Friday, July 29, 2005

Zell Miller and the Boston Globe?!?

I can’t believe it. Twice in one week the Boston Globe has surprised me by publishing articles I never thought they’d publish. On Sunday, they discussed a positive role for hunting in reducing out-of-control geese populations. I posted about that article on Wednesday.

Today, they ran an editorial by Zell Miller and he’s in favor of the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” perhaps better known as the gun lawsuit immunity bill. Miller makes accurate and true statements in his characteristically forceful way. It’s definitely worth a read even it is in the Boston Globe.

I’m a former Democrat as I’ve mentioned here more than once. I wouldn’t be a former Democrat if the party had run Zell Miller instead of that poodle, John Kerry. I wouldn’t be a former Democrat if Bill Clinton had half the integrity of Miller. I would have stayed in the party if it supported the Second Amendment like Miller does. In other words, I respect the man immensely. Besides anyone who can (almost) challenge a journalist to a duel deserves my vote.

When Bill and I attended the NRA convention in Houston this year, we met Miller in a book-signing line. The book signing area had two chairs with a draped frame on three sides with a table as the fourth side. While I was waiting for him to sign his book that I bought he did something that showed his integrity and common sense.

Many people wanted a picture with Miller and he was constantly jumping from the table, pushing through the drapes, and standing by the requester. This was slowing the line down. He got up, slid the table over a foot or two, got a couple of book boxes and stacked them to make a signing platform. He then stood there signing books and meeting everyone face to face. He shook hands, allowed photos and talked to everyone of us as genuinely as he could in a short amount of time. Too many politicians and celebrities would have barred photos, spent less time with people, or had flunkies do the work. He didn’t. It may be a little thing, but it impressed me.

Hey, maybe I need to print up a Zell Miller for President button.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Industry Outreach to Non-Gunnies

Sometimes I swear it’s a great time to be a gunnie (granted, other times I wonder if we’ll ever win our rights back). Here’s an article in the Wall Street Journal written by Mark Fritz that makes today a very good day to be a gunnie.

It seems like the firearms industry is finally shaking itself out of its doldrums and undertaking aggressive marketing campaigns. The industry is reaching out to younger people, to non-hunters, to woman, and those who’ve never owned guns before.

I've noticed that gun advertising is reaching out in different directions than in the past. For instance, I’ve noticed more ads for women appearing in gun magazines. Fritz’s article shows a picture of a Smith & Wesson ad showing a young woman alone in the wilderness. The model is perched on a canyon rim showing her athleticism but also a hint of vulnerability. To my untrained eye, it’s a masterful ad.

The article also discusses how gun makers are turning out more powerful guns and more easy to carry guns for concealed carry. They recognize a demand and are meeting it. Fritz uses a Violence Policy Center term when it mentions a “pocket rockets to tuck into your Dockers,” but it has a ring to it. Speaking of VPC, Smith & Wesson sales benefited when VPC attacked the .500 S&W Magnum. In fact, the original model was so successful that the company put out different models.

One marketing strategy aims at attracting people who’ve been fearful of guns. The way gun makers are doing so raises my eyebrow a bit. Makers are adding safety features to handguns. SigArms now markets the “safest handgun in the world,” a Mauser semi-auto pistol with seven internal and external safety features. Their audience is people who live in concealed carry states, but aren’t yet comfortable with guns. Hence, all the safety features.

I don’t like a lot of switches on my guns. I detest a magazine disconnect which prevents a gun from firing without a magazine in place. But, if this and other “safety” features help convince a newly-minted gunnie to buy a gun, then bring them on--just don’t take away my choices in the marketplace.

I think the industry is waking up to the fact that most gun owners aren’t hunters and is taking steps to attract non-gunnies to gun ownership. Personally, I'd like to see ads on television during network prime-time (Sarah Brady would faint). It remains to be seen how effective gun makers will be and if they’ll stay the course, but it’s heartening to see such a positive development.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hunters as a Goose Crap Solution

Well, I never thought I’d see the Boston Globe advocate hunting. And, I really never thought I’d see them advocate hunting and goose “abortion” in the same article.

You see, the Boston area has a big problem with Canada Geese. Geese produce about a pound of poop per day and they leave it all over playing fields, lawns, and open areas. You walk on grassy areas at your peril; or rather you put your shoes at risk. Forget about playing soccer or football and don’t even think of putting down a blanket for a picnic once geese have fertilized a lawn.

The Boston Globe talks about controlling geese population. The writer mentions addling goose eggs, coating them with corn oil thus ending an embryo’s life. Addling helps control populations, but nests are hard to find. It discusses dogs trained to not harm birds, only scare them off. Still, the birds only go so far and it shifts the problem to another playing field.

Recently, state officials have discussed capturing birds and sending them off to Central and Western Massachusetts. People living outside Boston are not too happy about that idea as evidenced by this Letter to the Editor . As the writer points out, Central and Western Massachusetts has its own geese problems.

