Saturday, April 30, 2005

Still Whipped, But Hanging On! more day of filming left. Spent most of today with Ritch Rand, author of THE COWBOY HAT BOOK and an altogether cool guy. If you're looking for any one of about a billion cowboy hats, Ritch is your man. Also, if you want the lowdown on the complete history of cowboy hats to trump the next boring liberal cocktail party conversation you find yourself in the middle of, ditto.

In truth, I'm relatively out of touch — certainly one of the appeals of cowboy action shooting in general. I'm not even up on the Michael Jackson trial...shudder!

I'll catch up next week, if there's anything worth catching up on.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Whipped Puppy!

Sorry to be out of touch, but we've had a couple of long long LONG shooting days...good, but long. Today was hysterical — we spent the day with Riders In The Sky, who pretty much kept us in stitches. Crank up the TIVO...this is an episode of COWBOYS you're not going to want to miss, if for no other reason that laughter is good for the soul.

The new End of Trail venue in New Mexico is just heartbreakingly beautiful...maybe they'll let me move in.

In gun news, I scammed myself onto the list for one of the first 25 of the "new" 1897 Winchester shotguns coming in from China. These are honestly top-of-the-line guns, as good (or maybe better) than the ones that rolled off the Winchester lines in 1900. Cap from Coyote Cap Gunsmithing did the consulting on the Chinese product, and he was relentless. There's something fundamentally strange — or exhilarating — about the whole idea of multiple factories in China competing over which one can make the best 19th Century American shotgun. The combination of competition and guns is the equivalent of uploading a virus into the alien mothership...sooner or later we know where this leads!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Grab That Hammer!

Okay, here's how you can make your hand feel like my hand, which spent far too much of the day shooting 420-grain, 1400-feet-per-second loads from a .500 Linebaugh revolver:
• Place your strong hand flat on a table.
• Grasp a hammer in your weak hand.
• Repeatedly smash the hammer into the web of your strong hand.
• Groan in pain.
It was fun, but DAMN, that sucker recoils! Of course, the "dueling tree" contest between me and Barry Wardlaw of Accurate Engineering (he built Jay Leno's V-twin Panhead ) using 3-inch .45 Colt custom Rugers stoked with 320-grain screamers didn't help. Thankfully, it got too dark to shoot anymore, but Barry says we can start again tomorrow morning.

Larry Crow is a brilliant gunsmith, but he's got way too much ammunition and way too many cool guns lying around!

I gotta go put a Ben-Gay patch on the web of my hand...nite nite.

Bravo For Florida!

With their revision of their self-defense law.

Of course, we're waiting with baited breath for the impendiing "Wild West gunfights in the street," the antigunners' usual bleet whenever gun laws are liberalized. Of course, even the Wild West didn't have gunfights in the street, but that's anotehr story.

BTW, am on a crappy creeping-slow long-distance dial-up connection at my hotel in Ding Dong, MO, soi I'm going to keep this short this AM. Then I've got to go ride Harleys with the guys from EASY RIDER Magazine and shoot high-powered weapons and blow up fruit with Larry Crow from Competitive Gunworks. pleas for mercy from the United Fruit Liberation Front!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Nice Story in Florida Today!

Man, I wish we could clone this story for every news outlet in America! Here's a good example of what happens when a reporter approaches a story with an open mind:
You see them every day, shopping or dining with children, stopped at traffic lights next to you or walking alone at night through store parking lots.

Chances are, a woman you saw today was carrying a gun.
Congrats to reporter Lee Nessel Daszuta ( on a fine job. Also, some kind words for brother Andy Standford of Options for Personal Security for doing a fine job of dealing with the media the right way! BTW, it's worth reading Andy's long article on gunfighting as a martial art. I have occasionally had my problems with Andy, but credit where credit is due!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Proof Positive That It's All Gone to Hell...

This from Editor and Publisher, through Drudge:
When reporter Craig McCool and photographer Mairin Chapman of The Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette went to a local party to research a series on drinking among young adults, they saw nothing wrong with partaking of the libations themselves.

But editors did. The result: The two were dismissed, and the paper ran an editor's note this weekend explaining the incident.

"Their conduct is unacceptable and violates the standards that we uphold every day as journalists," Editor Rebecca Pierce said in the note, published Saturday. "We don't condone it and we can't ignore it."
Where — WHERE, I ask you — is the next Hunter Thompson going to come from if newspapers fire reporters for drinking beer? I mean, newsguy-wise, it's okay to make up your stories, manufacture quotes, print antigun press releases as news, be inaccessible and aloof from your community, outright lie...but have a couple of beers, and YOU'RE HISTORY!

I always knew mainstream journalism was going to hell in handbasket...

Please Pass Me a Second Dessert...

You'll notice I haven't made much of the CDC report that being slightly overweight isn't nearly the lethal killer it's been made out to be:
The new analysis found that obesity — being extremely overweight — is indisputably lethal. But like several recent smaller studies, it found that people who are modestly overweight actually have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight.
The only reason I bring it up now is I remembered that I was once chosen as the "second most fit fat guy in America" by Men's Health Magazine. The issue I was featured in pictured me pitching a kayak (sadly, with me aboard it) over a three-story waterfall, proving I suppose that yuo can be both overweight and stupid at the same time.

I suppose this is some sort of sick validation on my part...

Going to Kansas City...

...Kansas City here I come, to spend a little time with Larry Crow at Competitive Edge Gunworks blasting away with some of his big boomers. Then it's on to End of Trail in Alba-Qwirky to spend some time with Riders In The Sky. Yippie-kay-ye, y'all.

In the meantime, I always like it when the other side sticks their proverbial foot into their proverbial mouths (or up their proverbial butts, and the case may be). This week's Bullet Points from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that two major newspapers, the LA Times and the Oregonian, had to eat crow after printing Brady Center "talking points" as fact on their editorial pages. Similar to a couple of years ago wthen the NTY ansd CBS had to retract "talking points" from the Violence Policy Center.

This comes in the wake of a weekend story in the Gray Lady (snore, nod, the New York Times) that the expiration of the AWB resulted in...nothing:
Despite dire predictions that the streets would be awash in military-style guns, the expiration of the decade-long assault weapons ban last September has not set off a sustained surge in the weapons' sales, gun makers and sellers say. It also has not caused any noticeable increase in gun crime in the past seven months, according to several metropolitan police departments.
Of course the Times story does its best to fret and worry about the fact that nothing happened. I loved the display given to that idiot Dianne Feinstein's push for a new AWB. Considering that the first AWB is credited with credited with the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, which the Demo are still reeling from, what do you suppose is the likelihood of this Congress passing similar legislation? That's right! They'll get to it right after they vote to lower their own salaries!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

I Pledge Allegiance...

