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Violence is on the rise in Chicago, and lawmakers are looking for ways to drive those numbers back down. One stat that has drawn attention in recent weeks is the city's number of carjackings. According to Chicago police, carjacking surged by 134 percent for 2020, bringing the total to 1,415. Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. (D), whose district covers Chicago's South Side, wants a sales ban to minors on violent video games like Grand Theft Auto. Evans is proposing an amendment to an existing 2012 law that prevents the sale of violent video games to minors. Illinois House Bill 3531 (HB3531) has been updated to add the following language:
Modifies the definition of "violent video game" to mean a video game that allows a user or player to control a character within the video game that is encouraged to perpetuate human-on-human violence in which the player kills or otherwise causes serious physical or psychological harm to another human or an animal...
Modifies the definition of "serious physical harm" to include psychological harm and child abuse, sexual abuse, animal abuse, domestic violence, violence against women, or motor vehicle theft with a driver or passenger present inside the vehicle when the theft begins.
The above-bolded text is pertinent to Grand Theft Auto, a widely popular game franchise that allows you to perform carjackings (among other violent and heinous acts). However, what's interesting is that games like Grand Theft Auto and its ilk have been around for decades; this is nothing new. A game like Grand Theft Auto alone couldn't possibly be responsible for the rise in the city's carjackings. Still, lawmakers and city officials are seemingly trying to tie the young ages of some of the carjacking suspects with the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic means that many children are at home, spending more time playing video games.
grand theft auto carjacking The youngest [recent] carjacking suspect was just 12 years old, and a 14-year-old was arrested in January for "taking part in multiple carjackings," according to Fox News.
"I feel like this game has become a huge issue in this spectrum," said Walker in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. "When you compare the two, you see harsh similarities as it relates to these carjackings."
As a counterpoint to the rumblings in Chicago, a decade-long study concluded that this is no credible link between kids playing violent video games and, in-turn exhibiting violent behavior.
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Juliette Contzen is a lazy, good-for-nothing princess. Overshadowed by her siblings, she's left with little to do but nap, read … and occasionally cut the falling raindrops with her sword. Spotted one day by an astonished adventurer, he insists on grading Juliette's swordsmanship, then promptly has a mental breakdown at the result.
Soon after, Juliette is given the news that her kingdom is on the brink of bankruptcy. At threat of being married off, the lazy princess vows to do whatever it takes to maintain her current lifestyle, and taking matters into her own hands, escapes in the middle of the night in order to restore her kingdom's finances.
Tags: Comedy, Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Copious Ohohohohos.
Chapter 14: Yearning For Stars
Rextros the Black Scar was, incredibly, a man noted for his black scar.
It was his symbol as a survivor. And more importantly, as a winner. He may have a scar, but the man he'd last fought had two broken arms and a big enough gap in his front teeth that he now whistled in between speaking.
Over the years, he'd fought with the best of the worst, turning bars inside out and alleys upside down. As a D-rank pugilist, he regularly left a reminder that of all the mean sods to ply their trade in this land, he was the meanest of them all.
And his reward? His own cozy little forest hideout, complete with a gambling table, a drinks bar and semi-loyal goons. It was everything a good little outlaw wanted. Except that he never wanted to be an outlaw in the first place.
He wanted to be a pianist.
“... Damn … !”
Rextros the Black Scar had no wish to lead his own group of bandits. A cold tent in a damp forest? A dirty camp filled with the stench of a dozen guys who didn't bathe, even though there's a river right next to them?
These weren't the dreams of a normal lad growing up on a farm. But he knew that working the land wasn't for him. His hands were made for more than sowing seeds and milking cows.
It was for playing nocturnes beneath the moonlight, his soul reaching out to gently sweep across the keys faster than his fingers did.
However, that dream wasn't to be.
Once he was old enough that he could no longer sneak his way into fancy bars and ply his budding skills on the pianos reserved for the famous, he knew he had to buy his own. It infuriated him that pianos were the playthings of the nobility. He couldn't even walk into a piano workshop before being tossed out. It was a closed circle for the rich and the few. And that lit a fire in his belly.
So what if the fancy lords and ladies couldn't stomach the thought of a mere peasant like him dirtying their favourite pastime? It wasn't them he'd play for.
