Thursday, April 30, 2009

BTW, Happy Walpurgis Night!

Yes, it's that time of year again, the Eve of Mayday, and it's time for witches and warlocks around the world to par-tee par-tee par-tee like it's 1699!!!! Or as Goethe so rollickingly  wrote in Faust:
The witches t'ward the Brocken strain
When the stubble yellow, green the grain.
The rabble rushes - as 'tis meet -
To Sir Urian's lordly seat.
O'er stick and stone we come, by jinks!
The witches f..., the he-goat s...
The broomstick carries, so does the stock;
The pitchfork carries, so does the buck;
Who cannot rise on them tonight,
Remains for aye a luckless wight.
Weeeeee-doggies! F'n and S'n! I'm down with that, but you can probably keep the goats and stuff. Just to be sure stay locked and loaded tonight, don't invite anyone wearing a cape to step over your door's threshold, every if he/she is really, really screaming crazy hot, hang a little clove of garlic on your doors and hang on until dawn. Or maybe visit DarkAsia, where I cribbed the Walpurgis card.

On a lighter note, tomorrow those in the Old Religion and of a Celtish bent celebrated Beltane, the union of the God and Goddess to bless the crops in the promise of new life. Light a fire!

Oh yeah, a sidenote...A. "Pencil Thin Mustache" Hitler checked into his suite in Hell on this night in 1945...sleep tight...

Rob Haught on Shotguns... least you can still get ammo! This from Wilson Combat via AmmoLand
Berryville, AR - Have you been to your local sporting goods or gunshop lately? Have you tried to find 5.56 or 9mm ammunition? Likely it was a frustrating experience.

My local WalMart who normally has a fairly well stocked sporting goods section now has bare shelf space where once was a wide variety of ammunition. Management confirms that the warehouses are empty and that what little does come in is allocated to several stores in the region so everyone gets a little.

If WalMart, the nations largest ammo retailer is in this fix what does that say for the small Mom and Pop gunshops? The frenzy that is driving this shortage is not likely to get better in the near future either.

The one thing that is available however, at least at present is shotshells. The shotgun is one of the most neglected weapons in our arsenal of defensive firearms.

We think of the Carbine and Pistol as being more fun or sexy to shoot and tend to leave the scattergun at home when range time comes around. With the price of rifle ammo skyrocketing many shooters are forced to cut way back on their consumption. I was used to shooting a couple hundred rounds of 5.56 a week and now only shoot around fifty in carefully selected drills designed to get the most out of my training.

Many trainers are seeing attendance drop and classes not filling due to the rising costs and availability of ammo.

Rob Haught of Wilson Tactical
Back to the shotgun….., at least for now we should take the opportunity to stock up on training ammo and dust off the shotguns and get back up to speed on this very versatile tool.

Notes on Training with .22s...

...or even Airsoft guns. One of the commenters on the previous post questioned the effect of subcaliber training when you changed back to your "real" gun either in a personal defense or competition context. I think that definitely deserves a bit of expansion (don't you?).

When we talk about "training," we're really talking about training 3 separate components:
• Fundamentals
• Techniques
• Tactics
By fundamentals we mean the mechanics of shooting — grip, stance, manipulating the trigger, using the sights and follow-through. There is now a substantial amount of research, anecdotal and otherwise, that the fundamentals can be learned and practiced through visualization and dry-fire. In fact, there is a compelling argument to be made that the fundamentals are best learned through regular visualization and dry-fire:
• The brain doesn't differentiate between visualization, dry-fire or live-fire
• Visualization and then dry-firing allow the shooter to perfectly execute the fundamentals repeatedly
• The explosion and recoil of live-firing are a detriment to perfect practice (which is the only sort of practice that makes perfect), especially with new shooters
When we move to techniques, we mean both the general techniques of firearms' manipulation — checking, loading, unloading, safety/safeties manipulation, etc. — and the techniques specific to the task for which we intend to use the firearms. Those tasks might include the draw from a holster, reholstering, reloading techniques specific to tactical and/or competition, movement, target sequencing, etc. We learn and practice techniques through dry-fire, then vet ourselves in those techniques on the square range.

If you want to truly learn how to reload a pistol for have an efficient drawstroke, you need a hundred (of a thousand) repetitions in dry practice to every live shot fired. Live practice on the square range confirms that our dry practice has been correct and verifies that the fundamentals are still in place.

Tactical practice, as expressed in force-on-force training, is best learned and practiced with dummy guns specifically designed for such training — sim guns, Airsofts, even dummy guns. 

IMHO, based on years of training and working with trainers at every level, subcaliber practice brings you 99% or more of the benefits of full caliber training. The remaining little bitty slice is handling recoil, which if you have the fundamentals down is less of an issue than you might think...there's not a different set of fundamentals for heavier recoiling guns! Tatsui Sakai did, after all, win the Steel Challenge — arguably the hardest, most competitive pistol match in the world — after training in Japan, which does not allow its citizens to possess real firearms, for a year with Airsoft guns. He told me it took him "less than a day" to transition between his Airsoft gun with zero recoil, zero noise and zero muzzle flash, and a live firearm. 

The fundamentals teach us to how to control a we add more recoil, nothing should change. In a personal defense situation, or even when the buzzer goes off in a match, you will likely not notice the recoil, the noise or the blast, and if your fundamentals are sound the bullet will go where you intended it to go.

My experience has been that a shooter who goes back to his/her duty or competition gun after a session training with .22s discovers the more powerful gun has less recoil than before (especially if that shooter has practiced extensively with full power ammo in the primary gun). Of course, the recoil didn't miraculously go away...rather, subcaliber practice (after appropriate visualization and dry-fire) has allowed the shooter's attention to be focused on controlling the gun through the application of the fundamentals rather than becoming fixated on the recoil, noise and flash. 

I have proven to my own satisfaction that what we think of subjectively as "recoil" is not only the firearm's measurable reactions to the firing of the cartridge — Newton's Third Law of equal and opposite reaction — but rather an amalgam of our responses to multiple factors, including the amplitude, or height, of the recoil wave, the frequency, or speed, of the recoil wave, [that's the "equal and opposite" stuff] the loudness of the explosion, the size and proximity of the muzzle flash and — this is important — our expectations of the event. Weird, huh? You can "control" recoil by mitigating any one or more of those factors, but I would say the most important factor in recoil control is the last one, expectations. Subcaliber practice allows the shooter to "train" his or her expectations, which actually does "reduce recoil."

