21 June 2007

As Above, So Below

While investigating the opinions of students regarding Gun issues, I came across what I thought was a trend among them...that journalism majors tended towards the left. I haven't done any solid statistical research on the matter, but if the apple stems from this sort of tree:

MSNBC.com identified 144 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 17 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

Then it stands to reason that up and coming journalists would follow suit.

19 June 2007

There IS hope for Hawaii, after all

While working at the park yesterday (and enjoying the company of another babe--helps take the edge off my recent disappointment), I saw a guy wandering through. He looked oriental, middle-aged, and was wearing a black NRA cap.

I thought to myself, "Huh...that's novel." I haven't seen too much in the way of pro-2A apparel worn among our tourists. Lots of other stuff, namely the usual Tourist fare (shirts with "Alaska," "Denali," "Tok," even "Chicken")--and at least one tourist wearing a button advertising Mazo Beach, which is a famous (or notorious, depending on your position) nude beach out in Wisconsin.

I kind of figured the guy just wore it for the novelty factor. But, I decided to ask him where he got it from anyway.

Turns out, the guy was from Hawaii, and is a NRA member.

Now, since I usually associate Hawaii with the Far Left, I asked him, "isn't Hawaii, like, very stringent on Gun Control policies." The guy rolled his eyes and said, "Is it ever! They've wanted to ban .50 cal handguns, put limits on personal ammo ownership..." you know the story. It's kind of like how California will look once the San Andreas Fault finally breaks the state from the rest of the mainland.

I didn't ask him what hardware he owned, but I showed off my H&K had I was wearing at the time, which he greatly appreciated. He also showed envy at my ownership of a Desert Eagle.

Feel sorry for you, man, but I'm happy that there are some reasonable folk still around, even in a place like Hawaii.

Speaking of California, today's Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Moment comes courtesy of something reported by the Liberty Belles by way of David Codrea at War on Guns:

How do you pass a gun registry law without attracting too much attention? Bury it in an ammunition bill. At least that's what the State of California is trying to do.

The wording of the Bill is downright Orwellian...

14 June 2007

Threats to Freedom...via the Environmentalist Movement

This is a most thought-provoking article from Vaclav Klaus.


As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.

Read the rest of it. I've always suspected something screwy with the tree-hugging, granola crowd, whether they be wearing a smelly bedsheet and Birkenstocks, or a three-piece suit. The more I read about them (in books like John Stossel's Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity), the more my suspicions seem to be confirmed.

I grew up during the last 20 years of the Cold War. I remember well the tensions between the Warsaw Pact and NATO, but I found it interesting, that, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in '89, environmental concerns came quickly to the fore while the red armies sublimated away into relative irrelevance.

Even as a relatively clueless 20-year-old, I didn't think this was coincidental.

And now we have a survivor of communism speaking what has been going through the back of my mind for the past 17 years.

11 June 2007

Oh, the heartbreak!

Seems the situation with the gun babe was making progress...only in my head. Just wants to be friends, and has a love interest elsewhere.

Oh well...it was a nice thought, anyway...

Time to go grab a comfort beer.

08 June 2007

Question from the Gun Babe's Father

Those of you who regularly read this blog will have found an occasional reference to a young woman I have had a crush on for years. So far, I have given her ammo instead of chocolates in February, and hung out with her around Fairbanks while both of us were armed.

Oh yeah, and I made it a point to bring her back some red wine from my trip, including some Merlot from a vineyard in the Yadkin valley out in NC. She & I both prefer reds.

I ran into her father (the one that bought her the Glock for self-defense) a couple of days ago while eating lunch & catching up with Fred. This huge grin comes across his face and he asks me, "You carrying?"

I couldn't help but laugh. He already knows I do, but I asked him if his daughter had told him about Fairbanks, and he nodded, with an approving smile.

Her Dad & I do see eye-to-eye on many conservative issues. Gun rights is most definitely one of them. I've shown him my pistols on occasion while stopping by to visit him at his shop in town, and he's shown me some of his acquisitions--like the Glock he keeps under the counter, a 1911 he had bought, and even handed me a few shells to try out a new Benelli shotgun he had recently gotten. Shot it right out in the shop's backyard (only in Alaska could you do something like this).

So, hopefully, if anything ever happens with this woman and myself, I think I'll have his approval, at least regarding matters pertaining to his daughter's security.

I certainly wouldn't be overstepping any bounds with her, knowing she packs, and her father is armed to the teeth!

07 June 2007

Bolivarian Socialism?

I was perusing Moonbattery, and some rabbit trails led me to this latest bout of Chavezian dreck.

A little fun with linguistics here. "Dreck" in German is more or less the same word as "skytt" in Norwegian (which means "dirt"). That north germanic word is pronounced much like a certain four-letter scatological expletive in English, which, by the way used to be what "dirt" referred to.

So, continuing on with my commentary on the latest skytt fra Venezuela, the article from the Miami Herald gives a brief rundown on Chavez's political dealings in Venezuela:


Chávez, a former army officer who led a failed coup in 1992 before his presidential election in 1998, has called his political agenda for Venezuela, "Bolivarian Socialism.''

He has taken over the country's main telecommunications company, the capital city's electric utility and oil production facilities from multinational corporations.

Chávez has won reelection twice, but opponents charge he has undermined Venezuelan democracy by filling the courts and other government institutions with political allies and ruling by decree after last year's election, which many voters opposing him boycotted.

Unease has prompted many Venezuelans to leave their homeland, many settling in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

An estimated 50,000 live in South Florida, and the number of asylum claims has spiked dramatically in recent months.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with South American history, Simon Bolivar is sort of a George Washington figure for that continent. He's closely tied with the struggle for South America's independence from Spain.

But unfortunately, gaining independence is one thing. Dealing with the aftermath is another, and South America didn't enjoy some of the successes the U.S. had in organizing itself after its own revolution.

To make a long story short, in order to maintain control over the newly liberated lands, Bolivar had to make himself dictator.

So, the term "Bolivarian Socialism," while intending to evoke some feeling of patriotism, carries within itself a certain sinister double-entendre to me.

06 June 2007

Visit From an Old Friend

The guy on the left in the below photo stopped by the area to preach at our church this evening. I lived with him and his wife in a church-owned house (not exactly a parsonage, more of a house we set up for ministry heading out to and returning from South America) when I lived in South Florida. The man has been something of a second father to me.

But as is pertinent to a blog like this one, Fred also enjoys sport shooting--or rather, enjoyed it before he moved to Canada. As a former cop, he carried a Colt Python in .357, and while in Florida, was hoping to get hold of one for a reasonable price again.

I don't think he did, but I did sell him my SW99 and several boxes of 9mm so I could get a ticket to come out to Alaska and check things out here. After I left, he followed my lead in getting a Florida CCW (I think I was the first in my church to get one), and upgraded to a handgun in .40.

Unfortunately, he had to leave those behind when he returned to a church he used to pastor in Canada. You well know Canada's hysterical crusade against handgun ownership. So, he left his hardware with his son-in-law.