First, this Denver story from the Washington Times via Michelle Malkin:
Altered Pledge of Allegiance stuns students

DENVER -- The students in Vincent Pulciani's seventh-grade class were reciting the Pledge of Allegiance this week when they heard the voice over the intercom say something they'd never heard before, at least not during the Pledge.

Instead of "one nation, under God," the voice said, "one nation, under your belief system."

The bewildered students at Everitt Middle School in Wheat Ridge never even got to "indivisible," according to Vincent's mother, Christina Pulciani-Johnson.
Then, this important renovation of the Pledge, from ViewFromTheFoothills blog:
"I pledge [allegiance] some occasional recognition
to the [Flag] symbols of oppression
of the [United States] diverse indigenous peoples of [America] the landmass referred to by oppressive European conquistadors as "America"
and to the [Republic] totalitarian theocracy for which it stands,
[one nation,] a Balkanized patchwork of cultures,
[under God,] under each individuals' personal belief system
[indivisible,] divided into innumerable unique communities of culture,
[with liberty and justice for all.] where some are more equal than others."

Finally! After This, Cold Fusion...

Scientists solve unpopped popcorn

To pop or not to pop lies in the hull

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (AP) -- Eat your way to the bottom of almost any bag of popcorn and there they are: the rock-hard, jaw-rattling unpopped kernels known as old maids.

The nuisance kernels have kept many a dentist busy, but their days could be numbered: Scientists say they now know why some popcorn kernels resist popping into puffy white globes.
Turns out it has something to do with the new Pope...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

PS To Antigunner

PLEASE, keep commenting! I love it when antigunners comment; while I've yet to be converted (although I'm thinking Druid chanting might work for me!), I've had a lot of luck converting antigunners. Heck, I'd like to invite you guys to the range!

Cruising the Beach with Rich White Folks!

So today I biked 17-Mile Drive between Monterey and Carmel-By-The-Sea, which once boasted of Clint Eastwood as mayor. It is truly one of the great bike rides in the world — you got your otters; you got your seals and sea lions; you got your billion year-old Monterey cypress and drop-dead scenery; you got your deer on the golf courses and flocks of artists trying to capture the Pacific at its best.

I got to ride by the world-famous golf courses (hey, even I've heard of Pebble Beach!) and the ritzy-titzy resorts I used to speak at when I was a semi-famous motivational speaker. One of the resorts is the home of Ansel Adams' prints, and I once spent a wonderful afternoon looking at the master's test print series (zone system for b&w prints, remember?), including the series for the magnificent McKinley Reflected In Wonder Lake. Once I got offered a tee time at Pebble Beach as a bennie for speaking...I asked whether they had a good sporting clays course, since golf in the absence of exploding balls pretty much blows past me.

[And yes, I will STILL come speak to your group, if you're willing to chum the water with a few bucks! Plus. I'll cut you a deal if you're a gun/firearms industry group. Actually, I've been working up a new talk that should cause most speech brokers to break out into hives — I call it GUNFIGHTER LOGIC. Cool, huh? It'll rock.]

Tomorrow, I though I'd go sea kayaking...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Chrysler LeBaron Snuffed! Man Charged!

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
A man was jailed briefly over the weekend for shooting his broken-down car -- five times.

Broward Sheriff's Office spokesman Hugh Graf said John McGivney, 64, walked out of his home at the Bougainvilla Isles Apartments, on the 4500 block of Bougainvilla Drive, clutching a loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol in his hand around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15th,

McGivney, Graf said, walked across the parking lot and up to his green 1994 Chrysler LeBaron. He pointed the gun at the aging auto and calmly pumped five rounds into car's hood.

When George Haberkorn, the property's manager, asked what he was doing, McGivney replied, "I'm putting my car out of its misery, George."
I gotta say that a .380 is a little light for a LeBaron. Maybe a .44 Magnum would have been a better choice. Or an RPG.

And Speaking of Idiots...

This from the Houston Chronicle's coverage of the NRA Members' Meeting:
But the former ATF officials say the NRA's policies actually protect criminal gun purchases because they are the bread and butter of the U.S. gun industry. Since a gun lasts about 100 years, most law-abiding gun owners buy only one or a few in their lifetime, Nunziato said.

Criminals, on the other hand, buy new firearms every few years, he said.

"If it wasn't for criminals, there wouldn't be a gun industry in this country," Nunziato said, adding that the claims of the NRA and other gun-rights groups that they are protecting law-abiding citizens with their policies are false.

"The only people it's protecting are criminals."
"Nunziato" is Gerald Nunziato, the former head of ATF's National Tracing Center. Nunziato is now a partner in Crime Gun Solutions, another one of the numerous antigun group trying to scam a few dollars from local law enforcement budgets or suck on the public tit. This guy's a rocket scientist, isn't he? I mean, there's five acres of displays of GUNS GUNS GUNS, which are purchased by law-abiding gun owners who actually WANT MORE THAN ONE GUN! Maybe he should get out more.

Our guys, in the person of Alan Gottlieb from the Citizens Committee to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), were quick to call a spade a spade:
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb fired back: "If it wasn't for remarks like Nunziato's, perhaps law-abiding American gun owners would not consider ATF an adversarial agency when it comes to Second Amendment rights. His comment is nothing short of slanderous. I guess in his opinion, we're all criminals."
Maybe we should all form a local branches of Crime Gun Solutions (which, BTW, only turns up anecdotally in a Google search) to try and scam a couple of bucks on our own, which we could then donate to the NRA. I'm sure we could all do a better job than Nunziato. Hell, that SWAT MONKEY could do a better job!

Who Shocked the Monkey?

Yes indeed, it's Tuesday, and I'm happy to report that monkeys — yes, monkeys! — are finally getting their due. This from AP via Drudge:
MESA, Ariz. - The Mesa Police Department is looking to add some primal instinct to its SWAT team. And to do that, it's looking to a monkey.

"Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it," said Mesa Officer Sean Truelove, who builds and operates tactical robots for the suburban Phoenix SWAT team. "It would change the way we do business."

