Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Fix is In

From InstaPundit:
A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

UPDATE: The Anchoress hears similar things. And reader Eric Schubert: "The Edwards debacle was proof enough of where the heart of the MSM lies, and lack of curiousity of the press about Edwards probably cost Hillary the nomination. And that shameful episode offers a warning to the MSM. What if Obama does have a skeleton in his closet (such as a shady deal or outright bribe) that is revealed after he wins the election? While the chance of this scenario is remote, imagine the backlash against the MSM if it could be shown that a reasonable investigation by the MSM would have easily revealed this secret to the public prior to the election?"

ANOTHER UPDATE: Rand Simberg isn't so sure: "Where was the backlash against this about Bill Clinton in 1992? They just seem to continue to get away with it." Well, yes and no. Their reputation and readership/viewership keep falling. And layoffs keep happening. I think they're willing to pull out all the stops because they realize this is the last election where they have a chance at swinging things this way. No point saving your credibility for the future when you don't have a future, I guess . . . .
BTW, re the earlier post, I've flayed Petzal in the past for his comments on "military style": weapons.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Column I Wish I'd Written.

... from the ever-iconoclastic Dave Petzal over at the Field & Stream Gun Nut blog:
But, my fellow Americans, lest I be thought superficial, here is a brief summation of each candidate as I see him or her:

John McCain: A mid-20th-century man trying to get a handle on the 21st century and failing. Sort of like me. However, I know how to send an e-mail. He is about as interested in gun legislation as he is in acquiring a third wife with no money.

Sarah Palin: I would go moose hunting with her any day, but as for the rest of it…

Barack Obama: Our best orator in years, provided he has a teleprompter. He ran a fine campaign against Hillary, who ran a terrible campaign. His major qualification seems to be the 143 days he has spent in the Senate.

Joe Biden: I had thought of him as merely one more spavined Senate hack. However, he is proving himself to be a major buffoon. I expect that any day now, he will claim he owns the laptop on which Lincoln composed the Gettysburg Address. Biden has it in him, if elected, to take his place alongside Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew in the pantheon of Truly Embarrassing Vice Presidents.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Getting Beyond Catch & Release

The last few posts have got me thinkng about recruitment and retention strategies within the shooting sports, and issue that is guaranteed to come up in the first meeting of the NSSF 20/20 Shooting Sports Task Force in mid-October.

Speaking strictly for sport shooting, we typically put the huge majority of our efforts on recruitment — how do we get new shooters? Most of the sports have junior programs in place (in some case for a long time), and we define that as "recruitment."

That's good, but not nearly good enough. I think the strength of the NSSF report is dividing potential shooters into a number of distinct markets that all require different strategies to reach. I'll deal with that in a later post.

I do plan to put the issue of retention squarely on the table, because I think we do a very poor job of it. That's because retention has only in the last couple of decades become an issue. In the semi-mythical Old Days, hunting/shooting was in fact a lifetime pursuit. You had "hunting families," where generations of family members went into the field. However, the same megatrends that have affected shooting and hunting — urbanization/suburbanization, competition for declining leisure time, liability issues — have also worked to alter the retention equation...there's more to do and less time to do it. A constriction of places to shoot, rising ammo prices and, let's face it, a change in the social acceptance of the shooting sports have made it easy for even dedicated shooters to "drop out." As I've been fond of saying for years, "net is net" — if we recruit 10 new shooters and lose 10 through attrition, it's a wash.

Interestingly enough, about a decade ago I did some research in participant retention in another sport, scuba diving. At that time (and I haven't looked at it in a while, so the numbers may have changed), the average time-in-sport for a scuba diver was 18 months. After a year and a half, new divers started to drift away, so to speak. And this was in a sport with pretty high barriers to entry: a certification process requiring classes and in-field tests, relatively complicated math skills required, expensive equipment to purchase and an element of danger in the sport.

My take on the issue was what I termed the "blue fish conundrum." As a sport scuba had built a huge recruitment machine and it worked extremely well. People come into the sport really pumped up after the recruitment phase, ready to explore the underwater world; after a year or so, divers without gobs of money to travel the world, started wondering how many blue fish they could look at. While there were upward paths that would help keep divers involved in the sport, they were often not readily accessible, expensive and often scary (my own certifications, which interestingly enough I never use anymore, are Full Cave/Mixed Gas/Deep Air, and that's a path not a lot of people would choose to follow).

I see a good bit of similar retention issues in shooting. We're actually pretty good at getting people into the sports, but once they're in they're pretty much on their own. That works just swell for serious competitors,, who tend to be both self-starting and little Energizer Bunnies on moving forward. More casual competitors, however, tend to drift away.

As usual, I don't have giganto answers, but I think the key to retaining shooters is to both publicize what's "under the tent" — that is, show the breadth of what's available to shooters in all the venues...sport shooting, hunting and self-defense/training — while making it as easy as possible to sample those items under the tent. We definitely need to make sure the self-defense/training component of the industry — huge — is under the tent. the NSSF report makes only one "action item" reference to that side of the industry, and it's negative...allegedly some newcomers to sport shooting are 'troubled" by the huminoid targets used on the self-defense side of the industry, so, hey, let's abandon ship!

To quote John McCain, "Oh, pleeeeeeessssssse!"

We need to figure out how to keep the people we've got in the tent in the tent. I'm open to suggestions...

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ideal Home Defense Weapon...

...is a 10-bore Howdah pistol, made under license by Remington in the London custom plant in the late 1800s. Big BIG fun to shoot...can't wait for you to see it on SHOOTING GALLERY! Also finally got to shoot 4-bore 18-inch smoothbore blaster...definitely an Elmer Fudd "Wascally Wabbit" gun!

