-- Post From The Road
Monday, August 31, 2009
Am grinding through Atlanta airport...
This has been all over the Internet, but it's worth mentioning since transporting the same was once a big part of my family's business...moonshine is now legal in Tennessee:
-- Post From The Road
Governor Phil Bredesen signed a measure to allow additional craft distilleries in Tennessee with potential for revenue and tourist development. Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) sponsored this measure.
Craft methods of distillation means everything is hand-made. Every brand, every bottling reflects the creative individuality of a single human being, working with small, hand-operated equipment: his quirks and insights, his special talents, his innovations.Be a good time to own stock in Mason jars!
-- Post From The Road
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Soooooooo, a hard day at the Zoot Suit Office yesterday. I did have a scary moment with a borrowed Thompson, which I'll be going into on the podcast on Wednesday AM. In short, I had a .45 round fire out-of-battery as I was clearing a jam, with the rear end of case exploding. I've got a nifty bruise on my midsection from flying brass chunks, but luckily I'd canted the ejection port down as part of clearing the gun with a top-mounted operating handle. Most of the kaboom went into the table where the gun had been staged. That'll get the ole pucker factor up! Been a while since I had a gun light up on me.
I'll call Auto Ordnance later this week and go through the whole thing with them.
Six AM flight tomorrow...YET ANOTHER SIGH...hopefully, I'll sleep on the plane, or get seated next to Angelina Jolie...
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I've actually agonized, as much as I'm likely to agonize that is, over mentioning the death of Edward Kennedy. I finally decided to say this: my grandfather told me early in life that there were only two kinds of people in the world, people who stood up and people who didn't. That simple. Stephen King expanded on the subject in his classic The Stand, where he postulated that the Great Mainspring That Powers The Universe — call It/Him/Her God, Allah, the Lord and Lady, the Great Big Turtle, whatever — will at some point in every beings' life require that being to make a decision to stand or not. When Edward Kennedy's time came to make a choice, he chose to crawl. Whatever he did or tried to do in the remainder of his life is paled by that singular decision. I would not want to face Whatever Comes After knowing that I had been weighed and found wanting, knowing that there was a hole inside me that no amount of "soaring rhetoric" or "voter referendums" cold ever fill. The end of a dynasty indeed...
And while the Dems are bleating for socialism as the idea legacy for the Last Knight of Camelot, here's the best piece I have read in a long time on where this country is headed. It's from Victor David Hanson on NRO:
Read the whole thing!We can discern this same mandated egalitarianism beneath many of the administration’s recent policy initiatives. Obama is not a pragmatist, as he insisted, nor even a liberal, as charged.
Rather, he is a statist. The president believes that a select group of affluent, highly educated technocrats — cosmopolitan, noble-minded, and properly progressive — supported by a phalanx of whiz-kids fresh out of blue-chip universities with little or no experience in the marketplace, can direct our lives far better than we can ourselves. By “better” I do not mean in a fashion that, measured by disinterested criteria, makes us necessarily wealthier, happier, more productive, or freer.
Instead, “better” means “fairer,” or more “equal.” We may “make” different amounts of money, but we will end up with more or less similar net incomes. We may know friendly doctors, be aware of the latest procedures, and have the capital to buy blue-chip health insurance, but no matter. Now we will all alike queue up with our government-issued insurance cards to wait our turn at the ubiquitous corner clinic.
None of this equality-of-results thinking is new.
When radical leaders over the last 2,500 years have sought to enforce equality of results, their prescriptions were usually predictable: redistribution of property; cancellation of debts; incentives to bring out the vote and increase political participation among the poor; stigmatizing of the wealthy, whether through the extreme measure of ostracism or the more mundane forced liturgies; use of the court system to even the playing field by targeting the more prominent citizens; radical growth in government and government employment; the use of state employees as defenders of the egalitarian faith; bread-and-circus entitlements; inflation of the currency and greater national debt to lessen the power of accumulated capital; and radical sloganeering about reactionary enemies of the new state.
The modern versions of much of the above already seem to be guiding the Obama administration — evident each time we hear of another proposal to make it easier to renounce personal debt; federal action to curtail property or water rights; efforts to make voter registration and vote casting easier; radically higher taxes on the top 5 percent; takeover of private business; expansion of the federal government and an increase in government employees; or massive inflationary borrowing. The current class-warfare “them/us” rhetoric was predictable.
And on the gun front, I do have an Alaskan .454. the ultimate back-up gun, which I carry in a Loaded Pancake holster from Rob Leahy. Great little gun that will undoubtably be going with me to Africa if I go. FWIW, Ruger never made a Blackhawk in .454 or .480 Ruger. The .480 was a pretty interesting, if failed, experiment. The idea of a ".475 Special" was actually a pretty good one, but it never caught on...I don't think Ruger even catalogs a .480 now. I liked the idea of a .500 Special, which Corbon loaded for a while. I've still got a couple of boxes lying around somewhere. Maybe it's the "Special" moniker...it hasn't seemed to work since it was attached to .38...
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
And those who are successful,
Be always on your guard,
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard.
Be always on your guard,
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard.
Man, I'm reeling from a total Hollywood Day...woke up to deal making...sat in front of the cameras for the first part of the day...out pitching new deals the rest of the day...it's frightening, mostly because it's almost impossible not to take it seriously. Talk about seductive...no really, I could make a zillion billion dollars out here! In a week...or maybe two...maybe two zillion billion...I could get a maid...Alf the Wonder Beagle could get a maid...Alf's maid could get a maid...
***Dose of Cold Water Here...***
Yeah right. Am 99.99% there on Series #5, however...I agreed to my cut today, and we could be in production in a couple of weeks. I also moved one of my old series ideas up to the front burner, with an eye toward early 2011.
Was interesting to be interviewed by a Brit production team for the History Channel special on the effects of an influenza epidemic on lovely LA. I can't say I was particularly optimistic...I did say that I'd rather be pretty much anywhere else in the world except LA if the grid went down. Definitely be Escape From LA The Sequel time.
Did I mention that Africa is back in play, Mozambique for buffalo next September? Yeah, I bought the 450/400 3-inch Nitro Express Ruger #1 on the hopes that the trip will happen. I'm also talking to Hamilton Bowen about a companion handgun for plains game (we've been discussing it over on Lee Martin's single action forums). heaven knows I'd love an excuse for a 5-shot BLASTUM BIG GUN, but Hamilton and others are pushing for a Blackhawk Hunter .44 Magnum refitted with a cylinder to carry 300+grain bullets (like the Buffalo Bore +P+.44 340-gr screamer, the legendary Garrett Hammerheads or the less powerful but not exactly chopped liver Corbon 320-gr Hunter).
Tomorrow AM I'm off to Boise, which is a lot like LA except you can have .50 BMGs and suppressors!
