back to article It's Black Hat and DEF CON in Vegas this week. And yup, you know what that means. Hotel room searches for guns

If you're heading off the Black Hat and DEF CON security conferences in Las Vegas, USA, this week, be prepared to have your hotel room searched if - for any reason - you shoo maid service away and stop staff from cleaning your room. Most hotels in the city enforce mandatory checks within their rooms following the October 1, …

  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    Trollface

    Oh America

    "Imagine living in a country where..."

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Oh America

      Yeah, I was watching the news last night and there was a report on the Dayton mass shooting, the 250th this frigging year!!!

      Looking at the statistics for 1999 to 2016, there were around 13 incidents of mass killings in Germany

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh America

        I am not sure if you are being serious or sarcastic in regards to Germany's mass killing statistics and historical evidence.

        1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

          Re: Oh America

          Comparing today's Germany to that of half a century ago is not a valid comparison.

          1. TimMaher Bronze badge

            Re: Oh America

            1969 then?

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: Oh America

          No, we also don't need to bring in the indian "wars" (aka genocide) or slavery, right?

          1. overunder

            Re: Oh America

            indian "wars"...WTF? I've been on over a dozen reservations and have never heard that term (where are you from?).

            Last I checked, the USA was at the bottom of the list for the length slavery was legal (89 years) , almost all other countries (95%?) have longer wrap sheets with slavery. Of course, if you count how long the English used slaves in North America, that number changes.

            I often find people hate England by proxy of the USA.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Oh America

              To say absolutely nothing of the slavery that is still going on in some parts of the world. Of course America is to blame for all the horror and misery in the world. I mean, where would Europe, for example, be without that terrible American influence? Could it be they would be simply a conquered territory of the Nazi or Soviet state? Wow... It very well could be.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Oh America

                It's all BS.

                We ended Slavery they started amongst their own.

                We paid (who?) for their freedom (UK finished in 2009, look it up).

                But facts don't fit the Narrative.

                The Bankers are all laughing.

            2. Paul Smith

              Re: Oh America

              According to the 13th, it is still legal. Restricted, but legal.

            3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Lies, damn lies and statistics

              classic example:

              the USA was at the bottom of the list for the length slavery was legal (89 years)

              yeah , right , compare a 200 year old country with a 2000 year old one.

              Theres been countries formed in eastern europe and africa a lot more recently than that , where I bet slavery has never been legal , pushing the USA higher up your meaningless list!

      2. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Oh America

        It is good State Department does not concern itself with the US in its travel advisories. All of W Europe except Ireland, Switzerland and Portugal are listed as level 2.

      3. sprograms

        Re: Oh America

        Sure, but averaged over eighty years?

  2. Tom Paine Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Mixed feelings

    If I was staying in a hotel near a high-profile site like Las Vegas and I heard that they *weren't* checking the rooms of men (let's face it, it's men) who never let hotel staff into their room, I'd probably feel pretty nervous about it. I guess the best solution is "Don't be somewhere where carrying belligerent rightwing nutjobs toting guns is perfectly normal but hotel staff have to weed out psycho-losers who've decided to go out in a blaze of rolling news coverage from that cohort by searching everyone's rooms daily".

    1. Cederic Bronze badge

      Re: Mixed feelings

      As a man that doesn't carry firearms when he's away on holiday or business, and doesn't need a new towel every morning, and doesn't piss the bed (so doesn't need the sheets changing every day), I need neither a daily maid service or a busybody intruder checking my room for me.

      I'm also not paranoid enough to worry about other people staying in the hotel. I am however concerned that you appear to be. Have you sought professional assistance with this?

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Mixed feelings

      @Tom Paine

      I guess the best solution is "Don't be somewhere where carrying belligerent rightwing nutjobs toting guns is perfectly normal

      Nor left wing nutjobs! As one of the latest shooters claimed to be. I think we can all agree that the problem is nutjobs.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mixed feelings

      1) not just men, one of the main issues that caused this to blow up last year was that the casino decided to conduct dubiously legal searches of rooms while they were occupied lone females, not that a single man should feel relaxed about some random people forcing themselves into your hotel room.

      2) Security refused to be clear about who they actually were, why they were there, or show ID. So going to a vegas casino now includes a free bonus roll of the dice to see if you get robbed, raped, or kidnapped in your hotel room by anyone who may or may not be security?

      If the casino's are so concerned about "safety screening" they can set up a gun check at the entrances and a security checkpoint like everyone else. Instead they just decide to selectively target peoples rights to violate, with as little transparency or accountability as possible. Their policy is ineffective, deceptive, and likely to be abused to target minorities and other vulnerable individuals.

      But hey, shill on my friend, and enjoy that false sense of security that only letting a hotel goon squad go through your daughters underwear while she takes a shower give you. I'm sure it will somehow make you completely safe in a town that literally rents tanks and mini-guns walking distance from your hotel room.

      Or you could maybe show a little backbone and listen to the people that think that showing ID and having the hotel acknowledge they sent security, and why, isn't a vary big ask or threat to public safety.

      That no one, especially a lone woman, should feel pressured to let strangers into their room without having a trustworthy third party present.