Rextros the Black Scar would play for the people.
And he'd play a piano he could move with his heart as much as his hands—a St. Liane baby grand in mahogany red, rolled straight out of the Royal St. Liane Workshop in the middle of the royal capital and onto the bustling street outside.
That was the dream.
A dream which had slid further away with each passing day. The crowns he'd earned from his fights were barely worth the silver needed to hire a sister to stitch himself back up afterwards. And all the callouses on his hands were suddenly around his knuckles and not his fingertips.
Then, like a twisted angel summoned from the lowest abyss, that's when she
appeared. “Rextros the Black Scar. What a dreadfully dull name. It's as if you picked it out from a book of villains. Couldn't you have gone for something more original? The Black Etude, perhaps?” “Hah? You picking a fight? And what's with that get-up? You hard selling for a casino? I don't gamble, so find someone else to fleece.” “You say that, but isn't every day a gamble with the law to you? Honestly, however are you going to acquire the funds to buy a St. Liane of all things? You couldn't have picked a more expensive thing even if you tried. Greedy much?” “... Who are you?! How do you know …” “Hey, hey, hey. Wanna hear about a get rich quick scheme? Super reliable! Everyone's done it! And don't worry, it has nothing to do with gambling. Unless you want to?” “D-Don't mess with me, woman! Who are you?! Keep away! I'm no fool—”
Rextros clenched his teeth as he recalled the memory.
He was no fool … Except that he was.
“... Damn … it … all! ...”
He crashed his fist down against his small table beneath his tent.
He'd stopped doing that lately. Firstly, he'd gotten used to the idiocy of his underlings. Secondly, it spilled his crowns everywhere and picking them up from the grass was a pain. If he ever wanted to buy that immaculate St. Liane, he'd need every last crown this rotten venture in poor decision making could get him.
So … how did it all go so wrong?
First it was the type of jobs. They'd started easy. Shaking down couriers and breaking into warehouses. Then they got harder. Not because the couriers got wiser or the warehouses tougher.
It was because he'd pieced together what he'd been stealing—and why.
He'd left in the middle of his last job and never looked back. Not because he had no regrets about running. But because he'd feared he'd see the face of that girl in her casino get-up looking right back at him.
The thought sent shivers running down his spine.
But maybe that was just because of the cold.
A forest. A cold, damp forest. This wasn't much better. But it was easier. Merchants used this road. He left the farmers alone. And the trolls. But the merchants? They took extortion as a business expense. And every now and again, a wandering nobleman and his family would come to hunt, forgetting that they were more likely to be found by the death beetles before they found a deer.
Was it kidnapping? Sure. But he was doing them a favour. The ransom reward was his just earnings. And what a reward they always were.
He was close. So close.
One last gig. One last merchant. One last idiot.
He knew this camp wouldn't last. But it didn't need to. He was so close. Then he could abandon this damp lifestyle and these stinking men and play ballades beneath the acoustic roof of the Reitzlake Grand Bridge.
That girl with a huge gob, haughty expression, fine clothes and dark hair without so much as an inkling of dirt on it was his ticket to freedom. That sword alone looked like it could be traded for any piano he wanted. He was even glad the idiots hadn't taken it from her. If they had, he likely would never have seen it.
Now he wished they'd just tried mugging her and suffered the consequences for it. Their dead bodies weren't likely going to reveal where he was.
“B-Boss … what was that? Who was she? Why did we have to give everything over?”
Rextros smashed his fist against the table again. This time, a cloud of dust came up as a crack appeared.
“Shut up! Shut up, all of you! I'm thinking!”
One by one, his underlings looked at each other with differing amounts of confusion and resentment. They didn't understand. They didn't know
That girl, that ticket to freedom, was a poisoned bait. She'd come with one purpose and one alone. And that was to remind Rextros that so long as he lived, his obligations remained. He knew it. He'd dreamed it.
And now he feared the consequences of his flight.
But what could he do? That girl's message was clear. No matter where he ran, he would never be allowed to wander freely again. Every crown he stole wasn't his to keep. He wanted an out. But how could he? He'd seen too much. Not on purpose. But that didn't matter. He wasn't as blind as the rest.
