Thursday, August 20, 2009

Open Carry and Your Responsibility

I haven’t posted at all (I think) on open carry. Some gun bloggers favor it while others claim it harms the gun rights cause. I can see both sides of the issue.

There are voters who’ll wet their panties, men too, if they see a gun on someone who’s not wearing a badge. More importantly, opinion leaders will rant about it convincing fence-sitters that gun owners are a bunch of loons. This column in today's Washington Post is an example.

I’m not sure that’s such a big problem. We’ll never win panty-wetters to the gun rights side. The fence-sitters will fall on both sides of the issue, particularly when even the White House says that there’s no problem with open carry where it's lawful (read some of the many comments at that link for examples of hysteria).

I’m sure that announcement was a shock to many anti-gun rights people. On the other hand, it can backfire on us. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, (quoted in the link above) “There are laws that govern firearms that are done state or locally. Those laws don't change when the president comes to your state or locality."

Anti-gunnies, like Obama, have used language like that to support draconian gun laws in Chicago, New York City, and else where. This is one country, under one Constitution. The Second Amendment should apply no matter where you live.

Some gunbloggers and others say that open carry normalizes the sight of guns on people who don’t carry a badge. I think normalizing guns is a good thing.

So, in general, I’m stuck in the middle. I think open carry causes some harm to our cause, but its good outweighs that harm. Having said that, I’m not sure I‘d practice open carry particularly in crowds. I certainly wouldn’t carry a gun in a holster that’s not a top of the line retention holster. This post by Rivrdog explains why.

This article spells out what you need in a retention holster that will make open carry safer for you.

Guns, particularly carried in public, are a big responsibility and we must take that responsibility seriously. Now, I'll stop preaching and apologize for the sermon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rollicking Fun: Monster Hunter International

You know you’re really gonna like a book when it begins, “On one otherwise normal Tuesday evening I had the chance to live the American dream. I was able to throw my incompetent jackass of a boss from a fourteenth story window.”

Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International (link below) is fun from cover to cover. Its hero is Owen Z. Pitt. His father named Owen after a POS Australian sub-machine gun he had carried in the Vietnam War. That naming becomes significant later, but no more on that. I’m shooting for a spoiler-free review.

Shooting is a good metaphor. There’re a lot of guns in Monster Hunter International. Pitt is a self-described gun nut (just like me). He collects guns and has been shooting them since he was a child (just like me). Unlike me, he is about 6’4” and a former extreme fighter now turned accountant.

His boss is beyond incompetent. One day, his boss calls Pitt into his office. He transforms into a werewolf in front of Pitt’s disbelieving eyes and then it’s off to the races.

With the help of brawn and a concealed .357 revolver (not all that useful on a werewolf, but every little bit helps) Pitt defenestrates his furry boss. He wakes in the hospital. Government goons are stationed there to ensure that he doesn’t turn into a werewolf. If he does, Pitt gets a silver bullet to the brain pan. While there, Pitt learns that werewolves, vampires, and things that go bump in the night are real.

Not only are they real, but government agents fight them. Private outfits, one of which is named Monster Hunter International, receive bounties for each creepy-crawly they kill. That outfit recruits our erstwhile accountant and gives him his bounty check from Uncle Sam, $50,000. Not bad work; he gets to kill his boss in self-defense and gets good coin to boot. Lucky SOB.

The book explores the training a good monster hunter gets, follows Pitt and his fellow newbies through various battles, until Pitt and company find out they’re dealing with a supreme monster who could bring back Lovecraftian Old Ones. Does it get any better than that?

I’m dangerously close to spoilers here, so I’ll close with a few observations. Correia is a firearms instructor and a gunnie. Sentences close to a gun enthusiast’s heart are sprinkled liberally throughout the book. For example a vampire smashes Pitt’s favorite shotgun, a well-used 870 Remington, and his Kimber pistol. I shed a tear.

Like me, Correia and his characters prefer the 1911 platform. Don’t get me wrong, Glocks are good guns, but I happen to like John Moses Browning’s contraption better. Here is what a leading female character said, “[My little brother’s] a Glock nut. The poor deluded bastard.” I’m in love, platonically of course.

On final thing about Monster Hunter International; I hope there’s a sequel.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Quiet Moment: Annie Oakley

As we go through our busy day, on this day we should all pause and reflect. For 149 years ago today, in 1860, the American markswoman extraordinaire, Annie Oakley, was born.

I have a lot of respect for Annie Oakley, born Phoebe Ann Mosey. This woman who stood five foot nothing became a sharpshooter putting on public exhibitions, as a member of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and won many competitions. All this when most women were considered too frail to do much more than crochet.

In her later life, she trained women to shoot. She carried a revolver for protection at times in her parasol (never heard of parasol-carry until I read a book about her sometime back).

Her picture is on the right side of the Ten Ring's photo montage. She was an American icon and we still remember her 149 years later.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Cash for Clunkers" and Major Suckage

I haven't thought much about the "Cash for Clunkers" program. Of all the recent crap that Obama and his merry minions have tried to foist on us, this seemed fairly benign. I thought that way until I read this post on PapaDeltaBravo. PDB lyrically explains how cars give you freedom.

There's a lot wrong with the program besides the fact that it will now spend $3 billion of our tax dollars. Yes, it might help the car industry a little and it may reduce pollution by a minuscule amount. But, it's wasteful beyond belief.

For one thing, the cars won't be sold again. These cars could be almost given away to someone who can't afford them. Still the idea was to get "gas guzzlers" off the road. Then I thought the cars would be parted out, reducing the waste factor. After that, I found out that engines are being destroyed. In fact, PDB links to a video showing how they do it. Seriously, WTF?!?!

At the very least, half-way decent engines could be used to replace someone's oil-burning power plant. Oh no, Obama must destroy them.

This is truly an Al Gore wet dream. Gore once said that internal combustion engines interfere with the Earth's ability to cleanse itself. I guess he got his revenge.