Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve, 2008

As always, from LOTR...

Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

Happy New Year from the Michael Bane Blog...let us never forget there is good in the world, and it's worth fighting for...



Visit DRTV for times and details; today's podcast is also about the shows. I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Thoughts on the Cannon Safe Failure

Thanks, all, for your comments!

I'm going to work on the circuit board, which is tiny, you all note, I have nothing to lose now!

If I can get it open, I can get the lock changed out pretty easily (at least, that's what my safe expert in Oklahoma told me).

RE: CANNON...if you have a "Lifetime Warranty," that means it's you warranty the product for the lifetime of the original owner. If you have a "Lifetime Warranty*" followed by 10 pages of weasel words, you don't have a lifetime warranty at are, rather, a liar.

If you guarantee consumer satisfaction, and you treat said consumer — any consumer — like crap, you are worse than a are attempting to perpetuate a fraud.

The company shouldn't take notice of whether it's me or you or anyone when it comes to standing by its products. A quality company — Midway, Dillon, Ruger, Para, RCBS, etc. — doesn't care who the customer is, because all customers are treated the same...pretty much like royalty.

If your customer service rep — supposedly one of the best in the business, according to your advertising — actually threatens a customer about saying "bad things" about the company in question, it raises a red flag to me. Something is wrong with that company or that customer service rep would never in a million years think to threaten a customer.

If Cannon stands up, I'll give you chapter and verse and happily apologize to the president of the company. If they don't stand up, I'll video me buying a new safe at SHOT!

And I will NOT ever own another electronic lock!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008


I've had and recommended Cannon Safes for the better part of a decade...I CAN NO LONGER DO SO!

In fact, I feel pretty foolish about this, since Cannon has always had a reputation as "good guys."

A little more than a week ago the battery leads on my electronic lock on my big Cannon safe broke off. No big, I think, Cannon's good for it. A matter of them removing the circuit board and replacing the leads. As their website reads:
...As you browse our site, we want you to know that we at Cannon are committed to your total satisfaction. By manufacturing top rated security products, with the most competitive pricing points, we further that commitment to excellence by standing behind them with the absolute best WARRANTY and CUSTOMER SERVICE in the industry.

We believe SECURITY SAFES are a permanent investment. When protecting money, family photos, collectibles, firearms, irreplaceable documents, or any other items that are of the utmost importance, you should have sincere peace of mind that these valuables are fully secured – that ULTIMATE security is part of our promise to you. We believe you should have real security at an affordable price, quality in all aspects of the product, as well as a LIFETIME WARRANTY, which means you are actually protected from fire, flood, attempted break-in and manufacturing defects – FOR LIFE. As a proud Cannon Safe Owner, you will also have access to knowledgeable service technicians with the authority to fix any Cannon Safe issue on the spot.
On the spot...fancy that! It took multiple phone calls and emails to reach someone at Cannon — okay, it's the holiday season, so some slack is due there. When I finally reach someone, I explain that I'd be happy to pay whatever was necessary to get this repaired, plus extra shipping, as not only my guns but year-end financials, business papers, etc., were in the safe.

I was told that Cannon doesn't repair parts. Okay, I say, the leads broke off, and your site says you warranty manufacturing defects for life. Absolutely right, the gentleman said, and we'll send you a new lock.

That seemed easy enough. Will it, I ask, include instructions for resetting the combination? There was a long pause. You can't reset the combination. In fact, he says, you're going to have to hire a locksmith to drill the safe and install the new lock. That's hundreds of dollars, I said. Well, said the nice technician after explaining to me that he had had a bad day, that's just the way it is. My safe is older than 5 years, he explained, and apparently "Lifetime Customer Satisfaction" ends at 5 years. Besides, he says, his safe didn't fail; the lock failed! Kind of a specious argument, if you ask me.

He also told me that I'd better listen closely and not say anything bad about Cannon, because, "you know, there's laws..."

Yes sir, Mr. Knowledgeable Service Technician With the Authority to Fix Any Cannon Safe Issue On the Spot, there are indeed laws against libel. However, the ultimate defense against libel is truth, and I would love to play that game with you!

So I'm going to get my safe drilled open, then at SHOT arrange to purchase a real safe from somebody like Ft. Knox. I'll use the drilled Cannon for what it's apparently designed for...storing power tools in the garage.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Michael Goes Consumer Crazy!

America is safe again! In a moment of weakness, I consumed — I bought a new television set yesterday. I did research on the Internet, picked an Amazon 5-star unit, went to one store and paid cash, which seemed to confuse everyone. The clerks, happy to see a living human being, helped me cart it out to my almost-paid-for utterly boring Honda Element, in which I sat in post-coital bliss after single-handedly relaunching the tanked economy.

To my credit, I bought the TV to replace my aging upstairs Sony, which I bought brand new in 1984. In recent months I've been worrying that I was going blind, or that my Sweetie was smearing Vaseline on the television screen in some sneaky attempt to get me to send Alf the Wonder Beagle to seeing eye dog school. It turned out that after a couple of decades the old Sony, which probably uses more energy than Pakistan, was fading. So my master plan was to move the downstairs television — a 9 year-old Toshiba tube set...a pup, so to speak — upstairs and get a new television for downstairs.

So far, so good. I'll probably spend the rest of the day fretting over cables and stuff. If you must know, I bought a mid-level Sony LCD 46-incher to replace my aging mid-level Sony. I paid about 50% of what I would have paid in September. With luck, I won't have to walk into an electronics store for a decade or so, assuming of course that there will be electronics stores in 10 years rather than Bob's Burkha Outlet.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Countdown to 2010!

I can honestly say how proud I am of getting through Christmas Day without:
1) Once saying "Bah! Humbug!" even though my Sweetie is a huge Dickens fan.
2) Hearing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."
That is the very definition of a sane day at home with the family, albeit extended. The crab legs were a huge success...I wish I'd bought more, although it would have been too hard to get a mortgage on short notice. The two sides from the Mustard's Grill (my favorite restaurant in Napa) cookbook were also pretty good. My Sweetie made French bread from her favorite bread book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which is a masterful cookbook.

It's hard to even think about wrapping up a year in which the war in Iraq was won and no one cared, the entire economy went on life support, a cheeseball crooked Chicago machine pol ended up as President of the United States and the Relentless Clintons are back in power without sounding like a nattering nabob of negatvity. Jonah Goldberg has an interesting piece over on NRO:
This may sound like the usual conservative caterwauling about social unraveling and balkanization. But it isn’t. I don’t know that society is any less healthy because it lacks a theme, and I’m certain I don’t want Washington to invent one for us.

Still, I do think society craves a theme, which is one reason why Barack Obama’s airy rhetoric of unity appealed to so many people, particularly recent college grads, the wealthy, journalists, and others most directly immersed in, and responsible for, the self-indulgence of recent years.
In lighter news over at DRTV, Marshal Halloway notes that U.S. Fire Arms will be premiering 21st Century revolvers at SHOT.

"According to a newsletter received today, USFA is coming out with a new SA series called “Shooting Master”. Not much info to share besides this picture, but this model(s) will be manufactured in calibers 357 S&W Magnum, a new USFA® .41 Short Mag. and .44 S&W Magnum.

The 2009 introductory pricing for the initial model is MSRP of $899.00. Colors Shown above are: Coyote Tan, Sage Green, Forest Green, and Federal Brown. Also available: Sniper Grey and Black Graphite."

Well, I'm going to have to ponder this new development. I can always rationalize a new .44 Magnum (even though I have 2 of the Lipsey .44 Special small frame Blackhawks on order for cowboy action shooting, destined to replace my .357 50th Anniversary Blackhawks). I am a little disappointed that Doug Donnelly didn't choose to offer a Chinese Red version, which I (alone) would have scooped up quick like a bunny. I'm glad to see USFA offerring their superb guns at prices that don't require you to sell off two Kreugerrands, which is a pain in the butt since you have to dig them up in your backyard and the ground is already frozen thanks to global warming.

