Thursday, March 31, 2005

BAG Day Plans

Buy a Gun (BAG) Day is about two weeks away. As the day get closer, gun bloggers are reminding us more and more that April 15 is a great day to go out and buy a gun. Here at the Ten Ring, we've already announced our support for BAG Day.

Well, this year we have big plans for BAG Day and our plans will affect this blog temporarily. Bill has parents in Houston, Texas who told him we must visit this year. So, we're loading up the car and heading to Texas on April 9. On the way, we 'll be stopping at many attractions including Grand Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. We plan to be there two nights and we reserved a time on their Sporting Clays course.

We'll get to Houston sometime around April 12th. We'll be attending the NRA Convention too and already have banquet tickets. We will actually blog the convention.

On BAG Day, we plan to go to Collectors Firearms where I plan to make my BAG Day purchase--probably a handgun with my Curio & Relics License. Bill will make his own purchase and go through FFLs if he needs to.

On our way back, we have many activities planned. Probably won't get to them all--you know how traveling goes.

So, on the road, our posting will be sporadic depending on when we can get to a computer. We will post every chance we get. We'll remind you of all travel plans right before we go. We'll also announce exactly what we bought for BAG Day.

That's our news. We had hoped to go to Boomershoot this year, but family called and we're soon bound for Texas. So, y'all wish us a good trip and let us know if you'll be at the NRA Convention too. We might be able to say hello.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

We're Running Amok

During my daily net-surfing session, I stumbled on a press release from Josh Horwitz of The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV). I've heard of them before, but never really paid them much attention. Their tagline states they have been "Organizing for Progressive Gun Laws Since 1974." Been around for a while, I guess. They're affiliated with The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. Never heard of them.

CSGV had a blog called "Bullet Counter Points." It's on hiatus--last post, October 28, 2004. It didn't last long since it started sometime in June 2004. No explanation, just on vacation.

Okay, enough background, back to Horwitz's press release.

Horwitz believes that Minnesota's school shooting is evidence the "gun culture" is running amok. I don't know about you, but I'm a proud member of America's gun culture. I'm an NRA member, contribute to various pro-gun and pro-hunting organizations, collect guns, shoot a lot, and write about my gun nuttery here. No one has given me a membership card in "Gun Culture, USA" as I like to call it now, but I might buy a tee-shirt.

If you grant that I'm a bona fide member of "Gun Culture, USA," I gotta say, I'm not running amok. I might break into a sweat and we can't have that. Besides, I might drop a collectible firearm and damage it. We really can't have that.

I guess Horwitz wasn't quite clear on the concept of running amok, but he does want a "dialogue" on guns in America. You know, I'm almost dialogued out on guns in America. What is there to discuss further? Gun-grabbers passed their precious Brady Bill and I wait for my NICS check every time I buy a new gun. They passed their even more precious "Assault Weapons" Ban and that proved useless until it sunsetted (is that a word?) in September 2004. I still can't buy a machine gun in my local hardware store like my grandfathers could if they so desired. Horwitz, I'm tired of dialoguing with you all. Leave me alone.

Of course, they won't leave me and my fellow members of "Gun Culture, USA" alone. They can't do it. They're modern-day puritans who fear that somewhere, someone is enjoying themselves with a firearm. They can't stand that thought.

Horwitz repeats the litany of recent shootings and declares the NRA's solution is more guns in American hands. He states, "[NRA believes] that every citizen should prepare for armed confrontation. This just doesn't make any sense." He states that the "NRA and its allies" want to expand places where Americans can carry concealed weapons.

Wow, he actually admitted the NRA has allies. Usually gun-grabbers demonize the NRA as a big monolith standing in the way of innocent citizens who simply want peace. I wish he had named those allies, so I can be sure I've sent them contributions.

One final quote from Horwitz and I'll wind up: "These ideas [arming judges, easier carry permits, assault weapons ban--can't forget that shibboleth] should be debated, but not as a substitute for a discussion about whether a society where citizens feel they need to be armed to the teeth to go to school, work, or church is really the kind of world we want to create."

There's no need to create a world like Horwitz describes. It's already here and has been since history began. I'd like to live in a world without criminals, terrorists, government agents who sometimes run amok, and other threats. I'd like to live in a world where everyone used guns like I do--responsibly and for recreation. I'm sure that would be a nice world with butterflies and turtle doves. But, that world doesn't exist and never has.

I often carry a gun because I'm realistic. I don't live in the turtle dove world of Kumbaaya. I live in a world with a handful of people in it that'd kill me for a dime. We don't live in a world without criminals, bullies, and people who think they have found religious nirvana and want to force you to convert at sword-point if need be. I don't know if man is "perfectible" in the long run, but I'm almost fifty. I know I won't live to see it.

If I can contribute to a better world, I will. But, Horwitz and others want to define that world for us. I fear their ideas would create a world where we contribute 50%, 60%, 70% or more of our hard-earned income so that "unfortunates" can have what we "productive" citizens have. A world where civilian-owned guns are melted down into plowshares while police, soldiers, and criminals keep theirs. A world where predators prey on the weak, which will be everyone but a handful of elites with armed bodyguards. That's the world that would arise.

No, Mr. Horwitz, I will continue to keep my guns and keep myself safe from predators. If you think I'm running amok, well, it's just my dialogue on "Gun Culture, USA."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Memory Lane

Sorry for my tardiness. I had an incredibly busy day at work, Bill relapsed and is sick again, and Blogger wouldn't let me post earlier. I don't know if it was me of my computer. Oh well, enough excuses.

In yesterday's post I mentioned I had three guns hanging up in my room. I thought you might want to know a little more about them. I grew up in a small Western city. Many people my age had guns or unfettered access to them. There were many places to shoot and while boys were more interested in guns than girls, it wasn't uncommon to see girl's shooting in local gravel pits especailly so with their families.

I started shooting when I was 8 years old and my Dad started me with a 12-gauge shotgun. He had to prop up the front of the Hopkins & Allen single-barrel break-action gun while I fired it. I loved it even though it was loud and I ended up with a bruised shoulder. As I grew up, I shot rifles and shotguns, but started specializing in rifle shooting. I didn't shoot handguns, because my Dad didn't believe his little girl should be shooting such things, at least not yet.

I got my first gun when I turned thirteen, a .22 caliber pump-action Remington Fieldmater 572 rifle. For Christmas that same year, my Dad gave me the Hopkins & Allen shotgun that I first shot.

For my fifteenth birthday present, I got a genuine Mauser action 6mm scoped hunting rifle. A local gunsmith who owed my Dad money assembled it and two other rifles--one for my brother and one for my Dad. When I was younger, the 6mm fit me like a glove. Now it's a little short in the stock, so I put a buttpad on it. I took two deer and an antelope with that gun before I graduated high school. My little brother's rifles was chambered in .30-06 and he took an elk with it. Being a girl, I got the little 6mm. Grumble, grumble, [scuffs shoes and pouts].

So, these were the three guns in my room. I had them on one of those hanging racks. Here is a picture of a similar one. The rack had spaces for four guns. I, being my usual ingenious self, figured out a way to fill that fourth space. I had my dad cut and shape a 2 x 4 board so that it fit in the top slot. I lined my troll doll collection along the board's flat surface.

Now, in retrospect, that rack of guns would've made a gun-grabber of today faint--three guns in a teenager's room, with no trigger locks, and trolls overlooking them all. Then, it was just part of who I was. I have no idea what happened to the rack or my trolls, but I still own all three guns. I've got my priorities straight.

Blogger Problem (both us and Blogger)

Sorry for the lack of posts today. Work was incredibly busy today and Bill is still sick. Also, Blogger has been acting up at least for me. I am not sure if this will even publish. I will try a real post in a little while. Thanks.

Monday, March 28, 2005

More Spinning from Anti-Gunnies

It didn’t take long. Gun-grabbers are figuring out that the school shooting in Minnesota is hard for them to spin. It didn’t involve “assault weapons,” guns bought at gun shows, .50 caliber rifles, and any of the other fiction they so like to write. No, this shooting involved a very troubled young man, Jeff Weise, who killed his police officer grandfather to get his police-issued guns to shoot up his school. A constant refrain among gun-grabbers is that guns should be in police or military hands only—that we civilians can’t be trusted with them.

Minnesota and Atlanta (where a prisoner took a gun off his sole guard) confounds them. Here even guns in police hands can be abused. How to spin these cases, especially Minnesota, into ways of limiting American’s gun rights? Bless their hearts, they found a way.

Here’s a letter to the editor from a gun-grabber, Michael B. Greene, in which he declares that, “…strict and enforceable laws on storing guns…” is a remedy. By inference, the letter’s author believes that had Weise’s grandfather come home at the end of each shift and locked up his guns, or stored them at police headquarters, Weise couldn’t have got the guns.

