Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Musings

There's been some great stuff gun-wise on the ole Internet lately, including this SUPER piece from our pal Dave Kopel, who was in attendance at our New Media Happy Hour in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago. The main link seems to be missing in action, but I got the text of the article from Oleg Volk's The High Road, a Hoplophobes' Travel Guide to the United States: 
Generally speaking, a mentally ill person has a better chance of being cured if he wants to be cured, and so the first step towards mental health is recognizing that one is mentally ill. So in the interest of perhaps encouraging some Hoplophobes to admit that they have a problem, here is a travel guide to the United States, based on the presumption that a person refuses to go any place where most adults can lawfully carry firearms for protection.

For convenience’s sake, let’s presume that the victim of Hoplophobia lives in Manhattan. Of course most people in Manhattan, including most Manhattanites who hate guns, are not Hoplophobes. But the island is a place to which Hoplophobes often migrate, perhaps as a form of self-treatment, trying to place themselves in a place where their phobia is less likely be triggered.

So starting in Manhattan, you can enjoy the entire Empire State, a large and interesting place. If you feel a desire to leave New York, be extremely careful about heading east. Going into Connecticut will immediately put you in a place where the government routinely issues carry permits to law-abiding, trained adults. In other words, Connecticut is just as dangerous as a National Park.

Vermont is even worse, with no permits even required for carrying concealed handguns. And everyone knows how dangerous Vermont is. New Hampshire and Maine are similar to Connecticut, and must be avoided.

Massachusetts is safe, as long as you cross directly into the state, without going through Connecticut. Rhode Island is good too, providing that you approach it via Massachusetts, or take a ferry from eastern Long Island. A trip through Connecticut would obviously be too risky.

New Jersey is the Hoplophobe’s Garden State. Its licensing practices are much more severe than New York City’s. In New Jersey, not even diamond merchants or celebrities can get carry permits.

From New Jersey, you must go south to Delaware. Do not even think of crossing into Pennsylvania. It is a Shall Issue state for carry licenses, similar to Maine or New Hampshire.

Maryland is also safe, and from there you can go to the District of Columbia, whose very strict gun laws have made it notoriously safe.

If you want to fly to D.C., take a plane to the Baltimore airport, and then rent a car or take a bus. Do not fly to either of the D.C. airports. They are both located in Virginia, and the danger that you could be shot by a gun-crazy Virginian while traveling through Virginia into D.C. is nearly as high as the odds that you will get shot by a gun nut while in a National Park. Stay away from Arlington National Cemetery; it is in Virginia, and the people buried there were gun users.

Needless to say, the entire Southeast is off limits. So is almost everything from Pennsylvania west. It is OK to fly to Illinois, and enjoy that state, since it does not even have procedures for issuing carry permits. The South Side of Chicago is an especially safe place to go, thanks to the handgun ban in the city.

Like Illinois, Wisconsin has no provision for handgun carry licenses, and so was safe until 2005, when the state Supreme Court ruled that people had a constitutional right to keep and carry guns in their place of business. After that, you could still go to Wisconsin, as long as you never entered a place of business. But now, the state Attorney General has advised that people have a right to open carry without a permit, and thus the Badger State is far too dangerous to contemplate a visit.

So is all the rest of the Midwest. So are all the Rocky Mountain states. So is the entire Southwest.

The Pacific Coast is mixed. Washington and Oregon are Shall Issue states. Alaska allows carry without a permit, and besides that, the mere thought of Sarah Palin can trigger anxiety attacks in Hoplophobes.

California is safe, except for some of the rural counties, where sheriffs issue permits to law-abiding citizens. Permits are close to non-existent in Los Angeles, making South Central L.A. an especially safe area for the Hoplophobe...
Read the whole thing and appreciate Dave's droll sense of humor.

I also loved Brigid's .22 Things I've Learned From Shooting post on her Home on the Range blog, which includes recipes and great photography. Here are a few examples:
(3) The less skilled shooter, the more likely he is to come up to you at the range and criticize your grip.

(4) No matter how bad that first target is, it's possible to be worse.

(5) The inevitable result of reading about how to improve your shooting is the instantaneous annihilation of that one critical unconscious movement that actually made you hit the paper in the first place.

(6) A steel plate shoot is a test of your skill against everyone else's luck.

(7) Nonchalant shots count the same as chalant shots.
It's those damn chalant shots that get me every time! Finally, a non-gun thing from no less than Pravda, the Russian news organization we all used to make fun of for its statist propaganda slant while patting ourselves on the collective back for our "free" press and democratic form of government. Since Pravda is now far less biased than the New York Times and CNN, I suppose it makes some kind of perverse sense for a Pravda columnist to write the obituary for capitalism in the United States...somewhere, Nikita Khrushchev is rolling in his crypt with the end, he was right, our own working class is indeed burying us. 

 "Мы вас похороним!"

Here's the obit:  
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper.
The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Cross the Brazos at Waco ...

Am escaping from Texas after a morning of nuclear disaster .... never really realized how much of a fashion accessory a Geiger counter can be .... also, I'm now up for collecting orange Fiestaware (look it up yourselves...sort of an inside joke with nuclear engineers).

Am looking forward to getting back to simple mayhem.

BTW. For all of you readers & watchers who live in the College Station area, I'll be back in July to film some Shooting Gallery stuff with Karl Rehn...I'll post the dates in advance and we can put together an evening of revelry at the Dixie Chicken.

Am one step closer to the newest series, also BTW. Total world domination!

-- Post From The Road

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Cheery Afternoon in Texas...

...with an ace epidemiologist discussing emerging viruses...I swear, I will NEVER shake hands with anyone again! Hand me the sanitizer...

While I'm disinfecting myself, here's an article from Kurt Hofmann at the St. Louis Gun Examiner on one of the best pieces of safety equipment that the government regulates at a disproportionate level, the suppressor: 
As with vertical fore grips, the BATFE enthusiastically enforces their interpretation of laws regulating suppressors, to the extent that they have prosecuted (persecuted) people because they possessed rubber washers--supposedly "unregistered silencer parts."

Often called (rather inaccurately) "silencers," suppressors were invented around 1900, and work on the same basic principles that exhaust mufflers for internal combustion engines do. They were also developed for the same reason--protection of hearing and reduction of noise pollution.
What they were not designed as is "assassins' tools." Granted, the ability to fire a quieter gunshot would have some utility for crime, but by the same token, having a muffler on the exhaust system of one's getaway car, or the car from which one does a drive-by shooting, is useful for the criminal, as well.
The strict regulation of suppressors in the U.S. came about in 1934, with the advent of the National Firearms Act (NFA), which also introduced strict regulation of fully automatic firearms, short barreled rifles and shotguns, and firearms with a bore of greater than half an inch (exceptions are made for shotguns).
Most accept as an article of faith the idea that the NFA was passed in response to the violence of the gangster era of the 20's and 30's. This ignores the fact that it was passed after the repeal of prohibition, when such violence was dramatically reduced, anyway. Additiionally, while the Thompson submachine gun ("Tommy Gun") was famously associated with gangsters and bank robbers, accounts of rampant "silencer violence" are pretty difficult to find.
Currently, in fact, some countries with much more restrictive gun laws than those of the U.S. impose no restrictions whatsoever on suppressors.
And why should they? Why would anyone object to a device that protects one's hearing?
You guys know SHOOTING GALLERY has gone to the mattresses supporting suppressors, and we're going to continue down that path. I realize the likelihood of easing suppressor regulation is pretty much impossible with the current pack of morons running the government, but it's still worth the effort, I think.

