Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Ten Ring

Today is a momentous occasion for the Ten Ring. It is our Second Anniversary. I had doubts that we would see our first one, but here is number two and with it the beginning of our third year in the blogosphere.

Anniversaries, especially when they fall so close to the end of the old year, cause introspection. One of the things I find heartening is that we gunnies are winning. That’s not to say that we have no problems. We must continue to be vigilant. Still, Americans seem more skeptical of gun control’s empty promises, Democratic activists see gun control as the kiss of electoral death, more people are buying guns, and more women are joining the shooting sports. All good things.

Also, anniversaries engender a tendency to look back:
Our first post,
Our First Anniversary announcement, and
My favorite post (a parody).

I don’t post as much as I once did. Thinking up new posts gets hard after awhile, especially because I tend to write essays rather than link to news. Still, Bill and I will be around and you’ll see a Third Anniversary post before you know it. Meanwhile, give a click on the archives to the right and enjoy.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

One From the Vault

Albion Number 2, Mark 1**
I posted my most recent "One From the Vault" last June. It doesn’t seem that long. In fact, I would’ve sworn I did one just the other month. Its true: as you get older time accelerates. Each day seems to flicker by and weeks seem like days. Oh well such is life.

I collect guns mainly from World War II and earlier. I can’t afford many nineteenth century guns, but I can still find bargains on twentieth century war-horses. For instance, the British World War II service revolver can be found as low as $250.00 (and yes you can find them for more too). Most of these guns are still functional and reliable.

This "One From the Vault features an Albion Number 2, Mark 1** revolver. It has an interesting production history if you don’t mind such details. The British military establishment believed it needed to replace the venerable Webley Mark VI revolver chambered in a manly .455 (even though it had a slightly wimpy load).

For whatever reason, the generals and their civilian cohorts thought their soldiers and officers would appreciate a lighter gun with a smaller, less powerful round. They had taken to heart complaints that the old Webley was too heavy (it does weigh over two pounds) and too large (it’s about a foot long). The generals thought extensively and chose a .38/200 cartridge for designers to build a much smaller and lighter revolver around. This is not a very effective cartridge, so I bet those complainers wished they’d kept their mouths shut.

The .38/200 is a British designation for a .38 caliber bullet weighing 200 grains. It was a heavy bullet for a revolver and you would think that its designers would have put a lot of gunpowder in its case. No, the case is basically the same one Smith & Wesson invented in the 1870s only it sported a 148-grain bullet. You can easily fire .38 S&W cartridges in the British revolver; however, the .38 S&W is not the more famous .38 Special. The former is only about 2/3rds the size of the latter.

Once the British military decided on a caliber, they asked manufacturers to submit drawings and prototypes. Webley & Scott scaled down the Mark VI and submitted the new design. Their competitor, Enfield, submitted their own version of the revolver. It looked just like the Webley entrant, but had slightly different internal lockwork.

Albion Number 2, Mark 1** (Click for larger size)

The British government, in their infinite wisdom, chose the Enfield submission—let’s not forget that Enfield was the Royal Small Arms Factory. Webley & Scott blustered about patent infringements, but little came of it. The British military called the new gun the Enfield Number 2, Mark 1 and production began in 1932. World War II was just seven years away.

Enfield ran into a few problems. Tank crews were armed with Enfield revolvers, but if they had to get out of a tank quickly, the hammer could catch on the tank’s hatch. Enfield bobbed the hammer making the gun effectively double action only (no hammer spur, no cocking for a more accurate single shot). The revolver was also cheaper to make this way, which may have been more important than tank crew complaints. The Enfield Number 2, Mark 1* was born.

Because the gun could only be fired double-action, there was a problem with accuracy. The trigger pull had always been heavy so Enfield replaced the main spring with a weaker one. Wartime production called for cutting corners and factories stopping installing transfer bars. This means the gun (unless arsenals added a transfer bar in post-war refits) can fire if dropped. Thus the Enfield Number 2, Mark I** was born.

Enfield faced another common wartime problem. They couldn’t keep up with demand. They licensed the Mark1** design to Albion Motors a Scottish car company. Albion sublet production later to Coventry Gauge and Tool. A company in Australia produced a handful of revolvers under Enfield’s license.

Ironically, the British military issued Webley & Scott a contract to produce their version of the gun and Webley called it the Mark IV.

My gun is an Albion Number 2, Mark I** made in 1943. It has all matching serial numbers and no transfer bar. I’ve ran a few .38 S&W cartridges through it and it works fine. It’s not accurate. The hard, long trigger pull is not conducive to any decent trigger control or good sight alignment. I would not call the cartridge a man-stopper by any means. A 200-grain bullet might hit a little harder, but even then I have my doubts about its effectiveness.

The gun itself is reliable. It’s a top-break action and the spent cases pop right out for speedy reloading. It was slightly rusty when I bought it, but a little Breakfree and elbow grease with a brass brush took it right off.

I am a sucker for old British top-break revolvers. I own a Webley Mark IV and a Webley Mark I. I am looking for the right Webley Mark VI. The funny thing about these top-break revolvers is they really didn’t seem to change much from the 1880s until the British military stopped issuing them in 1963. Maybe it's a "stiff upper lip" thing.

Chistmas and Laziness

I’m writing a "One From the Vault" that I will post later today. It’s been a while since I wrote one. It’s not for lack of inspiration. I t’s due to the rapid passing of time and the bottomless pit of my laziness.

Allow me a second to wallow in personal matters, but I’ve been lazy lately. I’ve been getting less done in more time than I’ve done for a long time. I blame work. I’ve been handed a few tasks there that have been forcing me to think harder than usual, to write more than usual, and to talk to more people than usual. I guess something has to give.

Maybe Bill is noticing my recent laziness a little too. He bought a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner as a Christmas gift (I had mentioned it would be a good idea). We’ve run it several times since it Christmas Day and it is an amazing thing. It runs around the house all by itself and picks up stray cat hair, little bits of the outside that we track in, little bits of food that somehow doesn’t get into our mouths.

Unlike last year, we did not have a gunnie Christmas this year. Oh, we’re still shooting and buying guns (are we ever) and having gunnie fun. But, Bill needed a new watch and I needed the Roomba so I would stop feeling guilty about making Bill live in a house full of cat hair. Besides we're both still sick--walking wounded, but sick none the less.

I hope all of you had a very good Christmas or a nice day off if you don’t celebrate the day.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Bill and I are here at home and both of us are under the weather. Bill brought home a flu-like virus. At least we think he's the one who brought it home given half of his office is sick. We had planned a turkey dinner with all the trimmings--made even sweeter when his work gave turkeys to employees. Now, I think we may emulate Scrooge and eat gruel by an open fire.

Oh well enough whining, we sincerely wish our readers a very Merry Christmas. If you don't celebrate Christmas, we wish you a wonderful day, Here's a Boston-centric picture for the day:

It's the deck of the USS Constitution during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony (from

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New York Yellow Journalism

Yesterday, Bill (Yosemite Sam) posted about a South Dakota newspaper publishing the names of Concealed Carry license holders. Frequent commenter, Drew, sent us an e-mail before Bill posted. We read it yesterday afternoon and wanted to follow up on it.