I woke up this morning thinking I was going to shoot the Single Stack Classic in Quincy this year with a 9mm. Maybe that has something to do with the crab legs, or perhaps at the end of the year I think of myself as minor caliber. Then, without opening my eyes, I started cataloging what needed to be done to a 9mm 1911 to make it a gamey competition gun. In a word, or rather two words, Wayne Novak. Which means I'll have to grovel if I go ahead with this plan.

I was thinking of the Para LTC, their light-weight Commander-sized single stack 9mm, which would at least mean I wouldn't be looked at as terminally gamey...which is hardly an issue considering how crappily I shot last year's Single Stacks. The LTC I have is already very reliable, which is rare in a 9mm 1911. It took two sets of gunsmiths and a sacrificed goat to get the full-sized Kimber 9mm running 100% a few years back.

I could probably shoot it just like it is, as it actually shoots metter than I do and the sights are fine, but ideally I'd like the LTC just like my S&W .45 lightweight GUNSITE Commander...which has been Novak-ized. I'd need least a fiber-optic front for my aging eyes, a bit of a trigger job and maybe a Bar-Sto barrel, althought I'd have to ask Wayne what I'd be buying over the Para match barrel. I'll also have to round up some more Wilson 9mm 10-round magazines so I can take what small advantage shooting minor allows.

I've got some digital camo AlumaGrips with blood donor checkering, and I can probably talk Steve Lauer at DuraCoat into doing the frame in, Manhattan Red...I'd keep the slide black, doncha know, for tradition's sake...ha ha.

Of course, I could just take a deep breath and it'll all pass...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Michael Bane Blog!

Merry Christmas 2008!

"May we all live in the past, present and future."
— Charles Dickens

Michael Bane, his Sweetie, Alf the Wonder Beagle & the whole zoo in the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains!

Happy Christmas Eve!

I'm NOT stuck in an airport somewhere!

Heck, the Big Storm missed my little corner of the High Country...we got a smattering of snow, but the 60+ mph gusting winds stripped it all away. It's nippy, but hey, it's winter.

Interestingly enough, considering some of our former conversations, our "pals" at the Violence Policy Center — who regularly read this blog; you wouldn't believe what hope Santa brings them! — is opening a new front in their relentless attack on our gun rights.."big boomers," also known as hunting handguns. This from their "special report" last week:
“Big Boomers”—Handguns With Rifle Power Capable of Penetrating Body Armor—Are Growing Threat to Lives of Law Enforcement Officers, According to New VPC Study

Drug Traffickers Are Already Using These “Vest-Busters” to Kill Police in Mexico

Washington, DC—Powerful new handguns called “big boomers” by the gun industry are a growing threat to the nation’s law enforcement officers, a new 36-page study released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) reveals. (See for a copy of the study, see for a summary presenting the key findings of the study.) Body armor used by police has been able to stop handgun rounds and saved thousands of lives over the last three decades, the study states, but standard body armor cannot stop rifle rounds. "Big Boomers"—Rifle Power Designed Into Handguns warns that the gun industry is aggressively marketing a growing number of new handguns designed to fire bullets with rifle power. The rounds these guns fire can penetrate all but the most resistant body armor (such as that used in raids by many SWAT teams).

“The gun industry has once again proven that it is willing to put profits over health, safety, and even national security,” VPC Senior Policy Analyst Tom Diaz, the study’s author, states. “The firearms industry is congratulating itself that ‘big boomers’ are ‘good for business,’ even while these guns are ending up in the hands of felons and drug dealers in the United States. One need look no further than Mexico—where these guns are smuggled in by drug traffickers and used to kill police— to understand the growing threat these weapons represent to U.S. law enforcement and security forces.”

The study traces the proliferation of various “big boomers” and the gun industry’s increased marketing of vest-buster handguns following the 2003 introduction of the first vest buster: the Model 500 S&W Magnum from Smith & Wesson.

Adds Diaz, “Marketing deadly firearms such as these is yet another reckless spasm of an industry that finds its markets shrinking and is willing to do anything to try to pump them up.”
As you guys all know, this is how it works...all guns — hunting, competition, self-defense — are "potential" tools of terrorists. Of course, so are knives, soda bottle, airplanes, puppies, garden rakes, indeed pretty much everything on earth is a "potnetial" tool of terrorists.

Diaz is a smart man with a political agenda...the complete disarming of all the people of the United States...and in his mind the ends justify the means. VPC doesn't hesitate to simply make things up, much lke the old Weekly World News and their 34-pound grasshoppers. MSM outlets pick up the VPC reports and present them as fact. By the time the VPC reports are exposed as complete bunk, the damage is done.

Since the VPC doesn't think Americans should be allowed to own these things, here's how you can get a boomer of your own for Christmas!

As an aside, I'm a big fan of the boomers, and as Gary smith notes, they're all very hard to shoot. My first big boomer was a 10-inch 45/70 T/C from J.D. Jones back before there were factory barrels in that caliber. I went from there to one of J.D.'s looney .50 cal T/C barrels. Then, thanks to Hank Williams Jr. who gave me my first .454 Casull, I moved into big bore single actions.

I enjoy shooting the .500 Mag S&Ws; I've got a long-barreled one and would love one of the 5-inch John Ross Specials...the absolutely best .500 I've ever shot and one of the few guns that might convince me that there's a caliber more versatile than the great .44 Magnum.

If you don't have a boomer, give one a try, especially since Tom Diaz doesn't want you to have one. The least expensive path is one of the Taurus "Raging Bull" series of revolvers in .454 and .500 or the superb Ruger Super Redhawk line, which includes .454 and .480 Ruger. I love my Ruger Alaskan snubby-boomer .454...with hot CorBon hunting loads, that gun would make God flinch.

The ne plus ultra of the genre are the hunting revolvers from Freedom Arms. They are masterpieces, and, yes, you can have it your way. The Freedom Arms guns are, to me, the pinnacle of the single action revolver, an heirloom.

Magnum Research, famous for their Desert Eagle semiauto boomers in .50 AE, also has an extensive line of BFRs, Big Fine Revolvers, in a slew of boomer calibers, including 45/70, 30/30 and .450 Marlin. Their custom shop can also tinker together pretty much whatever you want. I haven't shot any of the BFRs, but I think there might be one in my future.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Comments on Commenters

Man, I have great commenters! Here's my definition of "great" — my commenters have ideas I can steal!

Mike M., I agree that firearms shows are in a's a rut that I helped dig, and, yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, blah blah, but it's time to move on. You'll see some of that in the SHOOTING GALLERY episodes that start next week...we cover the Vintage World Cup competition with elephant rifles, the Advanced Armament Suppressor Show, the first coverage of Rocky Mountain 3-Gun, first coverage of "Wild Bunch" style shooting, etc. Season 10 of SG in 2010 is going to TOTALLY blow you away! I just made the presentation to OC execs, and they were both surprised and happy. I'd give you my working outlines, but my competition mines this blog for ideas.

THE BEST DEFENSE is another way we're moving to a different the first episodes and tell me what you think. From the ground up we agonized over the best way to make a personal defense show...what I didn't want to do was SHOOTING GALLERY LITE, a collection of tips...first, safety at the ATM; next, transitioning to your battle rifle!

Our — me, Rob Pincus, Mike Janich and director Tim Cremin — goal with TBD is to move you to a new level for your own personal defense and, ultimately, to enhance your quality of life. We also wanted to create a show that you'd want your Spousal Unit and your kids to watch. I think we've guys will ultimately be the judges.

The reason I'm looking at hunting shows is that as commenter Greg has noted, there needs to be linkage between various elements in the culture. The reason OUTDOOR LIFE tapped me to write their aritcle on AR-15s, which they consider one of the most important articles they've ever published is that I can bridge that gap. On handgun hunting, AMERICAN HANDGUNNER Ed Roy Huntington and I were at Thunder Ranch a few years back talking B-S, and Roy made a comment that has stuck with me. He said that traditional hunting was about the animals, the game, but handgun hunting was about the gun. Maybe a slight overstatement — probably the result of all day shooting followed by beverages by the fire — but fundamentally true. Ditto for traditional muzzle-loader hunting, hunting using cowboy-era guns or any specialized weapon hunting (I'd probably throw .50 BMG/Super .40s into that mix...the lovely Wendy Henry, a ballet instructor and dancer, smacked a moose at 500 yards with her Barrett a couple of years back...that's a hunt worth filming!).