Truelove is spearheading the department's request to purchase and train a capuchin monkey, considered the second smartest primate to the chimpanzee. The department is seeking about $100,000 in federal grant money to put the idea to use in Mesa SWAT operations.
Weighing only 3 to 8 pounds with tiny humanlike hands and puzzle-solving skills, Truelove said it could unlock doors, search buildings and find suicide victims on command. Dressed in a Kevlar vest, video camera and two-way radio, the small monkey would be able to get into places no officer or robot could go.
I'm liking this a lot! As you know, I've gone on record saying that Michael Jackson's chimp, Bubbles, could blow the lid off the California trial. Koko the gorilla is checking out breasts; Peter Jackson is remaking King Kong...believe me, primate fever has tipped.

My question is whether, in addition to the itsy-bitsy Kevlar vest, are we talking a North American Arms mini-revolver, or do we need to speak to Kel-Tec to put together a good semiauto, maybe the same size as the Kel-tec .32 but in, say, 5.7 X 28? That would be One Bad Monkey!

Meanwhile, for those of you worrying about what the future holds in weaponry, here's a long analysis of the weapons used on the hit television series Battlestar Galactica. Apparently, in the far distant future, space marines will use all the leftover MP-5s discarded by 21st Century police special teamms in their rush to M-4 5.56 carbines. Of course, over on Stargate SG-1 they're hosing them down with FNH P90s. I always kind of liked Outland, the Sean Connery B-movie version of High Noon in space, where James Bond cranked up a sawed-off pump shotgun. If I was going to do a space movie, I'd only use SASS-authorized pre-1900 weaponry. Be kinda cool, wouldn't it?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Words for the Week

Especially for my friends who come up with the clever ways for me to die. This from the redoubtable and reprehensible Al Swearengen on HBO's DEADWOOD, after bitch-slapping the hapless newspaper publisher who "despaired" after he found his presses destroyed:

"Did you die? No, you didn't die. The world ends when you die. Until then, there's more punishment. So stand to it like a man, but give 'em somthing back!"

AMEN Brother Ted!

"Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em! To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead! I want rapists dead! I want burglars dead! I want child molesters dead! I want the bad guys dead! No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun, and when they attack you, shoot 'em."

Ted Nugent
Speaking at the NRA Convention last weekend

Can you give me an "AMEN!?!" Having been on the front lines for a long time, I got a lot of questions at the NRA members meeting about what individuals can do as the battle for our rights enters this new phase. I'd thought about my answer beforehand, and I decided there was no better advice that a phrase I stole from the gay rights movement in New York City in the mid-1970s:

"Out of the closets and into the streets!"

For too long gunowners — myself included — have tended to keep a pretty low profile. We might write letters to the editor, but we weren't necessarily visible in our communities. Part of that invisibility was, of course, a question of security — we have stuff scumbags want to steal. But another part was that we were constantly under fire by the liberal media and the liberal elements in our community who had access to the media. And we simply got tired.

Well, it's time! I am no longer invisible. I no longer allow antigun crap to pass unchallenged, whether it's in the media or at a friendly party among friends. If my guns make you uncomfortable, tough. Either get over it or get gone! I am not interested in "understanding your side of the argument," because your side of the argument is based on lies, falsehoods, spin and propaganda. Sure I believe in "gun control" — front sight, squeeze the trigger.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hardware Update

As promised, a quick look at the newly overhauled polymer-framed FNP pistols from FNH. Here's the AMERICAN RIFLEMAN piece on the original gun, which wasn't bad. Still, it was pretty much what one wag termed, "AFPP" — another friggin' plastic pistol. What FNH VP Rick DeMilt, a long-time shooter, did was, essentially, "de-engineer" the gun. The truth is there's a difference between a gun designed by engineers and a gun designed by shooters [a micro example of that might be double-stack pistol magazines...which is more important, minimum size and efficiency of feeding, or the magazine's ability to function when it's full of sand?].

DeMilt replaced the outsourced barrels with FN hammer-forged barrels, redesigned the hammer-drop mechanism to make it the easiest to use in the business and executed a whole series of small ergonomic changes to both the 9mms and .40 S&W vedrsions. Whhere he really hit the jackpot was revising the manufacturing process on the fire contrl system. The guns came off the line with very crisp 3 1/2 pound single-action triggers. "That was a fortuitous accident," DeMilt said Saturday. "If we had specified that, we probably couldn't have done it!"

I shot the hell out of both the 9mm and the .40s, and I would rate the news guns a solid TWO TRIGGER FINGERS UP — a light polymer-framed pistol with great trigger pull that feels like a Browning High-Power (which, of course, FN has made since the Dawn of Time). MSRP??? Less than $500. Beat that, sports fans! This is going to be a serious police contender.

Meanwhile, over at Taurus, I got a look at production line versions of the Taurus cowboy revolver, the Gaucho. Golly gee...beautiful case-hardened frame and hammer and deep bluing on the barrel, cylinder and gripframe, .45 Colt, familiar four clicks when you cock the hammer, crescent ejector button, swwwwwweeeeeetttt trigger, checkered black plastic grips, that perfect hand fit...looks and feels of them Raging Pony S.A.A.s! This is a damn nice gun, and I predict it's going to rock Cowboy World...especially with an MSRP in the $650 range. Here's one of the early reviews; Tequila, host of COWBOYS and 5X World Champion cowboy action shooter, and I should have our T&E versions in a couple of weeks, and the guns should be in the retail pipeline pretty quickly.

The Taurus version of the old Colt Lightning pump action carbine, the Thunderbolt, is still a couple of months off. Tequila will be getting a first run gun, so we'll soon see how a short-pump action gun runs against a traditional lever action.

The Taurus 1911 project has been fast-tracked, and the first guns should be available late summer/early fall if everything goes smoothly. I had dinner with a top 1911 mechanic a few weeks ago, and he waxed poetic about the proto version Taurus sent him to wring out.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Run Hillary Run...

But first, a joke from T. Bubba Bechtol, the super-sized comedian at tonight's NRA banquet. "The bumper sticker 'Run Hillary Run' is selling like hotcakes, because it's selling to both Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats put it on the back of their cars; the Republicans put it on the front of their cars!"

Okay, first, you're probably gonna buy one of the semiauto FNH P90 5.7 X 28 carbines, not because it's necessarily a great gun, but because it is stone-cold cool. The semi version of the little Secret Service buzz gun may be the best car gun on earth. Loved it, even though it's coming with a 30-round magazine instead of the military 50-round stick. Shooting it's like eating only stop when the corn stops popping. BTW, FNH now has a deal with Fiocchi to produce 5.7 ammo. There's the clone of the SS-192 "practice" round, plus two rounds utilizing the Hornady 40-grain V-Max bullet. The prices should start coming down pretty soon.

