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Robotic Flex Gripper Mixed Dual Material #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Robotic Flex Gripper Mixed Dual Material #3DThursday #3DPrinting

E6d465e7a86d05571363d5c2a7fe51a2 preview featured

Shared by jtronics on Thingivsere:

The goal of this project was to optimize the simple and easy to build robotic flex gripper. The flex gripper itself is 3D printed as one part in a flexible filament. After printing, cables, a servo motor and some screws are installed and the gripper should be ready to move!


Now we tried to 3d print the flex gripper mixed of different materials.


the bottom should be a flexible filament like TPU. The rest should be made of a cheap rigid filament like PLA or ABS.

Download the files and learn more


649-1


Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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Scenes from Elton John biopic reportedly cut from Russian version due to ‘homosexual propaganda’ law

Scenes from Elton John biopic reportedly cut from Russian version due to ‘homosexual propaganda’ law

  • A Russian movie distributor reportedly cut around five minutes of footage that depicted gay sex and men kissing from the Elton John biopic “Rocketman.”
  • The footage was reportedly edited in accordance with Russian laws banning “homosexual propaganda.”
  • John and the filmmakers hit back against the edits, calling the move a “sad reflection” of a “divided” and “cruelly unaccepting” world.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Russian distributor has come under fire for reportedly cutting footage depicting gay sex and men kissing from “Rocketman” in accordance with the country’s laws banning “homosexual propaganda.”

Approximately five minutes of the movie were cut, according to the Guardian. Anton Dolin, a prominent Russian film critic, wrote online that the film’s final statement was also edited to say John had established an AIDS foundation, instead of saying that John lives with his husband and children.

Homosexuality itself is not criminalized in Russia, but the country is widely hostile to LGBT people, passing a law banning material perceived as LGBT “propaganda,” preventing the depiction of LGBT people in media.

In a statement reported by Variety, John and the filmmakers said they were unaware of the decision and rebuked the cuts, calling it a “sad reflection” of a “divided” and “cruelly unaccepting” world.

“Paramount Pictures have been brave and bold partners in allowing us to create a film which is a true representation of Elton’s extraordinary life, warts and all,” the statement said. “That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.”

The statement continued: “We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to push for the breaking down of barriers until all people are heard equally across the world.”

Read more: The Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’ is a worthy celebration of his music and a look at his troubled past

Paramount Pictures said in a separate statement that the studio was “incredibly proud” of the movie, but “must adhere to local laws and requirements in certain territories in which the film is being shown.”

The cuts also set off criticism from Russian LGBTQ activists, including the Russian LGBT Network, which the New York Times reported urged viewers in a statement on Facebook to not see the Russian version.

In an op-ed for the Guardian ahead of the movie’s release, John said though some of the film’s content could offend viewers, he felt it was important that the footage truthfully portrayed his life.

“Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating,” he said. “But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life…there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”

Read more:

Watch Taron Egerton belt out ‘Tiny Dancer’ in the new trailer for the Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’

Here’s what the cast of ‘Rocketman’ looks like in real life

37 actors who completely transformed themselves into real-life music legends

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brick façade of chicago house is organized in array of vertical twisting columns

brick façade of chicago house is organized in array of vertical twisting columns

situated in the suburbs of chicago, brooks + scarpa, in collaboration with studio dwell, present a dwelling wrapped almost entirely in brick. the material, known locally as chicago ‘common’ brick, looks different from the typical red brick as a result of the geological composition of the indigenous lake michigan clay and the way in which it is fired. its discolorations and irregularities traditionally made these ‘common’ bricks unattractive, cheap, and found in places generally obscured from the street — such as side and back walls, chimney flues, and structural support behind façades.

brooks scarpa thayer house

image by marty peters

regardless of this historic undesirability, the chicago ‘common’ brick is featured as the most prominent material and design element. the street façade of ‘thayer brick house’ is organized in vertical twisting columns to create an ever-changing pattern of opening and closing as light moves across and through the façades. as the viewer passes the home, the façade generates an rhythmic, optic effect that appears to be in constant motion.



image by marty peters

depending on one’s location, the porous courtyard façade courtyard can appear either open and welcoming or closed and private. this allows indirect daylight to filter into the building through the secondary glazed skin, and create a warm glow from within when illuminated at night. this daylight seeping through the brickwork produces a shifting geometric pattern of light and shadow along the interior walls and floors of the rooms which transforms throughout the day.



image by marty peters

the project presents an examination of the tension between materiality, form, and experience. through the design of the thayer house the designers transcend traditional craft and elevate a humble material without sacrificing its inherent quality. the team comments: ‘it is an attempt to find and reveal the extraordinary from within the ordinary. this exploration encourages the user to forge a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the fundamental, yet delicate relationships that exist between themselves, the natural world, its vital resources, and our collective cultures.’

brooks scarpa thayer house

image by marty peters

the team at brooks + scarpa elaborates:by using the familiar in an unfamiliar location and application, the material becomes perceptually both old and new at the same time. this makes one more aware of not just the building, but also our sense of place. there is a sense of discovery, something spontaneous and unexpected. the object is important but it’s the experience that has a profound impact and leaves something that lasts well beyond the mere physical and visual existence of the building.’

brooks scarpa thayer house

image by brooks + scarpa

brooks scarpa thayer house

image by marty peters



image by marty peters



image by marty peters



image by marty peters



image by marty peters



image by marty peters



image by marty peters

brooks scarpa thayer house

image by brooks + scarpa

brooks scarpa thayer house

image by marty peters

brooks scarpa thayer house

image by marty peters

project info:

title: thayer brick house

credit: brooks + scarpa with studio dwell

design architect: brooks + scarpa

location: thayer street, evanston, illinois

design team, brooks + scarpa: lawrence scarpa (lead designer/principal in charge), angela brooks, jeff huber, arty vartanyan, chinh nhan nguyen, cesar delgado, eleftheria stavridi, fui srivikorn, matt barnett

design team, studio dwell: mark peters (principal in charge) jonathan heckert (project manager)

landscape, lighting design: brooks + scarpa

structural engineering: louis shell structures

general contractor, civil engineering, electrical and lighting: studio dwell

completed: 2018

photography: marty peters and brooks + scarpa

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ showrunner says he ‘sees endgames’ for the show

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ showrunner says he ‘sees endgames’ for the show

  • Warning: There are minor spoilers ahead for “The Handmaid’s Tale” season three.
  • “The Handmaid’s Tale” showrunner, Bruce Miller, tells INSIDER he sees some endgames in sights for the show.
  • Miller doesn’t have a number of seasons in mind.
  • “When I get to the point where I feel like I’m inventing or supplanting, that’s not where I want to be and we’ll end the show.”
  • Miller says “The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood still reads all of the scripts and watches all of the episodes. Atwood has a sequel to her book coming out in September called “The Testaments,” which Miller says he knows a little about.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” showrunner has a few ideas in store for the show’s end, but he’s in no hurry to get to them just yet.

“I certainly see endgames, it’s nice to have,” Bruce Miller told INSIDER Tuesday in New York City while speaking about the Hulu series.

Based on the book of the same name from Margaret Atwood, the series depicts a not-too-distant future where women are silenced and those who are fertile are forced to bear children. The third season of the show premiered on the streaming service Wednesday and it’s all about June’s (Elisabeth Moss) uphill climb to start a rebellion against the powers of Gilead.

After having the opportunity to leave Gilead, June decided to stay behind to fight for the other women and get her child back.
Elly Dassas/Hulu

How much longer could it go on for? A season or two? Maybe three? Miller doesn’t think in terms of season numbers.