Linkage means both introducing hunters to competition that makes sense within the context of their sport (like, duh, why bird hunters shoot sporting clays) and introducing shooters to hunting that makes sense within the context of their sports.

RE: Competition, we fully intend to totally change the game in 2009. DRTV will become the dominant force in shooting sports coverage, because we have a plan that will work. Over 2008 we've beta-tested segments of the plan with great results. The sophisticated technology we needed is now in place, and we'll start rolling out the plan in March. Since we all know that no battle plan survives first encounter with the enemy, we expect to spend much of the year tinkering with the machine...but the machine will run!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pre-Christmas Blogging Doldrums

No excuses...just sliding into the end of the year. The last travel push was a killer, and I'm still reeling a bit. Still, there's so much good going on I'm really excited. THE BEST DEFENSE starts the first week of January, as does the new season of SHOOTING GALLERY. Big, big changes at DRTV that we'll be announcing at SHOT, and they're all good. I think we're on the verge of redefining coverage of the shooting sports.

Been having big fun with my new Gamo Whisper air rifle...what a cool mini-blaster...1200 fps with their trick .177 pellets! Head shots on coyotes, I'm thinking.

That reminds me...I wanted to touch on a comment from Gary Smith, the editor of HANDGUN HUNTER magazine and a friend of mine. Gary noted that it was impossible to get the gun companies' attention for anything other than "tactical." I hadn't thought of that, but he's right...if we had a comprehensive plan we could tap into new hunting markets. I met Gary when I was working on a plan for a handgunning hunting television show, which I thought would totally rock. I had the ad support, but I never could push it over the finish line (and yes, Gary, I'm going to get back to this is 2009!). I feel the way Gary does...that handgun hunting could do a lot to bridge the gap between hunters and shooters.

I'm also starting exploratory meetings on a hunting show based on using cowboy guns — no DAMN bison, though!!! I would love to drop some paradigm-breaking hunting shows into the market. My choice would be handgun hunting, a homage to the old field days with an M29 .44 Magnum.

I'm also working on logistics for an African hunting series...a "retro" walking safari in search of one very special cape buffalo. My plan is to use my much-loved single shot Ruger #1 in 450/400 3-inch Nitro Express. Then again, buffalos are big...maybe I can talk Ruger into a 3 1/2-inch Nitro...or a .600 Nitro...or, to be totally safe, my pal and occasional drinking buddy Craig Boddington with a .416 M77 or — let's be honest here — an RPG...

I'm also working on my uber-James Bond Walther PPK project, which I detail on my Christmas Eve podcast. My old and very good friend Mike LaRocca at LaRocca Gun Works will be handling the heavy lifting, working on a new S&W Walther PPK .380 two-tone. Check it out on Wednesday morning.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Future is STILL Plastics!

More on the new Remington 887 NitroMag pump shotgun from Adam Heggenstaller at the Guns & Hunting Froums:
Whereas the 870 pretty much defines tradition, the new Model 887 NitroMag throws classic design out the window and takes a space-age approach. Just about every exterior component of the gun—receiver, trigger guard and barrel—is cloaked in a shell of polymer. Remington calls it the “ArmorLokt” treatment. Since polymer doesn’t rust and is less affected by abrasion than bluing, the 887 NitroMag is built to take abuse. Like in a duck blind or on the bottom of a boat.

The surface of the barrel, receiver and synthetic fore-end has a sort of tire-tread pattern, for lack of better description. It provides texture to keep your hands from slipping and also looks much different than any other shotgun—neither of which are an accident. Some guys here hated it; others thought it was neat. I warmed up to the style after a few days.

Thanks to a redesigned trigger plate assembly that includes the fire controls, carrier and both shell latches, the 887 NitroMag is much easier to tear down for cleaning than the 870. You can have it field-stripped and back together again in less than two minutes.

More Thoughts...

First, I'm off the road for the year! Home again home again, jiggity jig.

Let me answer some questions from the last couple of posts. All my sites, taken in aggregate, run about 300,000 uniques a month. On some months with special coverage or when the blog is linked off the big conservative sites, that number will jump substantially, as much as 2X. Based on some major things we'll be announcing at SHOT, our goal for DRTV is a million uniques a month by the end of 2009. The podcast reaches approximately 150,000 people a month through iTunes and our various on-line players and RSS feeds and, again, will benefit from our aggressive 2009 business plan. The two broadcast shows (soon to be three) reach between 500,000 and a million a week for 3 showings each, depending on time of year, lead-ins, content, etc. With the addition of THE BEST DEFENSE, my new show, and the NRA's AMERICAN GUARDIAN to the Wednesday Night at the Range line-up on OC in January, I am anticipating a major bump in ratings (which are already up almost 50% in the last 18 months).

So yes, my company has a broad and deep reach into the niche, and I'm proud of what we've accomplished.

RE: Data..."lies, damn lies and statistics..." I believe is the line. My data is drawn directly from data the industry itself is using in its planning, along with proprietary sales numbers on firearms and accessories (and, yes, I am generally under nondisclosure on those numbers). There are lots of other numbers out pays your money and you takes your chances.

We are facing an unprecedented war against our gun rights. Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox put it best in this month's AMERICAN RIFLEMAN: "These next few years are either going to be our proudest moments together as NRA members and as freedom-loving Americans or the worst nightmare that gun-owners have faced or ever will face."

Yes, unity is important, but wars are fought on intelligence and money. During the last decade, we pissed away — or, more accurately, we allowed our politicians to piss away — an historic opportunity to consolidate our gains and grow our culture. That happened to a large extent because we were operating on wrong or incomplete intelligence...we spent a lot of money on things we assumed were of paramount importance, only to discover that we spent the money — our money — on the wrong things.

We must have these discussions, lest we go haring off on the wrong path again! I am at a loss to understand what's "divisive" about reporting the fact that S&W took a $76 million hit. I can tell you categorically that the implications I've talked about are being discussed at the highest levels of the firearms and accessory companies right now.

If you don't like this blog or the podcast, I encourage you by all means to start your own! We'll link you off DRTV and quote you just like we quote everyone else. The reason I have a voice in the industry is that in the long run I've been right more times than I've been wrong. I've been wrong lots of times, but I have made my living for most of three decades by analyzing trends, and I stand by everything I've said.

BTW, one of the anonymous commenters said:
"Competitive shooting has as poor a retention rate as scuba diving. Too many people get in, have fun for a while and improve, but then realize the time/$/effort commitment to get better doesn't float their boat and are tired of being at the same place on the results sheet every month.

Plinking at a one-target-one-shot-per-second range is even more boring IMO.

Fun not-very-competitive shooting (action-type or reactive-target-type) is where it's at for mass appeal, but there's precious little of that."
He or she is EXACTLY right, and that is an area that several of us in the industry are working on. We'll have announcements at SHOT.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Implications...

I was originally posting this as a comment to my last post, but it got kind of long and I decided to give it a post of its own...

I believe we are at the tipping point I've been predicting for some time. I believe (and have told my consulting clients) that a large portion of the money that has left the hunting side of the market and gone to the present black market/handgun side of the market will not be coming back when the fever subsides.

My rationale is based on human behavior...we tend to go in the direction we're going in until acted upon by an outside force. Then we continue in that direction, etc.

Generally, I never recommend working against what we think of as "megatrends," macro trends that are shaping our current realities. In the case of hunting/shooting, those megatrends are urbanization/suburbanization, increased competition for leisure time, continued expansion of liability laws (there's a reason my property, prime mulie land, is posted) and, to a lesser extent, access issues. Regardless of what programs we as an industry might put in place, we can not significantly effect those trends, because they're societal in nature.