Drew informs us that a newspaper in New York State did the same thing. In a later editorial, they claimed they removed the list from their site. I believe that open records are a good thing. The laws were written so that citizens could keep track of their governments and ensure those governments were acting lawfully and for the common good. However, that opens up big loopholes for people to mine government records for data that could harm citizens.

Publishing names of concealed weapon permittees is just one of those ways that open records could be abused to harm us. As someone said in the editorial, "As far as I'm concerned, I've done everything legally. I've been fingerprinted and everything's on record...But maybe because we can publish information, maybe it's not always a good idea."

These newspapers must exercise discretion. They don't publish the names of rape victims, but that can be a public record. They don't publish floor plans to their editors' houses and those can be a public record. They can and should exercise discretion, but of course too many journalists believe keeping and bearing arms is suspect if not out right hostile.

Both the article and the editorial mention one other thing that bothers me. They decry the fact that government is not grabbing the guns of deceased license holders. You see, in New York State a handgun owner must register his/her gun and be licensed. When they die, the gun is supposed to be turned over to the police. An heir can claim the gun if he or she has or gets a permit.

This is the danger to these licensing and registration schemes. They allow governments, police officials, journalists, and others to view guns not as private property, but as items that the state allows a person to use for awhile. You see this attitude when the press reports a gun was "recovered" from a felon in possession or found at a crime scene or turned into a gun buyback.

Guns are property and my heirs should be able to sell or use my guns as they see fit. They are not the society's or state's or the people's property. The newspaper in question laments that the government has no good way to track and then "secure" a deceased permittee's guns. Who the hell gave government the right to do that in the first place?

Monday, December 18, 2006

South Dakota Yellow Journalism

Alphecca has a link to an article in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota newspaper that declares the start of the newspaper's jihad against a new state law that protects the privacy of concealed carry permit holders. The newspaper in a fit of pique has compiled its own database of permit holders and is making this database available online.

Here is today's editorial in the Argus Leader.

Notice how he plays the typical anti-gun ploy of saying he is a sportsman and a Marine to boot. I've noticed that all of the recent anti-gun editorials seem to start with I'm an avid hunter/sportsman but.....

Also notice the angle they have of basically saying that it is censorship now that the South Dakota government has passed a law protecting the privacy of permit holders.
Censorship? This from a newspaper that is initiating a campaign of intimidation against legal, law-abiding concealed carry permit holders. The gist of their campaign is that if you dare get a concealed carry permit, we will publish your name and address. Just like when they publish the names of johns in the newspaper. To these elitist bigots, concealed carry permit holders are equivalent to johns.

The usual line that the police need to know who carries is used as well. Any police officer who doesn't assume that the person they are pulling over might be potentially armed is a fool.

It's garbage like this that makes me less than enthusiastic about concealed carry permits. These should never be public information and where they are, newspapers love to publish permit holders names and addresses. The Cleveland Plain Dealer did this soon after the passage of concealed carry in Ohio. This is not just a Blue State problem since most newspapers are anti-gun. The Union Leader here in New Hampshire is a welcome exception. The spread of Vermont and Alaska style carry would put an end to this nonsense. The South Dakota legislature should push for the passage of a Vermont style carry law in order to make the Argus Leader's database moot.

South Dakota is one of the most Conservative, pro-gun states in the Union. The state is ill served by a newspaper who's elitist, knee jerk, anti-gun attitude would be better served in Massachusetts, Illinois or New Jersey.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Police and Auto Weapons

Tam of View From the Porch has posted a very important essay on modern policing. She mentions instances when the police have gotten out of line. She knows that cops perform a valuable function, but wonders if their powers need to be curtailed and hopes we don't tighten the leash too much.

If we do need to tighten the leash, I hope we can. We've given law enforcement a great deal of power recently. We let them dress like ninjas because sometimes they need to. Of course, they determine what that need might be. We let them have automatic weapons and armored vehicles because sometimes they just might need them. We can only blame ourselves if law enforcement doesn't always use these powers and equipment wisely.

In Tam's last paragraph, she says, "I don't care if Johnny Law has a scary looking assault rifle. Heck, I have one, so why shouldn't he?" Like Tam, I don't care if they have rifles, but I've often wondered why police need automatic weapons.

Such guns were invented to shoot at massed bodies of troops. Police rarely deal with massed groups of criminals. If they do, it will be rioters and police wouldn't (I hope) open up with machine guns for fear they'd hit bystanders.

Most of the time, police deal with only a few criminals at a time. They almost always have backups who can carry shotguns or semi-auto carbines. I just don't see their need for automatic weapons.

Then there's the civil libertarian side of me that feels miffed that police departments can buy brand new machine guns for less than $1,000.00 while I'm limited to guns made on or before 1986 and costing $3,000.00 on up to six figures. The police should never have weapons that the average civilian can't have.

Then there's the realization that modern military practices limit most soldiers to rifles that will fire at most three round bursts. In a squad one soldier is equipped with a fully automatic Squad Assault Weapon (SAW). As I understand it, the soldiers use their rifles for precision, aimed fire, while the guy with the SAW uses his gun to lay down suppressive fire when needed.

I really hope we never see a time when our police lay down suppressive fire in an American city.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Universal Licensing--A Modest Proposal

It’s been awhile since I posted. Best laid plans…, press of work, laziness, yada, yada, yada. Oh well.

I made a statement in a post a couple of weeks ago that stuck in my mind. It was about “common sense gun safety.” In the second to last paragraph I mentioned that education is truly the key to gun safety. Unfortunately, that term has become a codeword for anti-gunnies meaning “no guns.”

I’ve been mulling it over and combining it with things anti-gunnies have mentioned. You’ve all heard the litany: Gun owners should be trained, you should have a license and a test before you can buy a gun, and so on ad infinitum. But when gunnies get training or practice through combat shooting competitions, the anti-gunnies claim that such sports prove gunnies are out for blood.

It kinda puts me in a rock and a hard place. You see, I’ve always believed that a person should be trained in gun safety. I’ve heard of gun tragedies caused by the lack of knowing basic gun safety rules. There are certain things that must be learned and no one is born knowing how to handle a gun safely.

Unlike gun grabbers, I believe that training can take many forms. Training could be offered by a paid professional trainer, it could be given by a scout master, or it could be a father teaching a daughter. The rule of thumb is basically someone who knows what they’re doing and passes that knowledge to someone else. You don’t absolutely need formal training and you really don’t need a gun license.

The problem with licensing and training is that gun grabbers would use it to, well, grab guns. After all, if you have a firearms license you very likely own a gun.

So here’s my idea of compromise with the gun grabbers. I’ll support training and a gun license on two conditions:
1) There will be no registration of any gun including Form 4473s that could be used as registrations;
2) That everyone in the country with no exceptions must receive training and a license that cannot be voluntarily surrendered to the authorities for any reason. Anyone with a license could buy a gun.

If we had a universal licensing and training scheme and if there is no registration, then no one knows who owns guns. I’m not going to muddy the waters here and talk about getting guns out of criminals’ hands, but there are ways that could be accomplished.