“My endgame is not as much as a number as… what I want at the end is I want a nice companion piece that you can put on your shelf next to the book or the books,” said Miller of how long he sees the show going on for. “What I’m looking to do is that, someone else who reads the book, will go and look at the series and it’ll dramatize, bring to life, flesh out Margaret’s world. And that’s what I’d like it to be in the end, is a companion piece,” said Miller, who recalled first reading the book in college and re-reading it dozens of times since.

“I don’t feel like the show’s off book, I feel like we’re still continuing that world and that story. All the important decisions about building the world, the relationships, the characters that we’re following, how we’re doing point-of-view, all of those were made quite well by Margaret,” showrunner Bruce Miller tells INSIDER.
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

“When I get to the point where I feel like I’m inventing or supplanting, that’s not where I want to be and we’ll end the show,” said Miller.

The show is very different from the 300-page book now, showing more of June’s story then we ever received in the original 1985 book. The book ends with a pregnant June entering into a van, uncertain if she’s about to escape Gilead or not. Her future is left open-ended and the book skips ahead about 200 years to an epilogue where Gilead’s regime has collapsed. On the show, June gave birth to that child and, at the end of season two, helped her flee to Canada with another handmaid, Ofglen (Alexis Bledel).

Miller tells INSIDER he doesn’t see the show as going off-book. Instead, it’s just filling in what happened between the 200-year gap. The show is using the book’s epilogue to help inspire and expand the narrative. Of course, he also has the author, Atwood herself, to speak with from time to time about the show as well.

“Margaret talked to me a lot about kind of, stuff,” said Miller. “Margaret, who is a beautiful writer, and incredible with words, is also kind of a very strong, meticulous story builder, and that’s born out by the fact that we’ve taken little slivers, the colonies, D.C., what other commanders are like, what the politics are, and turned those into whole episodes or whole seasons.”

Margaret Atwood is the author of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
AP

“We’re still telling Margaret Atwood’s ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and that’s not just our source material, and inspiration, but it actually is, the pieces of that story, we’re still telling. So, we still have quotes from the book in the voiceover. It’s very much Margaret Atwood’s world,” said Miller.

Since the show’s launch on Hulu in 2015, Atwood announced she’s working on a sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale.” “The Testaments” is due out in September and will pick up 15 years after June stepped into the van, following the testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

Elisabeth Moss is seen on the season three premiere of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Elly Dassas/Hulu

When asked how much he may know about that sequel, Miller chose his words carefully as not to give too much away.

“I know a little bit about what [Atwood’s] doing next. Most of the decisions I had made about this season, I had already made when we started to talk about [season three]. So I was just keeping her up-to-date,” said Miller. “She reads all the scripts… She watches all the episodes. And I think she’s wonderfully encouraging and enthusiastic. She’s not precious at all. She seems to be an expert at having her work adapted, which is a really interesting expertise. She’s very happy to kind of say, ‘Oh, wow, that’s cool, what else are you gonna do with it?'”

That’s a question fans will also be asking. With more material from Atwood on the way, a fourth season seems inevitable. But Miller couldn’t tell us just yet if the show will get a fourth season renewal.

“No one’s told me season four. It’s not up to me,” said Miller, adding, “I’d love that.”

You can watch the first three episodes of “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu now.

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Virginia Beach Police Release Names of 12 Victims – WVIR – NBC 29 News

Virginia Beach Police Release Names of 12 Victims – WVIR – NBC 29 News

News

Virginia Beach police have now released the names and faces of the twelve victims killed in the mass shooting at the Municipal Center on Friday night.

Image

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVIR) –
Virginia Beach police have now released the names and faces of the 12 victims killed in the mass shooting at the Municipal Center on Friday night. Other victims remain at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital with serious injuries.

Around 3 p.m. on Saturday, officials held another news conference. The head of the trauma unit, Dr. Martin O’Grady, told people one patient had just gotten out of surgery and another patient faced repeated operations for wounds. Two of the patients are expected to survive and the third patient, he would not elaborate on the injuries due to privacy laws. 

Since the shooting, press conferences have been held with latest updates and officials making statements on the situation.

“They’re all serious injuries in the sense that they’re gunshot wounds, which are never minor. OK? So as I said, to have been taken to the operating room to get injuries repaired, one is probably more fortunate and hopefully, that patient will have a full recovery. That’s not clear as of this very second but did not require surgeons or operations to repair injuries. He’s got since very very lucky with all this, but he got lucky and the injury was, I mean without exaggerating, a little bit further over, he probably wouldn’t be here today,” said O’Grady.

“We need to come together and ask the really difficult questions of all the things that lead to these.  Is it mental health, is it troubling circumstances that people are facing in their community?  How can we recognize those?  How can we do better to stop these types of things from happening in the future?” said Representative Elaine Luria.

The shooter was identified as 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock, who worked at the Municipal Center. Craddock was killed in a shoot out with police.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) – Twelve people were killed in a shooting Friday at a Virginia Beach municipal building. On Saturday, city officials named them, showed their photos, and gave details of their lives during a news conference. Eleven of the twelve were city employees; one was a contractor.

Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake: A right-of-way agent with more than four years in public works.

Tara Welch Gallagher of Virginia Beach: An engineer with six years in public works.

Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach: A right-of-way agent with 24 years in public works.

Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach: A right-of-way agent with nine years in public works.

Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach: An engineer with 10 years in public utilities.

Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk: An engineer with 28 years in public utilities.

Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan: An engineer with 11 months in public works.

Ryan Keith Cox of Virginia Beach: An account clerk with more than 12 years in public utilities.

Joshua A. Hardy of Virginia Beach: An engineering technician with more than four years in public utilities.

Michelle “Missy” Langer of Virginia Beach: An administrative assistant with 12 years in public utilities.

Robert “Bobby” Williams of Chesapeake: Special projects coordinator with 41 years in public utilities.

Herbert “Bert” Snelling of Virginia Beach: A contractor there to fill a permit.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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This unique nonstick cookware heats evenly and resists scratching

This unique nonstick cookware heats evenly and resists scratching

Getting a set of cookware that will outlast you is one of those signs you’ve truly grown up. It used to be easy to find durable materials that also cook well, but these days it can be hard to tell what’s quality and what brands are coasting by on a recognizable name.

Well, there’s at least one brand that’s building their name the right way: After gaining attention from home chefs with their precision kitchen knives, Ausker has branched out into cookware – and so far, the results look just as solid.

Their pots and pans come with a series of tiny innovations, but the main draw is in the material. All Ausker cookware is made from a core of die-cast aluminum. Thanks to that alloy, heat spreads quickly and evenly over the surface, giving you a consistent cooking experience every time on electric, gas or induction stoves. Over that, there are a full five layers of the Swiss compound Granitec. Not only is Granitec corrosion-resistant, environmentally friendly and free of PFOAs, but it’s also a reliable nonstick surface. It also has durability in spades, able to withstand abrasion by Scotch-Brite pads, steel balls and ballpoint pens in a battery of tests.

Here are a few highlights from their line:

Ausker Grill Pan

This perfect breakfast pan is a dream to use, and even easier to store, thanks to the removable bakelite handle. Need to pour sauces or bleed off excess grease? The twin spouts on either side are a welcome touch. Normally priced at $59.99, the Ausker Grill Pan is on sale now for $47.99.

