Monday, March 31, 2014

Not dead..l

...just off-grid...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

O frabjious day! Calooh! Calay!

I got one of the new CT Railmaster Pro laser/light combos in the mail! Right now I'm using it to torment a kitten, but I do anticipate mounting it on a gun real soon. Off the cuff, I like it that it's small, I like (I think) the tap-on, tap-off feature and I like it that it's really really hard to accidentally get to the disco light strobe function. More later...

Thanks to a somewhat bizarre study from the real estate site Estately, I have discovered that Colorado is the third most likely state in which to survive a zombie apocalypse. We came in just behind Wyoming and Numhah One, Alaska. I bet we'd'a been number 2 if that idiot of a Governor hadn't signed the magazine capacity limit law. We came in big on guns and triathlons, which says it all...I think. Anyway, I'm bored with bored, in fact, I won't even drink green tea.

I've been meaning to link to this piece on the B&T VP-9 pistol from my friend Jonathan Ferguson over at the National Firearms Centre in England (writing in The Firearm Blog). Jonathan calls it a 21st Century Welrod, that iconic World War 2 sentry removal and assassination pistol (the guys showed me their collection of Welrods when I was over at the NFC for SHOOTING GALLERY last December).

Curiously, B&T are marketing it as a humane dispatch pistol that won’t disturb the neighbours, hence the designation ‘VP’, for ‘Veterinary Pistol’. Whilst I’m sure the original users would appreciate the irony of a Welrod so described, their targets were of course Nazi soldiers rather than ailing animals.
Love to have one. I do have pretty close to a totally silent rifle...a T/C Contender with a 20-inch barrel threaded for my old Tac-Sol suppressor. With Gemtechs or .22 Shorts, the only sound is the hammer falling.

Finally, if you haven't had your good cry for the day, I refer you to this comix by Carey Pietsch:

Go dare you!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Nothing Earth-Shattering Going On...

I am very pleased with the response to our SHOOTING GALLERY "Africa" special! My favorite response was from a shooter who does not hunt, but after the Africa episodes has decided to strongly fight against antihunting initiatives — "We're all the same, hunters and shooters." The whole production team is very proud of what we've done.

Tomorrow is, sadly, the last original episode for the 2014 Season of both SG and TBD. On SG we go completely off the reservation to do something different. I've known the Clark family in Louisiana for more years than I care to say. I met Jim Clark Jr. at, I believe, my first ""combat pistol" match, and he introduced me early on to his sister Kay. I stood in awe of Jim Sr., and the first time I went to the gunsmithy on Shootout Lane outside of Princeton, LA, it was like visiting the Mother Church of Cool Custom Guns. Of course, when Kay married Jerry Miculek, the Clark/Miculek family became unequivocally America's first family of shooting.

At SHOT Producer John Carter and I sat down with Kay, Jerry and Jim to discuss coming down to Shootout Lane and spend time with the family...not to do "interviews," but to take out viewers inside this wonderful family. I believe this episode is going to blow you guys away!

Couple of quick links. After my convergence discussion on the podcast last week, I thought I'd link to this article on the coming 3-D Printing revolution:
Imagine what will happen when millions of people start using the tools that produced The Liberator to make, copy, swap, barter, buy, and sell all the quotidian stuff with which they furnish their lives. Rest in peace, Bed, Bath & Beyond. Thanks for all the stuff, Foxconn, but we get our gadgets from Pirate Bay and MEGA now. 
Once the retail and manufacturing carnage starts to scale, the government carnage will soon follow. How can it not, when only old people pay sales tax, fewer citizens obtain their incomes from traditional easy-to-tax jobs, and large corporate taxpayers start folding like daily newspapers? Without big business, big government can't function.
"You can't stop the signal, Mal!" Interesting enough, Kevin Creighton from Misfires & Light Strikes noted that while firearms are indeed caught up in the upcoming manufacturing paradigm shift, reloading is not. In fact, as Kevin goes on to say, reloading is pretty much rooted in Industrial Revolution technology. That's true. The only big difference is that case and bullet feeders are powered with that newfangled electricity instead of requiring all reloaders to live next to running water or have room enough in the house for in industrial steam engine. Although I still wear my steampunk goggles when reloading.  On the first season of GUN STORIES, Steve Hunter had a great insight during his interview...the breakthrough wasn't the firearm itself, but the internal primer brass cartridge case. We cna change the guns, but, so far, we haven't been able to change the case...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Those Darn Assault Flashlights!