That may be true, but Greene doesn’t understand police officers or those who believe a gun is actually a self-defense tool. A home burglary can happen without warning. No criminal is going to wait while you go get your self-defense gun out of the safe, load it, and point it at him. Police officers are possibly more at risk than many of us because a criminal may target them specifically for revenge. For many of us, guns are defensive tools, a form of recreation, and even a rite of passage.

Greene doesn’t understand that in many households a 16 year old may have his or her own gun stored in his or her own room. When I was growing up, I had one shotgun and two rifles hanging up on a rack near my bed. They were (and still are) my guns. My parents trusted me with them because I proved trustworthy.

Weise showed many signs he was no longer trustworthy if he ever was. He was depressed, was on Prozac, drew ghoulish cartoons, and talked about using guns to kill people. Someone(s) failed to see these signs until it was too late. He got his grandfather’s weapons and the rest is history.

Now, gun-grabbers will preach harder about “safe” storage laws. They will want to make new laws or new ways to enforce them. Think what Greene’s letter means when he writes of “enforceable” storage laws. That means cops visiting you to ensure you stored your guns “properly,” based on a legislator’s or bureaucrat’s definition of “properly.” They can say, your gun safe is only 14 gauge steel, no guns for you, or perhaps give you deadline to buy a new and always more expensive safe.

We don’t want to go down that road. Nor do we want to follow another Greene recommendation, “…[creating] an atmosphere in which bullying and harassment are viewed as human rights violations.” Bullying needs to be stopped, but human rights violation, c’mon get real.

Still, Greene is not as much a moonbat as a gun-grabber writing in a recent Chicago Sun-Times editorial. She hits it all: the end of the “assault weapons” ban, Sarah and Jim Brady, homicide statistics, “culture of death,” and more. It’s too much of a caricature to even fisk (hat tip to Alphecca).

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Censoring a Gun Book

Bill was over at Kim du Toit's site this morning. I think he was checking out one of those Skin Pics that Kim puts up every weekend. Hmmm...maybe I need a quick talk with him. Naw, he likes the pics too much. Bill mentioned a post about a woman in New Jersey whose fifth-grade son checked out a gun book from his school's library. Now, mommie won't return the book.

I decided to read the newspaper article linked on Kim's post even though Kim covered it very thoroughly.

Robin Barroso is today's moonbat in question and she "confiscated"
Guns of the World: The Complete Collectors and Traders Guide which actually came out in 1977--I think its information on pricing and obtaining guns might be a little out of date, just a tiny little bit. Even so, mommie thinks kids might use it to learn how to obtain guns and shoot up their schools.

School officials are trying to get her to return the book. They defend its presence in the library since it may have academic value. Good on them. Barroso argues that, "...[keeping guns out of kids' hands is] everybody's responsibility in a community." This is so "It takes a village" groupthink it's not even funny. Her son evidently checked it out since it seemed "different."

C'mon Mom, boys love guns and you'll never stop them from trying to learn about them. In fact, discouraging their interest may create a "forbidden fruit" problem. She only allows her son to watch non-violent fare on television and he cannot play non-violent video games. Those choices are up to her, but she's weaving a cocoon around her son based on an unrealistic view of the world.

Barroso is now more than unrealistic. She became a book banner when she refused to return the book and when she wants to protect others from it. One assumes she is liberal based on her gun position (it could be a wrong assumption--look at Sarah Brady).

Liberals say they hate people banning books. I remember controversy when a few people on the religious right insisted books like Heather has Two Mommies be removed from library shelves. In fact, Heather has Two Mommies was the eleventh most challenged book from 1990 to 2000.

Liberals hate that someone could challenge a book's presence in a school library. They say they're against censorship. Here is a description of a 1996 college course decrying book banning. It states,
...the issues of plurality in American society and diversity in the public schools have a significant influence on challenges to public school curricula and library holdings.
Barroso missed a learning opportunity. She could have used Guns of the World to show her son that people have different interests. She could have talked about diversity and plurality in American society. Nope, her reaction is censorship and stealing public property.

I don't know if Barroso is Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. But, I do know she is a gun-fearing woman who would dictate what books others can read and what interests others can have. So typical of "progressives" who decry censorship when religious right people attempt it even while they try it themselves over guns.

Bill and I have noted leftist hypocrisy on gun issues. When reports came out of people buying guns while included on terror watch lists, liberals demanded refusing guns to those listed. Earlier, they cried foul when similar if not identical no-fly lists were being used to prevent people from boarding a plane. Bill discussed how the Democrat Party became such total gun-grabbers.

Barroso is an example of the mentality we gunnies face in today's world. It betrays an anti-freedom and anti-choice agenda on behalf of all gun haters. Look at the attitude closely. If not stopped, it will lead to the end of our gun rights and the burning of gun reference books in public squares.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Gun Nut Book Review--III

I just finished reading Shotgun Technicana by Michael McIntosh and David Trevallion. I picked it up when I saw McIntosh had a hand in the book. He's the author of my favorite books on shotgunning, Shotguns and Shooting and the aptly named More Shotguns and Shooting. McIntosh writes in a beautifully clear style. His prose can be almost poetic without being flowery. I'd read a shopping list if he wrote it.

Trevallion is not actually a writer. He's a gunmaker, trained at Purdey's of London. He came to America in 1964 soon after Britain's Worshipful Company of Gunmakers accepted his masterpiece and welcomed him into the company. He now builds and repairs fine old shotguns. He also did most of the photography in the book.

Shotgun Technicana is of course well written and crafted. However, it's not for the faint of heart because of its strict attention to detail. Trevallion builds guns in the old style and McIntosh has always betrayed a fondness for fine English side by sides. Several chapters detail development of boxlocks and sidelocks going into great detail on how they were invented and how they work.

Other chapters talk about repairs showing some that Trevallion has done. Even if your fine straight-hand stocked Holland & Holland should break at the wrist, Trevallion is the man to fix it. If you need a new stock configuration, Trevallion can perform a "butt transplant" and give you what you need (he removes an offending or broken stock and transplants a new one, hiding seams in checkering--I'd never heard of it being done).

The most interesting chapter for me was "Protocol at Purdey's." McIntosh, through company photos and research, takes you into Purdey's of the 1950s. They describe meticulous handwork that makes Purdey's so desirable and expensive today (I've seen one in person with a $30,000.00 price tag hanging off it). Craftsmen hand-made each part using rough blanks. Even screws were hand made. The company gave clear names to each craftsman. A stocker built stocks, an actioner built actions, and a screwer made screws. One wonders if a screwer proudly announced his job title to his parents--a screwer was usually an apprentice.

If you like fine old shotguns in the British mold--even those made in America--you'll like Shotgun Technicana. I like all guns and I liked the book, but sometimes found it hard going. The writing was clear enough, but when they start using British names for the many parts in a sidelock, it's confusing. Some chapters like how they make a leather-covered buttpad did get tedious. I can't imagine making such a pad after reading that chapter.

So, I recommend this book with one caveat--you really need to love everything about its subject, fine old British-style shotguns, before you read it. Or, if you like technical descriptions written in a clear almost elegiac style you'll probably like Shotgun Technicana.

Carnival of Cordite #6

Announcing...Carnival of Cordite #6 is now up at Gullyborg's Resistance is Futile site. Come one, come all. Read and enjoy the newest carnival. It has gun p0rn, discussions of military rifles, and a post from your's truly. So, what you waiting for, get there and read.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Three Traditions and Elites

Yesterday, Bill (Yosemite Sam) posted an essay about Democrats and guns. You may remember from some of our earliest posts that Bill has always been a Republican and conservative. I was once a Democrat and now am a recovering liberal. I still believe certain liberal things like “live and let live,” “question authority,” and other wisdom from the 1960s. One thing I’ve always believed in is you must trust the little man.

Bill mentions elites and a brave new world they want for the little man. According to him,

They are seeking to create the perfect society. They are working so hard for it, a society of peace and love.
Today’s liberal is a member of one of several elite goups or led by them. Think about John Kerry. Here was a man born with a golden spoon in his mouth and then married up to even more wealth. The Democrats tried to run him as a man of the people. My God, how silly and people I talked to who supported him saw right through it.

Kerry supporters were often members of the Hollywood elite like Barbra Striesland, international elites like Greorge Soros, and many others. Many of them have little fondness for the common man even those who were historically Democrats.

These elites, like John Kerry, want to create a new country. They want one that looks to Europe for ways of coping with social problems, immigration, and foreign affairs: an attitude aptly called Transnational Progressivism. They want a civilized society where guns are faint and disgusting memories. They would even remove them from museums.

Liberal elites honestly believe they know how to run our lives better than we do. To win they must destroy our traditions. Think about three traditions they have tried to destroy; hunting, gun ownership, eating meat. They must destroy them because every one of them represents independence and self-discipline. It you hunt you don’t have to rely on food distribution systems to eat. If you own guns you can use them to hunt, use them for self-defense, or use them to stop elites and their agents. If you don’t eat meat you’re forced to rely on a system of food distribution and society—a system that the elites can own and control.

