Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bookshelves full of Books and Guns

Michael Bane has a post up that has a quote from a new mystery novel by Jonathan Kellerman, Rage. Here is the pertinent quote:

"Don't users become pushers to pay for their habit? And all those guns he keeps — Lara wasn't raised with that, we never had so much as a BB gun in our home. All of a sudden they've got rifles, pistols, horrible stuff. He keeps them out in the open, in a wooden case — the way sophisticated people display books. If you're not doing something shady why do you need all those guns?" [Paperback; Page 143; graf 9; no Internet link]

Kellerman seems to be implying that if you have a gun collection, then you obviously must be an unsophisticated boor and probably don’t have any use for them book things.

This is bigotry, pure and simple and would be considered beyond the pale if it was directed at one of the protected groups.

I wonder what Kellerman would make of Denise and myself. Between the two of us, we have a substantial firearms collection and we do display some of them like those “sophisticated people display books”.
But, we also have a substantial book collection and our living room walls are covered in bookshelves. Between the two of us, we must have nearly 1000 books.

Is your paradigm breaking down yet, Mr. Kellerman?

Both of us are voracious readers and when we are not at the range, one or both of us has our nose stuck in a book.

These observations will come as no surprise to most gunnies. We already know that the gun owning community is better educated and wealthier than the average American. This isn’t surprising since gun collecting is an expensive hobby.

But these truths don’t fit the agenda of the gun bigots. To them we will always be backwoods, ignorant, hillbillies, just off the set of Deliverance.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kinky for Governor of Texas

As many long-term readers of the Ten Ring know, Denise and I are originally from Texas.
So, while checking up on matters back in our old stompin’ grounds, I came across this website.

I had known that Kinky was running for governor, but I didn’t realize that he was making a serious run for it. Here are his stances on a few issues that are near and dear to my heart.

Q: What's Kinky's feeling on gun control?

A: The second amendment is every bit as important as the others. Texans have the right to keep and bear arms, as well as to hunt.


His plans for illegal immigration include increasing the number of Texas National Guard troops on the border (from the current 1,500 to 10,000), imposing $25,000 and $50,000 fines on companies that hire illegal immigrants and requiring foreign nationals seeking employment to purchase a foreign taxpayer ID card once they have passed a criminal background check.
“Texas can no longer wait for our federal government to solve our illegal immigration problem,” Friedman said. “These are steps that Texas can immediately take to help stem the tide of illegal immigrants penetrating our border.

I’ve yet to discover any politician that more closely represents my views on these issues. I also think it would be great to have a governor in Texas who will stand up to the stifling PC attitudes that have hamstrung this nation for over a decade.

Denise is a big fan of Kinky’s and has all of his books. He has a wry wit and is always seen with his trademark Cuban cigar. When asked about it, Kinky replies: I’m not supporting their economy, I’m burning their fields.

For his unequivocal support of the Second Amendment(see update) and because he could hardly do worse than the other politicians, the Ten Ring supports Kinky Friedman for governor of Texas. Too bad we can’t vote for him.

In the comments, the pistolero and robert point out that Kinky may not be as pro-gun as his website might lead you to believe. Robert points out that Kinky is not highly ranked by the Texas State Rifle Association and both point out that he has made several anti-hunting statements . I wish we had that problem up here in the Northeast, where a low ranking candidate by a pro-2A organization still makes an unequivical statement of support for RKBA.
Still, I think Kinky as governor would be good for Texas. I like his anti-PC attitude and he is definitely not part of the political class. I am heartily sick of the political class of both parties and Governor Kinky would be a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hoplophobic Heirs

Via Say Uncle, comes this article about how the media rarely, if ever criticizes gun “buy back” programs. Readers of gun blogs know by now how these programs are completely useless and silly.
For example, how can they buy back what they never owned in the first place?

Also, long lines of widows turning in hubby’s old hunting gear seems to be a rather ineffective way of combating crime.

Francinina Jones grabbed her husband's long shotgun, the one he became attached to during years of hunting, and marched straight to the police station in Southeast D.C.
"I wanted the gun out of the house," said Jones, 55, who lives in Southeast and traded the firearm for a $50 payment from the city. "There's too much killing, all these young people have guns."