Believe it or not, the Boston Globe even admits that hunting is a viable way to control geese populations. Be still my heart, one of the country’s most liberal newspapers admits that hunting is valid.

Such as admission gets to me. I hunt because I enjoy it and because I think it’s the right thing to do. Modern society, at least for most of my lifetime, has condemned hunters. Many journalists, academicians, the beautiful people see us as pea-brained morons blasting Bambi into scraps. We’re seen as drunken louts who kill each other as often as we kill legitimate prey. Despite a few who fit the stereotype, hunters have an abiding respect of nature and its gifts. We don’t blast each other into oblivion. Hunting is one of the safest sports there is.

So, whenever there is recognition that animal populations are out of control as in this article, journalists talk about hunting’s benefits. Most of the time, journalists tend to criticize us and seem to wonder why we aren’t all vegans or at least vegetarians.

There is an answer to the vegan calumny. We are as much a part of nature as any goose, deer, coyote, or bear. Hunters take their rightful place in nature and we need more of them. Without them we would be up to our knees in goose crap.

Movement on Gun Maker Liability Bill

Here is a brief note this morning (I don't usually do brief so enjoy it while you can). I noticed that the Senate is finally moving the gun lawsuit immunity bill forward. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist moved debate on it ahead of work on a defense appropriation bill.

I've long supported this "immunity" since one community in one state could destroy the nation's firearm industry with one winning lawsuit. That they haven't won these suits is a credit to good sense left in our court system. Still, I believe it's just a matter of time before someone comes up with a winning combination and bankrupts one or more gun makers.

It's time to pass this bill. Call your Senators and let's get this done.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

London, Police, and Suspicion

Bill and I have spent several days discussing the subway (sorry “Tube”) shooting in London that happened last Friday.

It’s old news now, but just in case it’s new to you, London plainclothes police officers chased a terrorist suspect into a tube station. He had come out of a building suspected of housing terrorists, he was wearing a bulky coat of some sort on a warm day, he ran when cops told him to stop, and then tried to get on a train after jumping the turnstiles. The cops tackled him and then shot him five times, most of the bullets destroying his head. He turned out to be a young Brazilian electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes, who was not carrying a bomb and apparently has no ties to terrorists.

For me, Menezes is a victim of terrorists much as were the people in New York and the Pentagon on 9/11 and in London on 7/7, but in a more indirect way. He unwittingly fit a terrorist profile and then made a fatal mistake of running when he should have stopped. We’ll never know if he realized the plainclothes officers were police or thought they were thugs chasing him in a bad neighborhood. We can’t know what caused him to run even while cops were yelling at him. He can’t tell his story.

Yet, sad as it was, the police are not at fault either. They did the best they could with the information they had. Menezes seemed suspicious and any reasonable person given what is happening in London now would come to the same conclusion. They knew that the surest way to prevent a suicide bomber from triggering his belt is to destroy his brain. Without a brain, a terrorist cannot press a button, pull a wire, or flip a switch. If Menezes had been a bomber and had blown himself up on a packed train car, the police chasing him would be killed, commuters would have died, and the police department pilloried.

But, here’s the worst part. So long as we're facing terrorism we're risking a situation in which police officers will be justified in shooting anyone who is wearing unusual clothes—might be a bomb in those baggy jeans or a gun hidden in those camo hunting clothes. Or, anyone who lives or works in a building in which terrorists may live or work. Or, anyone who seems a little different and is seen as a risk.

In other words, we will live in a police state in which authorities will expect us to conform to certain rules and behaviors. If you think I’m mistaken, look at security lines at airports. Look how passengers are queued in ropes like sheep. Look at their vacant stares. Look at people removing their shoes, their belts, and tossing change in cups. Imagine what would happen if someone made a joke about a bomb or a gun. This mentality is coming to the rest of society.

There may come a time where your religion will be questioned. If you’re a Muslim you’re automatically a suspect, and if you’re a Branch Davidian—oh wait, never mind. If you have certain skills you might raise suspicions. A chemist might have to submit to periodical interrogations to ensure he or she is not mixing explosives. An electrical engineer might have to prove he or she is not assembling bombs. If you’re a gun owner, you better own politically correct guns (perhaps certain shotguns and muskets). And, forget about wearing a coat on a day that your local constable thinks is a touch warm.

Islamofacist terrorists have placed us between hammer and anvil. The only way to defeat them is to give police more power to stop them; including shooting belt-wearing suicide bombers on sight—or those who we think are bombers. However, giving police too much power to act on vague suspicions destroys our society.

I’m a gun nut and I can see a pro-gun solution, one in which regular citizens are armed like Israelis, but those who seem a little different from the rest of us would still be suspect. A suspicion that can destroy us.

