Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stephen King's Guns: A Rebuttal

I asked my former co-blogger and wife Denise to review Stephen King's screed that is on sale for the Amazon Kindle. She read this so you don't have to. I think this rebuttal needs to be disseminated as widely as possible so feel free to use it with attribution of course. Stephen King is one of if not the most popular novelist in the world. A screed by him carries weight. Denise has done her hopefully not small part to counter this.

No links to this book. You can find it on the Amazon site if you want to find it. Stephen King has shown his even handedness by donating profits from this essay to the Brady Campaign. 

Denise has no plans to return to blogging at this time.


I've read much of Stephen King's work.  He is a great craftsman and he brings that skill to this piece, a quickie Kindle Single.  

The fact that he wrote the "book" fast shows.  He made at least one huge mistake.  He named the Newtown shooter as Ryan Lanza the first time he mentioned Newtown (he later correctly names Adam).  This was after describing how the press reacts to a mass shooting including getting the shooter's name wrong.  There are also irritating quirks like the use of "honey" to address readers.

Style and mistakes aside, King tries to add to the national dialog about gun violence.  The last section of this short work, lists policy ideas that might cut down on gun violence.  One notion is a ban on "assault weapons" but he loses his argument when he gets too cute by half, honey.

King justifies calling for such a ban by insulting owners of semi-automatics (a gun that fires one round per trigger pull).  He says that the owners only use these guns to fire as fast as they can while yelling yeehaw and getting horny.  I shoot often and own what might be called an assault weapon.  I have never fired as fast as I can twitch my finger.  I've never yelled yeehaw while shooting and I've never seen such behavior at gun ranges.  In fact, most people participating in rifle competitions today use variants of the AR-15.  The platform is highly accurate, stable, and has low recoil.  

Along with the assault weapon ban, King has two other policy ideas: universal background checks and bans on magazines holding more than ten rounds.  King's policy ideas will not work and I'll take them one at a time.  

Congress may pass some sort of enhanced background checks.  Depending on details, such a law really will not affect me much.  I tend to buy guns from federally licensed dealers who must check my  background even if they are selling guns at a gun show.  Criminals tend to buy guns on the street where there are no background checks.  Some mass shooters have bought their guns legally (Cho, Holmes) and were not in the system as "nucking futs" even though Cho should have been.  Others steal guns.

A magazine ban ignores the millions of magazines that already exist.  A magazine is a box with a spring and anyone with a 3D printer can print one.  Do we really want to try to outlaw 3D printers, springs, sheet metal, let alone the millions of magazines that people bought legally one year and become felons for owning the same box the next year?

King admits that an assault weapon ban probably will not happen. There is the problem of identifying just what is an assault weapon. There really is no such thing when you start getting into it. That's why the 1994 ban really did not ban much. King touts Australia's ban on them and pump action shotguns.(In other words, confiscating your grandfather's duck hunting gun.)The jury is not truly in on that gun ban. For one, there are still a lot of guns in Australia and other countries that have strong gun laws (see, http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/22/gun-restrictions-have-always-bred-defian/print). Also, crime has risen in Australia after the ban (see, http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17847). 

Finally King calls on gun owners to "urge Congress to do the right thing, and insists the NRA climb aboard...."  I own guns.  I am a former police officer.  I first shot a gun when I was 8 years old.  I was given a pump action .22 rifle for my 13th birthday.  I've owned guns for over 40 years and never put a hole in anyone (not even as a cop) or anything I was not willing to shoot.  I am a responsible gun owner.  

There are millions of gun owners who have never abused the right to own a gun.  They've never shot up a school, or stuck up a taxi driver.  Gun laws will only affect these responsible people.  Laws will not stop crime, and will not stop a mass shooter.  

Given this fact, why should I support Congress banning my guns or making it impossible to leave them to my children?  Why would I support a ban on magazines that might make me a felon?  Why would I support enhanced background checks when I don't know the details and don't believe they will work anyway?  Sorry Stephen, you haven't convinced this gun owner who has never once yelled "yeehaw" while shooting a semi-auto or any gun for that matter.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A National Day of Strike

Contrary to the image presented of gun owners in the media, that is the gun owner is a sub-grade illiterate back woods hick, many if not most gun owners are well educated, well to do (guns are an expensive hobby) and extremely competent.