REMEMBER: Your mileage may vary....objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

MUST READ: Gun Control Without Gun Laws

From Slate today, well-known whoremonger Eliot Spitzer believes Obama can gut the Second Amendment without passing any new laws...definitely a must-read!
Modern government is not only a lawmaker. Indeed, the most effective executive powers may not derive from statutes at all. The government that President Obama oversees is also a gigantic, well-funded procurement agent. And it can—and should—use that power to change American gun policies. Specifically, the government buys lots of guns, for sheriffs, patrol officers, and detectives; for FBI agents, DEA agents, IRS agents, Postal Inspectors, immigration agents, and park rangers; and for soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and spies. The government buys guns by the crate.

What is striking is that the government buys guns from manufacturers who also sell them to criminals—either knowingly or by willfully overlooking the behavior of the retail outlets that the gun companies use as their distribution system. Those of us who were in law enforcement in New York City in the late '80s and early '90s remember how drug dealers pioneered the use of 9-mm guns. We heard over and over from our friends in the police department that they were outgunned, that their service revolvers were no match for semi-automatics in a shootout. So what did the police do? The New York City Police Department finally bought 9-mms, too. It was a classic arms race, with the gun manufacturers in the economically enviable position of selling bigger and better guns to both sides.
This prompts a simple question: Why do we buy guns from companies that permit their products to be sold to bad guys?
In this era of government ownership of financial institutions, we are getting more used to the notion that government as an economic actor can exercise its power in differing ways. After all, firms that received TARP money are subject to a bevy of pay restrictions—wisely constructed or not—and were forced to cancel showy parties and retreats.
If we can use a capital infusion to a bank as an opportunity to control executive compensation and to limit use of private planes, why can't the government use its weight as the largest purchaser of guns from major manufacturers to reward companies that work to keep their products out of criminals' hands? Put another way, if it is too difficult to outlaw bad conduct through statutes, why not pay for good conduct? Why not require vendors to change their behavior if they want our tax dollars?

Where'd All the Ammo Go?

Ammoland is reporting that an analysis of various stats reveals that ammo sales in December 2008 came in at (get read for this):


Yeppers, a billion and a half rounds that could be tracked...I'd bet there's at least half that number (and I'm being very conservative). By the way, that doesn't count reloading components.

At the RangeMaster Tactical conference, one of the biggest dinner conversation topics was how instructors were cutting down ammo requirements for training because the students either couldn't afford the training with the higher ammo component or simply couldn't get the ammo. Several of the instructors reported students coming through classes with .22 LRs, something they probably wouldn't have allowed in years past but now is completely acceptable.

I TOTALLY agree on this point — training is critically important, and I think training with a .22 is still good quality training. We've talked about this on SHOOTING GALLERY last season and repeatedly on DOWN RANGE Radio. At this point, I'm doing most of my own practice with .22s, and I'm pretty worried about the big chunks of ammo we use each season in the television shows. I've already started drawing on my own "strategic reserves" for the shows...I'm buying on a weekly basis, but there's just not that much out there.

So I strongly urge you to augment your basic personal defense battery with a "mirror" .22s for practice. Best cases are conversion units because you get 100% "look and feel" of your carry guns. You guys know I work with Tactical Solutions...the reason I do is they make the best .22 conversion units in the business, not to mention their superb Pac-Lite top ends for Rugers and Browning Buckmarks. For 1911s, I can also recommend Kimber .22 conversion units. 

If you carry a snub revolver (and who of us doesn't at some point), take a look at this Charter Arms Pathfinder, 2-inch .22 LR snub with an MSRP of $379! I'm using my old Walther TPH .22 for BUG practice these days.

On rifle practice, conversion units are the best, but it's most important to match optics. Again, . I have a Tac-Sol unit fitted on a Stag lower and it is my main AR these days. The Black Dog mags are 100%. On your .22, as much it may simply be too expensive to go out and duplicate the optics. My "working" AR, an S&W M&P, is fitted with an Aimpoint M4 and 3X magnifier, which costs a tidy sum. The Tac-Sol .22 is fitted with an inexpensive BSA red dot, but it does the job and gives me the same red dot. Again, in full disclosure, BSA is a sponsor, but they've long been known for their great rimfire scopes. BTW, they have a reasonably priced fixed 4X coming out specifically designed for ARs...I've handled an advanced copy and like it. You don't need the top-of-the-line stuff on a  .22, but you do need rimfire optics that match what you use on the working gun.

If money is tight (and it is), look at a 10/22. I didn't have to tell you that, right?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why Kids Can't Say "Guns" in School

From the Miami Herald:
My own hunch is that the sheer number of Americans who own guns (the low estimate is something over 40 million) will keep their Second Amendment rights off the endangered-species list for the foreseeable future. Their First Amendment rights, however, may be another matter. Those are taking a beating these days, right in the place that's supposed to be America's rowdiest free-speech zone: college campuses.

A student who speaks up about the right to own or carry a gun stands a good chance of getting suspended or even arrested...
Read the whole thing...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Yeechy-Poo Drive Home

So I get to the airport in Tulsa feeling pretty ragged out after three days of filming...I'm feeling worse and worse...body aches...fever rising...I'm thinking "flu-like" symptom, which really sucks with Captain Trips loose in Mexico and me walking unmasked through airports. The drive from DIA to the Secret Hidden Bunker was fever was up enough that I saw many fascinating hallucinations...mostly small grotesque animals jumping toward me off the side of the road...

I'm much better this AM...fever broke and the virus never went to my lungs, so I think I've dodged that bullet. I'm gonna spend the day resting and visit Mr. Doctor tomorrow.

Rastus, that flash/bang (actually a shotgun) in room 3 was cool! Several years back we did a similar thing for some SWAT excercises...the first guy through dropped his gun when it popped. Room 3

Sunday, April 26, 2009

All Tacticaled Up

Am on the way home from Tom Givens' RangeMaster Tactical Conference, this year in Tulsa at the U.S.Shooting Academy.

As usual, had a wonderful time, catching up with Tom, John Farman, Mas Ayoob, Paul Gomez, Karl Rein, and as whole bunch of other people, including my old high school buddy Bill Baker, who now instructs at RangeMaster.

You'll see a ton of this stuff on DRTV, along with a whole slew of gun tests.

As usual, Tom and the RM guys set up some cool and challenging shooting stages - a house exercise with lots of terrorist and lots of innocent bystanders, the classic Dozier Drill (which I'd shot with an S.A.revolver at GUNSITE a couple of weeks ago), a standards, a stage were you carted around a darn heavy "baby," and a back-up gun stage. I shot the main stages with a Para LTC 9mm I had in Tulsa with me and borrowed a Kahr .380 for the BUG stage. The highlight of the BUG stage was 2 shots standing at 15 yards on a target about 3/4 covered by a hostage, then dropping to prone to engage a clay pigeon at 15 yard through a hole in a steel plate. The plate messes with your head! I shot 2 "A's" on the paper, then drilled the clay pigeon on the second Walt Rauch told me a month or so ago, the little Kahr is a SHOOTER!