BTW, here's an excellent piece from Marko at Munchkin Wrangler on what would happen if all those nasty guns went away: "A Vote for Gun Control is a Vote for Thunderdome." I've said for years that nothing much has changed since the late middle ages, when a bunch of peasants with new-fangled hand cannones whacked the French Mounted Horse:
The truth is that criminals who make a living threatening injury or death for the contents of a cash register or a wallet won’t be greatly handicapped by any laws that prohibit the carrying of guns. They carry them anyway, but as I’ve pointed out, they’d still tilt the favors in their odds even if the magic gun control fairy could make all the guns go *poof* overnight. Gun control is tossing their intended victims into the ring with them after forcibly disarming them…to make sure the violence doesn’t escalate.Maybe I should go uptown and hang around trendy watering holes in the hopes of making Entertainment Weekly...maybe I should just go to bed...
Monday, August 24, 2009
Getting ready for a lunatic week of one-day trips, popping out to Lost Angeles to do a guest spot on a History Channel special on TEOTWAWKI...as the ace producer of THE BEST DEFENSE: SURVIVAL, I'm supposed to address the issue of whether bad people might do bad things if LA melted down. Hmmmmmmmmmm...lemme give that 3 or 4 seconds deep thought!
Then I pop into Boise for a day with Tactical Solutions, whipping back to The Secret Hidden Bunker in time for an all-cowboy pheasant hunt for COWBOYS...we're actually going to tie the pheasants down and torture them before we kill them, so no worries there!
The next morning, it's All Zoot All The Time with the first Zoot Shoot Championships, which (of course) you'll see on SHOOTING GALLERY next year. To get ready for the Zoots, last Friday I headed down to Suavecito in Denver...not only are those guys the very essence of coooooool, they're hunters, shooters and stone fans of OUTDOOR CHANNEL.
I decided pink might send the wrong message, but I promise you I'll rock the house (and yes, I know zoots are a part of El Paso Pachuco culture from the '30s and '40s, but I shoot Rugers in Cowboy Action Shooting, too...authenticity be damned!). Really though, when you've got a Thompson, nobody notices your clothes. I suggested to my Sweetie that she should consider getting a hot flapper outfit for the event; she suggested that I should consider slamming my head in the door.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Leftie radio host David Sirota is frightened frightened frightened when he sees people carrying guns, so he does what lefties always do — roll out the racists, we'll have a barrel of fun! From today's Denver Post:
These and other similar examples are accurately summarized with the same language federal law employs to describe domestic terrorism. Generating maximum media attention, the weapons-brandishing displays are "intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population." Yes, the gun has been transformed from a sport and self-defense device into a tool of mass bullying. Like the noose in the Jim Crow South, its symbolic message is clear: If you dare engage in the democratic process, you risk bodily harm."Like the noose in the Jim Crow South..." Liberals do love their racism references, don't they? I grew up in the Jim Crow South, and let me say that Mr. Sirota doesn't have a freakin' clue. The real truth is that in their 40-year effort to demonize guns, the antigun liberals succeeded beyond their wildest expectations in one area...themselves. They drank their own Kool-Aid. I give you Matt Lauer on the Today Show, physically recoiling from the mere mention of a granny's gat; or Mr. Sirota, stunned into speechlessness at the mere sight of a firearm.
While the First Amendment doesn't ensure credibility or significance, it is supposed to guarantee freedom from fear — a freedom that is now under siege. Citing the Second Amendment and the increasingly maniacal rhetoric of conservative media firebrands, a small handful of violence-threatening protesters aims to make the rest of us — whether pro- or anti-health-reform — afraid to speak out.
Last time I read through it, I could find no reference in the Constitution to "freedom from fear." There's a reason for that omission, I suspect. "Fear" is not a physical thing like, say, "pizza." Rather, fear is an individual's response to an outside, or occasionally an internal, stimulus. The fear response is different for every person and indeed varies wildly for even the same stimulus. Let's roll out another barrel of racism references and see how it plays...many urban citizens, even liberals, respond with fear when they are walking down a long empty block between the walls of buildings and see a large group of young black men standing on the street corner dead ahead, laughing and horsing around. Never mind that it's an a'capella singing group getting ready for a competition...there's still that tensing of the gut, that first bead of perspiration rolling down the back, eyes cast at the ground...I am no threat...please please leave me alone!
So, does freedom from fear mean we should ban all gatherings of young black men?
Ludicrous (speaking of young black men), isn't it?
Your fear has nothing whatsoever to do with my rights, with me at all, in fact. Irrational fear can turn one's life into a living hell. Check out the TV series Monk, who's in desperate fear of germs, asymmetrical orderings of objects and milk. Even if large numbers of people fear milk, the issue is not with the milk.
Mr. Sirota, you need to deal with your fears, and the best way to deal with their is through education. We fear what we don't know or understand. The same applies to the phrase "threatened," as in, I feel threatened with I see a person with a gun. Again, the issue is your response, not my gun.
And lay off the Jim Crow references, since you clearly don't know what you're talking about.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Great new ad campaign from Advanced Armament Corp. As the first (and I think only) Public Gun Guy to go on-record that suppressors should not only be removed from the 1934 Firearms Act as a controlled product, but that police departments who issue non-suppressed AR carbines to their troop are negligent, I agree.
As we mentioned on the SHOOTING GALLERY episode on AAC's suppressor match, "silencers" were added to the 1934 Act at the last minute to "fight poaching." Suppressors stayed on the list because of endless Hollywood frenzy about "assassins' weapons." The idea of federally controlling an object that at its low end has the technological sophistication of a quart pop bottle or a car muffler is on its face ludicrous.
Secondly, suppressors are the solution for increasingly urbanized areas, where the opposition to recreational shooting is more based on noise than anything else. Suppressors also reduce recoil and flash, impediments to becoming a better shooter. Recently one of the federal law enforcement training centers, faced with OSHA-mandated demands to either cut the number of students, double the number of instructors or a third option took the third "making guns quieter."
A former LEO friend of mine recently told me about his "house AR," a short-barreled carbine fitted with an Aimpoint Micro, a SureFire suppressor, a "big honkin' flashlight" and sighted in at 35 feet. Heck of a good idea! If I was to do this (and I'm definitely thinking about it!), I might go with either the Crimson Trace laser/white light vertical foregrip or the Insight long-gun MX6 laser/white light.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Joe Huffman of The View From North Central Idaho and the majordomo of the Boomershoots has emerged as an important voice in the gun blogosphere, and I think today's column shows why...this is the guts of the column, but read the whole thing:
I recognize open carry is on the path to victory but I figured it would be in the form of open carry at picnics, highway litter cleanup, and maybe as an organization at parades. People need to be desensitized to gun ownership. And concealed carry just doesn't help that much. When and how we do that desensitization can matter a great deal.The title to this blogpost says it all: Have We Won? Hell of a question, and it says a lot that a major gun rights support can even ask it. After 8 years of Republican control, ostensibly people who were on our side and who owed their positions to our votes, I am awed at how far we've come since the Boy King ascended to the throne. Frankly, I expected (and predicted) the opposite. I underestimated the strength of the Blue Dog Democrats; I also underestimated the power of the message delivered by the open carry movement.