In the last ten years, I have met gun owners who are engineers, doctors, lawyers, government executives, business owners, millionaires..... you get the point. Gun owners are a big part of what makes our society work. They are your friends, co-workers and neighbors as many in New York found out when their addresses were published by the Journal News.

All this being the case, I have a modest suggestion. Maybe gun owners should have a national day of strike. The NRA or SAF should organize a day when gun owners stay home from work. We can all call in sick that day. Let them know how many of us there are and how much what we do affects their lives.

How when it gets down to it: They need us more then we need them.


Monday, January 28, 2013

The party of gun control

I have said for a long time: There is no such thing as a pro-gun Democrat.

But, what about Reid, Manchin, Tester and...yeah it's a pretty short list. As we have seen Manchin has all but thrown us under the bus. Tester who knows; he'll be bought off with a sweet sinecure. Reid will do whatever his puppet master Obama wants.

When the rubber hits the road, they'll all vote to support the party's agenda unless it is deemed that their votes are unnecessary. It's the way things are done.

That being said, the Republicans are almost as bad. Almost. But.....they don't make elimination of gun rights a key plank in their party's platform. There are many Republican members of Congress that are strong, unwavering supporters of the 2nd Amendment.

Look at the states. Which states have the most rigid, inflexible restrictions on our firearm freedoms. That's right, all are states run and controlled by Democrats. The states with the most firearm freedom are by and large Republican leaning states. There are a few Democratic controlled states that have limited gun restrictions. Notice that in these states Democratic representatives are chomping at the bit to pass gun control like their big brothers in the big blue areas. I'm looking at you New Hampshire.

Vermont has been an exception to this rule but I did notice that Burlington, VT did pass a local assault weapons ban. Sooner or later Vermont will fall as well.

Democrats are the party of gun-control. If you support firearms freedom, never vote for a Democrat, not even for dog catcher.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

The wind is at their wings

In the last few weeks and certainly since the beginning of the current troubles, I have seen a surprising amount of what I feel is a very peculiar sentiment. In short, the idea that if Mitt Romney had been elected president he would be just as earnest in eviscerating our 2nd Amendment rights as the current occupant.

Since this is among friends I'll be polite and to the point. Bullshit.

But some of you will probably say: But he signed an Assault Weapons Ban(AWB). That's more than Obama ever did. Yes, you are right, he did sign a state continuance of the Federal AWB as governor of Massachusetts. He signed a bill that would have passed regardless of his support or rejection. Now, that was a very naughty thing to do and I will certainly agree that Mitt Romney is a two-faced flip flopper (e.g. a politician) but I still strongly disagree that he would have been as bad as Obama.

Why is that, you are probably saying? Several reasons. Firstly, that Mitt Romney is a politician. If he had been elected president and if he hoped to get reelected he had better keep his base happy. A big part of his base is us. People who care deeply about our freedom to keep and bear arms. Romney is a smart guy. He wouldn't have dared alienate a huge chunk of his voters to push what is essentially a Democratic Party issue.

Secondly, if Romney was a newly elected president he would be a newbie in the White House. He would be spending all of his time learning the ropes. A new president usually doesn't get all that much done in the first year. The last thing on his mind would be pushing a Democratic agenda item that most non-Democrats find anathema.

That takes care of the Romney side of the equation. What about the O Man? Well, his re-election has energized his base. They are frothing at the mouth to enact their agenda and gun control is at or near the top of their list. The wind is at their wings. Events have played right into their hands. If Romney had been elected they would be demoralized and in the corner licking their wounds. Unfortunately we don't live in that alternative reality.

The unfortunate truth is that elections are almost always the choice between two choices that are far from ideal. Romney for all his faults would have been far better than the choice we are stuck with.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cuomo lied, freedom died

The first round of the blood danse-macabre ended yesterday when the New York Senate at the instigation of New York's Governor Cuomo rammed through the most restrictive set of gun laws in this nation's history. With one fell swoop, gun rights in New York passed Canada and dropped somewhere in central Europe circa 1925.