Ausker 2-Piece Frying Pan Set

These pans sport the same aluminum alloy construction and nonstick coating, plus the removable handles that are a hallmark of the brand. With the handles off, they’re not only easy to store but safe for oven use. Pick up a 2-piece set of Ausker Frying Pans for $71.99, a full 20% off the MSRP.

Ausker Non-Stick 3-Pot Set

These Ausker pots are also oven-safe, with silicone handle guards that slip off for easy cleaning. The lids come two different strainers – one for water draining and one for steam release. As a final touch, the channel in the lid handle is specially designed to serve as a spoon holder. No more messy countertops. The Ausker Non-Stick 3-Pot Set is also 20% off, priced at $135.99.

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Charging into the future: novel rock salt for use in rechargeable magnesium batteries

Life today depends heavily on electricity. However, the unrelenting demand for electricity calls for increasingly greener and “portable” sources of energy. Although windmills and solar panels are promising alternatives, the fluctuation in output levels depending on external factors renders them as unreliable. Thus, from the viewpoint of resource allocation and economics, high-energy density secondary batteries are the way forward. By synthesizing novel material (a metal compound) for electrode that facilitates reversing of the chemistry of ions, a group of researchers led by Prof. Idemoto from Tokyo University of Science combat the wasteful aspects of energy sources by laying an important foundation for the production of next-generation rechargeable magnesium secondary batteries. The researchers are optimistic about the discovery and state, “We synthesized a rock salt type that has excellent potential for being used as the positive electrode material for next-generation secondary batteries.”

The most popular source of portable energy, a battery comprises three basic components — the anode, the cathode, and the electrolyte. These participate in an interplay of chemical reactions whereby the anode produces extra electrons (oxidation) that are absorbed by the cathode (reduction), resulting in a process known as redox reaction. Because the electrolyte inhibits the flow of electrons between the anode and cathode, the electrons preferentially flow through an external circuit, thus initiating a flow of current or “electricity.” When the material in the cathode/anode can no longer absorb/shed electrons, the battery is deemed dead.

However, certain materials allow us to reverse the chemistry, using external electricity that runs in the opposite direction, such that the materials may return to their original state. Such rechargeable batteries are similar to the ones used in portable electronic devices such as mobile phones or tablets.

Prof. Idemoto and colleagues at Tokyo University of Science synthesized cobalt-substituted MgNiO2, which shows promising results as a novel cathode. “We focused on magnesium secondary batteries that use polyvalent magnesium ions as movable ions,” states Prof. Idemoto while highlighting their study and its tantalizing prospects “which are expected to have high energy density in next-generation secondary batteries.” Of late, the low toxicity of magnesium and the ease of carrying out reversed reactions have generated enthusiasm for utilizing it as anode material in high-energy density, rechargeable batteries. However, realization of this remains difficult owing to the lack of a suitable complementary cathode and electrolyte. This is exactly what these researchers are aiming to change with their research published in the journal Inorganic Chemistry.

Building upon standard laboratory techniques, the researchers synthesized the novel salt using the “reverse co-precipitation” method. From the aqueous solution, they could extract the novel rock-salt. To investigate the structure as well as for lattice imaging of the extracted salt, they used neutron and synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy complementarily. In other words, they studied the diffraction patterns created when the powder samples were irradiated with neutrons or X-ray, resulting in characteristic peaks in intensity at certain positions. Simultaneously, the researchers performed theoretical calculations and simulations for the rock salt-types that showed a possible “charge?discharge behavior” needed for suitable cathode materials. This allowed them to determine the arrangement of Mg, Ni, and Co cations in the rock-salt structure based on the most energetically stable structure among the 100 generated symmetrically distinct candidates.

Apart from the structural analysis, the researchers also performed charge?discharge tests with a tripolar cell and known reference electrodes, under several conditions, to understand the electrochemical properties of the rock salt as a cathode material for the magnesium rechargeable batteries. They found that they could manipulate the battery characteristics based on the Mg composition and the Ni/Co ratio. These structural and electrochemical analyses allowed them to demonstrate the optimal composition for the rock salt as a cathode material, along with its reliability under different ambient conditions. Prof. Idemoto and the team are optimistic about the features of the synthesized rock salt, as they emphasize, “it has an excellent potential for use as the positive electrode material.”

At present, the secondary battery industry is dominated mainly by lithium ion batteries used for electricity storage, in vehicles and portable devices. There is, however, a cap on the energy density and storage of these batteries. But for Prof. Idemoto, limitations are merely opportunities, as he maintains, “Novel magnesium secondary batteries have the potential to surpass and replace lithium ion batteries as high-energy density secondary batteries through future research and development.”

With such optimism spewing from the research, one can surely conclude that humans are charging into a tomorrow that is lit up by the science of today.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Tokyo University of Science. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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A Gun Killed My Son. So Why Do I Want to Own One?

A Gun Killed My Son. So Why Do I Want to Own One?

To be clear, there was nothing I could’ve done to save him. It’s just a fantasy that has been circling my brain in a holding pattern for decades — that somehow I could have intervened.

On the evening of Dec. 14, 1992, a student armed with a semiautomatic rifle fired into the guard shack at the entrance to Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Mass., seriously wounding the guard stationed there. Moments later a car pulled up to the guard shack and the killer shot point-blank into the car’s side window. The driver died instantly and the car ran off the road. Someone heard the noise and rushed into the college library to report the accident. My son Galen, a sophomore at the college, rushed out the door to help. The shooter was waiting there, at the end of the sidewalk. Galen was hit twice; the chest shot was fatal. He staggered back into the library and died.

If my pistol and I had somehow been on the scene that night, no matter how highly trained we might’ve been, it’s likely we’d have rushed out the door to see if we could render assistance in the reported auto accident. The killer would still have been there, and I’d have been shot instead of my son. Small comfort in that.

A few years ago, I was flying home to Massachusetts from the West Coast with a copy of The New Yorker to keep me company. As the cocktail cart approached, I came upon an article about Henry Worsley’s doomed attempt to walk alone and unaided across the continent of Antarctica. He was a distant relative of the explorer Ernest Shackleton’s comrade Frank Worsley, and he was obsessed with the idea of honoring those legendary explorers by repeating the journey. Exhaustion and illness brought him to a halt a mere 30 miles short of his goal. He was rescued and flown to Punta Arenas, Chile, but he died in the hospital of bacterial peritonitis.

Image

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Sitting in my comfy red-eye cocoon at 35,000 feet reading of his agonies on the ice, and of his even more agonizing decision to call for help so near the end of his walk, the poignancy of Worsley’s story brought tears to my eyes. Then I thought of his wife and two children, and everything else he’d left behind, and my moist-eyed mood lifted. Why would anyone with so much to lose attempt such a stunt? Though the article never explicitly said as much, I could imagine only one explanation for Henry Worsley’s crazy walk: He was using the continent of Antarctica and the extremity of the conditions he imposed upon himself to explore unknown regions of his psyche, his own interior portal to a vaster, universal interiority. I thought, Ah! That’s just what I’m doing! Then I fell asleep.

Since that night I have had occasion to think of Henry Worsley.

My progress from survivor of gun violence to practitioner of defensive shooting proceeded in the same manner as Worsley’s epic disaster.

Down at the pistol range, for example — a subterranean hall reminiscent of a bowling alley — firing my 9-millimeter Sig Sauer P320 at a man-sized paper silhouette during an advanced gun skills class. The air-treatment fans are running full blast, but about a dozen of us have been shooting for hours. I can taste the sweetness of vaporized lead in the back of my mouth.

