Wednesday, May 31, 2006

First Sightings of the New Season!

The hummingbirds come back from Central America in April; the mulies and elk are moving to their higher pastures now, and — a sure harbinger of summer! — I saw my first Rainbow Person today. Three, actually, a small cluster of bachelor bucks moving ahead of the larger herds.

They were so cute, annoying people in the supermarket through their mixture of "Hey brother!" hostility, followed by sincere apologies. For those of you outside the annual migration paths, there's a quickie round-up from the main least, I think it's the main site...anyhow, envision Dead Heads without Jerry and the boys or even a shred of sense of humor.:
When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow -- Old Native American Prophecy
Ah, Little Grasshopper! There's a big gathering of the tribes this year, and my little mountain town is smack in the path of a couple of big tribes. The plus side — WARNING: SEXIST COMMENT FOLLOWS! CLOSE YOUR EYES, COVER YOUR EARS AND SEEK SHELTER! — is that the town will be filled with marginally dressed young women all summer. The downside of course, is that you must stay upwind of them.

Well, for myself, I'm going to try a little harder to let the sunshine in...maybe drink some green tea...start listening to strange atonal music with lots of drums and chanting...try to get in touch with my gentler, minor caliber side...

Of course if that doesn't work, I'll call my buddy Alan Samuel and we'll go shoot machineguns. Peace, bro!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Louisiana IQ Test!

This from the Times-Picayune:
Interest Rising in Concealed Handgun Permits

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The number of people applying for concealed handgun permits has risen since Hurricane Katrina hit southeast Louisiana, but Louisiana State Police aren't sure why.
Hmmm, there's a toughie! Now why would anyone in south Louisana want a concealed weapons permit just before the beginning of hurricane season? Gosh, I keep twisting it around in my head and can't come up with a reason! I mean, Ray Naglin was re-elected Mayor, wasn't he? Isn't he a STUD HOSS warrior man of the people protector of the innocent? I mean, tears, racist comments and Constitutional violations aside.

Hmmmm, let me posit my own reply to that puzzling question:


They want the "concealed weapon" to fight their way to the battle rifle. Duh!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day, 2006

"The first note was clear and absolutely certain. There was no question or stumbling in this bugle. It swept across the quadrangle positively, held a fraction of a second longer than most buglers hold it. Held long like the length of time, stretching away from weary day to weary day. . . . This is the song of the men who have no place, played by a man who has never had a place, and can therefore play it. Listen to it. You know this song, remember?"

From Here to Eternity
James Jones

A National Guardsman with a chestful of combat medals played Taps at my father's funeral on Saturday morning. It was sunny and hot as only Memphis in the summer can be hot, so stifling it's like a fever in the brain. Afterwards, when the two Gaurdsmen had finishing folding the flag and presented it to my father's wife, I thanked them for their service, then went to shake the bugler's hand. Thank you, I said, for honoring my father.

He held onto my hand. "You have it wrong, son," he said. "I am the one who is honored to play for one of his generation."

This is, I think, a good place for the story to end, except to say that yes, I did manage to get to Tennessee minutes before he passed.

And because it was easier for eveyone involved, the next day I also picked up my inheritance: One (1) Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45 1911A1, Remington Rand Inc., plus magazine. It is the only inheritance I ever wanted, or asked for, and as perhaps befits my father, it was loaded with WWII ball when I pulled it out of a sock. I can think of nothing more fitting.

Which got me thinking about a person in my will destined to receive one of my guns. Life is, indeed, short, so tomorrow I'm shipping my nephew one of my cherished custom 1911s — in fact, the semi-lengendary Rex the Wonder Gun, my first custom pistol. My nephew Ryan is 22 years-old, a confirmed "gun-guy" (now there's a surprise...LOL), been deer hunting since he was five and is getting ready to start a new family, so I figure it might be a while before he can come up with the scratch to play the custom 1911 game. Rex'll get him started, and maybe he and I, along with his father Rick, can do some shooting together down the line.

I think my father would like that.

Before I go, a "thank you" for the comments posted on my last blog message. I read those comments every morning and every night while I was in Tennessee, and they were, indeed, a comfort. I meant to respond every evening, but it just wasn't time. I am also blessed by friends whom I practically had to beg to keep them from flying to Tennessee to keep me company. Taken together, those things make me the luckiest person I know.

Tomorrow, I promise, back to the usual routine of gossip, malicious nonsense, insults and guns!

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Sad and Personal Note

I think it's time for me to write about my father, who is dying.

The medical reason he is dying is that his heart is in the process of failing; a faltering machine only a tiny shadow of what it once was. The real reason he is dying is that for reasons I — and maybe anyone who looks out the window and sees a new spring born again — can never understand is that he no longer wants to live. Somewhere in the last few years he reached an internal tipping point, where the joys of his new family and his children no longer outweighted the demons from his past.

And those demons are truly creatures of nightmare, fierce Oni hunting for souls to carry to a hell I don't believe in. My father believes in it, though, and the dark shapes in the darkness may change shapes, but they are always coming for him. Always.

He killed men once on some Pacific island; came home and played some football; married the cheerleader queen; had three children and bought a VA house in the suburbs. And it should have been happily ever after, or at least mostly happy, but somewhere that train jumped the tracks and careened into uncharted dark territory.

The middle son, the brilliant talented brother I adored, died hard and slow, and the cheerleader queen young Mom spiraled out of control, taking the remnants of the family with her. Mental illness is catching, you know, an influenza of the soul. It passes from you to the ones you love the most, as you draw them deeper into your own death spiral. Until there's nothing left but a reverse image world, with a sun that no longer shines. If you are near that dark sun, you are left with a single option — escape.

And I did. It was neither easy nor pleasant. My younger sister also escaped, although in a different direction. We don't speak, unless someone dies. Then we speak in platitudes, which is of course another way of not speaking.

I thought I could save my parents and tried numerous times. I was wrong. The nature of "being saved" involves wanting to be saved. Their world was self-contained and provided everything they needed; they put on a good front for the rest of the world and continued spiralling down through the levels of hell.

And then my mother died. Suddenly, like I would wish to go, your proverbial bolt from the blue. She and I talked on the phone one Sunday morning, as was our tradition. My mother was excited. We think we finally have our lives under control, your father and I, she said. She was tired, she added, and thought she'd go lay down for a nap. I told her I loved her; two minutes later the phone rang with my father in hysterics. She just...died...he said. Died, just like that.