      That a hotel shouldn't have powers we don't let the police or government have, and for good reasons.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why Las Vageas

    IF Las Vegas specifically and the USA in general are so unwelcoming of conference guests, why is the conference in the USA? Move it to somewhere else where they welcome you.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Why Las Vageas

      Yeah, that was my thought as well. Hackers being arrested, people barging into room unannounced... It certainly isn't a place I'd want to visit.

    2. SVV Silver badge

      Re: Why Las Vageas

      "The ever-popular DEF CON Shoot, an event out in the desert where attendees fire off everything from handguns to small artillery"

      I'm guessing they don't like the fact that most other countries don't offer such essential facilities for a computer security conference.

      Sounds like the guy who got caught with suitcases full of drugs there would have been OK if he'd packed them into rocket launcher cases and checked them in at the desk for safe keeping.

    3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Why Las Vageas

      Wasn't Canada starting to aim for conferences as they were more friendly and less paranoid than the 'mercins?

      1. BucktoothBever

        Re: Why Las Vageas

        Because day one of the DefCon shoot would cause the Candian military to be scrambled in response, and given the state of our F/18 fleet this would probably result in the deaths of multiple avaiators.

    4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Why Las Vageas

      well , then the FBI wouldnt be able to grab foreign hackers for a special blend of crazy charges and eye watering sentences

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Claverhouse Silver badge
    FAIL

    Responsive Piety

    A murderer, whose name isn't worth recording

    That'll show him...

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: Responsive Piety

      Oxygen of Publicty...

      " A murderer, whose name isn't worth recording, "

      Well done!

    2. Amentheist
      Meh

      Re: Responsive Piety

      Actually not reporting the name of perps in the media is one of the steps adised by sociologists for tackling the issue.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Responsive Piety

        I thought the media was turning away from naming the perps of these kinds of acts, yet the media was happy to plaster the names from yesterday's incidents everywhere.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Responsive Piety

          Some media, but not the ones that crave clicks like the crackheads they are.

    3. Grinning Bandicoot

      Re: Responsive Piety

      To all those who think the zero mention of the AWipe in Vegas. These events seem to appear in clusters which would mean a lil zero can gain recognition by matching this newsworthy happening. But if it were treated by removing any indication of the suspect it might discourage the next zero and possibly prevent the Shepard defense being used during appeals.

  6. Chozo

    Don't care...

    I would still rather be at DEFCON than work

  7. Paul Johnston
    Flame

    Drugs okay

    Assume if your a high roller a huge stash of drugs is okay then?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Drugs okay

      It's Vegas. That would probably be seen as business as usual.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if MalwareTech is attending?

    1. F0rdPrefect
      Unhappy

      He's not allowed to

  9. F0rdPrefect

    A number of people I know (online) who are attending have booked Airbnb apartments to avoid the problem.

    1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      So all they have to worry about are hidden webcams installed by perv hosts. But at least they should be savvy enough to detect and disable them.

      1. edris90

        It's so much less mentally expensive over the long run,

        To just take discomfort of being seen naked or in the bathroom, and encourage it until you normalize it. A few months of intense mental self reconditioning through hyper exposure to what makes you feel uncomfortable,

        And return a lifetime of freedom from having to care about such things anymore.

        I swear people are in love with pain.

        Wouldn't you rather rip the Band-Aid off and not generate problems where there could be none for yourself through subjective emotional misinterpretations of what is in your best interests?

        People will wear themselves out to the point of exhaustion or collapse trying to change the world around them rather than and a little time and intensity to change themselves for their own benifit.

        1. LeahroyNake Bronze badge

          I'm fine with people seeing me naked, I guess that it would be worse for the obverser... Hairy bits and all that.

          Just imagine if you were on the toilet, dropping a bomb lol

        2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

          Whatever

          But if you're going to do your naked practice in Las Vegas, remember to wear sun block.

  10. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    SHOOT?

    Quite a few guests bring firearms for the ever-popular DEF CON Shoot, an event out in the desert where attendees fire off everything from handguns to small artillery.

    I'm going to a Women's History conference in S.Wales in October. Perhaps we should do something like that to boost attendance?

    1. TimMaher Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: SHOOT?

      Bring your own shears?

      The sheep will appreciate it.

      Mine’s the smock. It goes nicely over the gaiters and beetle-crushers.

    2. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: SHOOT?

      I'm going to a Women's History conference in S.Wales in October. Perhaps we should do something like that to boost attendance?

      Yeah maybe.

      There are a number of rifle clubs and clay pigeon grounds along the M4 between Newport and Swansea.

      Most would be more than willing to run a guest day or corporate hospitality for a group.

      Or people could run their conferences in Prague where such facilities are commonplace (hence their popularity with stag parties). The double benefit is that the Czech Republic's homicide rate is about half that of the UK's!

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: SHOOT?

        Czech Republic's homicide rate is about half that of the UK's

        I suspect that, if one were to exclude London[1] from the UK statistics, that the UK rate would be a hell of a lot lower..

        [1] And maybe Birmingham and Glasgow

  11. Adelio

    Firearm Justification!

    Just one thing.