From the Denver Red
Gun-mounted flashlights spark concerns in wake of accidental Denver police shootings 
Denver's police chief said Thursday he has ordered extra training and a review of department policies after the second accidental shooting by an officer this month and the fifth in a little over a year. 
Police are still investigating the latest shooting Sunday night, but at least two of the accidental shootings have been blamed on gun-mounted tactical flashlights. Such lights have also been cited in other accidental police shootings across the country, including one that killed a man in Texas.
The SureFire lights with the push-button switch under the trigger guard are being blamed for the negligent discharges. This issue first came to public light (so to speak) last year, I believe, from a Force Science Institute report:
One possibility, Lewinski asserts, is that under stress, when the exertion of physical pressure tends to become intensified, an officer pressing his middle finger against the flashlight switch pad will produce a sympathetic reaction in the index finger. If that finger happens to be inside the trigger guard and on the pistol’s trigger, the reaction may be forceful enough to cause an unintentional discharge. 
Ideally, of course, the index finger would be outside the guard and on the frame until a conscious decision to shoot has been made. But research studies have convincingly shown that, despite training to the contrary, officers in high-stress situations tend to move the finger onto the trigger, often without even being aware they have done so.
My good friend Paul Markel wrote an excellent piece on addressing the Force Science Institute report:
In the current case we have a report that says an inanimate object, tactical light, was to blame for a negligent shooting. Not the agency’s failure to train or the officer’s inability to operate the equipment properly. We could strip away every weapon mounted light from every cop gun in the nation and by next week some officer somewhere would have a negligent discharge.  
Training, education, and practice are not luxuries for surgeons, heavy-equipment operators, or airline pilots. But for some reason far too many law enforcement agencies still view training as a luxury or a simple line item to be cut from a tight budget. Sadly I don’t see this changing any time soon. It’s easy to blame inanimate objects for failures, they can’t defend themselves.
As a civilian — a really big distinction, I think! — I leave my weapons-mounted lights with rocker switches rather than changing out to pressure switches, not because I'm worried about a sympathetic motor response, which I think we're all familiar with, but the fact that i've trained to use the rocker switch and I'm comfortable with it. The weapons-mounted light on the handgun is always secondary to a handheld light, that is, the weapons-mounted light isn't used for searching except in the most extreme circumstances (loss of the primary, for resample). I believe we modeled a technique for using a weapons-mounted light for searching on THE BEST DEFENSE a couple of seasons ago.

On the handgun, the weapons-mounted light comes into play after the threat has been found and identified.

On the long gun, it's a different story. There have been occasions where things have gone bump in the night very loudly, and before heading out to check on said bump I shifted from the defensive handgun to the AR. In that case, I turned the weapons-mounted light on and left it on; the AR was essentially held at low ready, using the edges of the light beam to search.

How many of you guys are using pressure switches vs rockers on weapons-mountd lights????

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Suicide is Painless...

...was, of course, the title of the theme song to the famously successful television series M.A.S.H. And, of course, suicide isn't least, not for the ones left behind. A long time ago a friend of mine committed suicide and it left me totally fuddled. He was smart, funny and seemed to have everything to live for, and I asked myself what everyone does after such an event, "Why?"

And since I was (and still am) a relentless researcher, I started looking into suicides because I wanted answers for myself. I discovered a strange fact. Despite decades and literally billions of dollars in suicide therapies, suicide hotlines, suicide, etc., the net effect on the overall suicide rate of the U.S. was plus-or-minus zero. You can see it on the graphs at this site. The rate per 100,000 various within a relatively narrow range, call it an average of about 10 people per 100,000.

This leads to a very cold-blooded conclusion — within a population a certain number of people are, for lack of a better word, "broken," and one way or another they will take their own lives. The percentage seems to be tied to cultural factors...different countries have different suicide rates, from a high in Greenland of 83/100K to a low of zero in Nepal. The U.S. ranks at 33 among 110 countries.

I bring this up because suicides by firearms is the newest battlefield for our blood enemies. I'm seeing signs all over the place that this will be part of our new battle-space, largely because of the collapse of Obama's antigun shill for Surgeon General. Did I mention I had a doctor who asked me about gun ownership? I was surprised how quickly she wilted under the barrage questions about her sexual proclivities, her tax returns, her body image, whether she was an appropriate guardian for her children...I said, hey, everything's on the table, right? Never went back, but that's another story.

The "guns are a legitimate public health concern" meme is centered around suicides. Ironically, you know what does correlate with suicide rates? Economic conditions...there's a surprise. America's highest suicide rate was during the Great Depression. When the economy goes down, suicide rates go up. Here's an LA Times article, but there's a TON of studies out there...look it up yourself! Hmmmmmmmmm...who was it that wrecked the economy, drove the costs of health care through the ceiling (my policy, which was one of 3 policies actually grandfathered in, TRIPLED in premium costs) and in general injected a level of uncertainty into our lives unseen since said Great Depression????