Terrorism will destroy our society as we know it if we let it. We must convince Muslims in Britain and America that it is in their best interests to expose bombers in their midst. Menezes’s death may actually focus attention on what happens to innocent people when police must act on too little information. Maybe something good will come out of his unfortunate death when Muslims and others realize their lives and freedoms are at risk. So Jean Charles de Menezes requiescat in pace.

Finally, We Are Moved

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here, so a little personal news is in order. Bill and I finished moving out of our old place. We now have almost all of our stuff in two big piles on either side of the living room and need to put everything where it belongs. Only the bedroom is getting close to being finished. When it comes to moving, I’ve discovered a very broad, very powerful streak of laziness in my personality. But then again I’m sick and tired of moving, of home improvements, of appliance buying. Oh well, must be done. We finally got our cable hooked up yesterday, so Ten Ring is back in business. I'll have a real post up this afternoon.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Gun Nut Moving Day Woes

Yeah, we're still here, but we don't have our home computers set up and no cable modem yet. We have to get out of the old apartment by July 24 (we made a deal that saved us rent and enabled the apartment manager to fill the apartment that much faster). We took off work yesterday and moved guns and ammo--not the famous magazine, but literal, hard, heavy, bulky, ungainly guns and ammo.

Moving is when our gun nuttery is literally a pain in the back, legs, and arms. Let me give you an idea about our grief without getting so specific as to bore you.

Our two reloading machines don't fit into any conventional-sized boxes. You can't just go to a moving/storage store and find their handy-dandy reloader box complete with little compartments for powder measures, priming trays, and a scale. Plus, you have to empty the priming trays, the powder measures and all that fun stuff. Still we got them moved.

Oh a word to the wise, when we took our handgun loader off the bench we found a lot of dead primers all clustered around the hole that they’re supposed to fall out of. When you pick it up, dead primers go all over the place. Our vacuum cleaner doesn’t like picking them up so it was hands and knees time.

Then, there's lead shot. How can such small bags weigh so much? Oh wait, it is lead stupid. Of course, we have small boxes of bullets that have to go too. You can't just pack this stuff in a book box and think you’re going to carry it all to the pickup truck. Maybe if you’re Hercules and the box is made out of titanium. For the rest of us, it means a bunch of time consuming trips. Also, one does feel funny carrying two small bags at a time and breaking into a sweat. Powder containers fit nicely in boxes though.

Now, of course there’s the loaded ammo. Again, you have to deal with weight and the many small trip problem, but we loaded it all into shallow boxes and managed to get it on the hand truck and out the door.

Finally, we turned to guns. All the handguns fit in our handgun boxes. We made a tower of boxes and moved them on the hand truck all at once. Yeah, we caught a break there.

We faced a different problem with the rifles. We don’t have enough rifle cases for all of them. Those that were cased went out on a dolly. But, we really didn’t want to hand carry our rifles through the apartment complex—who knows how many Gun Fearing Wussies could faint at the sight (besides, it’s a bad security idea to show people just what you own).

That meant the longest ones like an Enfield Martini-Henry (Zulu) rifle and a Trapdoor Springfield had to be rolled in rugs. Our shortest ones like AR-15 clones, M-1 Carbine, and similar fit inside a rolling garbage can (it’s clean since we bag all of our trash) that we padded with plastic-bagged newspapers and blankets. Other rifles went out the door however we could protect them including rolled in a blanket and carried over the shoulder.

I won’t get into the safe and gun cabinet, moving those is just grunt labor. Accessories are similar—at least AR, and M-1 Carbine mags are light when empty.

When we had a pickup truck load we headed to our new home and got them secured before going back for the rest of it. What a chore all around.

So, moving is one of the few drawbacks of collecting and shooting guns. My back still hurts and I hope my co-workers enjoy the smell of Ben-Gay today.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

House Moving Blues

Bill and I have a case of the low-down, good-for-nothing, house-moving blues. Our computers are torn down and I am taking a few minutes to blog from work before I start my day. We will reassemble the computers tonight or tomorrow although we'll be on dial up for the rest of the week. We hope to resume real blogging once our computers are on line. You don't realize how much you miss the Internet until you haven't had access for a few days.

We moved the big stuff out of the apartment to the condo. We now have two big piles; furniture on one side and boxes on the other. We both have a lot of books and bookcases for them. One of these days soon the twain must meet. Even though we spent all weekend moving, we still have stuff in the apartment. We have another five days to get it all out.

Right now we still have all of our ammo in the apartment. That will be the last to move. We keep a goodly supply and our backs are already aching in anticipation of moving all of that stuff. We didn't get a chance to burn some of our supply in the Postal Match, but we will try this coming weekend. Wish us luck on the postal match. Even more, wish us luck on the rest of our move and subsequent apartment clean up. We need it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Follow Up to Urban Coyotes, Again

Yesterday I posted on urban coyotes. Frequent commenter, blueeyes, made a lengthy comment. I started to answer in a post length comment and realized I’d probably exceed the Halsoscan limit, so I decided to post my reply.