Yes, the guns at the Vintager match are expensive, as per the previous pst commenter's note, but the point of this match isn't to try and bring new shooters into the top of the funnel...that's why we've designed the Ruger Rimfire Challenge.

BTW, was really pleased with how the Ruger #1 450/400 shot...I shot it on the antelope moving target and was happy to see...holes! I've decicded to keep the rifle in anticipation of an Africa trip next year...more reloading practice is definitely in order.

Here's an interesting piece on b-HO and guns...as you may know, the pro-Obama supporters are arguing that, see, Obama isn't really against guns, like you know...
The gist of the discussion is that pro-Obama people say Obama doesn’t really oppose the right to arms, while pro-gun people say he does.

I don’t understand why anyone would doubt the validity of the pro-gun people’s argument.

If Obama supported gun rights, many pro-gun people, even Republicans, would support him, because many pro-gun people are single-issue voters on this topic and Obama’s opponent has a spotty record on gun rights. (The NRA and pro-gun rights voters have supported pro-gun Democrats in many elections.) Also, if Obama really supported the right to arms, it’s likely that many additional Republican, libertarian and independent voters would support him because conservatives and libertarians often interpret a politician’s support for the right to arms as a reliable proxy for that politician’s support of other individual rights. This point seems especially strong now, since many Republican voters distrust Obama’s opponent on free speech, business regulation and other big-govt-vs-individual-rights issues.

So on the one hand we have single-issue pro-gun people opposing Obama on guns, and on the other hand we have people who are primarily Obama partisans, not gun people, arguing that pro-gun people should trust Obama on guns. Who should we believe?

UPDATE: Via John Lott, this statement from Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following
was released today by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA):

“One of the most blatant lies ever to come from a politician’s mouth,”
is how the ISRA is characterizing a recent statement by U.S. Senator Barack
Obama. Speaking in the latest issue of “Field & Stream,” Obama claims that
Illinois sportsmen know him as an advocate for their rights. On the
contrary, Obama’s voting record while a state senator clearly indicates
that he has nothing but contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


It's way raining in Maryland...hey, we shoot in the rain, too!

I definitely need TWEEDS...and oilcloth...

Can't wait to light up the 450/400!

Mo' later...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interestng Piece on Media Bias in the Campaign

From Protein Wisdom:
I’ve noted before that we are now fighting an all out ideological war for the survival of what the democratic republic. In fact, I’ve been making this same argument for years now: when the press, under the cover of “objectivity,” is allowed to function as an advocacy arm for a particular ideology and its titular representatives, what follows is a necessary skewing of facts — and a carefully constructed attempt to frame “stories” with “lessons” that the public will interpret “correctly” (according to those attempting to teach the lessons from the perspective of their own personal advocacy).

This is not hyperbole: a free society relies on a free press to inform. That the mainstream press leans demonstrably left is not the problem in and of itself; the problem arises when that demonstrable bias is given cover as “objective,” and when those who believe they are basing their support for a candidate or platform on objective reporting are in effect doing no such thing, but are rather being coaxed, prodded, directed, and manipulated — in everything from what comes to count as newsworthy to, in cases like these, shoddy reporting (which may or may not be intentional), the effect of which is to leave those who rely on the media literally less informed than had the media reported nothing at all.

A free society cannot run this way. If information is power, those who control the information and its mainstream dissemination are in a position to act as the most important swing vote in any election. That the press has given up, at this late stage (and despite declines in readership and public trust), any serious attempt to report objectively suggests that we are now quite immersed in a battle for the very principles of a democratic republic. Progressives have decided that the ends justify the means — that lies in the service of greater truths (as defined by their own ideology) are both pragmatic and utilitarian measures to be adopted so that “we” can finally get things “right,” and accept government from a permanent political class, a new aristocracy, that will expand the federal government in ways that will protect us from ourselves, in the process, assuring that ever new generations will be reliable upon the good graces of the federal government for their survival.
Read the whole thing, by all means!

Who Watches the Watchers, Etc.

Or as they say in Latin, "Que cuspidor cuspidor-spittie"...or something like that.

Our pal David Kopel notes that the fact checkers got the NRA's spin on Obama wrong:
FACTCHECK FLUBS OBAMA GUN FACT CHECK: FactCheck.org is an excellent project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. It a non-partisan organization which provides factual evaluations of the claims of and about political figures. I have cited it in my own writing, and will continue to do so. However, that FactCheck has a well-deserved reputation for accuracy and good judgment does not mean that its work is infallible, as the VC has pointed out previously. The Encyclopedia Britannica also has a well-deserved reputation for accuracy and impartiality, but the Britannica sometimes contains errors or overstatements.

FactCheck’s September 22, 2008, report on the National Rifle Association’s advertising critical claims that the NRA “distorts Obama's position on gun control beyond recognition.” FactCheck itself, though, has overstated its claims, and made several errors.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How Stupid DoThey Think We Are, Part 2

Greasy Joe, is there any depth to which you won't sink? This from Fox:
CASTLEWOOD, VA — Memo to Barack Obama: don’t mess with Joe Biden’s guns.

At a fish fry for mine workers in rural Southwest Virginia, the Delaware Senator commiserated on being from coal country himself — and did his damndest to convince the blue collar, mostly white Democrats that he’s on the ticket to win over that Obama’s one of them as well.

One of rural Democrats’ biggest fears about Obama? That he’ll come after the Second Amendment. Not so, said Biden — and he’d better not try.

“I guarantee you, Barack Obama ain’t taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey,” Biden said angrily. “They’re going to start peddling that to you.”