Talk about a win-win situation. People throughout the country would learn true gun safety and not be confused with anti-gunnies’ buzz words. The already small number of accidental shootings would get even smaller. Anti-gunnies would be introduced to guns and maybe understand that they are simply tools incapable by themselves of either evil or good.

Of course, this idea is a pipe dream. Anti-gunnies would complain that they are being forced to do something they fear and loathe. People would try for a religious exemption (to that I say, what’s wrong with shooting holes in paper, it’s little different from darts). Also, somehow having a universal license would backfire on gunnies because anti-gunnies would find a loophole and continue their lies and attempts to ban guns.

It’s who they are.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

New York Times is at it Again

Alphecca points us to one of the New York Times classic anti-gun editorials. It laments a bill that Senator George Allen of Virginia is introducing in his last few weeks in office. Allen wants to force the National Park Service to allow concealed carry in National Parks where state law allows the practice. If passed, this will be a victory for law-abiding gun owners.

Of course, the New York Times doesn’t think much of this idea and goes in full attack mode. Let’s dig a little deeper into their arguments. The editorial features Allen’s name several times especially the fact that he is an outgoing senator. It doesn’t mention that his successor, James Webb, promised to introduce just such a bill if elected. Therefore, it’s likely he will support Allen’s bill in the next Congress.

So much for politics. The editorial dives right into fiction when it says, “America’s confusion about the Second Amendment is now nearly total. An amendment that ensures a collective right to bear arms has been misread in one legislature after another — often in the face of strong public disapproval — as a law guaranteeing an individual’s right to carry a weapon in public.”

There is so much wrong with this statement that it boggles the mind. First off, if America is confused about the Second Amendment it’s only because anti-gun media and scholarly people have tried to cloud the issue.

There was no confusion about the Second Amendment through well over 170 years of our history. It’s only recently that a “collective right” model was introduced. Even so, this model is now shot so full of holes that an anti-gun legal scholar like Laurence Tribe agrees the Second Amendment protects an individual right although society can establish some limitations.

On another level; what the hell is a collective right? Do we have a collective right to vote? If so, does that mean individuals can not vote and that only the body politic can? How would that work? It’s a contradiction in terms.

And speaking of voting, the editorial’s very next sentence illustrates anti-gunnies’ anger at gun owners’ recent victories over concealed carry. It says, “And, in a perversion of monumental proportions, the battle to extend that right [public carry] has largely succeeded in co-opting the language of the Civil Rights movement, so that depriving an American of the right to carry a gun in public sounds, to some, as offensive as stripping him of the right to vote.”

Of course it’s a civil right. It’s embodied in the Bill of Rights. The right to defend oneself is possibly more basic than the right to vote itself. If you take self-defense away, you're left with citizens who must rely on government to keep him or her from harm and more importantly to hope that the government will not harm that person. I guess creating such creatures is the point after all—silly me.

The editorial ends with a paragraph that embodies all the sneering elitist mentality that gunnies have heard over the last thirty years. In a nutshell:
--if you want to feel safer, increase government spending;
--concealed carry supporters gin up irrational fear, so that they can carry their guns in parks, schools, and churches of our lands; and,
--Allen’s bill, if passed, would only make us less safe.

Why is it that anti-gunnies can’t see that concealed carry has not turned states into Dodge City? Why is it that they will never give credit to the man or woman who lawfully protects his or her life or that of another with a gun? To answer my own questions, such independence doesn’t fit into their mentality and it doesn’t fit into their paradigm of increased government. It's not part of their vision for America.

Maybe there's another way to look at this editorial. When your foe stoops to such blatant disregard for truth and ignores facts contrary to their argument, they realize they are losing. One can hope anyway.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Remembering a Teacher

I don't normally post results of online quizzes that I take. I do take them every now and again and sometimes get a laugh--sometimes not. Tam at View from the Porch took one and I followed her link. It helps you determine if you deserve your high school diploma.

I took it and surprised myself. I did well. I was not the best student in high school. I had an exceptional English teacher in my senior year. She made me understand that I had skills and abilities I had too long denied. She inspired me to buckle down and I pulled my grades up and earned decent college admission test scores.

I went to an in-state university and thrived. Four years later I attended a very competitive graduate school paid for with a teaching assistantship and a University sponsored job. I'm not sure why I did so well in college, but if it hadn't been for the skill of that one teacher I would never have had a decent career and life.

I must thank Miss Thomas. Here's to you where ever you are. You're not forgotten.

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
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Monday, November 20, 2006

Common Sense Gun Safety

I haven’t posted much serious stuff for a couple of weeks now. Work has been obscenely busy and then there’s the laziness factor. Perhaps a better expression may be I took a vacation.

I found a link to an editorial that sparked me out of my procratination rut. David Codrea of War on Guns links an editorial from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The editorial states that guns can and should be made safer. Its hook is a doctor saying that guns are not regulated for consumer protection.

That’s true. Guns were specifically exempted from the purview of the Consumer Products Safety Commission. It is a consumer product, but the problem (if not the reason for the exemption) is that the gun issue is a political football with too many people wanting to ban them. I might feel a little better about “gun safety” cries if those who make them knew a little about guns and respected gun rights.

I like owning, shooting, and carrying safe guns. I don’t like guns that are made of pot metal. I once picked up an RG revolver that felt like a cap gun. I wouldn’t trust a gun that was notorious for firing if dropped. I would be leery of carrying a self-defense gun that tends to light primer strikes that don’t reliably touch off a round.

However, I don’t want a doctor or the co-director of the Center for Gun Policy & Research at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (as mentioned in the editorial) decide what’s safe. I especially don’t want to have politicians and bureaucrats make that decision. That’s already happened in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts’s Attorney General felt that guns weren’t safe enough. He almost unilaterally used “consumer protection” laws to ensure that many high quality, trustworthy new guns are banned from sale in that benighted place.

His regulations reduce consumer choice and responsibility. I own a modern copy of a cowboy “Peacemaker” revolver that is well made, but has an old fashioned firing pin that could lead to an accidental discharge if I dropped it. That is, it would if I carried it with the hammer over a loaded chamber. I also know enough not to buy a gun made out of pot metal.

When these doctors, scholars, and politicians talk about safe guns they’re really talking about ways to take guns out of people’s hands. They want to make sure guns are expensive, hard to use, and kept out of “those” people’s hands.

They also want to idiot-proof what is a deadly weapon. Guns (like chain saws, cars, and welding torches) have certain inherent dangers. No matter how safe you make a gun its function is to propel a small piece of metal very fast at whatever a user aims at. If that user is an idiot and points it ay his head or his friend no safety lever is going to help. If the user is a criminal, no safety gadget will save his victim.

The only thing that certain safety features might stop is a curious child shooting herself or another, but such shootings are rare. Such accidents are always a tragedy. Equally, a child falling down the stairs, drinking household chemicals, or being struck by a car are tragedies. Gunnies have a responsibility to ensure their guns and ammunition doesn’t fall into the hands of a young child (and why a child is not being supervised is another matter entirely).

The best prevention of gun accidents for adults and children is education. People need to learn that making a semi-auto safe is counterintuitive. You remove the magazine and then rack the slide to extract the chambered round. They need to understand that any mechanical safety, no matter how new, can fail. Most of all, they need to understand basic gun safety rules.