Blueeyes wondered if I thought he was turning into an "eco-troll." I don’t feel his comment was trollish. We’ve exchanged comments about this before and I know he’s informed and passionate about it.

First, blueeyes pointed to advice in the article I linked from the Boston Globe. It mentioned that you could discourage coyotes with cayenne pepper. Blueeyes points out that using pepper spray is not a good idea for various reasons. One could spread powdered red cayenne instead of using a spray, but using either is not ideal. Still, it's typical of the advice many in authority give when they’re confronted with questions about living with wild animals--almost useless.

Blueeyes had three specific issues he asked me about. I’ll ask them in the order he gave, but I’ll paraphrase the questions:

Question A: Coyote attacks on human are not frequent, so what is the significance of increased human-coyote interaction? Coyotes aren't the only animals living with us. Increasingly we’re living with bears, alligators, deer, mountain lions, foxes, etc. even packs of wild dogs. Some are predators, some aren't. We live with these creatures and they have their own set of rules. Too many people are separated from the natural world and only know about nature from Disney movies.

Nature is a great thing. I love being outdoors and I hunt and fish. I’ve also read up on animal behavior and have a modest understanding of animal behavior (you have to if you want a successful hunt). The fact that animals are living among us and that too many people are ignorant of animal behavior is a recipe for disaster. It’s not just my opinion. Here’s an article that discusses changes in coyote behavior as they become acclimated to humans. It also lists coyote attacks in California (.pdf link).

People no longer react to a predator the way our ancestors did when a predator would face a gun, a loud bang, and pain or oblivion. Now, they face people who do nothing to scare it let alone hurt it. In time, that animal is going to associate people with food especially if humand feed it or leave food out for them (see page 5 of the report I linked above). Since children are much more defenseless than adults, when a coyote (or bear, mountain lion) starts to think of humans as food, they’ll go after children first.

Question B: A woman in the Boston Globe article came upon a coyote while driving and honked her horn at the animal, why wouldn’t she use her car as a better weapon than a gun? It’s mindset. People here in New England have become too civilized. She could have used her car, but she may have faced prosecution if someone turned her in for deliberately running over a coyote. Granted, using a gun would have been worse for her.

Too many people have forgotten what our ancestors understood. They knew that killing animals (and people) in self-defense was no crime. Our ancestors went too far when they tried to wipe out mountain lions and wolves. I like having predators in the eco-system; you need them. But, predators have to be reminded that they shall not eat of the hairless ape. Human predators have to be reminded that not all of us are toothless and there’re more of us than them.

Question C: Why is this gun news when there’s so much blog-fodder out there? I blog about what interests me. The fact that predators are making a comeback and that people don’t know how to relate to wild animals anymore interests me. Also, blueeyes quoted a story about idiots firing a stolen gun in Massachusetts woods, but mAssBackwards already covered it. Why repeat something that another blogger covered better than I might have?

Finally, many New Englanders get to me. I’m from the West and lived in Texas before I moved here. I grew up at a time when a truck gun was normal. People in Massachusetts would get an attack of the vapors if they even thought of someone having a gun in a truck or car. In so-called civilized parts of America we’ve gotten away from self-reliance and self-responsibility. Instead, we expect the authorities to do something even when our laws (for instance, coyotes are protected in Massachusetts) ties their hands.

I would oppose suburbanites or cops wiping out coyotes. I do expect that people should be able to protect themselves, other humans, and even their pets with a gun if the danger justifies that action. However, Massachusetts has made it difficult to own a gun and even pepper spray. This is a foolish policy and we’re seeing its results.

Massachusetts is facing backyard predators that don’t respond to our laws and could attack a child or an adult as they become more acclimated to humans. This situation is the ultimate irony for a “civilized” and disarmed population. Even better, it’s a metaphor for two-legged predators that know our laws, but refuse to comply with them. It doesn’t get better than that.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Urban Coyote Blogging, Again

It seems like I am doomed to Coyote blog (here) (here) and (here). And, it looks like I’m going to have to do it again.

It’s not because I hate coyotes. In fact, I’m glad predators are returning to our forests and plains. You can’t have a balanced ecosystem with only prey animals and no predators. No, I have to do it again because the Boston Globe has yet another report on coyotes in cities and their article highlights the ignorance gun fearing states have when it comes to dealing with wild animals.

This time Saugus, Massachusetts is where people fear their coyote neighbors. The article opens with a woman and two young children. While driving home she came across a coyote chasing a neighbor’s dog when the coyote stopped in front of her car. Repeated horn blowing didn’t budge it until our furry woodland friend decided to run off.