My sister and I began making plans for institutionalizing my father, because it was clear that he couldn't help himself. And then the strangest thing in the world happened — within inches of the ground, he pulled himself out of the nosedive. Quit the drugs and the self-medication; shook off 20 years of stupor and reintroduced himself to the world outside his and my mother's filthy living room.

He came to visit and spent time with me — in all the years I'd been gone, neither of my parents had ever set foot in any place I'd lived. Something I understood, since I was the bad seed, not the one who was supposed live.

So I actually met the father I never really had, and I liked him. A lot. He was smart and funny and humble; he remarried, to the nicest woman in the world with a huge extended Southern family — something else I could never give him — and even adopted a little boy. When he told me about the adoption, I took him aside. This time, I said to my father, you've got to stand up. Or don't do this thing. On my word, he said.

The train seemed back on track, but demons never sleep, do they? A couple of years later he had some health problems; went to the hospital, where the kindly doctors hooked him up to a morphine drip. Drip, drip, drip. They might as well have put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. By the time I got to Tennessee, he was a crazy man, my crazy old man back again — cursing his stunned new family in terms that were appalling even to me; on the phone to his old druggie contacts; ranting that he was in pain and needed the medicine. I reasoned with him that time, harshly, with the only line of reasoning that I knew would don't want to risk losing your new family, because you don't want to end up in my hands. I am the fate worse than death. Great.

I could take you through the years, the relapses, the recriminations, the fights, the reconciliations, but does it really matter? I understand the terrible hunger, the need. Maybe more than I would care to understand it, because some portion of each of us is the sum of our genes.

And I understand that it is ending. Ironically, the doctors tell me that they're making him comfortable, so in the end, he gets the morphine drip after all. If that is the only comfort left to him, so be it.

Through our ignorance, say Buddhist thinkers, through our lack of knowledge of who we are, we create so many prisons. I have nothing that profound to say. I am a writer; that's what I do, and telling stories is how I relate to the world. So this is my father's story, or at least a small part of it. His doctors tell me that he will never get out of the bed he's in, and I suspect they're right. So it's time for me to go sit by his bed. The Prophet said, "People sleep, and when they die they wake." Inshallah.

"Oh how many travelers get weary
Bearing both their burdens and their scars
Don't you think they'd love to stop complaining
And fly like eagles out among the stars"

— Merle Haggard
Out Among the Stars

Sunday, May 21, 2006

NRA Convention Quickie...


...because I'm once again on super slow dial-up in hotel, not to mention suffering from slightly degraded performance specs from an evening with Mark Keefe from AMERICAN RIFLEMAN, Craig Boddington from TRACKS ACROSS AFRICA, Tequila, Jake Hartwick and the ubiquitous Wendy Anderson from The Outdoor Channel and other like-minded souls, doing what we do when we all have a chance to get together...use your imagination...

Happy to say NRA is SERIOUSLY SERIOUS about dealing with OUR PALS THE GREENIES and the BATFE on the custom gunsmith issue. Spent a lot of time today with NRA BoD types, lobbyists and attorneys, as well as a great conversation with Kane Robinson, NRA Director of Operations, not to mention Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman from the Second Amendment Foundation. I come away revitalized, knowing that we are marshalling forces to fight the good fight.

Also this AM got to shoot the new FNH SCAR "lite" rifle (5.56) developed by the SOCOM operators...hell of a gun! Really interesting all plastic/sealed unit lower and super slick collapsing/folding stock. All in all, an impressive piece of engineering. I have pictures, but this connection is way to slow to upload them!!!

Was also blown away by the Lakeside Guns .22 LR caliber belt-fed modular guns built on AR-15 lowers. I have pixs, but you're DEFINITELY going to see these puppies on SHOOTING GALLERY!!! Too kool for skool!

Bob Morrison at Taurus took me to heart when I talked about his .410/45 Colt revolver as an anti-carjacking tool...he did a spectacular series of tests on targets at car-jacking distances...I'm going to try and get pictures of the targets tomorrow...compelling, to say the least. Compelling enough for me to order up one of my own .410 revolvers to test it out. Also, the first 10 of the Taurus 1911s are in the country — the Commander-sized guns Bob has here are damn spectacular. Some of the other big 1911 players are sweating bullets (so to speak) about the Taurus $599 MSRP on the guns.

A very welcome four-inch adjustable-sighted version of the new Charter Arms .44 Special Bulldog should be out within the next few months. Oh yeah, FNH's beefed up Police Magnum version of the Winchester X2 12-gauge is bound to be a BIG HIT with 3-gun shooters, who'll appreciate the fact it's built like a tank and as fast as a Benelli. Plus, Herb Belin at S&W is at it again, with his bright yellow or orange "survival kits" — a hardshell case complete with compass, knife, space blanket, food AND a 2-inch non-comped .500 Maggie with matching color grips. Suggested use is to give the bear the gun and beg it to shoot you. The recoil will break it's paw!. Herb is happy as a kid at Christmas with a new toy, but he remains coy about the rumored S&W .500 "Special," a stubbier version of the .500 Magnum in a shorter cylindered X-Frame. Cor-Bon is working up factory rounds, and we'll see where they end up.

Taurus has their own fixed-sight .500 snubbie (shown at SHOT, to be sure), wanna boom, there's plenty of ways to do it!

Julie Golowski has left Glock for parts unspecified. Word is she got a better offer, but the big question is from whom. TGO Rob Leatham is seriously considering not shooing Unlimited Class at the Steel Challenge, which would take him out of the running for the OUTDOOR CHANNEL/SIGARMS 80-Second Challenge $35,000.

Late now...more tomorrow!!!

Tommy Franks' speech tonight at the banquet was seriously awesome, too.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


It's a Gary Fisher 29-inch mountain bike, pretty much set up for riding fire roads, which is mostly what my Sweetie and I do. Notice that it's so new I haven't even pulled the "legally mandated" reflectors off it.

My Sweetie and I roadies at heart, and the mountain biking just supplements the road rides. Where I live, there are some great fire roads leading up to old mining ghost towns, etc. I wanted to try the larger 29-inch wheels (same size as 700C road wheels) because I thought that might work better for road transitional stuff.

I've had really serious dual-suspension mountain bikes, but since I never really do ay serious mountain biking it seemed like overkill.

I'll let you know how it works!

The WAR IN THE WEST, or, more properly, the WAR FOR THE WEST continues on!

Okay, here's the short version:

Last night's 3rd and final "open public forum" on the U.S. Forest Service's attempt to end recrational shooting in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, the Greenies are backpeddling faster than a mime on meth. To wit:

All of a sudden, consistency — which was ostensibly the driving factor for this "Urban Front Country Environmental Assessment" — is no longer even on the table.