Doctors, scholars, and politicians for the most part don’t want to support gun safety training especially when real guns are handled and shot. Such training is really the best “common sense” “consumer safety feature” they could support.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

National Ammo Day/Week

We are now in the middle of National Ammo Week with Ammo Day falling on a Sunday, November 19. The day just happens to be blogger Kim duToit's birthday. He started National Ammo Day a few years back. It's an effort to call attention to ammo sales as a way of telling would-be gun banners that we are out here.

Last year, Bill and I celebrated it in fine style. A number of bloggers and an online forum (and I can't find the site thanks to net nannies) suggested buying ammo at Wal-Mart and tried to coordinate it to fall on the same day and near the same time. I don't know if it registered enough on Wal-Mart's books to make a difference, but still people bought ammo and that's the important thing.

A few people argued with me about supporting ammo sales at Wal-Mart. I still think it's a good idea to have as many ammo outlets as possible and in many types of stores. We rarely buy ammo there though. We prefer to roll our own 12 gauge shells and several pistol calibers. For other needs, we take good care of our usual ammo dealer.

So, this year, buy early, buy often, but buy ammo wherever you can this week. If you can, but some ammo this coming Sunday even if it's a box or two of .22 rounds at Wal-Mart or any other dealer open on Sundays. More importantly, have fun while shooting it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Shopping List

Michael Bane has put together a list of firearms and accessories to buy before the probable new rounds of Democratic Party inspired gun control laws.

His list includes:

1.) AR-15 platform rifle.--We have one already, but I will probably get at least one more.

2.) Magazines--I think this is the easiest thing to purchase. Buy as many as you can afford because any new Assault Weapon ban will surely include a capacity limit on magazines.

3.) .50 BMG rifles--Tougher, but we will try to find room on the old VISA card.

He has others and they are all good suggestions. Be sure to participate in National Ammo Day on November 19th and the week preceding. I wouldn't put it past them to try to pass some kind of ammo ban.

Freedom on the chopping block

Via Bruce, here is an article from the Union Leader that examines the causes and possible consequences of Tuesday’s election.

This paragraph particularly stands out:

“When it became clear that Democrats had won the state Senate, the first thing out of party vice-chairman Ray Buckley's mouth was the proclamation that Democrats would regulate businesses by banning smoking in restaurants and bars, raising the minimum wage and trying to force down health care costs. He did not even mention education funding.”

Here we have it as bold as it can be. The agenda is to turn New Hampshire into Massachusetts lite.
The question that needs to be asked is: Which freedom will be the first to be placed on the chopping block by our new overlords?

Our freedom to smoke in bars and restaurants?
Our freedom to drive without seatbelts?
Our freedom to not be taxed into the Stone Age?

Maybe Ray Buckley should put forward a proposal to change the state’s motto from “Live Free or Die” to “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Peoples Republic of New Hampshire

or to borrow from Mark Steyn, The Granite Granola State.

Ever since we moved from Texas to the Northeast, I have looked to New Hampshire as a kind of haven from the Leftist lunacy that has taken over this part of the country. I remember driving north to New Hampshire, the first time, on old Route 3 and how the sun seemed to come out and the gloom faded as we crossed the border. This effect was due to the widening of the road at the New Hampshire border, but there was also an emotional element of leaving, for a short time at least, the statist and anti-freedom laws and policies of Massachusetts.

When we finally moved to New Hampshire in 2003, I was overjoyed to finally be represented by people who actually agreed with my view on politics. People that believed in a Constitutional right to bear arms and that the best kind of government is a limited one. 2004 was a setback with the election of a Democratic governor, but I took solace in the fact that New Hampshire had a Republican Legislature, two Republican U.S. Representatives and two Republican U.S. Senators.

Last night, almost all of that ended.

As I stated in a previous post, there was some worry that U.S. Representative Charlie Bass would lose to anti-war candidate Paul Hodes. Well, Hodes won 53% to 45% for Bass. If that was the extent of the bad news, it would be bad enough, but that is just the beginning. My U.S. Representative Jeb Bradley lost to liberal Democrat Carol Shea-Porter 51% to 49%. This race wasn’t supposed to be close and Jeb should have been reelected by a comfortable margin.

Neither Paul Hodes nor Carol Shea-Porter returned their NRA questionnaires, but I think we can all surmise what their grades would have been. Both of them are from New York State and both preach the usual platitudes that we have heard from the left wing of the Democratic Party for decades. If these two candidates had been Democrats in the vein of Webb in Virginia or Ford in Tennessee, I could take some solace, but they are typical, Left wing, Northeastern liberals who will gladly vote to raise our taxes into the stratosphere, give amnesty to illegal aliens and pass laws that seek to strip away our right to bear arms. So much for “Live Free or Die”.

But that isn’t the end of it. The Democrats also took the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the Executive Council and may take the State Senate. They now virtually run this state lock, stock and barrel. The chances of passing a Castle Doctrine bill are slim to none. We should instead be prepared to face increasing taxes, including a state sales tax, income tax or both, more state spending and the appointment of the kinds of judges that my Massachusetts friends love so much.

All of this happened because voters wanted to send Bush and the Republicans a lesson. Well I hope all of those people enjoy the high taxes, loss of gun rights and growth in state spending that will be the cost of delivering that message. We lost two NRA “A” rated U.S. Representatives who were good friends to gun owners because people wanted to send a message. Now we have two carpetbagger, New York, elitist U.S. Representatives that will probably trip over themselves to vote for every gun control bill that comes along. Expect a new Assault weapons ban and a .50 caliber ban early on in the new session of Congress.

As you can see, I am not overly happy with New Hampshire today. I don’t even know whom to blame. Some would go after those Massholes who move up to New Hampshire and vote the same way they did back home, but I’m not so sure. In the 2004 election, the southern counties, with the most residents formerly from Massachusetts, went for Bush. I think the issue is more complex. Whether we like it or not, New Hampshire is surrounded by liberal Northeasterners and is bombarded by their media. That has to have an effect and the result is to push New Hampshire to the left.

Whatever the reason, I’m finding it much harder to see New Hampshire as some kind of redoubt from the general Leftist climate here in New England. It’s starting to seem that it is only a matter of time before New Hampshire becomes little more than Massachusetts North and when that happens, it will be a sad day for all of us. As for myself, I’m looking towards Utah or Texas with a lot of interest.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day and Voting

Today is Election Day. That day in which our voices are heard. I've confessed to ennui with politics this year. Bill and I've encouraged gunnies to exercise their "pedal franchise" and move to freer states. But, it all comes down to getting out to the polls.

I'm not happy with the Republicans given their recent track records on guns. I'm even less happy with Democrats given their long-term track record on guns. Third party candidates are possibilities, but I'll like that choice better when the parties are stronger.

In other words, I can't tell you how to vote. I will vote primarily on gun rights issues. Vote your own conscience, but vote.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Hampshire, Live Free or Die?

In this post, I discuss the importance of voting for the Republicans in order to best secure our 2nd Amendment rights. While the Republicans are far from perfect and have seemed to embrace big government, the election of a Democratic Congress would be a disaster for supporters of small government and individual liberties.