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Friday Assortment of Chocolates

First, Marie Antoinette doesn't like the room service:
Michelle Obama and three of her family members are staying in a $8,350-per-night Beijing presidential suite, but despite a 24-hour butler and other perks that come with the lodging, her entourage has inconvenienced 'pretty much everyone' and made the hotel staff 'fed up,' a well-placed hotel staffer has told MailOnline. 
The sumptuous pad at the Westin Beijing Chaoyang hotel – its website calls the room 'an oasis of comfort – is a 3,400-square-foot masterpiece including a private steam room, 'corner sofas with silk pillows,' and in-room dining for six. But the Obamas' stay has already affected staff and guests at the hotel, with the Westin front-desk veteran alleging that Mrs. Obama's mother Marian Robinson has been 'barking at the staff since she arrived.'
What a bunch of graceless swine they are! And what is Marie Antoinette, the Queen Mother and the Royal Offspring doing in China? Trying to figure out a better way to sell out the United States? Or she just couldn't get a decent Eight Treasure Rice in D.C. and figured we suckers will pick up the bill? What, wouldn't Beijing deliver if we promised them Taiwan? 2016 can't come soon enough...

I note the Beretta 92 is going through something of a renaissance, or at least another blip on the public radar. Wilson Combat is bringing out a complete line of Beretta parts, plus custom gunsmithing. They're also brining Ernest Langdon on board as a consultant. Aside from being one heck of a good guy and an old friend of mine, Ernest is the Lord High Master of the Beretta 92.

In truth, I never cared for the Beretta 92. Big, clunky and, in general, a massive case of the blahs. the only one that I really enjoyed shooting was a Vertec (which was designed with a straight backstrap for more of a 1911 feel) Ernest had rebuilt for a friend of mine.

If I recall Bill Wilson always had a thing for the big Beretta (and Bill, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). I'm thinking he shot at Beretta 92 at the inaugural IDPA invitational match in Columbia, MO, back in the Back When. Could'a just been me getting ahold of some bad Eight Treasure Rice, however.

Interesting legal piece on silencers, from the Courthouse News Service, talking about the 6 characteristics BATFE uses to determine whether a new device attached to the muzzle of a gun is or is not a suppressor:
"But where did that list of six characteristics come from? The agency [BATFE] never explains whether those six characteristics are present in all (or most?) silencers. The agency never explains whether there are other common characteristics that do not appear on its list. And the agency never explains how many characteristics in common are necessary to be classified as a 'firearm silencer.' What if a device has an 'encapsulator' and an 'end cap; - is it a silencer? What about a device that is attached to the muzzle of a rifle, and is full of "sound dampening material," but has none of the other five physical characteristics-is it a silencer? 
The agency's approach leaves Innovator (as well as other regulated parties, and reviewing courts) guessing." (Parentheses in original) From there, the judge's assessment of the ATF's review became even more pointed. "Hypotheticals further illustrate the weakness of this methodology," he wrote. "A mouse is not an 'elephant' solely because it has three characteristics that are common to known elephants: a tail, gray skin and four legs. A child's bike is not a 'motorcycle' solely because it has three characteristics common to known motorcycles: two rubber tires, handlebars, and a leather seat. And a Bud Light is not 'Single-Malt Scotch,' just because it is frequently served in a glass container, contains alcohol, and is available for purchase at a tavern. To close with a firearm-related example a hockey puck us not a 'rubber bullet,' just because it has rounded sides, is made of vulcanized rubber, and is capable of causing injury when launched at high speeds. Learning that one object has three characteristics in common with some category may not be very helpful in determining whether the object in question belongs in that category.
Read the whole thing. It's illuminating. A mouse is indeed not an elephant.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My Job Application for AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

AMERICAN RIFLEMAN has an Associate Editor position open, and after a lot of soul (not to mention "sole") searching, I have decided to apply. Here's my letter to AMERICAN RIFLEMAN Ed-in-Chief Mark Keefe. All you people who are applying for jobs, you might want to take notes...THIS is an application letter!


To Mark Keefe;

I wanna be the new Associate Editor of AMERICAN RIFLEMAN!!! Pick me! Pick me! I'm jumping up and down shouting, "Pick me! Pick me!" I am the only "DO-IT-ALL" candidate in the Whole Wide World!!!

