Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ted, White, and Blue: A Gunnie Book Review

Ted Nugent has done it again. He’s written another book with a subtitle of “The Nugent Manifesto.” If you don’t know Ted Nugent, where’ve you been living for the last thirty-some years? He’s a rock star best know for “Cat Scratch Fever,” a bowhunter with several TV shows in his quiver (couldn’t resist), and a gun advocate sitting on the NRA’s Board of Directors.

He’s not for everyone. He has an over the top writing and speaking style that is often blasted by liberals and gun banners. I’ve heard him talk at NRA conventions and don’t always agree with the way he puts things, but I can’t say he’s wrong either.

So, I gave Ted, White, and Blue a read. Surprisingly, he somewhat toned down his gonzo, balls to the wall style. Don't worry, he still speaks his mind and pulls no punches, but he wants people to read his book.

The book's been out a few months now. He wrote the book before the election and there are parts that are now a little dated (current events sure move fast). Still, there’s a lot in here that is not dependent on what’s in the news cycle right this minute.

He stays away, for the most part, from gun rights and covers topics that include health care policies, obesity, immigration, fighting terrorism, and other subjects.

He comes down on the side of personal responsibility, except he blames parents of obese children for turning their kids into, “pathetic fat zombies in front of the garbage videobox….” He believes that you need to step away from the doughnut, and that you should pay for your own health care. Fiscally, he wants Uncle Sam to go on a diet as well.

He says forthrightly that, “The people who enter America illegally have committed a crime. That makes them criminals…” He wants them treated as such and shown the door. He believes the War on Terror should be fought hard.

He discusses other hot button issues such as global warming, energy sources, and many more topics. He is advocating something quite radical and yet traditional at the same time. He wants government to leave us alone, he wants every one to succeed on their own merits, he wants secure borders.

On top of all this, he buys ammo by the pallet load. Take a second and re-read the last sentence—pallet load, I am so envious.

I’ve said many times that I want government to leave me alone. I don’t want a government that will take away guns, nor have one that will tell me to go to church. Nugent and I see eye to eye on those points and more. I don’t think I would ever call people “land whales” or say fat “…kids look like miniature versions of Michael Moore.” (Shudder). But that’s just me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Don't it make my Red State Blue

Sebastian has a link to a story about how California is losing population quicker than mercury drops when Al Gore enters the room.
He goes on to note that these recent residents of the Golden State often bring their big government, blue state mentalities to their newly adopted states. Then we see the phenomenon of a staunchly red state turning purple then finally blue. The lists of states where this has happened is legion. Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State, New Hampshire..on and on.

This has been going on for years.

Some may remember when Connecticut was staunchly Republican. It's ironic to know that Connecticut was one of the few states to not go to FDR in 1932. Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine were the only other states to resist the clarion call to Socialism in 1932. These all went for Obama in 2008. So much for granite-ribbed, Conservative New England. It is as dead as the dodo.

How does this happen?

Well, here's what I think:

I don't think it is anything intentional on the part of the people who move to more free states like NH, Montana, Nevada, Arizona etc.; it is more that they have grown accustomed to the services that big government provides.

Case in point:

A lot of rural and not so rural New Hampshire town do not provide curb side trash collection. You take your stuff down to the town dump and get rid of it yourself. This keeps government small and taxes low. The thing these new people don't understand is that to keep taxes low, you have to do without A LOT of government services. That means no curb side trash collection, no new million dollar school buildings, no new libraries......

But they are used to and want these things and thus vote for the politicians that inevitably spring up and say they will give them what they want. These politicians are invariably Democratic.

All of a sudden a red state is purple then blue.

And a lot of new citizens of the formerly low tax red state are scratching their heads and wondering why their tax bills are so high.

Unfortunately, this is why expanding or even keeping and maintaining a culture of self reliant limited government is so daunting. The fact is that the vast majority of people do not want to be self reliant. They don't want to pay high taxes, but they want the services that big government provides. But when it gets down to brass tacks, they will pay the high taxes to get the services. Until this changes, we will continue to have this problem.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

One More Week

Next Tuesday, President-Elect Obama moves to the Oval Office. Last week, gun bloggers were concerned about a report from The Shooting Wire that the new administration would almost immediately pass an “assault weapons” ban (AWB).

I’ve long believed that will happen. Even though I’ve been somewhat relieved by most of Obama’s cabinet picks and other signs that he may not rule from the left, I believe that an AWB is in the offing. Obama has even promised to enact an AWB, but he doesn’t say when. Obama’s followers will force the issue maybe sooner than Obama would like. They can’t help themselves.

Most people on the left don’t understand guns. Most of them don’t want us to educate them, don’t want to accept our offers teaching them to shoot, don’t want to listen to logical arguments, don’t want to accept that gun ownership is a matter of choice. For too many of them, it’s a spiritual mantra, “Guns are bad, um mani om, guns kill, um mani om.”