    Total UK firearm DEATHS around 70-80 PER YEAR (POP 66 million) (About 400 for the Equiv of the US Population)

    US firearm deaths, in 2017 > 39,000 PER YEAR with a Population of 327 million.

    "The CDC’s Wonder database shows that in 2017, 39,773 people in the US lost their lives at the point of a gun"

    So tell me, how does this show that firearms save lives?

    1. ITS Retired
      Pirate

      Re: Firearm Justification!

      "So tell me, how does this show that firearms save lives?"

      You will be waiting a long, long time for any kind of logical answer that makes any kind of sense.

      Firearms are designed to kill, therefor saving lives is not what they are designed for. People think they need guns for protection. Then why are so many family members killed by this "protection"?

      1. baud

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        > People think they need guns for protection

        I'd say that there are some part of the USA where such justification could be right, like in the middle of the country, in places where some animals can still be a threat to humans (or cattle), in places with spotty phone services, no close cops and so on. Also it can be useful to remove pests. Of course in that case, we're talking about hunting rifles, not assault rifles/AR-15 derivatives. But in the wide majority of cases, that justification is bollock, guns are more of a threat than anything; I'd be in favor of a stricter legislation on guns, not that my opinion really matters.

      2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        The sad thing is that there's no sensible way back once a large part of the population already owns a gun.

        And quite frankly, in the case of the US and how the government there is treating its citizens, I am not surprised that people desperately want to hang on to their sole form of protection.

        Calling the police when you're being robbed may be more hazardous to your health than trying to defend yourself.

        Why anyone would want to hold a conference in the US is a mystery to me.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          " in the case of the US and how the government there is treating its citizens, I am not surprised that people desperately want to hang on to their sole form of protection."

          If people own guns to protect themselves against the US government, they're deluded. Very, very few individuals can stockpile enough high-powered military weaponry to be able to mount a successful defense against that.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          Why do US hackers keep holding one of the first conferences that took the fight for recognition out in public successfully, overcame discrimination and interference, and fought for peoples rights by exposing both corporate and government malfeasance both domestically and abroad?

          Gee whiz mister, I wonder why. I think the phrase you were searching for was "Thank you for fighting for better security and standing up for peoples rights, Mr Tangent!"

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        Ah, but, you are wrong shit-for-brains!

        Firearms are not designed to kill. They are designed to accurately expel a projectile. It is the projectile that is the dangerous part of the mix, not the firearm. Without said projectile a firearm is nothing but a metal club.

        Yes, yes, yes. We know. You hate, loathe, are frightened of, or are sent into uncontrollable fits of urination over the thought of private firearms ownership. But, please, do continue your anti-gun propaganda tirade. We find it and your lack of knowledge amusing.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        "Firearms are designed to kill, therefor saving lives is not what they are designed for. People think they need guns for protection."

        Clearly you have never sat in a tent, late at night, and listened to a bear two meters away, waiting to see if it was going to come through the canvas.... with a rifle in your lap, as I have.

        Nor have you spent the night in the woods, surrounded by a pack of wolves, and hoping you have enough wood to last till daylight, as a friend of mine, who got a bit turned around coming home, did.

        Nor have you had to deal with a wounded bear, big enough to have paws the size of dinner plates, the rest of matching size, as my uncle did on more than one occasion.

        Just because you, personally, have no such need does not justify ignoring, denigrating, or rendering less safe those who do.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Firearm Justification!

      "So tell me, how does this show that firearms save lives?"

      This is a good question, and I've personally changed opinions on this. For sure, giving free access of any firearms to every idiots in any given country will kill plenty.

      There are plenty vids on youtube of utter morons that have nearly shot themselves or a friend by not paying attention to minimum firearm security. Like, don't point a loaded and armed weapon to someone you don't intend to kill.

      But at the same time, many lives were lost during some shootings (Bataclan for example, in Paris) that could have been spared if only a couple of properly trained guys had a gun on them.

      I insists, of course: *properly trained* dude, those who go often to their shooting club. Not a rookie barely able to insert the loader in the gun ...

      So, end of the day, I think *regulated* firearms would save lives. If ever we could wear them legally, which is not the case in my country.

      1. Adelio

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        To me, properly trained means someone in the armed forces or policemen with firearms training (I am Talking about the UK)

        Being able to point and shoot a gun does NOT mean that person is responsible, just means that are a better shot.

        It does not mean that in the situation of facing a armed individual intent on killing they are going to be able to do much about it. Even policemen sometimes avoid action.

        And "being sane" at some time in your life does NOT mean that it is a good idea to allow all "sane" people to hold firearms. If everyone carries a firearm how are you going to know who is the villan when everyone is shooting?

        OH I know, lets all have automatic wepons and allow us to carry them all the time, thats a Good idea!, what can go wrong?

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          There are female firearms officers also.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          Personally, I have trained with a variety of firearms, including several variants of automatic firearms and I find them both over-rated, and no more useful than other firearms, except in scenarios resembling military combat. And they are harder to control accurately.

          I think people should only be allowed non-automatic firearms, unless they can demonstrate specific skills with them, or have a demonstrable use for such a specialized device.