I'm really looking forward to shooting the FNP 45 next weekend, after, of course, I boil it in bleach, just to be sure. It feels pretty good in the hand, and I liked the heck out of my FNP 9mm until my Sweetie seized it as her very own. I still don't think I'm ready to go back whole hog to .45...too much downside in these no-ammo days. There does seem to be a good bit of 5.56 around, so that's a positive.

The third book of Matt Bracken's Enemies Foreign & Domestic, FOREIGN ENEMIES AND TRAITORS, is finally out. The first volume, ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, was good, but the second volume, DOMESTIC ENEMIES: THE RECONQUISTA, was just spectacular. I'm definitely looking forward to volume three...maybe I can read it in my Clean Room...

...and from the Wall Street Journal a cool look at guns in China, the home of many emerging viruses (tip of the ole virus mask to The Firearms Blog for the story): 
China's weapons laws are among the world's toughest. Its blanket ban on private ownership of rifles, pistols and even gun replicas is a core tenet of social policy. Still, a gun culture is taking hold.

China may be freer from gun crime than many nations, and official statistics show overall crime on a continuous down trend. Yet, these days, reports about gun crimes turn up as often as several times a week even in the tightly controlled state-run media. The reports are often brief, without much follow-up as cases progress. Still, the splashy gunfights, murders, gun-factory raids and smuggling busts that get reported contrast with China's zero-tolerance stance on guns, and point to changes in criminals' behavior.

But the trend is about more than crime. Guns are now fashionable in paintings and movies, while Chinese-language Web sites and glossy magazines cater to gun buffs. And legal shooting clubs in cities let customers fire away at targets for a fee. Bored with golfing, some affluent businessmen slip into the countryside for hunts.

Even as China's government seeks to keep guns off the street, and shields its massive gun-manufacturing business behind state-secrets laws, it helps stoke the public imagination about guns. Schoolchildren learn to salute the flag shouldering imitation rifles, while state media celebrate the heroism of military and athletic marksmanship.

"In the 1960s, shooting was for national defense," said Xie Xianqiao, a former amateur shooting coach. "These days, shooting is entertainment." 
Well, they make okay 1897 and 1887 Winchester shotgun replicas, so I guess that's a start. I hope the gun culture takes hold in fun to shoot over there!

Excuse me, I have to go wash my hands...and the iPhone...and the television remote...and my computer keyboard...maybe the toothbrush...

Slow Blogging!

Am humping it to wrap up filming for THE BEST DEFENSE: SURVIVAL at Disaster City in College Station for one more day...even though in my heart I am a wise Latino woman with experience a stupid pale-butt gringo man can't fathom, I seem to be stuck with 24 hours in a day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

REVEALED! I Am A Wise Latino Woman...

...hummmmm, maybe not

Here David Kopel's analysis: 
Judge Sotomayor's record suggests hostility, rather than empathy, for the tens of millions of Americans who exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
And from Damon Root at Reason Online
Equally troubling is Sotomayor's record on the Second Amendment. This past January, the Second Circuit issued its opinion in Maloney v. Cuomo, which Sotomayor joined, ruling that the Second Amendment does not apply against state and local governments. At issue was a New York ban on various weapons, including nunchucks. After last year's District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down DC's handgun ban, attention turned to whether state and local gun control laws might violate the Second Amendment as well. 

"It is settled law," Sotomayor and the Second Circuit held, "that the Second Amendment applies only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose on this right." But contrast that with the Ninth Circuit's decision last month in Nordyke v. King, which reached a very different conclusion, one that matches the Second Amendment's text, original meaning, and history:

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. We are therefore persuaded that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment and applies it against the states and local governments.

This split between the two circuits means that the Supreme Court is almost certain to take up the question in the near future. What role might soon-to-be Justice Sotomayor play? As gun rights scholar and Independence Institute Research Director Dave Kopel told me via email, Sotomayor's opinions "demonstrate a profound hostility to Second Amendment rights. If we follow Senator Obama's principle that Senators should vote against judges whose views on legal issues are harmful, then it is hard to see how someone who supports Second Amendment rights could vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor."
And so we continue on the hell-bound train. If Maximum Barry had his heart set on a female Hispanic Justice with an "empathetic" resume and "varied life experience," America would be far better served by Daisy Fuentes. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day, 2009


But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate... we can not consecrate... we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract...
— Abraham Lincoln
The Gettysburg Address

Every day should be Memorial Day; every day we should remember the costs of our unique freedoms and the men and women who paid that costs in full measure. And yet it is so easy to set aside the images from foreign lands, the news reports, the knowledge that the ultimate price is being paid on a daily basis.

And so we have a day to remind us all of that part of America, our soldiers, who are indeed the best, most honorable part of us all.

My thoughts today are with my many friends in harms way, in Afghanistan, outside of Baghdad, in other unnamed places, and my deepest hopes and prayers that they all return to us safely.

I honor the memory of those who fought and those who fell, and of those who never quite found their way home from foreign battlefields. I honor the memory of my father and his service, my high school friends who found their destinies in the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia.

Above all, we must never forget the fragility of our freedoms and the price others pay for us to keep it. On the day we forget that price, we are all lost.

Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow you
Lay your body down
Find the Cost of Freedom

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bonnie & Clyde

Some day they'll go down together
they'll bury them side by side.
To few it'll be grief,
to the law a relief
but it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.
"The Trail's End"
— Bonnie Parker

Sorry I missed the 75th anniversary of the death of Bonnie and Clyde. Here's a pretty good piece from the Miami Herald marking the date:  
Lawless lovers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who terrorized and seduced Depression-era America, were among the most beloved of gangsters.

After a fleeting but spectacular career of knocking off gas stations, snatching cars, and killing police, Parker, 23, and Barrow, 25, were gunned down 75 years ago Saturday by a sheriff's posse just south of Gibsland, La.

Even after all these years, a slew of imitators and generations of other celebrity criminals, they exert a tight grip on pop culture. The Bonnie and Clyde machine, launched by an iconic movie more than four decades ago, churns out books, films, music, stage plays, websites and all manner of hot-blooded Internet discourse.