“I got two, if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he’s got a problem.”
This from the Real World, a place that Greasy Joe has apparently forgotten about:
I'm the guy that originally wrote the assault weapons ban that became law. Then we got defeated. Then Diane Feinstein sent to town on it and did a great job. Look, we should be working with law enforcement right now to make sure we protect people against people who are not capable of knowing what to do with a gun because they are either mentally imbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record. (Glassbooth.org)
Rated "F" by the NRA, voted "NO" for banning bankrupting lawsuits against the firearms inudstry. (www.onthessues.org).

From the NRA ILA:
Just like fellow Democrats Edward Kennedy, Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, Biden has voted for, and actively pushed, major anti-gun bills, including those:

Banning semi-automatic firearms;
Banning hunting, sporting and self-defense ammunition;
Banning magazines holding more than 10 rounds; and
Imposing a waiting period on handgun sales.
Biden also voted against the law that prohibits lawsuits designed to bankrupt law-abiding firearm manufacturers and dealers. And he voted against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justices who support the Second Amendment, and voted for the confirmation of Justices who do not.

The Brady Campaign sums it up in a straightforward fashion: "Senator Biden has been a consistent supporter of the Brady Campaign." According to the gun prohibition activist group, "Senator Biden was a key player in the fight for the federal assault weapons ban that passed in 1994. He also worked hard for passage of the Brady Law (sic)."

To hear Biden tell it, though, that's only half the story. Last year, during a debate with Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and other contenders for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, Biden said, "I'm the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban."

Now, on the one hand, Biden has been faulted in the past for claiming credit for others' work. In one instance, the Washington Post reported, Biden "lifted five pages from a published law review article and used them in his 15-page paper for a legal-methods course" in college. He also plagiarized British Labor Leader Neil Kinnock in a speech before the National Education Association, and similarly "failed to attribute to the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy a lengthy passage . . . in a speech he gave to the California Democratic Party."

But Biden almost told the truth about his role in the "assault weapon" issue. Indeed, though Sens. Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH) and Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ) had authored earlier bills, Biden introduced an "assault weapons" ban in Congress five years before the Clinton gun and magazine ban was imposed. In 1989, a Biden bill (S. 1970) proposed to ban the Colt AR-15 and eight similar firearms as "assault weapons," and authorize the Secretary of the Treasury (in reality, the then Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) and the Attorney General to recommend to Congress any other firearms, regardless of type, to be banned as "additional assault weapons."

To this day, Biden doesn't merely support a ban on "assault weapons" and standard-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds, he actively pushes it. In the current Congress, another Biden bill (S. 2237) proposes to renew the Clinton ban on roughly 200 makes and models of semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns on the basis of things like the shape of their grips, and on ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, regardless of the kind of firearm in which they are used.
Here is the bottom line:
1) If Obama/Biden is elected, there will be a new "Assault Weapons" Ban with no sunset and no loopholes.
2) Both Obama and Biden have expressed their support for the most radical forms of gun control...if they can get the votes (and remember, Obama himself said that our guns were safe because he "couldn't get the votes") expect registration of existing assault weapons, including the AR-15, the most popular and best-selling rifle in America.
3. Worldwide and in America, registration is invariably follwed by confiscation...not occasionally; not often but every single time. The Democrats goal is the elimination of the most popular rifle in America. If you believe anything else, you are in Dream Land!
Greasy Joe Biden's shotgun may be safe, but yours isn't, because he is above the law. The Democrats will move quickly against AR-15s and .50 BMG rifles, but they will not stop there...they'll go as far as the votes will take them!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sorry for Light Blogging!!!

Between a heavy travel schedule and this wretched head cold, I have felt up to witty repartee...or even unwitty repartee.

I did, however, spend a wonderful day at the range today at the Advanced Armament Silencer Shoot, lobbing lots of rounds downrange from some very quiet guns. I never really realized how much a suppressor cut recoil, but boy, on .308s, .338 Lapuas and .50s, it was really amazing! The real revelation to me was the little CZ 527 mini-Mauser in 7.62 X 39 with an integral suppressor from John's Guns. Mine, was this little gun sweet...smooth, quiet and like shooting a .22. I would love to take this gun through a boltgun class at GUNSITE!

Also saw a really cool Ruger LCP in .32 NAA, North American Arms' proprietary super hot little cartridge based on the necked-down .380...the little sucker supposedly rocks pretty hard.

More on everything — including the Knights Armament "hat gun" later!

Friday, September 19, 2008


...busily infecting my fellow passengers! It's either a head cold,
allergy to politicians or Ebola.

If I feel up to it, will hit suppressor seminar tonite...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Notes from the Frontier

The US Airways - always a Third World bus service at best - terminal
at Wash Reagan has by my count 6 defibulators and 1 - count 'email! -
bathroom . No danger of heart attack, but may turn yellow...

Sent from my iPhone

We Can Dance if We Wanna...

Survived political immersion unscathed ... Even helped Sen. Mike Crapo
from Idaho-Land pick a new pistol (a Sig 250, if you must know).

Had excellent conversation with Sportsmen for McCain folks...more
later ...

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Uh-oh! Fatwa Alert!

The Volokh Conspiracy has given us a heads-up on more top-notch thinking from our friends the Saudis:

...issued by "Saudi Arabia's top judiciary official." So reports the Associated Press:

The 79-year-old Sheik Saleh al-Lihedan said Thursday that satellite channels cause the "deviance of thousands of people." ...