          On the other hand, properly administered concealed carry has the potential to deter a lot of threats, and probably saves lives, overall.

      2. Avatar of They
        Mushroom

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        Sorry but that is rubbish.

        Charlie hebdo attacks. They had professional armed men on guard duty and they were the first to die. You don't make a society feel protected by arming only the ones you consider sane and trained.

        How do you know they aren't the bad guys you are training and arming. (Look at the UK soldiers that died when their 'allies' were actually Taliban and opened fire on them in their own barracks. Or the pilot that crashed the plane ,after locking the other pilot out the cockpit, into the Alps a few years back - they were trusted considered sane and trained.)

        And of course regulated... That means what? Pistols, sub machine guns, Assault rifles?. If you don't arm your allegedly sane and trusted - constantly awake and alert person, with heavy body armour and the assault rifles then they will be outmatched by a set of lax laws letting people buy assault rifles at Walmart. And that is what you really need in a disco or a street corner or school. Assault rifle gun battles.

        You will only adjust the bad guys to target them first and then your misguided belief of protection is washed away. And possibly giving the bad guys free access to more ammunition and weapon upgrades. (or do your plans let sane people shoot first no suspicion like gun happy coops seems to do on a regular occasion because "they were sure they were bad guys."

        You need to get rid of hate, racism and stupidity (Ain't happening with Trump and the NRA at the helm) and stop access guns for a start. But this is an old message the US just don't get and won't try.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          I'm sorry, junior, but your post is "rubbish". We say "bullshit" here. Same thing.

          There is no such thing as an "assault rifle". The term was made up by far-left California politicians to demonize a particular style of rifle they found scary. It is meant to equate that type of rifle with the automatic rifles used by the US military. Hint; they only look the same. The parts that make the difference between an AR15 and a military M4 are not interchangeable (the AR lower receiver would need further not-so-simple machining to accommodate them). Further, the M4 parts are not available for civilian purchase (and rightfully so).

          Despite what our radical politicians and the mass media say, the AR15 is not a "weapon of war". It is no more dangerous that any other rifle you could but at Walmart. In fact, the AR fires a much smaller, lighter, and lower velocity round (.223/5.56) than nearly all of those at that Walmart ("hunting" rifles chambered in 30.06, .308, etc). Remember the .223/5.56 round was chosen for its ability to wound, not kill. Wounding one enemy soldier takes three of them out of the fight; the wounded and another two of his buddies to drag him off the field to get medical attention. It also has the side effect of flooding the medical facilities with enemy wounded.

          A firearm can do nothing by itself. It is an inanimate object. It requires a human operator. As such the human is responsible for the damage caused not the object they use. If you were to extend the anti-gun argument to anything else it would be obviously idiotic. A database for tracking the purchase of such things as hammers and screwdrivers? Really? The anti-gun folks fall back on emotionally charged language and arguments.

          Didn't you Brits ban firearms in Ireland because of the IRA? What did that get you? Home made nail-filled bombs? Knifings? Clubbings? Oh, yeah, you're so much more civilized that we Americans. LOL

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Firearm Justification!

            Alright, what if we change your sentences a little.

            A [Nuclear Warhead] can do nothing by itself. It is an inanimate object. It requires a human operator. As such the human is responsible for the damage caused not the object they use. If you were to extend the anti-[Nuclear Warhead] argument to anything else it would be obviously idiotic. A database for tracking the purchase of such things as hammers and screwdrivers? Really? The anti-[Nuclear Warhead] folks fall back on emotionally charged language and arguments.

            I'm not saying it is "obviously idiotic" but are you still going to support your statement now? As far as 2nd Amendment goes, it is the "right to bear arms". It didn't specify what type.

          2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Firearm Justification!

            hey , AC gun nut, I'm calling bullshit on a few of your points:

            There is no such thing as an "assault rifle"

            Yes there is: AK47/ M16 etc

            The parts that make the difference between an AR15 and a military M4 are not interchangeable

            maybe not , but they arnt the parts that make the AR15 virtually an assualt rifle

            its the rate of fire , even on semi auto that does that

            AR fires a much smaller, lighter, and lower velocity round (than hunting rifle)

            yeah but fires a fuckload more of them per minute, even on semi auto.

            Remember the .223/5.56 round was chosen for its ability to wound, not kill. Wounding one enemy soldier takes three of them out of the fight;

            I'm not buying that, especially not as a justification for waving them around in the suburbs.

            Didn't you Brits ban firearms in Ireland because of the IRA?

            No, we banned them because of mass shootings,

            yes we do get a few stabbings , but what would you prefer: bullet or knife?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Firearm Justification!

              (There is no such thing as an "assault rifle")

              "Yes there is: AK47/ M16 etc"

              You are absolutely correct. There is, however, no real consistent definition of an assault weapon. There is a definition of assault gun, but those have armour and treads on the bottom.

              The definitions of "assault weapon" that usually apply when it is used are:

              1. Weapon I want to ban.

              2. Weapon that looks scary to me.

              3, Weapon that I think will look scary to people I want to manipulate.

              4. Weapon that I want people to confuse with actual "assault rifles" even though its actual capabilities are similar to, or often inferior to, common hunting, target shooting, and competitive shooting firearms.