I've been open carrying in a few circumstances for a couple months now (here and here). There has been no obvious notice taken and certainly no adverse effects have occurred. Yet, had anyone asked my advice about open carry at a political protest about the nationalization of health care I would have told them I didn't see any good could come out of it. Obviously these people didn't ask for my advice or take similar advice from someone else.
In my opinion these people took a huge risk. They were throwing the dice in a game that affected tens of millions of people in this country. I'm not exactly risk adverse, after all I play with explosives for the fun of it and even have my children help make the explosives. But I wouldn't have taken the risk they did.
And what happened? It's as if we had been slowly advancing against the enemy. We were a little surprised to win the battle on carry in National Parks and we almost won a battle for nationwide reciprocity we couldn't have imagined even coming up for a vote had we thought about it after the election last November. But the enemy was still putting up resistance and we thought they were still formidable opponents. Then they collapsed. The White House (or Red Shed as a commenter recently called it) said it was no big deal to open carry. Public opinion is affected by statements from the White House. Having the most anti-gun administration in U.S. history say it's no big deal to open carry is huge.
I think Joe is right on talking about our enemies...I have said for years that they was truly no national antigun "movement." Rather, that "movement" was an amalgam of strident liberal elite/socialist voices in four major urban areas — Washington DC, New York, Chicago and LA — coupled with an unprecedented consensus on the part of the mainstream media (MSM). The MSM "adopted" gun control/gun confiscation as their pet topic...it both fit their preconceptions and allowed them a battleground to show the liberal elite what the MSM could do if they really put their ink-serfs to it (and willingly abandoned all their much-vaunted principles).
The antigun organizations were on the ropes by last year's election. Fund-raising had collapsed; there were layoffs and consolidations. Calls for "mass demonstrations" couldn't even turn up enough people to fill a cocktail party. Despite Brady's endless drumbeat of the Boy King's election as a "referendum on sensible gun laws," it became obvious that the rank and file of the Democratic Party wanted to get as far away from gun control as possible.
A series of critical missteps on gun control have, in effect, blown up in the faces of antigun forces. The ridiculous Mexican assertions, which instead of turning into a stirring grassroots call for gun control turned into a boiling poo-storm of dueling statistics and a message of "stay the hell out of our country's business" to the Narco-republic of Mexico. Attorney General Holder's call for a new AWB backfired on a huge level, virtually ending any consideration of a new AWB during this administration and helping to add millions of new gunowners.
The main talking point that came out of the narrow loss of the Thune Amendment on national concealed carry reciprocity and the success on guns in national parks was that concealed carry was no big deal. No "Dodge City Shootouts in the Street;" no people losing their tempers and opening fire, none of the antigun hype promulgated by the MSM.
NO • BIG • DEAL
In other words, normalization of the carrying of firearms. The open carry movement was able to build on that platform, and it is building faster than any of us imagined. Those of us who have been in the trenches for a log time are suffering from a bit of paradigm paralysis...we fought so hard to get here, and you want do do what? Of course there was a similar paradigm paralysis when we began the concealed carry battle back in Florida, and look how that turned out.
So to Joe's question, have we won? I'm old school and come down on the side of that old saw, we have not won until there is no enemy...
But we definitely do need to move to a consolidation phase, making sure our victories are absolutely positively nailed down. We need to cement our relationship with progun Democrats and complete the severing of gun rights from anyone else's agenda. We need to reach out to conservative...no, libertarian...Republicans and explain to them that we are not the crazy uncles in the closet, to be pandered to for 6 weeks before an election, then ignored for the next 4 years. We need to make it clear that dismissing our agenda, which is exactly what happened for 8 years of Bush, will no longer be tolerated. Our votes are no longer guaranteed — think nationally; vote locally!
We need to prepare for the "new" smaller, more mobile battlefield, as state and federal agencies headed by antigun zealots act autonomously on a local or regional scale. For example, the USFS refuses to comment on why it is keeping the largest shooting range in southern Colorado closed...the proposed new head of OSHA is an admitted antigun zealot...we must be even more vigilant of localized attacks on our rights that can be spun into a national agenda.
Finally, we Old School guys must embrace the nascent open carry movement. I remember some of the arguments among ourselves back in the Florida days — "So you want to carry a gun all the time? Isn't that taking things a bit too far?" Too far? The concealed carry movement turned out to be the most important of our movement, because it became the tipping point on the normalization of guns. It has also saved a lot of lives.
It's a new day, with all the promise and risks any new day brings. Thanks for putting this important subject on the table, Joe!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
On the Ruger .327 SP101, whatever birthing problems the gun/cartridge combo had seems to have been cleared up. Ruger never recalled, which leads me to believe it was a limited occurrence. The hot Federal loads we had all ejected just fine. Of course, that's just one gun.
As I said on the podcast, am I going to rush out and buy a .327 snub? I don't think so, though if one fell into my hands I'd probably keep it (my Sweetie shoots .32 H&R Rugers in cowboy action shooting, so there's always .32 H&R around). Yes, you get an extra round in an SP101, but I don't that's likely to be a big deciding factor in a civilian shootout, especially if I'm carrying a speed loader or a second gun. Secondly, the .38 +Ps are easy to shoot in my own SP101, which I know to be a 100% gun. If I had a relative or a client who had issues with recoil or medical conditions that affected the hands, I'd take a good look at the .327.
I would like to see the cartridge in a Blackhawk single action platform...it would be a 32-20 for the new century and a superfine little varmint cartridge with the ability to do double duty as a self-defense in the woods.
RE: the endless comments on whether Ruger .22s ran/run all the time, Mr. Smarmy, here's a flash — NO .22s run 100% with all ammo! Welcome to the real world. .22s are the most finicky animals out there for several reasons:
1) Generally, .22s are inexpensive guns...inexpensive is as inexpensive does.2) Semiautos require a certain amount of necessary UMMMPH to run the action, and .22 ammo is pretty much all over the charts. That's why you have to try a bunch of different .22 ammo in your gun until you find one your gun "likes."3) Externally lubricated .22s are dirty dirty dirty, and they gum up a gun pretty quickly. You have to clean a .22 more than you would a centerfire.
I have bunches of .22s, and to one extent or the other ALL the semis are ammo-sensitive. My Lou Lombardi-tuned S&W M41 wants Eley 10X; the Tac-Sol 1911 conversion will run with anything hot; my 10/22 Target is pretty forgiving until you get into the really really cheap stuff, and it just won't run. Both my S&W 617 DA revolver and my Ruger Single Sixes will gum up and jam after a couple of hundred rounds of Aguila Target, which my semis tend to like and is superbly accurate. For some reason none of my guns like Winchester, but they're mostly okay with Remington cheap stuff.
Ask Mr. Completely, who is an active .22 competitor and knows more about this stuff than I do...every competitor I know — including Olympians — keep special batches of their gun's favorite ammo for major matches. So did some of the Rugers jam at the Rimfire Challenge? Yep...but so did the big dollar Marvel 1911 conversions, Brownings, S&W big dollar and small dollar, etc.
BTW, perversely, the single most reliable .22 I own is an ancient Walther TPH, a notoriously unreliable little gun. Mine will run with everything, and I don't believe it has ever jammed on me.