Al-Lihedan is chief of the kingdom's highest tribunal, the Supreme Judiciary Council. Saudi Arabia's judiciary is made up of Islamic clerics whose decrees, or fatwas, on everyday issues are widely respected. Their fatwas do not have the weight of law. In the courts, cleric-judges rule according to Islamic law, but interpretations can vary...
Well, al-Lihedan lightened up a bit later, saying that you should only kill the purveyors of "black magic and sorcery" television, which is probably part of HGTV:
“Sorcerers who appear on satellite channels who are proven to be sorcerers have committed a great crime ... and the Muslim consensus is that the apostate’s punishment is death by the sword,” Sheikh Fozan told Al Madina newspaper. “Those who call in to these shows should not be accorded Muslim rites when they die.”
I promise I'll try to get some sorcery in next season's SHOOTING GALLERY...maybe I could just start with crossbows and some black candles...a bit of stage blood...Angelina Jolie...

b-HO's New HO's!

Lay down with pigs, the saying goes, and you're likely to wake up dirty. So why are we not surprised that the American Hunters and Shooters Association, best known for being much beloved of Sarah Brady, is endorsing b-HO in the hopes that the gun culture is as stupid as Barack Obama thinks we are. This from New Hampshire today:
Barack Obama's campaign is airing a new radio ad in New Hampshire that focuses on Obama's stance on the Second Amendment and the economy.

The ad features Ray Schoenke, a former Washington Redskins player and current president of the American Hunters and Shooters Association.

"It's important to me that our next president protects our Second Amendment rights to own guns and defend ourselves," Schoenke says in the ad. "Barack Obama and John McCain will both make sure we can keep our guns. But what about keeping our jobs? Barack's got a real plan that invests in creating jobs here at home and cuts taxes a thousand bucks for working families."

Schoenke then criticized McCain's economic policies.

"It's the same old Bush playbook," he says. "When the coach loses eight years in a row, you don't bring him back for a ninth season! We just can't afford more of the same."
AHSA is, of course, a thinly veiled antigun organization that has endorsed Obama already...look it up; their antigunj credentials are all over the Internet...Schoenke himself is, of course, simply pathetic.

The Airport Nacho Chronicles

You know, there should probably be some sort of caveat on Blogger about blogging after airport nachos — in this case, the Phoenix airport, but, hey, they do all run together. It is Monday and, in fact, a scary Monday if you're of the financial analyst persuasion. I used to live right off Wall Street in NYC (across the street from the South Tower of the World Trade Center, as a matter of fact), so I suspect you can right now feel the angst in my old building.

As you know, I'm more-or-less paranoid, so it probably won't surprise you that I'll be bumping up my awareness level while the U.S. economy is smacking the rocks. Here's the quickie rationale...any period of social tension, for lack of a better word, puts additional stress on the ole social fiber...bad karma can roll forth like hot molasses over biscuits and just about as fast. So I want to be paying a bit more attention to things going on around me, what's up in the ole home turf, for example. A word to the wise...

BTW, since we're sort of on the subject, I wanted to recommend the sanest preparedness book I've ever read, Cody Lundin's WHEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. Lunden's not nearly as reflexively paranoid as I am, but this book may be the best overall text I've ever read on the subject...and it's funny, too...hard trick to pull off! Lunden's a wilderness survivial instructor, and he walks the talk, which is rare. I learned a bunch of stuff I didn't know, and that's the measure of any book for me. Go buy it before Hurricane Whatever turns your back yard into a waterpark.

On gunstuff, I too am a little worried about NSSF's 20/20 Task Force...according to their own study, hunting and shooting are at this point equal partners in terms of market size...I would much rather have seen a Task Force splt down the middle between hunting and shooting folk. Yet of the 26 members on the task force, only four (five, if you include the NRA) come from the sport shooting side of the equation.

I'm sorting through the NSSF report's action items to choose my 10 most important, as per my marching orders. Once I get them sorted out, I'll post them on the blog. Unfortunately, a lot of the action items when you start burrowing into them fall under the heading of "Encourage the Weather not to Rain on Weekends," no doubt a good idea but hardly the basis for intelligent planning.

And speaking of intelligent planning, check out MD Arms 20-round drums for the 12-gauge Saiga shotguns.

It's enough to make you buy a Saiga, which seem to be getting more and more popular among 3-Gun shooters. Sign up to get on their mailing list if you want one!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Sunday...

...here in the waning days of summer at the Secret Hidden Bunker...the trees are starting to color...sight, I'm pretty much not ready for snow yet.

On the plus side, got my Ruger #1 in 450/400 3-inch Nitro Express yesterday...we're going to be using it for the Vintagers Cup stalking rifle competition. It's a beauty...gives one an urge to don the ole pith helmet and head to the Dark Continent...is that California? LOL! The only ammo available are Hornady's hunting rounds, so they're thumpers. I have shot a bunch of rounds through a #1 in 450, so it's not impossible...does leave a mark, though.

I'm now completely recovered from the computer crash...my main beast has been repaired without loss of data and I'm cloned all over the place. I upgraded my Mac's operating system without disaster, and my main calendar (which is now safely protected on the Internet, among other places) is perking along. I'm also very pleased with my new iPhone, which replaced my ailing Samsung flip phone that was dangerously close to death (for example, you had to shake it to get it to work). I chose the iPhone since all my calendars and contacts can sync off my Internet mail account, and on short trips I'll leave my laptop at home...maybe. I've got to set up Internet mail blogging for the Michael Bane Blog, since the iPhone isn't really a blogging machine.

I note that Sig Sauer is running a whole bunch of specials until the end of November, including a $99 Sig white light/laser ($270 MSRP) with the purchas eon any "classic line" Sig...if you've been thinking of a 226 like the one next to my bed, now might be a good time to suck it up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Psychology of Anti-gunners...

