With all of the discussion the past few days concerning the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut the media and elected officials are emotionally reacting with suggestions that the solution to Newtown and mass shootings in general, is to ban military-style “assault weapons”. This emotional reaction is understandable but nonetheless, trampling on the Constitutional Rights of citizens is always wrong and makes for poor public policy.
According to the Center for Disease Control, falling out of bed accounts for 450 deaths each year. According to the FBI, last year only 358 people were murdered by rifles.
In this post I show why those that seek to limit our rights and freedoms are wrong and I propose a solution that would limit future mass shootings.
Yesterday I felt the need to respond to a post on the GovLoop website calling for the ban on “assault weapons”. As typical with most emotionally driven folks, they never define what is an “assault weapon”. Is it a weapon that looks like a military gun? Is it a weapon that contains a large magazine that can hold 30 rounds of ammunition? Again, those that wish to weaken certain elements of the Bill of Rights, never are able to articulate what exactly needs to be removed from civilian use. Some in Congress are now calling for banning the popular AR-15 rifle that is by far the most popular rifle sold in the U.S.
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Moving your video collection from DVD or Blu-ray discs to “on demand” digital content is easier than you may think. As the years have gone by your collection of commercial DVD discs has likely grown large. In recent years you may also have purchased blu-ray discs because of their superior High Definition resolution on large HD televisions. With the advent of devices like the Apple TV which lets you stream your own music and video content, more people are considering converting their existing content rather than repurchasing it in a digital (non-disc) form.
Over the past few years, I have converted my favorite movies and TV shows into a format that I can stream directly to my HD television. I also load movies onto my iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch devices. The best part is that you can do it yourself without spending much money. Here’s how.
There are a number of devices you can hookup to your HD TV that can act as a media server/player. My favorite is the Apple TV which can play videos and movies in 1080p and it supports Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. At only $99 it is an incredible bargain especially if you already use iTunes to manage your music and video content. You will also need a computer and an external hard drive to hold all of your media. I use an Apple Mac Mini to convert my disc content to digital files. If you do not have a DVD reader/writer the Apple SuperDrive is a good drive for Mac users. Another option to consider is the Samsung USB2.0 External Slim Blu-ray Writer Drive. It uses two USB 2.0 ports but requires no power cable. It’s small, lightweight, supports both DVD and Blu-ray, works on Windows and Macs; all for around $80. I use the Samsung drive to “rip” Blu-ray discs directly to my computer’s external hard drive.
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