"When it comes down to terminal ballistics of the 7.62 v. the 5.56, you can suck on all the ballistic gelatin you want until it runs down your chin and gums up your Taliban homeboy beard, but real operators know that on the ground, the proof is in the pudding...and that's a pudding made of puree de brain and 168-grains of screaming death..."
"In the days when buffalo roamed the great American Plains like fleas across the back of yo' daddy's blue tick hound, the only thing between a buffalo hunter and a miserable dinner of year-old beef jerky soaked in his own steaming piss and marinated over a buffalo chip fire was the mighty .54 caliber Sharps rifle..."
I can whip up WILEY CLAPP REDUX:
"In all my years of law enforcement, I never once saw a .357 round shot from any revolver that would cause a full size automobile to flip over on its back, slide more than 200 yards and explode into flames. Although, to be fair, I once saw a mortally wounded Yugo sigh heavily to one side and roll over when hit with a 158-grain round nose lead .38 from a vintage S&W Chief's Special. I believe, however, the Yugo had been previously wounded."
I can fantastically recreate MR. COLION NOIR:
"I like this rifle. No, I think I love this rifle. It handles like a rifle should, more like a rocket ship than a banana. I could carry this rifle to any bathroom in America, prop it against the back corner  right behind the toilet and do my ablutions while remaining on the sleek, cutting edge of readiness..."
I can channel RICHARD MANN:
"The trees had just started to change from summer green to that almost translucent green-gold just before the autumnal explosion of yellows, golds and red. As I pulled my worn Carhartt jacket off the hook on the wall, I thought, 'Is the ballistic coefficient of Hornaday 50-grain V-Max in a 22-250 Remington the reason that round can achieve .223 levels of velocity and power from what amounts to an aging cartridge' The coat felt like an old friend..."
I can even do a credible MARKIE MARK KEEFE:
"Weeks before America was thrust into the swirling vortex of the second great world war, the War Department was concerned over the available numbers of what would become "the greatest battle implement ever devised," the M1 Garand. But to truly understand the Garand, we need to start with the buttstock..."
I know me some ENGLISH GRAMMAR:
"The AR-15 platform, that is actually more popular than your sister among the football team, is, to be perfectly clear, really, really old which sucks."
I believe I can TOTALLY REVIVE the flagging "Armed Citizen" column:
"The goblin came in through the bathroom window, which sounds far more rhythmic than the actual event. He pulled on yellow rubber gloves — not the thin ones like your doctor uses on your behind parts, but the real deal, Mr. Clean, blood-resistant $3.95 at Walmart version. Little did he know that Susie Homemaker had heard the sound of shattering glass, not to mention the "thud" as the goblin tripped over the toilet and fell into the bathtub. She had quickly armed herself with a Kahr Arms P45 with Night Sights (KP4543N), 6 + 1 rounds of thundering 950 feet per second 230 grains of +P Corbon Self-Defense JHP (SD45230) in a DAO package locked breech Browning -type recoil lugged, passive striker blocked, magazine disconnected, polygonal rifled handful of death ($921 MSRP, but BTW YMMV). She was ready..."
I am the ONLY CANDIDATE with these kinds of AWESOME CAPABILITIES. Plus, I have my own car, will work for less than the Second Assistant Burrito Chef at Taco Bell, and personally knew Colonel Jeff Cooper.

I am awaiting your inevitable call.

Mike "Butch" Bane 
(sorry about the "Butch," but "Duke" was apparently already taken)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hot Shrimp...

...that's what we're cooking here at the Secret Hidden Bunker tonite...shrimp with red pepper flakes, garlic and thyme, a Bobby Flay recipe, with steamed asparagus and sourdough bread. Maybe some cold riesling served alongside it.

Did voice-over today for the last SHOOTING GALLERY of Season 14. First, I want to say that I am SO VERY PROUD of the Africa episodes...the first one was last week; the second runs on Wednesday. I believe this is the best television work I can do. Still, lemme give you a hint on our season finale...suppose you could spend a week on Shootout Lane with Jerry Miculek, Kay Clark Miculek, Lena Miculek, Jim Clark Jr., and everyone else on the coolest road in America? Would you do it? Well, you're going to see it next week on SHOOTING GALLERY, and it is just a wonderful show...Kay, Jerry, Jimmy have been my friends for so very many years, and I think we did them proud. Trust me, you won't see stuff like this on any other shooting show!

Hell of a season, I think! The Pattern Room in England (we were the "last boat out," no more video in the Pattern Room), the Africa special, hog hunting with Iain Harrison, Mike Seeklander winning the inaugural IDPA Back-Up Gun Nationals...I'm so proud of what we do!

