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Lessons on Low-Cost Deterrence and Drones from Ukraine

The following video is from Mark Kelley, Sr editor of Wall Street Journal Opinion in which they covered the speaking at the 2024 AFA Warfare Symposium. Gen. James Hecker described what the U.S. has learned from unmanned aerial vehicles aka UAVs – in Ukraine and how they will change warfare.

Transcript:

0:01 we learned when somebody’s back is up against the wall. they come up with a lot Creative Solutions and if they don’t have a lot of money like Ukraine doesn’t.

0:12 They can figure it out speaking at the 2024 Air and Space forces Association Symposium General James Hecker who works in NATO Air Command detailed what the US is learning from the war in Ukraine and how it will change Warfare going into the future we give them some exquisite

0:29weap happens some things that are pretty expensive um but that’s not going to do it alone and I think we’re finding that out as well as a United States Air Force.

0:39that we just can’t concentrate on the exquisite because we don’t have enough money to buy all the Exquisite stuff that we need so we have to also bring some low end stuff the war in Ukraine is entering its third year and Europe’s second biggest country is short of Manpower and ammunition and according to Ukraine’s Minister for digital transformation

1:02 Michelo federov in certain areas of the front fpv or first-person-view drones are 1:09destroying more targets than artillery these are the drones where the operator wears goggles and then flies them like a kamakazi into the target so the unarmed drone would first find it and then they would send up the fast racer to go and actually strike it. obviously Russia too is putting uavs.

1:35 Obviously Russia too is putting uavs or unmanned aerial Vehicles into theater if they come in at 100 ft you can’t see them with a regular radar because you don’t have line-of-sight over the horizon because of the curvature of the earth and general Hecker says that Ukraine has had to improvise with ways to track them.

1:49 what they did, do they grabbed 8,000 cell phones and they put them on a six- foot pole and they put them all around the Ukraine and they put a microphone like this next to it so they could hear the one way uavs coming overhead.

2:09 Costs $500 they’re able to get headings they’re able to get velocity of these things not only were they cheap to produce but General Hecker says they could then share that information with some 200 mobile units using AAA that’s anti-aircraft artillery and they train a guy for six hours to sit in the triaa and look at an iPad that would show them where the uavs were coming in. they had

2:37 They had 84 of them that came in the other day, they tracked all 84 they shot down 80 with AAA that’s on the right side of the cost curve as opposed to shooting them down with Patriots and sm2 missiles and it’s not just with drones that Ukraine is being Innovative according to us and Ukrainian officials.

3:00 Ukraine’s Army brought down five Russian war planes last May using a repurposed Patriot missile battery in the meantime here Fighters can be seen using a self-made multiple launch rocket system installed on a pickup truck.

3:22 General Hecker says that other US adversaries are also taking advantage of uav’s relative ease of accessibility just think of what just happened. One Way

3:30 One way uavs put everyone in the game to include the houthis the crew of the guided missile destroyer USS Carney shot down three land attack cruise missiles and several drones that were launched by houthi forces in Yemen and when they did their attack on 18 October they had 21 come over at $7,000 a piece and we shot them down with $700,000 sm2 missiles that is not the right side of the cost curve.

3:57 I would love to have the Navy produce more directed energy that can shoot down a drone so I don’t have to use an expensive missile to shoot it down but what’s worse than not having that expensive missile shoot it down is hitting that two billion dollar ship with 300 Sailors on it we need to think about that to protect ourselves against that threat that’s going to come in swarms.

4:17 what the houthis did whatRussia’s doing is nothing compared to

4:19what we’re going to see with Rising threats across the world retaining air superiority means dominating domain awareness and general Hecker says that goes for members of NATO too not all of them can afford F-35s but they can all afford a $10,000 UAVs.

4:40 if we start doing the same thingwe’ll get 15 other partners involved they can launch and put a bunch of these if we have to across into Russia and now we can empty their magazines where they’re taking sa 22s sa 21s and 23s going after $10,000 one-way uavs that a partner produced and it cost us no money because they wanted to be part of the war and now we just found a way for them to be part of the war and really part of deterrence.

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Source link: https://americanshootingjournal.com/low-cost-deterrence-ukraine-drones-warfare/ by AmSJ Staff at americanshootingjournal.com

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2nd Amendment

Defending the Right to Self-Defense: The Tragic Case of Senior Airman Roger Fortson

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In recent years, “Stand Your Ground” laws have become an essential part of the American legal landscape, invoked by countless gun owners who claim self-defense in shooting incidents. These laws are a vital reinforcement of the Second Amendment, ensuring that citizens have the right to protect themselves and their families. The tragic death of Senior Airman Roger Fortson in Florida has brought these laws into sharp focus, raising critical questions about self-defense, gun rights, and the inherent risks faced by law-abiding gun owners.