This seems to me a slap in the face to the memory of her husband. To turn in his prized shotgun, to be destroyed, makes me wonder if she ever respected him, at all.

Here is someone with acute hoplophobia:
Another woman, who declined to give her name, said she was uneasy driving to the District from Wheaton with her late father's shotgun and rifle. She had them wrapped in a quilt, and asked an officer to go to her car to retrieve them because she didn't want to handle them.
The woman said her father, who died two years ago, had lived in the Eastern Shore and used the guns for hunting.
"I didn't want to carry them around," said the woman, 42. "I was nervous all the way over here."

Here are two people, probably representative of many, who blithely sell, for pennies on the dollar, the prized possessions of their husbands or parents. It makes me sick.

The question that needs to be answered is, how does a gun owner, who has hoplophobic heirs, guarantee that his or her firearms do not end up in the State’s shredder?

Here is my suggestion: At some point, when you have reached an age when you can no longer hunt or go to the range, sell all of your guns to your favorite gun dealer and take the proceeds and donate it all to the NRA or your favorite gun group.
This will serve two purposes, 1.) Your firearms will not be destroyed and will most likely be bought by someone who will take care of them and 2.) Your hoplophobic heirs will get nothing from their sale and a gun owners rights group will put the money to good use.

Finally, ask your spouse if she intends to sell your guns to a gun “buy back” program. If she says yes, divorce her. If she doesn’t respect this aspect of your life, what else doesn’t she respect?
The above holds true for hoplophobic hudbands as well.

Brief Political Ruminations

Work has been a big, screaming, blackhole of time-sucking, mind-numbing work. I even have to get on a plane this afternoon to make a two-hour presentation tomorrow. What, they haven't heard of video-teleconferencing? Somedays I'm surprised my employer didn't hand be an inkwell and quill pen and tell me that's my word processor. Seriously, it's not that they don't use technology, it's that they aren't comfortable with it. Enough griping.

It's primary election day in Massachusetts today. The Democrats are having a slugfest between a rich business man who's a moderate (Gabrielli), a rich business man who's a liberal (Deval Patrick), and a politico who's moderate, I guess. Patrick is leading in opinion polls.

Bill and I are sweating this one out. We don't live in Massachusetts, but we both work there and have to pay Massachusetts income tax. For that privilege, we have no vote, can't get any services from the state (if we wanted them), and generally don't want our tax dollars going there in the first place. No choice though. The taxman, state or federal, is inexorable.

If Patrick wins and goes on to become governor, we fear that he will start jacking taxes through the roof. He's made promises to improve health care, allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates, and a host of other expensive ideas. He says he doesn't want to raise taxes (wink-wink).

As far as guns, Gabrielli hasn't said much about them. Patrick would increase Massachusetts's already draconian gun control, but he doesn't seem all that interested one way or the other. Reilly pretty much instituted that draconian gun control, and he touts it in his ads. In other words, Massachusetts gun owners won't see their lot improved by a Democrat in the corner office and may see things get worse.

This is not to say that Republicans are any better on gun issues in Massachusetts. Oh well, there's always New Hampshire.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Granny, A Mayor, and Common Sense

By now you’ve probably read that The New York Times published an article about a grandma who defended herself in New York with a gun. She had a semi-sorta permit that allowed her to keep it at home and take it to a shooting range. She said she was on her way to a range in her scooter-type wheelchair when a man grabbed her from behind, yanked off her necklace, and tried to grab her purse. She grabbed her gun and shot him in the elbow.

She did what she had to do. The man was robbing her in a classic strong-arm robbery and she sustained injuries albeit minor. A criminal was taken off the streets for at least as long as it takes his arm to heal and maybe he learned you don't mess with grannies. The police agreed it was self-defense and declined to prosecute.

In this editorial, John Lott points out that her permit doesn’t allow her to carry a loaded gun. Instead, the gun must be empty, locked up, and the ammo must be separate. Obviously she didn’t have time to unlock a case, load her gun, and take a bead on her attacker. Besides she had her little dog with her and who takes a dog to a gun range (well, it is New York after all, so who knows).

New York PD obviously knows the value of public relations. Prosecuting this woman would make no sense. I applaud them for their rare show of common sense.