BTW BTW, there's been a bunch of buzz about the S&W M&P15-22 .22 LR AR clone...while a complete gun in .22 LR is a welcome addition to the market, .22 AR conversion units abound, from the inexpensive CMMG to the workhorse Tactical Solutions version to the premium Bill Wilson product, and all of them are perfect for marksmanship training and teaching AR operations, plus you get to keep your own trigger group. You all know I have a relationship with Tactical Solutions, but my Tac-Sol unit on a Stag lower runs like a top. I strongly recommend you purchase a conversion unit for that AR you bought this year!
..or something like that. Didn't one big blogger do a post recently to the effect, "If you blog, you should blog every day...this counts for my Thursday post." We're tricky, we nonmainstream bloggers...
First, let me weigh in the whole issue of people open carrying outside Presidential events. Part of me flinches a little inside, but the other part of me says the law is the law, and open carry is the ultimate expression of normalization of firearms. Apparently, the White House had sense enough to say the same thing. Read the whole report on Alphecca:
Armed men seen mixing with protesters outside recent events held by President Obama acted within the law, the White House said Tuesday, attempting to allay fears of a security threat.If it's legal, it's legal. As I have mentioned repeatedly, I've been open-carrying more and more lately on hikes and anywhere I can open carry. Colorado law more-or-less allows statewide open carry — and is listed as such on OpenCarry.com, a great resource on open carry — but also allows municipalities to put in place an open carry ban. Not surprisingly, most Front Range cities and towns have such bans in place, including Denver and its satellite cities.
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said people are entitled to carry weapons outside such events if local laws allow it. “There are laws that govern firearms that are done state or locally,” he said. “Those laws don’t change when the president comes to your state or locality.”
I get mixed reports from the People's Republic of Boulder. Any sort of carry, including concealed (Colorado is a shall-issue state), is banned in Boulder parks and Open Spaces , giving folks a golden opportunity to interface with the local fauna, some of which have very big teeth. Otherwise, it appears that Boulder does not ban open carry.
Recently, the local "alternative" newspaper, Boulder Weekly, ran a surprisingly positive series of firearms-related stories (aside from the usual missive from the reprehensible Tom Mauser). I especially liked the piece from good friend David Kopel on the liberal argument for gun ownership:
Liberalism at its best embraces tolerance and diversity. So, for example, a tolerant liberal would recognize the conscience rights of religious pacifists not to be drafted into combat and their right to choose not to use a firearm to protect themselves. At the same time, tolerant liberals would resist the efforts of “pacifist-aggressives” who want to impose their own anti-self-defense morality on everyone else.Good information, and glad to see it in a newspaper aimed at young citizens. I think more open carry is definitely better. As I said on DOWN RANGE Radio this morning, I think open carry sends an important message not only here in America, but to the rest of the benighted world, that things are very different here in America.
Indeed, if you favor choice, you can’t coherently oppose the right to arms. In the article Principles and Passions: The Intersection of Abortion and Gun Rights, Fordham law professor Nicholas Johnson shows that all the pro-choice arguments in favor of a right to abortion can be applied, even more strongly, to the right of armed self-defense. If a woman can make a momentous decision about controlling her own womb, she can make the decision to protect her family from a violent criminal intruder. Other people have the right to express moral disapproval of her self-defense decision, but not to criminalize it.
Today’s Democratic majorities in Congress and the Colorado legislature would not exist if Democrats from the Rocky Mountains states, and most of the rest of the country, were still stuck with the culture wars of the 1990s. Back then, narrow-minded cultural elites from the northeast and California tried to use the Democratic Party to impose their narrow-minded, anti-gun biases on the rest of the country.
Today’s liberal, strongly pro-Second Amendment Democrats — such as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, and Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal — are carrying on the tradition of the man who is one of the Founders of modern liberalism, the great Democratic Senator and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey. As Humphrey put it: “Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used and that definite rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizen to bear arms is just one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
You heard him a couple of weeks ago on the podcast...although our time together was brief, he was my friend...from the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Memphis musician Jim Dickinson dies at 67
Career of artist, producer touched four decades, many lives
The North Mississippi Allstars have lost their father, Bob Dylan has lost a “brother,” rock and roll has lost one of its great cult heroes and Memphis has lost a musical icon with the death of Jim Dickinson.
The 67-year-old Dickinson passed away early Saturday morning in his sleep. The Memphis native and longtime Mississippi resident had been in failing health for the past few months and was recuperating from heart surgery at Methodist Extended Care Hospital.
“He went peacefully,” said his wife, Mary Lindsay Dickinson, adding that her husband remained in good spirits until the end. “He had a great life. He loved his family and music. And he loved Memphis music, specifically.”
During the course of his colorful half-century career, Dickinson built a worldwide reputation as a session player for the likes of Dylan and The Rolling Stones, a producer for influential groups including Big Star and The Replacements, a sometime solo artist and the patriarch of a small musical dynasty through his sons, Cody and Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars.
Just last weekend, a tribute concert headlined by singer-songwriter John Hiatt and featuring a host of Memphis musicians was held at The Peabody Skyway to help defray Dickinson’s medical costs.
Dickinson’s earthy musical approach resonated with his peers: Bob Dylan, who was a longtime friend and collaborator, acknowledged him as a “brother” while accepting a Grammy award for 1997’s Time Out of Mind; The Rolling Stones, ever wary of outsiders, brought Dickinson in to add his soulful piano touch to their classic Sticky Fingers ballad “Wild Horses.”
As a producer, Dickinson was a studio alchemist in the tradition of such great Memphians as Sam Phillips and Chips Moman, for whom he worked. Dickinson was willing take on any role, acting as a protector, parent or prankster for his artists — thus helping him forge creatively rewarding relationships with difficult talents including Alex Chilton, Paul Westerberg and Ry Cooder.
Dickinson’s reach and impact on Memphis music over the last four decades is significant; perhaps more than anyone, he was uniquely connected to the city’s historic past and its present.
In addition to being one of the key forces behind the rise of Memphis’ Ardent Studios, Dickinson’s deconstructionist roots-rock band Mud Boy & the Neutrons proved a seminal influence on several generations of local acts.
Dickinson remained busy during his final years, continuing to produce local artists, including the breakthrough CD for Memphis roots chanteuse Amy LaVere, as well as several projects for his sons. He’d also been writing and performing with a crew of musicians half his age in the garage bands Snake Eyes and Trashed Romeos in recent months.
Born in Little Rock on Nov. 15, 1941, and briefly raised in Chicago before settling in Memphis, the young James Luther Dickinson came up in a musical hothouse, influenced by his piano-teacher mother and mesmerized by the sounds permeating from the radio.
“There was something about the voice coming out of the box that got me. That’s where it all started,” Dickinson recalled in his final interview, given to The Commercial Appeal in May.
As a student at White Station High School, Dickinson formed his first band, The Regents; he later had the distinction of singing on The Jesters’ 1966 garage-rock nugget “Cadillac Man,” the final release on Sun Records.