Think about what it means to be a vegetarian in most of America. Growing seasons are such that you must rely on imported fruits and vegetables. You must be able to mix nuts and beans for complete proteins. If you’re a city dweller, self-reliance and independence becomes difficult and you’re even more reliant on others.

If someone chooses to be a vegetarian, more power to them. I tried it myself as much out of curiosity than anything else. For almost a year this avowed carnivore ate fruits, vegetables, and grain products with a little cheese and eggs. I can’t say my diet made be unhealthy, but I had to rely on a local health food store for most of my food and I had to pay a premium price.

But, certain people who “supported” me in my vegetarianism really bothered me. It was a religion to them. Here’s a snippet of a of a letter from Linda Serfass to The Boston Globe: “

The feelings associated with a backyard barbecue or holiday meal are of enjoyment, memories, friends, and family. What is not seen or heard are the terrified animals screaming, the injured immigrant meat factory workers performing dangerous jobs, and the toxic effects of factory farming in someone else's neighborhood.... Everyone who ignores these images is guilty of perpetuating them. Look beyond the happy image of hamburgers and hot dogs and think about what the advertisements don't tell you.
This is not someone making a dietary choice for herself. This is someone who would make that decision for you. This is a person who has adopted an attitude born of elites. She is someone who wants to make a better world by making you so guilty you’ll make choices she wants you to. She turns a backyard barbecue into a scene from Hell. You’re to blame that our society doesn’t recognize animal rights. You’re to blame if you actually like hamburgers and hot dogs. You’re to blame if we don’t have that society of peace and love. Or ideas along these lines.

So, not only are our guns at risk, but so are our traditions. A father/son (or daughter) hunt is cast as an orgy of blood. The ownership of a gun is cast as anti-social behavior. The eating of meat, an activity that we humans have done since before we were truly humans, is cast as a horrific vision of screaming animals and injured workers.

That’s the world elites want. If they get it, they won’t suffer. They‘ll eat exquisitely prepared pheasant shot at exclusive game farms with their $75,000.00 Purdey shotguns while “useful fools” like Linda Serfass continue to hector us unmercifully.

To them, I say you’ll get my guns, my hunting license, my haunch of red meat, my independence and self-reliance over my cold dead body.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Why are Democrats against the Right to Bear Arms

It probably is not widely known among the general public that two icons of the Democratic Party, Hubert Humphrey and John F. Kennedy were members of the NRA. Many don’t know that Eleanor Roosevelt often carried a gun for personal protection. But today, when a politician proposes the latest liberty infringing law in a State House, or U.S. Congress, it seems one doesn’t even have to look to know the party affiliation of that politician. Almost invariably it is the party that begins with the letter D.. But, why is that? What turned a party that was pretty much for the right of the citizens to bear arms to one that vociferously opposes it?

As with much of the modern Democratic Party, I think much of this goes back to 1972. That was the year that the radical Left took over the party. Before, the party styled itself as the party of the working man and its members felt that the party’s purpose was to help to give the working man an even break.

Before ’72, the so-called Red States were solidly Democratic. Texas had a Democratic governor and was a solid Democratic state and the Democratic Party had a lock on the South. The fathers of today’s NASCAR watching, Bush voting, Southern boys were most likely Democrats.

After ’72, that all changed and in election after election, the Democratic Party has been pushed out of the South and the Mountain West and is faced with extinction in these areas. After ‘72, the Democrats became the party of the urban elite who looks at the working man as a means to an end in public and with scorn in private.

The Democrats went from leaders like Harry Truman and Zell Miller to ones like Al Gore, John Kerry and Tom Daschle. Real men who worked their way from humble beginnings were replaced by effete Alan Alda types who showed their feelings and grew up with silver spoons in the lap of luxury.

This new elite really had no use for guns, except for the John Kerry type ultra elite who sported $10,000 shotguns and who learned to hunt in the British style by trained staff on their private islands. But in the hands of the working man, no. How could they really like or trust the common man, when he works with his hands and drinks non imported beer and is just so gauche. The idea of guns available and in the hands of common men offends the elite’s well-honed sensibilities.

They are seeking to create the perfect society. They are working so hard for it, a society of peace and love. If there are people who believe they need to carry guns for personal protection, then that puts the lie to everything they think they have accomplished or want to accomplish.

Part of their attitude is that they no longer believe in good and evil. Remember how they criticized President Bush because he has framed the War on Terror as good verses evil. They really don’t believe there are bad people out there who would kill you for the change in your pocket. For the liberal elites, people who do evil acts are just misunderstood or have been treated badly by the system. Instead of punishing the people who do bad, what needs to be done is they want to change the system that causes evildoers to act bad in the first place. Notice that there is no room for personal responsibility in this philosophy. If you do something wrong, there must be some external reason for your actions.

Many people take this to heart. There was a recent case from New York City where a young woman, who was being held at gunpoint, told the gunman: “What are you going to do, Shoot me?” He did. Those of us who know there is evil in the world would have never have challenged a robber like this. We know that he has no value for human life, and would probably have no problem with cold-blooded murder. Why force the issue by challenging him? But this poor women was gulled into the Utopian fantasy that there is no such thing as good and evil. She might have thought, Why would he shoot me when I am not a threat to him? All he probably needs is some counseling to stop this kind of anti-social behavior.

Notice also how, after having dispensed with good and evil, they then project those attributes onto inanimate object like guns. They seem to believe that guns actually cause people, who as we have seen no longer have any responsibility for their actions, to act violently. To them, it is the availability of guns that cause crime, not the actual criminals. So we get repeated calls for more gun control and outright bans and when these fail, they will come up with some other external factor, because no one is responsible for their actions.

This is a child’s philosophy. Writ large, it is the child’s plea of “the Devil Made Me Do It,” except in this case it is society, the gun, (Insert Other External Factor) that made me do it. This is what you get when you no longer believe that there are bad people in the world. This philosophy rules the roost in the Democratic Party and in our big cities and in most other Western countries.

The belief stems from a desire to hide ones head in the sand and to see things as one would wish them to be not as they are. It is also very, very appealing. Many people wish they could absolve themselves of responsibilities and blame someone else for their problems. For this reason, it will be hard, but not impossible, to combat this way of thinking.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

One From the Vault--IV

Winchester 101 Shotgun

I was thinking about what to post. I thought about the school shooting in Minnesota and realized I have little more to say. The shooter needed help and didn't get it from his community or relatives. Who knows if it could have been prevented. I thought about ideas I've had on why "progressives" want to ban guns so much. I realized I'm feeling inundated with news. Everything from Minnesota to our nation's fascination with Terri Schiavo. So, I needed a break from thinking about public affairs and decided to do another One From the Vault.

Loyal readers know that Bill and I have posted pictures and comments about the guns we own (see below for links). We're gun nuts and like to share our enthusiasm over guns we have chosen to buy. Neither one of us are gun photographers (scroll down for pics on this link) like Head--how he gets those professional quality photos, I'll never know. But, we still like to bore y'all with our efforts. So without further ado, I'm introducing you to my trap shotgun.

One reason I chose to show this gun is winter is almost over up here. I rarely do shotgun sports in the winter since I am not dedicated enough to stand in snow up to my knees. The club at which I shoot doesn't clear the field, so I let my shotgun rest for a few months. Now that spring is almost here, Bill and I will soon be getting our shotguns out for fun and games.

I shoot a Winchester Model 101 (Pigeon Grade). Winchester made a line of these guns in the 1970s and 1980s. They were all made in Japan, but are all extremely good quality. The model included a field grade, pigeon grade, and diamond grade with an XTR and lightweight thrown in for good measure. All are over/under, break-action guns. Some came in three barrel sets of different gauges.

So, here it is sitting quietly in its case.
Posted by Hello

My shotgun has an adjustable cheek piece and is fitted with Briley chokes. I usually shoot it with Skeet and Improved Cylinder chokes. I like open chokes even for trap, but I do get on the target quickly. Occasionally I throw in Modified and Improved Modified chokes depending on how well I'm shooting. I have other chokes that will fit it as well, but don't use them often.

My gun's barrels are 32 inches long. I like long barrels for trap and skeet since once I get the gun moving, I don't have to worry about stopping my swing too early. They are heavy enough that they keep right on going no matter what I do. It's more accurate that I deserve. The recoil is very manageable since the gun itself is heavy.

It's factory engraved. Here is a detail of the receiver:
Posted by Hello

One final photo is a close up of the pigeon on the underside of the receiver:
Posted by Hello

Together, this gun and I've gone through a lot of shells. Bill and I reload them using a Lee LoadAll II. We looked at fancy progressive reloading presses, but decided that a fifty dollar Lee would save us money in the long run. It's a fun little press.