Too bad Mayor Bloomberg doesn’t show similar common sense. Lott points out that, after a person was gunned down in City Hall a few years ago, Bloomberg outlawed the carrying guns into City Hall even for former and off-duty cops. The gunman was not and never had been a cop—the victim was.

Why do anti-gunnies persist in trying to take guns away from people who don’t commit a crime? We all know that law-abiding people don’t misuse their guns—except in very rare cases. We know that the average duck, deer, pheasant hunter; trap, skeet, target shooter is not going to use their shotgun, handgun, or rifle to kill someone.

It’s not just a gun banning politician’s impotence at disarming criminals. It’s their visceral and emotional hatred of guns. Lott quotes Bloomberg, “I don't know why people carry guns. Guns kill people."

This is the hardest thing to deal with when we talk to anti-gunnies, at least for me. Their minds are locked into a form of stasis as they chant their mantra of “guns kill.” They think that anyone who likes to own and shoot guns must be uncivilized and anti-social. They fear the object and hate/fear the gun owner.

These people’s minds are closed and there is no dealing with them. However, they all too often get political power and when they do they want to ban guns. The only thing I can say to these types is I won’t surrender my guns to anyone. So sit on it and spin.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Template Woes

I'm not sure why, but our custom header for Ten Ring is not loading. I won't be able to fix it (if I can anyway) until I get home tonight. Bear with us for a little bit.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Reflections

They say that everyone who was sentient then remembers where they were when they heard that terrorists hijacked passenger airliners and flew them into buildings. That’s true for me. I was at work, in Massachusetts, when people started telling others what they just heard on the radio.

My employer set up a television we used for showing training videos. Without a makeshift antenna, reception was lousy, but I saw the second plane hit and then the towers fall and then the hole in the Pentagon. I remember the chaos, the rumors of a car bomb at the State Department, the fear, the sheer “What the Fuck is going on” we all felt.

My employer sent us home—we weren’t working much anyway. How can you concentrate when we didn’t know what happen next? Would planes hit the Sears Tower in Chicago? Would car bombs explode outside our door? I lived only five minutes away from work then. I got home about 10:30 and talked to Bill on the phone. I turned the TV on and it stayed on the news channel for quite awhile.

Five years later, the country is divided. Our President has led, but not all of us have followed. The divisions are partly due to partisan politics, partly due to a certain lack of presidential eloquence, and partly due to a refusal to accept that the world has changed.

About thirty percent of our neighbors, relatives, and Americans seem to believe that our government conspired to ensure the towers fell down. They believe this despite independent commission reports, thousands of witnesses, boasts planners made, and scads of other evidence.

I think they want to believe in a conspiracy because they want to go back to September 10, 2001. They want to go back to a time when progressive “quality of life” issues sounded so important, when foreign policy really didn’t matter, and when our military was seen as a regretted necessity (but let’s spend more on schools than bombs).

Instead, we found out that there’re people who hate us because we don’t keep women in their place, we separate church and state, and we don’t put our asses in the air five times a day. We can’t change our society enough to please our opponents and even the left realizes this, but won’t admit it. It becomes easier then to blame the government, to think that George Bush used robotic planes to knock over towers and is holding those passengers inside a secret mountain base—or whatever the conspiracy du jour is.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but if there’s another major attack, even the left might decide that terrorists and their supporters must die. If this happens, our divisions end and our vengeance would be terrible. Twenty years later, the left will tut-tut about American barbarism.

As for me, my primary heroes of the day are not George Bush when he rallied us on those first few days or the police and firemen who ran to their deaths. All of these people are worthy of my respect, but my personal heroes of 9/11 are the passengers of United 93.

Because of delays in their flight, they found out what the terrorists meant to do. They tearfully told family and friends good bye and realized they needed to unite and fight their killers. They were male and female, straight and gay, government workers and business people, white and black. In an impossible situation they fought back. They didn’t survive, but they still emerged victorious. Truly a lesson for us all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another Hysterical "Gun Owner"

Bill (Yosemite Sam) recently discussed gun owners who aren’t supporters of gun rights, only their version of it. This morning the New York Times gives Bill more ammunition. Their pastoral editorialist, Verlyn Klinkenborg, attacks concealed carry in Minnesota and the NRA in a hysterical editorial.