Considering the role that guns have played in my life, such moments need explaining, and the Worsley trope is helpful in this regard. I could even imagine that my progress from traumatized survivor of gun violence to practitioner of tactical defensive shooting proceeded in the same manner as Worsley’s epic disaster — step by step.

My son’s killer was a fellow student, a sophomore in the throes of a psychotic break. The administrators at Simon’s Rock had seen the clearly labeled ammo package arrive in that morning’s mail, and an anonymous call to a member of the staff warned that the killer had a gun and was planning to use it. But school shootings weren’t seen as a national crisis in 1992; the dean and the administration hadn’t been trained in active-shooter response because that body of knowledge didn’t really exist back then. Those administrators were ill-equipped to prevent the shooting.

I was so furious at their failure that I sued the college. But the painstaking process of legal discovery served also as a trek through the sources of my grief. Eventually I realized that there was no redemption in revenge. I made peace with the college and became involved in the gun-violence-prevention movement, sharing my story with anyone who would listen. My relationship with guns at that time was uncomplicated. I’d hunted as a kid and I’d received basic firearms training when I joined the Navy in 1967, but like many people in the liberal circles in which I traveled, I believed that guns were stupid and awful and that there was something fundamentally wrong with people who liked to use them.

Image

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

However, after 20 years of advocacy I was beginning to realize that something else was fundamentally wrong. I had always assumed that once people heard firsthand of the misery that a gun had caused, they’d be motivated to support laws that would prevent such tragedies from happening to anyone else. I kept believing this, and I kept telling my story, and Columbine, Virginia Tech and Aurora kept happening. On Friday in Virginia Beach, a city worker killed at least 12 people.

I’d been told repeatedly that my arguments for gun control had little credibility because I knew nothing about guns.

The real breaking point for me though, was, Dec. 14, 2012 — the 20th anniversary, to the day, of Galen’s murder — 20 children and six adults were shot to death at Sandy Hook elementary school. An avalanche of heartbreaking stories poured forth and still America did nothing. This nothingness inspired me, in the howling void of my survivor’s journey, to alter my course.

I’d been told repeatedly by gun owners — often from the back of whatever crowd I was addressing — that my arguments for gun control had little credibility because I knew nothing about guns or gun culture. Eventually I came to see some truth in that assertion. If there was a gun culture of Second Amendment zealots, there was also an opposing gun-control culture made up of people who knew little about guns except that guns were bad. People, in other words, like me.

82

76

72

Republicans

50

28

26

Democrats

22

19

’04

’06

’08

’10

’12

’14

’16

82%

76

72

Republicans

52

50

28

26

25

22%

19

Democrats

2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

2016

Received wisdom had it that the two sides in the gun control “debate” would eventually hammer out a consensus resulting in “sensible” gun legislation that would “respect the Second Amendment” while making it harder for criminals and would-be mass murderers to get guns. But now it seemed that the implied dialectic was a sham, and that in fact the two sides were locked in a sterile opposition from which no consensus would ever emerge. America was in the midst of a culture war, not a debate. We were muddling our bloody way toward some new identity as a people, or perhaps our dissolution as a people, and no survivor’s story would change that. For the first time since Galen’s death, I saw the situation in a different light. That implied a step in the right direction, but I needed more information.

The long and the short of it is that I bought a gun.

I didn’t just rush out and buy one; I took my time doing research. I had conversations with people at gun shows. I read gun magazines and spent hours on YouTube watching guys take guns apart and put them back together and blast the bejesus out of bottles full of colored water. I watched women shoot, and men and boys and girls shoot. And I have to admit, I did not care for these people and their guns. I found them aesthetically displeasing. But I stuck with it, and eventually it became somewhat more interesting to watch, for example, the YouTube video of the lady in Texas with the pink Beretta, or the guy shoulder bumping his AR so that it fired as if it were on full auto.

I signed up for the gun-safety course at my local gun club. In Massachusetts, this training was required by law to apply for a firearm license. Ninety-five dollars bought me a morning of instruction followed by a few minutes of wrapping my hands around cold steel (polymer, actually) and firing a real gun. It was an exciting moment for me and it was marked by an unusual occurrence.

Somehow, during the live-fire part of the course, an empty brass casing — probably from the pistol of the student next to me — found its way into the right pocket of the vest I’d worn to class. I didn’t discover it until that afternoon, when I put my hand in the pocket and pulled out an expended .22 shell. I put it back in my pocket, and every time I stuck my hand in there I rolled the little brass cylinder around in my fingers. This produced an excitement from a place I could not identify.

25

firearm deaths per 100,000 people

Alaska

Ala.

Mont.

La.

Mo.

Miss.

Ark.

20

Tenn.

W.Va.

N.M.

Wyo.

S.C.

Trend line

Nev.

Idaho

Okla.

Ky.

Ind.

Ga.

Kan.

Ariz.

15

Utah

N.C.

Ohio

Colo.

N.D.

Fla.

Md.

Pa.

Ill.

Ore.

S.D.

Vt.

Me.

Tex.

Va.

Wis.

Mich.

Del.

Wash.

10

N.H.

Iowa

Calif.

Neb.

Minn.

N.J.

Conn.

5

Mass.

R.I.

N.Y.

Hawaii

Fewer restrictions

More restrictions

Gun law rank

20

10

30

40

50

25

firearm deaths per 100,000 people

Alaska

Ala.

Mont.

La.

Mo.

Ark.

Miss.

20

W.Va.

N.M.

Wyo.

S.C.

Trend line

Tenn.

Nev.

Idaho

Okla.

Ky.

Ind.

Ga.

Kan.

Ariz.

15

Utah

N.C.

Ohio

Colo.

N.D.

Fla.

Md.

Ill.

Ore.

S.D.

Vt.

Tex.

Pa.

Del.

Va.

Mich.

Me.

Wash.

10

Wis.

N.H.

Iowa

Calif.

Neb.

Minn.

N.J.

Conn.

5

Mass.

R.I.

N.Y.

Hawaii

Gun law rank

10

20

30

40

50

I wore that vest to the police station a few days later. There, after surrendering my fingerprints, and producing my driver’s license and the certificate from my gun course, I filled out the requisite paperwork and had an interview with a police officer regarding my application. I had been advised to answer “for all legal purposes” as my reason for obtaining a license, but she didn’t ask me why I wanted to carry a gun. Instead, we bantered about local issues and characters and that was that. Some states are “shall issue” states, in which the local chief of police must issue a license to carry a firearm to any qualified applicant. Massachusetts is a “may issue” state, in which the chief has some discretion. This woman was his shrewd representative. A couple of weeks later I got a call from her. My license had come in.

When the weather warmed I visited my local gun shop and saw, in a glass case, a Ruger LC9s, a small 9-millimeter handgun that had gotten good reviews in the gun magazines. I’d already decided that I should begin my gun career with something modest, and this stubby little thing had an unassuming look to it. I took a calming breath and asked the guy behind the counter if I could handle the gun.

Image

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Soon I found myself engaged in a distinctly American rite of passage. I produced my driver’s license and my recently acquired class A large-capacity license to carry firearms. The salesman gave me a form on which I entered my personal information and checked the “no” box next to each of a number of questions intended to ascertain my fitness to own a gun. Was I a drug addict? Had I ever been “adjudicated as a mental defective?” I could have been as disturbed as the kid who thought God was commanding him to kill my son, but if my criminal record was clean and if I kept a straight face, it’s possible the purchase would have gone forward.

I was the father of a gun-murdered child and I had purchased a gun. I wasn’t supposed to be doing this.