Hilary Duff has signed on to star in The Story of Bonnie and Clyde, a $15 million indie drama that begins shooting in July. And out just in time for the anniversary are Jeff Guinn's Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde (Simon & Schuster, $27) and Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend (Holt, $27.50) by Paul Schneider of Bradenton.

''Their story resonates, especially at this time, because of all the parallels between the Depression of the 1930s and the contemporary economic situation we are in,'' says Sam Grogg, dean of the University of Miami's School of Communication. ``A lot of us are attracted to these folk-hero types who are stuck in nowhere America and manage to obtain national and everlasting fame. It's the same kind of energy that drives American Idol, the common guy who finds a way to rise.''
Yeah well...Frank Hamer pretty much settled their hash with a .35 caliber Model 8 Remington semiauto with a custom 20-round magazine, a "C"-engraved Single Action Army in .45 Colt — Old Lucky, he called the S.A.A. — and a 1911 .45.

I do confess that once I scaled a chain link fence topped with barbed wire to have my picture taken sprawled across the front seat, a la Clyde, of the Bonnie & Clyde Death Car.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bianchi Thoughts... I struggle through the Starbucks line.

1) Production Class is a great idea and may help to "renovate" the venerable old match.

Of course that implies that you can get people like me to pay attention to it.

2) A 2-day format has more appeal in these grim times than a 4-day format.

3) I wish every event would adopt the "Erhardt Model" for media (and public) relations. The model developed by Paul Erhardt with input from me and Scott Moore and based on ESPN "briefing books" we used in the Great Outdoor Games demonstrably works. It's not rocket science, either.

4) Larry Potterfield has some interesting, and I think smart, modifications to the Bianchi coure of fire, including adding bonus "X" plate/plates on the falling plates course. As a one-time match designer, I always liked adding a "Hail Mary" option to a stage...high risk, but high reward. This allows shooters down in the field to opt to go for it, which adds a whole new level of pressure on the leaders.

5) Bianchi will probably go to a leaderboard next year...great! And long overdue in all the sports. We carry enough computing power in our pockets to fix the Hubble several times over. We ought to be able to apply that technology to scoring a shooting match.

6) Longterm, Bianchi is looking toward going back to John Bianchi's original concept of an invitational. Again, the right enhances the reputation of the march.

7) There are also macro, industry-wide issues to address. The unintended consequences to ALL TACTICAL ALL THE TIME has been a degredation of competition in general in favor of a rampant Walter Mitty-ism that does no one any good. Secondly, the sports are now mature and heavily Balkanized...which leads to a lot of small audiences rather than a single large one. Which has a direct effect on people like me, who are ratings-driven. You're either forced into a magazine format, whee you sandwich snippets of the competition with more mainstream pieces or try to find something the viewers want to sink their teeth into.

I personally am convinced that the future of the shooting sports is on the Internet rather than broadcast...greater reach, more flexibility in coverage, a larger framework to work in and immediate delivery. Marshal and I are working with OC on this, hopefully as soon as Steel Challenge this year. It is expensive when you start talking about live streaming from remote locations. Marshal, Erhardt and I drew up plans for Internet match coverage a couple of years ago, but - as usual - we were not only WAY ahead of the market but WAYWAYWAY ahead of our financing. We're getting there, however, and when it happens you guys are going to be amazed...or we're going to be unemployed!

Finally, I would love a cross-sport made-for-television event. Of course, this concept has bitten me in the ass before!!! I still think it's the best way for dealing with the shooting sports on broadcast.

-- Post From The Road

Friday, May 22, 2009

Caspian's Bruce Piatt Grabs the Cup!

It's 'way unofficial, but it looks like Caspian shooter Bruce Piatt edged out Doug Koenig on the Mover to win the overall 2009 Bianchi Cup/NRA Action Shooting National Championship title!
Doug held onto second place and in a major comeback legendary master John Pride copped third place. 

Congratulations to all...and hey John, didn't you also nab the coveted First Senior title?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

TSA Follows

So "sniffers" at airports are now scrapped because they didn't actually sniff as well as a beagle with a head today I had to go through one of the microscanners...

When I came out, the TSA personnel informed me that thanks to the scanner, I'd be a lot safer. Then they asked for permission to pat me down. They found a piece of paper in my pocket, which they triumphantly extracted.

So, I said sweetly, if the scanner is so great why'd you have to pat me down? The piece of paper, he said. So how am I safer if the scanner can't tell the difference between a piece of paper and a rocket launcher while giving Mr. Weasel his 15 minutes of fame, I asked?

Big scowl...we take our security seriously here, he says.

Cool, I say...when can I expect to see the pics on the Internet?


-- Post From The Road

With a Whimper...

Remember when the federal judge sided with the Brady Bunch and stopped the Bush administration's rule change that allowed us to carry concealed in national parks (well, more correctly, to bring national parks into compliance with host state laws)? Made big headline everywhere, antigun lobby wins a big one, blah blah?

SOOOOOOOO yesterday the House follows the Senate and voted overwhelmingly to override the federal judge and allow common sense to rule. USA Today mentioned this huge progun victory in a one-inch story on page 8A in a round-up column of legislative quotes from the NRA or that sad panda Josh Sugarman at VPC this time. Thank heavens there's no media bias! 

I can't say it better than Cold Fury
Why are newspapers dying? Because they damned well deserve to!
I am proud of my newspaper roots, so it saddens me to say that every failing newspaper cheers my heart. The newspaper "industry" doesn't need to be bailed needs to be burned down and the ground on which it stood salted.

BTW, my pal Uncle notes that the bill  (actually an amendment to the credit card bill) goes much farther than the original Bush rules went: 
Coburn’s amendment goes much further:

The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm including an assembled or functional firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if–
(1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and
(2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located.

Thus Arizonans without a license can now carry any firearm openly in their national parks and Texans can now carry rifles and shotguns openly (and handguns in their cars without a license) in their national parks since those activities are in compliance with the law outside the Park.

This must burn up the Brady Campaign - they won a battle and lost a much bigger war!
Brady's good at doing that...the question of course is whether bHO, Maximum Barry, will sign the appears likely. If he vetoes it, he tosses a few more logs on the currently cooling gun market and harpoons the credit card bill that he insisted Congress whip through. Finger crossed.

Of course in my home state of Colorado, Governor Bill Ritter, who has been widely accused of being either 1) a failure or 2) insufficiently Democratic, vetoed a common sense gun measure that would have allowed CCW holders (like me) to skip the state background check when purchasing firearms. He called the measure "troubling." I call it both troubling and sad to see a Western state governor wearing knee pads. You might consider, Bill, that you're the governor of Colorado, not New York.

Anyway, on to the Bianchi Cup today, where I'll be joining up with the SHOOTING GALLERY film crew. AM looking forward to spending some time with Caleb at Gun Nuts Media, who's shooting his first Bianchi...good luck, dude! 