After a stint in college in Texas, Dickinson returned to the Bluff City, where he began a career as a session player, eventually forming The Dixie Flyers, a group that became house band for Atlantic Records, and backing artists such as soul queen Aretha Franklin and R&B belter Little Richard.
In 1972, Dickinson released his first solo record, the cult classic Dixie Fried. The LP would prove the apotheosis of a kaleidoscopic musical vision he dubbed “world boogie.”
Significantly, starting in the mid-’70s, Dickinson made an almost seamless transition from working with mainstream major label acts to punk and indie artists. Beginning with his work on the seminal Big Star album Third/Sister Lovers, Dickinson’s “anything goes” aesthetic made him a favorite choice to produce numerous alternative acts in the ’80s and ’90s.
Despite his connections, Dickinson never sought the trappings of fame, instead preferring to live on a sprawling thatch of land in rural Coldwater, Miss., that he dubbed Zebra Ranch, which housed a pair of trailers that served as his home and studio.
A gifted raconteur, musical philosopher and cultural historian, Dickinson was a veritable treasure trove of pop arcana and profound theory, capable of finding the cosmic and literal connections between deejay Dewey Phillips and former Mayor Willie Herenton, wrestler Sputnik Monroe and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
For Dickinson, there was some sense of artistic closure late in life. His final album, Dinosaurs Run in Circles, released in May, brought him back to his earliest love: the pop and jazz-flecked standards from his childhood radio days. Several of the tracks were recorded from his mother’s original sheet music.
Dickinson’s health woes began following an appearance playing with British rocker Elvis Costello at the Beale Street Music Festival in May. Though he’d long suffered from intestinal problems, a physical exam revealed Dickinson also had serious cardiac issues. A procedure to put two stents in his heart, a triple-bypass surgery and a prolonged stay in an intensive-care unit followed.
Last month, Dickinson was relocated to a rehabilitation facility; family and doctors had been hoping for gradual recovery, “but he just never did really get a break physically,” said his wife.
Luther Dickinson said the family has no plans for a public memorial and that the tribute show at The Peabody will stand as the farewell to their father.
“That was the best sendoff he could have ever wanted,” he said.
Although he achieved a modicum of commercial success in his lifetime, ultimately, Dickinson’s legacy won’t be measured in chart placements or platinum albums but in the profound impact his work had on listeners.
“Some of the records I’ve done, really obscure things, will be the ones that somebody will tell you saved their lives,” he once said.
What Dickinson understood was both the impermanence of his own life and the enduring power of the music he made. It’s a sentiment reflected in the epitaph he chose for himself: I’m just dead, I’m not gone.
1966: Cuts the song “Cadillac Man” for Sun Records, attracting the interest of his idol, Sam Phillips.
1969: Plays piano on “Wild Horses” for The Rolling Stones in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
1975: Produces Big Star’s dark masterpiece Third/Sister Lovers. It eventually is named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
1986: Rowdy Minneapolis rockers The Replacements come to Memphis to record the critically-acclaimed Pleased to Meet Me with Dickinson producing.
1997: Plays on Bob Dylan’s Grammy-winning “comeback” album Time Out of Mind.
2009: Releases his swan song, Dinosaurs Run in Circles, a collection of old pop standards.
Hell, it's Saturday night, and he's no doubt walking down Beale Street, back when the blues was born...
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Little Sure Shot was born this day in 1860...go out and bust a clay in her honor.
The Firearms Blog notes that Robinson Arms is now offering an XCR pistol variant. Interesting...all of a sudden (and I think I mentioned this a while back) AR platform pistols have gone from being jokes to "serious" tactical tools. I actually think they're somewhere in the middle. I have a 9mm AR variant from Spike's Tactical, which is an absolute blast to shoot. I figure it would be the ultimate "defend the bedroom" gun, but probably not good for a tour on the Afghan border watching out for opium smugglers. Or maybe as a car gun..a few 33-round magazines would probably get you home from the MJ Tribute concert, even if its held in Tegucigalpa.
Ammoland.com is featuring the Bill Wilson Carry Pistol, which we popped on SHOOTING GALLERY and generated a big demand. Here's a shock...it's a little 1911 in .45. I've shot it and it's a nice nice gun. BTW, John May, who works for Wilson Combat, also writes an excellent column for the Tactical Journal, the official publication of IDPA. The most recent column, Vol 13 Issue 3, isn't up yet, but it's worth watching for, because it's just superb. Here's a little bit, typed in my Yours Truly:
One of the things that seem to get lost in competitive shooting is fun. I can remember when I started how much fun it was, shooting my first match made me smile for days. I'll bet you all remember your first national shooting event. I know that I felt like a kid going to the County Fair. I miss those days...Nicely done, John...there is an on-going need on making sure we keep having fun, becaise it's surprising how easily we can convert something we love into a chore.
I note the passing of Les Paul, the God of Guitars. Back when I was a Celebrity Journalist Guy in NYC, one day this guys shows up in my COUNTRY MUSIC Magazine office carting a beautiful Les Paul guitar. "I'm Les Paul," the guy said. "I thought I'd come up and play for you." And he did. And it was magic.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Man, today was one of those days where I totally understand why Wild Bill, just that once, sat with his back to the door! I had a Hollywood Conversation, which always frightens me. I sort of feel like E. Ness in The Untouchables: "I have foresworn myself. I have broken every law I have sworn to uphold, I have become what I beheld..." I didn't get to the range today...that's probably it...
Tam over at the Bikes, Boomsticks Blog chronicles kabooming — or rather a kapopping — a lowly .22 LR...even little cartridges can blow out.
I watched the SG episode at the Vintage World Cup, and tomorrow morning I'm going to reverse myself send a check to Ruger to keep the 450/400 Ruger #1. I have to have something to believe in! Besides, I've got the ammo...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
ObamaCare Portable Medical Facility for the Elderly
...spent most of the day working like a dog, then went to the range for an hour of one-shot draws and Bill Drills. Then grabbed a quick hour-long mountain bike. I think I over-crammed the day, to tell the truth.
BTW, today we moved a good bit closer to mine and Marshal's dream of Internet-only gun shows...there's so much we want to do...the .50 BMG series, the Hamilton Bowen custom gun series, the custom 1911 series...man oh man...
BTW BTW, I signed on today to write a regular column in the cowboy action shooting magazine, the SASS COWBOY CHRONICLE...starting with the October issue and tentatively called "The Howling" (my SASS alias, Wolf Bane...get it???), the column will cover zombies, werewolves...JOKING! JOKING! After the columns run in the CC, we'll be posting them on DRTV so you guys can read them as well.
I like it when one of my cohosts gets religion, so I'n referring you to this piece on DRTV from Brother Rob Pincus on the AK-47. Hey, he even made a pun about Ice Cube! Read the whole post — Rob's an excellent writer, and this post was a treat.
And while we're (sorta) on the subject of THE BEST DEFENSE: SURVIVAL, the guys on DRTV alerted me to this article on MSN Money on "6 Steps for Investing for Doomsday," noting that much of the advice had already been on TBD:S:
In his 2008 best-seller, "Wealth, War & Wisdom," hedge fund manager Barton Biggs warns that investors must "assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure."