Pro-gun people are always talking about fixing the mental health system, but concrete proposals are in short supply. Meanwhile, the mental health community is fiercely protective of patient privacy, and these interests can run counter to the reporting necessary for any background check to be effective. The salesman took my paperwork into the back room, where he checked the six-digit PIN on my firearms license against the computerized state database and ran my information through the F.B.I.’s national instant criminal background check system. Fifteen minutes and a few hundred dollars later, I was an official gun owner.

Then I knew precisely the word for the feeling that shell casing gave me every time I felt for it in my vest pocket. The word was “transgressive” and the effect was steroidal. I was the father of a gun-murdered child and I had taken a gun course and obtained a gun license and purchased a gun. I wasn’t supposed to be doing this, but I was doing it anyway.

One other realization accompanied the rush of power that surged through me. When you walk down the street knowing you are lethal, there can be no such thing as a “modest” gun. That was why the little Ruger remained so long in a drawer in my desk, rendered inoperative by a cable gun lock strung through its innards. Weeks passed before I was able to muster up the courage to try shooting the thing.

I looked at the gun. My hands were trembling.

I have a friend who lives in the woods about half an hour from my house. Over the years he’d cleared a sort of firing range on which he practiced for the deer season, and when I explained my quest to him, he invited me to use it. We took a long walk through the field below his house to a pallet leaned up against a pile of rocks. A bullet-scarred squeeze clamp at the top of the pallet held a paper bull’s-eye. Twenty paces and turn. The gun barked and jumped in my hand; the target escaped unscathed. Ten paces forward. Same result. Five more, down to 15 feet now, and a hit. Then a miss, then another hit.

After a few more rounds the muscles in my shoulders and neck began to ache. Standing sweating in the tall grass, mosquitoes humming around my ears, I looked at the gun. My hands were trembling. My loathing of guns had collided with my determination to master them. The impact was devastating.

Or was it? I recalled one of the more urbane YouTube gun gurus explaining that people have a natural aversion to holding things that explode. He illustrated his point by extending a lit firecracker at arm’s length in front of his face, which was exactly how it felt each time I yanked on the trigger. He referred to the phenomenon as “reactive interference” and the cure for it was … I couldn’t remember what the cure for it was. It probably involved signing up for his online gun tutorial. That night I found the business card of a firearms trainer that the salesman at the gun shop had given me. I called the man and we scheduled an introductory session at an indoor range not far from my house.

His name was Jerry. He was about my height, a little past middle age, with a neatly trimmed salt-and-pepper haircut and matching mustache. He told me he was a retired A.T.F. agent. He worked with a security firm and also trained civilians and professionals in everything from basic safety to advanced tactical shooting.

I told him my story about the death of my son, my advocacy work and my belief that this work could not be properly carried forward without learning about guns. He nodded solemnly, taking it all in, his eyebrows arching slightly at the “dead son” part. I noticed this reaction only because I was watching for it. Galen’s death carries a peculiar power, potentially as deep as the grief that accompanies it. Over the years I’ve learned to deploy that power in a sort of grief-into-anger-into-action judo. I continue to believe that my attempts to turn dreck into gold give Galen, wherever he is, great satisfaction.

Jerry was an excellent teacher, full of stories, and somehow he imparted a calmness, a sense of control. He grinned and wiggled his index finger in front of my nose. “This is the only thing that will make the gun fire.” I scheduled a second lesson, and as my schoolboy hunting days came back to me, I began to experience the Zen of the whole thing — the stance, the breathing, the focus, the squeeze. Then the acknowledgment from the pistol, which seemed almost jovial once I got used to it. An affirmative punch back at me. There, now. Look what we’ve done!

At the end of that lesson Jerry and I got to chatting. I asked him what he thought about the most recent mass shooting and he said, “It scares me.”

“Really? Scared?”

“Every time these shootings happen, people run out and buy a gun, but not many of them will take the trouble to learn how to use it. Now when I go to the mall I get the creeps. All those guns in pockets and purses.”

A few months after my lessons with Jerry, I was able to purchase a .40-caliber double action/single action pistol in a private sale from the family of a local man, recently deceased. My friend’s woodland retreat rang with gunshots that fall.

Eventually I attained a modicum of proficiency with my two pistols. They no longer seemed alien or perverse. Shooting had become — dare I say it? — therapeutic. I was mastering the instrument of my suffering. Still, I could no more think of carrying a loaded gun on my person than I could imagine wearing a live chain saw.

Image

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Then Betsy DeVos came into my life.

Actually, Parkland came first. In February 2018, following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., President Trump suggested arming teachers. “You give them a little bit of a bonus,” he said. “So practically for free, you have now made the school into a hardened target.” Then, that August, the Education Department and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that they were considering allowing states to use a grant called the Student Support and Academic Enrichment program to finance the placement of guns in schools. Within a year, Florida and Texas passed bills allowing teachers, or increasing the number of teachers allowed, to carry guns in the classroom. The idea was out there, and it had taken root.

It took root in my imagination as well. Now, in that endless holding pattern of the re-enactment of Galen’s murder, appears Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, eyes wide behind those oversize eyeglasses, pulling a Baby Glock from her purse and going after the shooter. Or in her place, the librarian at the circulation desk, or the janitor. Or me. Again.

Except this time I have another reason for being there. I have a question: If we’re going to give guns to teachers so that they can kill the killers who want to kill the students, how much training will the teachers need to be able to kill the killers without accidentally killing the students they’re supposed to prevent the killers from killing?

I called Jerry.

So it was that I came to find myself engrossed in tactical defensive shooting, which proved to be at least as physically challenging and intellectually complex as mastering a flawless golf swing. My studies were also the occasion of a major surprise.

Jerry, the professional trainer of professional shooters, told me he thought arming teachers was a bad idea but that he’d take me and my project on. We had a relationship by this time and, full disclosure, I was paying him $50 an hour to get some sense of the kind and amount of training that an armed teacher would need to keep his or her students safe.

At first, under the pressure and urgency of my hypothetical teacher training, I had difficulty handling the guns. The Ruger was too small; I felt as if it might fly out of my hands. The .40 was difficult to operate with any speed or facility. I couldn’t accustom myself to the first hard pull on the trigger. To make matters worse, I’m left handed. All the controls for both of the guns were positioned for right-handed shooters.

Toward the end of the second session, Jerry went inside his equipment bag and came out with a pistol that was a little smaller than my .40-caliber. “Try this,” he said. “It’s simpler to operate and it’s ambidextrous.” He put the gun in my hand and it fit in a way the other guns had not. It was a Sig Sauer P320, the gun that had recently been selected as the Army’s official service pistol. I fired two or three rounds, then I didn’t want to give it back. After the lesson ended, I could not stop thinking about how right that gun had felt.

I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. I liked that gun. I wanted it.

That was a measure of how far I’d come. I took the Ruger and the .40 down to the gun shop and swapped them for a Sig Sauer P320 chambered in 9 millimeters — identical to the gun Jerry had lent me — and went home feeling a little loopy. Like falling in love for the first time, at least in the sense that I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. I liked that gun. I wanted it.

Image

CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

My lessons proceeded apace, and after 20 hours of instruction and at least 30 more of practice on my own, I was comfortable enough to park my loaded gun in a hard plastic “appendix holster” inside my belt, beneath my shirt, pressing into my groin. I learned to extract it rapidly and safely, and shoot it more or less accurately, and reload and fire while turning, crouching, ducking in and out of concealment, never, ever, presenting a stationary target.

The only thing standing between me and mastery of tactical defensive shooting was me.