Denise highlighted in this post, why liberty minded individuals should move to more freedom loving states and away from gun banning states. Here is a perfect example why this is so important. The District 2 House election here in New Hampshire is now at a dead heat. The current Rep. Charlie Bass is being challenged by Democrat Paul Hodes.

Hodes does not live by the New Hampshire motto, Live Free or Die. Hodes is a die-hard statist who wants the entire Democratic agenda. Tax hikes, expanded entitlement programs, etc. etc. Bass may be far from perfect, but he has an A rating from the NRA and Hodes is a question mark, which means he probably didn’t return his survey.

The fact that this election is even close is troubling. It shows that there are already many people in New Hampshire who are being swayed to vote for someone who thinks that government is the solution. That is against everything that New Hampshire is about. We need more freedom loving people, like Bruce, to move to New Hampshire and out vote these statist pricks.
Time is critical. I really think that New Hampshire is on the brink. A few elections and it may well become a carbon copy of Massachusetts. High taxes, "Common Sense Gun Laws", the entire litany.
I am sick of good places being turned into socialist shit holes because people want to send a message or want one more benefit from Uncle Sugar. So come help us man the line and if you already live in New Hampshire and also live in District 2, be sure to get out and vote for Charlie Bass.

A Site to Read, The Cornered Cat

I’d like to point out a site that’s on this Internets tube-thingy that Al Gore invented. It’s been up there awhile, but it’s new to me. The Cornered Cat is about women and guns. It takes its name from one of the most dangerous things in the world, a cornered cat.

Bill (Yosemite Sam) and I have a cat who has more than a little Maine Coon Cat in him. He’s not as large as a pureblood Maine Coon Cat, but he’s about 16 pounds of muscle, hide, and the fat that a pampered lazy kitty gets over time. We’ve accidentally cornered him with say a vacuum cleaner every once and awhile and have paid the price, so we agree that a cornered cat is dangerous.

So is a woman who’s cornered and put into a position of flight or fight. Unfortunately, a woman is not trained to fight and so many of us have a "nice girls don’t do that" mentality. We need to shake it off, because there are a handful of men out there who rape and kill for the fun of it.

I don’t want to exaggerate the danger. Not every woman will be attacked. Almost all men are fine people—I married one. But the danger is real and women cannot ignore it. Society may not advocate ignoring danger, but society doesn’t want us to arm ourselves and seek training. In this, society is wrong. Sometimes, it even seems to make it difficult to arm and train ourselves. We have to find knowledge where we can.

The Cornered Cat gives you that knowledge. It features many lessons on how to equip and prepare yourself for something that will hopefully never happen to you or to a woman in your life. It’s comprehensive and its advice is good. Go give it a read.

Oh, and putting modesty aside, the people behind The Cornered Cat asked Bill and me permission to re-post our gun nut series (the eight part one on the sidebar) on their site. I feel so flattered.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Follow Up to "The Exodus Continues"

This post started out as a comment about a post I made on Tuesday. Instead of a comment, I decided to turn it into a post, because it started to get too long. If you haven’t followed the debate in the comments, let me sum up.

I mentioned in the earlier post that gunnies should move out of anti-gun states like Massachusetts and New Jersey. That post struck a nerve with Bitter, a blogger whose work I’ve long respected. In a later comment I really hit that nerve again when I dismissed victories that pro-gun people in Massachusetts have made. My statement was harsh, perhaps overly so. But I still believe that such victories are holding actions and will not result in materially reducing Massachusetts’s draconian gun laws. Here are my thoughts on the matter.

While pro-gunnies in Massachusetts have made some headway, there's no way they will win major battles simply because the deck is so heavily stacked against them.

For instance, Bitter mentioned in her comment that the firearms industry has abandoned Massachusetts by not fighting against bans on the sale of certain guns. There was litigation when Attorney General Tom Reilly started using his consumer protection powers to create these bans. The industry lost that battle when the Massachusetts Supreme Court said Reilly could do it. After that, the industry pretty much has abandoned that state.

The government and the courts are against guns and in effect their owners. Even that is not as significant as the beliefs of a majority of Massachusetts residents. Most of them are anti-gun, especially in regards to self-defense issues. They elect anti-gun politicians, who actively run on anti-gun platforms (Tom Menino anyone).

Now, few of these residents or the government have a problem with people owning a shotgun for trap or skeet and maybe a rifle (preferably not semi-auto) for hunting or perhaps a little competition. Most people though have problems with handguns, black rifles with all the bells and whistles (the state has an assault-weapons ban), combat-oriented shooting, and other things. Collecting is even suspect unless you maintain a collection for educational purposes: personal enjoyment or hope of later profit are not good enough (see page 1 of the linked pdf file).

Because the majority of people in MA are so anti-gun, gun ownership in MA will continue to be circumscribed and suspect. I don’t think gun ownership will be completely banned in Massachusetts, at least not in my lifetime. Since guns won't be banned, there will always be room to negotiate where the boundaries lie. These negotiations are where pro-gun people in Massachusetts will have their victories. I don’t see hope for meaningful change especially as the state is so controlled by Boston.

The “freedoms” that Massachusetts allowed me were not enough. I’m an active gun collector. I shoot pistols in bullseye competition. I own one black rifle (Bill owns more). When I lived in Massachusetts, I followed the law. I went hat in hand to the police department and begged for a gun license. I even registered a few guns (most stayed out of state).

Rather than fight entrenched laws, politicians, and a majority of people, I feel it's better for gunnies to leave certain states and move to freer states and use their votes, money, and influence to ensure that those freer states never go the way of Massachusetts or New Jersey.

Massachusetts is losing population for several reasons mainly due to the cost of living there. Some Massachusetts residents come to New Hampshire and try to pass anti-gun laws (among other things). The best way to short-circuit these efforts is for pro-gun people to come to settle in New Hampshire (or say Pennsylvania, Nevada, and other states experiencing similar situations).

Bill and I moved to New Hampshire to reclaim our gun rights (the cheaper cost of living didn’t hurt either) and we’re glad we did.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Exodus Continues

Something’s happening in Massachusetts. Bruce of MassBackwards announced that he is moving to New Hampshire. Recently, radio talk show host Howie Carr mentioned that he might just leave the state if the very liberal Deval Patrick becomes governor.

This morning, the morning radio host, Scott Allen Miller, mentioned that he receives a lot of e-mails saying that if Deval Patrick wins they too will leave the state. He got a call from someone who said he moved to New Hampshire about two years ago for “quality of life” issues. When pressed, the caller said he moved to get away from Massachusetts’s socialism especially its gun control laws.

He described having to pay $100.00 to get a license while praying that his town’s police chief is not some gun controller who will refuse to issue a license. You must have a license to own a gun in Massachusetts even if you never take the gun out of your home.

Bill (Yosemite Sam) and I made the best decision of our lives when we fled Massachusetts mainly because of its gun control laws. New Hampshire needs as many gunnies as possible. There are too many former Massachusetts citizens (aka Massholes) who come here only for economic reasons and then try to pass the same laws that made their former state the hole it is. Gunnie votes will at least ensure that no new gun laws are proposed or passed.