The focus has shifted — thanks to the HARD WORK of gunowners, shooters and Second Amendment advocates! — to the Greenies' unwillingness to ENFORCE THE EXISTING LAW, whether about illegal dumping and littering, unsafe gun-handling, etc. Apparently the Greenies believe that instead of enforcing the existing laws, their job is to bleat endlessly about how much they could do if they had more laws and more resources.

• That list of "issues" the Greenies so proudly presently, then failed to substantiate with ANY DOCUMENTATION WHATSOEVER has disappeared into, "Oh, like, those were only suggestions...oh, don't look at those at all...don't even look at this list!" Really, a Greenie told me that.

And so on and so on. Even the very few non-gun people who turned out for the meeting, less than 9 out of 40, were less than enamored by the USFS "issues." That should tell you how "hot" these issues really are...if you can't bring out more than 9 people in BOULDER, you're shouting down an empty well, as my grandfather would have said! Maybe they should have announced a witches' sabbat...oh, sorry, that was the eve of May 1!

Does this mean we've won?

NOT BY A LONG SHOT! The only stake that will keep this vampire in the ground has to come from Washington, and that's where our primary efforts are. The Greenies are intentionally stretching this process out — the antigun program has been running for a year now, and they say the "complete process" is going to take another year to a year and a half.

The idea is to stretch it out as long as possible in the hopes we lose's an old spin technique, just like the unwillingness to let the larger meeting speak; dividing into "brainstorming" groups to break up the larger group dynamic; not letting us speak directly with the Greenies themselves; bringing in "facilitators" from outside the local district, many of whom were shooters; having a visible armed presence to send the message that gun owners are dangerously unstable (which backfired pretty badly for the hapless Greenies, BTW, and was largely abandoned by the 3rd meeting); providing a list of "issues" in the hopes of swaying the small groups, etc. The Greenies hope that by the time they present their INGENIOUS SOLUTIONS TO THE NON-EXISTANT PROBLEMS, we'll have forgotten that the real issues on the table are lack of ANY law enforcement, abysmal ignorance about firearms and recreational shooting, and the Greenie's willingness to waste their precious resources on a witch-hunt against shooters.

One night a week at home and I get to watch a bunch of Greenies get madder and madder watching their antigun plans go up in smoke! "Good faith" effort! Makes you wonder just how stupid they actually think we are...the only"good faith" part of the whole exercise was that they didn't make use of their armed presence to round us all up, put us in some sort of USFS concentration camp and force us to make all-organic hemp billfolds and draws topo maps for birdwatchers all day long.

I think I'm going to take my girlfriend up on the idea of suing the Greenies in federal court over the closing of the range close to my house.

The WAR FOR THE WEST continues...updates as they happen...

Updates Later Today!

Wow. have lots of updates on the WAR IN THE WEST, as I attended the 3rd USFS "public meeting" last night in Boulder. And a big ole 21-gun THANK YOU to the bloggies who came out to show the flag!

What a difference a few days makes! The anti-gunners are running scared...if one more person in a green uniform tells me about "a good-faith effort to understand...," I'm going to crack up laughing. As I told the Greenies, it would seem sooooooooooooooooooo much more sincere if USFS officials hadn't done a tour of local city and county commissions and given so many tortuous interviews to the local media explaining the "shooting problem" and how shutting down all shooting would be an excellent solution.

Am also being "stalked" on the Internet, which is always fun.

The whole story when I get back from my AM meeting in Denver!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lost Wednesday

You know, for reasons I don't fully understand, this trip absolutely kicked my ass. It shouldn't have — wasn't even a particularly hard filming session, except that I didn't get to shoot — but there it is. Or rather, here I am at the Baltimore airport trying to get my bran to reboot from a back-up disk.

I may have conservative battle fatigue, a subject much on the Internet's mind these days, except that as a "gun guy," I'm not really really a conservative. No wait, it's an election year, so I'll be warmly accepted into the Republican fold sometime around September. Of course I'll be excommunicated by Christmas along with all the other Second Amendment "zealots" who don't understand the real issues facing America, such as Britney Spears' carseat, alligators and gay marriage.

Part of my malaise, I know, is that my trip home is a turn-around, just there long enough to pay some bills, become hysterical at a public meeting with the Evil Trolls of the Forest Service, then gone again, albeit to Milwaukee to troll the NRA show floor. Another part, however, is after spending a day with the Powers-That-Be, I feel more tired than ever, since I heard over and over againt that the biggest issue facing gun owners and Second Amendment advocates is loss of hunting access. I occasionally feel like I'm speaking in tongues while juggling hissing rattlesnakes when I'm talking to the P-T-B...there's a fundamental disconnect between them and me. I think there's an unwillingness to believe that someone who actually owns guns, who shoots, is not equally, wildly passionate about whacking furry creatures.

They keep coming at me along different tangents...well, have you ever...

Usually, the answer is yes — I'm a skilled woodsman; an excellent shot; knowledgeable about animals and their habits; like stopping in the woods on a snowy evening; have seen moose silhouetted against the Alaska dawn; heard wolves howl in the black night; can set a good camp; have plucked, cleaned and gutted, pondered the entrails of all sorts of things; can intelligently, more or less, discuss ballistics with Charlie Petty from AMERICAN RIFLEMAN...but I'm a shooter, not a hunter.

Ironically, while our leaders don't get it, Time Magazine does. Or at least this writer from Time does (and this is one heck of a story):
Says Alan, a teacher: "The art on the range, on the job, in life, is to aim and to hit exactly the target, the one target, the only target, dead center, with one round." Clearly, I have a lot of practicing to do. But shooting has taught me that while to err may be human, to aim true is almost divine.
Amen, sister! I shoot, therefore I am!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Washington Update

I have to say things went pretty good at the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation shoot. This year, the CSF arranged an a''-star shoot — three Democrats versus three Republicans — on a special course of two sport clays stands, a round of skeet and an abbreviated round of trap. It's going to be an excellent show!

I also talked to Jeff Crane, the President of CSF, about our little dust-up with the USFS, and we're now officially on their agenda. I also talked to Doug Painter, head of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and a whole slew of legislators, including Tom Tancredo, who doesn't exactly have a reputation as a shrinking violet. I'll be talking to his office tomorrow about our next step in stopping this witch-hunt fiasco.