Throughout my training, with disconcerting irregularity, I would experience flashes of intense doubt, echoes of the first bad reaction that had come over me in my friend’s field. I’d be overwhelmed by the realization that my experiment with guns was a childish, self-indulgent fantasy, disrespectful of the life Galen had lost and of all that my family had suffered.

I stuffed gleaming brass slugs into their magazines as if I were fingering prayer beads.

My patient wife had some idea of what I was up to and found it distasteful in the extreme. My son, a burly, bearded contractor who looked like he should be the one with the Sig strapped on, thought I was nuts. A gun had killed his brother. Guns were stupid and awful and there was something fundamentally wrong with people who liked to use them. Of the three of them, my daughter seemed to have the most understanding of my Worsleyan venture. (I often wondered what his kids thought of what he’d done.) As with all my other advocacy projects, I was expending time and treasure in Galen’s name. My family was proud of me for that, but it could not be denied that the time and treasure thus expended might otherwise have been spent on them.

What I was doing was wrong and it seemed wrongest when I had a gun in my hand, as happened one Saturday afternoon during one of Jerry’s training classes. We were between drills when the feeling came upon me. I stuffed gleaming brass slugs into their magazines as if I were fingering prayer beads and tried to talk myself down. I’m learning about guns so I can better understand the problem of gun violence in America, which will enable me to do a better job advocating against it. (Whatever “it” was — a riddle that grew more complex the more I learned.) Three magazines loaded with 10 rounds apiece. Then on to our next exercise, the mirror drill, in which a full-length mirror is positioned between two shooters. One draws and the other reacts to what he sees in the mirror. Usually it would take three minutes to shoot through a ten-round magazine this way. That day it felt like an hour.

Being the sort of person I am, I combed the literature for information that would help me make sense of what I was feeling. Eventually, inevitably, I encountered the writings of Dave Grossman, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, pioneer researcher and scholar in the field of Killology (his designation, not mine, and a perfect example of his sometimes-tin ear). He is the author of “On Killing” and “On Combat” and is perhaps best known for an idea he discusses in those books that divides everyone into three distinct groups.

“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep,” he has written. “If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath — a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path.”

It seemed corny and unscientific to me. But if, as an actual sheepdog might, you see the world in black and white, its humorless piety, self-righteous rectitude and complete absence of subtlety would seem appealing.

In fairness, Colonel Grossman has done groundbreaking work delving into the psychology and physiology of killing. One of the starting points of his study is the observation that although we have little difficulty bombing whole nations into the Stone Age, we are hard-wired against killing one another face to face. Was that the source of my yips? I was, after all, training to shoot people at close range.

There was another aspect, laid out in exquisite detail by Colonel Grossman, to this business of up-close-and-personal killing. When one is under the extreme stress of having to do so, the forebrain stops giving orders and yields to the hypothalamus, the stress control center. Bladder and colon involuntarily empty, and the autonomic nervous system kicks in. The adrenal glands release potentially damaging levels of cortisol, adrenaline and other hormones. Blood pressure and respiration spike. Time seems to slow; nausea, auditory exclusion, tunnel vision and even temporary physical paralysis may ensue. Jerry never told us about any of that!

Post-Grossman I have a very different scenario of what takes place in my fantasy library in 1992. Professional trainers are largely in agreement that there’s really no predicting how a person will react in a combat situation. No matter how diligently Betsy DeVos and I might have prepared, we’d be in the midst of a giant mess.

That was it for me. I airlifted myself out of there.

Happily, I didn’t die of peritonitis in a hospital in southern Chile. I wound up in a house of worship in northern New England. In the preface to “On Combat,” Colonel Grossman wrote that he spends nearly 300 days a year traveling the country evangelizing the sheepdog mind-set. According to the Sheepdog Seminar website, he was coming soon to a church near Bangor, Me. I decided to go up there and hear what they had to say about the idea of people with guns keeping people safe from people with guns. One foot in front of the other.

A few of us were carrying openly; many more had pistols concealed in baggy cargo pants.

About 150 of us were gathered at Calvary Chapel, a large modern building across the river from Bangor. Mostly men of middle age and beyond, with a smattering of women and teenagers. A few of us were carrying openly; many more had pistols concealed in baggy cargo pants or beneath untucked shirts. Jimmy Meeks, a minister and the director of the seminar, scooted back and forth in front of us, an agitated, white-haired penguin of a man, making Fox News jokes, church jokes about the uselessness of deacons, even a New England Patriots joke about deflation. Then he gave us the real news: Our country was in a season of violence, a holocaust of unprecedented dimension. Immigrants were pouring over the border like a freight train. Angry people were everywhere. “Our Heavenly Father’s heart is broken over the violence,” he announced, looking up toward the presumptive source of this information. “Our Heavenly Father intends to respond to the violence.” He paused for a beat, then turned on the audience. “His response is … you!”

I had some acquaintance with Mr. Meeks. He’d called me shortly after I submitted my online application for the seminar, to tell me that he’d looked me up and learned that there was a Gregory Gibson in my town who’d lost a son in a school shooting. (Being good sheepdogs, I supposed, they researched every seminar applicant who hadn’t been vetted by the sponsoring church.) Was I that Gregory Gibson? I said that I was, and that he could call me Greg, since Gregory was merely my internet moniker, to distinguish me from the Major League Baseball umpire named Greg Gibson. That elicited a cackle and then a moan, as he told me how sorry he was for the unimaginable loss I had suffered. He was calling, he said, because he was concerned that I hadn’t understood the nature of the Sheepdog Seminar. It was primarily about how church people could keep their churches safe, though the information would be useful to anyone. He was worried that I might be traumatized by some of the material in the presentation.

Perhaps it was the twang in his speech, so fresh to my ear. The way he’d said, “It breaks my heart” gave me the feeling that if I had burst into tears at that moment, he would have wept with me. He began telling me his story. He was 61 years old, a retired cop and a preacher, Southern Baptist. There were issues with his family back home in Texas. He wanted so much to be there with them but he couldn’t stop traveling. He was driven by love. His voice wobbled. He took a breath and told me, “I’m a very emotional guy.” Despite my reservations about sheepdogs and preachers, I found myself falling for the Rev. Jimmy Meeks, calling me out of the blue the way he had, to be sure I wouldn’t be traumatized, to tell me how sorry he was for my loss and to share with me a glimpse of his own travails.

On either side of the stage at the front of Calvary Chapel was a big screen. “Matthew 10:17” appeared on both of them. Mr. Meeks read it, loud and slow, to be sure he had our attention. Then, for those of us — probably a minority — who hadn’t memorized chapter and verse, he flashed the text beneath it. “Be on GUARD against men; they will flog you IN their synagogues.” This was followed by a list of 50 headlines, also projected onto the screens, highlighting some of the “811 VIOLENT DEATHS” that had occurred on faith-based property since 1999.

Over the course of the two-day seminar, two case studies were presented and analyzed in detail by people who had shot and killed, or participated in the shooting and killing of, armed persons attempting mass murders. There were important things to be learned from these brave presenters, a great many things, ordered, elucidated and drilled into us by Jimmy Meeks — urging, weeping, scorning, confessing, praying. He called me out at one point, actually called my name and asked me to stand as he told my story, his voice quavering again. Poor planning. No training. Officials in denial. People approached me after that, shyly offering their condolences.

Yes, there would be guns, but the people carrying them would be the right people.