When he crossed the border into Canada, they did a background check on him, discovered he was from FL, and had a CCW. So, they asked him if he owned any handguns. He said, yes. But, as I said before, he had left them back in FL.

They tore through everything he had in their search for guns. But they didn't bother helping him put things back in order.

"It's a fantasy world they're living in," he told me at lunch this afternoon. "They think that all this fuss over gun control is going to do a thing towards cutting down crime." I then related to him an article I had read a couple of years ago regarding Ontario's finger-pointing at the U.S. for smuggling guns across the border and keeping crime rates high in that province.

But, the truth was told by a Magistrate who said that the overwhelming majority of gun-related crimes in Ontario were committed with guns stolen from Ontario homes.

Fred got a good chuckle out of that one.

05 June 2007

RKBA Campus Watch: Going for the Bite Size approach

Well, school's out for most of the campuses, but it will afford me time to get caught up on all the op-ed's I can scrounge.

Given my schedule, I don't think I'll have quite the time to do as extensive a round-up as I have been, so I will post them as I find them.

My favorite starting-off point, Wisconsin-Madison, ends off an interesting school year on a positive note: One guest columnist and a student rebutting all the hand-wringing published directly in the wake of VT.

The guest columnist, a sophomore in Economics, Math, and History, takes an interesting angle on the issue. He says gun control stats support both sides of the argument: pro and con. So, the question is, who really benefits?

If more gun control doesn’t mitigate crime, then what does it do? Look no further than any authoritarian state or society in history.

Lines straight up with that Jared Diamond quote I gave a while back. Furthermore, this boy has done his own research, and reached the same conclusions I did about the number of guns used in crime versus the number of guns in the country, only he looks at gun owners. This yields slightly different numbers, but the end result is the same--the overwhelming majority of gun owners in this country do not commit crimes:

If you don’t believe me when I say many gun owners follow the law, just look at the numbers. According to a survey administered by the Harvard School of Public Health, there were 57 million adult gun owners in 2004. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 338,587 instances of firearms related crime in 2004. Do the math and we’ll find that, in 2004, at most 0.59 percent of gun owners committed a crime with their firearms. Additionally, we’ll find that at least 99.41 percent of gun owners in 2004 were law-abiding citizens. Run the same analysis on every year for the past 20 and you’ll get roughly the same results. In any given year, a super-super-majority of gun owners used their firearms in a responsible and lawful manner. (emphasis mine)

That, my friends, is one to keep in the back of your head.

Column number two, appearing April 25, surprises me. This comes from another underclassman, a freshman, and a journalism major to boot. He rebuts the notion that 2A is out of date, and takes a lot of time to quote several historical examples. To sum up:

Why? Because these infamous leaders knew that they could never consolidate power, disregard the opinions of the minority (or even the majority), or commit the atrocities they committed with an armed populace. As Aristotle said, “Both the oligarch and Tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms.”

So, it seems there are sensible journalism majors out there.

03 June 2007

Eat Yer Heart Out, Glockheads

When it comes to plastic pistols, usually the first brand name that comes to mind is Glock. Less-educated folks will see a polymer frame pistol and immediately spout "Glock" much like a person sees a dark-colored soft-drink and calls it "Coke" (even though it may be Pepsi). I know this has happened to me once when I was carrying the H&K around the farm, looking for grouse. Someone said, "There's Hatfield, carrying his Glock."

Sheesh. That's like equating Cordon Bleu with Colonel Sanders.

Regular readers probably already know this, but Glock wasn't the first to mass-produce a pistol with a polymer frame.

No, sirs, that honor belongs to Heckler & Koch. Glock may have taken a good idea, made it cheaper, and marketed it like hell (kind of like Microsoft, only without the cheap part), but H&K beat them to the punch with the below handgun:

The VP70 (found the image here on Flickr). From various articles I've read about H&K over the years, I remember discussion over this pistol--18 round capacity, military version could affix a stock that gave it full-auto ability (leave it to H&K to come up with something to make their weapons stand out from the others--not just in terms of quality, but functionality as well).

Other ramblings...

I was looking around at other H&K pistols featured on Flickr. I saw a very interesting USP Compact--Limited Edition, with a two-tone frame:
I've never really been a fan of compacts. As regards to the USP, you sacrifice the patented buffer spring (which noticeably affects the pistol's controllability) for the size.

But as far as small H&K pistols go, this one is an absolute beauty:

P7M8 with custom grips. I had an opportunity to buy one of these (sans grips) out at a Police Supply store in Ft. Lauderdale for $600 in the late '90s. I should have bought it up.

Anyway, the picture takes you to the Flickr link, where you have some Aussie dirtying his shorts over the gun, getting "confused" over their role in society. Happily, the owner of this piece sets him straight, saying, to the effect, "Well, being from OZ, I don't expect you to understand, seeing you have surrendered your rights." And goes on to explain its use as a legitimate tool.

Fearmongering over guns is something I have never understood, even when I didn't own one.

Finally, this pic ought to provoke envy in any pistol owner:
A little big for Concealed Carry, perfect for Open Carry. There are few .45s that impress me more than my USP. This is one of them.

The other is the upcoming HK45, while the USP Tactical comes in third.

Anyone kindly willing to donate one shall not find his offer lightly appreciated...

01 June 2007

Gratuitous Gun Pr0n Galore!

H&K Enthusiasts will greatly appreciate this video about H&K's production facilities:

And those fascinated with all that goes into gun manufacturing will like it as well (even if you don't speak German, which I, happily, do--I'll translate it for the benefit of the rest of you later on).

EDIT: The video is very enjoyable, very informative, talking about everything that goes into the manufacture and testing of various H&K firearms, from the P2000, MP7, and the machine guns.

Testing includes deep-freezing, sand testing for desert conditions, immersing a weapon totally in water then firing it almost right out of the water, burying it in mud and digging it up and firing it.

Then there are individial firing tests, and factory zeroing for the rifles.

An absolutely worthy video!

29 May 2007

Kleptocrats and Gun Control

For the past two years, I have been reading Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, which is his attempt to explain why societies developed along different lines throughout the ages. It's a fascinating read, although I personally think Francis Schaeffer's How Then Shall We Live offers a better explanation for how things have turned out (at least in western society).

Now, the reason it takes me so long to finish a particularly long book is that I start it until I get tired of it, then go to something else, then return to it after a while. I've been doing that with Rise and Fall of the Third Reich for some ten years now and The Conservative Mind for seven.

At any rate, a couple of days ago, I started Chapter 14 of Guns, Germs, and Steel, which has to do with the development of government, from bands to tribes to chiefdoms to states. He uses a particularly interesting word, "Kleptocracy," to describe a governmental entity that takes away the fruit of others' labors to sustain itself.

He poses the question, why would anyone tolerate that? Or rather, as he puts it, "What should an elite do to gain popular support while still maintaining a more comfortable lifestyle than commoners?"