More on Wednesday's podcast...

-- Post From The Road

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Two Saturday Quickies...

...before heading to the range. The first is from MSNBC, part of their First 100 Day Coverage of Maximum Barry Reign, bemoaning the fact that the shiny new AWB appears to be dead in it's cradle: 
One-hundred days into his presidency, President Obama says it [a new AWB] remains a goal. But it is one the White House has been forced to abandon.

Voices of agreement
President Obama and Vice-President Biden, “support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent,” the White House website declares. Shortly after taking office, members of the Obama cabinet added their voices of agreement.

At his first news conference as attorney general, Eric Holder said, “there are just a few gun-related changes what we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed the idea during her trip to Mexico in late March. “These assault weapons, these military-style weapons, don’t belong on anyone’s street,” she said.

But the fire has gone out of President Obama’s goal of restricting the availability of firearms. “I don’t know of any plans,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, to seek an assault weapons ban from Congress.

Attorney General Holder admitted as much when asked, during a recent session with reporters, whether he expected any push for a ban this year to curb the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico.

His answer could have come straight from the National Rifle Association: “I think what we’re going to do is to try to, obviously, enforce the laws on the books.”
The second is a couple of media posts from Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell
What does it means when you have an editorial in the US News and World Report that says gun control is unconstitutional, period, and the Baltimore Sun runs an article about the ineffectiveness of the gun control movement?

It’s part of American legend that when Corwallis’ men surrendered to Washington and LaFayette after the Battle of Yorktown, effectively ending the American Revolution, the band played “The World Turned Upside Down.” Someone send Paul Helmke a fife. If the media abandoned them, all is lost. That’s not to say gun control is dead, but the current incarnation might be. Will there be a rebirth? Will Brady change their name again? Who knows. But pretty clearly what they are doing now isn’t working.
Let's stay vigilant and make sure it keeps on not working! I'm also trying to get ramped up to speed on the kerflunkle over Rush Limbaugh recording some audio spots for the Humane Society...El Rushbo apparently didn't get the memo that the Humane Society has morphed from a protector of abandoned pets to just another animal rights/antihunting organization.

The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance is on this big time: 
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance has joined the nation’s leading conservation organizations in sending a letter to Rush Limbaugh urging the talk radio personality to cease his support of America’s number one opponent of sportsman traditions, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The groups who sent the letter are: the Archery Trade Association, Boone and Crockett Club, Catch a Dream Foundation, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Conservation Force, Dallas Safari Club, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, Houston Safari Club, Masters of Foxhounds Association of North America, Mule Deer Foundation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Trappers Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, North American Bear Foundation, North American Grouse Partnership, Pheasants Forever, Pope and Young Club, Quail Forever, Quality Deer Management Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Texas Wildlife Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Whitetails Unlimited, Wildlife Forever, Wildlife Management Institute, and the Wild Sheep Foundation.

The letter clearly states the essential role played by hunters, fishermen, and trappers in conserving America’s wildlife. It reads:

“Every year, billions of dollars are pumped into conservation and local economies by American hunters, anglers, and trappers through the purchases of their licenses, equipment and clothing, and through their expenditures on hotels, travel, and dining.”

The letter also explains to Mr. Limbaugh the impact his endorsement will have on advancing the HSUS agenda:

“With America’s most prominent conservative spokesman on board, they have the opportunity to make in-roads in to a new cross section of our country.

You are helping them to mainstream their image in the minds of reasonable people. Your collaboration furthers the anti-hunting and anti-fishing agenda of HSUS, which will undermine the great success of conservation and threatens the economies of small towns and rural states across our nation.”

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is It Time to be Scared Yet?

The deadly Mexico flu outbreak, which has no doubt been caused by inequities in the American medical system, happens to be part of one of the 7 deadly scenarios in 7 DEADLY SCENARIOS: A MILITARY FUTURIST EXPLORES WAR IN THE 21ST CENTURY by Andrew Krepinevich. I thought that would cheer you up! Here's the details of the Mexican outbreak: 
Because there is clearly human-to-human spread of the new virus, raising fears of a major outbreak, Mexico's government canceled classes for millions of children in its sprawling capital city and surrounding areas.

"Our concern has grown as of yesterday," U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing.

It first looked mostly like a swine virus but closer analysis showed it is a never-before-seen mixture of swine, human and avian viruses, according to the CDC.

"We do not have enough information to fully assess the health threat posed by this new swine flu virus," Besser said.
In 7 Deadly Scenarios, a world-wide avian flu pandemic pushed the American health care system the brink, but the major danger came when Mexico's teetering government collapses and a human wave of sick desperate humanity surges toward the U.S. border. This from the U.S. News & World Report interview with Krepinevich: 
Is there a scenario that particularly surprised you as you looked into it?

The pandemic scenario. You read what people in the medical community are saying, and their point is that a pandemic influenza is not an if event; it's a when event. Nearly a century ago, we had the famed Spanish influenza that killed more people than all the people killed in World War I. It was almost a "bring out your dead in the morning," overwhelming the ability of the healthcare infrastructure to handle the problem. And so the situation is that you have an avian influenza virus that makes this last leap to where it can be easily transmitted between humans. It takes time to isolate the strains and produce a vaccine. So you've got a period of six to nine months where you need to accumulate large stores of the vaccine. In the meantime, you have to rely on antiviral drugs, and you don't have enough of those. You see breakdowns in areas where U.S. forces are located; they're besieged. You get massive numbers of people moving towards the U.S. border, and the government realizes that we cannot accommodate them because we're hanging on by a thread. The armed forces is given the challenge: How do you stop these people in a humanitarian way? Again, you sit down and you start to think about what does the Pentagon have to worry about. The circumstance is a huge humanitarian catastrophe, one that is quite plausible and that would require the military to be very inventive.
Sleep well tonight...dream of nanomasks and Tamiflu.

This is the REAL Best Defense!

That's Tim Cremin, producer of THE BEST DEFENSE, with my Spike's Tactical 9mm AR'll see the video on DRTV a little later this month, of course. We ran out of ammo before we ran out of people who were loving this little blaster.

-- Post From The Road

Where Are The Aliens???

-- Post From The Road

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Firearms Availability...Pipeline Filling Up?