Sidearmor is producing a really trick holster for the Five-seveN pistol, now accepted under the stringent California standards on penetration of body armor (suck this, Brady!). I like my Blade-Tech OD Green vertical belt holster, too.

REALLY nice semi-auto version of the FNH bullpup battle rifle in .223. Much less felt recoil than AR system guns at 26 inches and utilizing AR mags. This sucker rocked. At a $1600 price point, it ain't cheap, but I think I could take this through a subgun course as fast as I could an MP-5.

More tomorrow on the new FNH entry into the police gun sweepstakes.

Kimber has a desert brown Warrior, which is pretty cool. I asked about a tasteful sky-blue Kimber and was told that I wasn't the first to ask. about red and black tiger stripes!!!

Hank Williams Jr. — who autobiography and movie I once wrote — made fun of me for leaning into 9mm subguns. "Have you forgotten how to shoot since we used to shoot together?" I told him it was old age, and he should see me with a .577 Nitro Express.

I also got to meet Denise & Bill from The Ten Ring gunblog when they stopped by The Outdoor Channel booth at the NRA show. Nice people! It's great to have solid people on Our Side!

Gonna spend tomorrow AM with Bob Morrison from Taurus.

What's The Haps?

Had drinks last night with Ronnie Barrett from Barrett Rifles, makers of the Satanic, wicked, evil .50 cal rifles (and, parenthetically, this blog's choice for 2004 Man of the Year). Ronnie said the big blaster has been chosen as one of the military inventions of the year by the U.S.'s a link. As usual, Ronnie proved to be one of the most astute political observers on the firearms scene. He's virtually taken the industry by the hand and explained why the .50 cal battle is everyone's battle.

"It's not about .50 caliber rifles," he said. "It's about .50 caliber rifles." That is, the current antigun initiatives against .50s focuses not on the caliber per se, but on what rifles do — they can penetrate objects, are accurate at long distances and are far more "lethal" than handguns. "It's a really brilliant strategy," Barrett said. "If the antigunners succeed in getting .50s, they have quite literally laid the groundwork for the elimination of centerfire rifles."

The good news is that — finally! — the industry, led by the NRA, is rallying around the issue. Barrett's been all over the show, including on NRA Radio and a major article in the current issue of AMERICAN RIFLEMAN. In my private talks with some of the Powers-That-Be, I'm getting the sense that Ronnie's argument and his willingness to stand up on these issues (for instance, his refusal to sell the big Barrett to California LEOs) has swayed a lot of hearts and minds. Remember...attack one and you attack all!

Ronnie also says that military contracts are delaying the introduction of the Barrett sporter, a short-barrelled .50 (with one hell of a muzzle brake!!!) aimed at the dangerous game hunting market. Watch for it early autumn.

In other mega-trick stuff I stumbled on, my pals Darla Wilson and Michael Beltran at AIMPOINT have a really trick solution for military/police guys who need both enhanced magnification for longer shots and no magnification for CQB situation — a separate 3X magnifier that sets behind the red dot sight (between the sight and the eye) on a special twist-off mount. When an operator needs the 3X, twist it on; when it's time to kick down the door, twist the magnifier off.

Michael — a former high-speed guy himself — tells me the units are already in use with some high speed guys in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the operators are extremely happy with the set-up. There's also a new generation of military AIMPOINTS with a 5X increase in battery life and a 2 MOA dot (instead of the 4 MOA dot). Yes, you can buy this stuff, but Michael and Darla emphasized that our guys and girls overseas has first dibs.

Thiks morning I'm going out to the range and blast a bunch of the equally wicked, evil, Satanic 5.7 X 28 out of a few FNH buzz guns. When I get to the show, I'm heading over to Kimber's booth, because Kimber majordomo Dwight Van Brunt hunted me down last night to tell me that he had some really cool guns that arrived late yesterday afternoon by courier. Their Warrior 1911, the me-and-you version of a gun they designed for a Marine special unit, has become one of Kimber's biggest seller, apparently flying off the shelf.

And big congrats to one of my major sponsors, Crimson Trace laser grips, for winning the Academy of Excellence Award (from AMERICAN HANDGUNNER/FMG) for Optics. The guys tell me that the laser grips are getting the crap beaten out of them in Iraq and they STILL keep on ticking, so to speak. As I've mentioned before, this is one product I unconditionally recommend — my bedroom blaster has worn Crimson Trace grips for six or seven years.

Friday, April 15, 2005

We Are The NRA...

...and there's a whole bunch of us! Yes, I'm at the NRA Members Meeting and Show in Houston, which is why I've been a little absent. I co-hosted NRA TV with AMERICAN RIFLEMAN editor Mark Keefe and did a spot on NRA Radio with Cam Edwards this afternoon, so maybe you even got to hear me cracking stupid jokes.

I'm gonna try and get in some hangout time with The NUGE and, in general, try not to work myself into an early grave.

BTW, I spent some time looking at Mossberg's new over/under shotguns they're importing from Turkey. I heard great things about the guns, and I have to say I was really impressed with how they looked and handled, especially for guns with an MSRP of $600 or so dollars. The added plus is that Turkey is a more or less democracy, as opposed to China and Russia, where the vast majority of cheaper (a.k.a., affordable) shotguns come from. I'm thinking this may be just the ticket for me, because I'm not really a shotgun sports kind of guy who can justify the Big Bucks for a name shotgun, but I love the way an O/U handles (as opposed to a pump or an autoloader).

More later.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Kats, Kooks & Kristof Wednesday

Well, we've made it to the middle of the week, and I thought I'd collect up some of the critical news of the week.

NYT consummate liberal Nicholas Kristof, who is usually good for a laugh, has recently discovered the media is biased. Well, sort his column today in the Gray Lady, he notes that most people perceive the media as "arrogant, out of touch and untrustworthy." Gosh, imagine that! Anyway, it's probably not worth registering for the NYT on the link above to read the whole column, but here's my favorite part:
I think we're nuts not to regulate handguns more strictly, but I also think gun owners have a point when they complain that gun issues often seem to be covered by people who don't know a 12-gauge from an AR-15.
He's right, of course. But — at the risk of repeating repeating repeating repeating myself — it's on us as an industry to help the media understand who we are. And we're not doing that, either. Here's an interesting blog analysis of the Kristof column.

Meanwhile, on the white-hot topic of cat hunting, Wisconsin residents have given it a big ole thumbs up. This from the A&P (that's a joke on my part):
Wisconsin residents support a plan to legalize wild cat hunting, according to voting results released Tuesday.
At meetings across the state Monday night, residents in 72 counties were asked whether free-roaming cats should be listed as an unprotected species. If so listed, the cats — including any domestic cat that isn’t under the owner’s direct control or any cat without a collar — could be hunted.

