• Doug Koenig — Professional shooter for S&W
• Max Michel — U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit
• Jerry Miculek — Professional shooter for S&W
• Randi "Holy Terror" Rogers — Professional shooter for Cimarron Arms
• Dave Sevigny — Professional shooter for Glock
• Roger Sherman — U.S. Air Force Athlete of the Year
• Phil Strader — U.S. Capital Police Department
Personally, I love the final line-up for lots of reasons. There's a repeat match-up between Great Outdoor Games winners Doug Koenig and Jerry Miculek, two of the best shooters who've ever lived; there's the gut-level rivalry between Army and Air Force in the form of two of their greatest shooters ever; there's Glock's Dave Sevigny with a chance to finally shed his "heir apparent" status and nail down his position as the best handgun shooter in the world; there's up-and-comer Phil Strader, a law enforcement officer with a more than 40 hour-a-week job, who has clawed his way to the top levels of shooting with sheer determination and talent; then there's the wild card, "Holy Terror," maybe the best woman shooter ever, who is absolutely convinced she can be the spoiler.
Can you spell "D-R-A-M-A?"
I"m also watching the developing gun control initiative being driven by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Here's John Lott's take on it:
Mayor Bloomberg wants to take New York City's gun control regulations nationwide. At his swearing in ceremony earlier this month, Mr. Bloomberg announced his top priority for the next four years: a nationwide fight across America for more gun control, from Washington, D.C., to individual statehouses.I don't see this getting any traction outside of the Northeast, where it is being fueled by the current Canadian anti-gun natterings. But any anti-gun push bears watching.
Everyone wants to prevent criminals from getting guns. But the experience in other countries, even island nations that have gone so far as banning guns and where boarders are easy to monitor, should give Mr. Bloomberg and his supporters some pause. The regulations seem to have only kept law-abiding citizens from getting guns.
Finally, I was challenged at dinner last night by my Sweetie to explain my visceral loathing of Ang Lee's new movie, Brokeback Mountain. I certainly loved Crouching Tiger; Hidden Dragon and liked The Ice Storm (The Hulk was, well, The Hulk). But a love story between two married gay cowboys in the 1960s tripped some sort of switch in my — and many other guy's — head.
"You're not a homophobe," she said. "So why the response?"
I'm not a homophobe — although I know that sounds like the BS line from the bad old days of segregation, "some of my best friends are Negros," than I would care for it to. I am libertarian to the core, period. I brought the Pink Pistols into the NSSF Media Education Program over the objections of industry powerhouses who predicted (and in some cases guaranteed) dire personal and professional consequences to me. Regular blog readers already know what I think about gay marriage.
So what's my beef?
I've given it some thought — as I always do when challenged by my Sweetie — and I think my reaction is a "last straw function" caused by Hollywood's unceasing assault on mainstream American culture. Even that wouldn't bother me if we had a choice in what to watch, if maybe I could have a regular selection of movies that didn't want to rub my nose in something stinky.
I profoundly distrust my government, but I don't believe it's behind every conspiracy in the world. I don't believe it has the competence to run a decent conspiracy! Hell, our legislators can't even figure out how to take bribes without ending up in the pokey! Those stealthy spymasters at the CIA missed the collapse of the Soviet empire, not to mention 9-11.
I have an equally healthy distrust of big industries, but also a near-religious belief in the power of a free market. Priase the Lord — I believe in supply and demand! Want oil prices to go down? Sell your friggin' Hummer.
I don't think violence is necessarily good or bad, but is sometimes appropriate. I applaud the Israelis for whacking the masterminds of the Olympic massacre of innocents, and I urge the U.S. government to continue killing the swine who see innocents as fair game. I don't want to see them brought to trial; I don't care to hear their side of the story; I don't need a Cliff's Note text on their religion...I want to see them dead in an umarked grave.
I don't think we're on the brink of a religious dictatorship, or a dictatorship of any kind. That's why we have the guns, folks.
"Last straw..." man, what can we do to really shake up the straights? I know, let's do gay cowboys! Want a piece of advice there, Mr. Lee...and may I call you Ang? Try doing a movie where, say, a woman — heck, it can even be a gay woman — defends her life with a gun against an attacker bent on rape and murder, then is caught up in a system determined to make her the bad guy, ruled over by a ruthless, relentless and utter amoral ambitious prosecuting attorney (you can pick up some pointers at Michael Douglas' next Hillary in 2008 fundraiser). In an amazing twist, the hapless victim emerges victorious, and the last scene is her taking an all-women class at GUNSITE to get even better.
That, Ang, would take some real cohones, as opposed to ben-wah balls that Hollywood calls courage...