His first of four possible solutions is very interesting:

"1. Disarm the populace, and arm the elite. That's much easier in these days of high-tech weaponry, produced only in industrial plants and easily monopolized by an elite, than in ancient times of spears and clubs easily made at home."(Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1999. pp. 276-277, emphasis mine)

He gives a famous example of a society that did this very thing in the previous chapter on technological innovation. Around the mid-1500s, the Japanese were introduced to firearms. At first, they were very impressed with the weapons, so much so that they made their own versions, which proliferated so much that by 1600, they had more guns than anyone else in the world.

But there was one class that didn't care for them: the ruling elite. Now, Diamond explains that the Samurai preferred the older, ritualistic, more elegant way of combat, but what it really boils down to is that the elite no longer held the corner on martial power, when even a peasant could blast them with an arquebus. So, they started outlawing the weapons, restricting accessibility and production measure by measure until they pretty much no longer existed in Japan, and ensured that the elite remained in power.

The experts agree: Gun Control Works!

27 May 2007

THIS is why I carry while hiking

Several months ago, this op-ed appeared from Butler University, and started the whole Campus RKBA Round-Up thing.

If you will remember (click on the link if you don't), Ms. Maire Gurevitz found it hard to understand why anyone would want to take a gun to a state park.

I can give you one reason:

And some more, elsewhere during my wanderings...

I wear a size 10 and a half shoe. Not a terribly huge bear, but more than a match for my strength. I've butchered a couple of bears that we have shot (legally) on our property, and can personally attest to the density of their muscles.

Yesterday, I spent the whole morning hiking along the Tanana River. I came across so many tracks like these, as well as other evidence of roaming bears (like bear scat). They can even be found near the outlying houses on our farm.

I live in rural Alaska, with lots of undeveloped land. Not terribly unlike most state parks.

And there you have your rationale for hiking armed. Bears tend to shun encounters with humans, but you don't want to take your chances.

24 May 2007

Do the Moonbats really Care about our Rights?

Apparently not, if two sites brought to you by the paranoid diaperwaists of the "Freedom" States Alliance have anything to say about it. They would do away with not only the Second Amendment, but would gladly let other rights fall in the interests of pursuing their crusade against that particular part of the constitution.

For example, personal property. The Fourth Amendment acknowledges this right, but no right is sacred to the moonbat on jihad against 2A, as exemplified by this "campaign:"

What these puppets of the Brady mentality don't get are the ramifications of controlling the sale of personal private property. This approach threatens not only Second Amendment rights, but could set the tone for eroding Fourth Amendment rights as well.

Other things to bear in mind: How many of the crimes "facilitated" by "loopholes" comprise the total number of violent crimes in the U.S.? I am willing to wager it is a very low percentage, which would make it an even more miniscule portion of the total number of guns in this country. You can't really justify throwing tons of money into legislation (and, if it were to pass, the implementation) for such a tiny problem.

The poop overflows the Depends in this next site, decrying the "Shoot First" measures taken by several states to defend would-be victims' rights when it comes to using deadly force in self-defense.

This is the logical conclusion of this Stockholm Syndrome these moonbats have for criminals. Take it easy on the perps and punish the victims--the idea doesn't sit well in the 16 states (and the 8 that are considering passing similar measures) whose citizens believe in the right to defend themselves.

Thing of it is, every self-defense incident where a perp got perforated undergoes an investigation. That involves legal measures, with the very distinct possibility of a ruling NOT in the victim's favor, and the loss of freedoms that ensue.

Even one story this site puts up acknowledges that not every situation where a person uses a gun to stop a crime ends up with the gunner getting off scot-free. There are criteria a case needs to pass before exonerating a gunner.

But it's lost on the moonbats, who have always valued hysteria over rational thinking; in fact, their attitudes seem to override a person's Fifth Amendment rights, assuming that every gun used in self-defense is murder.

That's three Constitutional Amendments these folks would gladly shove aside.

Friday Catblogging!

(or, at least, my perversion of it)

While over in NC, my folks' cats got acquainted with my hardware.

Gracie liked the H&K...couldn't stop admiring it!

You can almost hear the purring...

Meanwhile, Smoky, being the larger of the two, preferred the larger hand-cannon...

Dad, I said it's TREAT time!

23 May 2007

Flying with Guns!

(The compleat experience)

I made it back to Alaska, but it took being awake for 24 hours and traveling for about 21 of them. Taking the day off today to recuperate. More on that adventure in a bit.

While I didn't get any range time in while over in the Tarheel State, it did give me some valuable experience in traveling with firearms on the airlines. I'll give you the complete account right here.

First, it started out with research. I've already related some about that in earlier posts just before my flight.

Now, it's amazing just how ignorant your typical American is on these matters...even gun owners. When I said I was taking them to NC, it raised eyebrows from everyone I talked to--family, friends, even those who own more guns than I. Even one or two who carry (and these tend to be, but not always, more informed about what you can and cannot do with guns). They couldn't believe that, with all the terrorism mess going on, that you can take guns with you on a plane.

You can, there are just certain protocols you need to follow.

For me, I started following those protocols by taking my pistol case and doing a little custom work to make it fit for transporting my H&K and Desert Eagle.

The case I currently have is a large aluminum one with a combination lock. It can contain the pistols and accessories (holsters, spare magazines, extra barrel, scope, etc), but not securely. I decided to keep the spare mags and holsters in my suitcase, along with a box of .44 magnum and .45 ACP in their original factory packaging.

But the pistols would be tucked in some foam insulation, cut away to allow them to be snugly secured in the case:

While cutting away the foam, I made sure the mold would fit the safety locks I was going to include for both pistols, as you can see in the picture here.

Satisfied that the pistols weren't going anywhere, I closed and locked the case.

Following some advice on the web, I also made a few copies of the TSA's guidelines for transporting firearms, as well as those for the two airlines I would be flying with: Alaska Airlines and Northwest. This would be for the check-in agents' edification, if it were needed.

It didn't turn out to be necessary. The agents I came across for Alaska Air and Northwest seemed to know what to do when it came to firearms.

When I checked in, I stated that I had two unloaded firearms to declare. They handed me their airlines' version of the unloaded firearms certificate which I had to sign, date, and store with the guns (the below is Northwest's version--you can see Alaska's version to the right of the case in the above photo).

Basically, it says that you have taken measures to secure your firearms and firearm-related items (such as ammunition) according to Federal guidelines.

Then, the check-in agent had me go over to the TSA station to hand over the case. What you will actually have to do may vary with the airline and the airport--at Fairbanks, all I had to do was hand over the locked case to the TSA agent on duty. At Greensboro, I had to keep the case unlocked and hand it over to the TSA agent (they would lock the case and clear the combination when they were done.

Then, I boarded the plane and went where I needed to go. Once I arrived, all my goods--all of them, from the guns themselves to the ammunition and accessories I had in my suitcase--made it along with me.

Even on the last leg of my flight. You see, I came into Anchorage at about 2.30p yesterday, and my flight to Fairbanks was supposed to leave at around 3.11p. It was supposed to arrive at 8.30p.

