September 19, 2021

This window sticker threatens to shoot you

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:03 pm

Orangemaster and I came across this sticker on a window overlooking the back alley of taco bar Mr. Haz in the Jordaan neighbourhood of Amsterdam.

It shows a drawing of a revolver pointed straight at the viewer and a text that reads “Beveiligd door” (“Secured by”), followed by a company name and phone number.

I had to chuckle. Security guards in the Netherlands are not allowed to carry arms, making this is a crude joke or an announcement that the security company staff are worse than the people they are supposed to stop. It strikes me as a variant of the sticker that contains a picture of a dog and the text “hier waak ik” (“I guard this place”) – except of course that guard dogs are legal.

Recently, there have been voices from the Dutch security industry, especially from the so-called BOAs (community service officers), asking to be armed (Dutch).

(Photo: Orangemaster)

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April 18, 2019

Dutch Air Force F-16 shoots itself by mistake

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 11:07 am

An incident that took place in January of this year is being investigated, in which a Dutch Air Force F-16 managed to shoot itself with its own MA61A1 Vulcan Gatling gun at a military range on the island of Vlieland, bringing the concept of friendly fire to a whole new level.

On 21 January, two F-16s were carrying out firing exercises, and the aircraft in question managed to catch up with its own 20-millimetre cannon rounds, damaging the fuselage and parts of the engine. No pilots were injured during this incident.

“The incident reflects why guns on a high-powered performance jet are perhaps a less than ideal weapon.” The Vulcan is able to fire 6,000 rounds a minute, but its magazines only hold 511 rounds, which is enough for five seconds of constant shooting. A pilot can accelerate and manoeuvre in such a way that they get hit by their own bullets.

The Dutch Air Force is currently replacing its F-16s with Lockheed F-35As, which have four-barrel General Dynamics GAU-22 Equalizers, with 25-millimetre cannons that can hold 182 rounds for two seconds of constant fire, hopefully providing less opportunities for ‘potentially deadly friendly fire’.

(Link, Photo

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April 3, 2019

Van Gogh’s revolver under the hammer in Paris

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 3:32 pm

It has been announced today in Paris that the revolver with which Vincent Van Gogh is believed to have shot himself will be auctioned off on June 19. Auction Art calls it “the most famous weapon in the history of art”, the 7 mm Lefaucheux revolver is expected to fetch upwards of 60,000 euro when it is sold on June 19.

“Discovered by a farmer in 1965 in the same field where the troubled Dutch painter is thought to have fatally wounded himself 75 years before, the gun has already been exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.”

Experts say that Van Gogh shot himself near the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris where he spent the last few months of his life in 1890. The revolver belonged to the owner of the inn where he was staying. Van Gogh died 36 hours after he wounded himself in the inn and in the dark.

There are still many discussions about whether he actually shot himself or that maybe a local boy shot him inadvertently.


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October 9, 2017

Dutch show attacks US gun ownership

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 1:29 pm

Zondag met Lubach, a Dutch television show whose video explaining the Netherlands to Trump went viral, has now conjured up a solid slap in the face about gun control and the apparent lack thereof in the United States.

The ‘Nonsensical Rifle Addiction’ mocks the NRA (aka National Rifle Association) and shows ‘shooting people’ as an illness, which I believe isn’t too far from the truth. I enjoyed the jab at the expression ‘thoughts and prayers’, which in the eyes of the Dutch and beyond is synonymous with doing absolutely nothing whatsoever about the problem.

“Bullet points don’t kill people, ignorance kills people”. Watch the video (subtitles in English in places) to get why that’s funny and a bit sad. And bring some popcorn for the YouTube comments, the show’s not over yet.

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March 30, 2014

The bloody testament of Willem Frederik

Filed under: History by Branko Collin @ 7:42 pm


This is a scrap of the testament of Prince Willem Frederik, stadtholder of Friesland, and the blood on it is his as he wrote it with a gun wound to the head.

Until fairly recently Willem Frederik was known to be a bit of a schmuck and the story of his death did nothing to lessen that reputation. During the hunt one of his pistols refused to fire and when Willem Frederik wanted to clean it back home, it went off. The bullet went through his chin and jaw, making it so he couldn’t speak for a week—and then he died.

In the week before his death on 31 October 1664 Willem Frederik was no longer able to speak and he used notes to communicate. In the note above, which is kept at the Tresoar in Leeuwarden, he asks that his ‘hofmeester’ (head of the household) stay with his wife and children.

Willem Frederik shot himself with a wheellock gun, an invention attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. It was improvement on previous pistols because it could be carried around while loaded. That made it a perfect gun for assassins—William of Orange was killed with one—and for less careful members of the house of Nassau alike.

(Link and photo:

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May 26, 2013

Dutch criminals may get their bullets on the open market

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 6:48 pm

Even though gun possession is strictly controlled in the Netherlands, it seems criminals may still get their ammunition via largely legal channels.