We have to face facts. Some states are lost to gunnies even if we don’t want to accept it. Miller answered his caller by saying that he should’ve stayed and fought for better gun laws and less statist control (I’m paraphrasing a little). It’s easy to say that unless you’re looking at Massachusetts gun laws and realizing that it would take only one minor infraction of those laws and you lose your gun rights for life—potentially even if you moved to another state.

We also have to face the fact that a majority of people in Massachusetts actually like their gun laws. Deval Patrick thinks they need to be even more draconian (it’s for the children) and his beliefs are certainly not hurting his campaign. If he becomes governor, it’s likely that people in Massachusetts will face even worse gun laws in a few years. Laws like only one gun purchase per month, perhaps a ban on semi-automatics, who knows what else.

For me, Massachusetts and New Jersey are lost to gun owners. California and Illinois are nearly lost. If you live in the first two states, move to a free state and help us fight the good fight. If you live in the last two, you might win a battle or two and that will help, but you're probably fighting a losing battle.

So if you’re reading this Bruce, plan on going to a New Hampshire gun store. Look at all the new guns that Massachusetts prevents you from buying (Kimber handguns, Browning High Powers, KelTecs, Pardini target pistols, Glocks, Hammerli target pistols, Springfield Armory pistols, Kahr handguns [even though they’re made in Massachusetts], and more). Enjoy your freedom, but try not to spend too much money.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Must Read Article

This is a must read article by Michael Bane about the growing division between the hunting and sport shooting gun communities. I've felt for a long time that those who advocate that RKBA is mostly about hunting do all of us a disservice.
Hunting is in decline and when no one hunts any more then the gun banners will be able to argue that there is now no need for guns and that we can now get rid of that pesky 2nd Amendment.

Why I'll be voting a straight Republican ticket.

Denise in a previous post talks about how she has ennui about the upcoming elections and how she is disgusted with both political parties. I have to largely agree with her. I am tired of the Republicans spendthrift ways and petty moralizing. But given that, I am still going to go into the voting booth and vote for the Repubs.
Here's why:

A vote for a third party or not voting is the same as a vote for the Democrats. The time to "send them a message" was in the primaries. You may not like what the Republicans are doing, but trust me, what the Democrats will do will be many, many times worse. I expect a new, expanded assault weapons bill almost immediately in a new Democrat controlled Congress. Look to California for a taste of the gun control that will be pushed on a nationwide basis.

Some people have thought about voting for a pro gun Democrat like Ford in Tennessee or Webb in Virginia. I think this is a mistake. While Ford or Webb may be actually pro gun, the Democrat leadership that runs the Party most decidedly is not. The agenda that will be moved forward will be the leadership's agenda (Pelosi, Kennedy, et al.) not the agenda of the newly elected Senators. Until the Democratic Party removes their anti gun leadership and replaces them with people who believe in Second Amendment rights (about the time hell freezes over), a vote for any Dem. is an exercise of cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Finally, I cannot vote for a party that would hold this man in any esteem or actually consider him to be an elder statesmen.(Link via Grouchy Old Cripple)

I thought I didn't like Jimmy Carter before now, but what can I say about someone who would utter a statement like this:

"Carter said despite tough talk, war is less likely than it was 12 years ago - largely because North Korea is developing weapons and the United States would be less likely to attack a country with nuclear capabilities."

So now you know why I am going to hold my nose and vote for the Republicans.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mayor Menino, Let's Make a Deal

You’ve probably heard how Boston Mayor Thomas Menino thinks his city’s recent spate of murders is all New Hampshire’s fault. Well, maybe not all New Hampshire’s fault because he also blames Vermont and Maine. You see, he believes that guns flow from these freer states to Massachusetts even with its strict and unconstitutional gun laws.

Menino has joined with New York Mayor Bloomberg and other mayors in advocating more Federal gun laws. So far, no New Hampshire mayors have joined his and Bloomberg little junta. May it stay that way.

There’s no real proof that New Hampshire is supplying Massachusetts criminals with guns in meaningful amounts. I’m sure some guns are bought here legally and smuggled into Massachusetts. I don’t believe though that it’s the problem Menino wants to make it.

However, Menino needs to pay more attention to his own criminals. You see a Dorchester resident (it’s an incorporated suburb of Boston) came up to New Hampshire where he shot a decorated police officer in the head. It’s not the first time he’s come up to New Hampshire and committed a crime. So far the officer is still alive and the bad guy is in a Boston jail and will (probably) soon be sent back to Manchester, NH to face justice. I hope and pray Officer Michael Briggs makes it.

Mr. Mayor, I have a deal for you. I’ll agree to keep my guns out of Massachusetts if you agree to keep your criminals home.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Political Ennui, This Year

I can’t say that I’m excited by politics in this off-year election. For one thing, I can’t vote in Massachusetts even though I work and thus pay taxes to that benighted state (I live in New Hampshire and though I pay MA state income tax, I can’t so much as check a book out of a library).

The gubernatorial race there is interesting. It’s between Kerry Healy (R) and Deval Patrick (D). Neither are gunnies and neither would reduce Massachusetts’ draconian gun laws. Chances are Patrick would make them worse, so there’s that. I can’t vote for either of them anyway, so ho hum.

The New Hampshire gubernatorial race looks like it’ll lead to the incumbent’s (John Lynch) re-election. Lynch hasn’t been bad on the gun issue although he did veto a Castle Doctrine-type law. For that, I’ll vote for the other guy, who will probably not win.

I guess I’m trying to say that I’m bummed out about this election. I find myself shouting “a plague on both their houses.” The Republicans haven’t eased gun laws as much as I would’ve liked, but they’re better than they were six years ago. However, they passed a bill trying to make online poker impossible to play in the United States by forbidding banks from dealing with online poker rooms.

The Democrats would probably make gun laws worse, but they might not pass certain other freedom-infringing legislation. That leads to a political ennui on my part. That in turn has led to guilty feelings.

I know I should be involved and I believe that voting is a precious right. But, what if our candidates, in both parties, are out of touch with the rest of us? What about “stealth” candidates who say they’ll support gun rights, but then vote against them once in office? What about candidates who’ll support my gun rights, but strip away other rights?

What’s a girl to do?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Quote of the decade

"Our nation has too many people who are not only unwilling to learn how to protect themselves, but who are also determined to prevent innocent third persons from practicing active defense. A person has the right to choose to be a pacifist, but it is wrong to force everyone else to act like a pacifist. It is the policies of the pacifist-aggressives which have turned American schools into safe zones for mass murderers"

--Dave Kopel

Go read the entire article if you haven't already.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mugging as Amusement

A long time ago (at least in blogtime), I wrote about a young actress, Nicole duFresne, who was shot and killed in a mugging. There wasn’t a lot to the story then, but now the bad guys are on trial as reported in the New York Times.

Tatiana McDonald was one of the muggers. She agreed to testify against the shooter, Rudy Fleming. Her testimony gives a chilling look at how some people live their lives.

She and six others (two females and five males) decided to go out after midnight and find people to hurt. For amusement. The five men wanted the two women to fight any girls they came across. Again just for amusement.

They saw a young man in a white leather jacket and Fleming wanted the jacket. Another mugger hit the guy in the jacket so hard that his hand became swollen. The guy in the jacket escaped with his jacket and his life by running.