So far, Saugus' Police Department has had seven coyote calls in the past three weeks. The article gives a little natural history on coyotes, a description of a coyote carrying off a wild turkey (while not as big as their supermarket cousins, a wild turkey is a good sized bird), a sighting of pups, and near the end there’s a report that a three-year Cape Cod boy suffered a coyote bite in 1998.

I throw in the last to discuss a few instances of head-in-the-sand thinking exhibited by officials as reported by the article’s author, Cristina Silva. Officials claim coyotes aren’t dangerous. State biologist Peter Mirick says it is uncommon for them to attack people. I grant you that one human coyote bite in the past seven years shows that coyotes don’t attack humans often, but it also proves that it can happen. Further, coyotes are pet killers as Mirick admits, ''They do, however, definitely eat some cats and dogs from time to time."

The biggest question I have about the article though is, “While coyotes have always lived in the area, development in recent years has made the coyotes more visible and less afraid of humans,” a statement made by Saugus police officer Harold Young. First, I doubt coyotes have always lived in the area. Second, many liberals, and those fooled by liberals, blame development for the increasing brazen behavior of coyotes and other wild animals.

It’s not development. Saugus is only a little north of Boston. It was founded in 1629. This area has been settled for a long time. It’s congested as well with 916.2 people per kilometer--about the same as Bangladesh and more than twice as dense as Puerto Rico. Most open space has been built up except for parks, cemeteries, and a handful of mostly organic farms. While there is new construction, most happens where something else once stood.

Coyotes have found a suburban niche. After all, we feed them with trash, roadkill, our pets, and perhaps one day our children. If Officer Young is right that they're becoming less afraid of humans, it’s not because of development, it’s because we give them nothing to fear.

The problem with coyotes, bears, and even alligators is not that they’re here. The problem is that too many citizens have demanded that state government disarm us and government responded. Few Massachusetts’ citizens have carry permits, few own a gun, you must have a permit to own pepper spray, and even more would be aghast at a "civilian" using a gun even to save a child's life. They may want the authorities to do something as a woman in the coyote article demands, but there is little sense of individual responsibility.

I’m not recommending hunting coyotes in suburbs, but I am saying that anyone with common sense will understand that self-defense is a human right. That a gun is a significant self-defense tool and that using it against a predator (four- or two-legged) is not evil. But, first you have to have a gun to defend yourself. Honking horns, swinging a broom, or other "improvised weapons" won't substitute for a gun.

Announcing Postal Matches

AnalogKid at Random Nuclear Strikes is coordinating Postal Matches. These matches will enable a far-flung Nation of Riflemen (and women) to compete with each other on an even playing field. Not only compete, but also practice and get better. Each match will test different skills and in so do doing will help each participant practice new ways of shooting. For instance, let’s say you concentrate on pistol shooting. If you decide to enter a rifle match, you’ll experience an entirely different way of shooting and learn new techniques.

So, go check out this week’s match. Bill “Yosemite Sam” and I plan to participate (if we can get our house moving done in time).

Improving your shooting, competing against other riflemen and women, learning new gun sports. What’s keeping you? Enter, participate, send in electronic copies of your targets, have fun, and keep it safe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

NYT and "We're Not Afraid" Website

Gratuitous Home Improvement Update: Bill and I completed laying the Pergo floor (except for a few pieces of quarter round molding). We’re now packing up the old place and will move soon. Enough of that, here’s some real content.

I read an editorial disguised as an article in today’s New York Times (registration might be required). It’s not about guns. Bill and I try to keep Ten Ring on focus, but sometimes you just have to rant about something else.

The article by Sarah Boxer is part of “Critic’s Notebook,” an art feature. It discusses a website, We’re Not Afraid, created in response to the terrorist bombings in London last week. The editorial article explains how We’re Not Afraid started and says it is similar in concept to the site Sorry Everybody in which Americans apologized to the world for Bush’s re-election.

Boxer complains that "We’re Not Afraid" has a very different tone and effect from "Sorry Everybody." She doesn’t say what the different tone is, but I’ll read between the lines so you don’t have to. It’s defiance. It’s telling the terrorists, sometimes with conspicuously raised middle fingers, that they ain’t going to win.

Boxer implies that "We’re Not Afraid" began with the best of intentions, but as more people posted pictures, the focus seems to become frivolous. She describes a few silly pictures, but I thought art was all about self-expression. I wonder if she complained about silly pictures in the Sorry Everybody site.

I went though several pages of photos until the site stopped loading—its popularity is overwhelming its servers. I didn’t see frivolity, but I saw anger, sadness, and celebrations of life; but, most of all I saw defiance. There were even a few pictures of American soldiers, taken from news sources, showing terrorists what they need to fear.