I can't speak to ammo, which is still darned hard to find, but I note a flier from CDNN (that's their accessory website; you gotta call about the guns — 800-588-9500) that advertises ARs in stock, including Colt, Bushmaster, S&W, Charles Daly and Les Baer, assorted varieties of Mini-14s, a bunch of exotics and — amazingly — .308 FNARs in the heavy and light barrel configs for the MSRP of $1295. I say "amazingly" because the first FNARs coming into the pipeline were selling for crazy prices on auction sites like there's now a zillion of them at roughly $1500. I got an email from FNH yesterday saying it would be a while, if ever, that the guns would be available to writers for purchase, although we could get a loaner for 3 weeks.

I did buy 2500 rounds of .22LR Aguila Target — I've used before and it's is pretty good ammo, although a little light for some conversion units —  from Cheaper Than Dirt for a reasonable price...a little over $300 for 5k rounds. I plan to use it in the cowboy practice guns and save my hotter CCI for the conversion units and other semis. They've also got Wolf steel case .223, but they're selling it dear...almost $600 a thousand! Ammo Engine's average 5.56 price today is between $400-500. 9mm is still crazy off the charts...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One of My All-Time Favorite Headlines

From MSNBC today:

Giant mystery blob found near dawn of time

Man, I've suspected that for years! There is indeed a giant mystery blob near the dawn of time! Along with a huge statue of a man with four toes, all the unmatched socks since the very first washing machine, the missing 18 1/2 minutes of the Richard Nixon tapes, Jimmy Hoffa, Judge Crater, the keys to my 1969 MGB that I was never able to find, an unreleased master tape of previous unrecorded Grateful Dead songs, that little "De Plane! De Plane!" guy from Fantasy Island, Lindsey Lohan's lost virtue and that couple of hours I lost when I whacked my head river surfing in New Zealand a few years back.

I feel better now, doctor...really...

...until I read this:
DETROIT — The metal underwire in a Detroit woman's bra was credited with deflecting a bullet fired at her during a break-in at a neighbor's home. Detroit police Officer Leon Rahmaan said the 57-year-old woman apparently looked out her window Tuesday when one of three men fired the shot.

He said the slug smashed through her window pane before hitting the bra's underwire. It did not penetrate her skin.

I'm now deeply conflicted.

Neat Commentary from U.S. News & World Report

Featuring 4 distinct views — including Brother Ted — on guns and gun control: 
Ten years after the Columbine High School massacre, shooting sprees in New York and Pennsylvania bring renewed howls for tighter gun laws. But is gun control the answer? In U.S. News's monthly series The Chat Room, four advocates on both sides of the debate get their say, first in separate op-eds, then for several days as guests on the Thomas Jefferson Street blog.
Read 'em all...even Helmke, who always reads from the same pathetic script...

A Must-Read Post from the Violence Policy Center

So we went from instant blizzard to instant's sunny, warm and beautiful up here, and, yes, it's taking the 4 feet of snow a bit of time to melt off. I'm looking forward to some time at the range this weekend T&E'ing guns...including one of those FNH bullpups that everyone hates. I always thought a bullpup would make an excellent car gun. I'm also going to put some rounds through the coooooooooooooool Spike's Tactical 9mm AR-based pistol. Naw, it's not "tactical," but then neither am I.

Here's some reading for the day. Eugene Volokh over at the Volokh Conspiracy rounded up the Violence Policy Center statement on the Clinton AWB made in 1998. Every gun owner needs to read this statement (and make sure it gets plenty of circulation!) because it shows the duplicitous center of the antigun movement. Here's a sample from the VPC report: 
[A]ssault weapons are quickly becoming the leading topic of America's gun control debate and will most likely remain the leading gun control issue for the near future. Such a shift will not only damage America's gun lobby, but strengthen the handgun restriction lobby for the following reasons:

* It will be a new topic in what has become to the press and public an "old" debate.

Although handguns claim more than 20,000 lives a year, the issue of handgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public. The reasons for this vary: the power of the gun lobby; the tendency of both sides of the issue to resort to sloganeering and pre-packaged arguments when discussing the issue; the fact that until an individual is affected by handgun violence he or she is unlikely to work for handgun restrictions; the view that handgun violence is an "unsolvable" problem; the inability of the handgun restriction movement to organize itself into an effective electoral threat; and the fact that until someone famous is shot, or something truly horrible happens, handgun restriction is simply not viewed as a priority. Assault weapons -- just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms -- are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons....
So in the end a new AWB of any kind is only a step toward banning handguns...indeed, all guns. At the time of the Clinton Ban, the Washington Post made the comment than the AWB in all probability would have no effect on crime — and of course it didn't! — ""Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control."

Oh no, I forgot! Maximum Barry has "too much on his plate" to pay attention to us! That's why we're fending off one antigun "probe" after the other.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Definition of Stubborn

I sometimes look to my three parrots — Ripley, Cleo and Bishop — for handy behavioral TRAIL SAFE (due back from the printer early next month) I talked about how they invariably respond to aggression with aggression, which got me thinking about how we as humans might deescalate dangerous situation.

This morning Bishop, our green-winged macaw, checked her calendar and decided once and for all it's spring, and by god she was going to her outside aviary. Period. So now she's sitting outside, puffed up like a bluejay in January, in a flite half full of snow. She can come in any time she wants, but she's so far holding the line. 

This is the opposite of her usual response to the first snow every fall, where she insists on going outside and sticking her big red head in the snow to prove to herself that we're not torturing her by keeping her inside. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ninth Circuit Incorporates 2nd Amendment

This is a biggie...the a 3-judge panel of Ninth Circuit Federal Court has unanimously found for the first time that the Second Amendment is indeed incorporated into the Constitution through the 14th Amendment. This from RightsPundits:
Just as a little background for those of you who are not legal scholars, originally the Bill of Rights were a set of limited rights that only applied to the federal government (for example many states had official state religions). It wasn’t until after the Civil War and the passage of the 14th Amendment that some of the Bill of Rights were eventually “incorporated” into the 14th amendment and applied to states as well as the federal government. Through a hodgepodge of cases, the Supreme Court has recognized most of the rights in the Bill of Rights as “fundamental” rights, and thus states could not limit them. Curiously the 2nd amendment has never been included as one of these fundamental rights, and thus never incorporated (although non-existent rights like the Right to Privacy made the list somehow).
The opinion basically follows the Heller opinion from last year. The Heller opinion invalidated a Washington D.C. ordinance which banned all gun possession in the District. The SCOTUS ruled that this was unconstitutional because gun ownership “necessary to an Anglo-American regime of ordered liberty.” Following this framework, the 9th Circuit has basically said that since this is a fundamental right the 2nd Amendment must be incorporated into the 14th Amendment. Interestingly, the 9th Circuit did not use the Priviliges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment, but by the Due Process Clause.
 The fact that this is coming from the Ninth, the most liberal of federal courts, is nothing short of amazing. This from the decision: 
We therefore conclude that the right to keep and bear arms is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” Colonial revolutionaries, the Founders, and a host of commentators and lawmakers living during the first one hundred years of the Republic all insisted on the fundamental nature of the right. It has long been regarded as the “true palladium of liberty.” Colonists relied on it to assert and to win their independence, and the victorious Union sought to prevent a recalcitrant South from abridging it less than a century later. The crucial role this deeply rooted right has played in our birth and history compels us to recognize that it is indeed fundamental, that it is necessary to the Anglo-American conception of ordered liberty that we have inherited.
More from Snowflakes in Hell, Of Arms & the Law, Volokh Conspiracy.