Keep your fingers crossed that SG will be renewed. We have about a million dollars of great sponsors, and I promise you next year we'll kick it up another notch.

Okay, now that I'm done patting myself (on the crew) on the back, check out my friend Mr. Colion Noir's video piece on the DS Arms FN-FAL. As you know I am a huge fan of the FAL...I consider by DS-FAL my "go-to" major caliber battle rifle. FALs are tricksy beasts...they feel clunky until you run them...then they are just right. My FAL has DS' Speed Trigger mod, so it's a pretty sweet trigger for the old warhorse. Honestly, with all the frenzy over 7.62 AR platform guns — and yes, I'm as guilty as anyone else of throwing wood on that fire! — the FAL is the most underrated battle rifle in the world.

And speaking of friends, I got a press release from my pal Randy Luth, founder of DPMS, on his latest venture, LUTH-AR, AR accessories starting out with 2 AR platform stocks. They look good, and heaven knows Randy knows his way around an AR! I hope to have one of the MBA-1s pretty quickly. I'll let you know how it works out.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

.38 Not So Special

There's a really good article over on Forgotten Weapons about the .38 S&W, not the "Special," but the shorter round that preceded it. I think it's pretty interesting. The .38 S&W round dates back to 1877 as a black powder cartridge and has survived (barely) into the smokeless powder age, mostly due to the bazillions of S&W Victory Models that flooded the market for years.

My interest in the cartridge comes from the fact that my first handgun, a gift from my parents, was an S&W "Regulation Police" revolver in .38 S& that gun for my 12th birthday! The "Regulation Police" was the 4-inch version of the S&W I-frame, the slightly smaller frame that predated the J-frame. The guns were also available in .32 as well. S&W started rolling them out in 1917-ish and they continued until the introduction of the beefier J-frame around 1960. The short-barreled version was I believe called the "Terrier."

When I was old enough to start carrying the little revolver, my father and I cooked up some "self-defense" reloads using swaged pure lead wadcutter we made on a C-H press over a stiff load of Bullseye. That made the little gun bark! I somewhat stupidly had the gun reblued back in the early 1980s, put Pachmayr grips on it and went totally tactical. Luckily, I had sense enough to save the original wood grips (unlike the wood presentation box for my Model 29 revolver).

One of these days I'll box it up and send it to Doug Turnbull for restoration.

Interestingly enough, Buffalo Bore makes a real self-defense .38 S&W round, with at 125-gr hard cast bullet at 1000 fps. A similar round, the ".38 Short Colt," a shortened .38 Special case made by Starline and NOT interchangeable with the .38 S&W (the S&W is slightly fatter, and also made by Starline) has achieved some success with ICORE shooters.

Friday, March 14, 2014


I have a reader's advance copy of my good friend Steven Hunter's newest Bob Lee Swagger book, SNIPER'S HONOR, scheduled for release 20 May 2014. I'll do my best and get it read ASAP and get you guys a review.

I'm thinking it's time to do a special event with Steve on DRTV again. Interested?

And yes, you will see Steve on GUN STORIES With Joe Mantegna, Season 4, coming up this summer!

Closure, of a Kind

It's time for me to be back on the road. GUN STORIES Season 4 is waiting, with SHOOTING GALLERY Season 15 and THE BEST DEFENSE Season 7 in the wings. Yesterday my Sweetie and I wen to check on construction of the new Secret Hidden's going well, but painfully. In some case it's that I have pretty specific "wants" regarding the off-grid systems. On grid, it makes a lot of sense to have linked systems, everything interconnected. Off grid, on a deeply interconnected system system, if one piece goes down, everything goes down...not a good idea in deep winter, I don't think.

So as much as possible we've tried to separate critical systems. An example...we're using propane for the back-up generator, house heat, hot water. Instead of everything feeding off a single large line, we opted for 2 separate tanks, one providing propane for the generator, the radiant floor heat and kitchen hot water; the second providing propane for the back-up gas heat and the master hot water. What I'm trying to protect against is draining one tank and shutting down all the house propane-based systems. Ditto on water...a low-yield well feeds 2 1275-gallon cisterns set in the crawlspace of the house.

None of this is complicated — it just costs more. And the guys doing the work are puzzled as to why I'd add expense (except for the guys who live off-grid, and they get it immediately).

While we were visiting the property, my Sweetie and I decided to hike up to the highest point. That was the hike we planned to take Alf the Wonder Beagle on last Friday. We were excited for her...all new territory, with its panoply of wonderful smells  deer, elk, coyotes, bears, passing horses and cattle, who knows what...all to be analyzed and categorized by her amazing nose.