My Winchester 101 once gave me a little trouble. One of the firing pins would stick and not hit the primer. A little cleaning and a drop of Breakfree helped. It's the only problem I've ever had with it.

What else can I tell you about it? It has automatic ejectors, a Pachmayr recoil pad, and lives in a Browning case. I love the figure on its walnut stock, unfortunately my photos don't do it justice. I bought it used and I've never regretted tossing my money on State Line Gun Shop's counter. I don't hunt with it, but I have a couple other shotguns for that.

So, soon my dear shotgun and I will be blasting clay targets from the sky. The reloading press will be cranking out reloads and I'll have a clay-busting grin on my face.

Links to other "One From the Vault" posts:
Smith & Wesson 340PD
Trapdoor Springfield
Beretta 21A

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Brady Bunch and Minnesota

I wrote a parody not long ago about how gun-grabbers can spin the truth into an unrecognizable hash. If I didn’t know better I would say that the Brady Campaign press release on the school shooting in Minnesota was a parody. Let’s take a look at it.

First the title is a strident plea to emotions: “America's Gun Violence Epidemic: White House, Congress Must Stop Feeding Culture of Death.” It speaks of gun violence as an epidemic as if we were talking about influenza or cholera. The term culture of death is of course a jab at President’s Bush’s desire to create a “culture of life” in America. Most gun violence in this country comes from criminals. There are some unhappy incidents where a seemingly law-abiding person goes berserk with a gun. The same can be said of a person going berserk with a meat cleaver or a car.

The Brady’s press release mentions ten dead in Minnesota and that “…the toll from multiple shootings this year are going through the roof.” I’ll grant them that there have been too many shootings this year. Bad news always seems to clump together. Their answer is to always disarm citizens without recognizing that guns serve a useful purpose for the millions who own them.

I haven’t even got to the first paragraph and already I’ve spilled a bunch of pixels. Here is a lie from that paragraph:
…his rampage becomes another entry on a growing list of news reports on horrific gun violence and reports on the ready availability of ever-deadlier weapons.
His rampage is part of a too long list this year, but “ever-deadlier” weapons had nothing to do in this case. The shooter’s grandfather was a reservation police officer and the shooter used his grandfather’s police issued handguns, shotgun, police car, and bullet-resistance vest. There is nothing “ever-deadlier” about these common police weapons.

The press release talks about recent attacks and includes a quote stating,
And we're deluged with reports about legal guns that can shoot down airplanes, guns designed to kill police wearing body armor, and the FBI being forced to watch as terrorist suspects arm themselves with firearms.
Let’s look at that more closely since it contains numerous lies.

Guns that shoot down airplanes refers to .50 caliber rifles. Experts doubt even a well-placed shot would seriously harm an airplane unless they’re referring to a small Cessna and even then an extremely well-trained marksman would have to hit the pilot.

The guns that are “designed” to kill police are FN Five SeveNs, which were not “designed” to kill police. They were designed to take an armor-piercing military round that is not sold to civilians. The ATF states that the ammo is not sold in this country and the gun is legal to sell.

And the comment about the FBI refers to suspects on terror watch lists buying guns. There are potentially millions of Americans on these lists; Teddy Kennedy was once so listed. Do we want to deny people the basic rights of a citizen because the government put them on a secret list from which there is little or no way to clear one’s name?

The release goes on to talk about this being the worst school shooting since Columbine. Well, it’s been six years—some epidemic. There’s another list of lies or exaggerations in the same paragraph,
In Atlanta, a beloved judge, an innocent court reporter and a veteran police officer were laid to rest. In Tyler, Texas, a brutal spouse killed his wife and a bystander and wounded his son with an AK-47 copycat weapon.
In Atlanta the judge, court reporter, and deputy were killed by a man on trial for rape and kidnapping who didn’t get his gun from a gun show or gun store. Instead he grabbed it from another deputy; a 51-year old, 5 feet tall grandmother who was his sole guard.

The bystander mentioned in Tyler, Texas had a concealed carry permit and used his gun to shoot at the killer and save the life of the killer’s own son.

The release complains about how our lawmakers haven’t helped because they haven’t infringed on our rights enough to suit the Brady Bunch:
In Washington D.C., by contrast, lawmakers have allowed the Federal assault weapons ban to expire, limited law enforcement investigations of gun sellers, mandated the immediate destruction of records of gun sales, and stand poised to make it impossible for victims of gun violence to seek justice against reckless gun sellers in the courts.
The Brady bill instituted records on gun sales through the NICS check. By law, those records were never supposed to be kept. Our lawmakers are following their own laws. Similarly, the lawsuit protection bill stops people from filing reckless lawsuits against people engaged in lawful trade and manufacturing. Lawsuits that were designed to bankrupt gun companies and gun stores.

The release ends with quotes from a Million Mom March chapter president (not the one who went to jail recently with an illegally owned gun and drugs) and Sarah Brady. Their quotes wonder when we’ll make our communities safe from gun violence.

My answer to them: We’ll never be safe from gun violence anymore than we’re safe from any kind of violence. Bad or mentally disturbed people will always find a way to get a weapon. We can defend ourselves, we can work harder to recognize when people need help, and we can lock up violent offenders until they’re too old to commit violent crimes. In Minnesota and in Atlanta the perpetrators got their guns from police. How do you stop that, short of disarming law enforcement?

Update: 5:13pm, fixed two links.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Shooting Bans Coming to a Place Near You Too

No matter where you go or how long a commute, gun-grabbers will piss on your parade. Bill and I moved to New Hampshire primarily to enjoy our Second Amendment rights. We like to shoot and hunt. We prefer to do so where we won’t bother too many people.

There are places in Massachusetts where you wouldn't dare shoot and many in New Hampshire--too many people. But there are places where you can find large tracts of land with few laws to worry about and few neighbors to complain. You’d think people in semi-rural parts of New Hampshire wouldn’t mind the sound of gunfire. You’d be wrong.

There’s a forested area in Merrimack, New Hampshire that has long been used for target shooting and hunting. It’s named the Horse Hill Nature Preserve and spans 563 acres. Bill and I didn’t know of it until we read an article about people who want to ban all shooting within it. Amazing what you don’t know even when you live close by.

Well, these people who don’t like gunfire or hunting are actively seeking to close that land to target shooters and hunters. Leading the charge is John McCann. His property abuts the preserve and he says the gunfire sounds like World War II. Needless to say, there’s more than a little exaggeration here (but I’ll say it anyway).

McCann wants to have the preserve declared part of Merrimack’s “compact area” which would automatically preclude shooting for any reason according to state law. It’s tantamount to saying the preserve is like a town square in New Hampshire and you can’t shoot there.

When McCann’s proposal got before those in charge of the preserve, one of them wants to allow hunting, but ban target shooting. Of course, McCann and his wife aren’t happy and want to ban all shooting in the 563 acres for any purpose. It'll be voted on soon.

Why are people like this? I have no idea what ax McCann is grinding. I don’t know if he’s a new resident, a vegetarian foe of all hunters, or an anti-gunnie. He may just be a person who enjoys quiet and doesn’t like to hear gunfire. Sure guns are loud, but you’re talking about 563 acres. There has to be room for multipurpose use within any large preserve.

People are trying to restrict where we can shoot and hunt for every reason they can think of. There are many fewer places to shoot that when I was growing up. Before my time, big cities including Chicago and New York City had open air shooting galleries set up between buildings. People could lay down a quarter on the counter and pick up a gallery rifle (usually a .22 short pump-action Winchester) and pop away. Those ranges have followed Dodo’s to extinction. One time, not too long ago, you could find a large tract of land, say 563 acres, and shoot. Well, that may pass too.

Bill and I plan to find the Horse Hill Nature Preserve soon and shoot a few targets. We may not get a chance if we wait too long.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hunting Versus Culling

Two of my favorite bloggers discussed hunting this morning. Countertop Chronicles discusses a New York Times editorial on how deer have become a suburban pest and their herds need to be culled. ZendoDeb at TFS Magnum looks at African nations that encourage hunting have healthier and larger herds than those that ban hunting. Go read their takes. I have little to add, but when two bloggers discuss related subjects on the same day, well I just have to chime in with my opinion.

Countertop agrees that the deer herds need to be reduced and offers concrete ideas on how to do that. He takes the New York Times editorial to task for suggesting we need sharpshooters out killing the deer.

ZendoDeb links to another blog and adds more background to it. When hunters come to Africa, game becomes an important commodity for an African government. They go out of their way to ensure a healthy herd of animals for the hunters who in turn reduce the sizes of the herds while spending much money in that country. It becomes a win-win situation for the people and animals.

Maybe we should consider that concept here. Local governments could give special licenses to hunters to come and shoot a given number of deer. They would reduce animal populations while providing hunters with meat and recreation.