I hope to see all you guys tomorrow night in Boulder at the last public, we can see which lies, mistruths and dribbling nonsense — remember, don't speak to the rangers...they're only there to listen! — the Forest Service reps will be serving up. Friday afternoon Col. Brown and I will huddle with the Powers-That-Be at the NRA in Milwaukee to hopefully develop a comprehensive strategy in dealing with anti-gun attacks of this sort.

As they used to say in the old Students for a Democratic Society, "Dare to struggle; dare to win!"

BTW, it looks as if the OLN-cancelled Shooting USA will eventually find a home at The Outdoor Channel. Welcome aboard, Mr. Scoutten...maybe we can exchange "impossible shots!"

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monday Monday How Could You Leave...

...and not take me.

I'm putting on my game face for Washington D.C., followed by the NRA Convention in Milwaukee later this week.

To get ready, I watched the Survivor finale — yes, I occasionally love the show — where final two competitor Danielle proved her IQ was three points lower than the weight, in ounces, of her breast implants. I think the coolest thing about the show is how we get to sit on our fat butts and watch perfectly normal people act against their own self-interest. Cheery, and perfect to get ready for Snakepit-Inside-The-Beltway!

I've also poured over the Internet to find the stories that will be on the tips of our Processing Unit this upcoming week. Of course, FLORIDA UNDER GATOR ATTACK immediately came to mind. I was able to reach a couple of my old shooting buddies in Florida at their underground bunkers, where they'd retreated as the huge prehistoric reptiles rampaged across the state. Here's their report, "Tastes like chicken!"

And speaking of edible fowl, Chicago has banned foie gras, or, as we referred to it when we were younger and less soooopisticated, "Yeech! Goose liver full of fat!" This from the WSJ OpinionJournal:
Slaughtering and butchering animals is pleasant neither to witness nor even to contemplate. One reaction to such brutal work is of course the moral response of vegetarianism, which can run from the chastest veganism (eating nothing that has eyes or is itself capable of giving birth to its own species) to that of a woman I recently heard about whose vegetarianism is restricted to refusing to eat only cute animals: no lambs, ducks, rabbits, Koala bears, but bring on the steaks and lobsters.

Yet if there is something repellent about the slaughtering of animals, this is very nearly counterbalanced by the sight and sounds of vegetarians in high moral dudgeon. For a pungent example, at a Chicago City Council committee hearing on the banning of foie gras, the actress Loretta Swit, an animal-rights activist, compared the forced feeding of geese and ducks to the treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
Do you think it's really fair to call Loretta Swit an "actress?" I'm not even sure she could make the "cute animals" cut.

Finally, as I root in my closet to see if there are any clean, or less dirty, SHOOTING GALLERY shirts to pack, I would like to take note of the Boulder "Hate Hotline." I've mentioned it in the past, but the Cliff Notes' version is that the city of Boulder is moving ahead with its plan to create a "Hate Hotline," where anyone can call and report any use of tactless language. The big issue, apparently, is whether the calls should be forwarded to the Boulder Police Department or the hand-wringing, peckerwood-baiting, brain-dead chimpanzees on the Boulder City Council. Personally, I think the calls should be routed to Katie Couric, who as we speak is tongue-kissing a monkey who can take digital pictures on national television. Or maybe Martha Stewart.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Battlefront Bulletins from the WAR IN THE WEST

This from Diane Nicholl, a fine firearms instructor and co-author (with Vicki Farnam) of TEACHING WOMEN TO SHOOT: A Law Enforcement Instructors Guide. Diane made it to the second Forest Service "show trial" alledged public meeting. Here's her report:
I thought I would let you know you had an impact at the Longmont meeting. I attended the Forest Service public meeting this morning and Walsh made
no mention of consistent regulations. She did not use the slide that was
left up in Longmont.

Meeting was scheduled to start at 10AM. Only 7 people present so delayed
until 10:15AM. Total of 11 people, two were Boulder Sheriffs Officers,
one in uniform and the other not.

Before the meeting, Walsh said “this is lighter than we thought.” I also
heard her say, the NRA wants to jump in and give us some money.”

There were at least 10 staff members. Walsh said some of the small group
facilitors did not work for the Forest Service but the “group.” She never
said what the “group” was.

Law enforcement present included two rangers from the Forest Service (one
from Fort Collins), one uniformed Boulder County Sheriff’s officer and a
Boulder Sheriffs officer, Smith who was not in uniform. Once the meeting
started, the officers came into the room. During the small groups, the
uniformed SO was in one meeting until 11AM then Smith came and sat in the
room. The Forest Service rangers roamed around in the hallway. Smith
said he was in Longmont. He told me he invited his officer to the meeting
today because he patrols the mountain district and wanted him to hear what
was going on.

Walsh said they had 30 people attend in Longmont.

Only a few slides in the powerpoint presentation. Walsh said the ones
they had used previously were hard to read. These graphs were still hard
to read. Showed a new slide about the number of visits to Arapaho and
Roosevelt National Forest versus other national forests. It is unclear if
they are comparing visits to all National Forest or just the ones they
define as Urban Front Country. Showed a map of the forest. Nothing about
regulations in other areas and did not utter the word consistent. The
next person to speak, had a slide showing the process and one with contact
information for the Boulder District office.

Walsh said the point of the meeting was to hear our issues, concerns and
needs. She asked if others had attended at Longmont and asked if the
slides today better identified what this was all about.

The main facilator told us not to ask questions of the Forest Service
people when they visited our small groups. They were just there to

Walsh said the decision on what to is her responsibility but she wanted
input from the public. She said they chose campfires, dispersed camping
and recreational shooting as top priority because of resource damage and
public safety. She said there was one other reason but could not think of
what it was and staff did not have an answer for her just vague
suggestions about visitor quality of experience.

Walsh said she had earlier met with other Urban Front Country forest
rangers from Pike National forest and White River National forest. She
said these were different from traditional forest lands and needed more
than traditional management. Traditional rules are not appropriate for
Urban Forest.

Walsh said she was thinking about zoning. Develop some areas and limit
use in other areas.

She wanted to know what is going well, what problems we see and what needs
to improve. Tell us what is working.

She said she can get grant funds and volunteers to implement ideas. She
also said she could work with contractors to keep money in the area.

My small group had four people from the audience. A person from
Rollisnville, a couple from Lafayette, the uniformed officer and myself. The person from Rollinsville was concerned about shooting limit of only
150 yards but mainly talked about fire danger and dispersed camping. The
couple hunted and used areas other than Left Hand for practice. They also
hunt mushrooms and hike.