It doesn't take 5 hours to get to Fairbanks from Anchorage. I know, I've done it enough. I figured there was some screwup in how the tickets were printed.

As it turned out, I would be heading further north, to the Deadhorse terminal in Prudhoe Bay, and then to Barrow, before coming to Fairbanks.

I figured...what the hell. The flight's paid for, and I'll get to see a part of my home state I usually don't get to see. So, I enjoyed the extra detour. Always wanted to go to Barrow, if only to say that I've been to America's northernmost city.

While there, we picked up a State Trooper escorting two natives in handcuffs. He got to carry his gun on the plane, lucky guy.

Now, the aluminum case has suffered some dents. The guns are both fine, but I'll need to invest in something by Pelican the next time I decide to take them with me.

And that, readers, was my adventure involving firearms and flying.

21 May 2007

My Inheritance

I'm leaving NC tomorrow to return to Alaska. NC is a fine state, has a lot of good things going for it, and it was good to see family after several years, but I am aching to return home.

Sadly, though, I never got a chance to get in some range time. I suppose if gas were cheaper, I would have had a little more freedom to borrow my parents' vehicles (they don't make a lot of frivolous trips, especially since both are retired now) to visit the closest range to Ocean Isle (in Seaport, about 20 minutes away), or the one or two in Wilmington, or the one in Statesville (closest to where my folks live in Lenoir).

Honestly, I was rather amazed at how expensive gas is down here. Please note the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot expression on my face--both at the price of gas, and the fact that my folks decided to fuel up at a station that puts money in Hugo Chavez's pocket.

Seriously, gas is about 40 cents cheaper in Fairbanks than what I found here in NC...or in TN when I went to visit my Grandmother Wilson out in east TN.

The cheapest I saw (and it fluctuated a few cents every day) was about $2.95 for the low-grade unleaded.

Oh, well--at least the family got to see my hardware.

Speaking of which, Dad pulled out his collection of firearms--weapons that we've had in the house since we've lived in South Carolina. Just, he never took us shooting. Kind of a shame, really.

At any rate, the prize among the collection (as I see it) is the Colt 1911 my Great-Grandfather Friend carried with him when he served in WWI:

This is a 1911, NOT a 1911A1. Here is the engraving on the other side of the slide:

Now, I have handled this gun before. As a kid, I came across it in a foyer closet while bored and rummaging through the house. I thought it was cool, but was a little scared handling it. Didn't know what all I'd have to do to make it fire (Single Action, with the squeeze safety built into the frame), but I handled it with care.

And, it has served as a personal lesson to me just how accessible a gun can be in the house if you don't take measures to secure it.

Anyway, some 22 years later, and a firearms owner myself, I had a look at the pistol. It is old, and has obviously been neglected somewhat (even though Dad oils his guns regularly)--there was some rust inside the slide, it looked like, and, personally, I don't think I would put any Cor-Bon through the barrel, but otherwise, it's in very good condition.

One thing, though--and this comes from the larger handguns I personally have owned--the 1911 is skinny! My USP is probably one and a half times wider than this handgun (even the 9mm would have been bigger), and the Desert Eagle simply dwarfs it.

Sidenote for a little family history here--my Great-Grandfather Friend was born to German immigrants (original name was Frehn, anglicized to Friend over at Ellis Island). He was part of the German community he lived in over in Chicago, and spoke German fluently.

When WWI came about, he fought for his country--the U.S. of A. In light of our current war on terror, I wonder if he had to put up with any of the suspicion that muslims wearing our uniforms are going through given this war against jihadists we're now in.

Anyway, if there is anything I want willed to me, this pistol is one of them.

The other two things I'd want willed to me are the two rifles on the right:

One is a Springfield 1903A3, the other a M1 Carbine. If I remember what my Dad said right, my Granddad Hatfield bought both the Springfield and the carbine and modified them for sporting purposes. What sort of modifications needed to be made, I don't know. Both feature bayonet lugs, and the carbine can take a banana magazine.

These features kind of make me laugh at the Clinton's gesture to make the U.S. a kinder, gentled nation (that's no typo--I used that term deliberately) back in 1994.

That 03A3 is simply beautiful. Don't know how usable it still is as a sporting firearm (I have a friend that hunts with an old Mauser in .30-06), but it is most certainly a conversation piece.

19 May 2007

The Mad Hatter's Non-Violent Rant

Greetings from North Carolina! Where you can enjoy the ocean in the east, mountains in the west, but if you're not licensed to carry, you might as well not own a handgun.

By the way, my first experience flying with guns was a success. Both pieces, accessories, and ammunition survived several thousand miles of flight and three plane changes. More on that when I get back home.

Speaking of which, I miss Alaska. I'm in a state where I am not licensed to carry, and I feel rather naked. I should have taken that course from Joe Nava the last time I spent a week in Fairbanks, and followed through with the process of getting licensed again, if only for the benefits of reciprocity.

Then, at least, I wouldn't have to keep my hardware locked up in a vehicle. Seriously, I can understand the concern about drive-by shootings, but it seriously hinders the ability of the rest of us to protect ourselves in our own property.

"Excuse me, Mr. Gangsta"--and I learned that groups like MS-13 have gotten many footholds in the Tarheel State--"let me get into my trunk and unlock my case so we can get on more equal footing." Not gonna happen, methinks.

An anonymous commenter from the last post brought this to my attention. I honestly think that some people eat a full bowl of stupid in the morning, washed down with some freshly squeezed paranoia.

It comes, more or less, on the heels of another story Miss Non-Violent Marilyn covered earlier this week about a 10-month-old getting "a gun and a license." Now, tying it in with the other story about the blind man getting a CCW, you would assume that by "license," the baby is also licensed to carry. Not true, if you actually bothered to read the articles, but knowing how well liberals love to shoot first and ask questions later when it comes to relating social matters, I can see a whole herd of them jumping to some wild conclusions about gun issues in this country, armed with only half the facts.

Anyway, time to throw some reasonable sense on the matters. True, the baby was given a license, but it was JUST TO OWN A FIREARM! The grandfather followed all the legal proceedings, and it was granted. If something was amiss, the permit would have been denied.

Marilyn's tone carries with it the assumption that parents are absent from the process of child rearing. Now, since liberals are lovers of the nanny state, this comes as no surprise. Happily, though, the owners of the overwhelming majority (99.8%) of firearms in this country not used in crimes seem to show a certain degree of responsibility that the fearmongers only dream we do not possess.

Hell, I don't have kids, and when I take some shooting, I DO educate them about firearms safety!

As regards the blind man who takes his personal defense seriously, read the actual article instead of the hysterical commentary. There, you will find that the fellow has taken more pains to train himself on gun safety (right down to his choice of ammo) than most of the sanctimonious knee-jerk dipwads who fill their diapers at the first sight of a firearm.