As for the New York Times idea of "sharpshooters," I really hate that idea. I have a feeling that the meat would go to waste. "Sharpshooters" could ship carcasses to meat processors, but someone would complain about poor Bambi being turned into food. Someone else would sue because they got a bellyache after eating culled venison. No, my guess is sharpshooters would collect carcasses and bury them in a pit (keeping the best cuts for their families).

At the same time, using "sharpshooters" is an insult to hunters. Hunting is a safe sport and localities could insist on short-range bow or shotgun hunting only. The editorial doesn't recognize the idea that hunting can be a recreation. Instead, for a "sharpshooter" hunting would be a nine-to-five job. Since "sharpshooters" would be there to cull deer, they wouldn't give animals a sporting chance (can anyone say jacklighting).

I can't imagine killing animals for a paycheck day in and day out. I've killed animals. Bill and I enjoy hunting and we like game meat. Any animal we hunt has a sporting chance and we often come home empty-handed. But, going out each day to shoot a beautiful animal that will probably be wasted is not hunting. It's soulless slaughter. The New York Times editorial betrays a liberal fear that someone will actually enjoy hunting and we can't have that, instead they would rather hire a person to callously kill animals for a paycheck. How insulting. How sad.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Machine Gun Crime in D.C.

Bill and I had a busy day today. We had to run to State Line Gun Shop to pick up a gun I left for repair. The revolver was built in 1912 and needed a new cylinder rod. We did other errands too and when we got home we realized we hadn't posted yet. Sorry for our late post.

Something of note happened in Washington, D.C. As you know our nation's capitol has very strict gun laws. You can't own or bring a handgun into the District unless it was registered before February 5, 1977. You have to have permits to buy a rifle or shotgun and they have to be disassembled and stored securely. District law states machine guns are prohibited and that a semi-automatic gun with a magazine, detachable or not, holding more than twelve rounds is also prohibited. Despite, or maybe because of these laws, the District has extremely high murder rates.

According to a news report, a 22-year old District man, Lafayette Burnett, was arrested with a machine gun, a MAC-11. He got into an argument with people in an Oxon Hill, Maryland apartment. Burnett and others walked across the border into the District when he pulled out his MAC-11 (its unclear if he were carrying it or had it in his car). He then shot four people. After a car chase, police arrested him. The four people he shot were hospitalized.

Burnett was charged with possession of a machine gun under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and other charges are pending. An NFA charge means he didn't own the weapon legally.

Despite everything gun-banners could do, despite all of Washington, D.C.'s gun control, despite 71 years of NFA, and despite the Hughes Amendment of 1986 (banning civilian possession of a machine gun made after 1986) a thug like Burnett owned and used a machine gun. And make no mistake Burnett, if actually guilty, is a thug. And there are so many questions that need to be answered. How did he get his MAC-11? How much did he pay for it? Was it made before 1986? Was it stolen from a legal collector or was it illegally diverted into the black market?

If I were to buy a MAC-11 legally it would cost me $3,495.00 plus $200.00 for a tax stamp. I strongly doubt Burnett paid anywhere near $3,500.00 for his gun. In all events, no law stopped him from owning a machine gun.

Law-abiding citizens are not the problem. We obey laws and don't shoot up street corners. People who won’t obey any laws at all commit most gun crime. If someone is willing to use his gun to shoot another person no law will change that. Likewise, no law will prevent that person from getting any weapon he or she desires. For proof, look to Lafayette Burnett.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #5 is Up

I know this announcement is late. The Carnival of Cordite #5 has been up since this morning (hard to blog from work). So, don't you be late. Go over there and read all the gunnie goodness.

A Line in the Sand (Part 2)

Last week, I wrote about what we as gun owner’s can do to fight back against the ceaseless attempts to deprive us of our liberty. Now via Geek with a 45, there is this case of a Philadelphia man, with a License to Carry, who was threatened by a homeless man bum with a knife. The LTC holder brandished his firearm and the potential mugger backed off. That should have been the end of it, but the bum went to the police and the LTC holder had his carry permit and all of his guns, including those he had at home, confiscated. The ADA is pressing charges against the LTC holder.

I can’t describe how much this incenses me, that in the United States of America, in the very city where the Declaration and the Constitution were forged, that this could take place. That they would take the word of a street thug over an upstanding, taxpaying citizen brings my rage to even greater heights. This is the world turned upside down, folks. The hard working, law abiding members of society are treated like Shit, deprived of our God given rights and street vermin are treated with respect.

Also, it seems that the mayor of Philadelphia is trying to start a campaign against lawful LTC holders and is trying to end the issuance of LTC permits in the city. They have tried before to restrict LTC permits in Philadelphia, but since Pennsylvania has a state preemption law, these efforts have been struck down. He may have more success now that Pennsylvania has a Democrat governor.

Pennsylvania gunnies: I think your moment has arrived. The powers that be are trying to turn your state into New Jersey West and they will if you allow it. You need get on the phone to your elected Representatives, demand that charges be dropped against this man in Philadelphia, march in the streets and do everything you can to bring this fascist mayor in Philadelphia to heel. He seems to have no desire to lock up the gang bangers who are causing all of the murders in Philadelphia and is trying to use these murders as an excuse to deprive law abiding people of their Constitutional rights. Don’t stand for it.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Stupid Massachusetts

Stupid, stupid, stupid. I can’t believe how stupid Massachusetts can be. Let me explain my outbreak. When I moved to Massachusetts from Texas, it took me awhile to figure out gun laws, but I did. I found I needed a license to own a firearm even if it never left my house. I found I needed to register all firearms I own.

Fine. I went though the licensing procedure (description here) and registered a few of my guns (others stayed in my parents’ house or in a storage shed in New Hampshire). I became a duly licensed and legal Massachusetts gun owner.

Bill and I eventually moved to New Hampshire partly because of the state’s stupid gun laws. One of Massachusetts many gun laws state you must provide your new address to the Criminal History Systems Board, which runs the gun licensing and registration scheme. The law is silent about an out-of-state move, probably because legislators realized they no longer have any jurisdiction and didn’t include it.

I knew I might want an out-of-state concealed carry license for Massachusetts and thought it reasonable to cancel my existing in-state license. I figured a bureaucrat somewhere might think it funny if a person with a valid in-state license asked for an out-of-state license. So, in 2003, I sent a letter to the Board with my new address, asked them to cancel my existing license, and “unregister” any firearms I had listed. I even asked them to verify cancellation and de-registration. Of course, I received no response (as I expected) and I realized that asking them to delete gun registrations is like asking waves not to dampen beaches. Still, I wanted to try.

So, can you guess what I got in yesterday’s mail? No? I got a folding postcard written on nice buff-colored card stock from the Criminal History Systems Board. My heart did a flutter. What’s this, I wonder, did I miss a parking ticket, did I get arrested and not remember it, did I…. Then I remembered. Oh, that’s the gun records board too. I opened two little tape circles holding it closed and read a reminder that my in-state license is about to expire. It helpfully cites laws and other facts that are no longer germane to me. So helpful, so friendly, so unnecessary.

I turned the card over to check my address half expecting to see one of those forwarding stickers the post office uses. Of course, there’s no sticker. We’ve lived out of Massachusetts for over one and a half years and our mail is no longer forwarded. The card’s address plainly shows New Hampshire. Obviously, the gun board got my letter and changed my address, but didn’t cancel my license.

Why do they think I need an in-state license when I live in New Hampshire? Why do they not check out-going mail either by hand or through a few lines of computer code and intercept notices going to another state? If they did so they could send a letter asking me to acknowledge I’m no longer a Massachusetts resident. Why wouldn't they cancel my license like I asked them to do in the first place?

Finally, why do I as a law-abiding, never been arrested, citizen get mail from a FREAKING Criminal History Systems Board? I grant you I'm not worried about what my mailman thinks of me, but here I get all these gun catalogs, gun newsletters, NRA magazines, etc. and then I get a card implying I have a criminal history. Maybe I'm a sensitive flower, but it still pisses me off.

Gun registration and licensing schemes don’t work. They’re run by bureaucrats who follow procedures, but apply no common sense. They don’t even read a person’s letter; they just use it to update an address to another state where they have no jurisdiction. I can’t believe how stupid such schemes are. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Terror Scenarios and Guns

In today's New York Times is an interesting article on a terrorism study named "National Planning Scenarios." The federal government wrote it for federal and state planners and responders. It was mistakingly posted on a Hawaii state website and thus became public. In it are 12 possible terrorist scenarios and three national disaster scenarios. Each scenario includes an analysis of death tolls, responses, and economic impacts.

The planners' goal was not to describe each possible situation, but to provide guides so public officials can tell if they are prepared. It could also be used to allocate federal funds to state and local governments. Some possible scenarios (i.e., airliner hijackings) are not included since responses are already in place. A handy-dandy graphic on the sidebar summarizes each scenario.