Instead, I am an advocate of bumping, or hitching a ride on, trends we can effect.

For example, sport and defensive shooting are both doing much better than hunting. If Michael ruled the Gun-iverse, I would put most of my money on increasing the upward-tending trends — sport and defensive — then build in a clearly defined "path" to hunting.

My idea would be to increase the big end of the funnel...bring in more people through proven programs...and then recruit new hunters from already committed shooters. Remember, there are two barriers to participating in hunting — purchasing the first gun and killing the first animal. My experience has been that hurdles, especially big hurdles, are best taken individually.

The industry, however, is addicted to hunter recruitment and retention programs that for the most part neither recruit nor retain lifelong hunters. I've used the scuba diving analogy before...a few years back I did some research for a book I was writing on why scuba diving has such a lousy retention number. here's a sport that has a large hurdle for participation — classes and licensing — is expensive and equipment-intensive and, generally, retains new scuba divers for a paltry 18-24 months. My conclusion was at least 1 megatrend — competition for leisure time — coupled with a side effect — you can't just scuba-oooby oooby in your backyard. More importantly, my research, haphazard as it mght be, identified and interesting data point...longtime retention seemed to be tied to the accessibility and definition of an upward path. Duh...people who were constantly learning their sport stayed in it longer. recruitment programs without an understanding of why people stay in the sport are, for the most part, a waste of time.

For example, I've been involved — and not as much as I should have been! — in the current NSSF 20/20 initiative on building hunting and shooting sports. Here's my problem, which is apparently insoluable. The initiative has been built on data that ignores the entire defensive end of the culture and by their own admission — "we have no data..." — overlooks owners and users of black rifles. Also, the NSSF study, while groundbreaking, is shot through and through with researcher error, especially concerning handguns and the handgun sports.

Once again, this "snapshot" of the culture has about 40% blacked out. I said that IMHO casual black rifles users represent as much as 20% + of the essense, "plinking" with AR-15s can arguably be called the most popular shooting sport in America. How good can our recruitment and retention planning if we ignore whole market segments?

Instead, we come back to the same old, "Let's get young people hunting!" Great, except that hasn't worked for the last two decades. The most successful young shooter initiative in decades is NSSF's own Scholastic Clays pprogram...why are we not pouring money into that, then recruit young hunters from the competiton base? The NSSF First Shots program is a huge success...let's do more of that...LOTS more of that! If people want to shoot ARs — and a good way to do a reality check on that is cruise down to your local gunstore and ask what they don't have in stock, — then let's set up programs that help them to exactly that.

Implications of S&W's Losses

Yesterday's reported losses from industry leader Smith & Wesson, which has been struggling despite the current panic buying market, has sent shock waves through the industry. This from Reuters:
Smith & Wesson posts loss, sees weakness in hunting

Smith & Wesson Holdings Corp (SWHC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) posted a quarterly loss on a non-cash accounting charge and reported a plunge in hunting rifle sales that offset handgun growth, sending its shares down as much as 25 percent.

Sales of hunting rifles fell 41 percent in the quarter as cash-strapped consumers cut back on spending and distributors slowed purchases following a sales slump.

"The burden that the hunting business places on the otherwise healthy majority of our business is a significant consideration as we plan for our future," Chief Executive Michael Golden said.

The company has started cost-cutting measures such as extended holiday factory closures, support-function consolidation and job cuts.

Known for its 156-year-old handgun business, Smith & Wesson said in September it had shed about 80 hunting-related rifle production jobs at its facility in Rochester, New Hampshire.

The company's troubles reflect a broader trend as the percentage of Americans who hunt declines, though sales of other guns in the country remain strong. Smith & Wesson said quarterly U.S. revolver sales rose 13 percent on a year ago.

Pistol sales grew 40 percent, driven by demand from U.S. consumers, police forces as well as international sales.
Smith & Wesson, whose rivals include Ruger and Taurus for revolvers and Glock, Ruger and Springfield Armory for pistols, posted a net loss of $76.2 million, or $1.62 a share, for the second quarter ended Oct. 31. It earned $2.9 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier.
If you've been reading this blog, this isn't a big surprise. I have been saying for years that, essentially, the hunting side of our industry has feet of clay, propped up by discretionary spending on hunting accessories and a large segment of the industry with a vested interest in propping up hunting with large infusions of cash.

This from Jim Shepherd on today's SHOOTING WIRE:
For the past few weeks, it may be that we've given a false impression as to how well the firearms industry is really doing. The net of all the numbers is that if you're a company with a strong line of high-capacity pistols and AR-style rifles, you're doing land office business. If you're heavily dependent on hunting, you are hurting.

Some companies, unfortunately, are seeing those languishing hunting sales carve -deeply- into their bottom lines. Take, for instance, Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC). The company's Military & Police (M&P) line of AR-style rifles and polymer pistols are facing significant back orders due to the incessant consumer demand for high-capacity pistols and military-style rifles that will likely face a resurrected "Assault Weapons Ban" in 2009.

Despite that solid performance, however, Smith simply couldn't overcome the impact that hunting-centric subsidiary Thompson/Center Arms has had on the overall corporate balance sheet. When Smith & Wesson purchased Thompson/Center Arms in 2007, it looked like a solid acquisition. As a category-leader in hunting that also had a barrel-making facility, it seemed a great fit into the S&W portfolio

Today, smart might better be applied to the stinging negative impact T/C is having on Smith & Wesson's stock price. On Monday, Smith announced the previous quarter turned from a profit to a loss after a write-down taken due to the hunting rifle business. That write-down resulted in a loss of $76.2 million- roughly $1.62 per share in the period ended October 31. Without that "impairment charge" S&W would have shown a profit of around a penny per share.
I'm going to be writing more on this post today — right now I have to walk into a meeting on Series 4, which you'll be seeing Q3 2009, fingers crossed! — but there are major implications for the industry built into this news.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Which famous professional shooter lobbed a 5.56 round through the tire and wheel of a rental car at a filming session last week???

I'll never tell!

-- Post From My iPhone

SHOT Show TV 2009

-- Post From My iPhone

True Colors

This from NRO on Attorney General-designate Eric "Brown Shirt" Holder:
First, he is doubtless only trying to nominate Holder because the Democrats have at least a 58-42 advantage in the Senate. Only nine cabinet nominations have been denied by the Senate in all of American history. While others have been withdrawn for various reasons, you can count on your hands the number that failed when the president decides to demand a vote.

The fact that Obama is willing to ignore the “Do No Harm” rule that usually accompanies cabinet picks shows that he is going to push the envelope on a number of issues.

This nomination might also shed light on the kind of policies Obama will pursue. Despite Obama’s new lip service to the Second Amendment, Holder signed onto a brief earlier this year reaffirming his long-held position that the Second Amendment confers no rights whatsoever to private citizens, and that the Supreme Court should have upheld D.C.’s absolute ban on handguns, even in homes. Holder also has far-left views on unrestricted abortion, and opposes the death penalty. And, in a war on terror, Holder believes that all the rights that U.S. citizens have in civilian courts should be extended to foreign terrorists captured abroad.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This Week's Ice Storm

I'm hoping to catch up with my apparent personal ice storm in Tulsa in a couple of hours!

This time, I have batteries...and extra ammunition!

SHOT Show TV stuff...

Later this week I'm going to "high tea" in Denver. I don't think it has anything to do with illicit substances, but one never knows, does one?

Was really impressed with the Fromt Range Gun Club...when I finally move to to my property overlookin Nowhereville it'll be super close.

Watched The Wild Bunch for the umteenth time last that I'm older I have to say I see the movie a little differently than I did years ago...sigh...I'll talk about it some on the podcast this week.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Catching Up on Catching Up

First, now that I'm out of the tundra, some words from Brother Ted Nugent:
There is no bigger advocate for criminal control than me, so long as we do not go about manufacturing criminals out of otherwise law-abiding people.