I can't fill you in on any deals, but yesterday we moved the ball 'way forward on as new gun/shooting series that will — as usual — reset the baselines for everybody else. This is a show all of you will really love, and I've been working on the basic concepts and show structure for the last 6 months. Yesterday we took it to the bosses and they were very happy. Still a long way to go, but I'm very excited.

We're still loading videos from the NRA Show, and the traffic on DRTV and has been huge. Thank you, all! Wait until you see what we have planned for SHOT 2010. Hey, be sure to check out my book signing at the TACTICAL SOLUTIONS booth!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fun Day!

Spent a good day in the television studio with John Higgs, formerly of Paladin Press and the author of the upcoming THE BUG-OUT BOOK (link when it's available) and Michael Z. Williamson, the great military science fiction author and contributing editor to Jim Rawles' Survival  Blog, working on bits for THE BEST DEFENSE: SURVIVAL. Great people to work with!

We're still posting videos from the NRA Show last weekend in Phoenix on DRTV! Check out me, Tupelo Flash and Michael Waddell being stupid! I very pleased with the job the Outdoor Channel/DRTV team did on the Show. I think you're going to be pleased at the direction we're going.

Interesting notes from my friend Bill Brassard about gun bloggers on the NSSF Blog:
 If you want to find out what's going on in the world of firearms and Second Amendment rights, and get a dose of attitude along with it, just tap into the stream of commentary coming from the gun bloggers. They are out there heating up the blogosphere with fact, opinion, political rants and product raves. Any gun blogger would tell you this is old news, but it seems "mainstream media" is just catching on to this online phenomenon. At the NRA's 138th annual convention in Phoenix, Patrik Jonsson of the Christian Science Monitor wrote a story that is giving national exposure to the growing influence of these "new media" watchdogs.
My friend Walt Rauch sent me a note after the Christian Science Monitor story that said I was now eligible to say, "I told you so," but, hey, I'd never do anything like that!

From our HELL YES Department, the NYT grimly acknowledged that gun rights advocates are on the attack in Washington: 
Advocates of gun rights are poised to win a Congressional victory that eluded them under a Republican president.

To the frustration and discouragement of many Democrats, House and Senate lawmakers and aides say it now appears likely that President Obama will this week sign into law a provision allowing visitors to national parks and refuges to carry loaded and concealed weapons.

The White House is lukewarm at best on the gun provision, which was added to a popular measure imposing new rules on credit card companies. But the Democrats who now control both Congress and the White House appear ready to allow it to survive rather than derail a consumer-friendly credit card measure that Mr. Obama is eager to sign as Congress heads off for a Memorial Day recess.

“Timing is everything in politics,” said Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma and the champion of the gun proposal.

A majority of Democrats in the House and Senate still typically come down on the side of gun control. But the fact that they have been outmaneuvered by Republicans on gun issues is rooted in the fact that recently swollen Democratic ranks include senators and House members who represent Western states and more rural areas where gun ownership is popular and deemed sacrosanct.

When those Democrats team up with Republicans, they constitute a clear majority in the House and Senate.
Good! It's about time...and be sure to thank the pro-gun Dems who side with us.

Monday, May 18, 2009

For 24 Fans (and Really, Who Isn't?)

Who is Jack Bauer, from the guy who did the novelization of the series:
Granted, Jack’s CV would give anyone pause: proficient in: firearms, explosives, harsh interrogation techniques, torture, and assassination. From the outset I knew it would be hard to inspire and sustain readers’ empathy for such a character. But I found perspective in the writing of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, an expert in the field of human aggression and the psychology of combat, whose work has been used as a resource at the FBI Academy and West Point.

In On Combat, Grossman compares civilization to a flock of sheep. In that context, Jack is the sheep dog, the terrorists the wolves. Although the sheep fear the wolves and are guarded by the dog, the dog — with its fangs, claws and willingness to kill — has more in common with the wolves than with the sheep he protects. Despite the dog’s role as protector, he possesses the same predatory instincts and violent tendencies as the wolf, so he can never be a part of the flock. Jack is estranged from his daughter, constantly robbed of a normal life, admired by the audience but alienated by much of the fictional world he inhabits.

It’s no surprise Jack Bauer has become a lightning rod: In real life, soldiers and police are often similarly stranded on islands unto themselves, looked on with suspicion by some in the general public. Lately, however, it’s gone beyond wariness. We now live in a country where the brave men and women who’ve sacrificed to protect the people and ideals of this nation have become targeted for terror profiling by the very government they’ve put their lives on the line to protect.

I used to think Jack Bauer’s world was but a twisted version of our own. These days, I’m afraid our world is starting to look like Jack’s.
Is it too much to ask that next season have Jack be forced to waterboard Nancy Pelosi in an abandoned laundromat in Georgetown?

Yawn...I'll Be Sleeping Later...

Okay, it appears to be morning could that be?

Quick clarification on the last pst, DRTV and our sponsors — Insight Technologies, Tactical Solutions and Crimson Trace — sponsored the "Happy Hour, " our second annual, that the CS Monitor article referenced. We weren't mentioned because, hey, we are now the Establishmentt— affiliated with a television network, Outdoor Channel; the largest firearms website on the Internet; the best-read firearms blog, the largest firearms podcast, blah blah — good heavens, we are the Mainstream Media! Life is infinitely strange, isn't it?

Seriously, regardless of who backs us, I believe DRTV, my broadcast shows and our various projects will always be in the vanguard of new media because Marshal and I apparently can't resist pushing limits...often to our detriment! LOL!

RE: Ammo companies, I asked the same question you guys did...can you increase capacity? Basically, they looked at me as if I'd beamed in from Uranus. "You know manufacturing, Michael!" one friend said. For those of you who don't, here's the Cliff Notes version — a minimum of five years to get an ammo factory up and running, assuming the permitting issues can be worked out...and that is a hell of an assumption. Ammo factories are right up there with nuclear power plants for NIMBY whining. And who works in the new factory...sure jobless numbers are up, but Americans aren't looking for factory jobs...they want to be rock stars, rich software millionaires and suck the government tit.

Secondly, even if you wanted to build that factory, there's virtually no credit available for such an undertaking. It would also be considered a high-risk venture, subject to a morass of permitting and environmental issues and at the mercy of future political whims. Thirdly, we're all working under the assumption that this is a bubble, and that regardless of the pricing of future ammo, the demand will eventually fall to a level consistent with what we've seen in the past plus the increase due to in new shooters. The wars will end; the bubble will burst and current capacity (with modest increases) will accommodate the demand.

The two wild cards in this equation are the foreign manufacturers and the Washington administration's willingness to tie those manufacturers up in an import tar baby. Wolf, Fiocchi, Aguila, Prvi Partisan, probably even the Chinese factories are no doubt thinking if they can route more of their prodigious product output into the American market would be worth a fortune, if they can get it in past Washington.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

DRTV Happy Hour Now Famous!

Read the Christian Science Monitor's "A Rifle in OnrevHank; A Laptop in the Other " today (can't link until iPhone 3.0 comes out next month).