I reviewed each scenario and an interesting thing struck me; not one of these twelve terrorist scenarios involved .50 caliber rifles shooting down airliners or blowing up LNG tanker ships. Yesterday, I heard a Massachusetts State Senator, Jarret Barrios, go on at great length about these dangers and his desire to ban .50 caliber rifles. (see also mASS Backwards on Barrios). Yet, his fear is not reflected in "National Planning Scenarios."

Let's look a little closer at these scenarios shall we and use a gun-banner's twisted logic. Two of them involve a van. The first--terrorists drive a van containing a nuclear weapon into a city and detonate it. The second--terrorists use a van to spray aerosol anthrax in a city. So let's ban vans. In another, terrorists use a small plane to spray blister or other agents over a stadium. So, let's ban small planes. Other scenarios--terrorists could release sarin gas into office buildings' ventilation systems. So let's ban ventilation systems. Terrorists could launch cyber attacks on America's financial infrastructure resulting in no deaths but causing a large economic impact. So let's ban computers.

There are some scenarios that involve force, Two in particular are attacks where guns could be used. One is attacking oil refineries and another is infiltrating industrial storage facilities. Other possible scenarios where guns might help is placing suicide belt bombers and truck bombers in stadiums, infecting food supplies, and others.

My point; terrorists could use many tools. In all cases, terrorists would need vans, trucks, and cars for transportation. They need computers for communication and planning. They need cell phones for communication. They need explosives or their precursors for blowing things up. They need nuclear weapons or radioactive particles for dirty bombs. And, they need guns for offensive and defensive force.

It's naive to believe that we can or should ban everything a terrorist could use. Certain items because of their inherent ability to hurt many people at once do need more control. Radioactive chemicals should be hard to get. Explosives and their precursors should have reasonable controls in place. If terrorists can't buy it here they can get what they need in another country, but at least they'd have to ship it here raising risks their materials will be found and confiscated.

But other items are too useful for all of us for governments to control or ban successfully. Vans, cell phones, computers, and guns are among these. Gun hating people wouldn't agree with guns being listed here. They see no utility for guns except for police and military. They don't think target-shooting is a valid sport and they hate hunting. They don't agree that law-abiding civilians provide an important line of defense. To refute the latter, one only needs to look at Israel. At one time, few Israelis had guns, now many carry them at all times and have used them to stop or deter terrorist attacks.

So, all these bed-wetting gun fearing fools who conflate guns and terrorism need to get a life. Recognized terror attacks in America have involved vehicles, explosives, and boxcutters used to hijack airplanes. If you count John Mohammed's and Lee Malvo's Washington, D.C. sniper attacks as acts of terror, death toll comparisons are not even close (3,000 on 9/11 versus 10).

Clearly guns are not the threat that gun banners make them out to be. Banning any gun is not a viable solution. So, develop good intelligence and go after terrorists who plan to commit mass murder. Leave law-abiding citizens alone to enjoy their firearm, computer, van, and cell phone rights.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

On the Web--mASS Backwards

Many good things are on the web today, so today’s posts are going to be a little different than usual. These are thoughts I had while reading other blogs rather than an essay on a given topic. There are three posts each with this tagline.

Bruce at mASS Backwards talks about this morning’s “Blute and Scotto” radio show. I heard it too while driving to work from New Hampshire. The 7:00 to 7:30 segment featured Massachusetts State Senator Jarret Barrios, a true gun banner even when he claims he doesn’t want to touch hunting rifles (I just looked, the Second Amendment says nothing about hunting).

Barrios introduced a bill that would outlaw .50 caliber rifles and FN Five-SeveN handguns. He called .50 caliber rifles terrorist weapons, but other than a brief mention of Five-SeveNs (he called them FN Herstals) today’s conversation concentrated on .50 caliber rifles. Barrios is dangerously ignorant about guns. Peter Blute is a former Republican Congressman from Massachusetts and Scott Allen Miller is an “independent” who is hard to figure sometimes. Neither one had enough firearms knowledge to challenge Barrios significantly. To give them credit, neither one agreed with him. Miller pointed out that terrorists wouldn't follow this law anyway.

One caller, from New Hampshire (not Bill or me), said he owns a .50 caliber and said that there are other rifles in magnum rifles that are just as accurate and almost as powerful as the .50 caliber. Of course, Barrios turned that and other conversations around by snidely implying that people who support civilian ownership of these rifles also support arming terrorists.

Another caller tried to trap Barrios when he asked him if he (Barrios) supported the Patriot Act. Barrios said he’d never thought that much about it. The caller made a point that Barrios was cynically using terrorism as a way to ban more guns.

Barrios often referred to LNG tanker ships that pass residential and business areas in Boston harbor to offload. He painted pictures of fireballs caused by .50 calibers, which he described as bazookas. He wouldn’t listen when Scotto tried to explain that a .50 caliber rifle couldn’t blow up a ship and it’s not really a bazooka.

Finally, Barrios was very clever and very slippery. He kept stating that an 18 year old could buy a .50 caliber rifle online. Only once did he say that an online buyer (of any age) would have to pass a NICS check somewhere before taking possession of the gun. Go read mASS Backward’s take on assclown Senator Barrios as well.

On the Web--ReasonableNut

Many good things are on the web today, so today’s posts are going to be a little different than usual. These are thoughts I had while reading other blogs rather than an essay on a given topic. There are three posts each with this tagline.

Benjamin at ReasonableNut talks about Single Action Shooters who built a range in his home state of New Mexico with state aid. Now they won’t let other shooters use it even when they’re not doing their cowboy games. Ben slams the Cowboys pretty hard since he’s steamed about range restrictions especially when certain range improvements came from state funds.

As Ben points out in a link to Ten Ring, I’d like to give Cowboy Action Shooting a try. I’m not that interested in wearing “Halloween costumes” as he calls them, but I like shooting single-action revolvers and enjoy three gun competition.

Ben hits something that bothers me; sometimes it’s hard to find a place to shoot. New England doesn’t have huge amounts of public land where one can shoot. What little exists here is surrounded by houses and businesses.

Rod and gun clubs are where most of us shoot here and often their ranges are inadequate. Bill and I are members of one club that has nice trap and skeet fields. Most of the club members are shotgunners and don’t want to put money into rifle and pistol ranges. Consequently, there’s an indoor pistol range where one must use lead bullets only since the steel bullet deflector dents with any type of jacket. The rifle range is 100 yards only and its 2 x 4 wood target holders are shot away.

Bill and I live about half a mile from another gun club with a 600 yard rifle range and other facilities. We’re trying to meet members to join, but you have to know who these people are before you can meet them. Frustrating. In contrast, I went to Benjamin’s club’s website and they have a new member orientation where a prospective member can meet and greet and then join (link is in Benjamin's post). Not in New England. You need to find a “senior member” to sign sponsoring papers, before you can meet membership committee members.

Gun banners are trying to curtail where we can shoot and we gunnies don’t help our cause. If shooting becomes more frustrating, more limited to “private” clubs, and to public ranges that charge an arm and a leg then we’ll lose shooters and few people will come to the sport.

Those Cowboys who Benjamin mentions need to open their range to all comers unless they’re using it. Private clubs should be more open to new members. At the same time, we shooters must treat ranges that are built and maintained by others as we‘d want them to treat ours. Too many shooters leave a range littered with shredded paper targets, brass, blown apart cans, broken bottles. Pick up after yourselves. You know who you are.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Atlanta Shootings and Professionalization

At least twice I have discussed a dangerous attitude I call professionalization. It’s a belief that only professionals can protect us with guns—only they are to be trusted with such power. The courthouse shootings in Atlanta is proof that professionalization is a dangerous and foolish attitude.

By now everyone has read about last Friday’s shootings in the Atlanta courthouse. Just in case you haven’t; Brian Nichols was on trial for rape and kidnapping. A lone female deputy escorted him unshackled to a courtroom. He overpowered her, took her gun, shot her (she is expected to survive), went into the courtroom, killed a judge, a court reporter, and wounded a deputy and took his gun too.

When he left the courthouse he shot and killed another deputy, pistol whipped a reporter, walked to a subway stop, robbed a couple of pedestrians, took a subway train, killed an off-duty Federal agent and took his pick up truck, badge, and gun. He took a woman hostage, but she talked him down and he surrendered without incident on Saturday. He committed many other crimes than are on my brief list.

News analysts pointed out other security problems the Atlanta courthouse has experienced. One blogger and radio pundit blamed political correctness, which he claims led to lowered standards allowing more women to become law enforcement professionals. Another blogger blames the murders on unshackling prisoners since a jury might be predisposed to think a chained prisoner is guilty.

Those ideas are only part of what happened in Atlanta. The bottom line is simple: “Professionals” (who are supposed to be the only ones trusted with guns) are subject to human failings. The court deputies allowed routine to lull them into a sense of false security until someone made a decision to pair a 5 foot tall armed grandmother and a 6’1” 210 pound former college linebacker.