Finally, Boxer shows her true colors. She criticizes pictures of people in their cars and vans or on vacation. She describes it as “a brutish flaunting of wealth and leisure.” Brutish, what the hell is brutish about enjoying life? If you own a sports car, what’s wrong with taking a picture of you and your spouse in it and telling these nasty, cowardly, life-destroying, pleasure-hating, misogynistic, homophobic, hate-filled, sons of pigs, anti-Semitic terrorists that you’re going to enjoy life in spite of them? What’s wrong with showing yourself at leisure? Does Boxer ever take a vacation?

Boxer thinks she answers these questions. She says, the site “…seems to be turning into a place where the haves of the world can show that they're not afraid of the have-nots.” Have-nots???!!!! These terrorists are not have-nots. Bin Laden is filthy rich (or just filthy now), his inner circle came from the Middle East’s middle and upper classes, and Mohammed Atta was from a prosperous Egyptian family. Many people who blew themselves up in Israel have been students with a good future, engineers, and other professionals. Terrorist cells have plenty of money for explosives, travel, computers, cell phones, and everything else they need.

Boxer makes a fundamental mistake when she refuses to understand that we’re not fighting an economic war. Likewise, we’re not fighting a war as we know it against a nation with an army and a diplomatic corps.

Instead, we’re fighting a war against ideologues who’ve perverted a religion, one in need of reformation and enlightenment. Their perverted concept of Islam allows them to target civilians. To them we’re all soldiers; every man, woman, and child is a legitimate military target in their eyes.

Boxer and her ilk think that we need to be humble, that we need to negotiate, that we need to “understand” these people and their demands. And, that we need to share our wealth with the world.

I understand our foes and I don’t fear them. I know they’ll fail when the world finally unites against them. Such unity will happen when the left, people like Boxer, finally gets it. When the left learns that there is no negotiation and realizes that terrorists don’t envy us for our possessions, that they hate us for standing in the way of a world-wide caliphate governed by Sharia.

The left will learn this lesson when enough blue cities have enough bomb craters. When they do, they’ll be first in line calling for destruction that fifty years from now their intellectual heirs will cite as an example of American perfidy just like when Democrats decided to drop two atomic bombs on Japan.

Friday, July 08, 2005

VPC Makes Me Angry...Again

Okay, now I’m mad. Of course that happens every time I think of what anti-gunnies want to do to us. It happens when I think about guns going into smelters, and it happens when I hear gun-grabber lies. I don’t quite know what to do with my anger right now.

I’m writing this during lunch at work and will post during a break, so I can’t go to a range even though getting into the zen of shooting would ease my anger. I can’t kick trashcans here since they don’t belong to me. I would love to buy another gun because that’s always a good way to stick a figurative finger in gun banners’ eyes and I always get a warm fuzzy feeling when I do. But, I can’t buy another one right now because I’ve spent almost all my money on home improvement stuff and it hasn’t ended yet. (For you home owners out there, does it ever end? Help me.)

So what’s got my dander up today? Fair question. It’s the VPC, the self-styled Violence Policy Center. I went there to see if they had issued one of their scurrilous attacks on gun owners. I’ve read almost all of their tracts (here is their list) and I noticed that they have nothing newer than Fall of 2004. Maybe they’re running out of things to lie about. Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

While there, I clicked on their links page and it was here that I became infuriated. Check out the second group of links, “Pro-Gun Special Interests.” Very helpful of them to include it I thought. They list National Rifle Association, Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership, Gun Owners of America and other fine organizations. They even included Americans for Gun Safety. I wouldn’t call it a pro-gun organization, but they’re using a different definition of “pro-gun” than I am. But, then I noticed the bottom link, Stormfront White Nationalist Resource Page. This pisses me off.

I refused to click on the link at work partly because I think the filters here would prevent loading the page. Therefore, I’m not sure what's on the “resource page.” I do know that Stormfront is one of the largest portals for American Nazis and “White Power” people. I’m a gunnie, but I’m not a Nazi and I resent VPC putting this page in their list of pro-gun organizations. VPC is deliberately listing this organization to cast aspersions on all the rest.

The next section of links is “National Organizations Working to Reduce Firearms Violence.” Why don’t they put Stormfront here? Hitler was a gun banner. He disarmed Jews and anyone else he disagreed with. Why don’t they put Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge here. It was another gun banning institution. You could throw in Stalin’s Soviet Union and others. Of course, all of these regimes are in history’s trash can, but their gun-banning spirit lives on in groups listed here.

These lies and crass emotional manipulations infuriate me. You see, at one time I was fairly relaxed about my gun rights. I lived in Texas and felt little threat. I wasn’t politically aware enough to realize how tenuous our rights are. When I moved to Massachusetts, I learned differently. As I did more research, including reading much anti-gun literature, one thing struck me the hardest: anti-gunnies lie. Sure, the pro-gun groups present their side, but the whoppers and the out-and-out propagandistic lies come from gun-banners.