Topics included more signage to prevent user conflict.

I asked if Left Hand was managed recreation and the forest service person
said yes then backtracked and said there was also unmanaged recreation.

We could have finished at 11AM but the facilator and other forest service
person kept trying to keep it going. For example, they asked what we
thought about the trash problem. Told us they could try to word a
solution as an issue. We finished around 11:25 AM.

The other group had six people. They mainly talked about shooting.
Knowledgeable forest service people did not speak up and there was lots of
misinformation that was not corrected. A couple from Boulder Heights, a
high power shooter from Denver, a woman from Rollinsville and a shooter
from Boulder.

Lots of complaints about shooters, atv riders and campers from the land

Walsh said she mailed out 300 letters and talked to Grant at the Boulder
Rifle Club trying to reach shooters. They did not post notices at any of
the shooting areas-“they would just be shot up." A worker told me they
were planning to print flyers and pass them out at shooting areas for the
next part of the process.

Could not explain why nothing is on the Boulder District web page!
Golly! "Consistency" is no longer one of the driving reasons for "stealing" our right to shoot on public land! Call me crazy, but isn't that...inconsistent?

Three hundred letters? A massive effort to reach shooters? Well gosh, I hate that I'm so darned hard to find! After all, I'm only on national television three times a week, have two of the most visited firearms sites on the Internet, have a listed phone number and have talked to the USFS before. No WONDER they couldn't find me! Ditto for Colonel Bob...I mean, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE magazine is only one of the better know pubs around, Bob has been one of the highest profile Second Amendment advocates in Colorado and he's a sitting memver of the NRA Board of Directors. Col. Bob — shame on you for hiding!

There is one more "public meeting show trial," and I urge you to contact every living human being you know and ask them to attend!

Herre is the data:

Wednesday, 17 May 2006
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
New Vista High School
700 20th Street
The People's Republic of Boulder, CO

Hey, bring your friends, the dog, the cat, various kitchen appliances, EVERYONE, and if I can get my flight changed and get back from D.C. in time — which I think I can — I'll be buying brewskis (organic microwbrews, of course...maybe we should go to Mountain Sun for hippie beer!) afterwards!!!!

And be sure to wear some flowers in your hair, you being gentle people and all!

Michael's "Official" New Trail Gun!

Meet the MONSTER BLASTER, a Bond Arms .45/.410 derringer!

I've had the gun for a while, — and featured it in this story on the SG site — but I just started working with it at the range. I love this thing! And, before you can even ask, it SERIOUSLY recoils with the Winchester .410 gauge 5-pellet #000 buckshot.

HOWEVER, I did "speed drills" at 7 yards, and the little beast put all 10 pellets neatly in the center of the A-zone on an IPSC target! Every time, until might right hand actually fell off and had to be reattached with duct tape!

Instant mountain lion puree!

Feral dog converted instantly into feral dog food (extra chewy)!

Not a replacement for a real gun, but definitely the ticket for local hiking/biking and a substantial upgrade (with the .44 Special barrels) for my usual pocket/second pistol. I got a great crossdraw holster from Bond that is just the ticket, and I'm going to badge Chris at Ready Tactical about getting some Kydex for the thing.

TWO THUMBS UP, albeit one painfully!

Friday, May 12, 2006

On a More Cheery Note...

I just got my SIGARMS 226 back from SIG — I'd shipped it up for Bruce Gray's class rather than carry it since I had to fly through Boston. The guys at SIG "dinked" it a little beofre they sent it back to me, and I have to say they're World Class Dinkers. They smoothed out the DA stroke and lightened up both the DA and the SA trigger pull. It was good before; it's great now!

I haven't really said anything about Bruce's class, and I definitely should. It was excellent (as I expected, since I've worked with Bruce for two forevers). In fact, this should be the first class you take if you've never taken a class before, and it shoudl be a class you take every year or so to remind you that IT'S THE TRIGGER, STUPID!

I think I eneded up putting about 600-700 rounds through the 226 in the course of the 3-day class (we filmed one day, so that hardly counts). It goes without saying that the SIG functioned flawlessly. Insert bullets; pull trigger; bang! No surprises; no malfunctions; no drama. I like that in a service pistol!

I also like shooting 9mm loads in a relatively heavy gun like the poor battered elbow definitely thanks me!

The thing I really liked about the class was Bruce's drills for the trigger. This is doubly important when you're dealing with a "traditional" DA/SA semiauto like my 226 (or my carry 225). Standard fodder for the gun mags for the last 30 years has been, "Is it possible to master the double action-to-single action transition?" Well, with the right training, it's just not that big a deal. Tivo the Bruce Gray @ the SIGARMS Academy episode of SHOOTING GALLERY later this year and STUDY IT.

Meanwhile, the 226 goes back to duty as the Official Bedside Gun, with it's SureFire X2000 light, CT laser grips and full complement of Honady TAPS. I've said it before and I'll say it again — throw in a few 20-round magazines, and I'd go to war with that gun n a heartbeat.

I'm going to the range in a few minutes and run some drills on the 225, as well as with the little Detonics .45 and a couple of .44 Special revolvers. And no, it's NOT ON PUBLIC LAND, because the USFS has already closed all the nearby ranges. I get to drive an hour to Clear Creek Sportsman's Club over near Idaho Springs, where I'm a member!

Contact Bruce through the SIGARMS Academy. Then take a class; you'll be happy you did.


Okay, I said I washed my hands of the "shooting on public land" issue.

I lied, and here's why:

Last night, at the invitation of SOLDIER OF FORTUNE magazine publisher Bob Brown, I attended the first public meeting scheduled by the US Forest Service to, "Help in identifying your concerns and issues about recreational shooting, dispersed camping and campfires on the BRD [Boulder Ranger District] so that we may begin developing alternative approaches to address these users."

Let me set the scene for you...we were at a high school assembly room in Longmont, CO, at an open public meeting...

...and lined up behind us, against the back wall behind us, with — honestly! — their hands on their guns, were three local cops, including a Commander, and an armed Ranger!

At an open public meeting in a high school! What, was the National Guard not available on short notice? Or maybe all the firepower was there in case one of the birdwatchers who were expected to attend might go crazy, chirping and fluttering around the room.

Needless to say, Colonel Bob and I were dreadfully frightened. So much so that when Col. Bob stopped chuckling, he asked the representatives of the USFS about the show of force and were they on the clock or volunteers, and was given a rambling answer about how the Sheriff's Department were "stakeholders in the process." Of course. the problem was that there were no Sheriff's deputies there...on local cops, apparently "on the clock," ready to keep Col. Bob and I (and Steve Schreiner from the Firearms Coalition of Colorado, Greg Burt from Representative Marilyn Musgrave's office and the other Second Amendment supporters who turned up in response to an urgent NRA Bulletin) from going postal.