In the evening, at the end of the first day, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance, hands over hearts, sang the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” with lyrics to all the verses projected onto those same screens that had listed the grisly church crimes. Then we prayed, as Jimmy admonished us, “with your eyes open and your heads up!” and I thought how sweet it would be, if Christ had ever come into my life, to be dwelling in the bosom of the church with these strange, earnest people. How comforting it would be to know what to do. To have a plan. Yes, there would be guns, but the people carrying them would be the right people, carefully selected, thoroughly trained. In that moment of communal prayer, I had no doubt that I could trust these people with guns.

Colonel Grossman joined us on the second day of the seminar. He was fit and wiry, constantly in motion, delivering his pitch, very much the military man, punctuating his utterances with “Do you understand?” — as much a command as a question. He had a growly way of speaking and a rhythmic vocal tic, a sort of grunt or “umph” that reminded me of a sheepdog’s affirmative “Ruff!” It pleased me to imagine that after decades of researching, formulating and evangelizing the sheepdog mind-set, Dave Grossman had become one.

He gave a brief pitch for his many books that pertained to the matter at hand. “Why Mommy Carries a Gun” is one title that stuck in my mind. Then he told us what he had learned from training soldiers, from desensitizing them to their natural aversion to killing up close. The terrible news he brought us on this day was that our national video game addiction was creating a generation of killers.

Guns had always been present in our society, he said, but there had been no multiple homicides by a juvenile in schools until the 1970s. Guns didn’t change; we changed. He talked the pioneering work of Dr. James McGee, a co-author of the groundbreaking “Classroom Avenger” study on school shooters. According to Dr. McGee, the one thing these young killers had in common was that they were loners, and, in Colonel Grossman’s telling, immersed themselves in “sicko movies and video games.” He described video games as a form of “pathological play” that rewarded the player for causing death. Colonel Grossman’s take on the research got more dire: Violent visual imagery actually changed the brains of players. Video games were digital crack. The media were taking no responsibility for the content they put out there. The mental health of an entire generation was a stake.

It was a chilling performance. I thought of my 7-year-old grandson, hunched over his tablet, keeping the world safe from zombies.

After it was over, Jimmy Meeks took me up to meet Colonel Grossman. I told him I’d read and been impressed by his work. He thanked me and inscribed a copy of one of his books for me. The book was about video games. It was called “Assassination Generation.”

As it happened, I had business in Washington the week after I attended the Sheepdog Seminar. And as it also happened, I knew Dr. James McGee, the expert to whom Colonel Grossman had alluded. I’d met him 20 years before at a seminar on school safety and threat assessment, and we’d become friends. I decided to visit him at his home outside Baltimore.

He’s a twinkly eyed, avuncular guy, with a record of achievement that belies his genial affect, including service as a recon Marine — their inside joke is that they’re the ones who show up when the SEALS dial 911. He is a trained hostage negotiator, special consultant to the F.B.I.’s critical incident response group, retired director of psychology at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore and, charmingly, team psychologist for the Baltimore Orioles in the 1980s, including the year they won the World Series, with a big, clunky World Series ring to show for it.

According to Dr. McGee, giving guns to teachers doesn’t even merit serious discussion except in terms of bad outcomes. Cops become cops because they want to be cops. Teachers, by and large, do not want to become killers. But even in the hands of professionals, there was no guarantee of success. He told me that the accuracy rate of police officers in real gunfights is nothing to be confident about and that the accuracy rate in a classroom would be even worse because of the possibility of collateral damage, whereas the shooter would have no such concern. “Assumption of accuracy is not a deterrent for suicidal people,” he said. In Dr. McGee’s learned opinion, resources would be better spent on hardening targets (which, essentially, was the point of the two days I’d spent at the Sheepdog Seminar) and on threat assessment.

We sat in his living room sipping tea. A fluffy little dog and an exotic bobtail cat, both rescue animals, mooched around looking for treats or pats. Birds sang nesting songs outside and a spring breeze wafted through the room. We talked about Menninger’s triad (wish to die + wish to kill + wish to be killed), the duty of clinicians to warn of serious threats from patients, the work of Dr. David Phillips on cluster suicides, the media’s role in the increasing sophistication of classroom shootings and similarly grotesque topics. Much as the Rev. Jimmy Meeks had quoted scripture and Colonel Grossman had repeated “Do you understand?,” Dr. James McGee ended many of his utterances with “You can look it up.”

We went downstairs and admired his basement full of S-gauge and O-gauge model trains, laid out in switch yards and freight depots and small-town stations, tidy worlds in perfect miniature. We walked back to my car and talked about the road trip we’d take together some day, while we still could, and then I headed south.

That was when the trouble started.

Now, the wrongness of arming teachers was more than a mere notion.

As I drove, I thought about the ground I’d covered since deciding to become a gun owner. I’d assumed that my experiences along the way would lead to a deeper understanding of gun violence in America and that I would emerge at the end of my journey a more effective advocate of gun safety. I was therefore surprised to discover that in a certain sense, I hadn’t made any progress at all. I’d started out believing that giving guns to teachers was a bad idea, and here I was, driving down Interstate 95 thinking that there were things we could do to make schools safer but that giving guns to teachers was not one of them. I’d stumbled around in a circle and come right back to where I’d started.

Now, though, the wrongness of arming teachers was more than a mere notion. I’d tested my ideas with help from Jerry, Colonel Grossman, Mr. Meeks, Dr. McGee, Secretary DeVos and President Trump. (I’d been enraged by his “practically for free” statement about school safety. Only later did I realize how that rage had propelled me.) I’d also tested my theories with all the people I’d spoken with at gun shows, the gun shop clerks and habitués, and my fellow trainees — as good, bad and ugly as any random lot of folks, except that many of them saw no connection between gun violence and their own interest in guns.

I considered the power of the sad story I’d shared for all those years.

All of them would agree that what happened Friday in Virginia Beach was a revolting tragedy, but what did that have to do with what he was doing? For some, this decoupling of guns and gun violence was accompanied by a link between fear and demand. If the world was a threatening place and gun grabbers were going to make it impossible to get the guns we needed to protect ourselves, didn’t it make sense to get more while we still could? I know. It’s a minuscule sample size, but that’s not the point. There were consequences to all the interacting and information-gathering I’d been doing. What if the beliefs I’d encountered weren’t gun-nut pathology but simply a worldview oriented 180 degrees from the one to which I was accustomed?

I considered the power of the sad story I’d shared for all those years with hungry journalists who gobbled my suffering and pushed out content, and the pink-faced politicians brought to the verge of tears by the recitation of my sorrows, who then went out and voted against me. I considered my friend with the house in the woods. The first time I used his shooting range I asked him — this guy who routinely kills, butchers and eats the animals who share the forest with him — whether he wanted to take a few shots with my Ruger. He looked at the pistol and made a face. “No, thanks,” he said. “I’m good.”

I considered the fact that in hopes of becoming a more effective advocate, I had ceased advocating altogether. Now I was simply bearing witness. Where I’d expected fewer certainties, I discovered many more, and they all came in diametrically opposed pairs. My wife and children and I had lost our beloved Galen in the most hideous, random, wasteful way, and yet I could not see the world as a threatening place. I was a perfect sheep, except for the loaded gun nestled in my crotch.