Interesting peak into the heads of the people on the other side of the Great Divide...and, indeed, it's a nasty rat's nest of seething repressed violence and unacknowledged victimhood. There's also an interesting take on communication with antigun people:
Communicating with anti-gun people

How can you communicate more effectively with an anti-gun person who is using unhealthy defense mechanisms? There are no quick and easy answers. But there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Anger and attacks do not work

Most gun owners, when confronted by an anti-gun person, become angry and hostile. This is understandable, because gun owners increasingly face ridicule, persecution and discrimination. (If you don't believe this, ask yourself if anyone would seriously introduce legislation to ban African- Americans, women, or Jews from post offices, schools, and churches. Even convicted felons aren't banned from such places - but peaceful armed citizens are!) But an angry response is counterproductive.

It's not helpful to attack the person you're trying to persuade. Anything that makes him feel more fearful or angry will only intensify his defenses. Your goal is to help the person feel safe, and then to provide experiences and information that will help him to make informed decisions.

Be Gentle

You should never try to break down a defense mechanism by force. Remember that defense mechanisms protect people from feelings they cannot handle, and if you take that protection away, you can cause serious psychological harm. And because defense mechanisms operate unconsciously, it won't do any good to show an anti-gun person this article or to point out that he's using defense mechanisms. Your goal is gently and gradually to help the person to have a more realistic and rational view of the world. This cannot be done in one hour or one day.

As you reach out to people in this way, you need to deal with both the illogical thought processes involved and the emotional reactions that anti-gun people have to firearms. When dealing with illogical thought processes, you are attempting to use reason and logic to convince the anti-gun person that his perception of other people and his perception of firearms are seriously inaccurate. The goal is to help him to understand that armed citizens and firearms are not threats, and may even save his life.

Reversing Irrational thoughts

The Mirror Technique

One approach that can be helpful is simply to feed back what the anti-gun person is telling you, in a neutral, inquisitive way. So, when replying to my anonymous e-mail correspondent (above), I might respond, "So you fear if your neighbors had guns, they would use them to murder you. What makes you think that?" When you simply repeat what the person has said, and ask questions, you are not directly challenging his defenses. You are holding up a mirror to let him see his own views. If he has very strong defenses, he can continue to insist that his neighbors want to murder him. However, if his defenses are less rigid, he may start to question his position.

Another example might be, "Why do you think that your children's schoolteachers would shoot them?" You might follow this up with something like, "Why do you entrust your precious children to someone you believe would murder them?" Again, you are merely asking questions, and not directly attacking the person or his defenses.

Of course the anti-gun person might continue to insist that the teachers really would harm children, but prohibiting them from owning guns would prevent it. So you might ask how using a gun to murder innocent children is different from stabbing children with scissors, assaulting them with baseball bats, or poisoning the milk and cookies.

It's important to ask "open-ended" questions that require a response other than "yes" or "no". Such questions require the anti-gun person actually to think about what he is saying. This will help him to re-examine his beliefs. It may also encourage him to ask you questions about firearms use and ownership.

The "What Would You Do?" Technique

Once you have a dialogue going with an anti-gun person, you might want to insert him into a hypothetical scenario, although doing so is a greater threat to his defenses, and is therefore more risky. You might ask how he would deal with a difficult or annoying co-worker. He will likely respond that he would never resort to violence, but "other people" would, especially if they had guns. (Projection again.) You can then ask him who these "other people" are, why they would shoot a co-worker, and what the shooter would gain by doing so.

Don't try to "win" the argument. Don't try to embarrass the person you're trying to educate. Remember that no one likes to admit that his deeply held beliefs are wrong. No one likes to hear "I told you so!" Be patient and gentle. If you are arrogant, condescending, hurtful or rude to the anti-gun person, you will only convince him that gun owners are arrogant, hurtful people - who should not be trusted with guns!
There's more...read the whole thing...yes, there will be a test!

Michael B Catch-Up

Lots of things going on that I wanted to give you all heads-ups on (gee..is that an awkward construction or what?).

First, I have been added at the last possible minute to the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Shooting Sports Task Force. There was some resistance to having me on this Task Force...I suppose the "troublemaker" moniker will follow me forever, as well it should...I do, however, represent Outdoor Channel, so in the end it was hard to keep me off.

Frankly, I'm a little concerned that not one single handgun company is on the Task Force, a significant concern since the original NSSF study was biased badly against handguns and the handgun sports. Luckily, USPSA is on the Task Force, and them and I are on the same page. I will keep you informed on the goings-on!

I'll be heading to D.C. Monday for the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation annual banquet. I'm hoping I can get in a couple of hours on Tuesday morning over at the NRA, where we've got bit stuff to discuss — the overhauling of the Bianchi Cup for 2009, for instance. I'll be wearing a suit, so I'll take a picture for the archives...

I pick up my Ruger #1 450/400 3-inch Nitro today...my FFL guy, Grant, left me a message that read, "Your artillery piece is here." I'm stoked...darn thing costs like a .50 BMG to shoot! Hornady has the ammo.

BTW, speaking of ammo, I hear Federal is cooking up a special .410 buckshot cartridge specifically for the Taurus Judge .45 Colt/.410 revolver. It's supposed to really rock...let you know when I can lay my hands on some. Ought to be perfect for my weird Bond derringer as well.

We're thinking of making the Whittington Center the home base for both SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS, filming maybe 4 shows per series a season there...in effect, we've been doing that with SG, so I thought I might formalize the situation.

Spent last night imbibing adult beverages at the hotel in California with Brother Michael Wadell, Jim Zumbo, the lovely Aurelia Riley from The Catch and Cameron Hanes from the Elk Chronicles. There was the usual little moaning about the road, but mostly we talked about how very lucky we are to be able to do this and even get paid.

Gotta get in the wind!

Check out the DRTV coverage of the USPSA Nationals in Tulsa, too! Great job, Marshal and Paul Erhardt!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This Sucks Hard!