Enter New York Giants player Plaxico Burress. He accidentally blew a hole in his leg with his Glock handgun while in a New York City nightclub. His list of crimes against responsible gun handling is too long to share with you here. He's a Numbnut of the Year award winner.

Ah, but this is even more idiotic: New York City is going to throw the Sullivan Gun Law book at Burress for merely having a handgun.

Only a select few people are given permits to carry a gun in the Big Apple. For this, Burress could get quite a few years at the Cross Bars Hotel.

Criminal thugs, of course, are not deterred from carrying guns by New York City's draconian gun laws. Mayor Blowhard Bloomberg and other Big Apple elected buffoons who forbid NYC citizens from defending themselves are complicit in turning innocent, law-abiding citizens into defenseless victims.

By review: Gun-free zones, are a murderer's dream zone.
I went to some lengths in the podcast this week to make the same point — Burress deserves our support, because the New York City law is in direct violation of our Constitution. Period. Exclamation point!

My pal Don Worsham turned me on to this essay on Law Dog's blog, a "meditation" on stopping power:
To my mind, none of these [stopping power] formulas are capable of quantifying the most important part of stopping power.

This is not to say that your choice of sidearm and your choice of calibre aren't important in your search for "stopping power" ... but there is another variable that is much more important than bullet size and velocity.


It doesn't matter how big a hole the bullet makes ... if you don't carry the gun that fires it.

It doesn't matter how fast that bullet is going ... if you never practice with the gun that fires it.
Amen to that! I know you're waiting for me to tell you what Marshal Halloway and I were in the frozen tundra looking at...sorry! You will be amazed and surprised, but not today!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mr Smarty Pants Screws Up

Major New England ice water...1 extra to be sure...

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Slippery Slope

Here's a good article on how the Brits lost their gun rights. I thought it made sense to list the seven points on that slope:
X. The Causes of British Decline--and Some Danger Signs for Slippery Slopes

What makes a civil liberty particularly vulnerable to a slippery slope? This section discusses some particular factors that have made gun rights, like most of the rest of the freedoms guaranteed in the American Bill of Rights, particularly vulnerable in Great Britain: its structure of government, and its civil liberties organizations. Before addressing those topics, this Essay will consolidate the factors that have been touched upon in earlier sections.

A. Seven Key Factors

The first factor that undermined the British right to arms was a technological change when revolvers came to be seen by some persons as much more dangerous than previous weapons.[250] This same phenomenon can be seen in the treatment of other technological advances, such as the automobile, which from the 1920s onward, has often been treated by the United States Supreme Court as a "Constitution-free zone", where searches and seizures in contravention of normal Fourth Amendment standards may take place.[251](p.448)

The second factor that undermined the British right to arms was the role of the media, with its lurid and exaggerated accounts of gun crime in the 1880s, or its vicious denunciations of recreational shooters in the 1990s. This suggests that slippery slopes may be less dangerous when the right in question is supported by the press, as free speech and abortion rights are in the modern United States. Conversely, slippery slopes may be more dangerous when the press is indifferent, as in the case of federalism and states' rights, or actively hostile, as in the case of gun rights.

The third undermining factor was the development of government mistrust of the people, as in the 1920 fears of Bolshevism. We may hear echoes of this today in the United States government's fears the militia movement and its allies. Certainly, however, the dangers posed by the modern militia movement are much smaller than the dangers posed by Soviet communism and its United States agents in the 1950s or by violent anarcho-syndicalism in the early twentieth century. Consequently, the related suppressions of civil liberties have been smaller.[252]

The major "subversive" group in the United States today is not anarcho-syndicalists, militia members, or Fenians, but drug users. They are "traitors in the War on Drugs" according to much public rhetoric, and according to the United States' moralist-in-chief William Bennett, public beheadings of drug users would be a good idea. Over the last two decades, no force has been more important in eroding the civil liberties of all Americans, drug users and abstainers alike, than the War on Drugs.[253]

The shifting of the burden of proof, both at law and in popular discussion, was the fourth factor degrading the British right to arms. Rather than the government having to prove that a particular gun-owner or a particular type of gun was dangerous, the gun-owner began to have to prove his "good reason," and the government began deciding to outlaw weapons that the government did not think anyone outside the government had a good reason to own.

The "added authority" problem described by Schauer was of great significance. Once the people agreed that Parliament had the authority to decide whether to ban any type of gun, or to decide how people could acquire guns, a wide range of restrictions became intellectually conceivable. Even more significantly, once the police were given authority over licensing, they were able to use that authority to impose many additional controls, and to reduce the number of licensed shooters. In addition, Parliament's allowing the Home Office to ban weapons by administrative edict has resulted in certain weapons such as swordsticks being banned for no good reason.(p.449)

This suggests that often the most important aspect of a particular restriction on civil liberty, at least in terms of slippery slope dangers, is not the content of the restriction, but who will decide its contours. For example, the 1994 Congressional ban on "assault weapons" contained a complete definition of what an "assault weapon" is, and gave the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms no discretionary authority to add guns to the banned list. Thus, the potential future expansion of the law was constrained. Conversely, the most important aspect of Canada's latest gun control law, Bill C-68, is not that it bans some handguns, but that it gave the Prime Minister and his appointees the authority to ban any other weapon they want, without asking Parliamentary approval. Thus, how much "added authority" one control creates for future controls is a fifth important factor in estimating slippery slope dangers.

Additionally, how many people are there who care to resist infringement of a right? Few politicians seriously propose a total gun ban in the United States because there are seventy million gun-owning households--about half the population. But only about four percent of the British population legally owns guns--a much smaller interest group. If, over the course of generations, the percentage of a population that is interested in a right can be gradually reduced, stricter controls become more politically feasible, and the stricter controls can further reduce the long-term number of people who exercise their rights.

This suggests the long-term importance of young people exercising their rights. If high school newspapers have large staffs that fearlessly report the truth, the future of the First Amendment is better protected. If, conversely, laws prevent teenagers from target shooting or hunting, the future of the Second Amendment is endangered.
A final potential reason that a polity might move further down a slippery slope is that the polity sees the previous step as being useful. For instance, if a City Council imposed a 10 p.m. curfew for sixteen-year-olds, and night-time crime perpetrated by sixteen-year-olds fell significantly and immediately, the city council would likely consider extending the curfew to seventeen-year-olds. In the United States, there is no shortage of studies claiming that laws tightening gun controls (like the Brady Act) or laws relaxing gun controls, like laws allowing trained citizens to carry a concealed handgun for protection, reduce crime. Scholars such as John Lott, Gary Kleck, Arthur Kellerman, Garen Wintemute, and others, carry on a steady debate about the empirical benefits of various firearms policies. Anyone who follows the firearms debate seriously will soon encounter one of these social scientists on a television interview. The gun control debate in Canada likewise includes scholars such as Gary Mauser and Thomas Gabor, who make various empirical research claims for or against particular gun policies.

From an American point of view, one of the truly odd characteristics of (p.450)the British gun debate is the apparent irrelevance of social science. To the extent that any research is cited, the research is from North America, or involves transnational comparisons. Nobody cites British quantitative research because none exists other than raw crime statistics collected by the Home Office.

The raw statistics do make some facts clear: when Britain had no gun control (early in the twentieth century) or moderately-administered gun control (in the middle of the century), Britain had virtually no gun crime. Today, Britain literally has substantially more gun crime, as well as more violent crime in general. From 1776 until very recently, the United States has suffered a much higher violent crime rate than Britain, regardless of whether British gun laws were liberal or strict. In recent years, however, the once-wide gap in violent crime has disappeared. This gap was closed by a moderate drop in American crime rates, coupled with a sharp rise in the British rates. One does not hear British gun control advocates touting statistics about how crime rates fell after previous gun laws were enacted.[254]

Rather, the advocacy is based on the "inherent danger of guns," and on the "horror" of Dunblane and Hungerford. Even though Britain shows that demonstrated empirical success is not essential for movement down a slippery slope, success does help. The drop in New York City's crime rate following Mayor Rudolph Guliani's aggressive policing policies, which were roundly condemned by the New York Civil Liberties Union, has encouraged other cities to adopt similar policies. This, in turn, made Guliani's brand of authoritarian conservatism an important element in the national Republican party's thinking about crime policy.