That might work!

-- Post From The Road


The short story?

The end is not on sight.

"If everybody in America stopped shooting tomorrow afternoon, it would take us 3 months to clear the backlog, best case."

That quote is from a friend in the ammo industry who knows his stuff. Consensus I heard was the huge shortages continue until AT LEAST through the year and maybe through Q1 2010. And - again the consensus view - when "normal" returns, it's going to be the "new normal," not the normal we remember. We've proven what we're willing to pay for ammo and components, so don't expect a return to $89/1000 5.56.

Civilian demand, military and police contracts, and issues/prices of components was sited as the culprits.

Re: advice was buy what you can find at a sane price...reloading components may well be the last to recover as the industry sucks up all the available components for loaded ammo. Some of the back orders for primers at the big Internet sellers are being filled at roughly 4-5 months lag time.

Wish I had better news on this front! Everybody seems mostly resigned for the long haul. Expect to see more consequences on events and training as the shortage continues to ping pong through the industry.

-- Post From The Road

Morning Report

Didn't go to the banquet last night trying to catch up on meetings. Spent some time earlier with Dave Kopel and Jeff Knox trying to get a handle on the politics. Short story is what you already know...we're surrounded by implacable enemies who, to some extent, are afraid of the political pressure we can bring to bear. That means unless something happens to hand the other side leverage, we're probably good until the 2010 midterm elections. Expect more posturing on the part of the Dem antigun fanatics, but they're not going to risk the election.

The run on guns and ammo rattled some of our enemies' world view...portions of the other side actually believe the crap they dribble out to the media, and it's shocked them pretty badly to discover that America really is Gun Nation. The crowds here have all been record-breaking, to the extent that on the first day fire marshals had to limit escalator access because the huge number of people headed into the show. One really positive note is the unprecedented number of people attending the NRA Grassroots Workshops. 

There is a fear that the "cry wolf" syndrome might blunt our edge; I said I agreed that is a valid issue, but that I thought on the whole the culture understands it's in a life-or-death battle with this administration. 

Interestingly enough, I think this has been a very positive Members' Meeting...there's less fear than I saw back in December, and I think that's because we're in the fight now and we've scored some early points. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quick Trend Comments Before the Day Starts

RE: Comments on the previous post, I too am extremely glad to see Ruger in the AR market, because, as noted, it marks the final "mainstreaming" of black rifles. They dropped their SR556 precisely where I would have dropped a gun if I was a manufacturer — into the upper levels of the market. There's no money to be made on "commodity" products, products sold purely on low pricing, whether computers, flowers or guns.

Secondly, experience has shown that the upper end of the market takes less of a battering when a sales bubble bursts, as this one will. One of my primary topics of conversation yesterday with industry leaders, especially on the black rifle side of the market, was a frank discussion of how much longer this sales cycle is likely to run, what the implications of a normalization of sales was going to be and how much discretionary income has been leached out of the shooting market by this cycle. I can't go into all the discussions, because a lot of the shared information is proprietary, but there's a general feeling — maybe not strong enough to call a consensus yet — that the market has peaked and maybe begun to cool a bit in recent days.  In the absence of another pronouncement by Sock Puppet General Eric Holder that all guns in private hands should be seized and sent to Mexico, the market will exhale.

There is also a similar feeling that the bulging middle of the AR market is close to a saturation point. That is, most of the new shooters or panic buyers are already in. The implication of this for manufacturers is that a percentage of the currently huge backorders for black rifles will disappear as retailers see see the demand slackening.

Conversely, the manufacturers see (and predict they will continue to see) heavy demand for the upper tier of products — .308/7.62 black rifles, gas piston "upgrades," specialized rifles for target shooting and hunting and "super-premium" and/or factory custom rifles. Essentially, some of the new buyers, now that they have a little experience with their guns, will be "buying up" now that they know what they actually want. Additionally, the more experienced AR consumers, who have for the most part sat out this dance, will be moving back into the market as it normalizes.

There are obviously satellite trends — the anticipated boomlet in the accessory market; the anticipated growth in sales of fully finished uppers as a portion of the staggering number of stripped lower receivers that have been sold in the last 6 months start to be built out, etc.

That's where I am now on trends. I'll talk a little later about ammo...and I don;t have anything good to say at all...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Up To The Minute...

...well, as close to the minute as I can get, which often isn't very close at all.

Yeah, it's an AR. It's a nice AR, and not a "me-too." But at $2000, it is pricey. However, one of the other bloggers broke it down for me pretty well tonight on the high end component parts on the Ruger...the Troy quad rail, covers and folding sights, the Hogue grip, the 3 P-Mags and carrying case, not to mention the patent-pending gas piston system. 

Which, BTW, works extremely well...we put a bunch (like hundreds) of rounds through the gun at Ben Avery Range Thursday, from soft South African ball that won't run a bunch of my ARs (but will run in the gas piston FNH FS2000) to Winchester white box 55-grain, to Federal Lake City ball to Hornady TAPS. We could juggle the 4 position adjustable gas setting (using a 5.56 cartridge) and get anything to run. We also ran it in position 0, single shot, good for a very quiet suppressor. Again, no problems.

Anyway, high quality parts and the gas system translates into the price tag.  It puts the Ruger in the same price league as the Sig556 (from $1800-2400, depending on model), the POFs, and the rumored pricing on the H-k MR556 due later this year.

What gas is vented vents out the bottom of the gas block, which is a good thing. Some of the other piston guns vent the small amount of gas to the right or left (or adjustable in either direction) which does, in my albeit limited experience push the gun slightly in the opposite direction of the vented gas. Not a big issue, but one I've seen in two other gas piston guns.

Otherwise...ran fine; handled fine...Tom Hines from Tac-Sol, a veteran 3-gun shooter, said he couldn't tell a difference from any other high-end AR...more later, when we get the video up!

Time to Boogie...


Need coffee...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Screaming Exhaustion...

I recall I used to be better at this, as in it is, I am sleepy puppy...

Ruger super secret gun shot well, several hundred rounds worth until it got so hot at the Ben Avery Range that lead started melting out of the bullets. Release tomorrow 10AM PST, when the floor opens. Hopefully, we'll have the DRTV video up right after the release time...Marshal's processing it now. I will post shooting impressions tomorrow as soon as possible...maybe on Twitter since it's easier to post that from the floor.

The DRTV video player for the NRA Show is here.

Meeting tomorrow AM with the Powers That Be at the NRA...tomorrow night is the Blog Bash Happy Hour 7-8 PM, sponsored by DRTV, Insight Technology, Tactical Solutions and Crimson Trace. As I've said before, DRTV Forum members (and, hey, even regular readers of the blog!) are welcome to join us at Majerles Sports Grill in Phoenix, walking distance from the convention center for Happy Hour. I'll have a Flip camera and will be taking embarrassing videos to pump up to the Internet.