Because of the melted snow, the path up was as readable as an open book. I saw where the elk herd had moved across the path, where the curious deer and coyote came down to view the strange new thing on their turf. I saw what might have been a bear print, but dismissed it because I think it's still too early for them to be out and about.

When we got to the top, the view was well and truly breathing-taking...the mountains and the plains were laid out before us. There was Pike's Peak, more than 100 miles away, and even further the dim outlines of the Sangre de Christo Mountains and Raton Pass, on the border of New Mexico.

 My Sweetie and I plan to build a rock bench there, near where Alf and Pokke-san — and, God-willing, me, when my time comes to walk that path — will be resting.

On the very edge of our vision, I could see clouds forming over Raton Pass...snow by morning, I thought. We stayed for a while, and it was the wind that made our eyes tear so. Then we hiked down, to get on with it.

Bid the years good-bye you cannot still them
You cannot turn the circles of the sun
You cannot count the miles until you feel them
And you cannot hold a lover that is gone

It’s snowin’ on Raton
Come morning I’ll be through them hills and gone

— Townes Van Zant
"Snowin' on Raton"

Friday, March 07, 2014

Alf The Wonder Beagle, R.I.P.

...last night of an undetected and undetectable heart problem...I can't write this now...oh God, we miss her!

The House Dog’s Grave 
by Robinson Jeffers
(Haig, an English bulldog)

I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the nights through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read - and I fear often grieving for me -
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying.
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dears, that’s too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided….
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Alf the Wonder Beagle and Pokke-san the Tailless Manx
Friends Reunited in the Hands of the God of All Things

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Shunning Gun Owners

First, this horrific post from Stately McDaniel Manor blog, Connecticut: The Coming Storm, is all over the it should be:
Starting awake from a sound sleep by the explosion of your door being smashed open and the heavy stomping of booted feet, you stumble down the stairs and into the hallway. As you turn toward the sounds, you’re blinded by multiple bright lights and hear many people screaming at you, but their words are unintelligible. You raise your hands to shield your eyes, but you have your cell phone in your right hand. As soon as it comes into view, you’re overwhelmed by a tidal wave of explosive sounds and feel the first bullets rip into your body. There are stars, so many stars, winking and suddenly, everything goes silent and black and your last conscious thought is a feeling of falling. 
The SWAT team, surprised when you suddenly appeared only five feet from them, screamed conflicting commands at you. When you raised your hands and one of them saw something dark in your right hand, he jerked back the trigger of his MP5 submachine gun and didn’t let go until the weapon was empty. Seeing him fire, four more did the same. Of the 137 rounds five of the team initially fired, only 18 actually hit you, but it was enough. The rest shredded your home from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Six nearby homes were hit, as were four cars. As you lay dying, your heart beating ever more slowly and weakly, you were spared the horror of your wife’s death.
Read it, then read it again and pass it on to all your friends. It should probably be stapled to the forehead of every fool in the CT legislature who voted for this unConstitutional abortion of a law with the this notation added, "Is this what you want for American citizens?"

Anyway, listen to today's podcast on the impending crisis.

I was looking at my FaceBook page this AM, and it reminded me to post this particularly incisive peice from NRO's Charles Cooke on "The Push to Ostracize Gun Fans on FaceBook:"
And herein lies the problem: What Moms Demand Action and their authoritarian friends are really trying to do is drive gun culture underground: away from polite society; away from lightly regulated and difficult-to-control social media; away from the mainstream and the traditional. They would herd it into a faraway place where it can be more easily denigrated and where its adherents can be more efficiently marginalized. Which is to say that the pressure Watts and company are exerting on Facebook isn’t about “safety” or “common sense” or “helping the children” so much as it is about ostracism. Watts knows full well that Americans are less responsive to her propaganda than they are to the vital philosophy that lies behind the Second Amendment. She know that many Americans have taken note of the reams of literature documenting that crime rates have fallen at the same time gun laws have loosened. She knows that the Internet is not her friend. She knows that, on the question of gun control at least, the little platoons have beaten the centralizers for years now.
Definitely read the whole thing! Then check out the Gun Free Zone's take on the issue:
I do believe in the power of political idiocy and I know Zuckenberg is an avowed liberal, but is he ready to alienate a good several million Gun Owners and Gun Rights enthusiasts because Shannon Watts [Mom's Demand Action, a whole owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg] has her $150 La Perla undies in a bunch?

Tuesday, March 04, 2014


I'm scripting for GUN STORIES this week...just finished a piece on the SMLE Mark III. I always end up with much more research that we can get into the show. For example, I never realized that J.P. Lee envisioned replaceable magazines as early as the 1880s, which is why the first Lee Enfields weren't equipped for stripper clips (that came in 1902).