              The last is interesting because media, police, politicians, and anti-gun lobbyists often apply one of the definitions above, but then call it an 'assault rifle' which is almost invariably a lie.

              ---------------------------------------

              (The parts that make the difference between an AR15 and a military M4 are not interchangeable)

              "maybe not , but they arnt the parts that make the AR15 virtually an assualt rifle"

              You are absolutely wrong... unless you think that a plastic sports car body on a 30 year old Volkswagen beetle makes it into a 630 hp Lamborghini.

              -----------------------------------

              "its the rate of fire , even on semi auto that does that"

              Absolutely wrong. Ordinary hunting rifles can match the semi-automatic rate of fire of an M-16. The selective fire (ability to go full automatic) is a fundamental and necessary part of the definition of an assault rifle, and in the right circumstances is much more effective.

              -------------------------------------

              "yeah but fires a fuckload more of them per minute, even on semi auto."

              Again, totally wrong. I'm really not sure why you would think that there is a meaningful difference between an assault rifle in semi-auto mode and a semi-auto hunting rifle shooting the same round.

              --------------------------------

          3. Adelio

            Re: Firearm Justification!

            A Firearm is a Firearm, pull the trigger whilst pointing it at someone and they are likely to get surt or killed. A Cork Gun is OK though!

        2. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          But concealed carry people don't get shot first and that's why they conceal.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          "They had professional armed men on guard duty and they were the first to die."

          Which is exactly why concealed carry is more effective both in action and as a deterrent, than armed guards.

          If half the people inside the office had been armed and knew how to use their weapons, it might have been quite different.

          In fact, you have put your finger on one of the glaring flaws in the 'you don't need a gun because the police can protect you' argument.

      3. Loose_Ruth

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        I do like that point you made about "properly trained". However, Texas is probably the most personally armed, properly trained bunch of gun owners in the US. Responsible ownership and safety is a big part of just growing up in the South.

        Yet, someone else, who was properly trained, knew exactly what gun do to a human, and understood that guns are loud so he calmly made sure to include his hearing protection, still went into a busy store. He walked through the parking with his gun out, walked up to the store and opened fire. I'm sure there were numerous people in the surrounding area who were packing heat.

        I think in controlled situations, everyone knows what to do. But, what makes this all so scary is that, we aren't conditioned to be prepared to use a firearm at the grocery store to defend our lives. It's the grocery store. The only thing that normally needs defending is the candy section from an unruly toddler or the free samples from me.

        It's such a messy problem, however, it has become normal to check for quick exits, see what can be used for cover and find ways to hide in case someone has a bad day.

    3. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Firearm Justification!

      The firearms issue is a bit of a mess in the US but even I no longer feel banning them will help. It won't. There are so many of them in the wild that if you ban them, I predict more store raids with guns etc. All the bad people will now know there are no more concealed or open carry people around so they'll be free to run riot.

      And lack of guns in the UK isn't stopping lots of people over here in London from being stabbed daily.

      1. rg287 Silver badge

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        If banning guns worked, then the UK would be the safest place in Europe (Britain being unique in Europe in having prohibited pistols and semi-auto rifles - even highly specialised Olympic target pistols, not just Glocks et al!)

        As it is, our homicide rate is ~1.2/100k. That's basically the same as France and Germany (which, like the rest of Europe both allow private ownership of firearms for target shooting in approved clubs, as well as for hunting) and nearly double that of Italy (0.7/100k).

        It's also double that of the Czech Republic (0.6/100k). Czechia in interesting because although their licensing is very strict, they've not really banned anything. Hence why stag parties go to Prague to shoot AK47s at commercial ranges. In fact they even allow Concealed Carry (with a permit), and about 2.5% of Czech citizens have one (c.f. 650,000/1% of Brits owning a gun). Per capita they have 3x as many gun owners and most of those people have the right to walk the streets with a concealed weapon. You can own more or less anything - if you jump through the hoops and prove your good character. And yet the streets of Prague are not flowing with blood. Quite the opposite.

        The evidence seems to be that licensing and registration (as per all of Europe) is a very good and effective policy, as part of a mature culture of using and respecting firearms as tools rather than fetishing them as a symbol of muh freedom.

        By contrast, arbitrary prohibitions of certain types of firearm (as per the UK - pistols) has more or less zero effect on crime or even mass murders, and zero effect on organised crime. People can still make bombs, drive trucks into crowds and dismember people in the street with machetes. Notably, firearms crime in the UK rose both before and after Dunblane. The changes to legislation made no difference to the crims who were already smuggling guns in because the white market was already too well regulated. That trend didn't taper off until 2004 when the Police actually did some enforcement (Op Trident).

        People talk about "gun control" without actually thinking about it, or appreciating that there is no such thing. Anyone who does not make the basic differentiation between licensing and prohibition and the appropriate/proportionate use of either is on a hiding to nowhere and will struggle to formulate effective public policy.

        1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          Safety comes from economic stability, education and opportunity to make a useful living.

          The bigger the income inequality, the fewer opportunities, the more desperate and violent people become.

          Neo-liberalism is the root cause of many problems in our society.