And note that there is absolutely NO consideration for this guy's safety--none mentioned AT ALL in Marilyn's article! This guy is concerned about being taken advantage of because of his condition. Who is going to cover his six? The police? Marilyn? Hello?

I applaud the guy for having the guts to do this.

10 May 2007

Well, the trip's gotten off to a good start...

...and I haven't even entered the airport yet!

Some of you might recall my pre-emptive Valentine's Day post, where, instead of flowers, or chocolates, I gave a young woman a box of Cor-Bon self-defense ammo.

Well, as I am waiting here in Fairbanks for my flight to leave tomorrow morning (less than 8 hours away now--which means I have to leave here before 4.00a to check-in on time), I met up with said young woman, and she invited me to hang out with her.

Being a farm girl and whatnot, she's a little unused to urban life--the offers for rides, the catcalls, and so on that a very attractive woman would elicit from the many lonely men (?) of Fairbanks. She's never come into any real crises yet that would escalate into having to pull out the .40 she keeps in her purse--neither does she really desire to be in such a situation. So, she was happy to have an escort.

And I, for one, was very happy to escort her. Chivalry ain't dead as long as this white boy lives! I may live in the northernmost state, but there are some Southern traits indelibly burned into my character.

I was tempted to tell her that if it came to such a situation as she had described, the potential offender would be looking down TWO barrels, since I was also carrying the USP on my hip that evening.

I let the cat out of the bag as we were going through town--she wasn't nervous! If anything, she expressed some concern about me carrying the pistol onto my plane. I told her that's not how I intended to bring it on board.

So, we hung out over at Barnes & Noble. She introduced me to an Orson Scott Card novel I hadn't read--one of the Ender's Game series (Ender's Shadow). And, we chatted a lot about this and that.

Wow. What a woman. Christian, Beautiful, carries a gun, and reads some science fiction on occasion!

My kind of woman!

Heh...it's catching on...

(h/t Cowboy Blob):

...Cuba? Venezuela? Funny how you don't hear of mass Leftist exodi to these shining examples of the "Workers' Paradise" when "fascists" come to power.

I heard a conversation at the breakfast table this morning about Hillary being our next president. I still don't see it happening. Everyone with half a brain that lived through the '90s well remembers the First Beoch's tenure in the White House...how she tried to leverage her own policies when she was not even an elected official.

Nope, all the hype that's heard about Hillary being the next president is just the effect of a lot of money at work from a really loud minority.

Flying with Guns...

OK, I'm going to do it. After researching the matter myself, reading several accounts, and getting one encouraging comment from my last post, the guns are coming with me.

Freepatriot has some very good guidelines to follow when flying with guns.

Matt Burkett also has some advice about packing your guns for your trip.

Still more advice is given by Custom-Glock.com.

Sooooo, after reviewing all the above, in addition to the guidelines published by the TSA, Alaska Air, and Northwest (thank you very much, Mark Solomon, for showing where all that information can be found), I packed up the guns in my lockable case (taking extra effort to further secure them), and have a few copies of the TSA and Alaska and NWA guidelines as published on their sites.

Less than 24 hours to go...I'm looking forward to this trip, and further educating others (this time, family members) about RKBA.

09 May 2007

Flying with Guns?

Mark Solomon's very informative website tells you almost everything you need to know about taking your firearms with you when you travel by air.

I'll be leaving for NC in about two days, and have been debating whether or not to take my two handguns with me. Conforming to the security guidelines laid out by the TSA, Alaska Air, and Northwest Airlines don't bother me. I can live with them.

But, what does bother me is the potential for them getting lost while being handled. I have heard that lost luggage is becoming more and more a problem nowadays, and I really do not want to deal with losing $2,000-$3,000 worth of hardware because of someone else's lack of responsibility.

So, if anyone thinks it's a real issue, or a non-issue, please leave a comment.

04 May 2007

Free Exchange of Ideas, eh?

...except when it comes to something so anti-liberal, the proles must rise up and punish those who would stand against the Revolution!

Such was the case of an Emmanuel College professor (h/t Crime, Guns, and Videotape) who was fired for discussing the notion that gun control doesn't always work.

It's a four-part video...here's the first segment:

The remaining three you can access by either clicking on the player area or following the link above it.

Stossel Refuting Gun Control (again!)

(h/t: John Lott's blog)

But be careful about how far the calls for gun control go, because the idea that gun control laws lower gun crime is a myth.

After the 1997 shooting of 16 kids in Dunblane, England, the United Kingdom passed one of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, banning its citizens from owning almost all types of handguns. Britain seemed to get safer by the minute, as 162,000 newly-illegal firearms were forked over to British officials by law-abiding citizens.

But this didn't decrease the amount of gun-related crime in the U.K. In fact, gun-related crime has nearly doubled in the U.K. since the ban was enacted.

Might stricter gun laws result in more gun crime? It seems counterintuitive but makes sense if we consider one simple fact: Criminals don't obey the law. Strict gun laws, like the ban in Britain, probably only affect the actions of people who wouldn't commit crimes in the first place. . . . .

Click on the link, and watch the video in the upper right-hand corner.

And, as with David Codrea, my posting will be rather sporadic for the next couple of weeks--going out of town on vacation.

No worries...I won't be gone as long as I was my last hiatus!

Friday Catblogging!

h/t Cowboy Blob

Eat your heart out, Laurence Simon!

02 May 2007

RKBA Campus Roundup #9

Now that the earthquake seems to be over, we're dealing with a few aftershocks here and there.

Still making my way through the states to find what sort of attitudes on gun issues can be found on America's college campuses, I stop over in New Hampshire, at Dartmouth.

Here, a philosopher wannabe tries to draw parallels between an Albert Camus story and the way the Second Amendment is interpreted. If you saw the YouTube links to the Penn & Teller Bullsh*t episode earlier on, you see this student takes the exact opposite approach to 2A's wording:

Additionally, take a closer look at the punctuation of the amendment, specifically the commas. If read without the two modifying clauses in the middle formed by these commas, the amendment reads, “A well regulated militia shall not be infringed.” It was the militias the Framers meant to protect, not the guns.
He's taking the classic leftist tack of emphasizing the "Militia" aspect, while completely ignoring the "Right of the People" part of the Amendment. It is not discussed once. And the conclusions he draws fall out of line with how that part of the Bill of Rights has been interpreted for over 200 years.

And so, therefore, the Albert Camus parallel does fit, but not the way our Staff Columnist probably had in mind. He, like his leftist buddies, would kill it of its meaning, strip the people of a right, and dump it in the river.

BTW, this tomfoolery with commas is really not an original idea. It comes from the Yassky Brief found in U.S. v Emerson (2001). It would be nice if Mr. Fan-of-Pessimist-French-Authors could cite where he got that idea from instead of passing it off as his own.

(The link also contains refutation of the idea, for those interested in reading it. Basically, the original draft of the Constitution only had one comma).