As I mentioned in a previous post this act depriving the people of most of their rights to arms stands in direct opposition to the fundamental principles that this country was founded upon. The last shred of sovereignty left to the people of New York has been stripped away. Cuomo and company could care less. As they say, that's a feature not a bug. They want the people, the hoi-polloi, put in a nice box and to do as they are told by their betters. That's not a surprise or the real problem.

If the problem was Cuomo, Bloomberg and the rest of the kleptocracy running the prison camp called New York then they could be simply voted from office and replaced with politicians who minded their P's & Q's.

No, the real problem is that the vast majority of people in New York State want this. They want their rights taken away, their rights and concomitant responsibilities. They want mommy government to take care of them and wipe their faces and bums and kiss their boo-boos. The remainder who can take care of themselves scare the crap out of the dependent majority. Read the comments of any New York Times article about guns or anything having to do with traditional self-reliant American culture to see what I mean.

There is a self-reliant minority in upstate New York but they are aging and dwindling fast.

The gist is that New York is almost assuredly doomed.

If you are a gun owner in New York you have two choices, leave or fight.

 If you leave, be careful when you choose your new home. Don't choose a place where you will be going through this all over again in a few years.

If you stay, you will have to fight. Remember, the media is the prime enemy. They are driving all of this. Fight then with every ounce of your strength. Do what you have to do. Throw a monkey wrench in their works. Protest them constantly. Don't make this easy for them.

Realize that it won't stop with New York. These tyrants will each try to one up each other to make their state gun control central. We will have to be perpetually vigilant.

Remember that gun rights are just a part of this. We now have two cultures in this country trying to share the same geographical location. Conflict is guaranteed.

WinM 94 Assault Weapon--A Parody(reprint)

This post from 2005 isn't so funny now after what happened last night in New York

mentioned I had bought a new gun with my tax refund. It's a Winchester M1894 lever-action rifle. While cleaning it prior to a range day that'll happen in a few hours, I remembered that repeating rifles were the assault weapons of their day. That made me think how easy Brady Bunch, Million Mom March, and others demonize guns. So without further fuss, here is a parody.

Organization to Declare that Guns Are Bad

Contact: Kimberley Hoplophobia
For Release On: March 7, 2005

America is under the gun. Every day our lives and those of our children are threatened by gunmen with so-called licenses to carry concealed weapons. Underneath their coats one can find AK-47s, and vicious sniper rifles like .50 caliber Ferretts. Terrorists enter America to buy guns at our open-air gun-exchange bazaars where 13-year-old miscreants can buy machine guns, grenades, books, beef jerky, and the dreaded AR 15.

Our chief researcher, Tom Bradeyson, has discovered one more weapon, WinM 94, added to the battlefields that are our American cities. This weapon of war, a monstrous killing machine, will take its tolls in America's malls, schools, and churches. Terrorists will forsake all other deadly weapons in order to obtain one of these bullet hoses.

The weapon, really a "weapons system," is a light rifle with highly accurate sights capable of launching leaden missiles into bodies, cars, and buildings at distances of up to two miles. In semi-trained hands, its deadly cargo can hit airliners in flight. In untrained hands, it can strike at children in their classrooms. It is said to have killed more innocent deer in America's forests than any other gun. America is waking up to the dangers posed by WinM 94s in the powerful, deadly .45 LC caliber.

There are several features that make a WinM 94 more deadly than any one person has the moral right to wield. Deadly features found on a WinM 94 cry out for a total ban. If not for opposition from the NRA and fellow gun nuts, this fantastically evil weapon with its deadly child-killing features would be banned too.

A WinM 94--truly a horrendous example of a gunmaker's deadly art-- has many death-dealing features, which we depict and describe here.

A close up of a section called a receiver reveals many threatening features that make a WinM 94 a rapid-fire bullet distribution system.

WinM 94 Weapons System Close Up # 1 Posted by Hello

Its exposed hammer allows manually cocking, thus giving its terroristic user a choice to "lower the hammer" to carry it concealed with less danger to himself and then with a flick of his thumb bring his gun into play in perhaps your child's schoolyard.

The automatic cycling device allows a shooter to "cycle bullets" from the extended, high-capacity magazine. A WinM 94's magazine holds 11 deadly missiles in its "high-cap mag" and is easily and rapidly reloadable. A high-cap mag coupled with an automatic cycling device raises an evil shooter's firepower to disastrous levels.