          1. edris90

            Re: Firearm Justification!

            Safety comes from the ability to neutralize or shrug off other people's interference.

            If you can make other people irrelevant to you and yourselff to them you are as safe as one can be in this world.

        2. Adelio

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          Compare firearm related deaths

          400 for the UK in a year (assuming the same populations as the USA)

          39,000 for the USA.

          Nuff said

      2. regadpellagru

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        "The firearms issue is a bit of a mess in the US but even I no longer feel banning them will help. It won't. "

        It definitely won't. Too late. If firearms were banned today, it would take 200 years for them to disappear.

        And like has been said in this thread, the issue in the US is financial/living conditions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          "If firearms were banned today, it would take 200 years for them to disappear."

          Longer than that.

          As we perfect flexible manufacturing, and as 3D metal printing becomes affordable, all it will take to make a firearm in any machine shop, small goods factory, or basement workshop will be the digital file describing the firearm's parts. And maybe a screwdriver.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Firearm Justification!

            God, the 3D printed gun crap again.

            Yes, people can and will continue to make guns. 3d printers are not required, or in most cases especially helpful. A couple community college level industrial ed classes and a trip to harbor freight will get you everything you need to knock out homemade guns, just like in the 50's & 60's when zip guns were still popular.

            They became unfashionable. Not because they were hard to make, but because REAL guns were cheap, available, and slightly less illegal(1 felony, instead of 2). So all the bad boys had to get a chromed "saturday night special" to tuck in their waistband instead of a pipe and rubber band zip gun. Frankly, many of those cheap and concealable guns are almost as unreliable. Even the James Bond special the Walther PPK was notorious for miss-feeds and occasionally firing two rounds.

            The real barrier isn't the tools, it is the bad craftsmanship.

    4. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: Firearm Justification!

      You've copy-pasta'd numbers without understanding them.

      39,773 people died of gunshot wounds in 2017. Less than half of them (~14,500) were murdered. The rest (55-60% in a normal year) were suicides.

      I would gently suggest that focussing on the firearm might be to focus on a symptom rather than a root cause - like bankruptcy due to medical bills, lack of social welfare, employee rights, mental healthcare provision, etc, etc.

      Of course the US relationship with firearms is bizarre. They desperately need to introduce a Federal licensing and registration regime (but will never make it fly, in part due to scare stories about heavy-handed UK legislation, which distracts from German/Czech/Norwegian policies which balance liberty with public safeguarding). It would take years for such a system to get a meaningful proportion of in-circulation guns onto the register, but in the long-run it would be worth it.

      Talk of banning this, that and the other should of course be disregarded as virtue signalling and/or political posturing. Prohibitions don't work. We know this, Europe has proved it. Policy should be based on evidence, not people's gut feelings (because people's guts are rubbish at statistics and probability - it's why people play the Lottery).

      1. Adelio

        Re: Firearm Justification!

        I was comparing DEATHS by firearms between the two coutries (not the reason for the death) or any other deaths.

        I was trying to make the point that firearms in the US do not apear to make people any safer. (Please do not mentions killy a bear attacking you in the woods!!!) Pleased!!!!!

        After all how many bears do you find in the cities.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          @Adelio

          "I was comparing DEATHS by firearms between the two coutries (not the reason for the death) or any other deaths."

          I dont see how that makes things more valid, that actually makes the argument less valid as your ignoring reason and just lumping a number and pretending it matters. The reason for death by the gun matters (aka suicide) but also why compare in isolation death by gun in a country with lots to a country with little, it shows nothing useful.

          The anti-gun argument gets so badly generalised as to mean nothing. For example some of the worst states for gun violence are those with the stricter laws. The removal of guns however only changes the methods used to kill. A mental jihadi killed a soldier in london and waved his machete and pistol in front of onlookers in the middle of the day! We have laws against both blades longer than 3" and pistols.

          "I was trying to make the point that firearms in the US do not apear to make people any safer"

          To prove this we need to remove a lot of deaths (e.g. suicide) and look at self defence situations. Both those where a gun was discharged and where a gun just stopped the conflict before it escalated.

          "After all how many bears do you find in the cities."

          The US is a lot of rural land. So of the varied threats to man, livestock and cultivation thats a lot of need for a gun.

          1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

            Re: Firearm Justification!

            It's more complex. Having lots of guns in a country where 60% doesn't have enough savings for a $500 emergency greatly exacerbates the problem of deaths from fire arms.

            Switzerland, where people have a much higher standard of living also has a high gun per citizen ratio, but because people are not in dire straits, gun deaths are almost unheard of.

            You can't just look at one aspect of a society in isolation and draw conclusions, some context is required.

            Sure that if fire arms in the US were not as widespread that the number of violent deaths would not significantly go down. Suucide rates may go down, since using a gun to commit suicide may seem a 'clean' and fast way to go.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Firearm Justification!

              As for Switzerland, this is true. I work there, and it amazes me every time I encounter a civil dude carrying an assault rifle, on his way to the shooting club, probably part of his military duty (they have their rifle at home, here).

              This would never go unnoticed elsewhere in Europe.