And to prepare for a breakdown of civilization, "your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food. . . . It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc." Bloomberg Markets suggested that by "etc." he meant guns, as Biggs added "a few rounds over the approaching brigands' heads would probably be a compelling persuader that there are easier farms to pillage."
That warning isn't from a hippie radical. Biggs was a respected Wall Street guru at Morgan Stanley for 30 years. As the company's chief global strategist, Institutional Investor magazine put him on its All-America Research Team 10 times. SmartMoney said: "Biggs is without question the premier prognosticator on the international scene and a mover of markets from Argentina to Hong Kong."
Read the whole thing....or don't...and can we pass on the whining comments about how you live on 8-Mile in Detroit, buy just enough food and beer for one day at a time, feel 101% safe and secure in your duplex without a front door lock or even screens in the windows and own a 1960s' vintage Gene Autrey squirt gun filled with diluted vinegar for self-defense? In advance, good on you! Best of luck! Say hi to Eminem for me! Yes, I'm a hypocrite and feed like a vampire on people's fear and suffering! Still, It's a good, interesting article poking a little fun, and the joke at the end will at least make you smile (or groan).
Finally, I feel better that the Boy King has assured America that no one will be waiting in line for health care once we enact His Blessed Government Run Just Like The Post Office System...there will be sufficient eugenicists and government-certified euthanologists to take care of all of America's elderly, sick, lame, talk show radio hosts, vocal conservatives, patriots, people who own a Gasden flag or have ever once teared up over the Pledge of Allegiance, anyone who has actually read the Constitution, gun owners, people who have relatives who are gun owners, Israelis living in America, Americans who support Israel, Southerners, people who live in Montana, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, parts of Colorado, Nevada outside of Las Vegas and New Hampshire, anyone who owns a pickup truck or can readily identify Brooks or Dunn, Ted Nugent, anyone who watches Ted Nugent's show, anyone who owns a Ted Nugent recording, people who oppose taxes, millionaires, people who make more money than welfare moms, small businesspeople, dissidents, anyone who can spell "dissidents," NRA members, Ann Coulter, people who look like Ann Coulter, anyone who has never purchased a ticket to a Susan Sarandon/Tim Robbins movie, people who believe Michael Jackson wasn't murdered, people who believe Michael Jackson was murdered, anyone who knows all the words to the Star Spangled Banner, anyone who remembers Ronald Reagan, and, of course, me.
The Boy King went on to assure Americans that, yes, there will be sufficient boxcars to take us all East!
Wow! I hope I can get iPhone service and that they'll be serving snacks!
Monday, August 10, 2009
...to a kissable Rally Vincent...this from PhysOrg.com:
Touchable Hologram Becomes RealityResearchers from the University of Tokyo have developed 3D holograms that can be touched with bare hands. Generally, holograms can't be felt because they're made only of light. But the new technology adds tactile feedback to holograms hovering in 3D space.
Called the Airborne Ultrasound Tactile Display, the hologram projector uses an ultrasound phenomenon called acoustic radiation pressure to create a pressure sensation on a user's hands, which are tracked with two Nintendo Wiimotes. As the researchers explain, the method doesn't use any direct contact and so doesn't dilute the quality of the hologram. The researchers, led by Hiroyuki Shinoda, currently have the technology on display at SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans.
"A retroreflective marker is attached on the tip of user's middle finger," the researchers explain on their website. "IR LEDs illuminate the marker and two Wiimotes sense the 3D position of the finger. Owing to this hand-tracking system, the users can handle the floating virtual image with their hands."
In the video, the researchers demonstrate how a user can dribble a virtual bouncing ball, feel virtual raindrops bouncing off their hand, and feel a small virtual creature crawling on their palm. The researchers hope that the technology will have applications in video games, 3D CADs, and other uses.
I'm sitting downstairs eating apiece of toast, swilling my 3rd cuppa and listening to my phone ring upstairs in the office...sigh...I know I can't put it off much longer..the weekend is over over OVER! BTW, I'm wearing my "Wheel Guns Is Real Guns!" t-shirt from Outpost Armory in Tennessee, allowing me to make my daily quota of liberals uncomfortable here within sight of the People's Republic of Boulder.
Speaking of uncomfortable, I wandered through the living room with the television on the Today Show and this feel-good piece about 90-year-old Floridian Rachel Veitch, who's driven the same Mercury Comet nicknamed "Chariot" for 45 years and 557,000 miles. She's showing off her CB radio, then she pulls out her gat, a snubby revolver in a padded gun bag.
When they cut back to the studio, you could practically see psychic urine stains spreading from puss-boy Matt Lauer's lap! "Ouweeeeee ouweeeee nasty old lady had a gun! GUN! Run! Hide!"
Pretty pathetic, puss-boy...
I note some new competition this week as Guns & Gear premieres on VERSUS. G&G is a product of 2 longtime good friends, Jim Shepherd of THE SHOOTING WIRE and Tom Gresham of GUN TALK Radio, and I wish them the best of luck.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
From an unlikely source, The Survival Blog. It comes down on the biggest bullet is better side of the fence, but shot placement trumps everything:
Bullet diameters and bullet design has more to do with killing/stopping power than speed. The best hunting bullets are the ones that perform over the widest range of velocities, leave the largest permanent wound channel, will not brake apart when they hit heavy bone and will consistently exit the animal on a broadside shot.
On big game larger heavier bullets kill better than smaller faster ones.
At close range, a flat-nosed 540 grain bullet fired from a .45-70 at 1,550 FPS has far more stopping/ killing power than any of the .30, .338 or .375 magnum. But at the same time a projectile with a flat trajectories is easer to make good hits at longer ranges than the slow moving 540 grain slug from the .45-70.
Faster bullets do give better trajectory and extend the range we can make good hits at. A good hit with a smaller caliber is always better than a poor hit with a larger caliber
For consistent kills on big game, the larger caliber bullet the better and the heaviest bullet for a given caliber will have the best knock down power.
For the first third of my guiding career I thought that perfect bullet performance was to find the bullet in the hide on the far side. That way all the energy has been absorb by the animal. . Over the years I changed my opinion for the following reasons
1. Exit wounds leave a lot better blood trail.
2. Granted, most shots taken are broadside but if a bullet cannot punch through an animal with a broadside shot and exit the animal then it does not have enough penetration to go end to end on an animal. You do not always get broadside shots while hunting and rarely get a broadside shot on a charging or fleeing critter.
3. I want my bullets to be able to break heavy bone and continue to penetrate deeply afterwards.
4. I no longer believe that it is the energy that kills but the size of the wound channel.
There is no best bullet (or caliber) for hunting. Even the best designed bullet will occasionally fail to do the job it is intended to do, Poorly made or poorly designed bullets will conversely give spectacular killing results from time to time.
...in the High Country, except of course that it's supposed to be high summer. All of us up here are bracing for a winter September and October.