A WinM 94 sniper rifle is equipped with a straight hand stock--a truly evil invention unlike a more familiar pistol-grip stock. Using a straight hand stock a shooter has great flexibility. He can spray-fire from the hip causing a "curtain of lead" to fly into a mall or school. He can use the straight hand stock to clamp his WinM 94 to his cheek and take accurate sniper-aim, or he can raise the gun overhead and fire in a deadly "plunging-fire mode."

weapons retention system is provided so that a terrorist will avoid losing the weapon or have it removed from his hands by a police officer. Trained officers are capable of handling such weapons and retention systems and ownership should be limited to government officers and agents.

WinM 94 Weapons System #2 Posted by Hello

A WinM 94's "terminal distance alignment system" includes the dreaded buckhorn rear sight and a post front sight. Together these make this weapon of war easily and accurately pointed at an evildoer's target. That target could be your child, your airliner, yourself.

A WinM 94's ammunition is the final nail in this deadly coffin of death. We carefully placed a .45 Long Colt cartridge full of explosive powder next to a bottle of hot sauce for you to understand how large it really is. We believe shooters added "Long" to its name to make up for certain personal inadequacies. Beyond that, the cartridge is but a hair's breadth smaller than a .50 caliber bullet.

WinM 94 Weapons System #3 Posted by Hello

As we have seen, a WinM 94 is a truly deadly and frightening weapons system. We demand that our Senators, Representatives, police officers, mayors, and city councilpeople remove this destructive device from our streets.

Of course, this is a parody and I don't think I'm giving gun-grabbers any ideas. After all, they make up fiction better than I can. They have more practice.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

That son of a bitch ain't been born yet

There's this old story I heard a lot while growing up in Texas. It is probably apocryphal but it has the ring of truth. Sometime in the 19th century an Englishman was visiting a ranch and couldn't find the ranch house. He noticed a grizzled ranch hand intent on his work and went up to him and asked a question: My good man, would you direct me to your master? The worn man looked up from his work, his eyes filled with disdain and said: Well, that son of a bitch ain't been born yet.

This sentiment is fundamentally American. The document that created this nation says much the same thing:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal".

It is difficult for many people to understand how much these words are radical and revolutionary. They stand in defiance of most of human history. Kings, their retainers, lords and knights ruled over the vast majority of the people. The people not born into this elite were denied any rights whatsoever. They had no right to speak their mind, no right to work where they chose, certainly no right to bear arms.

This country was the first to say NO, the people are sovereign, not a King or even a President. That the people have fundamental rights that cannot be taken away, not by a President, not even by a majority of 99 percent.

If the people are sovereign then it follows that they retain the rights and privileges that were once the exclusive province of kings and potentates. The privilege to speak our minds and assemble as we wish is the right of a sovereign people.

Of these rights the right to bear arms is the most important. If the people are not to be trusted with arms then it must follow that they cannot be sovereign. How could one be sovereign if denied arms? The one denying the arms would be the sovereign. If the people are not sovereign then the entire foundation of our country and society disappears in a puff of smoke. 

We would then be back to the society of elites and serfs that has existed for most of history. Well, my friends, we are well on that path. In America today we already have a nation where all men (and women) are not created equal. Laws are not applied evenly and fairly to all people. This is just one example of a growing list that details the decline of our republic. Many are quite comfortable with this state of affairs. Having a master to oversee and guide them throughout their lives is extremely appealing to many people.

I find it ironic that even France seems to believe more in equality than the United States. Does anyone really believe that a court would strike down a tax in this country because it wasn't equally applied?

In close, I'll quote Benjamin Franklin: " A republic, if you can keep it"


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is all gun violence created equal?

It's been a week since my last post and I've cooled down. Naaah. I'm as pissed as ever. The last week has been filled with lies, obfuscations and misrepresentations by our friends in the media with the highlights being David Gregory's violation of the District of Columbia's gun laws on national television and Piers Morgan's sniveling about a petition to have him deported back to Old Blighty.