Roger Fortson, a young Black servicemember, exemplified the responsible gun owner. When he heard banging on his apartment door, he understandably took his legally owned handgun to the door, prepared to defend his home if necessary. Unfortunately, the person on the other side of the door was a sheriff’s deputy, who, within seconds, opened fire, claiming self-defense. This heartbreaking incident highlights the complexities surrounding “Stand Your Ground” laws and their application in real-world situations.

Fortson’s legal team rightly emphasized his Second Amendment rights, pointing out that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws should have protected him in his home. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump underscored the sanctity of the home and the legal principle that one’s residence is a safe haven. Known as the castle doctrine, this principle allows individuals to use force to defend themselves within their homes.

Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is designed to shield individuals from prosecution for homicide if they can demonstrate a perceived imminent threat, irrespective of their location. The castle doctrine extends this protection within one’s home, allowing for defensive force against intruders. In Fortson’s case, these laws should have applied, yet the tragic outcome suggests a need for clearer guidelines and understanding.

On May 3, a sheriff’s deputy responded to a call about a domestic disturbance at an apartment complex in Fort Walton Beach. Body camera footage shows the deputy banging on Fortson’s door and identifying himself. Fortson, holding his gun pointed at the ground, opened the door. Within seconds, the deputy fired six shots, fatally wounding Fortson.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident, and while the deputy claimed self-defense, it is crucial to recognize that Fortson was exercising his constitutional right to protect his home. This case underscores the tension between a law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms and the split-second decisions made by law enforcement officers.

Danielle Campbell, Southeast regional director of the National African American Gun Association, described Fortson’s death as the worst-case scenario for law-abiding Black gun owners. She argued that Stand Your Ground laws can and have protected individuals who lawfully defended themselves. However, interactions with law enforcement often result in these individuals being perceived as threats.

Chelsea Fuller of the Movement for Black Lives emphasized that Fortson’s death reflects a broader societal issue of implicit bias against Black people. Fuller argued that the problem is less about the specifics of Stand Your Ground laws and more about the pervasive fear and mistrust of Blackness in America.

As the investigation into Fortson’s death continues, it is essential to remember the core principles that guide responsible gun ownership and self-defense. Fortson, a 23-year-old Airman originally from Georgia, exercised his Second Amendment rights responsibly. His death challenges the nation to ensure that these rights are upheld for all citizens, without fear of tragic misunderstandings.

In honoring Fortson’s memory, we must reaffirm our commitment to the Second Amendment and the right to self-defense. This case serves as a reminder that while laws like “Stand Your Ground” are crucial, their application must be consistent and fair. As a community of responsible gun owners, it is our duty to advocate for clear guidelines that protect the rights of individuals like Roger Fortson, ensuring that they can defend their homes and families without fear of unjust repercussions.

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The Ulvade Lawsuits: The Absurdity of Blaming Companies for the Uvalde Tragedy

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In an almost unbelievable twist, the families of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer of the gun used in the attack, the maker of a video game, and Instagram parent company Meta. These lawsuits suggest that these companies are responsible for promoting dangerous weapons to a generation of “socially vulnerable” young men, including the 18-year-old gunman.

Nineteen children and two teachers tragically lost their lives in the attack at Robb Elementary School. As we marked the second anniversary of this horrific event, the families decided to pursue legal action against Activision, the developer of the military video game series “Call of Duty”; Daniel Defense, the gun manufacturer known for its high-end rifles; and Meta. The absurdity of these lawsuits lies in the claim that these companies somehow “groomed” the shooter and conditioned him to carry out the attack.

The lawsuits argue that Meta and Activision “knowingly exposed” the shooter to the AR-15-style rifle he used and conditioned him to see it as the solution to his problems. They go as far as to claim that Instagram, Activision, and Daniel Defense have been “partnering…in a scheme that preys upon insecure, adolescent boys.” The idea that a video game, a social media platform, and a gun manufacturer conspired together in this way stretches the bounds of credulity.

According to the lawsuits, the gunman had been playing “Call of Duty,” a war-based video game, since he was 15 years old. The lawsuits assert that this game, combined with targeted marketing from Daniel Defense on Instagram, led the shooter down a path of violence. They even go so far as to say that Instagram created a connection between the adolescent and the gun company, facilitated by aggressive marketing tactics.