Monday Ammo Commentary... Texas
Retailers and consumers say there may be several reasons gun stores are running out of ammunition — and the cost of what is available is rising.

There’s a widespread expectation that Obama’s administration will follow through on a campaign promise to reimpose an assault weapons ban. Some people fear that taxes on ammunition, guns and other firearms-related materials might drastically increase, as they have on cigarettes.

Administration officials and Democratic leaders in Congress began saying this month that while they hope to eventually change gun control policies, they will not push the assault weapons ban for now because they know how divisive that debate would be and they don’t want to distract from other goals.

The slumping economy — and the angst it brings — is also prompting many first-time buyers to purchase guns and stockpile ammunition. But the economy could also make it hard for manufacturers to get credit to buy supplies to make all that ammo.

Whatever the reason, gun stores nationwide face back-ordered ammunition requests and in some cases a wait of six to eight months for delivery.

As the demand grows, the cost of ammunition is rising — as is the cost of guns and supplies such as cleaning kits and eye and ear protection.
I especially like this comment to the article, which I think does a superb job of summing up what's going on:
jimposter wrote on 4/20/2009 9:06:57 AM:
The salient point that should not be missed is the ultimate goal of the current political ruling elite to discourage and ban gun ownership by citizens. They may differ on the timetable but the goal remains the same. Whether motivated by a misguided paternalism that posits in government an excess authority, or motivated by a belief that guns cause crime, the solution they unwaveringly advance is to disarm law-abiding people.

Demand for guns and ammunition is a referendum on the average citizen's trust and confidence in the government-a trust in benevolence over malevolance, and a confidence in handling the economy and law enforcement. So far trust is losing big-time, and the more the administration and Congress make noises about stripping citizens of their right to self-defense the greater the imbalance becomes. The people are not idiots, and as Dylan once said in another context "you don't need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

All's Right with the World...

...after 5 hours of shoveling, plus an extra 2 hours extricating my Sweetie's Mini from a slippery spot. Once the Mini got its chains on, it chugged right through the whole mess! I have to admit to a bit of stiffness this AM, but hey, I planned to do a good workout on Saturday anyway. Supposed to warm up big time, so all this white stuff won't be staying around that long.

RE: Local political structure, you guys are bad. As someone who does not have kids and travels a lot (and has for years) I have a limited connection to wherever I live. Usually, my political involvement is at a state level or above, working for RKBA. I do get involved locally on gun issues, but seldom for other things. Living in Boulder County — 50 square miles surrounded by reality, as the poster says — has its pluses and minuses. It is a spectacular place to live with outdoor recreation second to none; it is also a major fruit and nut enclave. The cell tower issue grated because it is a matter of life or death...the town is at the head of 17 miles of twisting mountain road through a canyon. Make a mistake driving, or have a heart attack at a bad time behind the wheel, and you have a choice of a rock wall or a drop into a fast-running mountain stream. If your accident happens in the middle of the canyon, especially at night, you have a 7 mile walk to be able to call for help. Happens every year. 

I once popped the accelerator linkage on an old Land Cruiser of mine at Mile 8 one the way home on a cold, cold night. Of course, I had extra clothing layers, hiking boots and a SureFire, so I mostly got a unplanned hike up the hill. I was almost hit twice at narrow points where there was no place to get off the road...gotta love target fixation!

Anyhow, speaking of EMP, Rastus, I jst finished reading ONE SECOND AFTER by William Forstchen, a TEOTWAWKI book postulating an EMP strike against the United States and based on substantial military research on the subject. As stated in the afterword, a terrifying report on U.S. vulnerability to an EMP strike had the bad luck to be released on September 11, 2001 and was effectively lost in the subsequent coverage of the terrorist events...or am I now required to say man-made catastrophes? Anyhow, an EMP strike is an efficient and devastatingly effective way to use limited don't have to have precision targeting or super-deluxe missile delivery systems...just enough to lob the nukes high enough over the central U.S. to get a maximum pulse effect.

It's a very well written, scary and ultimately profoundly depressing book, focusing on one small town in North Carolina (sort of like the late, lamented television series, Jericho, in that way). If you're having trouble staying awake all night, ONE SECOND LATER will solve that problem...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Big Dig

Am stalling on manning up and cutting a path to the road...still snowing, but not the 1-3 inches an hour it has been for the last 24 hours....agree with commmenters: Global Warming is a Bitch! Power lasted until yesterday evening, the flickered and went out again...still out. I got up, made cowboy coffee and ministered to the needs of the zoo.

The key to staying up here in any kind of sane manner is non-grid-dependent heat. Since my furnace is on propane and I keep a lot of it in the tank (3 months supply), I have a propane-fired soapstone stove...expensive, and worth every penny. It is incredibly efficient and will actually keep the bottom floor of my house at 60 degrees @ 0 zero outside temp...of course the house is super-insulated and reinformed by an extra layer of sheathing facing the prevailing west winds. On days like this, with the outside temp running around freezing, I just run the stove occasionally.  I didn't run it at all last night, and the house only lost 10 degrees in 12 hours. The stove is also fitted with a grill on top, and it's easy to cook on.

Entertainment comes from the iPod with battery-powered speakers or my excellent Sony SW7600 receiver. Thanks for the connection on beeswax candles...I'm been meaning to buy a bunch to replace my wax candles, which are getting a bit tatty. More intense light comes from Coleman LED latterns, with kerosene latterns as a backup. I blow hot and cold on adding a generator...I'll be moving the Secret Hidden Bunker in a couple of years to some property we bought with an eye to an off-grid set-up that would include a propane generator as the backup...I don't like storing gasoline at all, and I really haven't fiddled with diesel. 