When I was with Larry Potterfield last week, he was laughing because I was studying the standard reference texts on British double rifles. "Are you going to buy a double rifle?" he asked. To which I responded, "As if!" Still, I can dream, can't I? Tonight I'm reading the history of Walther.

This week's podcast was a toughie to record...I decided I needed to talk about Connecticut and dancing on the edge of the abyss. Listen to it and let me know what you think! It scares the crap out of me.

Here's a piece from the great John Farnam on "The Wind." What struck me was his quotes from A Man for All Seasons, where Sir Thomas More challenged Henry VIII. John quoted a conversation between More and his future son-in-law, William Roper, on the law:
This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And when you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
John wonders whether any of us will be able to stand against the winds that are coming. It's probably worth noting that Sir Thomas More lost his head on July 6, 1535.

Monday, March 03, 2014

The World is Changing...

...we were giving The Wonder Beagle her long backcountry hike on Sunday when we passed another woman walking her 2 dogs on the trail. She had a big ole S&W revolver strapped outside her jacket.

Armed America...get used to it!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Thinking Cap Sunday...

It's often a mistake to accept something as true merely because it's obvious. The truth is only arrived at by the painstaking process of eliminating the untrue.
— Sherlock Holmes
"Dressed to Kill"

This morning, here's an interesting read from the Human Interest's about intelligence failures on the Ukraine and media response, but the article does an excellent job of explaining whet we've been talking about for years — the inability of the "chattering" classes...politicians, pundits, get past their own mental blocks:
 Through the rose tinted lenses of a media community deeply convinced that President Obama and his dovish team are the masters of foreign relations, nothing poor Putin did could possibly derail the stately progress of our genius president. There were, we were told, lots of reasons not to worry about Ukraine. War is too costly for Russia’s weak economy. Trade would suffer, the ruble would take a hit. The 2008 war with Georgia is a bad historical comparison, as Ukraine’s territory, population and military are much larger. Invasion would harm Russia’s international standing. Putin doesn’t want to spoil his upcoming G8 summit, or his good press from Sochi. Putin would rather let the new government in Kiev humiliate itself with incompetence than give it an enemy to rally against. Crimea’s Tartars and other anti-Russian ethnic minorities wouldn’t stand for it. Headlines like “Why Russia Won’t Invade Ukraine,” “No, Russia Will Not Intervene in Ukraine,” and “5 Reasons for Everyone to Calm Down About Crimea” weren’t hard to find in our most eminent publications.
But this massive intellectual breakdown has a lot to do with a common American mindset that is especially built into our intellectual and chattering classes. Well educated, successful and reasonably liberal minded Americans find it very hard to believe that other people actually see the world in different ways. They can see that Vladimir Putin is not a stupid man and that many of his Russian officials are sophisticated and seasoned observers of the world scene. American experts and academics assume that smart people everywhere must want the same things and reach the same conclusions about the way the world works.
Read the whole thing. The article suggests that the problem is lack of political diversity in academia and the MSM. It reminds me an incident here at the Bunker a few years back...we were spending a pleasant evening with friends from out of town, including one veteran reporter from a major newspaper. At one point she absolutely gushed that her newsroom perfectly mirrored the gender, racial and sexual composition of America (although, if I remember correctly, they were still looking for 1/2 of a gay Asian guy to round things out).

My Sweetie asked the $64,000 Question — how many reporters/editors had a CCW license, as the state was "shall issue?" "None, of course!" was the answer. She followed up with another many editors/reporters are pro-life? "None, of course!" Finally, the reporter said, "I don't understand what you're getting at here..."

Truer words were never spoken! Because the newsroom superficially mirrored America, the people who worked in that newsroom believed — absolutely believed — that the newsroom was "diverse." In reality the newsroom was about as intellectually diverse as a meeting of the Young Socialist Alliance.

That is one of the key issues we're dealing with as we move toward an Armed America, the portion of our country who can't imagine the world isn't exactly as they see it. And they are not just committed to their delusions, but they relentlessly demand that the government (many of whose members share those delusions) codify their fevered fantasies into law.