Our “wilders” came across another man who made a motion like he was reaching into his jacket for a gun. They left him alone. Wow, what a thought. Even the appearance of being able to defend yourself with a gun is enough to avoid a mugging. For all we know the man may have been intelligent enough to actually be armed.

After a little while they ran into Nicole duFresne with her fiancé and another couple. Out of the blue, Fleming pistol whipped duFresne’s fiancé. DuFresne looked at her fiancé’s damaged face and yelled, “What are you going to do, you going to shoot us? Is that what you wanted?” Fleming pushed her and she yelled at him again and he shot her.

The gun didn’t shoot her; Fleming did it using a gun. He could have stabbed her just as easily because they were close enough when he shot her that he couldn’t straighten his gun arm. He killed her because she didn’t give him the “respect” and fear that he felt he deserved.

These muggers were young people who should’ve been worried about school or jobs. Instead they come from a subculture that finds enjoyment and a sort of weird fulfillment in terrorizing other people. They evidently didn’t plan to kill anyone that night, but their actions led to them to it. Now they or at least Fleming will go to prison for a long time.

The problem isn’t guns and it isn’t because duFresne had the gumption to stand up for herself. The problem is a belief that other peoples' pain and suffering is entertainment. If you want to understand gun deaths in America, including school shootings, you have to look at the twisted morality of people who disassociate themselves from their own humanity.

You have to look at a subculture where going out to hurt people is fun and where believing another person has given you the slightest bit of “disrespect” is a motive for killing. Forget about gun control figure out how to fix this.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Valid Violence Reseach (For a Change)

I’ve used Ten Ring at times to complain about anti-gun research. Most of it amounts to “Guns are bad. Get rid of guns you get rid of crime.” They create spurious statistics and facts to “prove” their point. You’ve all seen this with claims like:
● You’re 43 times more likely to get killed with your own gun than shoot a bad guy;
● .50 caliber rifles are destructive and can shoot down airplanes;
● Assault weapons are gang bangers favored weapons;
● And so on ad infinitum.

We know these “facts” aren’t true and we can prove it. Unfortunately, we know that a few of their arguments have a grain of truth to them although blown all out of proportion—for example, .50 caliber rounds can shoot down an airplane when dozens if not hundreds are fired from a machine gun in usually aerial combat.

I just read about a researcher, Dr. John Rich, who’s actually doing valid research into gun and other violence. I'm assuming Dr. Rich might be anti-gun simply because he’s a physician interested in violence prevention. Too many doctors become anti-gun possibly for the valid reason that too many of them see too many gunshot wounds.

I might feel differently about guns (perish the thought) if I spent my days pulling bullets out of flesh or interviewing the wounded. But, I know that banning guns won’t work; criminals will simply get black-marketed guns or use knives, bats, bare hands to get what they want. I also know that 99.something percent of gun owners don’t use their guns criminally. That 99 percent should not be punished for misdeeds of a few.

Dr. Rich hasn’t made what I’ll call the physician’s mistake. He interviewed 100 gun shot victims and found that they used violence (gun or otherwise for that matter) to become a player in their neighborhoods and also to get a reputation of “don’t mess with me.”

His research could lead to something a lot more productive than the “guns are bad” foolishness of his colleagues. So even if Dr. Rich is or is not a gun banner, I want to thank him for doing honest and valid research.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bookshelves full of Books and Guns

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

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

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

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

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

Is your paradigm breaking down yet, Mr. Kellerman?

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

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

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

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kinky for Governor of Texas

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hoplophobic Heirs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brief Political Ruminations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Granny, A Mayor, and Common Sense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Template Woes

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

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Reflections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another Hysterical "Gun Owner"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 01, 2006

States traveled meme

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

create your own personalized map of the USA

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

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

Alaska and Hawaii may take a bit longer.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


via Say Uncle comes this bit of dreck from the LA Times (requires registration or

Have you noticed that almost every anti-gun article has to have an aside where the writer states that they are pro gun and support the 2nd Amendment, then go on to show their complete ignorance about firearms and finally throw in some gratuitous bashing of the NRA.

For example, from this article: “I like guns. I come from a gun family. I am a 2nd Amendment, pro-gun liberal—which makes me a very lonely creature when the subject comes up in casual conversation around the office.”

The writer establishes his creds. He isn’t one of those knee jerk, gun haters.

Then, the obligatory lie:

“The drug cartel guys deploy a variety of very fun assault rifles. Their big gun—and the most overtly political weapon in the film—appears to be a Barrett .50-caliber M107 semiautomatic rifle, a 32-pound, 5-foot-long military sniper rifle that was banned in California starting last year, for the altogether sensible reason that it can bring down airliners.”

Finally, more NRA bashing: “As I said, I'm pretty pro-gun, but I would never belong to the NRA because, well, those guys are lunatics. One of their more far-fetched paranoid fantasies (here comes the e-mail!) is that the United Nations is conspiring to take away America's guns. Right! Let me know how that project goes, Secretary Annan!”

Who is this guy fooling? Jesus H. Christ, the UN has a statue of a twisted gun right in front of their bloody headquarters. I think that should make it pretty obvious where they are coming from.

But the writer is “pro-gun”?


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Advice on Collecting Firearms

A frequent reader sent me an e-mail about collecting guns. I answered his e-mail and realized it was turning into a post. So after a little rewriting….

The best advice I can give a potential collector is to collect what you like. If you like military bolt action rifles, then that's an excellent place to start. On the other hand, you might like handguns, shotguns, etc. I like "mouseguns," handguns, and military firearms. Don’t forget though that a collector must specialize; even “mouseguns” is a huge field.

I tend to shoot what I collect (with a couple of exceptions) so anything I buy must be mechanically sound and not “demilled” (made inactive). I don’t want a Thompson sub machine gun with a dummy receiver no matter how many original parts they hang on it.

I select guns based on condition and originality. That is, I don't collect sporterized military rifles, but someone else might find it a fascinating field. I make sure that any gun I buy has all the parts the factory intended and no extras. Similarly, serially numbered parts must match.

In fact, the more you know about a particular gun, the easier it will be to spot problems that reduce its value or historical interest. A good set of reference books is a must. By the way, I loathe electro-penned imports marks. I own a few with these marks, but I’m not pleased.

I hope to find cartouches (inspection stamps in the wood that the Federal inspectors used before and during World War II and slightly beyond), but an arsenal rebuild might not have them. I'd rather not buy rebuilt firearms, but complete originals are not always in my price range.

Condition is important. I've picked up a few diamonds in the rough before and "rescued" them, but it takes a lot of work and it's better to buy guns in good condition in the first place. I look for a gun with a nice, bright bore with strong rifling. I want the gun to be free of rust and pitting from previous rust removal. The stocks/grips should look decent although a little wear is not a problem. The action should work and feel like it is working. That is, the bolt shouldn’t feel like you’re pulling it out of concrete, the trigger should activate the sear, etc.

As far as preservation, a lot of military guns will come coated in cosmoline and it takes a lot of work to get it all off. Once you have the cosmoline off, there’s still dirt and grime to worry about. Be careful of using solvents like turpentine or alcohol. You could wreak a sporting arm's finish quickly and not really help a military gun’s finish (usually linseed oil rubbed into the wood). Because I want to keep the gun as original as possible, I don’t refinish my guns (I made an exception for my M1 Garand that didn’t have an original finish).