This program is part of the "Urban Front Country Initiative," which is alledgedly taking place along Colorado's Front Range. I can find out amazingly little about this program, despite a pretty substantial effort. I urge you to Google it yourself.

As went went into the meeting, we were given paperwork on the Urban Front Country Environment Assessment (interestingly enough, NOT on letterhead, as generally are all official government documents). Here's what the paper said:
Project Framework:
The Urban Front Country Initiative was created to address the issues of recreational overuse and inconsistent regulations on public lands in the Front Range. Activities included in the Initiative that the Boulder Ranger District will be addressing first priority are:
• Recreational shooting
• Dispersed camping
• Campfires
The form goes on to state that at this time USFS is only "gathering issues" surrounding recreational shooting. The document then provides a list of "issues" that have been "identified to date," and asks for our help to "review them and make any suggestions or add to them on the enclosed response form."

In other words, USFS has already decided what the issues are; we're supposed to select from Column A or add our own "issues" — we already know you beat your wife; do you beat your kids as well?

Col. Bob hammered away on FACTS — how were these issues determined? USFS said they received "complaints."

Were the complaints documented?


Are there reports filed on any of the complaints?


Finally, the head of the Boulder Ranger District said the complaints were based on "her experience." NO FACTS; NO DOCUMENTATIONS: NO RECORDS.

Here's the list of issues about recreational shooting:
Regulation Issues:
• 150 yard regulation — extend distance?
• What is the definition of an occupied site?
• What is the definition of an effective backdrop?
• How to interpret the regulations
• Regulations are hard to find
• Consistency with other agencies
• Enforcement

• Near misses
• Perceived threat by Forest users and landowners
• Health impact on users (shooters and non-shooters) from shot up monitors, refrigerators and other appliances containing toxic materials
• Safety for Forest Service personnel working in the field
• Fires caused by shooters

Natural Resource Impacts:
• Soil contamination and soil erosion
• Water quality
• Wildlife habitat impacts
• Shooting of animals (domestic and wild) in a non-hunting capacity
• Vegetation
• Hazardous materials
• Trash — define and enforce
• Forest plan consistency

• Where to shoot? What opportunities are available to provide shooting?
• Displacement of shootings and other receationists, competing needs
• Types of experiences to provide given the diverse requirement of various types of firearms and shooter types (e.g. high power rifle versus handgun; compound bow versus semi-automatic rifle)
• Vandalism
• Foregone National Forest opportunities
• Destruction of culturla sites
• Shooting from vehicles
• Lack of specialized places to shoot designated just for shooters
• Lack of shooting opportunity
• Differing opportunity needs for differing shooting experiences
They did leave out...
• Shooter complicity in the Lindburg kidnapping

...but I'm sure someone will add it to the list.

Note the persistent references to "consistency with other agencies." This was important enough that the USFS had charts and graphs...Rocky Mt. National Park, Boulder and Larimar County Open Space, state parks, etc. I bought up the fact that each one of those agencies had a different analogy was comparing speed limits on an interstate highway, a state highway, a county road and the local dirt road to my house and then suggesting that all the speed limits should be the same in the interest of "consistency."

The response from USFS was that consistency was important because it was important to be consistent, because, well, consistency is important. "I didn't answer your question, did I?" said the noticeably embarrassed USFS rep. No ma'am, I replied, you didn't.

I could go on and one, but I'm too long already.

I remain more convinced than ever that this is a USFS pilot program to end shooting on public lands. Whether it was initiated locally or in Washington remaind to be seen, but I will be meeting with the executive staff of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation in D.C. next week, and hopefully will have a chance to fill in some of the Colorado Congressional delegation on the issue. I will also be meeting with NRA reps — Colonel Bob is a sitting member of the NRA Board of Director — in Milwaukee later in the week.

I was also reminded why we fight these battles, even when — like me — we're thoroughly sick of being on the front lines. Because on the day we lose, on the day the opponents of firearms and the Second Amendment have their way, what we are left with are the armed men in the back of the room and the ashes of what we once had.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Deserved Slap on the Wrist

Go down to my "Taxation Without Representation" post and read the long comment. Basically, a Fish-&-Game guy ripped me a new oriface, and I'd say that I deserved it.

Here's a little of what he said:
I can can state unequivocally that we are not working to "end shooting on public lands." Nothing could be farther from the truth. We are working hard to keep public lands open, but this is increasingly difficult since so many shooters are absolute pigs. Your previous suggestion that illegal dumping is the real problem is absolute b*llsh**t. Every time I visit an unofficial range" on nearby National Forest I fill a couple trash bags with beer cans/bottles, brass, hulls, ammo boxes, and various and sundry well perforated items brought in for that purpose alone. And then there are the liability issues, as all those new trophy homes pop up near our favorite shooting spots.
Okay, his points are spot-on. But so are mine...I said, and I stand by it, that the "broken windows" theory is a reality — if a place looks like a dump, it will be treated as a dump, including by brainless shooters. There are solutions to this problem, but it involves a partnership between the federal agencies and the shooting organizations — exactly the same partnership that now exists between the primary mountain bike organization and the various federal agencies. For reasons I don't understand, this gets shrugged off by both sides. Mea culpa.

And I do accept that Colorado is different than Arizona, and, yes, I did forget that Ben Avery, where I've shot numerous times, is owned by F&G. I do believe, however, that the program being run in Colorado is a pilot program; the Front Range of Colorado is the most liberal area in the West and the area most under pressure from urbanization/suburbanization. It's the area where an antigun program is most likely to work. And it is working just fine. I also want to say that withing the F&G and USFS "community" — including people I've shot with for years — not one single voice has been raised in defense of shooters. Not one. When I pushed one of my friends on it, he said, in essence, that he liked his job and would like to keep it. I understand that; I don't much like it, but I do understand it.

Frankly, on the issue of shooting on public lands, I wash my hand of it. Whatever happens in the Front Range happens. We get what we deserve.

My apologies to you, sir, and your F&G colleagues, for tarring you all with the same brush.

HOWEVER, on that $523 million generated by taxes on shooters and hunters, WE SHOOTERS ARE DUE MUCH MORE THAN THE LEFTOVERS WE GET BECAUSE IT IS OUR MONEY!

