SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL ”. Today, JWR is filling in, while HJL completes the rebuild of our primary server. (We suffered a hacker attack on Sunday, January 6th.) Today we feature some advice on tuning up tube radios.
Poor WSJ Fact Checking on Gun Ownership
The Wall Street Journal published a quite poorly-written article on Monday. It was titled: Gun Use Surges in Europe, Where Firearms Are Rare . To start, I should mention that is is gun ownership that is surging. So even the headline was poorly-worded. The author, Valentina Pop, is a Romanian journalist who is based in Brussels, Belgium. She really needs to learn about firearms and get her facts straight. Among other things, she calls tear gas dispensing guns “firearms”, and seems to want to include them in firearms ownership statistics. Let me make this clear: These tear gas “guns” are not much more than toys. They first became popular in western Europe beginning in the 1950s. Europeans have bought them out of desperation, to provide some meager form of self defense against street crime. Licensed modern cartridge handguns are largely banned outside of the VERY limited ownership (by a small fraction of the population) and use only at shooting club facilities. So most western Europeans have no effective means of self defense.
The included chart showing the number of registered firearms versus the number of “firearms offenses” in Germany is misleading and only suits the world view of statists. This because the #1 “firearms offense” is unlicensed ownership of a firearm, in country with a universal licensing requirement. Read between the lines folks: What this chart is really showing us is that street crime and hooliganism in Germany is now so bad that everyday citizens are willing to face prosecution, to arm themselves.
Perhaps the worst bit of reporting in Valentina Pop’s article is her assertion: “Many illegal weapons come from one-time war zones, such as countries of the former Yugoslavia, and others are purchased online, including from vendors in the U.S.” The portion where I added bold face is almost laughable. Does she honestly believe that any gun dealer in the United States would put themselves in the legal jeopardy of selling a firearm to any unlicensed individual in Europe, via an online sale? She obviously has no concept of how FFL recordkeeping is handled in the United States!
The Wall Street Journal obviously needs more thorough fact checking, especially when running articles written by foreign stringers.
The Electoral College
Reader D.S. suggested this map: Why We Need The Electoral College . D.S. made these cogent comments: “Because we are (yet) a union of fifty nifty (united) states, we are NOT a centralized homogeneous nation with a supreme, top-down national governance. Each state is ‘protected’ by these three: the tenth amendment, the senate side of our bicameral legislative branch, and by the electoral college. The genius of our Constitution is the balancing of competing centripetal and centrifugal energies: States’ Rights and federalism. Perhaps this is no longer taught in school curricula, Clearly, it is no longer learned.”
Are Gun Rights The Next Target Of Corporate Censorship?
Next, over at Zero Hedge, “Tyler Durden” asks: Are Gun Rights The Next Target Of Corporate Censorship?  His essay begins: “Ever since Dick’s Sporting Goods  and banks such as Citigroup  made business decisions in line with the mainstream media’s push for gun control, some opponents of gun control have debated whether private companies pose a bigger threat to gun rights than government does. In the case of Dick’s Sporting Goods, the outdoor company decided to stop selling rifles like the AR-15 and banned the sale of firearms to individuals younger than 21. In response to the Parkland shooting in Florida, banks like Citigroup also crafted their own anti-gun policies as reported in The New York Times …”
Advice on Tuning Up Tube Radios
A SurvivalBlog reader in Arkansas wrote to ask: “I have an old Hallicrafters S38E in beautiful condition. Bought it years ago following Mr. Rawles’ mention in an article. It’s starting to drift off frequency and also an occasional buzz from the power supply. I’d like to send it in for a tune up and a speaker upgrade but it’s very difficult to get repair shops to respond to me. Do you know of any that do a good job on radios like this?”
JWR’s Reply: That might be as simple as just a replacing a failing vacuum tube. I recommend that you call your local ARRL-affiliated ham radio club  and ask if anyone there has a traditional vacuum tube tester—preferably a top quality one, like a full-function Hickok brand tester. The tubes in a SW38E are widely available. In fact, the whole Hallicrafters SW-38 product line used either 5 or 6 tubes (depending on model) and they are all still readily available.
If your speaker has a paper cone that is falling apart, replacing it is fairly simple for anyone who knows which end of a soldering iron to hold. There is no need to pay someone for that labor. Just be very careful not to disturb the tuning dial string, when you change the speaker, since they are fairly vulnerable to damage.
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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact  form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!