Honestly though, I am tired of this crap. It really is quite simple. Americans have a right to keep and bear arms(period). Hell, there is a Supreme Court judgement that highlights and underlines this fact for the slow of wit. Even if none of this was true the fact is that gun control doesn't work. It doesn't work in Texas or Oklahoma, it doesn't work in California or New Jersey and it doesn't work in England, Germany or Australia. As the linked article states, no matter how draconian the gun control, most people do not comply. But this time will be different, yeah right.

But what I really want to talk about is the virulent hypocrisy of the gun banners. The truth is that they don't really have a problem with guns or guns violence. But Sam, you are saying, how can this be true? They write scads and scads of articles and blather for hours and hours about how they care more than ANYONE. Notice though the lack of comment when the gun violence involves governmental actions or when a gun crime is committed by someone who they consider a friend or ally.

According to this study governments murdered 262 million of their citizens in the 20th century. That number just staggers me. As a comparison the current population of the United States is approximately 315 million. So the number of living, breathing human beings equivalent to approximately 83 % of the current population of the United States were slaughtered by their governments during the course of the 20th century.

And many of these people were slaughtered with guns: government guns. Where is the wailing and gnashing about this from our friends in the media?

But Sam, I can hear you now, that's just too big to grasp. As Stalin said,  "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic". OK, let's scale it down a bit. What about Fast and Furious. What, you tell me you haven't heard about the ATF program to buy guns and illegally transfer them to Mexico and then have other government apparatchiks talk up the big problem of guns being sent into Mexico from the United States and that is why we need gun control now! Yeah, I haven't heard much of anything about that either and I watch Piers Morgan and NBC News Every Night!

Anyway, I think you get my point. The media and gun banners(but I repeat myself) really don't care about gun violence. One would almost believe that they have an agenda or something. Funny how it always seems to align with that group that has the blood of 262 million people on their hands.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm baaaaaaack

As I Said, I'm pissed. The gun banners would say Sam what do you have to be pissed about. You should be grovelling in the dirt and begging the world for forgiveness. Because your enjoyment of your "hobby" kills kids. Now stop right there. Am I the only one who's spitting angry that they think you are the equivalent or even better the cause of a child killer. An evil piece of shit who killed his own Mom and then slaughtered a bunch of defenseless babies in cold blood. Who violated everything good people believe is right. Also, think what this scumbag took from the parents of these children. They can never face the Christmas season again without thinking of what happened to their babies. It is forever ruined for them. A time of year that is a happy time for most of us will fill them with sorrow and despair.

There are certain actions or epithets that are so nasty and ill-intentioned and calculated to provoke a fight that they are deemed fighting words. Trying to link peaceful, law abiding gun owners to this senseless horror is being done with the express intention of provoking a fight. This was calculated, orchestrated and planned.

The media, gun control groups and gun banning politicians have been working in concert to create a blood libel with the express intention of depriving Americans of their fundamental rights. These people are so low that they have no problem with using dead children as props to further their sick game. Our response is simple. All gun owners need to be united...All of us..Three Percenters,  NRA members, Fudd's, all of us. This is probably the biggest threat to our freedom to defend ourselves that I have seen in my lifetime. As Benjamin Franklin said: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately"

The first thing that everyone can do is "Join the NRA". I know a lot of you will say: Sam, the NRA is always compromising and doesn't stand up for our rights. My answer is, you're right, sometimes the NRA falls quite short of where they should be. But the thing is that they are the largest gun rights organization in the United States. When Mayor Bloomberg and Chuck Schumer think of evil incarnate they think of the NRA. The NRA was the first institution that the blood dancing gun banners attacked after the horror of last Friday. What better way to poke these bastards in the eye then to double or even triple the NRA's membership. If you are already a member then increase the level of your membership. I am already a Life Benefactor member but I plan to send a donation to the NRA-ILA which will be at the forefront of this fight.

I have more ideas on how all of us can fight these bastards who are trying to deprive us of our rights and freedoms. Stay tuned in the days and weeks ahead.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Test Test.. Is anyone out there?