Happily, elsewhere, namely Mississippi, some students still understand the Amendment as it has always been interpreted. While only obliquely mentioning it in this reaction to the VT massacre, this student says:

Now let's move on to members of the Virginia General Assembly who failed to act on House Bill 1572. This bill would have made it legal for college students and employees to carry handguns on campus. What part of "shall not be infringed" did these people not understand?

A self-described Libertarian from Ole Miss responds to the VT shootings by discussing briefly the gun debate that it stirred up. He sits on the fence, but slightly leans towards preserving the 2A rights, thus holding true to his ideology:

Here in the South, guns are very much a part of our livelihood. Personally, they scare the hell out of me, and I wish they were banished from the face of the earth. But it's obvious that if you outlaw guns, the only people with them will be outlaws.
Over at St. Cloud University in Minnesota, another student rehashes the gun debate inflamed by the VT shootings. Here, the main focus falls upon fully automatic weapons.

Interestingly enough, this is an editorial board that believes that"the Second Amendment allows citizens to own firearms." And further bolsters its stance by explaining, "If there is a total ban on guns, the Second Amendment must therefore then be dissolved. No item on the Bill of Rights should ever be overturned."

Excellent! But he seems a little wary in allowing full-auto weapons to be owned by private citizens.

The Mad Hatter's official opinion? I've fired a full-auto weapon before. I personally don't have any use for one myself (expensive to obtain and expensive to shoot), but I'm not going to let my personal preferences restrict someone else's ability to acquire one legally.

The letter elicited a well-informed response from another student at St. Cloud, explaining that the full auto aspect of the debate is really rather irrelevant to the shootings at VT. But what was relevant were the following factors:

-"The Federal government already restricts persons with a mental background like Cho from legally obtaining a gun. The statute in Virginia is written slightly different, which allowed a legal gun sale under Virginia law."

-"The sale went through because the Federal government failed to provide states with funding to update the instant background check system."

-"[T]he administration at Virginia Tech adopted a gun-free zone on campus." He explains how this creates a target-rich environment.

I find it really interesting how most pro-2A articles will back their positions with facts. The Anti crowd seems to want to play the emotional card too heavily.

Speaking of facts, here's a download that every pro-2A person should have on his hard drive or PDA...click on the pic to the right and download the free .pdf file, and enjoy!

While you're at it, here is yet another worthy site to browse and arm yourself with the facts. It's the well-known Guncite website.

But continuing on with the campus op/ed's as I encounter them...the entire VT debacle started a back & forth between University Police at Brandeis and the students.

From the Brandeis Five-0's point of view, campus cops are insufficiently equipped to deal with a crisis the magnitude of the VT massacre, and therefore, should be armed, in the interests of protecting themselves as well as the students on campus.

The Director of Public Safety, however, seems to put more faith in their "Emergency Response and Notification Plan," which "includes state-of-the-art protocols for communicating a crisis situation to the campus."

Oh, wonderful. They might not be able to contain or control the crisis, but they can sure keep everyone up-to-date about it! "Now hear this! Campus Psycho has now perforated his 42nd victim over at the Cafeteria." At least the tragedy-happy media will be able to get an accurate body count.

And the system might encourage the cops to avoid the crisis area, as stated by one anonymous agent of public safety, explaining that "such an emergency would likely spur officers to leave campus rather than act unarmed:"

"Am I supposed to get shot for the sake of Brandeis?" Haley [president of the Union representing the police] asked in a phone interview Saturday. "I think it's ludicrous and ridiculous, but [the administration] won't listen to us."

Despite the inadequacies, one moonbat-in-training starts barking at the mere thought of arming the campus police, in an op/ed entitled "Safety should trump the abstract right to own guns."

Did you catch that? Abstract right? I wonder if that was a double-entendre, hinting at the irrelevancy of the Bill of Rights (which we hear so much from those who know nothing about where their civil liberties come from nor how they are preserved) as well as the conservative mindset.

At any rate, it's more blah-buh-blah-blah-blah. Pro 2A fanatics only read half of the amendment blar-blar-blar...the amendment was only written with muskets in mind blar-blar-blar... And this piece of cognitive clarity:

Though Americans are divided over the extent to which a citizen should have the right to arm himself we can learn from the recent gun-related tragedies, such as the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, the Washington sniper shootings in 2002, and last week's Virginia Polytechnic Institute shootings, what happens when individuals arm themselves.

Note that it doesn't read "what could happen when individuals arm themselves." No, Miss Libtard assumes that every time a person arms himself, he's going to commit a crime. Well paint me black and call me Toby--I am just perplexed why, while doing errands in town with my .45 on my hip and two spare magazines, no one got the Emmentaler treatment (Swiss Cheese, that is). Not one!

And why is it that, with 300 million guns out on the nation (that number just keeps on going up with every donkey-faced piece of half-baked pontification I read from these drunken monkeys), we come up with less than 30,000 fatalities, and less than 300,000 acts of violent crime involving firearms? 99.9% of the gun owners in this nation must not be doing a good enough job in keeping up with the murderous wishes of the brain-rotted ivory tower idealist.

"Although we are constitutionally allowed to own guns, the urgency and need for them isn't as apparent as during the times of our Founding Fathers."

Tell that to the 50 that were killed and wounded at VT, you clueless drone. I'm sure they would have found the outcome of the Appalachian Law School shooting much more favorable.

Happily, the blah is effectively retorted not much long thereafter by another student, who says in his own letter to the editor:

Smolyar makes a muddled argument that, on the one hand, belittles gun owners with a straw-man scenario about a British invasion, but on the other accepts the individual rights portion of the Second Amendment, provided that it is strictly curtailed in the name of the "public good." Anything can be justified provided it serves the "public good." However, Smolyar forgets that the Bill of Rights exists precisely to prevent anyone with vague ideas about the "public good" from simply overriding essential American freedoms. Perhaps she would agree to strict curtailment of her freedom of the press so that we are spared more frivolous justifications in the future?
And that rounds up this week's survey of attitudes towards gun rights this week. But don't worry...no doubt there is much more to come!

01 May 2007

Associated Propaganda?

This is what happens when puppy-farm journalism majors metamorphosize into full-fledged puppets of the mainstream propaganda machine.

I was thumbing through a few-days-old copy of the Fairbanks Daily News-Manure (hey, it serves its purpose when you've run out of pages in your Sears Catalog in the auxiliary facilities out back), when I saw it feature an AP article entitled (as it appeared in our nearest major news rag--AP links to the column here) "U.S. gun control draws foreign debate."

Erm, a word to the editorial staff of the News-Miner--foreign countries are trying to deal with their own crises in their own way, and are by no means trying to influence the U.S. with the policies they pass. If they are, they serve as no good example.

While on the subject, in my absence from blogging, I did manage to watch "The Great U.N. Gun Debate" that a friend lent to me, which you can start watching below if you so please:

If you click on the embedded video above, it will take you straight to the video as found on YouTube. And from there, you can catch the other three parts in the links just to the right.

My conclusions: the pro-UN aussie philistina with the butch haircut did a very good job of convincing me that the U.N. is not out for preserving national sovereignty, and would like very much to impose a police state on the world if it were given more real power.