There is enough money from the excise tax to build and operate a Ben Avery-sized range in EVERY STATE, which would take a huge amount of pressure off the USFS shooting on public lands issue. There is enough money to upgrade existing ranges, to attract and train new sport shooters (which will lead to more hunters), to help GROW OUR SPORTS, which will make us that much stronger. Personally, I think formal ranges are a much better solution than informal ranges if for no other reason than safety.

But that is not where the bulk, or even a substantial percentage, of the money is going!

That has nothing to do with F&G agencies. It is a simple truth that the people who PONY UP THE MONEY deserve to have some say in HOW THE MONEY IS USED. I think that it is 'way past time for sone of the agencies who distribute the money to ask what the shooting and hunting communities priorites actually are. Should we acquire more land for habitat or build new shooting ranges?

If we want to do both, how should the moneys be allocated? Do you actually believe that if the wishes of the shooting community were included that only 8% of the money collected would go to "Hunter Safety and Shooting Range Programs" while 55% goes to "Sport Fish Restoration?"

Again, sir, I apologize for dis'sing you. But taxation without representation is still tyranny.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I So Need to Attend This!

Reason in Amsterdam, 2006

The Grand Amsterdam Hotel

August 23-26, 2006

With Trey Parker and Matt Stone,
creators of the hit show South Park,
Time magazine's Andrew Sullivan, Reason magazine Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie, and Reason Senior Editor Jacob Sullum

Some Belated SIGARMS Pixs!

...with the usual caveat that this substantially upgraded/modified P220 is not necessarily the "official" SIGARMS entry in the Great Military Sweepstakes, since — despite the predictions of my cheribs and seraphim — the final specs are not yet out (my C&S swear to see a final in a couple of weeks, but you can never tell about fluttering things with wings!).

One thing is for certain — this SIG will be on display at the NRA Meeting and Show end of next week. Of course, so will I, but that's another story. I wouldn't be surprised to see a commercial version announced pretty soon after NRA.

I'll T&E it as soon as I can lay my hands on one...

Benny the SuperCop

This video is especially for SG crew member Mark Jury!

What to Do with Your Hummer!

The great country singer/songwriter David Allan Coe once wrote:
They judge a boy by his friends
And all of mine are trash
They say you find your own level
Well I'm a snake in the grass
But I can't help the things I do
I've always been attracted to...
Cheap thrills...
I, however, am extremely lucky, because a substantial portion of my friends are...weird. But in a good way. And we're attracted to similar things. The picture above is from the redoubtable Alan Samuel of Machinegun Tours. He just outfitted his Hummer for summer (damn, I ought to write country songs!), and I have to say I really like the "accoutremonts!" See all the pixs here. Nice job, Alan!

Taxation Without Representation is STILL Tyranny

Whether you prefer the Rev. Jonathan Mahew "No Taxation Without Representation!" version or James Otis' "Taxation Without Representation is Tyranny!", it's STILL true!


That's the amount of OUR money we paid in excise taxes on guns, ammunition, archery, components, etc. that will be distribued to "fish and game agencies:"
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will distribute more than $523 million in excise taxes paid by America's recreational shooters, hunters, anglers and boaters, to state fish and wildlife agencies to support fish and wildlife conservation and education programs.


State agencies use the money to support conservation programs such as fish and wildlife monitoring, habitat improvement, acquisition of land for habitat conservation and species protection, research, education, and other programs.
'Way down in the press release they mention "shooting ranges." They don't, however, break shooting ranges out of the "Hunter Safety and Shooting Range Projects" category, which receives a miniscule itsy-bitsy $42 million piece of the pie! Anyboyd want t bet what percentage of that $42 million goes to hunter recruitment and retention programs and how much goes to shooting ranges? I'll bet shooting ranges will be lucky to get $42 dollars out of the deal!

This money will be used to fund the ongoing program to end shooting on public lands, to buy habitat that can only be used by birdwatchers looking for ivory-billed woodpeckers and to fuel a bloated bureacracy filled with people who DON'T LIKE US!

If this doesn't piss you off, you're not paying attention! Not one single trade association has stepped up on this, nor one single hunting group. In fact, when I bought it up to some industry heavyweights, it was strongly suggested that I "not talk about things like this," because fish and game agencies "depend" on the entitlement, if you will...and if any of the money — say, half, because that's what we sport shooters and the tactical community pony up each year — is "diverted" to other programs, it could have "major consequences" on acquiring new lands for wildlife.

And I care why?

I am being taxed and the money distributed without my having any say into where it goes, and when I bring up that fact, people start running around with their fingers on their lips going "Quiet! Quiet! What if the shooters hear you!"

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Meanwhile, Back in the Other Part of the Country...

Okay, I forgot to shoot pixs of the new SIG Combat Pistol that'll end up entered in the military Trials, even though they said I could. I attribute this brain fade to the fact that I'm not a year older and am struggling to remember my street address.. Anyway, think of the SIG entry as a nuclear made me glad I hadn't already acquired a 220, since I'd MUCH rather have the Combat Pistol (or whatever particular weird number they tag the thing!

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Thank You to the SIG FORUM!

You know, it's not a big secret that I have the best job in the world — I get to travel around the country (and sometimes the world), talk to people I'm really interested in, learn more about something I love and, in general, shoot guns.

As my Sweetie says, "That's not a job!"

It is, however, a LOT of travel...I used to think I traveled a lot, but I didn't even know what a lot this is my third or fourth birthday away from home. I know when you get my age you're not supposed to think about birthdays, but it is a way to note the passing of time. And given my druthers, I'd rather spend the day with my Sweetie and the strange menagerie — talking birds, small beagle, tailess cat and three fat goldfish — in my house.

Today, instead, I did a class with Bruce Gray at the SIGARMS Academy. It was a great class...Bruce and Paul Erhardt from SIG are good friends, I know and like the Academy instructors, and the guys in the class were great.

At dinner tonight, Frank Ching and the guys from the SIG Forum arranged a birthday party for me. I got a great Aloha shirt, complete with USA Swimming logo from Frank and a HUGE cake with the SHOOTING GALLERY duck on it. Paul Erhardt graciously picked up the tab, and SG stalwarts Robin Berg, Mark Jury and David Jones made it to the hotel in time for a piece of the cake.

To Frank. Paul, Bruce and everyone from the SIG Forum, thank you. Tonight, the road is a little less long...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Profound Failure of Guts...

So Moussaoui, a man by his own admission complicit in the deaths of almost 3000 American citizens on American soil, lives.