Inspect for active rust. If you find any, you'll need to remove it with dental picks or similar tools, but go slow and don’t scratch the non-affected area. Once cleaned, I usually apply a thin film of CLP BreakFree to the metal and I've been known to rub a silicone cloth over the wood and metal as a rust preventive.

Guns should be stored in a reasonably dry environment. If you use a gun safe, the sealed interior becomes a micro-environment and it can get humid in there. You'll probably need a dehumidifier or drying agent in the safe.

There may be a time when you want to sell a gun from your collection. Be careful because it's easier to break the law when you sell than when you buy. For instance, you can’t sell a handgun to someone who doesn’t live in your state (there are exceptions for Curios and Relics if you and/or the buyer are licensed depending on the circumstances).

Guns tend to hold their value over time and if you keep them long enough, you can make a profit. But, you can't sell them in such a way that means you're "in the business" of selling guns (i.e., selling a lot at once). Selling them on consignment through a gun store is a good idea although it'll reduce the amount you'll make from the sell. Still, it beats having the ATF knock down your door at 4:00 am. I don’t like giving that advice, but it’s a reality in today’s world.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A New Gun in the Family

Right now, Bill and I are feeling the stings of frustrated spending. In other words, money’s tight because we’ve spent it. I helped my nephew out on his visit and was the chief buyer of whale watches, tour trolley tickets, and meals. Then there was travel this summer—Las Vegas and Zion, a visit to Ohio. These things start eating into the wallet.

We were also got hit with a condo fee “special assessment” to help pay for flooding that occurred in May. It won’t last long, but ouch, just ouch.

We haven’t been buying guns as often as we did last summer, but sometimes the right one comes along and “damn the bankers, full speed ahead.” I had that experience recently and spent part of our disposable income reserve. I found what had been a holy grail, a World War II 1903A3 rifle. It spoke to me. It weaved a net around me and my checkbook. I had to buy it. And I did.

You see, it’s in excellent condition. Remington Arms built it in 1942 and it sports a dated 1943 Remington barrel that is clean and bright with strong rifling. We’ve been trying to find one for awhile that didn’t totally break the bank, was still authentic, complete, and not butchered by a garage ‘smith. I saw it in July and immediately put it on layaway and got it out of retail limbo two weekends ago.

I thought I’d do a “One From the Vault” about the gun after I fired it, did more research, and generally got to know our new firearm a little better. Thus, I didn’t blog about it the day I bought it. Time slips away and I thought I’d mention it now. In short, there’s a longer report about it in the Ten Ring’s future.

Remember the tight wallet problems I mentioned. Well, I faced yet another temptation when I picked up the 1903A3. I found another of my holy grail guns. Oh, what wretched circumstance put a “red nine” Broomhandle Mauser in my way?

If you’ve been reading Ten Ring for awhile you’ll know I really like Broomhandles and own two of them in different configurations. In World War I, Mauser took the 7.62mm pistol and rechambered it for the German military pistol cartridge, the 9mm parabellum. In order to reduce confusion as to what ammo to feed it, they engraved a number “9” on the wood grips and dribbled red paint into the deeply-etched lines.

They’re fairly hard to find and command decent prices if in good condition and if all numbers match on numbered parts. That is, certain guns needed to have a gunsmith hand-fit important parts. The parts were numbered to a gun so an armorer could ensure that each part ended up in the proper gun and reduce the amount of time fooling around with ill-fitting parts.

Well, given the state of my disposable income, I managed to avoid buying the “red nine” even though it was a struggle. You see, the number on the hammer didn’t match the rest of the gun. Yeah, that’s the ticket; I’m being a responsible collector and choosing wisely. Yeah that’s it, I’m being responsible, but why do I want to see if it’s still for sale?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Teaching My Nephew to Shoot

My visit with my Marine nephew is over and I can give up my week-long stint as tour director, chauffeur, and pistol trainer (well maybe I won’t give up that role). I can also cease to be amazed about how much a young Marine can eat.

I appreciate comments that others left on this post. I do honor my nephew’s service even though I still think he has some funny ideas. For instance, he is wrestling with pacifism. I bought him a few books of his choosing as gifts and one was Gandhi’s autobiography (and I am familiar with the pro-gun quote about Britain forbidding a people the use of arms).

Other than philosophical discussions and trips to Boston (not my favorite place), we did a few fun things. He wanted to learn how to shoot a handgun. He hadn’t fired a handgun before thanks to his mom and it hasn’t been part of his Marine training, so I taught him.

He did the typical male thing that I’ve seen whenever I’ve taught men how to shoot a handgun. He thought he knew it all until he got to the range and then wondered why his shots were going underneath the target when he hit the paper at all.

You might remember that his sister visited me some months ago. She listened very attentively to my safety lecture and then how I explained the interplay of sight alignment and trigger squeeze. My nephew, however, already knew the safety rules and recited them while standing almost at parade rest.

His range safety was impeccable, but his accuracy was less than good. He thought his rifle skills would more readily transfer to a handgun and didn’t understand how much a handgun wobbles even with a two-handed grip. The wobbling caused him to snatch at the trigger when he saw a good sight alignment. He had to pause and listen to me explain trigger control which led to better accuracy.

I’ve introduced a respectable number of men and women to handgun shooting and fewer to rifle and shotgun shooting. It’s always easier with women and I think it’s a societal thing. After all, too many movies show a cowboy, cop, or gangster making impossible shots with guns held in any position except backwards and with no aiming. Maybe young women pay less attention to that aspect of those movies.

I don’t know, but I’ve always found it interesting and I’m not the only one who’s noticed it. Any other theories?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

House Guest

Bill and I have a house pest guest this week, or rather I do. Bill's away on business for a couple of days. My nephew came to jolly old New England for a visit. We did the touristy things including a whale watch on which we saw more whales than I can count. They were having a very active feeding day, so we lucked out.

We did the trolley tour, stopped by the USS Constitution and saw some truly big guns. My nephew is a Marine so he was fascinated by the ship and wondered how the ship's sailors had landed such a cushy berth.

I won't go into details, but my nephew has adopted some strange ideas for a Marine. He is somewhat pacifistic; for instance, hoping that we can solve our terrorist problems with diplomacy even though there is proof that we cannot. I agree peace is better than war, but it takes two to have peace and only one to have war.

Another thing my nephew has swallowed hook, line, and sinker is global warming. He dragged me to see Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's movie on that topic. Talk about preachy. Cotton Mather and the old puritans had nothing on Al Gore when he goes into his full preacher mode. I've read up on pros and cons of global warming. I believe there's something to it, but I think it's not caused by man. Man may contribute a small amount, maybe, but we are not the cause. THe world has gone through hot and cold cycles and will continue to do so over time.

Try to get that idea into the shaved head of a young Marine. He's also religious. He gets it from his mother. He won't play poker or watch it on TV--aaaarrrrgggghhhhh. (I'm glad my family doesn't read this blog. I'd be in trouble.)

Well, on a positive note he is a crack rifle shot. He's never shot a pistol before (his mother), so I will be taking him out to the range today. I'll let you know how that goes.