              From time to time, some idiot loose the plot and uses his rifle to shoot his wife, opening, once again, the debate of owning a military rifle at home. But this is quite rare.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Firearm Justification!

          "(Please do not mentions killy a bear attacking you in the woods!!!) Pleased!!!!!

          After all how many bears do you find in the cities."

          Not everyone lives in cities.

          Not everyone never leaves a city.

          Potentially dangerous wild animals do enter cities. I have seen a wolf and coyote in a city, and feral dogs are arguably more dangerous.

          As shifts in both animal and human population continue, there are encounters with bears and mountain lions as well, with the animals attempting to get into houses.

          Maybe you should get out into nature a bit more often, as you seem to be forgetting it exists.

          But if you are in bear country, be sure to take your bear spray... and a bell.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Firearm Justification!

      "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

      That is the duty for which citizens are armed. Yeah, you can go search that quote.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Firearm Justification!

      Let's see...

      Of that 39,000, two thirds are suicides. Suicides seem to be one of those things where cultural habits show up in choice of method, and there is no particular indication that suicide rates track with gun ownership when you compare different countries. I suspect that the suicide methodology in the UK is different,

      Ah yes. UK suicides 52% suffocation and hanging. 2% firearms. Looks like a lack of firearms isn't keeping the Brits from offing themselves. So we can safely surmise that roughly 2/3 of US firearms deaths would be deaths with or without firearms. After all, British suicides found 8 different classes of ways of killing themselves they use more often than guns. One suspects the Americans are as resourceful.

      Roughly 43% of American households have guns.

      Other countries have high ownership rates - Iceland, Germany, Austria, Canada, France, Norway, Sweden, Uruguay, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Serbia, Finland, Switzerland. Running my eye over the list I can see 9 of 14 countries, all of which have more than 30 civilian firearms per 100 people, which IIRC, do not have high rates of firearms violence.

      While the US has more than 100 guns per 100 people, this is a fairly useless statistic for most purposes. A person with 15 guns is not intrinsically more dangerous or better armed than a person with 5 guns... you can only effectively use one at a time, and 5 of them can cover off most common use cases, up to and including dangerous game/predator defence.

      We can estimate the number of gun owners in the US another way. From presidential votes, we can say that the numbers of Republicans and Democrats is fairly similar... the difference between those votes in the last election was no more than about 1% of the population. We have data on percentages of Republicans and Democrats that own gun, and if we average those numbers we should have a good estimate of the percent of gun owners in the US ((41+16)/2 = 28.5%), if they've been telling the truth to the surveyors... which is true of any country.

      Most countries seem to have fewer guns per person, and, indeed, many countries have a limit on the number of guns one can own, whereas in the US you can have as many as you can afford. So the countries on our >30 guns/100 people list should have a fair bit more than .3 of the US likelihood of gun ownership... yet most of these countries have significantly lower firearms homicide rates.

      That's because gun violence is controlled by culture - by what you consider appropriate under various circumstances, not merely by having a gun available.

      I will also note that the survey everyone quotes for gun ownership only counts civilian guns. There is not accounting for government owned guns distributed to the civilian population, and thus fully accessible to them, in countries like Switzerland and Israel. If you count those households, I'm pretty sure you will find Switzerland is more heavily armed, and with fully automatic military weapons, than the US... but still not shooting each other in economy sized lots.

      On the other hand, countries with extremely restricted gun ownership and draconian gun control laws, such as Mexico or Haiti, can have quite high levels of firearms homicides.

      It's not the laws, it's the culture. If you want to find the roots of the American tendency to use guns to resolve problems and issues, look to the myths of the American West, and the pedestal on which they put their military... and their war myths.

  12. Andy 97

    Why Vegas?

    I mean, it's not like hackers will spend hours on the tables, take in a floor show or quaff alcoholic beverages 'till they puke.

    We can all think of any number of other countries which are fun, easy to get to, you're not likely to get arrested by The FBI for something you said on a forum ten years ago and, probably cheaper too.

  13. steviebuk Silver badge

    Wanted to...

    ...visit Vegas at some point but don't think I'll bother anymore. I like to relax in my room knowing the sign on the door stops people bothering me like it did in Jamaica (they seem to fucking ignore it in the UK and still pissing knock). But now I'll never be able to relax knowing some security person will randomly barge in when I'm sitting there playing Rimworld with me knob out (its freeing).

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Wanted to...

      you can do that at home though, get out of the room! see the sights!

      There's hookers and blackjack!

  14. JohnFen Silver badge

    I would

    "but, let's face it: who really wants to stay in a Motel 6?"

    I would, if the alternative is to have my room searched.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I would

      Of course, you would be taking Motel 6's word for it. What exactly would the penalty for them lying be if the city thinks the hotels can execute sneak and peek searches at will.

      I think the only effective barrier to Motel 6 search is their total lack of security staff.

      In effect, searching your room would just be the regular staff showing up without the cart full of towels instead of with it.

  15. Robert Halloran

    Vegas? because...

    The reality is that Vegas has an almighty shedload of available rooms, at reasonable cost (cheap rooms == more disposable dollars to lose at the tables...), cheap airfare to/from for the same reason, any amount of entertainment options (including the naughtier places off-Strip), and within driving distance to the southern California population centers, leading to it being a VERY popular locale for conferences.