What irritates me the most is that the little town I live in is one of the few places in Colorado without cell service, so no 3G Internet hook-up. This is largely because of an unholy collection of aging hippies who are afraid aliens are tapping into their Grateful Dead cassette collection through cell phones and busybody stay-at-home women with indeterminate professions ("I, uh, photograph my cats, dabble in astrology, have done a bit of massage and psychotherapy and write a column on peace for the local shopper..." you know the type) with a relentless commitment to "the environment." Most recently, a cell tower supported by the local cops, the firefighters, all the first responders, the town's businesspeople and everyone else an above-room-temperature IQ was voted down because the fruit and nut basket that passes for a town council agreed that the tower would "spoil the view." The tower was going to be attached to a sewage treatment plant, which looks uncannily like a, well, sewage treatment plant. I can't quite craft a sentence that includes "beautiful views" and "bubbling crap" in close proximity. But, hey, that's just me...

Am trying to keep up on the gun amazed at the tenacity of the Mexican connection that keeps getting debunked and pops back up like a turd roiling around a treatment pant. Here's a link to the most recent LA Times blog story...if I try to cut and paste on this dial up connection, I'll be here until the snow melts. Here's a second link to the study they're referencing. 

I haven't seen anyone address the addition issue of what "originating in the United States" actually means...for example, if the guns came from the U.S. directly to the Mexican military, such as it is, and went to the cartels when the 150,000 or so soldiers deserted or sold off military hardware to the cartel, does that count as firearms "originating in the United States?" Secondly, guns that were made here have been floating around Central America for more than a century. We've provided guns to various and sundry governments, dictators and wannabes, a wicked assortment of rebel groups and a generous collection of people and groups we perceived to be our surrogates south of the border. Do those count as "originating in America?" If a gunrunner ponies up a shipment of M4s that fell off a truck in Iraq, is shipped via Syria to Paraguay, then carted to the open arms markets in Honduras and sold to the cartels, do those guns count as "originating in America?" 

Do the "no trace" American arms our government provided to El Salvador count? Hell, if the Cubans sell the Mexican cartels a selection of battlefield pick-ups dating from when we remembered the Maine or from the stockpiles their former partners in socialism, the Russians, delivered during the Cold War, are those guns lumped into the "originating in America" pile?

Inquiring minds want to know! Okay, it's SHOVEL TIME!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Five Freakin' Feet?

Yes's still snowing like I'm north of the Arctic Circle and the weather dweebs are saying 5 feet by tomorrow morning. The power is coming and going, but that's no big...just irritating. The power just came back on and I had enough power time this afternoon to recharge the computers. I'm hoarding one of the laptops to watch a movie when the power goes off again.

I have a confession to make....Mr. Stupid managed to lock his keys in his truck...I was using the Trusty Element as essentially a snowplow to batter my way down the I get out on the passenger's side in snow up to my waist, close the door and hear a, "Click." So where is my spare key? With my Sweetie. Where is my Sweetie? At GUNSITE. Oh well...another learning opportunity pour moi!

Been having to accompany Alf the Wonder Beagle outside while she tinkles on the miracles of nature because of a pack of coyotes that is far too visible in the snow. I considered dropping one this AM when it was floundering in the deep snow outside my office window. Call it 11 yards, a hole in the screen and one heck of a pelt...decided the new neighbors might not understand. 

Meanwhile, read Alphecca's commentary on what Maximum Barry really said about an AWB, as opposed to what the MSM has been telling us he said. Remember all the bleating about how Obama forswore an AWB? Well, what he really said was:
 I have not backed off at all from my belief that the gun — the assault weapons ban made sense.
I've been really amazed on some of the gun forums, where you think people might know better, where people are confident that there's no problemo. Reminds me of my hardcore libertarian friends, most of whom stayed home rather than vote for What's His Name, who explained to me during the campaign that while Obama was clearly a screaming, ranting socialist he would no doubt "govern from the center." They're presently in shock over Maximum Barry's brilliant strike at the heart of capitalism, learning how to can tomatoes and shopping for viable farmland in the Midwest.

Well, tomorrow's going to be a long, boring day with the shovel. 

I'm Back!

Powered and up, that is!

Yeah Yeah, So I'm Producing a Show on Preparedness... I get some more beta-test time.

Major snow storm here at the Secret Hidden Bunker. Power's been out since dawn and the power company doesn't have a clue when it's going to be back up. So far, still have water and telephone, although if this one follows the usual spring storm trajectory the water'll crap out about midday and sooner or later this wet snow will snap a phone line.  

Thankfully, I bought designer beer last night, and I have everything else...good day to either clean my office or load .44 Specials...yes, yes, I know...the freakin' driveway! Maybe it'll clear itself if I wait long enough (say, July). 

Liver-Eating Johnson signing out for now...I only pray that I won't be forced to eat a liberal to survive until spring....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here We Go, Boys & Girls...

UPDATE: NRA Response:
The NRA is well aware of the proposed Organization of American States treaty on firearms trafficking, known by its Spanish initials as CIFTA. The NRA monitored the development of this treaty from its earliest days, but contrary to news reports today, the NRA did not "participate" at the meeting where the treaty was approved.

The treaty does include language suggesting that it is not intended to restrict "lawful ownership and use" of firearms . Despite those words, the NRA knows that anti-gun advocates will still try to use this treaty to attack gun ownership in the U.S. Therefore, the NRA will continue to vigorously oppose any international effort to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding American gun owners.

Maximum Barry has decided to support the Inter-American Arms Treaty as a sop to Mexican President Calderone. Here's the story that just went up on WaPo
President Obama will announce in a visit here today that he will push the U.S. Senate to ratify an inter-American arms trafficking treaty designed to curb the flow of guns and ammunition to drug cartels and other armed groups in the hemisphere.
The Clinton administration signed the treaty, better known by its Spanish acronym CIFTA, after the Organization of American States adopted it in 1997. In all, 33 countries in the hemisphere have signed the treaty. The United States is one of four nations that have yet to ratify the convention, although Obama administration officials say the U.S. government has sought to abide by the spirit of the treaty for years.

The treaty requires countries to take a number of steps to reduce the illegal manufacture and trade in guns, ammunition and explosives.

In addition to making illegal the unauthorized manufacture and exporting of firearms, the treaty calls for countries to adopt strict licensing requirements, mark firearms when they are made and imported to make them easier to trace, and establish a cooperative process for sharing information between national law-enforcement agencies investigating arms smuggling.

Advocates for the treaty have argued that the United States, even if it is trying to follow many of the convention's requirements, is undermining its credibility by failing to ratify it. The treaty was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1998, but no action has been taken since then.