Last night my Sweetie and I watched The Man Who Came to Dinner, Monty Woolley's tour de farce, and we both laughed long and loud. I haven't seen the original since film school, so I had forgotten Ann Sheridan's 'way sheer blouse (good lord, I must be getting old!). I also forgot Jimmy Durante's drop-dead line to the hapless nurse Nurse Preen:
"Meet me in my room in a half-hour...bring a loaf of rye bread!"
This just proves that generations of lousy high school drama clubs can't destroy a great script. I've also been rereading the Doc O'Meara book Guns of the Gunfighters: Lawmen, Outlaws & Hollywood Cowboys, doing some research for next season's COWBOYS.
If you haven't read it, you definitely should...great information and great photos. And you'll be seeing some of these famous guns in next season's shows!
I've put it off long enough....gotta go clean guns and run the Dillon 650, which means I will so be bleeding and shouting...or is that shouting and bleeding?
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Shot the Boulder cowboy action match today with the new Ruger SASS Vaqueros...they shot fine; I managed to drop a shot. As I came up on a target I pulled the trigger as soon as I saw metal behind the front sight. Remember I said the guns were shooting an inch or so low? An inch or so is all it takes to skate a bullet just under the target.
The sight picture is every bit as good as my Sweetie's custom .32 H&R Single Sixes, and in truth the trigger pull, while heavier than my match Blackhawks, is perfectly serviceable (I've been talking a lot about how we all probably obsess too much over trigger pulls). I'll eventually respring the guns to lighten up the mainspring, make it a little easier to cock.
I'm going to spend some time next week both setting up my Ruger 10/22 Target for next weekend and putting some rounds through that rifle and my FNP 45, just because I've been slacking on big bore semiautos lately. I also need to start tuning back up on the 1911 to get ready for the Wild Bunch match at Winter Range in Phoenix early next year. I suppose I can probably remember how they work!
Friday, August 07, 2009
"We are all outlaws in the eyes of America...
— Jefferson Starship
"We Can Be Together," 1969
I am simply amazed and awed at the Democratic and Presidential response to the uprising of perfectly normal, everyday Americans against the nonsense coming out of Washington. "Nazis," "thugs," "brown shirts," "mob rule," good heavens! All this from a "community organizer" who spent his formative days organizing just such events. I'm not going to link all the hits...just visit Drudge and browse the huge numbers of articles. I will link you to a Peggy Noonan column in WSJ...she's taken a lot of heat for being "soft" on Obama, but this column sums things up pretty neatly:
In his first five months in office, Mr. Obama had racked up big wins—the stimulus, children’s health insurance, House approval of cap-and-trade. But he stayed too long at the hot table. All the Democrats in Washington did. They overinterpreted the meaning of the 2008 election, and didn’t fully take into account how the great recession changed the national mood and atmosphere.Maximum Barry, our first Thug President, is of course asking people to report any incidences of "disinformation," rat out their fellow citizens, to firstname.lastname@example.org
And so the shock on the faces of Congressmen who’ve faced the grillings back home. And really, their shock is the first thing you see in the videos. They had no idea how people were feeling. Their 2008 win left them thinking an election that had been shaped by anti-Bush, anti-Republican, and pro-change feeling was really a mandate without context; they thought that in the middle of a historic recession featuring horrific deficits, they could assume support for the invention of a huge new entitlement carrying huge new costs.
The passions of the protesters, on the other hand, are not a surprise. They hired a man to represent them in Washington. They give him a big office, a huge staff and the power to tell people what to do. They give him a car and a driver, sometimes a security detail, and a special pin showing he’s a congressman. And all they ask in return is that he see to their interests and not terrify them too much. Really, that’s all people ask. Expectations are very low. What the protesters are saying is, “You are terrifying us.”
What has been most unsettling is not the congressmen’s surprise but a hard new tone that emerged this week. The leftosphere and the liberal commentariat charged that the town hall meetings weren’t authentic, the crowds were ginned up by insurance companies, lobbyists and the Republican National Committee. But you can’t get people to leave their homes and go to a meeting with a congressman (of all people) unless they are engaged to the point of passion. And what tends to agitate people most is the idea of loss—loss of money hard earned, loss of autonomy, loss of the few things that work in a great sweeping away of those that don’t.
People are not automatons. They show up only if they care.
What the town-hall meetings represent is a feeling of rebellion, an uprising against change they do not believe in. And the Democratic response has been stunningly crude and aggressive. It has been to attack.
Hey, he's making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty and who...needs reeducation! Chicago politics on a national scale is turning out to be a lot uglier than even I thought it was going to be.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
...today, so expect light blogging.
Was heartened this AM from an Showbiz Tonight hit piece on the Obama Joker poster...surprise, they didn't get it, but should people be allowed to make fun of El Supremo? Well, it's a little early to start hanging Tea Party participants from light poles, a la Mussolini's Italy, but don't worry — it's probably on the short list agenda for his second term!
Got to the range yesterday to put some rounds through the new Ruger SASS Vaqueros. Overall was very impressed. The triggers were around 5 pounds and crisp; the Montado hammers were perfect for cowboy action shooting, and the Long Hunter-suggested wider rear sight are just excellent...the cherubs and seraphim tell me that the .140 rear sights will likely become standard on all Vaqueros, which is good since it's one of the first mods people do to their out-of-the-box guns.
I mostly did one-shot draws on the Salute Targets paddle wheel target...this is an excellent training tool and will make you work. At 16 pounds it's also easy to set up and easy to store, which is a rarity with steel targets. You've got to really hammer the paddle wheel with those light cowboy .38 Special loads to spin it!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
From Discovery Magazine:
Brazilians Urged to Pee in the Shower to Conserve Water
Sometimes the best way to get people fired up about a cause—be it environmental, political, or anything else—is to get them angry. But instead of trying to piss citizens off, a Brazilian environmental group is trying to get the country’s residents to, well, urinate in the shower.The group says that if a single household flushed the toilet just one fewer times a day, it would save a whopping 1,157 gallons of water each year. The organization has even come out with a video touting the idea. Urine is sterile, so peeing in the shower is harmless (except if someone has a disease that can be transmitted through their pee, such as hepatitis).
The AP reports:
The spot features cartoon drawings of people from all walks of life - a trapeze artist, a basketball player, even an alien - urinating in the shower.
Narrated by children’s voices, the ad ends with: “Pee in the shower! Save the Atlantic rainforest!”
Ah, the lovely voice of children singing...pee...pee..pee...in the shower...
And what about that alien? How do aliens pee, anyway? Is there a consensus? A YouTube video? And has Obama apologized to the aliens yet for Americans' relentless failure to pee in the shower?
From USA Today:
Gun owners are packing heat in record numbers, fearful of stricter gun control under the Obama administration and higher crime in a sour economy.
Some states and counties report a surge in applications for concealed weapons permits since the November election. All states but Illinois and Wisconsin allow concealed weapons, but requirements differ.
Applications already have hit a record this year in Clay County, Mo., where the sheriff's office received 888 through June, compared with 863 in all of last year, Sheriff Bob Boydston says.
In the past, applicants tended to be middle-aged men, he says, but now include "grandmothers, older folks, young women, young men."