And that was a problem.
“Boss! What's going on! That was everything! It was our pay, our weapons, you gave it all away! Who was she?!”
A problem like losing the loyalty of his men.
Forget making back his losses. He'd lose his life if they all turned on him. And he knew for a fact that the knives and daggers they carried were still on them, hidden in their boots and their clothes.
As every pair of eyes turned black, Rextros clenched his fist.
There was only one thing he could do. It was … It was dangerous. But it was his only choice. Not just to make it out of here alive. But to escape with it tomorrow, too.
He had to silence that girl.
Before she could reach her mistress, she had to be dealt with.
That way, he'd have time. That casino girl had to only suspect. Otherwise, she'd be here herself. Despite his fears, he knew she wasn't truly omnipotent. More importantly, it'd mean he'd have the money to flee. Even with just the crowns, he'd have enough to survive. More than enough.
He had to deal with that girl … and yet, if she was anything near as strong as that monster ...
He had no choice. Not if he wanted to survive. Even if she matched him as a fighter, he had to deal with her. Then, he'd get out. Lay low. Flee the kingdom. That St. Liane was beyond his reach. But there were others. A Zelronto, perhaps. Lacking in finishing and incomparable with the tonal brilliance of a St. Liane, but bearable nonetheless.
It was time to leave these idiots behind.
But not without using them one last time.
“Shut up! All of you!”
“That girl. She was here on behalf of the Adventurer's Guild.”
The looks of rebellion were quickly replaced by panic.
Rextros smiled internally to himself. It was every outlaw's worst nightmare. Those that weren't him, of course.
The Adventurer's Guild weren't like knights or soldiers, who'd make so much noise looking for them that they could pack up and leave without so much as leaving an empty bottle behind.
Adventurers were hunters. Hunters that got paid absolute jack for the work they did. And that meant they did their jobs for reasons other than crowns.
In short, the worst type of people.
“She wanted to cut me a deal. All our gains for a day to leave. Except that won't matter if she's dealt with first. Go get her. Now
A few of the men shifted. Most were just confused.
“B-But if she's an adventurer, why didn't we just jump her already?”
“Fool! I was watching the treeline! You guys can't stand sentry even if I peel your eyelids off! I had to make sure there was nobody else! Now you see why I'm the leader and you idiots are not!”
“B-Boss!! Then, then that means ...”
“She's alone. Probably thinks she's stronger than all of us. Some brat that just got promoted to E-rank and thinks they're hot stuff. You know what to do.”
Rextros sighed as the underlings shot off, their hidden daggers being pulled from whatever sorry part of their bodies they hid them in.
It was going to be close. That girl … the sword she had. Only an extremely capable swordswoman would dare wield such a weapon. To be anything less was to invite every rogue within spitting distance to try and steal it from her, alive or dead.
Even so, she was alone. She had to be. The way these people operated demanded it. He had fourteen men under his command. Idiots to the last, but idiots with brawn and no discipline. If they all hurled themselves at her, there was simply no way she would be able to defeat them all.
And if so few made it back that he could claim all the loot for himself, then so be it.
Rextros smiled. Perhaps this wasn't such an unfortunate meeting, after all. He'd been meaning to consider a way to leave his goons in the lurch. If someone could deal with them for him, then all the better.
He simply needed to be ready to make good on his escape. BRRROOOOOWWMMM
It was at the exact moment that Rextros the Black Scar thought this that his feet suddenly left the ground.
Letting out a scream, he flailed uselessly at the air as he was suddenly flung against the back of his tent, taking it and also a tree with him as he went hurtling down the mound he'd pitched his makeshift throne on.
An enormous, ear splitting explosion drowned out his scream. Or at least what sounded like an explosion. He couldn't be sure with the entire forest groaning in pain. Leaves, branches and trees bent wildly as though slapped by the force of a thousand hurricanes. And yet Rextros instinctively knew that it could have been worse.
The source of that explosion was further away. And it was not aimed towards him.
If it had, he wouldn't be in a position to feel breathless with shock.
Sweat ran down Rextros's face as he crawled up from the dirt. He was lucky. He'd narrowly missed impacting with the tree that now had its roots torn from the soil. Looking around, all he saw was carnage. Bits of the camp were everywhere. And the forest was groaning even louder than before, as though it now had to right itself after being struck by the hand of a god.