No matter how well-trained law-enforcement professionals are, they can't be our only source of security. They suffer complacency, have conditions placed on them (taking unshackled prisoners into courtrooms to maintain a presumption of innocence), or make mistakes that breach that security. No human system is perfect despite everything we do to make it so.

The Atlanta courthouse is a disarmament zone and so relies on its professionals for security. Yet Nichols got a gun from the only person he could—a deputy. In fact, he got guns from three different law enforcement professionals and killed two of them and wounded two others.

Imagine what it might have been like if professionalization had not arisen in this country.

Instead of being a disarmament zone, any number of citizens in the courtroom and courthouse would’ve been armed. If we truly followed the Second Amendment’s precept of a “well-regulated militia” each of these armed citizens, male or female, would’ve had access to low-cost but high-quality arms training including shoot/no-shoot scenarios, multiple target drills, control of the situation, you name it. Each citizen would’ve had access to ranges and low-cost practice ammunition. In other words, each citizen could be as proficient as those professionals who failed to protect themselves, a judge, and a court reporter.

In such a world, Nichols might have gotten a gun easier than he did (though not a given). He would know, however, that when he opened that courtroom door he would face five, ten, twenty, or more armed citizens. Knowing he would face so many gun muzzles, he might not have tried to grab a gun in the first place. Or, perhaps he might have decided that shooting a judge would be worth his own death. He may have succeeded in that goal, but he wouldn’t have gotten out of that courthouse.

Don't get me wrong. We need police and deputies. They serve us well, but they are human beings and will always make mistakes. The last line of defense is our nation’s citizens, our true militia. Professionalization, as we have seen, disarms our last line of defense.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #4 (and a blog-apology)

Hi all,
Bill and I have not posted much recently, but here is the fourth Carnival of Cordite sponsored by AnarchAngel. There are many, many fine posts to read, a good number from first time entrants. So go there and enjoy, learn, have fun, and remember the next Carnival is less than a week away.

Both of us have been ill the last few days. We picked up some sort of evil mutant zombie gunge that results in full sinuses, racking coughs, watery eyes, and total exhaustion. I bought groceries today--first time I've been outdoors since Thursday. We're both on the mend, but coughing keeps waking us up so we're really, really tired. Being half-asleep all the time has turned us into inconstant bloggers the last few days. We hope to return to our regular posting schedule tomorrow.

For those who sent kind e-mails and anyone else with get well soon wishes, we give a humble thanks,
Denise and Bill

Saturday, March 12, 2005

A Line in the Sand

Smallest Minority has an entry up that discusses ongoing house to house searches in Australia for the stated reason of checking to see if registered guns are safely stored. If the police find the slightest discrepancy, then all of the gun owner’s firearms are confiscated with little or no recourse for getting them back.

It sounds to me that Australia is quickly regressing back to the penal colony from which it sprang, but the situation is not much better in this country. Certain gun fearing states like Massachusetts and California are almost there now.

As we have stated previously, we fled Massachusetts because we could no longer abide the increasingly fascist gun laws. Since we are law-abiding people, we moved to New Hampshire where we could pursue our hobby and sport in freedom. I believe that Massachusetts is only a few years from banning guns outright, particularly if rabidly anti-gun Attorney General Riley is elected governor, which seems likely. In my opinion, there will be movements against gun owners in this country, like in Australia, within a decade. But what is the patriotic, law-abiding gun owner to do?

Both Denise and I are peaceful, quiet people who just want to celebrate what should be our American heritage by pushing lead down a range as generations before us have done. But there are many in this country that want to deny our God given rights and they have taken over several states.

The first thing we will do is never live in a state that requires registration of firearms. We’ve done that once and once was enough. We’ve sworn a vow that our firearms will never be registered again. Secondly, we will do what we can as individuals to promote the use of firearms and to roll back gun control laws, ideally back to and including the Sullivan Act. But what if all this is for naught and we see that this country is on track, despite our best efforts, towards becoming another Britain or Australia?

This is where the Line in the Sand comes in.

We will never submit to what they are doing to the citizens subjects of Australia. If our government tries to do this here, we will fight. We will fight peacefully or if it becomes necessary, we will take Jefferson’s advice and water the Tree of Liberty. Is this radical? Hell, yes and so were the people who founded this Republic and it would be a dishonor to their spirits to not fight the good fight against the same type of tyranny they fought against.

The first American Revolution started when the Redcoats tried to get the colonist’s guns. If the powers that be want to try the same, they shouldn’t be surprised if they get the same response.

Friday, March 11, 2005

One From the Vault

Beretta 21A

Every now and again, Bill and I post about guns we own. As we explained, we both have the collector bug and collectors like to share their collections. We talked about Bill's Trapdoor Springfield M1884, and my Smith & Wesson 340PD. Since I am still ill today, I thought that another "One From the Vault" might be interesting to you and fun for me.

I discussed mouseguns the other day. These are small handguns that shoot low-powered rounds. Most of them are small enough to be covered with a hand. For reasons I mentioned in my other post, I like collecting and shooting mouseguns. I carry one when a more powerful handgun is not easily carried. When I carry a mousegun the one I choose most often is my Beretta 21A pictured below.

Beretta 21A Posted by Hello

The gun is a semi-automatic chambered for .22LR. It holds seven round in its magazine (eight will fit, but too tightly and cause jams) with an eighth round in the popup barrel/chamber. Yep, the barrel and chamber pops up at the front for loading, unloading, and cleaning. Field stripping consists of popping up the barrel and then lifting the slide off its frame. Easy as can be. It's double-action for the first shot and then single-action for subsequent rounds.

My gun is a little bit old. I bought it at a gun show with box and papers. It had seen very little use and probably lived its earlier life in someone's sock drawer perhaps in its box. When I bought it, everything seemed fine. I checked it out and found its safety worked, slide, magazines, seemed great. There was little to no wear. My first time at a range with it--well it didn't go bang. I checked the primer and no dent. Hmmm....

At home, I disassembled it completely and found the problem. Oil around its firing pin had turned to a thick sludge. A little solvent, a little cleaning, and then a quick check, which I made by putting my finger on the breech face and pulling the trigger. It worked and rather smarted. Surprising the amount of force behind a firing pin. It helps you understand why many rimfire guns should not be dry-fired.

Once on the range again, the gun worked fine. It's very reliable and accurate for its size. Its front sight is a half-moon shaped blade about as thin as a dime. The rear sight is a notch over the hammer. When I take my time to line up its sights I can put all eight rounds into a group about as big around as a juice can at about seven yards. Beyond that, well let's just say grouping is not a factor, but it still hits in the general vicinity of my aim. I can return it very quickly to the point of aim.

In double-action mode the trigger is about nine pounds with a long pull and a quick break. In single-action its pull is about 2.5 pounds. Its gentle single-action trigger pull really improves accuracy.

I carry it in either a pocket holster that covers the trigger guard completely or in a belt holster with a small retention ring that slips over the hammer. It's very easy to conceal. If my pocket holster prints at all it looks like a credit card case or cell phone. My belt holster rides high on my belt making it easy to conceal. It weighs about 12 ounces when empty so weight is not an issue.

I am the first to admit that a .22 is not a stopping round. It won't put an attacker on the ground fast with one shot and a few criminals may not fear it enough (nothing like looking down a .45's muzzle to remind one of one's mortality). But, it's surprisingly potent if aimed properly. One must concentrate on bullet placement if one is going to carry a mousegun and also shoot more than one shot.

There are many self-defense scenarios where mouseguns are not gun enough to win. There are also plenty of times when even large hunting revolvers won't win either. My Beretta 21A is great for when I can't conceal a larger gun properly.

So, that's my Beretta 21A. A gun with limitations, but one with potential as a self-defense weapon so long as you recognize those limitations and practice with it often. Today, it is sold as a Beretta Bobcat and retails for about $275.00. For that price you're getting Beretta quality in a small package.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Concealed Carry Reciprocity (and a sick day)

Here at the Ten Ring, Yosemite Sam (Bill) and I are sick. I picked up some horrendous cold or flu. I've been sick for a few days and then I gave it to him. What can I say, I like to share. We both stayed home from work today. We are thinking of not attending our bullseye league match tonight. We can miss work, but shooting, never--except maybe today.

I won't be putting up a long essay today because I haven't been checking news and I haven't had ideas percolating for awhile (too sick). I did see a brief post on Say Uncle that cheered me up a little. According to Gun Owners of America (GOA), Representative John Hostettler (R-IN) will soon introduce a bill that, if passed, would allow concealed carry reciprocity throughout the nation.

Hostettler's bill, Secure Access to Firearms Enhancement (SAFE) Act, would allow anyone with a concealed carry license to carry a firearm in any other state. And, a person from a state like Alaska and Vermont that doesn't have a permitting system can carry legally as well. (NOTE: Alaska has a permitting system, but allows permitless concealed carry, so I am not sure how it will work for a state with a dual law.)