They tell him the bad economy will lead to more thefts and break-ins, he says, but his statistics show recession-related violent crime hasn't gone up.
They also fear gun control, he says. Last week, an elderly couple seeking a permit told him they were sure the president was "on the verge of coming to our homes and taking our weapons," he says.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
It was just announced that the SAFE AT HOME episode of THE BEST DEFENSE got the series first Telly, essentially cable Emmys. We're all very excited and very proud, as TBD becomes only the second firearms-related show to win a Telly. SHOOTING GALLERY is the other one, with two.
Rob, Mike and Tim...thank you.
We've had so many people joining us for cowboy matches that we no longer have room for their guns in our Evil Roy Gun Cart. A little magic in the basement, and VIOLA! The Official Jed Clampett Memorial Loaner Gun Cart! Plans & finished units are available!
-- Post From The Road
-- Post From The Road
...tells us what we already knew — that people from all stripes of life unconditionally support concealed carry:
The Right to Carry a Firearm
An amendment that would have permitted law-abiding gun owners with concealed-carry permits to carry their firearms across state lines recently fell short in the Senate. Although the amendment received a majority of votes (58-39), a filibuster-proof 60 votes were required for passage.
Zogby/O'Leary asked voters:
"Currently, 39 states have laws that allow residents to carry firearms to protect themselves, only if they pass a background check and pay a fee to cover administrative costs. Most of those states also require applicants to have firearms safety training. Do you support or oppose this law?"
An overwhelming majority of Americans (83 percent) support concealed-carry laws, while only 11 percent oppose them. A majority of Independent voters (86 percent), Democrats (80 percent), young voters age 18-29 (83 percent), Hispanic voters (80 percent), and those who voted for President Obama (80 percent) support the right to carry a firearm.
This piece from a writer at Psychology Today who self-identified himself as a liberal on why journalists are so overwhelmingly liberal themselves. This is something I've written about a good deal. I remember my first "professional" journalism job...I was hired as a reporter for the Florida State University Flambeau for the lordly sum of $50 a month. On my first day on the job I was being sent to cover a young Congressional candidate who was speaking on camput.
"You'll like the guy," my editor-in-chief and new boss said. "He's got all the right positions on the war, civil rights and guns."
Naive dweeb from Tennessee that I was, I stopped dead. "The right position on guns?" I asked.
"Yep," said my new boss. "He wants to ban them all."
That view was consistent throughout my career in the Mainstream Media. When I was working the NSSF Media Education Program, I'd spend time with top editors talking about guns (something the industry to my knowledge no longer does, BTW). It was always tense at first, and they were usually the first to raise the term "media bias." I turned that around and talked about some of the issues raised in this article, essentially the self-selecting nature of the media.
Here's an excerpt:
As it turns out, the preponderance of journalists are Democrats. And socialism, with its idyllic, “progressive” programs, has formed an increasingly important role in Democratic policies. Who wants to investigate a possible dark side of your own party’s plank?
We’ll get to that. First—why are most journalists Democrats?
Unsurprisingly, self-selection plays an important role in choosing a job. People choosing to do work related to prisons, for example, commonly show quite different characteristics than those who volunteer for work in helping disadvantaged youths. Academicians have very different characteristics than CEOs—or politicians, for that matter.
Harry Stein, former ethics editor of Esquire, once said: "Journalism, like social work, tends to attract individuals with a keen interest in bettering the world.” In other words, journalists self-select based on a desire to help others. Socialism, with its “spread the wealth” mentality intended to help society’s underdogs, sounds ideal.
Most journalists take a number of psychology, sociology, political science, and humanities courses during their early years in college. Unfortunately, these courses have long served as ideological training programs—ignoring biological sources of self-serving, corrupt, and criminal behavior for a number of reasons, including lack of scientific training; postmodern, antiscience bias; and well-intentioned, facts-be-damned desire to have their students view the world from an egalitarian perspective. Instead, these disciplines ram home the idea that troubled behavior can be fixed through expensive socialist programs that, coincidentally, provide employment opportunities for graduates of the social sciences.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Because he's dead
Okay, sorry! I promised no MJ! Just finished making a lasagna (low-fat ricotta, please!), which I plan to serve with a red wine appropriately named Reds from Lodi Wineries in California. Excellent red dinner wine...not as good as the stuff you get in Italy for less than bottled water, but, hey...
I also found an in-the-white non-stainless Ruger birdshead gripframe on the Internet this afternoon, which would be perfect for the single action Border Gun clone! I sent the note to Hamilton Bowen t=outlining what I would be looking for (and what things I planned to do myself, which he will no doubt have to correct), so I seem to be moving forward. I'm thinking Turnbull for the refinishing...Doug does heirloom work...period. BTW, would you like me to do another COWBOYS with Doug?
My 1901 Winchester '97 is almost finished...it was apparently a bear to overhaul the thing, extractor-wise...it's been in the shop for a year.. Still, it's a solid-frame '97 in pretty good shape...more or less. I'll do a full report on DRTV when it comes home.
There's a pretty good selection of what every home needs in the way of emergency supplies over at Popular Mechanics. I'm big on iodine tablets rather than various and sundry filters just because of pure volume of water treated. I've used iodine for years... you gotta cut it with Crystal Light to be able to gag it down, but it does work. I also prefer a little bit more comprehensive first aid kit — Adventure Medical makes some great ones. Be sure to get ones with trauma support and QUICKCLOT (or the more standard Celox). If you carry a gun, you might consider John Farnam's Tactical Treatment of Gunshot Wounds course.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Yeah, I got behind when I was out and about. Frank James, gunwriter supremo and all around good guy, had this excellent piece on his blog, Corns, Beans, Spent Brass, An Empty Page and a Deadline:
Once it becomes known you carry a handgun on a regular basis as a civilian the more cynical or socially obtuse among your acquaintances (Notice: I didn't say 'Friends') will sometimes ridicule you with the question, "What are you afraid of?"Read the whole thing!
My answer has been, "I'm afraid of a lot of things. Losing our surviving child is my greatest fear, then losing my wife and being alone would probably be my next greatest fear other than perhaps losing my health or ability to live on my own, but one thing I'm not afraid are those creatures -- animal or human -- who think they can attack me. My Bite Is As Bad Or Worse Than Theirs!"
When you're big in Japan, tonight
Big in Japan, be tight, big in Japan where the eastern seas so blue
Big in Japan, alright, pay, then Ill sleep by your side
Things are easy when youre big in Japan, when youre big in Japan
"Big In Japan"
Picked up a check today from Authors' Registry for $96 (American money) for the parts of WHITE BOY SINGING THE BLUES that are copied and then are required reading in Japanese middle school.
Yes, I'm Big in Japan! I have this pervasive fantasy of visiting Japan and running into a bosozoku of Japanese school girls who say, "Michael-san! We know so much of American culture from your book. Now we would like to take you to rabu hoteru and show you real Japanese culture!"
Yeah, right...dirty old man! But my Sweetie and I will be doing sushi this week, care of those Japanese school girls!