Or perhaps a goddess.
That girl … it couldn't be ...
His entire body shaking, Rextros thought about the idiots he'd sent after her. They'd only just left. They … They were probably okay. Even so, could it possibly be a coincidence that she'd set the entire forest on its knees the moment he'd decided on his treachery?
What … What kind of power was this?
That was not the power of some D-rank punk like him. It was beyond that. The sort of power that only named legends past the point of being human possessed.
Had that girl lived a warrior's life, in solitude, training her swordsmanship on some distant mountaintop to achieve that level of destruction?
Rextros now knew he couldn't stay. Not even if all the copper, silver and gold in the world was made available to him. It was time to flee. Right now. Away from this kingdom, filled with more monsters than anyone as insignificant as him had the right to know.
And then maybe, just maybe.
When enough time had passed—he'd be able to take over the farm, and go back to milking cows and tilling fields.
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It has astounded me how people have failed to take into doctrinal considerations when speaking about aircraft weapons systems. This is especially a problem for the A-10 as most of the reason for its "poor" service record was not so much due to the airframe but the tactical and strategic employment of the A-10.
NOTE: I may be the idiot here because i have not checked for other posts defending the A-10. Please do NOT notify me if I'm just repeating stuff (just let me be dumb).
(JTAC stuff) https://irp.fas.org/doddidod/jp3_09_3.pdf https://media.defense.gov/2010/Sep/27/2001329817/-1/-1/0/AFD-100927-066.pdf
(main source) https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GAOREPORTS-NSIAD-97-134/html/GAOREPORTS-NSIAD-97-134.htm https://www.ausairpower.net/TE-PGM-ODS-92.html https://www.aftc.af.mil/News/On-This-Day-in-Test-History/Article-Display-Test-History/Article/2482833/february-26-1974-live-firing-tests-of-a-30mm-gau-8-cannon-mounted-in-a-10/ https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-06_Issue-1-4/1992_Vol6_No3.pdf https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA251803.pdf https://gulflink.health.mil/du_ii/du_ii_tabh.htm
(friendly fire incidents) https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/126323/training-communication-key-to-success-for-a-10-pilots/
A MK82 500lb bomb, the smallest in common US inventory at the time of desert storm has a minimum 100% kill radius of 32 METERS.
This only counting the 100% lethality radius, the actual danger radius can extend out to 100 meters. Factoring bombing accuracy issues (for the MK84 1000lb) could result in a deviation of up to 200ft (49 meters). These factors were known to Command from pre war exercises and testing. Bombs would most often be dropped from high altitude either from dives, CCRP using the ground radar. Note this ground radar (on the f-16) could Not distinguish the Vehicle type or had any sort of IFF.
Visual spotting was completely the norm back in the 1990s. Pilots were expect to train with visual spotting and were more than expected to regularly use visual spotting as a final means of target recognition and PID if at all possible. It has been a thing for the past century. However due to the ground fire threat of desert storm only the A-10 is mentioned as having the specific mission type of "Look and See" Given the rest of the more vulnerable aircraft that were less suited for low altitude flight remained at high altitude. This wasn't just of out ground fire concerns either, With the F-16s and F-15s having significantly lower efficiency at lower altitude compared to the A-10 which did not suffer as much at low altitude. Weather you think "Look and see" missions were a tactical error or not has little do with the aircraft flying the sortie. The fact is if an F-15 or F-16 flew similar missions regularly would have likely had similar if not worse performance or not than the A-10.
LGBs in desert storm were relatively rare being only 6.7 percent of weapons employed in desert storm. Only the F-111 and F-117 were configured to carry LGBs at the start of the war. A trivial amount of F-15Es were equipped with pods for LGBs (only 6 pods were available for F-15Es). The F-16s in desert storm were only equipped with the AAQ-13 Nav pod and not the AAQ-14 targeting pod.