U.S. gun-rights groups participated as observers in drafting the treaty, which experts say includes language stating that it does not impinge on the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.
Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell is doing a masterful job of covering this story, and he doesn't agree at all with that last "experts" statement: 
Licensing requirements? Unauthorized manufacture? The answer to this, from the Senate, better not be no. It needs to be “HELL NO!” If Harry Reid even peeps that he’ll back this, I can guarantee he will be target numero uno in 2010. He’s already facing a tough race.
Also read his second post, here:
This treaty is definitely a problem, especially for home manufactures, hand loaders, and accessory makers. Let’s take a look at some of the provisions that should worry us.

The treaty bans “illicit manufacturing” of firearms, defined as:

...the manufacture or assembly of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials:
a. from components or parts illicitly trafficked; or
b. without a license from a competent governmental authority of the State Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place; or
c. without marking the firearms that require marking at the time of manufacturing.

This would seem to require a government license for home building, assembling from parts, and quite likely many types of repairs and customizations. And here’s the really scary part, it defines “other related materials” this way: “any component, part, or replacement part of a firearm, or an accessory which can be attached to a firearm.” This would make all people who make accessories that attach to a firearm to have a license. It would presumably also ban home manufacture of these items without a government license. Do you own trigger jobs? Reload your own ammunition? Not anymore, not without a government license!
More as the story develops...

WSJ on Gun Sales

From this morning's WSJ, where they speculate there's some speculating going on: 
No one knows exactly what is behind the gun-buying craze. Some buyers say they are stocking up for themselves in anticipation of new gun-control laws, while others say they're worried about deteriorating public safety as the economy worsens.

But it's also clear that part of the gun-buying rally is driven by people like Mr. Chambers who are buying weapons the way others invest in a hot stock. The buying is pumping up prices. Many popular models of guns are back-ordered for a year or more. Some manufacturers are operating plants 24 hours a day. According to the 2009 edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values, the average price of European-made AK-47s -- the famous Soviet-era military weapon now made in several countries -- doubled from $350 last September to more than $700 by the end of 2008.
That the bubble could burst doesn't appear to be fazing buyers. "Right now even used semiautomatic rifles are selling like crazy," says Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents manufacturers and retailers.

Randy Luth, the founder and president of DPMS Firearms LLC, in St. Cloud, Minn., one of the country's largest manufacturers of AR-15s, says he recently saw rifles similar to his company's at a gun store in the Phoenix area priced between $1,200 and $1,500, compared with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $800 or $900. "It's difficult to find any AR-15 at a retail show or gun store selling for the manufacturer's suggested retail price," he says.
If you're a regular reader of the Blog or listen to the DOWN RANGE Radio, you're feeling pretty smug, since I gave my first "BUY" recommendation more than 14 months ago...ah, the good old days of more than a year ago, when you could walk into a gun store or big box wholesaler and buy things like primers, AR-15 magazines and...pause for effect...9mm ball ammo without a mortgage!

Here's a same same but different spin on the sales and shortages story from a firearms dealer:
New owners are driving the demand. We have people who have never owned a gun or just hunted their entire life. They walk in and want the gun like the army uses. They buy the gun, stacks of mags, ammo and are asking about training classes ect. The high end shotgunners and big game hunters think a $1,500 dollar AR is cheap. It is compared to a competition trap gun. People who have no knowledge of this class of weaponry in general do not find these weapons expensive. A dependable AR-15 can be bought for the price of a nice set of golf clubs, and an AK clone for the price of a Coach handbag. A person who loses 30 dollars worth of Nike golf balls every Saturday does not find the $9.99 box of .223 Remington overpriced. To this group of buyers this is the only price they know. They were not in the market when the prices were lower. Very few of these people haggle on prices . They do not trade anything in, nor do they really seem to care what the price is. Many are looking at how the weapons increase in value, and how much they lose daily on the market. That makes firearms and ammo a better investment. I have sold untold cases of 9mm by telling how 5 years ago I was buying Federal 9mm for 102.00 dollar per thousand shipped to my house. Now the same case is $350-400 if you can find it. That is a great return on my investment if I choose to sell. They take the gun and drop the credit card and out the door they go.

People are also stocking up on multiples. We are having people buy 2,4, or 6 guns at a time. They want one to shoot, one to put up for hard times, and one extra. People are buying weapons for their entire families. I notice many retired couple buying weapons for the grandchildren to have one just in case they are not allowed to buy one. There are also a large number of older veterans of our military who tell me they haven't fired a semi auto since Vietnam or just Nam as they call it. They ask does the weapon break down the same and most of the can take an AR right down. They tell me they are buying the rifles because they do not like the looks of things.

BTW, get ready for another blast of Mexican Montezuma's Revenge as Maximum Barry does Spring Break South 'o' the Border, where the President of that failing narco-state will argue that abridging Americans' rights is just the ticket for pulling El Jefe's nuggets out of the fire. I heard on one of the news channels this AM that gun stores along the border were selling massive numbers of "assault weapons" — like that ".50 caliber anti-aircraft weapon" (that was really a .30 caliber antique 1919 belt-fed gun like the ones littering Mexico since Pancho Villa and may not have even been a full auto, since the semiauto versions have been around for years) seized last week — to Central American black market arms merchants so they could be smuggled back into Mexico...say what? It's not even passing the sanity check. 

Last time I was in Dodge City South, you could get a full-auto AK for $25 American dollars from under the table in the local marketplace, right there along with the mangos, bananas and fake Mayan pornographic idols. Not much incentive to fly to Houston, buy some $1000 semiauto ARs — which, despite what the NYT and CNN say cannot be "readily converted" to full-auto — spend the not unsubstantial dollars for transit and bribes to smuggle the ARs into Honduras or Guatemala, then spend even more money for mules to hump the guns into Mexico. Yeah, the cartels have the money, but they're not run by idiots, either. 

I say we start a survey...maybe on MSNBC, the All Obama All The Time network (if they can slip it into their deification coverage of the Sainted Michelle's new puppy or their sleazy oral sex jokes about teabags)...on which of the Bill of Rights we're willing to give up to save which crumbling Third World nation. Will you give up protection against unreasonable search and seizure to save the Congo? How about a free press for Haiti? What the heck, nobody cares about Number 3, quartering of troops, anyway, so we go for a biggie, a grand slam on the 'Stans — Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan — and get a bonus Palestinian State thrown in as a sweetener.

This could be bigger than American Idol!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Steve Hunter on Snipers

In the the whole thing: 
So what is going on in the sniper's mind as he waits -- I'm guessing he's prone, the most stable shooting position -- in the dark, on the overhang at the extreme rear of the ship? He's crucially aware of his breathing rhythm, because he wants to fire between breaths. He probably doesn't think much about trigger pull. He wouldn't be here if he didn't know how to pull a tri gger. He's not "pulling" it in the sense of exerting his muscle against it, so much as urging it to cooperate it, massaging it into doing his bidding. If he hurries, if his finger is misplaced on its curve or catches on the trigger guard beneath it, it can all go wrong.