Blacks and whites of the gun control debate smeared into gray. I’d gotten pretty comfortable with shooting, but even better (I thought!) at living in a perpetual state of cognitive dissonance, as if I had consumed America’s gun problem and now embodied it. But when it came to actual people and realistic approaches to the problem of gun violence, black and white were still worlds apart. Focusing on legislation as a means of reducing gun deaths felt to me like a project for white people — detached from the ways in which systemic racism and economic exclusion drove gun violence. I’d spent a fair amount of time doing advocacy work in urban neighborhoods. From talking with people there, I knew that when your main concern is raising money to bury your 14-year old son or getting the police to investigate the murder of your husband, crafting sensible gun legislation can seem like an afterthought.

I drove on, and the opposing terms in my internalized gun-violence “debate” began canceling one another out. Instead of synthesis or consensus, I was left with nothing. What was the point of advocacy, anyway? It hadn’t worked because it didn’t work. Nothing I could do would rid the world of sociopaths and criminals. By the time I reached my hotel in Washington, I was a wreck. Somehow, inadvertently, I’d succeeded in breaking myself down completely, much as Navy boot camp broke civilian recruits down before building us back up as sailors. I must confess that I experienced a few difficult weeks after my visit with Jim McGee. I’m just beginning to rebuild.

I think I’ll keep shooting. I enjoy it, and I want to see whether I can become more efficient and more accurate. And I’ll resume my advocacy work, but I’m going to go about it differently. As with school safety, there are things we can do to reduce gun deaths. Some of them will require education and cultural change, some can be addressed through legislation. Would every Second Amendment zealot have to lose a child in a preventable gun death to understand the sense in this?

It’s a terrible thought, and one I don’t need to think. I’m thinking instead of Jimmy Meeks’s God telling his flock that they were the answer. More than 125,000 people a year are killed or wounded by guns in America, and each of them is surrounded by friends, relatives and loved ones — a million people a year whose lives will never be the same because of that experience.

According to one poll, 58 percent of American adults have said that they or someone they care for has experienced gun violence. Those are the people I want to talk with now. That’s my church.

Gregory Gibson is the author of “Gone Boy: A Father’s Search for the Truth in His Son’s Murder.” An interview he conducted with the man who killed his son is available at goneboy.com.

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Multi-Layered Highlights From the Tbilisi Art Fair 2019

Multi-Layered Highlights From the Tbilisi Art Fair 2019

Concurrent with the non-commercial OXYGEN_Tbilisi No Fair exhibition, the Tbilisi Art Fair (TAF) highlights Georgian artists and galleries. Unlike the former event, however, TAF also incorporates an international presence. From other institutions in the region—such as Azerbaijan—to Western European and American contributions, the fair allows attendees to see the vibrancy of homegrown artists amidst their global peers. It’s predominantly composed of Georgian galleries (to its benefit) and Georgian artists truly impress the importance of the nation’s contemporary art scene on visitors. But their mission as a platform beyond a fair is to embolden artists from the Caucasus, Eastern and Central Europe. Below are our five favorite multi-layered presentations from the second annual iteration.

Levan Mindiashvili’s “I Should Have Kissed You Longer”

A multimedia, mixed material onslaught from the Erti Gallery booth is imagined and installed by Georgia-born, New York-based artist Levan Mindiashvili. From neon word art in both English and Georgian script to modified text on a chalkboard, Mindiashvili’s art manipulates the familiar in order to probe deeper—altogether, here, building an immersive stage. Known as “I Should Have Kissed You Longer,” the installation incorporates a central sound-system and songs by Georgian DJ and producer Sophia Saze.

Lisa Alvarado’s “Traditional Object 28”

Presented by the exquisite Tbilisi-based LC Queisser Gallery, American artist Lisa Alvarado‘s “Traditional Object 28” (2018) finds feathers and acrylic paint affixed to fabric and wood. The mesmerizing layers of color and material yield a fractured peacock-sheen. The painted piece reveals more and more upon repeat glances.

Anke Eilergerhard’s Crown of Georgia Series

Wall-hung but with a wedding cake-like structure, Anke Eilergerhard‘s “Crown of Georgia” pieces feature layers upon layer of pigmented silicone. The German artist’s pieces were on show at Lucerne, Switzerland gallery AB43 Contemporary’s installation. From the delicate colors to the delectable shapes, there was something almost mouth-watering to the sculptures.

Sasha Frolova’s “Leia Mask”

Russian artist Sasha Frolova‘s layered latex pieces populated Tbilisi-based Ria Keburia Foundation‘s entire booth. With playful colors and swirling shapes, Frolova taps into silliness, wonder and eccentricity. Her ” Leia Mask” (2016) is wearable art and falls in line with several body suits and latex wigs Frolova has imagined.

Merab Abramishvili’s “Pomegranate” and “Dog-Rose”

Rising side by side at Tbilisi-based Baia Gallery‘s booth, Merab Abramishvili‘s “Pomegranate” (2003) and “Dog-Rose” (2003) feature layers of pigment on plywood—dispersed by the tempera method. Made only three years before the Georgian artist passed away in 2006, the panels evoke time long since past with their nuanced beauty.

Photos by David Graver

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Drive a Rover (Toy Car) Over the Internet

Drive a Rover (Toy Car) Over the Internet

What you’ll be building

This tutorial teaches you how to build a rover that can be driven using your mobile phone. It includes a live video feed and a control interface for driving. Since the rover and your phone both have internet access, the toy car can be controlled from across the world.

Requirements and Materials

Raspberry Pi connected to the internet

Raspberry Pi camera

Raspian Stretch (or ffmpeg manually installed)

Chassis Components: Zumo chassis kit, 2 micro motors, L298N module, 4 AA batteries

External Power Source, for example the Anker PowerCore+ Mini

Wires, tape, foam packing material, rubber bands

Step 1: Build the Chassis

Follow the first 6 minutes and 15 seconds of this tutorial video to build the chassis.

Step 2: Add the Raspberry Pi and L298N Module

Cut out a piece of foam to act as a cushion between the Raspberry Pi and chassis, and another piece of foam to sit between the Raspberry Pi and L298N Module. Then attach them to the chassis using rubber bands. Connect the Raspberry Pi Camera.

Step 3: Connect the Circuit

Connect the motors to the sides of the L298N module. Connect pins 19, 20, 21, and 26 to the control pins of the L298N module. Connect a ground wire between the Raspberry Pi and the L298N module, and finally connect the batteries (located underneath the chassis) to the L298N’s ground and +12V.

Add some foam insulation under the external power source, and secure it using rubber bands. Tape the camera to the device to prevent it from moving while driving. Connect the power source to the Raspberry Pi, and add the wheel treads if you haven’t done so already.

Step 4: Enable the Camera

The camera must be enabled on the Raspberry Pi using the command:

sudo raspi-config

Visit the official documentation for more info.

Step 5: Install LimitOS on the Raspberry Pi

LimitOS runs alongside your existing operating system, and can be installed via:

curl -sS https://limitos.com/install | bash

Follow the on-screen instructions to register the device afterwards.

Step 6: Enable LimitOS Video

After registering your device, you’ll be on the LimitOS website at https://limitos.com . From there, go to your device by clicking “My Devices” and selecting your device. Then click “Edit Device” and make sure to check the “Enable live video” checkbox. If your video appears upside down, you can also come back here later to invert the video.

Step 7: Set Up the Pins

On your LimitOS device page, add pins 19, 20, 21, and 26 as the “output – digital” pin type. Test out each pin individually using the controls at the bottom of the page, and then name each pin accordingly.

Step 8: Set Up the Control Interface

On the LimitOS website, click the icon next to “Device Controls” to access the control interface. Click the gear icon to edit the interface, select the “Drive” control template, allow public access if you’d like, and then map your pins appropriately and save the changes.

You should now be able to drive your rover around!

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