I was out working with Kim Rhode today, filming Public Service Announcements for OC to get out the vote in November. Kim was headed up to LA to appear at a McCain/Palin fundraiser when she stopped off to do a little shopping in Lake Elsinore...and her truck got ripped off:
LAKE ELSINORE ---- The Perazzi shotgun used by two-time Olympic gold medalist Kimberly Rhode in four Olympic games was stolen Thursday afternoon while Rhode and her mother, Sharon Rhode, were shopping at the Lake Elsinore Outlets.

To help get it back, the Rhode family is offering a $5,000 reward, Sharon Rhode said Thursday.

Anyone with information is asked to call (626) 448-4131.

Kimberly Rhode, the 29-year-old co-host of an Outdoor Channel shooting show, won gold medals in double trap shooting at the Atlanta and Athens Olympics. She won a bronze medal in double trap in Sydney in 2004 and a silver medal this year in Beijing in skeet shooting.

The shotgun, a 12-gauge Perazzi MX12, was specially designed for Rhode, Sharon Rhode said.

The shotgun, which was used in all four of the Olympic games in which Rhode has competed, was stolen sometime between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

The thief or thieves smashed a window and grabbed the gun, leaving behind other valuables in the vehicle, Sharon Rhode said.

The Rhodes stopped at the Outlets for a spot of shopping after an Outdoor Channel photo shoot at Vail Lake.
They've got video; I hope they catch the sucker and fry his butt.



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I Just Want to be a Supermodel...

...and my friends will envy me!

I thought I'd take a few moments from the daily invective to update everyone on the exciting life of Alf the Wonder Beagle. The Doggie Diva authorized the above paparazzi pix from a recent gallery opening...no faces, please!..in anticipation of her new talk show, which is in development. It will be like Tyra Bank's talkshow, except the host will actually have a brain. Alf recently spied a small mulie doe in the back yard, which caused her to bay, "Unnnnnnnngulate! Unnnnnnnnngulate!"

She appreciates all her fans on the Internet and hopes some day to eat the remains of Keith Olbermann.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

D.C. Gun Battles Continue

From Reason On-line:
Even after losing the epochal Second Amendment Supreme Court case D.C. v. Heller back in June, D.C. has truculently tried to remain as restrictionist as they think they can get away with when it comes to its citizens' ability to own weapons, including an extremely eccentric definition of "machine gun" that so far makes only revolvers and derringers legal for D.C. citizens even post-Heller.

A bill that seems likely to pass the House this week will change that. The Washington Post has details:

The legislation has four main goals. It would repeal the D.C. ban on semiautomatic pistols and rifles; eliminate the city's gun-registration requirements; allow District residents to purchase guns in Virginia and Maryland; and abolish the regulation that guns kept at home be unloaded and either disassembled or fitted with trigger locks.

The NRA considers the bill its top legislative priority this season, and even many Democrats, traditionally the party of gun control, are on board to overrule D.C on guns. Though D.C. Mayor Fenty begged Pelosi and Waxman to let D.C. settle its gun policy itself, the Post notes:

Pelosi decided to act after Republicans indicated that they could gather enough signatures to bring a D.C. gun bill to the floor. Although Democrats have a 37-seat advantage in the House, dozens of party members are strong gun-rights proponents, reflecting opinion in their districts.

Facing the possibility of being outflanked just weeks before the election, House Democrats introduced their own legislation. The Democratic leadership has promised to bring it to a vote, several congressional sources said.

"It's something a number of our members have indicated they support," said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Pelosi.

Big Bang Big Thoughts

Well, over in Europe they're getting ready to flip the switch on the big super-collider, looking for extra dimensions in space. There are plenty of end of the world theories on what happens when they throw the big switch and send protons smashing together at 99.9% the speed of light, which should create similar conditions to the universe just after the Original Big Bang, which, if you were educated as I was in public schools, is not a new McDonald's burger offering.

I personally am hoping for a time warp that throws us back to Ronald Reagan's Presidency, although in truth a giant expanding ball of seething hot particles does suggest a more Democrat than Republican starting point.

I suppose it would also be nice if all of Europe were suddenly neutered...I mean, more than they already are now

One of the things scientists are looking for is the "God particle":
Major spin-offs have already emerged from earlier particle accelerator experiments at CERN, the European nuclear research organisation based in Geneva where the LHC is housed.

It is credited with pioneering radiotherapy machines and even the world wide web. One of the aims of the LHC is to hunt for the Higgs boson, the so-called "God particle".

The Higgs is said to be the so-far undetected key to mass. If scientists can prove its existence, it could pave the way for manipulating the gravity which exists in all mass - rather like Star Trek "tractor" beams.
Well, I hope they find the God particle, because I've always wanted a tractor beam, although if I had to choose what I'd really like from Star Trek it would be some of those hot alien chicks Captain Kirk was always hooking up with. Who knows...maybe tomorrow morning there'll be a shift in space and time and Hillary Clinton will morph into that Borg babe...then again, maybe not...

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Lies of Obama

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Really Neat Gun Trick...

...from my pal John Gangl at J.P. Rifles. We were out on the metallic silhouette range at the Whittington Center with one of his proto MOR-07 manually operated (a.k.a. bolt action) rifles in .260 Remington. There's a full-sized buffalo target at 1100-some-odd yards, and John was showing the new (and really, really slick) bolt gun to my producers, John Carter and Mike Long.

"Go ahead and take a shot at the buffalo," John told John Carter. John Gangl provide the doping "wetware" only available to a master of 1000-yard-plus shooting, which he fed into a 5.11 HRT Tactical Ballistic Computer Watch introduced this year at SHOT. The rifle was on a bipod off the bench, using the integral monopod partially folded. — the buttstock was not bagged. (Scope was a Horus, if you must know).