And that's my two bits on "world opinion." But I'm not done today just yet.

Getting back to the AP article, it lists all sorts of countries that have tried passing various measures to limit gun ownership. And, in typical pro-populace-control fashion, attempt to sing the praises of such measures while trying to paint the U.S. with a big smear of fake blood.

I particularly liked the chart the News-Minor included with the article. It lists 26 countries and ranks them by "Gun Death Rates." Guess who leads with a 9.42 rate per 100,000 population (2004 stats)? Uh-huh. Surprised?

But if we take a closer look at the chart (source stated as the "Small Arms Survey, Geneva"--whose partners include, suspiciously enough, several organizations focused upon small arms control--which casts some doubt over an unbiased view of arms ownership), we see some things even more revealing. But, strangely enough, these points aren't discussed in the article.

The chart states that the numbers include "homicides, suicides, accidental and undetermined deaths" (emphasis mine). But the actual numbers comprising these categories are missing. It doesn't seem to be readily available through the search function on the Survey's site, either (even typing in "9.42" reveals nothing related to the matter, even though the data comes from 2004), and I suspect you'll have to do a fair amount of mining to find the source data the News-Miner decided to use.

Interestingly enough, while hunting through the links to find the numbers used, I came across this article, dated 2000 from George Mason University, which finds no correlation between availability of firearms and homicide rates. The abstract reads thus:

This article seeks to examine the common view that widespread availability of firearms is a major cause, or even the principal cause, of high American rates of homicide. Reasonably accurate data as to both homicide rates and the acquisition and ownership of firearms in the United States are available back to the mid-1940s. These data do not show a correlation over the long term between the distribution of firearms in the population at large and homicide rates. The two variables do cross occasionally, but they do not do so consistently. Rather, the trend in the period 1973-1997 was one of very large increases in firearms accompanied by essentially flat, even diminishing, homicide rates. That is the general rule for the period since the end of World War II to date.

Nice to see that the Survey includes research that raises questions over its own raison d'etre. I can respect that.

But getting back to the chart in question, while it presents a high number for the U.S., it does nothing to explain the circumstances yielding those numbers. Take homicides and suicides, for example. Are murderous/self-destructive inclinations of unbalanced people a direct function of a tool which can neither think nor feel? No.

(Btw, the total number of suicides in the U.S. in 2004 were 32,439. I've found no hard numbers for those that have been committed by firearm, but this article says it was "more than half."--I'll say 55%=17,842. That would make up 63% of the number I'm about to give below).

Going by the numbers, the 9.42 per 100,000 for the U.S. yields some 28,260 deaths by firearm in 2004. For a population of 300 million, that still accounts for only .009% of the total U.S. population.

And if you go by the 250 million firearms that are supposedly in this country, that means only .01% of them were involved in these deaths.

That is a ridiculously low percentage to worry about, and is still surpassed by the 40,000 auto fatalities that happen every year. And, given that there are a comparable amount of passenger vehicles in the U.S. as there are guns (243,023,485 according to this Wikipedia entry), you don't hear too much about measures enacted to further restrict auto ownership, even though it is a privilege, rather than a right.

Don't fall for the hype, people.

30 April 2007


While I'm on this kick of posting videos, here's one related to my favorite gun manufacturer:

Unfortunately, I don't think H&K got the bid because of the problems the XM8 had--or, at least, that's what I heard from someone who worked over at the Cold Weather Testing Center over at Ft. Greely. Kind of a shame, because the concept behind the XM8 was really good--a modular battle rifle, able to be reconfigured for a variety of roles (full auto support, marksman, and basic configuration).

Still, the below battle rifle is my absolute favorite:

The venerable G36. I wonder how that civvie got hold of one...

Reminds Me of a Billy Squier Song...

(h/t Xavier Thoughts)

My kinda woman! (I know the song was "My Kind of Lover," but what the hey).

At any rate, I couldn't recommend a better firearms instructional training video...

29 April 2007

This Got me Chuckling...

Another thought-provoking picture by Oleg Volk.

I Like Bigger Numbers!

In most cases, the bigger, the better. I remember when, after buying that box of Cor-Bon .40 for that young woman I've had my eye on for a while, I opened up the box and examined the goods.

After being used to .44s and .45s., .40s seemed so...small!

Anyway, this has nothing to do with comparing calibers, but rather some numbers I've been coming across while hunting up stuff for the blog.

Specifically, the number of guns in this country. If you remember last year, I quoted the Brady Bunch as estimating some 200 million guns in this country. Recently, though, I've seen someone quote 240 million, and while watching a fuller version of Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t concerning gun control, the number seems to have grown to 250 million.

This drives down the ratio of guns used in violent crime to overall guns in the country. If the 250 million estimate is correct, then the 277,868 incidents of violent crimes involving a firearm comprise a miniscule .11% of all known firearms in this country.

And for those of you who haven't seen that Penn & Teller feature, here it is in three parts. Worth a look.

Part 1:

Part 2:

And Part 3:

27 April 2007

Still More Fallout

This time from a forked-tongue apparatchik with little regard for Civil Rights (h/t: War on Guns).

Funny how tragedy fuels libs to jump to the most extreme of conclusions, without any thought to its effect on our liberties, save some oblique disparagement of the "gun lobby" who would no doubt work overtime to prevent such an overt flouting of Federal Law.

But look at this...no discussion over the Constitution whatsoever. It isn't mentioned once.

And, naturally, with that kind of disregard, the sort of scenario Mr. Simpson describes could very well happen:

- Steep financial penalties and a year in prison for exercising a human right.
- Government control of personal property.
- Police Squads searching and seizing personal property, including scenes like this little jewel:

On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for "carrying."

Thank God this moron isn't in office, nor running for office.

25 April 2007

Campus RKBA Roundup #8

The Fallout from Blacksburg Continues...

From the University of Oregon, we get a threefer from the Daily Emerald. The first, appearing in April 23. Elon Glücklich identifies two major parts to tragedies like this: The disturbed individual and the weapon used. Hmmm, nothing new nor necessarily profound there.

Since (says Glucklich) you can't do so well identifying a potential killer, then you "logically" must control the tools they can use. So, it seems to him that the threat he has chosen to major on are inanimate objects which don't suffer from disaffection (kind of reminds me of the "why beer is better than women" line of jokes). And, to get to them, he will gladly call the Second Amendment outdated:

The Second Amendment used to make a lot of sense. When I say "used to" I mean about 200 years ago. The United States of America was a lot different back then.

Is this sounding like a broken record to you folk? It would seem that our high schoolers are by and large spending four years under some sort of an academic Gleichschaltung, because I am hearing the exact same lines of reasoning from all these anti-2A positions.

My brother's girlfriend is a public school teacher. I'll have to check around for some handbook or something when I go visit them in a few weeks.