And Dustin, good to talk to you, too. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tidbits for the AM

That is, assuming I can wake up...

The first FN SCARs are headed for battle, according to Army Times. The first 600 of the 1800 SCARs SOCOM ordered are going to the Big Sandbox with the Rangers.

Hear tales of weird doings in Europe, where American distributors are wildly shopping for guns & ammo as the Great Gins & Ammo Drought continues unabated in the U.S. How weird? Like maybe CZ's whole annual production for 2009 snarfed up by a U.S. buyer...

Had to pry the New Unannounced Ruger out of my FFL guy's hands! He promptly called Ruger and groveled for one of his own! Video Friday!!!!

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not Dishwasher Safe

Yummy chocolate Glock! Get more chocolate guns here.  And bullets...and grenades...

Yawn... up this morning to screaming parrots, notifying me (loudly) of a big ole mack daddy raccoon in the yard...which, of course, started Alf the Wonder Beagle's savage barking...for all I know, the cat was yowling as well. I swear the poor raccoon had his little paws over his ears...I certainly did!

Got to race down to Boulder to pick up a big ole Ruger box this AM and get to the range...once again, a spectacular new product announcement scheduled for the NRA Show...and, of course, you'll see it as it happens on DRTV Friday.

The Firearms Blog, who's owner, Steve, does a world-class job of sorting through the Web for new gun stories each day, has an interesting photo piece off (another forum where I am Banned For LIFE) comparing the AR-15 to the FN SCAR. Interesting. 

I have about a week's work before I leave for NRA...better suck it up and get started...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gun Control as Religion

From Michael Barone at RealClearPolitics, something I've been saying for years now:
Many years ago, political scientists came up with a theory that elites lead public opinion. And on some issues, they clearly do. But on some issues, they don't. Two examples of the latter phenomenon are conspicuous at a time when Barack Obama enjoys the approval of more than 60 percent of Americans and Democrats have won thumping majorities in two elections in a row. One is global warming. The other is gun control. On both issues, the elites of academe, the media and big business have been solidly on one side for years. But on both, the American public has been moving in the other direction.
I think there's something else at work here. For liberal elites, belief in gun control and global warming has taken on the character of religious faith. We have sinned (by hoarding guns or driving SUVs); we must atone (by turning in our guns or recycling); we must repent (by supporting gun control or cap and trade schemes). You may notice that the "we" in question is usually the great mass of ordinary American citizens.

The liberal elite is less interested in giving up its luxuries (Al Gore purchases carbon offsets to compensate for his huge mansion and private jet travel) than in changing the lifestyle of the masses, who selfishly insist on living in suburbs and keeping guns for recreation or protection. Ordinary Americans are seen not as responsible fellow citizens building stable communities but as greedy masses, who must be disciplined to live according to the elite's religious dogmas.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New TRAIL SAFE Copies Now Available!

The new TRAIL SAFE books are now available for $19.95 plus S&H!!! Click on the link on the right-hand side of the page to go to the Flying Dragon sales site. If you're an NRA member, we've got an even better deal for you.

TRAIL SAFE was a fascinating project for me, the first time I applied the lessons I'd learned from a decade in very high risk sports to what I knew about personal defense training. Working with Wilderness Press I wanted to put together a book aimed at people — especially women — who spend time hiking, camping, fishing, hunting...anything that takes people into the backcountry.

The most important parts of the book are the tools for understanding risks and awareness, avoiding escalation and understanding the fundamentals of a "decision tree." Those elements are independent of where they're exercised and form the basis for my hit television series, THE BEST DEFENSE.

TRAIL SAFE received spectacular reviews (I've included some in this edition). I was even more honored with some of the calls I received after the book had been published, including one from a top military trainer who said the book was "the best description of how the mind functions under potentially lethal stress" he'd ever read. So much so that it was now required reading for his students.

When TRAIL SAFE went out-of-print, copies sold for as much as $60+ on the auction sites, and as recently as a month ago Amazon was quoting almost $50 for a used copy. This edition includes an all new introduction from me, plus I went through and cleaned up some issues I had with the Wilderness Press, including the nitwit disclaimer from WP that they didn't believe in guns...I, of course, do believe in guns. It took a while to clear up ownership issues and get the book back in print (with a more descriptive title, TRAIL SAFE: How to Avoid Danger in the Backcountry, and a much, much better looking cover!).

I would strongly recommend this book as a gift to a friend, Spousal Unit or anyone who feels a little uncertain about defending themselves or needs a good basic grounding in what we believe. If you've been watching TBD, TRAIL SAFE is a good companion book.

You can read an excerpt from TRAIL SAFE here

Coming up in late summer this year, a companion TRAIL SAFE DVD on choosing, training with and carrying firearms in the backcountry — a major expansion of THE BEST Defense episode with lots of specific and useful information.

And thank you all for your support!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Why We Americans Need a Cowboy

From Gary Horne at AMERICAN THINKER, via RealClearPolitics:
In those days, the most common boy's game was Cowboys and Indians. Now I have nothing against Indians. Unfortunately they lost, despite putting up a brave fight, a fight that was a lot more ruthless than waterboarding. No Geneva Convention in those days. Did they get a bad deal? Yes, but their bravery is remembered in the many school teams named after them. Were I of Indian heritage, I would be proud to be so honored.

In today's politically correct world, the honor has been turned into something else. The boyhood game of Cowboys and Indians is not about violence or racism, it is an allegory about good and evil. To play the cowboy was to be brave and triumph over evil. To me, this seems to be an essential lesson for a child to learn. I know of a mother in California who would not allow her son to play with any kind of toy weapon, much less a cowboy fighting Indians. I think her son will grow up to be a man incapable of standing up against evil, who will shrink at the approach of the next bully, and undoubtedly vote Democrat.

Today, we have a government filled with such grown up sons. Those setting policy seem to not believe in evil, having fully accepted the concept of moral relativism, for which Pol Pot, Stalin, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Charlie Manson are just people with other points of view. President Obama wants to have a dialogue with the mullahs of Iran. Good luck, sir; you'd better take your teleprompter. The mullahs have no respect for you; you are just another infidel.
So what are we missing from the movie cowboy? What values did he possess?

* 1. Integrity The cowboy is true to his values. Of course, one has to have values first.

* 2. Courage The cowboy is brave enough to stand up for his values in the face of danger. He is willing to confront evil and do battle with the guys in the black hats.

* 3. Straight Talk A cowboy is a man of few, but honest, words. He says little, but when he talks he says something worthwhile. A cowboy would never spend five minutes spouting lawyerese and convoluted language leaving you asking, "What did he say?" In other words, no BS.

* 4. Dependable He never lets his friends or his horse down.

In many Westerns the cowboy is contrasted by the townspeople who scatter whenever the bad guys roll into town (much like EU foreign policy?). Obama wants all of us to move into town and be like them. I would rather ride with the cowboy.

