The Reagan assassination attempt occurred on Monday, March 30, 1981, just 69 days into the presidency of Ronald Reagan. While leaving a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., President Reagan and three others were shot and wounded by John Hinckley, Jr. Reagan suffered a punctured lung and heavy internal bleeding, but prompt medical attention allowed him to recover quickly. No formal invocation of presidential succession took place, although Secretary of State Alexander Haig controversially stated that he was "in control here" while Vice President George H. W. Bush returned to Washington. Ultimately nobody was killed in the attack, though Press Secretary James Brady was left paralyzed and permanently disabled. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and remains confined to a psychiatric facility.
On November 30, 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 was signed into law. The Brady Act required the United States Attorney General to establish a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to contact for information to be supplied immediately as to whether the transfer of a firearm would violate federal or state law. Through a cooperative effort with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Department of Justice; and state and local law enforcement agencies, the FBI developed the NICS which was implemented on November 30, 1998.
The way an NICS instant background check works is like this. Once a buyer and a seller are prepared to complete a transfer, the seller (or a FFL acting on their behalf) contacts the FBI system by telephone. First, the FFL confirm their identity with his FFL number and super-secret-password. Once the FFL's identity has been verified, they provide the buyer's name, date-of-birth, sex and race of the buyer and the type of transfer (handgun or rifle/shotgun). A buyer with a common name may be asked to provide their Social Security number to help speed the check; this is one of the times I'm grateful to be named Ernie. The NICS operator will check the buyer's info against a database of prohibited persons. If there is no match the sale will be approved, and the system will assign a transaction control number to document the approval. The FFL will log that control number on the form 4473, and the the buyer and seller go on about their merry ways. However when a match occurs -- the check turned up information that requires further review by an analyst -- the dealer will receive instruction to delay the transaction. While the law provides three business days for the FBI to respond, the FBI anticipates that virtually every delay will be handled within a day. This FBI agent John does a pretty good job of explaining why most denials happen. Dealers are required to maintain completed forms for 20 years in the case of completed sales and 5 years where the sale was denied by the NICS check coming back disapproved or other disqualifying information.
Now while some people such as Little Wayne don't give a fuck, other people -- myself included, to be completely honest -- are not comfortable with having a written record of every firearm I own. And I this not a new concern either; director John Milius gave voice his concerns over the Form 4473 in his 1984 film Red Dawn, where form 4473 is specifically mentioned as being used by an invading Soviet army to track down civilians who own guns. "Colonel Bella: Yes, yes. Go to the sporting goods store. From the files obtain forms 4473. These will contain descriptions of weapons, and lists of private ownership."
Keep in mind that when the NICS system was first conceived in 1993, it shared its playpen with it were 66Mhz Pentium CPUs and 14.4 baud modems. And five years later when NICS was actually rolled out, Intel had just released the Pentium III which were sending those bits onto the information superhighway via 56k dialup modems. Point being it wasn't technologically possible to offer both speedy results and privacy at the same time; a centrally maintained database was the only feasible solution. But now your new 4G smartphone has more processing power and more bandwidth than the 1998 computers performing NICS background checks. And a new Intel Xeon E5 (@ 2.90 GHz) has a CPU benchmark score of 16609, while the fastest Pentium III (@1400 MHz) benchmarks at 328 on the same test; that's a 50x fold increase. Likewise global internet speeds are on the rise and 56k modems have given way to 50Mb broadband connections giving a 1,000 increase. So, there is a new movement to revamp the instant background check process and provide some measure of privacy for firearm owners -- a new system called Blind Identification Database System is gaining momentum; where as instead of maintaining one single central database of people to be prevented from purchasing a firearm, an encrypted copy of that database is dispersed out to the FFLs who perform the check locally. Complete privacy is achieved while at the same time preventing firearms from falling into dangerous hands. Everybody wins.
I run a small manufacturing plant near Bel Air, Maryland, 25 miles northeast of Baltimore, Maryland. I was driving down US 1 to northeast Baltimore when I saw this political statement by the roadside. I was LMFAO so bad I had to stop and take a picture. Maryland is a blue state …its so blue it makes California look red. Ein
In 1901, William S. Harley, age 22, drew up plans for a small engine with a displacement of 7.07 cubic inches and four-inch flywheels. The engine was designed for use in a regular pedal-bicycle frame. Over the next two years, Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson worked on their motor-bicycle using the northside Milwaukee machine shop at the home of their friend, Henry Melk. It was finished in 1903 with the help of Arthur's brother, Walter Davidson. Upon testing their power-cycle, Harley and the Davidson brothers found it unable to climb the hills around Milwaukee without pedal assistance. They quickly wrote off their first motor-bicycle as a valuable learning experiment. Work immediately began on a new and improved second-generation machine that following year. And now 110 years later, Harley Davidson is planning one hell of a party to celebrate their birthday.
Coffee from the western-most islands in Indonesia is intriguing and complex, due to the large number of small-holder producers and the unique wet hulling processing technique they use. At the green bean stage, coffee from this area has a distinctive bluish color, which is attributed to processing method and lack of iron in the soil. Coffees from Sumatra are known for smooth, sweet body that is balanced and intense. Depending on the region, or blend of regions, the flavors of the land and processing can be very pronounced. Notes of cocoa, tobacco, smoke, earth and cedar wood can show well in the cup. Occasionally, Sumatran coffees can show greater acidity, which balances the body. This acidity takes on tropical fruit notes and sometimes an impression of grapefruit or lime.
Twenty years ago, Ciudad Juarez was a quiet border town with a growing tourism industry. The past two decades have turned it into a battleground and filled its hospitals with gun and knife injuries. After President Calderon launched a war on drug cartels in 2006, deploying 5,000 troops on the streets, Juarez has seen over 8,000 people killed in drug-related violence. Abductions of those considered wealthy are a daily occurrence, including doctors and nurses. While many medical professionals have left and clinics are forced to close as a result, institutions that remain, like Juarez General, are patrolled by heavily armed guards. In 2012 it was announced that homicides had halved in Juarez since 2010, but the direct cause and effect of this drop remains unclear. At present, Juarez is still one of the most dangerous places on earth for medical professionals.
Organizing tip: Leave yourself a post it note by the door with what you need to take with you in the morning, so you don't forget as you leave the house!
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