Congress Critters from gun control-loving states will resist SAFE. They and their citizens want to believe "blood in the streets" myths about concealed carry. It hasn't happened in any state that went "shall issue" (permitting authority must issue a permit if certain objective criteria are met) or in states with no permits. Look for them to rally against SAFE with cries of "Dodge City," "Wild West," and "Vigilantes."

Personally, I don't think Hostettler's bill will pass as written unless it's slipped into a large must-pass bill and anti-gunnies are asleep. It's possible it might pass with watered-down language. Such language could have an unintended consequence for gunnies in that states that are considering permitless carry will have an excuse to not promulgate it, as GOA points out.

I would like it to pass as written and plan to contact my Representative and Senators. I would support it even with watered-down language depending on what is put in. Reciprocity is important. I live in New Hampshire, a very small state bordered by other small states. I can't travel or even go to work without going through very anti-gun Massachusetts. My right to self-defense doesn't end when I step over an imaginary border.

I could get out-of-state licenses for Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and states. Why should I have to go to the not inconsiderable effort and expense to do so? Massachusetts's out-of-state license is easier to get than an in-state one, but still requires a lot of paperwork, is good for only one year, and costs $100.00. My New Hampshire license should be recognized by any other state since contracts, drivers' licenses, marriage licenses are all recognized throughout the nation.

There is one exception in my brief list. If a gay woman gets legally married to another woman in Massachusetts, other states won't recognize the marriage. I'm not going to get into a discussion of rights and wrongs of gay marriages. But, many liberals are pushing for states to recognize a legal gay marriage. Yet they would be aghast at recognition of a right to carry a concealed firearm.

Watch the legal and political machinations gay groups use to gain nation-wide recognition of gay marriages. We might be able to apply those to nation-wide reciprocity should SAFE fail.

Don't forget to support SAFE next time you contact your Congress Critter.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Liberals and Gun Lists

I can't believe the New York Times (registration required). Now they have an editorial on their latest discovery: Terror suspects on a Federal watch list bought guns. They made a lot of errors in their editorial (i.e., describing civilian "assault weapons" as battlefield weapons). But, their ignorance of guns is not my subject. Instead, it's liberal hypocrisy when it comes to guns.

But, it's not just liberals. I listened to part of a local radio talk show on this topic. The conservative Republican commentator (for Massachusetts he's conservative, for a red state he'd probably be considered liberal) was also in high dudgeon about this. Most of his callers were alarmed as well. Even self-identified gun owners were aghast that someone could go into a gun store and buy a gun while on a terrorist watch list.

I understand what they're saying. I don't like the thought of rubbing shoulders with a suspected terrorist when I go to my favorite gun store. In fact, reports after 9/11 indicated that Middle Eastern men, perhaps Mohammed Atta and another terrorist, might have bought knives at Kittery Trading Post the same weekend Bill and I visited there. I have no idea if Atta was there or not, but the reports have always troubled me because we may have walked right past them.

I don't like terrorist suspects getting weapons; however, I like even less government lists gathered in secret with little or no way to get off a list if you're innocent. We need to protect ourselves from people who would fly airliners into buildings, but we need to protect liberty just as much. It doesn't take much imagination to think of our government putting names on secret lists. Depending on who holds power in Washington leftists, conservatives, gunowners, nuns, libertarians and many others could be so listed.

Senator Lautenberg and others argue that terrorist watch lists should be used to exclude people from buying guns. These watch lists are probably identical or very similar to "No-Fly Lists" that liberals have complained about at length. This New York Times article discussed no-fly lists and another told how Senator Ted Kennedy was mistakenly placed on one. TalkLeft calls the lists a "no-fly jail." Counterpunch points to no-fly list abuses. The ACLU is suing the government over such lists.

So, when it comes to guns, all of a sudden liberals like these lists? What's going on here? Why do leftists like Lautenberg and New York Times' editorial board get their collective panties in a bunch when people buy guns? Atta and his crew didn't use guns. They used boxcutters and then airliners as weapons. In light of that, shouldn't no-fly lists be supported more than no-gun lists if you are going to champion lists at all?

It's hypocrisy pure and simple. The left hates private ownership of guns so much that they blithely ignore their other principals in a mad scramble to further curtail gun rights.

They say they support the First Amendment, but would deny the right to assemble for commercial free speech at gun shows.

They say they support the Fourth Amendment, but don't seem to mind Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives fishing expeditions into people's homes and businesses.

They think that felons should have civil rights restored but oppose restoration of gun rights.

They decry police profiling people during traffic stops, but want police to profile people for concealed carry permits or firearm licenses in those states that require them.

And, to come full circle they want government lists for people who can't buy guns, but not for those who'll get on an airplane. I could think of many other examples such as legalizing drugs while further criminalizing guns, etc.

All I am saying is let's have a little consistency. Freedom and liberty includes tolerating people who buy and do things you don't necessarily like. If terror suspects get weapons, it is a cost of living in a free society and they should be dealt with if they act with those weapons. But, let's not go down a path where we end up with secret lists for guns, flying, books, everything.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Not a Gun Rant

Sometimes, I read something that so enrages me that I have to blog about it.
This article for instance.
I have only one question. Why are these people not under arrest for sedition and following that a quick trial and execution? I can't believe we are at a juncture in this country where the military is barred from recruiting at Harvard University, but these seditionous, treasonous bastards can go around and undermine our nation's military and security. THIS IS NOT FREE SPEECH. This is sedition and we used to know what to do with this ilk. Hang them by the neck until dead.
But we can't do that anymore, now that we live in the new, improved United States where there is no longer any such thing as sedition or treason.

What we have here is a group of people who no longer think they have to follow the rules of civilized behavior. If the majority overrules them fine, they'll just rant, whine, stamp their feet, lie and commit treason until they get their way. Well I've had enough. They no longer want to follow the rules, fine. Then why should our side follow the rules when the shoes on the other foot and when they win a majority. If the Supreme Court makes a ruling we don't like, then why not ignore it. They certainly do.

We are fast approaching a point where we are not living under a Rule of Law, but of men. If the government and the people of this country do not crack down on seditionous and treasonous activity like this, then why should the rest of us have any respect for decisions and laws we don't like?

A Sordid Tale with Lessons to Learn

I was scratching my head and wondering what to blog about when I went to The Boston Globe’s Internet site. I figured it had to be good for something other than wrapping virtual fish and I was right. It told a story that happened in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a former whaling town south of Boston that has fallen on hard times.

It seems like two young citizens knew an older man and his wife, Thomas and Cheryl Murray. Our two boys took umbrage when Mr. Murray asked a neighbor to stop loaning his car to our upstanding young men. Mr. Murray was upset with the boys who were hanging about the neighborhood. He really didn't like them after they had stolen Mrs. Murray’s pocketbook when she’d let them in the apartment to use their phone a few nights earlier.

Monday night, the Murrays let our two young men into their home again. They told Mr. Murray they didn’t like his interference with the car. They proceeded to hold a gun to Mr. Murray’s head. Mr. Murray must have thought he was calling a bluff when his wife heard him say, “Go ahead and shoot me.”

Well, our boys are very obedient so they fatally shot him in the torso. They left without killing Mrs. Murray who later told a reporter that the boys had seemed so nice and polite. She also wishes they’ll rot in jail.

Our sordid little tale is not all bad news. Police arrested not two but three young men; Ramon Geliga, Robert Geliga (Ramon’s brother), and Bobby Lecroy. Bobby and Ramon are 17 years old and Robert is 18. Ramon did the shooting and the gun, a .22 semi-automatic pistol, was found.

There is no indication if Mr. Murray was shot more than once. Also, there’s no mention of roles the other two played—were they holding Mrs. Murray, were there only two in the house or were all three present, etc.?

So what have we learned from our little morality play here?

1) You should never say, “Go ahead and shoot me” when someone is pointing a gun at you. You might just give them ideas. Even if they’re already mentally debating the idea, they might take your comment as a challenge and shoot you. Don’t help them make up their minds.

2) A .22 caliber can be a surprisingly potent round.

3) Some people will kill another human being with no more thought than killing a fly.

4) Never let anyone you don't know into your home no matter how nice and polite they seem. If you know them and they turn bad (or in case of a break in), your own gun will give you a chance to live. You have little or no chance after they have a gun at your head.

5) Your spouse can and should know how to use a gun.

Contrast Mr. Murray’s death and this story in which an armed citizen defends himself against four armed youths.

Mr. Murray lived in Massachusetts where you're required to lock up your guns. I don’t know if Mr. Murray owned guns, but if he did he would’ve needed a license. I doubt Ramon had any kind of gun license. He's too young to go into a gun store and buy a gun. He could have “borrowed” a gun owned by someone else in his home, he could have bought one on the street, someone could have given it to him, or he could have stolen it.

Massachusetts law couldn’t stop Ramon from murder, but it stands in the way of good people buying, mastering, and using a firearm for their own defense.