A total of 6,830 voted yes and 5,201 voted no, according to results released by the Department of Natural Resources.
When I was a kid in Tennessee, the state actually paid a bounty for feral dogs. I always tell people that, when if comes to dogs not under the direct control of their owners, that I operate under "Tennessee rules" — it bites; it dies. This has led to some fascinating discussions at local dog parks! Still, the Wisconsin situation is crazy — volunteers feeding feral cats for years without the slightest concern for those cats' devastating effect on the local environment. What a bunch of morons!

And yes, sorry for not mentioning long guns in yesterday's cat-hunting round-up. Three quick choices would be the Ruger 10/22 semiauto and 77/17 bolt gun, the Taurus 172 pump gun and Henry's Golden Boy lever action rifle.

Finally, I couldn't close this report without noting that silicone implants failed to win re-approval from the FDA yesterday. I refer you to Virginia Postrel's excellent essay, written in 1992, on the whole issue (with a tip of the hat to Instapundit for the link):
But the breast-implant debate reveals at least three other fundamental divisions -- about the interests of consumers, of women and of science -- that reflect very different sets of values and ways of understanding the world: How much justification must consumers give the government for their choices? Are women liberated by rediscovering their natural femininity or by seizing control over their biological destinies? And, at least for the sake of public policy, how do we sort evidence from anecdote?
I'll bet you thought I was going to make a boob joke, didn't you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Here Kitty Kitty Part 2

Go to and register your vote:
MADISON, Wis. - Feline lovers holding pictures of cats, clutching stuffed animals and wearing whiskers faced-off against hundreds of hunters at meetings around Wisconsin to voice their opinion on whether to legalize cat hunting.

Residents in 72 counties were asked whether free-roaming cats — including any domestic cat that isn’t under the owner’s direct control or any cat without a collar — should be listed as an unprotected species. If listed as so, the cats could be hunted.
Is it too early to start discussing the techniques of hunting housecats? NAAAAW! Realistically, I'm thinking rimfires. Take a look at the new Ruger .17 HMR Single Six with a 7 1/2-inch barrel. I think the .17M2 is probably the way to go for these wily felines; .17HMR is overkill. The Hornady V-Max bullet is a proven quantity, especially at the ranges I'd anticipate (inside 25 yards). I like the idea of using a rimfire handgun because of its easy of carry in the field and low cost ammo, and the Single Six has always been one of my favorites (it was the first gun I ever shot as a kid!).

For all you old guys and guyettes, add a red dot sight (the Aimpoint CompC is probably overkill and overly expensive, but it's a great sight; the less expensive Bushnell Sportsman is also an excellent choice), and you've got the ultimate kit-kat whacker.

If you really want to kick it up a notch, check out Taurus' UltraLite series of .17HMR revolvers (soon to be available in a .17M2 configuration). A 4-inch barrel would be my call here. Practice your double action trigger pull, and you'll be able to snap shot Mr. Puss'n'Boots on the move!

As they sing in country song, "She thinks I love her cat/But you know me better than that." I've never really grasped the idea that you spend years taking care of an animal that demonstrably dislikes you, generates a viler oder than the Grand Central Station men's room circa 1973, destroys the furniture and makes you sneeze. Yes, I had a cat for 20 years, pawned off on me by an ex. I don't think the cat ever noticed I was there; we kept it because my gray parrot, Ripley, really liked it and the two animals played together. The cat had the most amazing urine of any animal on earth — it was as caustic as sulphuric acid blood of Aliens And actually disolved a hole through a folding metal closet door. The only time the cat ever seemed to be happy was when it was sick and we gave it Valium for a week. Then it became sort of like a stuffed animal, leaning up against the wall and making weird little sounds that I interpreted as, "Wow dude! I, like, hear colors and see sounds!"

Be careful, though...there's a feral cat that lives around my house, and a few weeks ago I saw it attack one of the local foxes and run it off. Sucker would look good in a "Charging Cat" taxidermy mount!

So far, the vote is close. Every vote counts! MEEEEEEEEE-ow!!!

Fun With Cavity Searches!

Okay, I wasn't really cavity searched at the airports yesterday! But I was selected for "enhanced" hands-on searches at both Ontario and John Wayne airports in California. At Ontario, it was because I was shuffled from United to Alaska Air trying to get home to Denver; at John Wayne it was because I was shipped from Ontario to J.W. Terrorists always change airlines and airports, doncha know!

The enhanced searches are uncannily like visits to Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch... I'm going to touch you below the belt now...I'm going to touch your skin...can I touch you around the zipper area? you watch a lot of gladiator movies...was it good for you, too?

The least TSA could do is give you a $2 million settlement...

And Speaking of Idiots...

...we've got a bumper crop. I'm playing catch-up from being on the road, but this may be my very favorite antigun story in a long while. From the Pawtuckett Times in lovely Rhode Island:
CENTRAL FALLS -- It’s been in the pipeline for awhile but the city’s first-ever Toy Gun Bash, an anti-gun violence event sponsored by Attorney General Patrick Lynch, will go off without a bang on Saturday, April 2.

Channel One Director Angelo Garcia, who spent months coordinating the event with the Attorney General’s office, local police and various anti-violence organizations, said the program is an opportunity to teach children and parents about the dangers of real firearms, while showing them fun and practical alternatives to "violent" and "competitive" play -- nipping the problem of gun violence at the bud and the root, as it were. The fact that real guns are frequently mistaken for toys by children is another concern, according to Lynch.

The spoonful of sugar in this cautionary exercise is the Bash-O-Matic, a wacky toy-gun-crushing device designed for Patrick Lynch by the folks at Big Nazo Puppets.
Bash-O-Matic? I mean, I know Rhode Island is the smallest state, but I had no idea that "smallest" also applied to the mental capacity of some residents. I love the equating of "competitive" with "violent," too. And what does the television director Garcia (or has perhaps missed a curve on the function of journalism in a free society) suggest as alternative play?
The Rhode Island Doubledutch League will be teaching kids the lost art of jumping rope, one of many non-violent, non-competitive activities Garcia said he would like to see catch on.
Perhaps Garcia should consider talking a length of that rope and...well, never mind.

Monday, April 11, 2005

A Suspected Must-Read

You jusy new I couldn't pass up any book titled South Park Conservatives.

It's on the way; I'll report in when I read it!

"It's not just the hippies! The next thing you know, you've got know-it-all college hippies from Boulder!"

