of firearms have been taken out of circulation in the past.

The stats appear to suggest that though these arenít necessarily street guns on the brink of being used in crimes, they often werenít being stored securely in homes, and their disposal made people feel safer.

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The surveys found cash wasnít the primary reason people handed over firearms ó just 16 percent said money was the main driver. Safety was the bigger motivation, with many saying they were given the gun but didnít want it, or that they had changed their mind after buying one. A few said they found an unwanted gun in their house or yard.

The guns were typically older models, not of the type usually used for crime, and those who turn in weapons are sometimes older and not in more crime-prone age groups. The San Francisco surveys found that nearly two-thirds of sellers were over 50, with just 4 percent coming from people 18 to 29.

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No major surprises, but a fairly comprehensive set of data. Supports (IMO) the conclusion that 'buy-backs' aren't likely to have much crime impact, but do have the benefit of improving household safety on an individual basis...

25 bears hit by cars in Yosemite,10,000 deer killed in state; how to avoid them

Every now and then, there comes a moment where you hear something so outrageous that it feels like youíve been grabbed by the ears and lifted right off the ground.

One of those moments came last week in a memo from Yosemite National Park that reported that 25 bears have been hit by cars this year in the park. Thatís one for every week of summer. In addition, about 10,000 deer a year are hit and killed on California roadways.

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Not exactly rocket science, but the numbers surprised me. And I have to confess that when I've already driven 3-4 hours across the Valley to get to a trailhead, I don't drive as slowly as I could on the final approaches...

A parched farm town is sinking, and so are its residents' hearts (LA Times)

Beneath this small farm town at the end of what's left of the Kings River, the ground is sinking.

Going into the fourth year of drought, farmers have pumped so much water that the water table below Stratford fell 100 feet in two years. Land in some spots in the Central Valley has dropped a foot a year.

In July, the town well cracked in three places. Household pipes spit black mud, then pale yellow water. After that, taps were dry for two weeks while the water district patched the steel well casing.

In September, the children of migrant farmworkers who usually come back to Stratford School a few weeks late, after the grape harvest, never came back at all.

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Really heart-breaking portrait of the ongoing drought...
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