Armed America stands as absolute refutation to the fundamental delusion of the chattering classes. Interesting take on exactly this point from a member of said class, Michael Barone, "Concealed Carry Laws Have Changes America Regardless of the National Debate on Gun Control:"
The result has been that over the years the entire nation has become carry-concealed-weapons territory, as shown in a neat graphic in a Volokh Conspiracy blog post by Dave Kopel. Back in 1987, some people, myself included, worried that such laws would lead to frequent shootouts on the streets arising from traffic altercations and the like. That has not happened -- something we can be sure of since the mainstream media would be delighted to headline such events.
In any case the argument that concealed-weapons laws would lead to more violent crime has been about as thoroughly refuted as an argument can be. One lesson, I think, is that responsible citizens tend to behave like responsible citizens, even if — or perhaps especially if — they’re armed. Another lesson is that the national political dialogue can be totally irrelevant to what really happens in American life.
We are seeing the normalization of Armed America at the same time as our blood enemies are on the verge of seeing their fondest fantasy acted out in Connecticut door-to-door confiscation of firearms by armed government agents.

Here's a great summary of gun confiscation in America (also the wonderful illustration) from the blog, which notes:
If you’ve been involved in any gun debates lately, you’ve likely heard, or maybe even said, “No one is coming to take your guns.” This is often used in an effort to belittle the opponents’ arguments by making them appear to be paranoid conspiracy theories. Even Vice President Joe Biden says that the very idea is “bizarre”. I decided to see if I could come up with any examples of gun confiscations in America in an effort to come to my own conclusion. This list is the result of that research.
Remember, gun control is a religion, a belief system, that because it is created of whole cloth without regard to reality requires faith on the part of its adherents. That faith includes a belief in a Better World In The Misty Future. I've talked to literally hundreds of antigun activists over the years, and it is my sense that the Better World they dream of is not a gun-free paradise, but rather a world in which we gun owners are dragged from our homes and hauled off for "re-education"...or whatever. That is the end game I've had described to me a thousand times.

I suspect what happens in Connecticut over the next few months will be a defining moment for both Armed America and the gun confiscation movement.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Michael Gets Taken to the Woodshed!

After my podcast talking about what  termed the "mythology" of the "shoot-me-first" vest and fanny pack, I got a great note from Rob Garrett, longtime writer for Harris Publications and longtime LEO and trainer, quite appropriately taking me to the woodshed over my comments:
I listened to your podcast with interest when you discussed the "shoot me first vest" and the "fanny packs." I have been one of those who preached against both in general terms to both LE and civilian students. 
I would like to make the following observations: Rule number one of concealed carry is to not do anything that would draw attention. That includes being noticed by the bad guys and, for the armed citizen, by L.E. (Even if you are legally carrying) In the great majority of urban environments, a photo/journalists vest and/or fanny pack do draw attention. (The exception is if you have several thousand dollars with of Nikon hanging around your neck). 
Other sport and hunting vests do not stand out like a Banana Republic vest. I wear a Drake vest often but it blends in with my environment. This follows along with what we teach to our officers about wearing police related clothing when they are draws attention and makes them a potential target. The next time any of us goes to a movie, out to dinner, or to a shopping mall, survey the public we come in contact with and see how many multi-pocket vest and fanny bags we see. If the answer is none or very few, I would suggest not using either.  
We study bad guys M.O. and bad guys study cops. They study how to ID the narcs, how to do a gun grab on a security holster, and to shoot us in the neck to defeat our body armor. They know what undercover cars we use and often listen to our radios via the internet. 
I agree with you that I want to maintain any advantage I can if a situation goes south. It is not a question of how many people have been "shot" because of a vest or fanny pack. It is a matter of tactics for your environment. I am glad that open carry is legal in most states. However, I do not advocate open carry in public for the same reasons as above. 
We still lock our doors even when there has never been any violent crime in our neighborhood. We all carry a reload even though we have never been in a gunfight and the statistics show reloads are few and far between. I especially liked the comments about training outside of your comfort zone...great thoughts that need to be shared more...
And a follow-up:
I neglected to mention in my email where the term "shoot me first vest" originally came from. It did not come from the IDPA community or any shooting affiliation. It was originally coined by those working protective details and wearing a photo journalist vest. While the vest was intended to concealed firearm, it resulted in those working the detail standing out and it became obvious who the protectors were. They, the agents wearing the vest, coined the term shoot me first vest. The manner in which they stood out while wearing the vest insured they were immediately identified as armed security for the protecting. 
 Just a little more history. I actually first heard the term from (a) United States Secret Service agent many, many years ago. It is has since be coined by the general shooting community without understanding for context of its origination...
Of course, Rob is right. Rule One is not to stand out. I've been very lucky to live in the Rocky Mountain West, where half the people are in costume all the times, a quarter are hippies pining for Jerry Garcia's long delayed return and the other quarter are more or less cowboys, slightly worn. It slants my view of the world. I own one suit...I haven't worn it in 3 years.

Thanks, Rob, for the course correction...