Let’s highlight some of the more egregious statements, but there’s more of them in his article if you care to read it:

He says, “…a year ago the State Legislature passed a ‘concealed carry’ law, which means that it’s legal to carry a concealed weapon if you have a permit.” And, “I asked one of the state coalitions opposed to these laws whether it would attack them in the Legislature this year. The answer was no. It is too busy trying to defeat a ‘shoot first’ bill, which would give gun owners the right to fire away instead of trying to avoid a confrontation.”

In other words concealed carry in Minnesota is a done deal and now anti-gunnies are fighting the Castle Doctrine. (Later he describes Florida’s Castle Doctrine as the “Shoot the Avon Lady” law.) There’s more than a little hysteria in his statement that such a law would allow gun owners to fire away. In his willful ignorance, he doesn’t state that you can’t shoot someone unless that person is a valid threat. It just means you don’t have to try to run.

He then states that, “There are some other twists to these laws. A person carrying a concealed weapon cannot be banned from a public building, even if it’s a library full of kids.” We all know that a law-abiding person won’t shoot up a library full of kids or septuagenarians for that matter, but he equates us with criminals who might. Mentioning kids adds more emotion and more hysteria.

He’s dismayed that such a law could be passed in Minnesota, which he describes as a “socially progressive state.” He explains that he’s from Iowa and Iowans like, “…Minnesotans were gun owners because they hunted pheasants and rabbits and deer. But then I’m thinking of a time when the leadership of the National Rifle Association resembled a band of merry sportsmen and not the paranoid cabal it is today.”

Now, he get’s to the obligatory statement that he grew up with guns: “I grew up hunting and shooting, and I still own two rifles (a .22 and a .270) and two shotguns (a 20-gauge and a 12-gauge, to be specific).” He states that we’ve regressed as a society because we allow CCW and that, “The N.R.A. would argue that society has changed since those innocent days.”

He doesn’t understand the history of carrying guns in America. Permits were available to almost any white man who wanted one. In fact, “may issue” permits were a way to keep guns out of the hands of “undesirable Persons” such as blacks and Jews. Permitless carry in a glove box or even coat pocket was rarely prosecuted if you were white and at least middle class.

He supports such a system and states that we’re not responsible enough to take care of ourselves: “Every concealed weapon, with very few exceptions, is a blow against the public safety. The new gun laws in Minnesota take away local discretion over concealed-weapon permits, and they cost the local authorities plenty too.”

Talk about hysteria: “…a blow against public safety” indeed. I have a CCW permit and I’ve never harmed public safety and I believe I’ve helped it. Discretion in issuing CCW permits allows a corrupt or racist police chief to issue permits to people he finds desirable instead of issuing them fairly based on subjective standards.

We get to the meat of Klinkenborg's concerns, “…, the law strips the public of its right to occupy public spaces without the threat of being shot. The police are trained to handle guns. The criminals know they’re not supposed to have them but find them easy to get, thanks to the N.R.A. Let them fight it out. No one is safer if gun-carrying civilians believe their rights entitle them to pretend they’re cops.”

We who carry a gun sometimes (or all the time) know we’re not cops. We’re not out to do their difficult jobs. We only want protection should we find ourselves in a dangerous situation and the nearest cop is too far away to help. I don’t think I’m a fireman just because I keep a fire extinguisher in my kitchen.

Finally, he shows his true colors as a collectivist who would deny individual rights, “Sometimes I think the N.R.A. isn’t really about guns at all. It’s about making certain that the public — our political and civil society, in other words — has no ability to limit the rights of an individual.”

We have to live in society and some laws are necessary, but they must be based on harm to an individual or property not on dangers perceived by people who feel threatened that good people might carry guns.

Friday, September 01, 2006

States traveled meme

Bitter inspired me to do one of these maps for myself, so here it is:

create your own personalized map of the USA

This year, I've added Wisconsin(thanks to the NRA convention) and Utah.

I think a trip to Boomershoot would allow me to fill in those two holes in the lower 48.

Alaska and Hawaii may take a bit longer.