I think it may be time to bring this blog back to life. I'm pretty pissed off now and I have a lot to say. Stay tuned

Friday, April 29, 2011

A convention of celebrities

Here we are in Pittsburgh and after a quick stop to the NRA store to get our T-shirts and mugs before the best stuff sold out we hit the exhibit floor. . .

and wow it was crowded! Even taking into account the people attending the Leadership Seminar, who like to listen to politicians drone on, there was still a sea of humanity to fight to get at the free tote bags and to gawk at semi-famous people. Then there was the problem of fighting through the ginormous lines of people who for some reason wanted to pay ridiculous amounts of money to buy crappy hot dogs and hamburgers. One common factor in the 7 conventions I've attended has been the god-awful overpriced food on the convention floor.

One unusual thing about today was that wherever we turned we ran into a celebrity.

Here is convention favorite R. Lee Ermey:

Here is the Nuge:

No surprise there. R Lee Ermey and the Nuge are at every convention

But we turned the corner and what do we see at the Thompson-Kahr booth. The incompetent gold miners from Gold Rush Alaska: Jack and Todd Hoffman. I think they may have tapped a vein of "gold" that will never play out. Maybe they aren't so incompetent after all.

Denise also ran into Chris Reed from Season 2 of Top Shot. Unfortunately I was not able to get a picture. The NRA convention seems to be really popular with the reality show set this year.

Finally we have Hero to all supporters of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Dick Heller:

Thanks again!

We spent a couple of hours of wading through the exhibit area and saw a lot of gunny goodness. But then we found out there was another entire floor of exhibits downstairs! We only had the stamina for a couple of rows but we ran into this strange exhibit:

Now, I have never had the desire to use chewing tobacco, but I have to admit that I have the urge to show my ID and enter into this shrouded domain. Yes, they require an ID to enter. It all seems so naughty, like the darkened adult store at the end of the block that you have to screw up your courage to enter. I never thought I would see the day when chewing tobacco was something to be hidden and whispered about and guns would be cool and openly displayed for all to see. Strange times.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pittsburgh Bound

Well. It's been awhile. I guess it's more than past time to dust off this blog and put up a new post. As the title implies, we are on our way to Pittsburgh tomorrow at noon. This will be our seventh NRA convention. Time sure does fly by.

We are planning on doing things a little different for this convention. We are going to take our time and not rush as we usually do on the exhibit floor.

We also are not going to attend the Celebration of American Freedom Mom and Apple Pie Experience or whatever they call it.

This year I am calling it the Hucklefuck.

I really have no desire to listen to Mike Hucklebee gas on about whatever he gasses on about. I particularly don't want to partake the experience from uncomfortable stadium seats.

Denise and I really miss the banquet. But I suspect the banquet in Phoenix is the last one we'll enjoy. No, Denise and I will spend Saturday having a nice dinner at one of Pittsburgh's better restaurant's.

We'll raise a toast to the memory of banquet's past and T. Bubba Bechtol (I miss that guy).

We also plan to attend more of the seminars than we have in the past. We've always had to cut short our attendence to one seminar or the other because we were always rushing hither and yon to one event or the other. We plan to rush alot less this time around.

One of the plans we have for this convention is to sample a few of Pittsburgh's eating establishments. One of the places that we might try is famous locally: Primanti Brothers
Unfortunately, they have seem to have been involved in hosting a local event of Mayor Bloomberg's anti-gun jihad, MAIG(Mayor's Against Illegal Guns) More Here

Now my knee jerk reaction is to say: No way in hell am I going to visit this establishment.

But, my more thoughtful side has this reaction: Wouldn't it be better to kill them with kindness as the saying goes.

Think about it.

Instead of empty shops, thousands of hungry, POLITE, gun owners sporting NRA T-shirts and caps show up at Pittsburgh area Primanti Brothers shops and spend money like its going out of style. This shows the owners of Primanti Bros. that NRA members blow away :) the anti-gun community in both wealth and influence.

In fact this policy works well wherever we go in Pittsburgh. Let's show the dour, doommongering bitter enders that gun owners are happy, wealthy forward marching people and that the other side represents the ass end of history.

Couldn't hurt to try.

Anyway, hope to see some of you there!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Last NRA Convention Thoughts and Maudlin Meanderings

Yosemite Sam and I are back. I had a deskful of stuff waiting for me at work, including a couple of fires I had to put out.