There are certainly other factors that may affect the potential danger of a given slippery slope. The seven factors that this Essay has discussed, however, could be usefully analyzed in many different situations to examine the relative risks of a slippery slope argument. In addition to these seven factors there are several other factors that made the right to arms so vulnerable in Britain--and which also have implications for civil liberties in the United States. It is to these additional factors that this Essay now turns.

Range Time!

Spent some time yesterday at the really super Front Range Gun Club in Loveland, CO, with the Para USA GI Expert and my second Para 9mm Lt. Commander.

Good news first-the $599 GI was fiercely accurate with WW 230-gr ball. At 7 yards it was 150 rounds into 2 ragged in the "upper B zone" head and the other center mass.

Bad news was I had a series of new gun problems - FTFs (1 per mag, roughly), and hammer follow (1 per 3 mags). I suspect those are break in issues...I took the gun out of the bag, oiled it and started shooting. At about 120 rounds I started getting light primer strikes.

I'm going to be talking to the Para engineers next T&E gun is literally the first one out there and they sent it to me for evaluation.

Bottom line? Hey, it's under $600 bucks! Lemme see what the engineers say , and I'll follow up with another session.

OTOH, the 9mm alloy frame Lt Commander was boringly runs, no hits, no errors. I was shooting WW ball and 123-gr Fiocci truncated cone stuff. The Fiocci with it's weird nose occasionally required a gentle touch when lowering the slide on a new mag, but shot extremely well. I forgot to bring the hot CorBon stuff...sorry!

Bottom line? I think I'll keep this one! Maybe shoot minor at the Single Stacks so I can be an object of derision.

You know, the more I shoot these low-end 1911s, the greater déjà vu I feel - it's 1978 all over again! FTF? Hammer follow? Hmmmmm...that sounds strangely familiar...

LOL? Still, this new gentle retro guns are 10 times the gun my first steel Commander, Rex , was.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Remember months ago when I said you can't run a lemonaide stand in northern Illinois without being a part of the large-scale criminal enterprise that has run the state for the better part of a century?

So you're surprised? At what?

And yes, President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama is likely a crook as well...otherwise, how did he live in one of the most expensive cities in America on his $10K a year as a "community organizer?" Go to Harvard? Arrange to have a now-convicted felon buy half his house? Survive — and thrive — in a cesspool of crooked politics? Didn't talk to the governor about filling his own Senate seat? Yeah, right. All those expensive lessons for the Obama kiddies?

At least we won't have to worry about the new President doing a Clinton with an intern under the desk...he has the mainstream media to perform that function.

Monday, December 08, 2008

InstaPundit Poll on Obama's Comments on Guns...

See the results here.

83% of the respondents answered, "Are you kidding? I'm burying AR15s in the back yard."

Prescription Pistols?

A very good thing!

FDA approves handgun for the handicapped
Single-shot gun designed for those crippled by arthritis, muscular dystrophy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted a conceptual, ergonomic 9mm handgun — designed for people crippled by arthritis, muscular dystrophy, or similar conditions that render them too weak to operate normal handguns — as a Class 1 Medical Device.

The single-shot gun, dubbed the Palm Pistol, is "an adaptive tool that allows someone otherwise incapable of handling a revolver or semiautomatic weapon to operate one," said Matthew Carmel of Constitution Arms, the New Jersey-based company developing the gun.

Thanks to the gun's designation as a medical device, doctors could eventually write prescriptions for it and then be reimbursed by Medicare.
Predictably, the moonbats are up in arms:
Gun control supporters are not happy about the FDA's decision. Ladd Everitt of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence was nearly speechless when asked about it.

"This seems like a catastrophically bad decision from the FDA," said Everitt. "A gun is not a medical gadget. It's a tool used to take human life."
God forbid people at the most risk should be able to protect themselves! Good on Constitution Arms!

Leaving Las Vegas

Well, I lost big. Of my designated $10 gambling fund, I lost $6, then gave the remaining chit to my Sweetie, who proceeded to lose the rest of it.

I was hoping to finance our dinner at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill (tuna, if you must know, and God's own chili relleno), but the penny slots refused to cooperate.

Gunwise, I note in the Chicago Sun Times this AM that President Elect Hussein Obama says we don't need to buy guns, since he believes in the Second Amendment:
"I believe in common-sense gun safety laws, and I believe in the second amendment," Obama said at a news conference. "Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear. I said that throughout the campaign. I haven't indicated anything different during the transition. I think people can take me at my word."
Obama also reportedly promised that he will respect us all in the morning and that, on his proverbial word, he will do any of our orifices.

Here's a much better gunny article from Richard Munday in the Times of least some Brits get it!
The guns used in last week’s Bombay massacre were all “prohibited weapons” under Indian law, just as they are in Britain. In this country we have seen the irrelevance of such bans (handgun crime, for instance, doubled here within five years of the prohibition of legal pistol ownership), but the largely drug-related nature of most extreme violence here has left most of us with a sheltered awareness of the threat. We have not yet faced a determined and broad-based attack.

The Mumbai massacre also exposed the myth that arming the police force guarantees security. Sebastian D’Souza, a picture editor on the Mumbai Mirror who took some of the dramatic pictures of the assault on the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station, was angered to find India’s armed police taking cover and apparently failing to engage the gunmen.

In Britain we might recall the prolonged failure of armed police to contain the Hungerford killer, whose rampage lasted more than four hours, and who in the end shot himself. In Dunblane, too, it was the killer who ended his own life: even at best, police response is almost always belated when gunmen are on the loose. One might think, too, of the McDonald’s massacre in San Ysidro, California, in 1984, where the Swat team waited for their leader (who was held up in a traffic jam) while 21 unarmed diners were murdered.

Rhetoric about standing firm against terrorists aside, in Britain we have no more legal deterrent to prevent an armed assault than did the people of Mumbai, and individually we would be just as helpless as victims. The Mumbai massacre could happen in London tomorrow; but probably it could not have happened to Londoners 100 years ago.

In January 1909 two such anarchists, lately come from an attempt to blow up the president of France, tried to commit a robbery in north London, armed with automatic pistols. Edwardian Londoners, however, shot back – and the anarchists were pursued through the streets by a spontaneous hue-and-cry. The police, who could not find the key to their own gun cupboard, borrowed at least four pistols from passers-by, while other citizens armed with revolvers and shotguns preferred to use their weapons themselves to bring the assailants down.

Today we are probably more shocked at the idea of so many ordinary Londoners carrying guns in the street than we are at the idea of an armed robbery. But the world of Conan Doyle’s Dr Watson, pocketing his revolver before he walked the London streets, was real. The arming of the populace guaranteed rather than disturbed the peace.

That armed England existed within living memory; but it is now so alien to our expectations that it has become a foreign country. Our image of an armed society is conditioned instead by America: or by what we imagine we know about America. It is a skewed image, because (despite the Second Amendment) until recently in much of the US it has been illegal to bear arms outside the home or workplace; and therefore only people willing to defy the law have carried weapons.

In the past two decades the enactment of “right to carry” legislation in the majority of states, and the issue of permits for the carrying of concealed firearms to citizens of good repute, has brought a radical change. Opponents of the right to bear arms predicted that right to carry would cause blood to flow in the streets, but the reverse has been true: violent crime in America has plummeted.

There are exceptions: Virginia Tech, the site of the 2007 massacre of 32 people, was one local “gun-free zone” that forbade the bearing of arms even to those with a licence to carry.

In Britain we are not yet ready to recall the final liberty of the subject listed by William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of England as underpinning all others: “The right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defence.” We would still not be ready to do so were the Mumbai massacre to happen in London tomorrow.

“Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India,” Mahatma Gandhi said, “history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” The Mumbai massacre is a bitter postscript to Gandhi’s comment. D’Souza now laments his own helplessness in the face of the killers: “I only wish I had had a gun rather than a camera.”