— Eric Cartman

BTW, I'm apparently never going to get home. I presently stuck in Seattle (I was temped to say "Sleepless in..." but, thank god, was able to hold myself back. Why, one might reasonably ask, am I doing in Seattle, farther from Denver than when I started this morning? Ah, a Zen conundrum! I suspect I am being punished for past sins. What else would explain the two cavity searches, one at Ontario and the other at Orange County, where I was shipped when my 6AM flite from Ontario got the axe?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Soak Up The Sun

Well, DIA is closed because of a blizzard, and I'm stuck in sunny southern Califonia. Rats! I think I'll drive to the beach and assuage my disappointment with a nice margarita. Maybe go hang around some custom motorcycle shops in LA, or look at exotic goldfish. It's weird...I rarely have this sort of non-assigned time to myself anymore, and I'm a bit at a loss of what to do.

Before I go soak up the sun, here's a few pointers that clearly indicate that the culture has tipped regarding the general view of firearms:

A quick AP summary:
COLUMBINE IMPACT: Parents have rallied for tougher gun control laws since the 1999 school shooting that left 15 dead in Colorado.

DEBATE NOW: State legislators looking to ease restrictions, partly so possible victims can defend themselves.
From the Indianapolitc Star Tribune:
The gun issue has been underscored in recent months by a series of mass shootings in the Upper Midwest. The Red Lake shootings came a week after a gunman killed seven fellow churchgoers in a Milwaukee suburb and four months after a St. Paul man shot and killed six hunters near Hayward, Wis.

Schultz said the new Democratic leadership realizes that the battle over gun control is as much about conflicting cultural values as it is about the effectiveness of gun-control measures. "They're convinced that guns, along with values issues, have made them vulnerable," he said.

Meanwhile, Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress and the White House, have shown no inclination to raise the issue.
There's been a host of similar stories in recent weeks. I have a gut feeling that we've reached a tipping point, that the public as a whole has "lost interest" [for the time being!!!] in gun control groups and their amazingly vacuous "solutions" to societal ills. I also think the constant hammering from our side on the foolishness of "gun-free zones" is starting to have an effect.

The antigun strategy on the sunsetting of the AWB was an unmitigated disaster — none of the horror stories outlined by a breathless Diane Sawyer or a witless Dan Rather came to pass. Nobody was passing out AKs on street corners; police weren't slain by roving bands of brigands with full auto weapons. When you promise the Apocalypse and all you get is the day after tomorrow, it doesn't do wonders for your street cred.

I think the problem is that the antigun people know all their "ideas" are smoke and mirrors. They know their Empress has no clothes; they know that nothing they've ever suggested has worked in the Real World. And back to our gut level, I think the Powers-That-Be in Antigun World know that they do not now and have never had widespread public support outside of the northeastern urban corridor, the Left Coast and the occasional Nazi-run enclave like Chicago. And with a spate of popular movies concerning genocide, even the dimmest liberal [okay...not counting Ann Curry, Matt Lauer and Katie Couric] is starting to catch on to the Big Lie.

That's enough good news! I'm off to the beach!

Friday, April 08, 2005

I'm Not Really A Cowboy...

...I only found the hat. Or so the saying goes. I thought of that because I spent the day playing cowboy at the Trail Town Round-up in Norco, CA, hammering out a couple of episodes of COWBOYS. I got to wear my cowboy hat. Actually, I love my cowboy hat, a Serratelli I bought for an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY a couple of years back. I probably got hosed on it, to tell the truth, but we were playing cred games, and I hate the fact that my competion spent as much time scamming schwagg as making telly-bission.

Amazingly enough, a real hat guy came up to me today and asked who made my hat. He was surprised that it was a relatively inexpensive off-the-racker. Here's my secret...wear the hat out in the rain. Once, twice, three times, and it starts developing what hat guys call "character." It's stained, it's getting beat up, it fits really well — soak; dry on heat; repeat — and it actually keeps the rain out of my face. I bought it a hatband today, a really nice hand-painted piece of leather that I hope will fade and stain with age, much like me.

Also got to play at Fun With Gatlin Guns, always a favorite with me. The guy who had the Gatlins (one .45/70 black powder; the other a .30/40 Krag 1897 "modern" Gatlin) was major cool, a collector turned arms supplier to Hollywood (R. Lee's Mail Call, The Last Samauri) turned obsessive "hands-on historian," who feels that people need to shoot historical guns, not just look at them in glass cases. Watch for a full feature in an upcoming SHOOTING GALLERY. And, he's got a tank! And a pirate ship.

I like cowboy action shooting because I like the guns. No, it's not the highest speed competition around — that's IPSC. And no, it's not "tactical" — not a single person here thinks he or she is a Ninja Warrior God; But the guns are works of art. Single action revolvers; lever action rifles; the wonderful Winchester 97 pump and various and sundry doubles. I wish there was a cowboy action shooting for, say, 1919, so we could compete with 1911s with nubby sights, S&W double-action revolvers, Browning Automatic-5 shotguns and Thompsons. Oh year, and wear zoot suits, too.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Snore; Nod

Yes, it's another airport blogflash...well, nothing has changed here at DIA since I was here a few days ago. Cingular's wi-fi service still sucks (much like their cellular service). United's "customer service" people still appear to have been recruited from death camp guards around the world. Blah blah.

I did order a new gun today, one of the little Marlin .32 H&R lever action carbines for my Sweetie, in the perhaps vain hope that she will once again let me use my flawless Legacy 1892 .357 Winchester clone overhauled by Steve's Gunz, probably the best 1892 mechanic on earth. That's what happens when you let even relatively inexperienced people shoot really nice guns...I suppose I'm going to have to send the Marlin to Steve when it gets here.

It's not like I have any shortage of lever actions...Winchester, Marlins, Navy Arms, Legacy, they're all hiding in the safes, afraid that I'll take them out and abuse them. I'm actually pretty fond of the .44s, especially the Marlin Cowboy. the best overlooked self-defense gun on earth, as I've mentioned before.

Whoops...gotta go get on the plane! More from California, where I'm cowboy'ing up for a couple of COWBOYS episodes at Trail Down, the big West Coast cowboy match. Later, gators...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Veldt

After my post on double rifles and flashbacks to the great African writers, i got an email from my friend Dwight Van Brunt, commandante of Kimber, who said that he was going to rock my world. He made me promise that when I got his package, I'd stop whatever I was doing and open it.

Today I got a UPS package with a single DVD in it. I'd been in the basement installing a new set of security bars, so I was ready for a break. I stuffed the DVD in my Mac, fiddled with it and finally got it launched.