There’s no reasoning with gun banners. I’ve spent a lot of time among people who want to ban certain or all guns. I’ve talked to other people who think that citizens should be able to own any gun they want so long as they’re not “assault weapons,” handguns, or .50 caliber guns. Their minds are closed.

We gunnies are very different from gun banners. When we pick up an AR-15 we see a finally crafted machine. They imagine war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, but in our streets.

When we shoot at a paper target, they imagine ragged holes in flesh. When we point out the .223 round is a relatively weak round they imagine “high-powered death lightning.” When we see accuracy, they imagine sniping from the rooftops.

When we pick up a semi-auto AK-47, we see history and crude, but effective engineering. They imagine dead Africans, child soldiers, and gang-bangers killing citizens in Miami (even though rifles are used in about 3% of murders).

When we discuss action pistol competition, they imagine fat white guys wearing camo in a “compound.”

Gun banners can’t accept that we like guns. They want to ban them all especially black rifles, which they view as “weapons of war.” They think they’re creating a better society, but we know that it’ll end in tyranny. Sadly, they can’t help themselves.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Manly Guns II

As Josh indicated in comments to my last post, "Crazy Einar" posted a new list of manly guns (at least they're new to me). This one includes the famous M1 Garand as the second most manly gun. The manliest is the Browning M1919A4 belt-fed machine gun. No argument from me on that score.

This new list includes several esoteric guns. I've never heard of the .600 Overkill cartridge. I'd like to shoot one but only if someone's available to re-socket my shoulder joint.

Yosemite Sam and I own five of the guns on the list and, no, we don't own a Browning M1919A4. More's the pity. Once again Crazy Einar has created a very interesting and enjoyable list.

Crazy Einar identified himself this time as Michael Z. Williamson. Knock me over with a feather. I've read his Freehold series of books and enjoyed them immensely. They're good gunnie reads. There are several other books listed in his site's bibliography that I haven't read. I sense an Amazon order in my future.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Manly Guns

Via Say Uncle, we get a list of the manliest firearms written by “Crazy Einar.” It’s an excellent list as these things go. I do have some quibbles about it though.

The M1 Garand must be included. One of the manliest men ever, George Patton, called it the greatest battle implement man has ever made. Our soldiers used it to defeat the Germans, Italians, and Japanese. It shoots a 30.06 round, which is loud, hard-hitting, hard-recoiling and, well, manly. I would replace the Swiss K31 with the Garand. Now, I like the Swiss rifle. We own one and have shot it often. It’s a great gun, but something has to give.

I‘m tempted to suggest replacing the S & W Model 29 with that company’s .500 Magnum. After all, the .500 is now the most powerful handgun in the world. It fires a truly manly handgun round. I’ve shot one a few times in an indoor range and everyone stops to see what the big noise is all about. And its recoil is not for the faint of heart. However, Dirty Harry used the Model 29 and for that reason alone must stay on the list.

I’m not a fan of Glocks, but that’s just me and would leave it on the list. Now if 1911s were not on the list (number 2 no less), I’d be spilling many more pixels.

Oh, and just a word about this manly thing. As a member of the estrogen persuasion, I accept and understand the description “manly” in regards to these guns. These are no-nonsense weapons designed to kick enemy/bad guy ass. Ass-kicking is usually associated with manliness. But let’s never forget that women can kick ass should the need arise. Boadicea (now spelled Boudica for some reason) comes to mind as does any woman protecting her children.

Finally, Yosemite Sam and I own eight of the listed guns. We don’t own the Model 29 or the Barrett M82 .50 cal. If the government should ban this rifle, we’ll dip way down into our various bank accounts and buy one before it’s illegal to do so (possibly not that particular model, but one almost as manly). As far as the Model 29, I’m not in the market, but I’ve drooled over S & W .500 Magnums many times. Who knows, maybe one might follow me home.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hearing while Shooting, Part II

Yosemite Sam and I are back at work after taking almost two weeks off for Christmas and New Year's. It was damn hard to get up this morning and make my commute to work. I'd forgotten what 5:30am looked like.

While vacationing, we ended up at a Cabela's and I bought a pair of electronic earmuffs. I blogged that I'm hard of hearing and missed a crucial range command. Many of you gave me some good advice about products. Joel mentioned the Sonic II earplugs. Yosemite Sam and I already own the plugs, but they don't help me at all. They work great for Yosemite though.

I bought a middle of the road pair in terms of cost. They're a pair of Howard Leight Sport Impact muffs, which Jed recommended in the comments to the post above. I haven't tried them out at the range, but I put them on for a few minutes while watching TV. They amplify sound very well. They take two AAA batteries (thanks to Joe who pointed out that batteries are a cost factor).

Thanks to everyone who shared their advice. I'll let you know how they do at the range particularly how well they block loud sounds.