A small side note A-10s ended up firing the most AGM-65 mavericks out of any aircraft in desert storm. firing 4,801 AGM-65s of all variety. This accounts to about 90% of all maverick's fired in DS and overall with pretty decent effectiveness. High explosive variants were not widely in service at the time of DS with only 35 of the AGM-65Es being supplied to the USMC. I'm not sure why flying fast=better platform for CAS but in this case i can guess that flying at lower altitudes at slower speeds helped A-10s find and target better than faster F-16s.
So if you aren't familiar with USAF doctrine, Ground troops don't willy nilly call in CAS missions. This is a job for JTACs or Joint Air tactical air controllers. These men are more than familiar with an aircrafts weapons systems and capabilities. They require specific parameters in order to employ and direct aircraft onto targets. One of these key parameters is the danger close range. JTACS typpicaly dont call in stikes that may violate mission parameters.
The 500lb bomb has a danger close radius of 230 meters,
A gbu-12 has a danger close radius of 170 meters,
And the "inaccurate" "friendly killer" "dangerous" GAU-8 has a danger close of 65 meters.
Hell even the apache's and cobras 20mm and 30mm had limits of 75 meters (300M increasing to 85 at 1000M) and 70 meters (at 500m increasing to 75m at 1000m). The M-151 unguided rocket (launched from helicopter) having a danger close zone of 140m (300m) up to 405M (3 kilometers). the M-229 (launched from helicopter) having an accuracy of 145M-410M (300M-3 kilometers respectively). For aircraft launched rockets this was 365m at med alt and 225m at low alt (individual rocket types not given). Funny enough the "less accurate" M61 Vulcan only has a danger close radius of 60m.
However it is to be noted that the M61 is less effective than all above listed weapons and is significantly less capable against armor than the GAU-8. The GAU-8 30mm DU having reportedly 14 times more kinetic energy than an 20mm M61 Vulcan round and more explosive mass (for HE rounds).
So where does this leave us? What do i mean? Wham am i trying to say?
The A-10 In desert storm was one of the most capable CAS aircraft in theater. It is unfair to compare the A-10 to F-111, F-16, and F-15 because The A-10 was often tasked with missions these other aircraft simply did not do. These missions being inherently more hazardous and more prone to human error than other more "planned" missions assigned to strike aircraft. The A-10 is a fundamentally different aircraft than the F-16 and F-15 and should not be judged by the same standard.
The Strike fighters (F-15,F-16, and F-111) could not do The A-10's job of CAS better than it can, on the contrary the A-10 can perform strike missions just as well as the strike fighters can. The A-10s use in close in CAS missions throughout its service life brought it closer to friendly troops than the strike fighters were allowed to go. The nature of its mission set being inherently more prone to blue on blue and blue on green incidents than other mission types.
Most of its friendly fire incidents in desert storm weren't even due to the inaccuracy of its weapons system but more due to misinformation and lack of coordination with command. The most notable Blue on blue incidents occurred in "Kill boxes" where the A10s were more or less allowed to shoot on sight. Again tactical error or not, The A-10 is not responsible for the inherent weaknesses of the mission assignment/type.
But why not the helicopter? Apparently the helicopter is supposed to be better than the A-10. Helicopters for a number of reasons are significantly more vulnerable than the A-10. Helicopters are slow enough to be vulnerable to SACLOS ATGMs and AAMs given the right circumstances. Helicopters generally fly pretty low to the ground exposing them to ground fire and non radar AAA fire for the duration of the mission. These were well known issues with the employment of helicopters and led to the underusage of helicopters (the AH-64 specifically). AH-64s were only assigned 88 missions during desert storm and only flew 652 flights. The A-10 on the other hand is only really vulnerable to automatically guided MANPADs (IR) leading to the A-10 taking over a fair portion of AH-64 duties. The A-10 was more than capable of flying at medium altitude and was considerably faster and more responsive than attack helicopters while retaining loiter time. The A-10 ended up flying over 8000 sorties so comparing the two kind of doesn't make sense.
The issue of cost for the A-10 is also kind of irrelevant in the case of the gulf war. Being cheaper is a nice bonus to have but as the A-10 was more or less the only fixed wing aircraft designed for close in CAS missions it made sense to optimize the A-10 for its role in the future.
I will probably making a similar post responding to Lazerpig's video on the A-10 and for specifically detailing the A-10s in Afghanistan.