What Dwight had sent me was a time machine, a film of a safari with legendary white hunter Harry Selby, shot and narrated by the great Robert Ruark in the heyday of the game, the early 1950s.

What can I say? It's Africa as it was in Horn of the Hunter or Something of Value, the safari we all dreamed of taking. It was the past, as distilled and pure as a flask of Talisker.

Thank you, brother.

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty

This morning I found myself giving my Sweetie, an ardent non-hunter, basic kitty kapping instructions. It's spring, and the lions are out and about, and as a local billboard once noted, "To a Mountain Lion, Your Pet Is CARRY OUT PIZZA."

Actually, as the Denver Post has noted, it's not a particularly bad year for lions. Last year was much worse, especially last fall. Because of the spread of Acute Wasting Dsease (AWD), some slob hunters weere taking elk and mulie heads and leaving the carcasses, which became flytraps for mountain lions.

The People's Republic of Boulder is a hotbed of lion sightings in Colorado because of the urban deer, which roam neighborhoods, canyons, everywhere. There was even a book a couple of years ago, The Beast In The Garden, about Boulder's urban lions.

I have a healthy respect for anything at the top of the food chain. I give the Bear In The Back Yard a wide berth, especially in the autumn when he's grumpy as hell and getting ready for his nap-nap. I'm careful in my hiking and biking to not put myself in the position of lion chow — I see signs all the time, but have never actually seen a lion. Most recently, my Sweetie and I did a winter hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, and coming back down we saw that our tracks in the snow were overlaid with lion tracks, cutting back and forth across our trail. Nice kitty!

Since a couple of local pooches have become lion lunches lately, I ran through the basics — as opposed to the current People's Republic thinking, including banging pots and pans, shouting, whispering, waving your arms, sending a telegram, notifying PETA, etc., just shoot the damn thing. Repeatedly. If it's gnawing down on Alf the Wonder Dog, shoot the kitty's hips to get its attention, then continue to remind the cat how we monkeys came to take over the planet.

I like lions a lot. But (and this goes for the Bear In The Back Yard, too) I'm not prey.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Realpoliticks of the Shooting Sports

Folks on The Gun Zone, the most professional of the on-line gun forums, have brought up some really interesting points regarding the firearms industry establishment's apparent disregard for sport shooters, as opposed to hunters.

The biggest point is what I'd call the "hang together or hang separately" issue, i.e., antigun forces stand to benefit from any schism between hunters and non-hunting shooters. That's certainly a fair point. However, I don't think there needs to be a break between the two groups. It would not take much for the hunting side of the industry to accept and acknowledge that the shooting sports represent 1) a viable alternative to field sports and 2) an alternative marketing resource for the hunting industry.

As our forefathers noted, taxation without representation — which is what we're talking about here — is not only tyranny, but sucks in general. I've been surprised at how many shooters had no idea they were being taxed to pay for wildlife/hunting programs. Excise taxes are, of course, invisible taxes, added to the cost of the product before it reaches the consumer. Of course, just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not there.

I think it's GREAT we're being taxed for wildlife restoration, rehabilitation, land aquisition, hunter safety courses even hunter recruitment and retention. All those are vitally important issues both for us as shooters and the quality of life in America as a whole.

However, I also think it's not irrational to have a portion of those taxes collected used specifically for what it is that we do, sport shooting. Ranges are under pressure around the country; perhaps more insidiously, there's increasing pressure to disallow shooting, traditionally part of the "mixed-use" formula, on Forest Service lands close to urban areas — an issue that's going to be looming large here in Colorado.

I also don't think it's irrational for the firearms industry to make an effort to discover what issues are important to the shooting side of the culture. As much of an egoist as I am, I don't actually believe that it's up to me to set any agendas. The brutal truth is that right now, NO ONE speaks for the shooting sports. No one.

I've attended and spoken at two NSSF Shooting Sports Summits. I didn't keep track at the first one (they're held every two years), but at the second Summit out of three days of speakers/programs, there were exactly two independent presentations NOT about hunting...mine and one other range owner who talked about using the shooting sports to drive range visits. I was there with several representatives of the handgun companies, who just shrugged their shoulders. "We don't count," one said.

We need a way to make sure we count. The easiest would be for NSSF to create a position of Sport Shooting Coordinator — something I've proposed before — and a Sport Shooting Council made up of the heads of the various disciplines. Then get everybody together in a room for a little chat about our common goals and problems. THEN let's talk about allocation of resources!

MikeO makes a point in The Gun Zone Forum: Don't fight the spin; be a spinner.

He's absolutely right. The irony is we know how to spin. We know what needs to be done to, essentially, "take back the culture." We know what works.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Box of Truth

This is cool, the Box 'O' Truth. You could get thrown out of the Gunwriters' Union for actually going out and testing something. BTW, notice that BOT guys reached the same conclusion as many Special Forces guys currently in the Big Sandbox — on the 8th day, God created the 12 gauge slug.

Tennessee Homie Blasts Leftover Clinton

The Times of London has discovered what American media outlets have been studiously ignoring since W burst John Kerry's whoopie cushion last November — not every Democrat in American thinks the coming ordination of Hillary Clinton is such a neat thing:
THE first signs of a Democratic revolt against Senator Hillary Clinton’s much-anticipated march on the White House are emerging in the American South, where one of the party’s most successful state governors called last week for Democrats to consider other candidates.

In a calculated snub of Clinton’s accelerating bandwagon, Governor Philip Bredesen of Tennessee warned that voters were “kind of dissatisfied” with the Democrats’ current presidential contenders and that Clinton would face an “uphill road” to win the White House.
He mocked other Democratic candidates who think connecting with middle America means quoting a few verses from the Bible or being photographed with guns.

Bredesen is a lifelong clay pigeon crackshot, and everyone in Tennessee knows that his attachment to guns is real.
The Democrats’ problem, Bredesen believes, has little to do with bullets or the Bible. “The point I’m trying to make is that you’ve got to stand up for some clear things,” he said. He is tired of listening to members of his party attempting to appeal to both pro-gun and anti-gun voters: “When you do that, you’re left with nothing.”
Hard to believe that Bredesen and Al "Where's My Checkered Wool Shirt, Honey?" Gore claim the same state as home! Well, not that hard to believe, as I also claim that state as home and we were warned about "carpetbaggers" as soon as we were able to walk.