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ho Ho Bang!!!

Marshal Halloway & I get Christmasy at the Bellagio...

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

Old Vegas

-- Post From My iPhone

Another Misspent Evening in Sin City

We be in Vegas...

Producer Mike Long & PA Erin Ramsey in Tupelo Flash limo...

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Are All Sports Columnists Morons...

...or is John Feinstein at the Washington Post just a special case? In any case, logic isn't is strong point:
The owners and players should agree that players can't own handguns. That won't prevent players who like to hunt from hunting. If a player feels unsafe for any reason, he can ask his team to provide security -- all NFL teams have good-sized security forces, most of them retired law enforcement officials -- or they can hire their own security guards.

Now, let's not start screaming about the Second Amendment. To begin with, the amendment should be abolished -- a sensible interpretation of the amendment is that it was written to allow the people to raise a militia for protection and to hunt for food. Clearly no one needs to raise a militia these days, and those who hunt for a living can be licensed to do so.

It would be nice if President-elect Obama had the time to focus his energies on repeal of the Second Amendment, but he first has to deal with a broken economy and the incredibly wrong-headed war started by his predecessor. What's more, the issue of gun rights causes almost as much screaming from the right as abortion rights, the irony being that those yelling the loudest about the right to life are usually those yelling almost as loud about their right to carry weapons that kill.

The Second Amendment isn't going to be abolished any time soon. That should not prevent the NFL -- and all sports leagues -- from taking handguns away from their players. It is no more unconstitutional to say players can't own guns than it is to say they must be subjected to drug testing when there is no evidence they have used drugs, or saying they can be fined for speaking their mind about officiating.

Worth Remembering!

From GunPundit:
The high-cap magazine term is a place where the pro-gun side allowed the other side to frame the debate. 20 and 30-round magazines aren’t “high” capacity, they’re “standard” capacity. But no one, and I mean no one, sees it that way.

Magazines and ammo will be the next battleground.

What the Moonbats are Saying About US

From Alternet:
Although the gun group unleashed everything in its arsenal to defeat Barack Obama and dozens of down ticket gun-control candidates, it lost by a margin as historic as the war chest it opened in an attempt to convince voters that Democrats were mortal enemies of the Second Amendment. Despite expending nearly $7 million in a national fear campaign, NRA-endorsed candidates lost 80 percent of their races against gun-control candidates. More than 90 percent of candidates endorsed by the NRA's nemesis, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, won their races. If 2008 was, in the NRA's own words, "arguably the most important year in its history," then the election results suggest that the gun group is arguably the most overhyped and impotent special-interest lobby in the country. The NRA even got its chamber cleaned in its home state of Virginia.

The sweeping victory for gun control has been one of the most underreported stories of the election. This is largely because it was immediately overshadowed by the trendy postelection narrative of spiking gun sales and runs on assault weapons. In recent weeks, it seems as if every TV news program and newspaper in the country has featured some variation on the following story: Anxious Americans are cleaning out their local gun stores in anticipation of a.) Barack Obama's radical anti-gun agenda; b.) social chaos engendered by economic collapse; or c.) both.

No doubt thousands of paranoid gun owners have purchased Glocks and AR-15 assault rifles out of such fears. And it is true that the economic crisis has fueled an interest in personal protection and even Northern Idaho-style survivalism. But sensational stories about booming holiday-season gun sales obscure a more profound phenomenon: the coalescence of a new consensus, joined by the majority of the nation's gun owners, in favor of what gun controllers call "commonsense reform." A subtext of this phenomenon is the evaporation, first witnessed in 2006 and reinforced last month, of the idea that guns are a sure thing conservative wedge issue.
Of course he's full of shit, but read the whole thing anyway! And GO BUY SOME AMMO!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Leaving MO in the Broad Daylight...

...and just ahead of the snow. I can't imagine why I once thought travel was romantic...

Been at Midway USA for a bunch of was talking to the product manager for the full scoop on AR-Stoner magazines. Based on that talk and Midway's willingness to share ALL info with me, I can give an even more positive 2-Thumbs-Up on these private branded C-Products! 30 rounders due in on 12/ quick!

On truth, given the economic conditions, I'm more concerned about b-HO's impending spate of executive orders than a new AWB before the 2010 Midterms...I am stocking up on mags that come from overseas (can you spell "X-D?")...if you're down on your 7.62 X 39 or 5.45 X 39, now might be a prudent time to stock up as well...

Brady is listing their hoped for Number Uno Christmas present as "closing the gunshow loophole" big time, as in ending private sales period...might also be a good time to do your shopping at a gunshow (if you state still allows private gunshow sales, which CO doesn't) or from classifed ads or f-t-f locally.

I'm doing a "triage" of my guns,which I'll be talking about on next week's podcast. Be sure to listen to TODAY'S special podcast on THE BEST DEFENSE!!!!!

Time to fly...

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, December 01, 2008

Post Turkey Day Enthusiasm

After four days of serious rest, I'm feeling decidedly human again! I slept late, read, didn't turn on the computer in my office — well, not very much — took daily long hikes with Alf the Wonder Beagle and my Sweetie and avoided anything that looked like stress. As a result, I'm now convinced I will actually survive December and SHOT Show January! I am always surprised at how much mental energy a day of filming takes, not to mention that you're usually on a dusty, windy location somewhere and you don't get to sit down much, if at all, for 12 hours. The frenetic pace since July ground me up pretty badly.

I'm excited because lots of super cool things are going on...obviously THE BEST DEFENSE is going to be a paradigm-breaker. I've also just gotten the approvals for that spectaular 10th season of SHOOTING GALLERY I mentioned a while back...we'll be going extra-spicy for this one! It'll be filmed in 2009, premiering Quarter 1 2010. Plus, there's a good chance that Series #4, which I can't tell you a THING about (except that yes, it will go bang), will be green-lighted before the end of the year. Series #5, a really exciting project with Rob Pincus (and that's ALL I can say right now!), looks good for 2010; Series #6 is waiting for just the right moment to be birthed.

Bookwise, I've approved the new cover for TRAIL SAFE and the set text should move to final proofing in the next two weeks. This is the original book with a bit of editing from me, including with a new forward I'm writing. It will be joined mid-year by a companion DVD that focuses on the survivial mindset and choosing appropriate hardware for the backcountry. 2009 will also have a new edition of OVER THE EDGE with a newly written forward that brings the book up to date. Finally, I sketched out the rough outlines of a new gun book and companion DVD that will be my 2009 writing project, along with finishing and publishing FIVE TO GO. I'll also be writing the forward for a new training book from Rob and Mike Janich, based on our work on will definitely be a must-have for your training library!

There will be some significant changes in DOWN RANGE, too, but I don't want to get into those just yet. I believe Marshal Halloway and I will have some big announcements at SHOT.

So there!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Policemen Who Didn't Shoot

Interesting sidelight on the terrorists' attacks in India...the case of the policemen who didn't shoot back...this from Neoneocon:
Photographer Sebastian D’Souza, who was able to take a photo of one of the armed terrorists in the train station in Mumbai, also described the events he witnessed there. One puzzling—not to mention profoundly troubling—aspect of his report was the following [emphasis mine]:

But what angered Mr D’Souza almost as much [as the terrorists’ rampage] were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. “There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything,” he said. “At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, ‘Shoot them, they’re sitting ducks!’ but they just didn’t shoot back.”

…The militants returned inside the station and headed towards a rear exit…Mr D’Souza added: “I told some policemen the gunmen had moved towards the rear of the station but they refused to follow them. What is the point if having policemen with guns if they refuse to use them? I only wish I had a gun rather than a camera.”