Josh Koskoff, the plaintiffs’ attorney, argues that there is a “direct line” between the conduct of these companies and the Uvalde shooting. He claims that this “three-headed monster” of Meta, Activision, and Daniel Defense exposed the shooter to the weapon, conditioned him to see it as a tool to solve his problems, and trained him to use it. The lawsuit’s narrative seems to imply that the shooter was a helpless pawn manipulated by these corporations into committing his heinous act.

Activision has responded to these claims, expressing their deepest sympathies to the victims and their families but firmly stating that “millions of people around the world enjoy video games without turning to horrific acts.” This response highlights the absurdity of blaming a video game for a mass shooting.

Daniel Defense, already facing other lawsuits from some of the victims’ families, previously called such litigation “frivolous” and “politically motivated.” This statement resonates with many who see these lawsuits as an attempt to find a scapegoat rather than addressing the more complex and nuanced issues at play.

On the same day these lawsuits were filed, the families reached a $2 million settlement with the city of Uvalde and announced new legal action against 92 individual officers for their failures during the shooting response. This move seems to acknowledge that the real issue lies with the response of law enforcement rather than with video games or social media.

In conclusion, these lawsuits against Meta, Activision, and Daniel Defense highlight a desperate search for blame that ignores the multifaceted nature of such tragedies. Blaming companies for “grooming” a shooter through marketing and entertainment is an absurd oversimplification that distracts from the real issues that need to be addressed to prevent future tragedies.

Leave your thoughts about the Ulvade lawsuits in the comments below. 

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Liquor Store Owner Faces Seven Years for Self-Defense

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In an alarming twist of justice, Francisco Valerio, a New York City liquor store owner, now faces the possibility of spending seven years behind bars. His crime? Defending his property and his brother from aggressive thieves. This situation underscores the severe consequences of misguided legal actions that penalize law-abiding citizens while emboldening criminals.

On a typical evening at Franja Wine and Liquors in Ridgewood, Queens, Valerio confronted two shoplifters attempting to steal liquor bottles. Video footage shows one of the suspects, Kevin Pullatasi, stuffing a bottle into his jacket before being expelled from the store. However, the incident took a violent turn outside when Pullatasi charged at the store door, initiating a physical confrontation.

Valerio, armed with a concealed carry permit, attempted to protect his brother and his store. In the ensuing struggle, Valerio’s actions led to Pullatasi being shot. The suspect was later seen dragging himself away, while Valerio checked on him. This act of self-defense, however, resulted in Valerio being charged with multiple offenses, including assault and reckless endangerment.

Legal Overreach and Misguided Prosecution

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Despite having a concealed carry permit and defending his property from recurrent theft, Valerio faces serious charges. This decision by the Queens District Attorney’s Office has sparked outrage, highlighting a severe miscarriage of justice. It appears that the system is punishing a responsible business owner for protecting his livelihood against habitual criminals.

Fernando Mateo, founder of United Bodegas of America, has vocally criticized the decision to prosecute Valerio. He pointed out that Valerio’s store had been targeted multiple times by the same group of thieves. Business owners, according to Mateo, are continuously plagued by theft, assaults, and robberies, yet find themselves unsupported by a legal system that seems more lenient towards criminals than victims.

Mateo’s argument is compelling: “Frequent flier thieves must be stopped. We have the right to defend ourselves, our businesses, and our communities. District attorneys must stop prosecuting victims and start charging criminals when they commit crimes.”

The Impact on Valerio’s Life

Valerio is not just a business owner but a responsible member of his community. A graduate of Columbia University, married for 30 years with two children, Valerio’s life and livelihood are now at stake due to what can only be described as an overzealous prosecution. The potential loss of his business and personal reputation looms large, underscoring the dire personal consequences of this legal action.

Local residents have rallied in support of Valerio, expressing their disbelief at the charges against him. One neighbor articulated the community sentiment: “He had a permit to carry it and they were assaulting him, and it was an accident. He shouldn’t be in trouble.”

This case brings to light the broader issue of legal protections for those who defend themselves and their properties. It raises critical questions about the direction of law enforcement priorities and the rights of citizens. The decision to prosecute Valerio not only undermines his right to self-defense but also sets a dangerous precedent for other business owners and law-abiding citizens.

The prosecution of Francisco Valerio represents a troubling example of justice gone awry. It is a stark reminder of the need to reassess legal frameworks that unfairly target individuals protecting their rights and properties. As the trial date approaches, the community and advocates for justice urge District Attorney Melinda Katz to reconsider the charges and uphold the true spirit of justice by dropping the case against Valerio. This isn’t just about one man; it’s about the rights of every citizen to defend themselves in the face of crime.

Leave your thoughts about this case in the comments below.

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