Lessons from the World's Largest Gunshow

I spent the weekend living on Tulsa time — sorry, had to be done! — at the World's Largest Gunshow, which was BIG. BIGGER than BIG. The size of a planet, which filled to bursting the Tulsa Expo Center originally built to accomodate giant oil derricks. We were there filming AMERICAN RIFLEMAN "How Much is This Old Gun Worth" segments, with National Firearms Museum Curator Phil Schreier — who has forgotten more about guns in the last 30 minutes than I know — heading up the experts who evaluated attendees' firearms.

My job was to WALK THE FLOOR of this giant expo center and round up the firearms I thought were interesting..."Buying or selling today? Could I see that pistol in your pocket? That's not a pistol? Oh, excuse me! The Clinton Library is one state to your left!"

Anyway, in a room with maybe 25,000 or so guns in it, it wasn't hard to find some interesting hardware, which you'll have to watch AR to see! Couple of interesting points, however. The first is that LETTERS OF AUTHENTICITY are not necessarily a guarantee of authenticity. We talked to a couple of people who had purchased "collector grade" firearms, complete with gin-you-wine letters of authenticity from the makers on Internet auctions. It took the experts maybe two seconds to rip through the fraud. LESSON LEARNED: The only way to be sure of what you have is to have the appropriate expert vet it. Letters help, but they are not the end-all.

Another point...PAY ATTENTION TO ALL THE LAWS. Despite what you might have heard from antigun propagandists, there are thousands and thousands of firearms laws, and it is ON YOU to know what laws are applicable to guns you might be buying or selling. The G has very little sense of humor, for example, about violations to the 1934 National Firearms Act. A few smoothbore revolvers, for example, were made in the early 1900s, and they technically fall under under the NFA's prohibition of "short-barreled shotguns." BATF automatically grants collector exemptions for specific guns [my understanding!], but if you're buying or selling such a thing, it pays to make sure you've got the letter from your big Uncle! If you have a question about whether such a collector firearm requires a letter from the BATF, my hearty suggestion would be to ask the Fed!

Finally, as much as I like local gunshops, they are possibly not the best source of information about collector firearms. Sorry. Neither is your Uncle Bob. If you're trying to sell a gun for $10,000, you might want to spend a little time on the Internet and find out who can give you the real info.


Bill Clinton's Enduring Legacy

I have to say that up until this morning, I would have been hard-pressed to find anything from Bubba Clinton's Presidency that could be considered "enduring." This report from the AP, however, has opened my eyes:
Teens say oral sex not really sex

CHICAGO - About one in five ninth-graders report having had oral sex and almost one-third say they intend to try it during the next six months, a small study of teens at two California schools reports.

The teenagers, whose average age was 14½, also say oral sex is less risky, more common and more acceptable for their age group than intercourse.
I'm thinking maybe a special wing at the Clinton Presidential Library doublewide in Arkansas; I'm sure they can get perrennial Democratic supporter Larry Flynt to pop for the whole thing, including the beautiful dioramas and the museum-quality "BJ Learning Tree."

Now there's a legacy people would pay to see! At least, on HBO.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Sheep Look Up

Here's an interesting op-ed piece on the genocide de jure in Sudan:
"We at Amnesty International are not going to condone escalation of the flow of arms to the region," said Trish Katyoka, director of Africa Advocacy. "You are empowering (the victims) to create an element of retaliation.

"Whenever you create a sword-fight by letting the poor people fight back and give them the arms, it creates an added element of complexity. You do not know what the results could be."


Self-defense could exacerbate the situation, Katyoka said. "Fighting fire with fire is not a solution to the genocide. It is a dangerous proposition to arm the minorities to fight back."
Yep, those pesky victims! Better they should go quietly to the ovens or submit meekly to the machete! Otherwise, there could be gun violence!

I'm probably taking it wildly out of context, but I recall the proverbial snatch of verse by Vachel Lindsay: "Not that they die, but that they die like sheep..." Watch either of the two current movies about Rwanda, then tell me again that it's better not to arm "victims!"

Friday, April 01, 2005

Boy, Is This One A "Can't Miss!"

Think of this as La Femme Itsy-Bitsy Nikita.

Chelsea Morning

"I woke up, it was a Chelsea morning..."
—Joni Mitchell

Well, not exactly. But there is a quality of spring light that always reminds me of my years in New York City. I had a fifth floor walk-up on 8th Street commercial drag in the Village (I could always walk to Chelsea for breakfast!), looking south over the ritzy condos and apartments thatringed Washington Square Park. On mornings like this — substantially warmer than here at 9000 feet — I'd make coffee, go sit on the fire escape and watch the Village sputter to a start...artists and writers aren't exactly morning people, you know.

Enough of the walk down memory lane! I've got about a ton of work to get done before I head for Tulsa ("Take me back to Tulsa/I'm too young to marry"...Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys) early this afternoon for more AMERICAN RIFLEMAN filming. Boy, have I enjoyed my 20 hours at home this week!

I would like to say a fewe words about Jane Fonda and her "apology:" Screw you, you miserable whore!

Thius from Drudge on La Fonda's upcoming book pitch:
Jane Fonda has no regrets about her trip to North Vietnam in 1972 - with one big exception: her visit to a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun site used to shoot down U.S. pilots. She says her appearance there, which earned her the epithet "Hanoi Jane," was a "betrayal" of the U.S. military, its soldiers and "the country that gave me privilege." She regards the event as one of the biggest mistakes of her life. Fonda speaks to Lesley Stahl in her first interview about her upcoming autobiography, Jane Fonda: My Life So Far, for a 60 MINUTES report to be broadcast Sunday, April 3

"The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda's daughter...sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal...the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine," says Fonda. She does not regret, however, visiting the enemy capital, Hanoi, or being photographed with American prisoners of war there - despite the propaganda value it afforded the enemy. "There are hundreds of American delegations that had met with the POWs," says Fonda. "Both sides were using the POWs for propaganda....It's not something that I will apologize for," she says.
So she's not sorry for being a propaganda shill for a country America was fighting, and not sorry for the fact that she allowed herself to be paraded before American POWs both as a propaganda tool and to make those heroes' — our heroes! — life a little more painful. But she is sorry she sat her butt on an antiaircraft gun. Got that? I say again, screw you, you miserable whore! When Roger Vadim pimped you out for 3-ways, he had your number, didn't he?

Check out Alphecca's weekly survey of media bias on Second Amendment issues. he correctly notes that the Minnesota shootings failed to give antigun forces the ammmunition they wanted so badly. I also really like these t-shirts for women from MassBackwards: My Gun; My Choice.
Well, time to quit stalling, "put on the day/And we'll talk in present tenses."