John Carter squeezed the 1-pound trigger, and a couple of seconds later the steel buffalo rang out...not bad for his first long shot ever! He was followed by Mike Long — CLANG! — our two videographers and sound technician — CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! — and even me — CLANG! Longest shot I've ever made, and the first time I've ever fired a bolt gun off my left side using my left eye to sight.

Nice trick, John!

He's taking orders for the new gun; prices int he $4000 region and, believe me, worth every penny of it!

Here's the specs from John's website:
The MOR-07 features a benchrest-quality short action with the best of everything including a spiral-fluted bolt for dirt clearance and a large knob on the bolt handle for ease of operation. We use a Jewel single-stage 700 match trigger set to your specification between one to three pounds. The cryogenically treated Lilja air-gauged benchrest barrel with the JP Tactical Series Compensators and the new JP tactical bolt gun chassis system. The MOR-07 also has a line of bore in the same relative position as an AR-10-type rifle, which produces much faster sight recovery and better ergonomics.

The new JP tactical bolt gun chassis system (patent applied for) is a three-piece modular design allowing for more versatility than any similar chassis now available. It consists of an action block, forend section and a buttstock. This allows for a number of combinations that can more precisely fit the application or the needs of the shooter. Our first action block will fit any Remington 700 short action or clone thereof and will soon be available for several other popular actions such as the Savage 110 series or Winchester M70 series. We have three forend options including a wide and flat forend like that of a bench rifle stock, a more traditional tactical rifle shaped forend and finally, a tubular hand guard forend similar to our gas guns, which can utilize all our tactical rail kits. The buttstock section is detachable and will feature a fully adjustable composite stock. You can also buy the chassis system alone to use with your own action. The chassis comes with one 10-round magazine but will also accept many readily available 5-round magazines.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Barracuda Delivers the Mail!

If I was Greasy Joe Biden, I'd be shaking in my Adult Pampers...

From the AP, via Drudge:
Sarah Palin delivered. An embattled vice presidential candidate, a novice on the national stage, the head of a family suffering its "ups and downs," the first-term Alaska governor rocked the GOP convention with a star-turning performance.
Wielding a stiletto and a smile, Palin belittled Democrat Barack Obama and praised her new boss, John McCain, jolting the crowd of GOP partisans.

"Don't you think we made the right choice for the next vice president of the United States!" McCain said, hinting the controversy surrounding his pick. "And what a beautiful family."

Indeed, the family was on display for the TV cameras - five children, including a 17-year-old unmarried daughter who is pregnant. Their mother lacked the soaring oratory skills of Obama - a man she attacked as a tax-raising, terrorist-coddling, self-indulgent liberal. But the former TV sportscaster spoke in calm, TV-friendly tones reminiscent of Ronald Reagan. Like the former GOP president, Palin warmed the crowd with quips and jokes.

"What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull," she said, pausing for a beat and a smirk. "Lipstick."

She left the crowd smiling.

"For too many times, we've brought knives to gun fights," said Chuck Gast, a delegate from Maryland.

When asked if Palin brought a gun to the fight, Gast said: "Yes, I think she brings a big gun, like a moose gun."
This from Kathryn Jean Lopez in NRO:
Without pandering, without sounding like a politician, Palin was able to say, essentially, I am one of you. I work hard. Love my family. Love God (“a servant’s heart”). We struggle, just like you. But we know what is right and what is wrong. And I am here today to make sure you can make the choices you need to do right by your family.

She didn’t have to spell it all out, she showed it to us Wednesday night. She showed us that even a small-town gal from Alaska can be successful and be a leader.

And she laid the groundwork for invigorating a movement. Immediately after her speech, National Review Online readers e-mailed me to tell me they had just watched the next Ronald Reagan, the long-awaited successor. What I think we’re seeing is a new generation of conservatism. As Mitt Romney laid out clearly in his speech earlier in the night, there are some real differences between liberals and conservatives, and with a passionate energy this young woman is on the road to leading the Right into the future, with great respect for those who have laid the groundwork before us.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Newt kicks some media butt!

I got my first Press Card when I was 18 years-old as a staff writer (junior grade) for the Florida State University Flambeau, and I have carried that official membership in the Mainstream Media cabal for 40 — jeez, how did that happen? — years.

I have never been more saddened about the state of a once-honorable profession than by today's savage MSM attacks not on Sarah Palin, but on her 17-year-old pregnant daughter Bristol, who I'm pretty sure is not running for any office. The MSM, led by the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN, are doing their best to destroy Sarah Palin as part of an overall Democratic strategy...b-HO gets to sit quietly on the sidelines while the media handles the attacks. Is there anyone in America gullible enough to believe that there is no collusion between the MSM and Dem media strategists..."Don't worry, Obama. We've got this one!"

This from Andrea Peyser in the New York Post this AM:
But women on the left, who fought long and hard for the ability to raise children simultaneously with election cash, are in spasms. (Some have simply kept silent. Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton - where are you?)

The same lefty media that studiously ignored the adolescence of Chelsea Clinton can't wait to dig into Bristol Palin.
My Sweetie, a tough feminist and one-time activist for women's causes, turned off the television this morning. "This is making me sick," she said. "It's wrong."

I'm not going to predict the end of the institution I once held in so high a regard, but I do believe that this campaign cycle, regardless of how it turns out in November, does mark the end of MSM's widespread influence on the national scene. They have turned away from their mission and recast themselves as an arm of the "progressive movement" in the United States, under the command of their left-wing masters. As a heartbroken holder of aa Press Card, I can't help but think it might havebeen better for the MSM to die than go forward as painted whores.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

And You Thought I Was Caustic!