Cowboy values are the values I would like to see in my President! We need a few Westerns playing in the Saturday night White House screening room.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Weening Women from Oprah

This from Karen De Coster at pretty cool article:
Women never cease to amaze me. The majority of them are still "afraid" of guns. Afraid, as in "oohhhh, they are so scary." They say things like "I don’t like them around" and "they’re dangerous." I know of women who have defense-minded, pro-gun husbands and they will not let their guy talk about those nasty things in their presence. Shhh, the children will hear, or, they might actually see an evil gun! Keep them locked away. Don’t tell the neighbors you have a gun in our house, or we’ll be outcasts. And in the background you can almost hear another feeble Oprah sermon keeping women stupid, but oh, they feel good about themselves and their newfound self-esteem.

All the time, women are shocked, shocked! to hear that I have a gun, and worse, I have several guns. And then, oh no, I actually carry one with me. That’s so odd, they think. Oh she’s different. Why more than one gun? She must be the aggressive type. After all, the Oprah way is to trust everyone and insist that all people have good intentions always.

Although I tend to think that most women don’t make sense, period, I especially believe this concerning the gun issue. It’s not only difficult to get women to come around to wanting a gun of their own, but they still can’t get to the point where they will understand and accept why others want to own them.

Let’s face it – women are more vulnerable to attack because, most likely, their aggressor will be a man. Women are physically weaker, and criminals know that we are less willing to be mentally prepared for aggression because, unlike men, most of us just aren’t wired to be combative. A woman’s attacker will be bigger, stronger, and faster than her, and by nature they will be more aggressive, and that’s before considering any mental or drug problem that may be associated with a criminal attack. So why do women not want to take that into consideration and equalize the situation by learning to use and love guns? Dr. Thomas Szasz, libertarian scholar and Professor of Psychiatry at Syracuse University, once stated, "self-defense is not merely our legal right but our moral duty; because women are more vulnerable than men, their need and obligation to defend themselves is even greater than that of men." Dr. Szasz is a wise man.

Here’s my favorite scene: a woman is walking in a parking garage or parking lot, all alone, wearing 3-inch skinny heels, head down, flicking her mane of endless hair, and chatting mindlessly on the phone. "Blah, blah, blah, blah, and blah," but not a single shred of awareness about the inherent dangers of time and place, who is around her, and what they are doing. She is a Bambi in the woods.

I witness this kind of thing all the time. Women tend to function in the fog of the unknown, making themselves easy targets. The first rule of self-defense is awareness. Situational awareness can, and will, save your life. Be conscious about your surroundings. Stay off the phone, keep your head up, and survey the area around you. Walk boldly. You do not want to give a potential attacker the impression that you are an easy target. Avoidance is the ideal. How many times do women think about this? Probably never. But then again, this is not meant to be a self-defense, how-to guide for women, but rather, a call to women to stand up and take control of their personal security. Women who have the habit of entering the mindless, no-think zone while consistently ignoring potential threats are ripe for something awful to happen. Remember, criminals who attack women frequently scrutinize potential prey for easy pickings. They don’t want to tangle with a woman who appears to be alert or tough as nails. They are looking for women who are unaware, unassertive, and fragile.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Another Pre-dawn Airport

On the way back to the Secret Hidden Bunker after a second grueling day of filming at Disaster City...have I mentioned Texas is hot? Like really hot? Like really really really hot? We'll be back here at least once more as The Best Defense: Survival takes shape.

Some really cool stuff coming on know we've ramped up video production, which should be hitting later this month. We'll have full court press coverage of the NRA Convention next week. Marshal - who has been handling all the heavy lifting with DRTV as I sprint toward my deadlines on TBD: Survival and Cowboys - has some amazing stuff in the works...stuff we've been aiming toward for a long time...more later...

Finalizing plans for NRA...I'll be signing autographs twice at OC booth (we'll post the times on DRTV) Saturday & Sunday, and giving away copies of Trail Safe at the Tactical Solutions booth Saturday 2-4. Come early!

Am really looking forward to Saturday's cowboy match! Been too long. The big Wild Bunch match atvEnd of Trail is still on my schedule, but I had to blow off the Single Stack Classic for filming stuff...Rob Leatham won...there's a shock!

Going blind from typing on phone keyboard!

More later...

PS: Heard Hank Jr.' s "All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down" on the way in...a-frighin'-men!

-- Post From The Road

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Adding a Water Feature...

Always spices up that boring backyard!

back yard...

-- Post From The Road


Is indeed what we're going for on TBD: was a bear to negotiate this location, Disaster City, the premiere first responder training faculty for large scale disasters in the world...I believe we're the first andonly to get this level of access to the mto experts and thinkers in the field.

I say let the other guys follow; it's a lot more fun to LEAD...

-- Post From The Road

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Consequences of...

...backyard grilling gone tragically wrong...

-- Post From The Road

Burn baby...


-- Post From The Road

I Left My Car... San Francisco...LOL!

-- Post From The Road

Why I Never Got...

...a train set for Christmas...

-- Post From The Road

And Speaking of Idiots..

A visit to the Reno gun show, from the Daily Beast
If a new militia movement coalesces, its members will have no shortage of sophisticated assault weapons to choose from. At the gun show in Reno, I witnessed the sale of rocket-propelled-grenade launchers and bazooka guns; I watched a California-based dealer demonstrate how rapidly he could field strip his .308-caliber sniper rifle, then stash it in a deliberately innocuous-looking backpack and a briefcase that “looks just like a camera case.” Nearby, I interviewed another dealer retailing a brand of.50-caliber assault rifle that was banned in California because it could supposedly down an airplane
Rocket propelled grenade launchers and bazooka guns??? Man, I am so going to the wrong gun shows! Here's the "powerful ending!"
...the Department of Homeland Security issued a report warning of the mounting threat of “right-wing extremism.” “Heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms control,” the DHS asserted, “may be invigorating right-wing extremist activity, specifically the white-supremacist and militia movements.” With its focus on right-wing gun culture, the report compounded the already palpable paranoia of gun-show enthusiasts. An organizer of the Antioch show told me the heightened specter of government scrutiny prompted numerous dealers to demand a total ban on cameras of any kind inside the show.
Even with the restriction in place at both shows I attended, I managed to record enough footage to provide what I think is a vivid journalistic report on gun culture mentality during the first 100 days of the Obama era. Was the DHS report on right-wing extremism credible? See my video report, “Gun Show Nation,” and judge for yourself.
Indeed...and after you judge, try to guess the IQ of the moron who wrote this dreck...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Old Dog; New Tricks

Had a great range session with the '87 lever shotgun's conceivable I might actually get the hang of this thing! Dropping 2 rounds into the breach actually takes a lighter touch than I'd thought.

Gonna run it in a local match this weekend and see how it goes.

Meanwhile, have made the decision to purchase FS2000's too handy in confined spaces! Fiddled around with it in the house and was impressed with how I could manaeuver with it.

