Information Net for June 25

FBI Violent-crime Rates Show Safer Nation with More Gun Owners

By Emily Miller

Read by MARTHA KJ4RIQ

English: The Seal of the United States Federal...

Seal of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (credit: Wikipedia)

Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.“This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI’s violent-crime rates,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.”Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have “shall issue” laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.

Read by DENNIS KF4CSR

If the gun grabbers were right, we’d be in the middle of a crime wave, considering how many guns are on the streets. “Firearms sales have increased substantially since right after the 2008 election,” said Bill Brassard, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents the $4 billion firearms and ammunition industry. “There was a leveling off in 2010, but now we’re seeing a surge again.”The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) serves as one of the best indicators of gun sales because it counts each time someone buys a gun. Checks hit an all-time high of 16.5 million last year. In the first five months of this year, the numbers have gone up 10 percent over the same period last year as Americans rush to the gun store in case President Obama decides to exercise “more flexibility” in restricting guns in a second term.Gun manufacturing is the one private-sector industry “doing fine” on Mr. Obama’s watch. Sturm, Ruger & Co. sold 1 million firearms in the first quarter of 2012 – an amazing 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011.

Read by LARRY KC4ZOA

The jump was so steep that the company stopped accepting orders from March to May to catch up with demand for its products. Last month, Smith & Wesson announced a firearm-order backlog of approximately $439 million by the end of April, up 135 percent from the same quarter in 2011. Sales in that period were up 28 percent from 2011 and 14 percent over its own predictions to investors. NSSF estimates the industry is responsible for approximately 180,000 jobs and has an annual impact on the U.S. economy of $28 billion.Mr. Obama could honestly take credit for this jobs program, economic boost and the reduction in violent crime that has followed the spike in gun ownership on his watch. Instead, he’s silent about his greatest positive accomplishment.

Hurricane Station WX4NHC Annual Station Test a Success

Read by RICK N9GRW

Each year prior to hurricane season, the Amateur Radio station WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, conducts a major on-the-air exercise to test all of its radio equipment, antennas and computers, and to practice some of the procedures used during actual hurricane operations. This year was no exception. Julio Ripoll, WD4R, the station’s assistant coordinator, filed a report with the ARES E-Letter.

“We did have a malfunction of one of our main computers that is used for EchoLink and APRS during the test due to a faulty fan that caused it to overheat. We reverted to the use of a back up computer to resume operation on the EchoLink/IRLP Hurricane Net that was in progress without missing any contacts. This was good practice of using our backup systems while we were on the air. The faulty main computer is being replaced this week.”Ripoll reported 144 contacts on HF and 59 on EchoLink/IRLP during the test event. “We also received reports via our on-line reporting webpage, Winlink, APRS and e-mail. Stations contacted were from many states, from the west coast to New England, Canada and the Caribbean islands.”

Read by JERRY KE4ETY

“We were surprised and honored to receive a very special weather report from N2OBS in Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, who relayed our appreciation and best wishes to the men and women in uniform there,” said Ripoll. “It was also great to speak with Jean-Robert, HH2JR, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Father John, HH6JH, on Ile de Vache, who were so instrumental to our UM/Medishare Ham Radio Mission after the Haiti Earthquake.” “Mike Kelley, KJ4YDX, Vice Chairman of Medical Administration for the University of Miami and former Chief Operations Officer for the UM/Medishare Haiti Mission, spoke with both Jean-Robert and Father John about the past and current UM/Medishare field hospital missions in Haiti and thanked them for their help with the HH2/WX4NHC communications.”

Ripoll concluded: “WX4NHC, a group of 30 volunteer Amateur Radio operators at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) appreciated all of the participation and support of the stations that contacted us during our annual test and look forward to their continuing support during the rest of the hurricane season.” [Information on the National Hurricane station WX4NHC and an on-line hurricane report form can be found here. – ed.]

Surplus Pub-Safety Radios

Read by NICKI KF4DHK

Has your emcomm group taken advantage of the surplus Public-Safety radios that are being taken out of service? The Muskegon County (Michigan) Emergency Communication Services EmComm group has been using non-compliant commercial transceivers for APRS Digis, APRS trackers, WinLink 2000 go kits, packet operations, portable transceivers, repeaters, portable repeaters, and provides a newly licensed ham with a radio to use until they purchase one.

The FCC has mandated that commercial and public safety users must have their radio systems upgraded to the new narrowband emission standards by January 1, 2013. This mandate applies to users in the VHF 150 MHz and UHF 450 MHz bands. Only a small group of users within these bands are not required to migrate to narrowband emissions such as GMRS, FRS, Marine transceivers, and NOAA weather transmitters.

Set up a meeting with your emergency management agency contact to ask what their plans are for disposing of the non-narrow band equipment. If they have no plans, put a written plan together for donating the radios to your group, emphasizing the benefits to both organizations. Hopefully the decision makers will see the many uses of this older equipment to your group versus being sent to the salvage yard.

Read by GEORGE KC4TMV

After you have secured the equipment one of the first requirements will be to have the radios “wiped clean” of their public-safety frequencies. Agencies with a radio shop might even re-program the radios to your frequencies, or you might already have members of your group that have the necessary equipment for re-programming.

Most commercial radio equipment is capable of being used in the Amateur Radio bands. There are many advantages to using commercial equipment. Two of the many benefits are the capability of operating in congested RF environments, and this is a simple radio to operate for the new ham/emcomm member.– James C. Duram, K8COP, Emergency Coordinator, RACES Radio Officer, Professional Emergency Manager (PEM), Communications Unit Leader (COM-L); Muskegon County Emergency Communication Services, Inc., Muskegon, Michigan.

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