  16. Irongut

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to go to a country that fingerprints you on entry, let alone a cess pool like Vegas. Maybe if enough people stop going the organisers will move these conferences to somewhere that doesn't violate your personal privacy and freedom on a daily basis.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I can't imagine why anyone would want to go to a country that fingerprints you on entry"

      I stopped going to the US in 2001. I thought it might take them several years to regain their mental equilibrium and sense of proportion. I'm still waiting, and the border just becomes more and more ridiculous and intrusive. It's just not worth it.

  17. EatsRootsAndLeaves

    Motel 6

    But who wants to stay at a Motel 6?

    Hey! Back in the 1980s my soccer team stayed at (probably that off strip) Motel 6 every year!

  18. SoaG
    Black Helicopters

    They just had to open up that can of worms, didn't they?

    "A staffer of the same gender can be requested by guests to carry out the inspection"

    I identify as an attack helicopter!

    1. Anne-Lise Pasch

      Re: They just had to open up that can of worms, didn't they?

      In Texas, that can probably be arranged. :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They just had to open up that can of worms, didn't they?

      Well, Ok, I respect your choices if you are willing deal with the consequnces. There will be a larger cleaning deposit, and a 30,000$ insurance cover.

  19. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Banning/restricting gun ownership

    As someone else pointed out, there have been guns in the USA for so long, that banning them now, even ignoring the outcry that would ensue, would make little difference, except possibly to make it slightly harder for the really stupid to get a gun, or someone that could help in defense to get one.

    Looking at the recent Dayton shooting, this was a guy that showed some warning signs, but had never been in any altercations and had no criminal record or mental condition on record. (he did exhibit some disturbing behavior while in school--most of us hopefully didn't have a "rape list" or "kill list")

    Getting to my point, anyone that has planned well enough to have hearing protection and other protective gear on hand is not going to be deterred much by more restrictive gun laws--they will surely be able to get a weapon somehow if they have half a brain. (it does make me wonder why the hearing protection though--did he want to still have perfect hearing after being killed by police or taking his own life?) That said, I think we in the US have to at least try to make it a little more difficult to get guns for people that show warning signs. If we do manage to keep a few guns out of the hands of true idiots, or make it a little harder for people that intend mass violence such that they show up on the radar of the authorities, it might at least reduce the frequency of these events.

  20. Robert Halloran

    US gun ownership

    The historical mindset is that the US was founded in armed rebellion against His Brittanic Majesty, and we need to remain well-armed should "the gummint" become too oppressive. The possibility that such an uprising would be winnable, even with the level of weaponry available to the average USian, is dubious at best.

    The arms industry has peddled their wares with a mix of defending one's home (primarily against "the Other"), appealing to the above fantasy and down in the fine print, the legitimate uses of hunting and target shooting. Given the number of weapons at hand in the US, it can honestly be said that 99.9999% of gun owners are harmless, even the doomsday preppers stockpiling weapons afraid that The Aforesaid Gummint is coming in their Black Helicopters to seize them. That said, the loopholes in the existing rules for gun sales allow people who have no business owning firearms to do so, with the disastrous results we've seen over the years. Closing these loopholes up, including 'red flag' laws for legitimately disarming people under domestic restraining orders, judicial psych eval, etc would hopefully at least slow the rise in such tragedies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US gun ownership

      "ncluding 'red flag' laws for legitimately disarming people under domestic restraining orders, judicial psych eval, etc would hopefully at least slow the rise in such tragedies."

      Or not.

      Some mental health experts believe that laws based on psychiatric or psychological opinions will cause people to avoid professional help with mental issues, leading to a higher proportion of untreated individuals with potential psychological issues.

      Such laws, therefore, might raise the probability of an incident.

      At the same time, they would stigmatize people with diagnosable psychological issues as dangerous, when there does not appear to be a link between psychological issues and violent attacks for the vast majority of people.

      Remember, as well, that the CDC reports that 25% of the US population were classified as having a mental illness in the past year, and that half the population will be diagnosed with one at some point in their life.

      Given that a lot of gun violence is driven by criminal activity rather than mental illness, clearly there can't be that high a percentage of the mentally ill becoming violent in that way. You'd probably save more lives by improving highways and cracking down on drunk and distracted driving, for less money and effort.

  21. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Soldering irons

    How inconvenient,

    Of course hackers know that you can solder with any number of non-fire inducing methods.

    I actually found a solder paste that melts at <150 C and is better than SnAgCu.

    Hint: small heat plates with PTCs are *not* technically restricted at least that I know of.

    Even if they are at a pinch a resistor and 9V battery makes an extremely effective

    homemade reflow plate though prone to thermal runaway.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happened to the good old days...

    of waking up at 3am to a bunk make yelling "Gas, Gas, Gas" after being maced(CS, not pepper spray) under the door by the neighbors at 3am because someone took the capture the flag event a little to seriously? These kids today, showing up with their body armor and anxiety disorders instead of gas masks and lock picks.

    Stupid damn professionals.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019