Neoneo does a nice job of analysis, but it's worth noting that this is consistent with David Grossman's theses from ON KILLING. Police...even paramilitary police special units...don't have or should have the same conditioning (for lack of a better word) as military troops. Police also have, quite correctly, a huge, huge aversion to civilian casualties. Still, as seen in Mumbai, it's a weakenss that terrorists didn't hesitate to exploit.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Few Thoughts on Enemies Foreign and Domestic

Not the Matthew Bracken books, which I really liked, but on the terrorists attacks in India. Interesting paradigm, as described extremely lucidly by Mark Steyn on NRO:
They launched a multiple indiscriminate assault on soft targets, and then in the confusion began singling out A-list prey: Not just wealthy Western tourists, but local orthodox Jews, and municipal law enforcement. They drew prominent officials to selected sites, and then gunned down the head of the antiterrorism squad and two of his most senior lieutenants. They attacked a hospital, the place you’re supposed to take the victims to, thereby destabilizing the city’s emergency-response system.

And, aside from dozens of corpses, they were rewarded with instant, tangible, economic damage to India: the Bombay Stock Exchange was still closed on Friday, and the England cricket team canceled their tour (a shameful act).

What’s relevant about the Mumbai model is that it would work in just about any second-tier city in any democratic state: Seize multiple soft targets and overwhelm the municipal infrastructure to the point where any emergency plan will simply be swamped by the sheer scale of events. Try it in, say, Mayor Nagin’s New Orleans. All you need is the manpower. Given the numbers of gunmen, clearly there was a significant local component. On the other hand, whether or not Pakistan’s deeply sinister ISI had their fingerprints all over it, it would seem unlikely that there was no external involvement. After all, if you look at every jihad front from the London Tube bombings to the Iraqi insurgency, you’ll find local lads and wily outsiders: That’s pretty much a given.
There's some other good analysis on the Web (like this from the Canadian National Post), but the short form is that the India attacks are a new paradigm — low-cost, low-tech, high effectiveness.

I've been rereading The Prince, the compendium of Jerry Pournelle's Falkenberg Legion saga sliced, diced and repackaged by Pournelle and S. M. Stirling, maybe the best SF writer currently working. It is a wonderful lesson in Terrorism 101, how and why it works and how it might be fought. Obviously, the basic premise — the U.S. and Russia combine forces to rule the earth and colony star systems as the CoDominium — has been overcome by events, but much of the military writing, as updated in 2002 by Pournelle and Stirling, read like headlines. If times produce the man, these times call for John Christian Falkenberg!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Midway USA AR mags...

...on sale!

Midway's AR-Stoner mag are on sale for $9.99 a pop. They have 20 rounders in stock, with a shipment of 30 rounders due on 12/07.

Midway sent me 2 20 rounders for T&E last week. I just bought 10 more. Says it all...

-- Post From My iPhone

Another Reason to Ask Santa for an iPhone

A full-featured ballistics calculator, titled (appropriately) iSnipe!:
iSnipe is the first and only ballistics calculator for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the excellent GNU Exterior Ballistics Library, iSnipe generates accurate 3-DOF solutions for small arms trajectories, including corrections for pitch, yaw and wind conditions.

Simply put; a ballistics computer is a calculator used to predict any bullets path/energy/wind-drift/etc… For shooting enthusiasts, this means the ability to pre-determine how, where and at what speeds your bullets will fly, before you even load your gun.

Created with ease of use in mind, iSnipe is the perfect companion for any gun aficionado, competition shooter, or even law-enforcement officer... It's just that accurate. With all the ingredients you'd expect from a portable ballistics calculator, including the ability to save and load ballistic profiles, automatic save of form values and all the other features you'd expect from an integrated iPhone app, there is no better way to get on target every time. Finally there is a portable desktop quality application that we can all take along with us to the range.
Of course, you've already downloaded SureFire's free shot timer ap!

Amazing! You can calculate bullet drop while listening to Chinese Democracy!

Chicago & the Second Amendment

This from the Chicago Tribune:
When it comes to firearms, Mayor Richard Daley is no slave to rationality. "Does this lead to everyone having a gun in our society?" he asked after the ruling came down. "Then why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West, where you have a gun and I have a gun and we'll settle it in the streets?"

From listening to him, you might assume that the only places in North America that don't have firefights on a daily basis are cities that outlaw handguns. You might also assume that Chicago is an oasis of concord, rather than the site of 443 homicides last year.

So it's no surprise that Daley refuses to make the slightest change to the handgun ordinance, preferring to fight the lawsuits filed by the National Rifle Association. He is not impressed that 1) the law almost certainly violates the Constitution, which elected officials are supposed to uphold, and 2) it would cost taxpayers a lot of money to fight lawsuits the city is bound to lose.

The Chicago ban dates back to 1983, when no one had to worry about the forgotten 2nd Amendment. The ordinance prohibited the possession of all handguns (except those acquired before the law took effect).

It had no obvious benefits: Homicides climbed in the ensuing years and by 1992 were 41 percent higher than before. But the policy rested undisturbed until last summer, when the Supreme Court ruled that Washington's ban on handguns violated the individual right to use arms for self-defense in the home.
Read the whole thing!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY T-DAY & Michael's Menu

Much to give thanks for today...for those men and women in uniform, whether in the deserts of Iraq, the mountains of Afghanistan or Places Elsewhere, a profound thank you for your service. We can never thank you enough, and be assured that you are never far from our thoughts and prayers. Stay safe out there!

Me, I'm just glad I've been able to keep my karmic surfboard off the rocks for another year...I gotta say, every year the waves get bigger and bigger, and every year I get older and older...thank god for guile, stealth and blind luck!

Small Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I sort of themed it around food that triggered a favorite memory, although I didn't tell my Sweetie since she thinks I'm crazy enough as it is. Here's the menu:
• Poached salmon with dill sauce, cooked in a clay pot.
• Two styles of dressing, including traditional Southern cornbread/biscuit sage dressing and a second that is more of a spicy homage to the oyster roasts I used ot like when I lived in New York City and traveled around New England. I used the stale, toasted cornbread and biscuit mix as the base for the oyster roast.
• Key West Apples, a dish I concocted to remind me about boat drinks down in the Keys...the tangy local apples are marinated, then cooked in a rum-Key West lime juice-melted butter liquid mix seasoned with cinnamon, ginger and a tiny bit of allspice. Take the liquid left over, add equal parts seltzer and that nasty dark rum from Barbados, toss in a little umbrellas and, viola!, wait for the sunset at Mallory Pier.
• Horseradish mashed potatoes.
• Fresh local asparagus
• Homemade rolls from my Sweetie.
• A fresh plum pie from my pal Tom Judd, who co-founded with me Rocky Mountain IDPA back when we were younger and dumber.
So, a turkeyless Thanksgiving, although I am assured by my fishmonger that the salmon was, indeed, free range!

BTW, beverages include Heller Estates Chenin Blanc, Benziger Family Winery Merlot (both are wineries we've visited, Heller in Monterey and Benziger in Sonoma...both are organic wines, since we live in Boulder County and risk execution if we drink Night Train Express) and/or Arrogant Bastard Oaked Ale from Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, CA.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, the newspaper this AM — remember newspapers? I do...I have parrots whose cages need lining — had a recipe for creamed Brussel sprouts and bacon. Yum! Reminds me of when my Mom, who was one of the 3 worst cooks on earth, sent a whole Thanksgiving party to the emergency room with a casserole of canned English peas, Velvetta and 2-day-old warm mayonaise. I, of course, fed my portion to the dog, who threw up.

Watched THE SHIELD series finale last night, and it was everything the SOPRANOS series finale wasn't. Michael Chiklis's brilliantly acted amoral antihero Vic Mackey did indeed get what he deserved — a Dilbert-sized cubicle for him to ponder the destruction of all he had hoped, the betrayal of friends, the loss of family, etc. Walton Goggins breathtaking high-wire act as the desinigrating Shane Vendrell, groping his way to the only kind of nightmarish redemption he could imagine, kept me on the edge of my seat...CCH Pounder closing out the role of a lifetime.

If you like great acting, download the episode when you can.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Delayed Podcast! SORRY!

All day filming Monday...tied up in meetings all day Tuesday...pocast delayed slightly until tomorrow AM...SORRY!!!

Also visit new TBD BLOG...From yesterday's shoot...

-- Post From My iPhone