Gun Crazy

Written by: Stephen Hsu

Primary Source: Information Processing

I grew up out in the country in Iowa. Our address was RR1 = “Rural Route 1” :-)  We had a creek, pond, dirtbike (motorcycle) track, and other fun stuff on our property. One of the things I enjoyed most was target shooting and plinking with my .22 — I’d just walk out the back door and start shooting. With my scope zeroed in I could easily hit a squirrel at 50-100 yards from a standing position.

I haven’t had a gun since I left for college, but now that I have kids and live in a gun friendly state, I thought I might get back into shooting a bit. There are two good ranges (one free) near my house, and my kids are at an age where they can learn gun safety and how to shoot. My wife disagrees, but to me knowing how to handle a gun is a basic life skill.

Gun technology has matured quite a bit since I was a kid. There is amazing stuff available at reasonable prices (red dot scopes!). With YouTube I got up to speed on the new gear really fast. You can’t get a look at the internals of most guns while they are at the store, but online you can find complete disassembly videos.

This is a .22lr in an AR15 pattern (Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22, 5.5 lbs):

This is a 3 lb semi-auto .22lr (all polymer except the barrel and firing mechanism) available for just over $100 (Mossberg Blaze):

Ruger pistol, 25 shots at 5m–15m:

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Stephen Hsu
Stephen Hsu is vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State University. He also serves as scientific adviser to BGI (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute) and as a member of its Cognitive Genomics Lab. Hsu’s primary work has been in applications of quantum field theory, particularly to problems in quantum chromodynamics, dark energy, black holes, entropy bounds, and particle physics beyond the standard model. He has also made contributions to genomics and bioinformatics, the theory of modern finance, and in encryption and information security. Founder of two Silicon Valley companies—SafeWeb, a pioneer in SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Networks) appliances, which was acquired by Symantec in 2003, and Robot Genius Inc., which developed anti-malware technologies—Hsu has given invited research seminars and colloquia at leading research universities and laboratories around the world.