I cribbed this from my pal at SayUncle, but darn, it's true! I did a quick survey today...there's some 5.56 around — Wolf, a little PMC — but you're looking at around $450+ a thousand. There's a bit of 9mm around as well, but it seems to be more predatorily priced than the 5.56. If you want .380 to feed your LCP, forget it. Not there. I did a comprehensive Internet sweep for primers and drew a complete blank...none that I could find, except for a handful of shotgun primers. Even more frightening, I could find very little .22LR ammunition (CMP has Aguila .22 at a good price, but it requires a CMP-affiliated club membership).

Happy Tea Party Day!

"What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue."
 — Thomas Paine

So yesterday, on the very day I write my big check to Uncle Sam, I find out the ole Unk is watching me and most everyone else I know as potential terrorists...ain't that a beee-atch?

Anyhow, I found this old Internet post on the MilitaryPundits blog and thought it was worth reprinting today:
My old grandpa said to me “Son, there comes a time in every man’s life when he stops bustin’ knuckles and starts bustin’ caps and usually it’s when he becomes too old to take an ass whoopin’.”

I don’t carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.

I don’t carry a gun to scare people.
I carry a gun because sometimes this world can be a scary place.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m paranoid.
I carry a gun because there are real threats in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m evil.
I carry a gun because I have lived long enough to see the evil in the world.

I don’t carry a gun because I hate the government.
I carry a gun because I understand the limitations of government.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m angry.
I carry a gun so that I don’t have to spend the rest of my life hating myself for failing to be prepared.

I don’t carry a gun because I want to shoot someone.
I carry a gun because I want to die at a ripe old age in my bed, and not on a sidewalk somewhere tomorrow afternoon.

I don’t carry a gun because I’m a cowboy.
I carry a gun because, when I die and go to heaven, I want to be a cowboy.

I don’t carry a gun to make me feel like a man.
I carry a gun because men know how to take care of themselves and the ones they love.

I don’t carry a gun because I feel inadequate.
I carry a gun because unarmed and facing three armed thugs, I am inadequate.

I don’t carry a gun because I love it.
I carry a gun because I love life and the people who make it meaningful to me.

Police Protection is an oxymoron. Free citizens must protect themselves.
Police do not protect you from crime, they usually just investigate the crime after it happens and then call someone in to clean up the mess.

Personally, I carry a gun because I’m too young to die and too old to take an ass whoopin’.

author unknown (but obviously brilliant)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Outlaw America

"We are all outlaws in the eyes of America..."
We Can Be Together
Jefferson Starship, circa 1968

UPDATE: From the PowerLine Blog
The Homeland Security report lists the possibility of restrictions on firearms as a driving force behind extremist recruitment:

Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government.

On its face, this is pure speculation. It's true that firearms sales have increased, but what evidence is there that those buying guns are "planning and training for violence against the government"? None that the report discloses.
Whoever wrote the report seems deeply hostile to conservatives' opposition to the agenda of the Obama administration. For example:

Many rightwing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Rightwing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment.

Millions of Americans--not just "rightwing extremists"--are concerned about the administration's positions on immigration and many other issues. Note that wherever possible, the authors slip race into the discussion, as with the reference to "expansion of social programs to minorities." I'm not aware of a single social program that the Obama administration has proposed to "expand to minorities." But the authors' assumption is, apparently, that anyone who opposes the expansion of social programs must be a racist. Once again we see the assertion that right wing extremists are "galvanized" and are "leveraging" these issues as "drivers for recruitment." But is recruitment up, down, or stable? The report doesn't say, and its authors evidently don't know.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has DHS confirmation of the document and her analysis of same, plus comprehensive links to other websites covering the "Rightwing Extremism" Assessment. Click here.
Since NEWSWEEK crowed "We're All Socialists Now" on its cover a few weeks ago, maybe it's time for, say, THE WEEKLY STANDARD, to run a cover that announces, "
We Are All Outlaws Now." This from our friends at Homeland Security, via Sean Hannity:
The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in "rightwing extremist activity," saying the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

"It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration," the warning says.

The White House has distanced itself from the analysis. When asked for comment on its contents, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said, "The President is focused not on politics but rather taking the steps necessary to protect all Americans from the threat of violence and terrorism regardless of its origins. He also believes those who serve represent the best of this country, and he will continue to ensure that our veterans receive the respect and benefits they have earned."

The nine-page document was sent to police and sheriff's departments across the United States on April 7 under the headline, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."

It says the federal government "will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months" to gather information on "rightwing extremist activity in the United States."
"Reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority"??? Maybe Homeland should consider reading the Constitution at least once before shredding it. It gets worse. According to the PrisonPlanet blog, which has complete copies of the DHS paper — “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” reports that: 
In “Key Findings,” the DHS document states that the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no “no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues [specifically gun control]. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.”

The authors of the document drag out all of the old “rightwing” bugaboos, most notably the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. In addition, they mention the “[p]roposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans” resulting in recruiting new members and culminating in the “planning and training for violence against the government.”
In order to underscore this assertion, the authors note the “high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.” In fact, as noted above, the “high volume of purchases,” as the media has reported, is a reaction on the part of Americans in general regardless of ideological persuasion. It is a common sense reaction to the documented fact president Obama is opposed to firearms ownership, even though he claims to support the Second Amendment.

The DHS I&A attributes the purported “resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity” to economic factors and the election of Barack Obama. “Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s [a reference to the militia movement exaggerated by government and corporate media], the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years. In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes [i.e., gun registration leading to eventual confiscation] are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization.”

The tone of the document indicates that the government plans to impose restrictions on the ownership of firearms. [PrisonPlanet analysis] In addition, the document warns local law enforcement that “rightwing terrorists” will violently resist any attempt to register or confiscate guns.
So there you read it and you decide what it means. I think it means exactly what it says, that a section of the government of my country considers me a terrorist for exercising my Constitutional rights. BTW, the DHS paper carries the following disclaimer:
LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION NOTICE: This product contains Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES) information. No portion of the LES information should be released to the media, the general public, or over non-secure Internet servers. Release of this information could adversely affect or jeopardize investigative activities.

Warning: This document is UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY (U//FOUO). It contains information that may be exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). It is to be controlled, stored, handled, transmitted, distributed, and disposed of in accordance with DHS policy relating to FOUO information and is not to be released to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need-to-know without prior approval of an authorized DHS official. State and local homeland security officials may share this document with authorized security personnel without further approval from DHS.
Whoops...maybe there are more Oath-Keepers out there than DHS imagines...