In 2012 Marsha de Vries of the University of Twente looked at how criminals procured ammunition in the Netherlands. She found that the police had no evidence that ammunition was smuggled into the country in recent years or that many bullets were stolen from gun dealers, the army and the police: “When a burglary does occur, as in 2009 at a gun shop and shooting club in Amsterdam, firearms are generally the intended target, with ammunition only a secondary consideration. The average arms dealer does not hold large stocks of ammunition.”

Sports shooters in the Netherlands need to be able to show a certificate of good conduct, amongst others, before they can get a gun permit, but beyond that point it is difficult to control what they do with their ammunition once purchased. Unlike the United Kingdom and Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands allow permit holders to buy any amount of ammunition they want. Dutch traders do not register who buys what and sports shooters can spread out their purchases across traders.

De Vries writes:

The storage of firearms and ammunition by individuals is checked by a special department of the Dutch regional police forces. [The] police may, only with the permission of the licensee, check certain specifically defined places in the home of the licensee, i.e. the place where the weapons safe is located. If a sports shooter, hunter or collector states that a verification is inconvenient, a new appointment has to be made, giving him the opportunity to conceal any criminal activity. […]

Experts within and outside the police presume that the illegal trade in ammunition is a highly lucrative criminal activity with high yields and low risks, especially for sports shooters. A sport shooter commented: “It is not difficult to pilfer 2000 cartridges a year”. Another respondent, a former police officer and sports shooter, estimated his potential success on the criminal path even higher, noting: “I could purchase 150,000 to 200,000 cartridges in a week”.

According to De Vries, a short-term solution for making access to ammunition harder would be to introduce an automated registration system for arms dealers.

(Photo by Joe Loong, some rights reserved)

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December 11, 2012

Two companies to offer 3D printing services early next year

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:03 pm

A company called 3DSVP will start offering 3D printing services on the premises of the Meneer Paprika store in Haarlem next January, reports.

The store expects to sell products mainly made of polyamide, but also jewellery made of silver and stainless steel. 3DSVP has been running a web shop since September, showcasing the type of products that you can have them print.

A similar service will be offered by Office Centre in the first quarter of 2013, the difference being that the Easy 3D printing service will use paper as its base material. Office Centre is a Dutch company (founded in 1993 as a merger) that is now owned by American office supplies company Staples. According to Engadget the service “will handle architectural designs, maps, medical models, replica weapons and anything else that can be made with fragments of paper arranged in 0.1mm layers up to a maximum height of six inches”.

Note that realistic replicas of guns are strictly forbidden in the Netherlands.

See also: Ultimaker, a lightning fast 3D printer.

(Link tip: Laurent Chambon. Photo of an Ultimaker-printed casing for a small video camera by HeatSync Labs, some rights reserved)

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August 17, 2011

Shooting incidents involving cops almost doubles

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 7:12 pm

The National Police Internal Investigations Department (Rijksrecherche) reports that incidents in which police officers injured or killed people using guns have increased from 14 in 2006 to 25 in 2010, Telegraaf reported last Thursday.

According to the department all uses were justified. Shooting incidents, the paper reports, formed the largest category of investigations, followed by investigations into corruption.

Dutch ‘beat cops’ are armed with handcuffs, a Walther P5, and “pepper spray, a truncheon, a walkie-talkie, a mobile phone and a ticket pad”, lists meticulously. The site adds that all these items are worn on a belt. NOS Nieuws reported last January that police union NPB was surprised about not having been consulted about the new side-arm, the SIG Sauer, especially considering that the weapons testers chose another gun.

(Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)

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April 18, 2011

One in five Dutch men would like to own a gun

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 9:35 am

Maybe that title should be: popular science magazine sees women as second-class citizens whose opinions need not be known. The magazine, called Kijk (Look), asked over 1,700 ‘respondents’ if they would like to own a gun if such a thing were legal in the Netherlands, and 16% of the men said yes.

Possible gun lovers lurk both in cities and in the country, and are both high income and low income earners, according to Kijk. Preferences do follow political divisions, though. Christian democrats could not care less about owning guns, only 6% of them would want to. Of the extreme right wingers of the PVV on the other hand 29% feel they need to be packing in order to feel safe.

(Photo: one of the few times that I ever wore a helmet. I had long flowing hair back when I was performing my military service, so I tried to avoid wearing my helmet. The gun, by the way, was a FN FAL, just shortly before they were replaced army-wide by Diemaco C7s.)

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January 2, 2010

Man hit by New Year’s dive starting gun

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 1:09 pm

An alderman from Oldenzaal in Twente got hit in the leg yesterday when a cannon went off near him. The third edition of the local New Year’s dive was to have been started by the alderman, Frits Rorink, firing the gun, but the device initially refused to go off. According to AD, swimmers had already taken to the water when the cannon fired after all.

Rorink was brought to a hospital where doctors diagnosed him with a broken fibula. His recovery is expected to take some time and multiple operations, according to Tubantia.

A 59-year-old man from Enschede was arrested on suspicion of a “possible connection” with the accident.

(Photo of the 2010 New Year’s dive of Scheveningen, in which so far no new models were discovered, by Alexander Fritze, some rights reserved.)

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