Read this wonderful piece from NRO by their Hollywood correspondent, the pseudononymous "David Kahane" on why the Left must hate Sarah Palin:
But, seriously, just look at the negatives: she’s a popular first-term governor, she’s a woman, she’s happily married, she has five kids, one of them with Down’s syndrome, she’s a maverick, she’s from way beyond the Beltway, she’s taken on both the Republican Party and Big Oil, she shoots automatic weapons, she can kill a moose with a butter knife and fillet a sea lion with a smile, her husband’s a roustabout Eskimo snowmobile champ, she’s a hockey mom, she was Miss Wasilla, she looks like she should be playing Cecily, the saucy librarian, in Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, and she doesn’t wear pantsuits. Heck, she hasn’t even appeared yet on Meet the Press! I mean, who in his right mind would vote for her?

Sure, if she were one of ours, not only would we have nominated her by acclamation, since she fulfills every trope of feminism except for her unfortunate and inexplicable opposition to murdering unborn children, we would also have made at least two TV movies about her life, celebrating her choice to have her fifth child and the announcement yesterday that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is pregnant and is going to marry the teenage father of her child. That’s the kind of heartwarming, inclusive, empowering story we love — she’s like Juno come to life as Juneau, set in Mystery, Alaska.
So that’s why we hate you, Sarah Marshall Palin. We hate you because you remind the other side of their wives, their girlfriends, their daughters, and make them want to fight for you against our sneers and our smears. We hate you because you’re smart and accomplished and didn’t make your bones on the back of Monica Lewinsky. We hate you because you’ve made us forget that our last two candidates for vice president were Joe Lieberman and John Edwards, whoever they were.

We hate you because you’re smart and beautiful and we wish we had women like you on our side.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Recast Race

It's a new horse race, and we in the gun culture are now in it up to our necks.

Two things happened last week to recast the Presidential election in a new, and for all of us clearer, light. The first is obviously John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his VP choice. Not to pat myself on the back, but I have said publicly for months that Palin would be a superb choice not just for her conservative/libertarian credentials, but because McCain needed desperately to shore up the gun vote. Put simply, no modern Republican has ever been elected to the Presidency without our vote...think George H.W. Bush. We stayed home and we got Bill Clinton. What that proves to me is that, yes, as a culture we will occasionally cut off our nose to spite our face. But more importantly, the gun culture vote is not a gimme for Republicans...a fact that Republicans spend four years trying hard to blot out of their minds.

We go into this election with a sitting Republican President who, when it came to — as my friend Jerry Miculek is fond of saying — nut-cuttin' time on D.C. v. Heller, sold us out without even flinching. The fact that the Supreme Court chose to ignore the Bush Solicitor General's disingenious argument against extending Constitutional rights to D.C. residents doesn't mitigate Bush's actions, which highlighted the Republican Party's utter contempt for the gun culture...stay in the closet and sit quietly until we need you to fill our your ballot.

John McCain stepped into this already poisonous atmosphere with a "C" rating from the NRA and an obstinate support for closing the non-existent gun show loophole. McCain did an excellent job with his NRA Annual Meeting speech (not the least of which was his insistance than counter to Secret Service dogma, he did not feel uncomfortable in a room full of armed NRA members).

Still, there is a difference between grudging support and a willingness to get out and beat the bushes for votes. On this blog and the DRTV Forums, it was clear that a large majority of the gun vote remained in the "grudging" cagtegory.

The choice of Sarah Palin certainly shocked and electrifed me and seems to have had the same effect on the whole of the gun vote. In one swipe McCain has gone from grudging to ga-ga; the troops are rallying and we will march toward November.

The second point that has been somewhat overshadowed by the Palin frenzy is Barack Obama specifically bringing up "assault weapons" in his coronation speech in Denver Thursday evening:
"The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals."
With that simple statement Obama blew up two years of Democratic Party glad-handing on gun issues, their insistance throughout the primary campaign that either guns were not on the table or that Dems had "seen the light" and, following Heller, we could all Rodney King it and learn to live together.

Coupled with the choice of Joe Biden, another "F" NRA rating and one of the architects of the 1994 Clinton Gun Ban, Obama's acceptance statement, made to the cheering, now-in-total control Far Left wing of the Democratic Party, tells us exactly what's on the Democratic agenda for January 2009 – a new Assault Weapons Ban with teeth.

This time, no sunset clause, no loopholes, no lookalike guns allowed...don't believe me? Go read the text of H.R. 6257, "Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2008," introduced last June:
"It shall be unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer, or possess [emphasis mine] a semiautomatic assault weapon."
Yeah, there's a grandfather clause, but don't expect that to survive an Obama tsunami. The left wing of the Democratic Party has dreamed of door-to-door confiscations of guns since Nelson T. "Pete" Shields outlned the gun control agenda in 1976 in the New Yorker Magazine:
"Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time. My estimate is from seven to ten years. The problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns sold in this country. The second problem is to get them all registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal."
We are one vote away from Pete Shields' nightmarish dream becoming a reality. The first blows will fall on so-called "assault weapons" and exotics like the .50 BMG "sniper rifles," but you can be sure that handguns are next on the list — unless we move to preempt those blows. It is not 1993; the AR-15 is the best-selling rifle in the world and quite literally millions of them have changed hands since the Clinton Ban expired. Hunters, target shooters, plinkers, collectors and tinkerers are all on-board with the AR-15; the NRA and other gun groups are heavily funded and totally on board in this fight.

But we have the opportunity, the one chance, to derail the gun-grabbers' agenda, to end the fight before it begins, on Tuesday, November 4. Once again, it's time for us to stand.

Sportsmen for McCain