Now I need a viola case...

Saturday, May 02, 2009

"Windage and elevation, Mrs.Langdon. Windage and elevation..."
— John Wayne
The Undefeated

Talk about sleeping like a rock...I closed my eyes early last night and when I opened them it was 9AM.  Am tending toward feeling human again after a week of my road infection...couple of more days at the range and I'll be back to normal, such as it is. 

I've been wrestling with my left-hand cowboy shotgun wit, since my right eye crapped out I've had to flip myself over, so to speak. Most of my focus in the last couple of years has focused on getting myself up to speed with the handgun — right hand, left eye. I'm now feeling pretty comfortable with that, and the speed's starting to come back. Left-side with the long guns has been a bit tougher, but the rifle is also coming along pretty well.

The bear has been the shotgun. I first threw a shotgun to my right should when I was six years old, when, much to my grandfather's delight, I knocked some hapless songbird out of the air. There have been, as you might imagine, quite a few repetitions since then. I've been trying to catch up with my left side.

I used a '97 pump in cowboy action shooting, a Chinese version overhauled by Coyote Cap. single feeding the pump, either over the top cowboy style or rolling from underneath SWAT style is the fastest way to keep a shotgun running forever (and, in effect, a better system than ultralong tubes...I had an 8-shot tube at a GUNSITE class, and the deal was keep the tube filled all the just a speck heavy...easier a side bag full of shells and the ability to keep thte gun running forever).

Sadly, there were no left-hand Winchester '97s, so my standard style of reloading over the top with my weak hand doesn't work. I've been experimenting with different loading styles for the '97 (Holy Terror uses one that might work), and, if all else fails, there's always the double.

Still, I love trick guns, so I got hold of an 1887 Winchester lever action replica (actually, a gun Coyote Cap built for my old friend, the late China Camp). Of course the most famous '87 is the one Arnold used in T2: Judgement Day, and darn, he made it look so easy! I gotta tell you, this thing kicks like a living, breathing mule! And that's in 12 gauge...I can old imagine that the 10-bore, the standard caliber, was a real whumper-thumper.

I'm assuming it's a stock design issue, but it makes one pine for those old Remington reciprocating barrel recoil-operated thumpers.

The lever action itself is pure blunt trauma, more like some device you'd use to crankstart a Curtis Jenny biplane than lever a shotgun sell into the chamber. A must-have accessory is a leather wrap around the forward part of the lever, because otherwise in fast levering a slip of the trigger finger places it in line to have the trigger itself driven right through the finger...hey, it has happened!

The guns are a hoot to shoot....if you get a chance, you owe it to yourself to put some rounds downrange through an '87 (go for UltraLights rather than, say, #00 buckshot). I've been working on dropping two rounds into my competition-modified gun. When it works, it's chain saw fast. When I don't do it exactly right, I'm left looking like a poorly trained organ-grinder's monkey.

I'm getting there, though!  I'll keep you posted...

Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and  Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Introduced long overdue legislation to reform and overhaul the BATFE...It'll be a bear to get through this Congress, but I'm glad to see us on the offensive in any arena. BTW, Mike Crapo is one of the very few politicians who is exempt from my general distaste of pols — a nice guy to hang around with!

Here's an interesting piece from the Brillianter blog on mental conditioning for self-defense. It echoes Col. Cooper's Principles of Personal Defense, but is a pretty good expansion and worth reading. Here's an excerpt: 
Disregard the irrelevant. Mindset is less about adding attributes than it is about stripping away the irrelevant. Most of our daily lives are spent focusing on things that don’t really matter. Paying the rent seems really important, unless you put it up against something like breathing. Embarrassment, fear, and other emotions are just that - emotions. Get back to thinking about the mechanics of the situation.

Friday, May 01, 2009

We've Survived!

No vamps, no witches, no werewolves and nary a zombie in sight! Yes, we have survived another Walpurgis...thank heavens for garlic!

Since I was feeling better, the Sweetie and I went to the range yesterday and spent a couple of hours in cowboy action practice (yes, mostly .22s). Was, as usual, wonderful fun. Was seriously pissed off to see the shooting area had been mildly wonders what some of these stupid SOBs use for brains? Lots of beer cans...let me catch you drinking and shooting and I'll be calling some of my pals at the Sheriff's Department...I'll be grinning when they haul your ass off to jail. Disgusting!

Meanwhile, here's a really interesting piece on Our Sad Brothers Across the Pond from Peter Hitchens:  
Well, I said I would be misrepresented when I voiced doubts about 'gun control', and I duly was, by a contributor who seems keen to legalise a drug that destroys the brains of the young, but regards it as unthinkable to allow individuals to own guns. He says I am a 'gun nut'. Does that make him a 'dope nut'? Perhaps, though I doubt he will see it that way. Well, I don't see it his way either. Here's why.

Presumably he imagines that my house is crammed with firearms and ammunition, and that I salivate over gun porn in my bullet-proof bunker. I'm sorry to disappoint him but I neither own any guns nor wish to do so.
Since we foolishly abolished the formal death penalty, imposed after a careful trial, we have transferred the power of capital punishment to an increasingly armed police force (though no legislation has ever actually been passed to arm them, and the pretence is still maintained that they are unarmed). That police force is now the arm of the liberal state - rather than enforcers of conservative law (which is why it is nowadays called a 'service') - and so has a much wider licence to use (liberal) violence than ordinary conservative citizens. Contrast the police force's zealous efforts to stamp out private gun ownership with its own rather poor efforts at responsible gun use, as a result of which quite a few people (one stark naked in a well-lit room) have been shot by mistake or as a result of over-reaction by armed officers...But if we didn't have an armed police force, and left executions to the hangman, then these things would be a lot less likely.

But what concerns me is that members of the public in the same situation are judged so much more harshly if they make such mistakes. And, perhaps more important, how police shootings are widely accepted, though they are summary, often erroneous and inadequately investigated. Whereas a society which finds this summary execution acceptable gets into a pseudo-moral lather about the idea of lawful execution after due process, jury trial, the possibility of appeal and reprieve.

This brings me back to the USA. Americans are not so infantilised as we are. For many reasons, mainly the fact that it is still possible to live genuinely rural lives in large parts of the country, Americans are less likely to rely on others to protect them or their homes from danger.

This used to be true of us too (again I must urge those who are interested to read the relevant chapter in 'Brief History*')
[*Brief History of Crime, by Peter Hitchens]
Interesting stuff, so read the whole thing. 

In the hardware arena, the guys over at the Firearms Blog are showing an "auto-indexing shotgun loader" that looks like the manually rotated multi-tube shotguns shown at SHOT a couple of years ago. Looks heavy

I liked the system I looked at a couple of years ago..we'll see about this one. Here's the direct link to XRAIL. You'd need all those extra rounds Rob Haught says are in the store to feed this baby!