Not only do they lie, they also play little tricks like placing American Nazis into a list of gunnie organizations that represent gun owners from every walk of life—including Jews, blacks, everyone. Maybe you can understand my anger better. Now, I gotta go and find something to kick so I won’t growl at my co-workers all afternoon.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Brief note on London

As everyone knows, London suffered a terrorist attack this morning. It happened during their morning rush hour and the attackers focused on ordinary citizens on their ways to work. Our hearts go out to Londoners.

When Bill was in the Air Force, he was based in England for two years and he visited London often. Since we've been together, we've both visited London several times. We've been near the bus bombing site and I recognized the neighborhood from photos. It is a peaceful area not too far from the British Museum and Library.

We would like to visit London again and will. Can't let terrorist bastards win, you know.

It remains to be seen if the terrorists awaken England's Chamberlain spirit of appeasement or England's Churchill spirit of fighting. Here's hoping that Churchill's spirit will be leading the charge against Islamofascism with tommy gun blazing.

D.C. Gun Laws and a Modest Proposal

I just love it when newspapers take two only slightly related topics, massage them for awhile, and put them in the same article under a misleading title. That’s too close to what I do here particularly when I mix home improvement blogging with gun blogging.

This morning, the Boston Globe has an article that deals with Washington, D.C.’s gun law and its possible revocation or defunding. Mayor Anthony Williams wants state rights for the District thus allowing his government to continue infringing the rights of District residents.

Then the article goes on to discuss how Washington has no representation in Congress. An organization named the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) improbably is calling for the United States to give full representation to District citizens. I say “improbably” because last I looked Washington, D.C. is not in Europe. Maybe certain of its denizens wish they could live on oh so enlightened Paris, but they don’t.

Two slightly related topics, one article. Let’s look at both parts.

Mayor William’s city has a law that bans handgun ownership at all unless one registered a handgun before 1976. There are strict regulations on long guns and all guns must be disassembled and locked up. Thus, self defense with a firearm is effectively made illegal. Still, something must not be working since the District has a very high gun crime rate.

Red State legislators have noticed that District residents have been denied their Second Amendment rights and want it corrected either by revoking the law entirely or not allowing Federal funds to be used in its enforcement. District officials are squealing that they should determine their own course, that they should be able to have their own laws, and that they should be treated like a state.

Enter part two of the article. The OSCE desires representation for D.C. Of course, this would mean two more Senators from an extremely liberal city and one or more Representatives. Just what the Democrats would love.

Let’s get radical here for a moment. Let District residents have their representation, but as citizens of Maryland. The city could be called Washington, Maryland. Their gun laws would be subject to Maryland’s state laws and the citizens would have representation. We could kill these two birds with one stone.

It would be easier to do than it seems. D.C. once included land that was ceded back to Virginia, so with proper planning it can be done.

Of course, we would still need a District of Columbia. It would include the Mall, White House, Capitol, Library of Congress, monuments, and Federal office buildings around the Mall. There would be no homes (other than the White House) inside the District. Any Federal buildings located elsewhere in D.C. would simply be based in Maryland.

I see few disadvantages to just giving the residential parts of D.C. to Maryland. True, Maryland would skew even more blue, but it does now anyway. Advantages include granting representation to current D.C. residents, reducing Federal tax dollars that now flow to D.C., and it just makes sense. Maybe it’s time.

NOTE: While writing this, I checked the web and Say Uncle has a post based on the Boston Globe article. And, so did Alphecca (I really must start posting in the mornings). Go read their posts.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What we did for the Fourth of July

Bill and I enjoyed (if that’s the right word) a long holiday weekend. Fourth of July weekend has always been special to us. We usually celebrate it with steaks on a grill, a trip out to the local fireworks display, and often a trip to a gun range.

Yesterday’s weather in New Hampshire was glorious and not too hot either. So, what did we do on our holiday weekend? We stayed in the new condo laying flooring. I’m so tired of stooping, crawling on the floor, kneeling, sawing, and hammering that I could just scream. We’re almost done. We made an amateur’s mistake of not getting quite enough product to cover the floor (we measured accurately, but angles, alcoves, etc. caused more waste than we thought). Now, we’ll have to buy a little more to fill an agonizingly thin strip of subfloor

We took time to reflect on living in America. There’s no other place I’d want to live. We have warts as a nation. Yeah, we’ve made foreign and internal policy mistakes. We displaced our aborigines and our ancestors took too great a delight in killing them. We muddled in politics in South America and Vietnam when we probably should have sit back and left well enough alone.

We, as a nation, have made these mistakes, but I’m tired of the people who see nothing but mistakes while giving even worse offenders a pass. Look at little Belgium. They had African colonies and paid bounties for severed hands of escaped rubber plantation laborers. Look at New Zealand and their Moriori policies of virtual extermination at the hands of Maoris. Look at the Soviet Union as an example of meddling in the affairs of other states. America haters give these and other states a pass.