Living, said the jury, is a fate worse than death for this committed fanaticist.


This from Penny Noonan at the Wall Street Journal:
Excuse me, I'm sorry, and I beg your pardon, but the jury's decision on Moussaoui gives me a very bad feeling. What we witnessed here was not the higher compassion but a dizzy failure of nerve.

From the moment the decision was announced yesterday, everyone, all the parties involved--the cable jockeys, the legal analysts, the politicians, the victim representatives--showed an elaborate and jarring politesse. "We thank the jury." "I accept the verdict of course." "We can't question their hard work." "I know they did their best." "We thank the media for their hard work in covering this trial." "I don't want to second-guess the jury."

How removed from our base passions we've become. Or hope to seem.

It is as if we've become sophisticated beyond our intelligence, savvy beyond wisdom. Some might say we are showing a great and careful generosity, as befits a great nation. But maybe we're just, or also, rolling in our high-mindedness like a puppy in the grass. Maybe we are losing some crude old grit. Maybe it's not good we lose it.
Are there "fates worse than death" for Muslim fanatics? Indeed, and we only have to look to the great African desert sheiks from the 19th Century, who rode hell-bent into the teeth of the British Maxims and eventually drove the Brits from their colonial holdings...cut off the offender's genitals, cut of his hands, cut off his feet, cut out his tongue, blind him and leave him wrapped in the skin of a diseased hog in the desert to ponder his wayward ways for however long his life sentence took.

But a life in a maximum security prison in Colorado?

Spare me.

I was at Ground Zero when the fires were still burning, when the heroes of that fateful day were still collecting the body parts of my fellow citizens — my brothers and sisters! — in white plastic buckets. I will carry the smell of red hot steel and charred meat — charred meat! — with me to my grave. If we as a people lack the will to bring justice to a single man, how can we claim to bring justice to Iraq, or to a region, or to the rest of this benighted world? How can we, in fact, survive at all?

When he walked out of the courtroom, Moussaoui clapped his hands and said, "America, you lost!"

On that, he was spot on...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hard-Edge Terrorists School Alert!

For the life of me I can't get the Washington Post page to come up, but you can find this story on The High Road here:
Schools Teach the Hard-Edged Lessons of Combat

By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 2, 2006;

MONTROSE, Colo. -- Marcus Klintmalm's two victims lay sprawled on the ground, their weapons released by hands gone limp. Spent cartridge casings, his and theirs, were everywhere -- testimony to two gunfights.

The shooting had stopped. It was time to debrief.

"Where did you hit him?" an instructor asked Klintmalm, referring to one of the assailants. The man was standing now, with a mark of orange wax from Klintmalm's "bullet" on his pants.

"In the hip," Klintmalm said.

If the fight had been real, that might not have been good enough, the instructor said. "He may not be dead."

Such are the hard-edged lessons taught here at Valhalla Shooting Club and Training Center, where students learn the basics of urban shootouts in a mock downtown. Special Forces soldiers train here for combat in Iraq, but Klintmalm is not a soldier: He is a 23-year-old aspiring business-school student from Dallas, who gave his current occupation as "ski bumming."

Valhalla is part of a lightly regulated industry thriving in a time of war overseas and terrorism fears at home. Around the country, there are at least 16 privately run schools that teach civilian students skills usually associated with SWAT teams or military combat -- close-in gunfighting, assault-rifle tactics, sniper shooting.
Well, hey! Here's my favorite quote from one of the wonks at the Brookings Institution:
Along with this growth have come concerns, voiced by academic observers and even some in the business, about the leeway afforded these schools to choose who and what they teach.

"You're talking about an entirely new industry that has a patchwork-quilt quality. . . . Some parts are regulated, and some parts are entirely unregulated," said Peter W. Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He said that such a system would be "one thing if we're talking about clown schools," but "it's different when we're talking about private military schools."
Heaven knows anyone from Brookings knows all about "clown schools!" Anyhow, I'm off tomorrow to one of "16 privately run schools that teach civilian students skills usually associated with SWAT teams or military combat -- close-in gunfighting, assault-rifle tactics, sniper shooting.," in this case the SIGARMS Academy, for yet another three days of, as the article says, "training that would seem to have few, if any, applications in everyday life."

Well, depends on your everyday life, one supposes. I'm going to be working with Bruce Gray in a Friday Skill-Builder class wth my P226 9mm, then Saturday and Sunday we're filming his competition class for SHOOTING GALLERY.

I note that Brother Stephen Hunter, a graduate of some of those 16 schools and the Wash Post Pulitzer Prize-winning move critic is noticeably absent from this article. The writer was probably afraid to speak to him, lest Steve "go literary postal" all over him and pummel the poor man with adjectives. Or, god forbid, an adverb!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Weekly Check on Media Bias

Alphecca's Weekly Check on Media Bias is up. Apparently he, as well as I, survived NBM* (*No Burritos Monday) without major disruptions.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Swine Flu

...and speaking of swine, I sadly note that Roise O'Donnell — that egregious simpering pile of rancid lard — will join morning show The View, replacing what's-her-name who replaced Katie Couric. That's sad, since The View was one of the few occasionally intelligent things on television while I'm swilling coffee and eating my toast. I suppose we can always hope for spontanious combustion.

I've got to do a walk-thru at the Clear Creek shooting range, about 45 minutes from my house, late this afternoon as a prelude to my renewed membership. I used to be a member, but did most of my shooting on public land. Since that's no longer an option, I'm rejoining the range...I was only on the waiting list for 14 months! Welcome to the new world, Front Range's an excellent day to clean up those "littered" shooting areas, since the people who really dump their crap on public land are taking the day off!

I'm gong to take the Detonics mini-.45 over to the range in the hopes of finally getting a couple of hundred rounds in. Speaking of 1911ish things, I really liked Tom Selleck's third rendition of Robert Parker's Jesse Stone series, A Death in Paradise, aired last night. Selleck did a nice job with the gun stuff — all the GUNSITE training certainly shows. Of course he carried a 1911 .45...looked to me like one of the S&W GUNSITE specials.

I'll be spending the rest of the day working on our potential new (and still secret) show from Robin Berg and I...there's a lot of excitement on this one...hopefully I'll be telling you about it in the new few weeks!

Am off to the SIGARMS Academy Thursday for a couple of classes with ace instructor and general bon vivant Bruce Gray. I'm taking a skill-builder class on Friday with my P226 9mm, then the two-day competition class — which we're filming for SHOOTING GALLERY — with a SIGARMS Revolution 1911 .45.