My job entails a bunch of coordination and almost constant writing. That's one reason I don't blog much anymore. It's awfully hard to face the monitor when I've been staring into its depths all day. Besides, I feel I've said everything I ever wanted to say. Put those two together and you get little bloggy. Enough whining.

Yosemite and I attended the "Celebration of American Values: Freedom Experience" held in the Time-Warner Arena on Saturday night. I understand that Charlotte did not have a large enough venue to host a banquet, but I missed the banquet. I like sitting around the table and meeting gunnies and bloggers from anyplace in the country. I even like the excuse to throw on a bit of makeup and dress better than my work casual.

So, some thoughts to tie it together.... We enjoyed meeting and renewing long-distance friendships with all the bloggers that were there. We liked the cavalcade of guns and gear on the convention floor. We attended Ted Nugent's session on Sunday and he always gets one fired up to support gun rights.

Speaking for myself now, I hope that the almost six years I've been blogging has done some good in support of gun rights. I hope that I've added something to my readers' days. I hope I've provided information and maybe entertainment. I even hope that my love of the shooting sports has encouraged someone to buy a gun, learn how to use it, and find their own passion for shooting. I hope to get over the funk that has led me to write few posts. Maybe a new job....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

NRA Convention Gun P0rn

One of the things Yosemite Sam and I always do at the convention is drool over guns. There were many to choose from:

A Whitney Wolverine from the 1950s; so Buck Rogers, so ahead of its time.

From Buck Rogers to Queen Anne's time. These were from an exhibit of Hugenot made guns.

An early Thompson sub-machine gun.

It wasn't all guns, you could buy grips, knives, optics, clothing, tactical underwear (literally), and more.

No that's a gun; a Taurus chambered in .45 LC or 410 shotshell.

Okay, one more.

We saw pink guns, gold guns, blank guns, tan guns, but here's a spangled red, white and blue gun.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sarah Palin's Speech

Sarah Palin visited the NRA Convention today. She received two standing ovations, one when she entered the stage and one when she exited. I've never watched her give a speech in person and have only seen snippets of other speeches. She's a much better speaker than the media wants us to believe.

Her theme included gun rights, hunting rights, and how much the media sucks on these topics. She poked fun at herself when she told us that she had collected some "You must be a Redneck" jokes and realized some of them fit her. She mentioned writing her speech on her hand.

She carries herself very well now and has learned a lot in the past two years. The progressives and media had better not underestimate her.

The speech included nothing about any of her further political hopes. If indeed she has any. But let's face it, she's laughing all the way to the bank now.

I like Sarah Palin. I don't know if she has what IT takes to be President, whatever IT is. But, she has a down home way about her that I find very appealing. She did one thing that I've never seen a speaker do that made me like her even more. After she gave her speech, she walked by the interpreter for the deaf who was standing on the corner of the stage. She turned toward the interpreter, touched her on the shoulder, and thanked her.

At one point, Governor Palin called herself an NRA gun-nut chick, or at least that's what the press thought of her. From one NRA gun-nut chick to another, you go Sarah!

Pre-Convention Travel, Petersburg, Virginia

We got here to Charlotte yesterday a little later than we planned, but not too bad. One thing we like about coming to the conventions is the chance to do side trips in different parts of the country. Yesterday, we got our history freak on and visited the battlefields around Petersburg, Virginia.

The Union troops attacked Petersburg hoping to cut off the Confederate capitol of Richmond. The first attack succeeded, but the commander didn't press his advantage and failed to take Petersburg.

A long siege ensued in terms both of time and distance. Troops built earthworks that stretched forty miles in some places. When you're driving in the National Park, you see unnatural hillocks throughout the forested land. They're the remains of the earthworks; the places where men fought, died, survived.

Petersburg is also the site of the Battle of the Crater. This was one of the most successful failures in military history. The explosion in the tunnel succeeded wildly, but the subsequent attack was a bloody disaster for the Union. Here are a few photos:

Opening to the tunnel Pennsylvania miners dug under Confederate lines.

Reproduction of the "Dictator" mortar the Union troops used to shell Petersburg.

A selection of Civil War cannon including a Dahlgren Boat Gun, Napoleon, Parrot, and a British breechloader.