Look at what we have here. Bill and I don’t have to prove our patriotism. We’re free to lay a floor or attend a Fourth of July picnic. We’re even free to buy a gun—few nations can say that to the extent Americans can.

We’ve had losses of liberty. We had the ten-year long Assault Weapon Ban, but that’s dead now. There’s the Kelo decision, but that’s outraged enough people that legislators may curb their abuses. There’s work to do in order to secure our individual liberties, but we still live in a great country.

Bill and I took an hour or so off and went down to the local Fourth of July celebration midway to watch people, see model airplanes fly, watch a karate school demonstration, see a hot air balloon soar to the extent of its surly tethers. But, we didn’t stay for fireworks. We eased our aching bodies home for a salmon dinner and an early bedtime.

Next year we promise to include guns in our Fourth of July celebration. We’ll shoot skeet or even better we’ll shoot a few of our World War I and World War II era battle rifles. We’ll also reflect on advances in liberty and losses of liberty and hopefully there will be much more of the former than the latter. Whatever we do will not include home improvements.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Gun Banners and Unskilled Shooters

Wednesday, I blogged about curmudgeons at gun ranges. You know those people with a little authority (or none at all) who come up to you and tell you everything you’re doing wrong. Usually, you’re not doing anything at all wrong, they are the ones who don’t know a given rule or law.

A number of people commented on my post. Seth from Massachusetts pointed out that some people just need correction. Of course he’s right, but those of us who aren’t doing anything wrong are greatly annoyed by busybodies who think they know it all. (You know the old saying; “Those who only think they know everything are very annoying to those of us who do.”)

I want to discuss the coin’s other side. There are unskilled shooters out there, believe it or not. These are people who buy a gun and think that years of movie and television watching make them ready to use that gun. You’ve seen them at your range and they take several forms.

They’re the ones who hold the gun in a death grip, spread their legs wide, and then turn their heads while shooting as fast as they can. They don’t hit anything worth mentioning, but their bullets fly down range.

Then there are the ones who turn the gun sideways and blast away. I guess they don’t know what the sights are for. Maybe they think they’re nubs to hold the gun in its holster.

You also have those folks who come to an indoor range and blast away with a rented rifle. Now, I’ve rented rifles or brought my own. Nothing wrong with that. But, these are the ones who hang a target at fifteen feet and proceed to put shots in every place but in the target rings—with a rifle at short range.

Of course, you have trash shooters who don’t clean up after themselves, or who shoot things that aren’t real targets (i.e., road signs) but we’ll leave those for another discussion.

The people I described above don’t know they’re doing anything wrong. They're not malicious, they're just unskilled. As far as they’re concerned, that’s how you shoot. You know why that is? Gun control. Yep, gun banners are at fault (of course I blame rainy days on gun banners, but that’s another story).

Gun banners have made shooting a “suspect” activity. It almost seems today, that if you teach your own child how to shoot, you’ll be arrested. We’re not there yet, but I’m sure gun grabbers would want to pass a law preventing anyone from giving a gun to a kid. If you can’t let your kid touch a gun, you can’t teach him how to shoot it. There are not enough of us passing skills to our kids, which is the way I learned how to shoot.

If your parents didn’t teach you how to shoot maybe you could learn from a neighbor. Well, depending on where you live, many gunnies don’t want to admit they’re gun owners and shooters. People who want to shoot, don’t know whom to ask for help.

Gun banners also like to close ranges or drive them out of business. There goes another opportunity to learn shooting skills.

Formal shooting schools are hard to find, again depending on where you live, and often expensive. If you don’t have the time, money, and travel wherewithal to spend on a class, you can’t learn that way. Some gun banners I’ve talked to, also tend to link shooting schools with militia training and such. One anti-gun person at work saw a report on GunSite and told me, “They teach people how to kill.” No I said, “They teach people how to defend themselves with a gun and do it safely.”

So where do you get training? Gun grabbers aren’t going to teach it. They demonize NRA to where many “liberal” gun owners don’t want anything to do with the organization. In short, the only training many can get is going to the range, watching movies, and hoping for the best.

It’s not all gun banners fault. These unskilled shooters should ask others for help, although too many don’t know they need help. Some are too convinced they're right to ask.

Also, gunnies should give freely of their time to help someone to learn to shoot. Also, we’re all responsible to ensure a range stays safe. Any unsafe practice must be halted immediately.

Still, an unintended consequence of anti-gun behavior is an increase in unskilled gun owners. Maybe they should think about that next time they want to close a range, school, or pass laws.


We interrupt this blog for an important announcement. The Ten Ring has passed a milestone. As of today, we've have had over 25,000 visits and over 40,000 page views since we began the blog on December 29, 2004. Thanks to all you readers. It's humbling to know that you've kept coming back. And now for another post....