The article elicited two responses, explaining some of the shortcomings of Glucklich's thinking. The first response points to the need to consider the disturbed individual, and blames intolerance for Cho's state of mind (teasing, harassment, racism). In passing, he mentions the deterrent value of weaponry.

The second blasts Glucklich's ignorance on self-defense situations. We've heard and understand these sort of arguments, but it may be a first to an Ivory Towerer like Glucklich.

Ohio: The broken record plays over at Bowling Green, starting off with a very whimsical account of having attended a candlelight vigil for the victims over at VT. But then the emotionalism disengages the higher functions as the writer laments over how easy it is to get a gun at a pawn shop, and that some screening process is needed, without understanding that Cho's gun purchases were done completely by the book, including background checks.

However, Cho could have been denied the purchase by Federal law had some consideration been given to two stalking incidents that happened in 2005. However, this is definitely a case of too little, too late.

In my former home state of North Carolina, we find one short but to the point opinion expressed in the Seahawk:

Ted Nugent alluded to on CNN that gun-free zones could become targets for those who already plan illegal actions. If someone wants less resistance to his or her violent force, the best place to be is where no one can fire back at you.
But, on the flip side, a student at Wake Forest attempts a different approach at the broken record. But instead of attacking 2A outright, he vilifies the NRA and another organization (National Association of Firearms Retailers) as part of some sort of conspiracy to keep our country dangerous.

He laments the sunset of the AWB 3 years ago: "This ban did not threaten anyone’s right to bear arms; it merely restricted the purchase of automatic clips for handguns, as well as semi-automatic assault rifles." What he failed to see was the ban's ineffectiveness at stopping gun-related crime.

He says in the next sentence: "
Even in the wake of horrific mass-murders, no major action has been taken to limit the availability of the weapons that facilitate these tragedies." Erm, Matthew, the AWB was in full force in April of 1999. But yet, it didn't prevent Columbine.

Come to think of it, the AWB didn't prevent any of the following school shootings, either:

Richland High School, Lynnville, TN (1995)--1 student, 1 teacher killed.
Frontier Junior High, Moses Lake, WA (1996)--2 students, 1 teacher killed.
Bethel, AK (1997)--Principal, 1 student killed.
Pearl High School, Pearl, MS (1997)--2 students killed, 7 others wounded.
Heath High School, West Paducah, KY--3 students killed, 5 wounded.
Stamps, AR (1997)--2 students killed
Westside Middle School, Jonesboro, AR (1998)--4 students and 1 teacher killed, 10 others wounded.

And some 21 others that happened during the years of the AWB. Bill Clinton's words are ringing in my head now: "Now tell me that this bill will not prevent crime!"

Point being, Matthew--the government's actions to restrict gun ownership in the interests of preventing crime have been, by and large, impotent.

24 April 2007

Not a Force Field, but still straight out of Science Fiction

In order to deal with RPG threats, Israel is developing an active point defense against these weapons to outfit its AFVs.

Now, this link's title is a little misleading. It and the commentator mention something about "force fields," but it actually uses a shotgun-like blast to set off RPGs before they contact the armor.

I saw this very thing featured in the Hammer's Slammers series of novels and short stories some 20 years ago, where their tanks and combat cars are outfitted with radar-triggered point-defense mines to destroy incoming "buzzbombs."

Upcoming 20/20 spot on firearms?

According to a post I read on packing.org, 20/20 was looking for stories pertaining to the successful use of firearms in self defense. Check out this post to see the submissions and reactions of some.

Additionally, someone posted another blog which may be worth watching. It's the Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog.

22 April 2007

Nuge vs. UCLA prof on Gun Issues

Source: Little Green Footballs.

UCLA Prof: Guns are the issue. They kill people. Too many of them are around. Ordinary citizens can't handle them. It makes my hair stand on end just thinking about it.

Professor Hatter: If guns kill people, mine are defective. If they are truly the issue, why are 99.87% of the ones in the U.S. not used in crimes? Please qualify the statement about "ordinary citizens." If you're setting yourself as the standard of what a citizen should be, and attributing your discomfort and inability to handle firearms to the whole of the U.S. population, that is pure Ivory Tower Arrogance.

As for the hair, it isn't anything a dab of Brylcreem couldn't take care of.

The Nuge:

"Evil is as evil does, and laws disarming guaranteed victims make evil people very, very happy. Shame on us.

"Already spineless gun control advocates are squawking like chickens with their tiny-brained heads chopped off, making political hay over this most recent, devastating Virginia Tech massacre, when in fact it is their own forced gun-free zone policy that enabled the unchallenged methodical murder of 32 people."

The Hat: preach it, brotha!

While you're visiting LGF, check out the Penn & Teller vid on gun control. I had been looking for it online for ages!

21 April 2007

RKBA Round Up 7.5

The "making up for lost time" edition.

First, I want to dedicate #7 and #7.5 to a professor who gave his life in defense of his students:

Liviu Librescu (1930-2007)
A survivor (Holocaust, Cold-War Communist Romania) who gave his all to help the next generation do the same. Because life is worth defending. L'shanna tova tikotavu.

Continuing to scour the op-ed pages of our nation's college campuses, we start off at Texas A&M with a piece saying "Guns for everyone will just make it worse." Interesting POV from a state noted for very positive stance on RKBA, but then again, the ivory tower of academia doesn't necessarily reflect the sensibilities of surrounding society.

A very short blurb. The only remark of interest was another tired assertion that "Statistics show that the more guns a population has, the more likely people will die or get injured by one." Yep, automobile deaths and injuries have proven that, yet we have made no strides towards stricter car control.

And, if you want to compare statistics, remember that the Brady Bunch claims there are some 200 million guns in the U.S. The 2004 FBI stats I looked at last year report 277,868 violent crimes involving a firearm. That amounts to .138% of all the firearms owned in this country. That is not a bad rate.

Now, a slightly more sensible, if not rather pessimistic, editorial comes from elsewhere in the state, in UT-Arlington's Shorthorn. The subtext of the title reads "School shootings will continue, and we have only ourselves to look to."

There is a collective moan among the Jonesboro, Columbine and now Virginia Tech generation. We resist the obligatory gun-control debate, which is ineffective on a national level. We believe the Second Amendment is here to stay, and that Virginia Tech’s tragedy will not be the catalyst for gun-control reform, despite becoming the deadliest shooting in American history.

While he understands that 2A is not the source of the problem, he doesn't really pose any solutions, other than some more navel-gazing.

Meanwhile, over at UT-El Paso, the editor in chief of the Prospector decides to honk the gun control horn, especially since 2008 is not that far away: "The first step should be taking a closer look at the Second Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and make sure we elect a leader in the 2008 presidential election who will take concrete actions towards mending our outdated gun laws."

Again, another "novel" idea from a captive of the Ivory Tower. Rapunzel here has dropped her brains out the window.

I get a little irked whenever I hear these elite-wannabes talk about "taking a closer look" at our "outdated" Second Amendment. Would these same types also consider due process outdated? How about free speech? Protection against search and seizure?

Let me again quote Alan Dershowitz: "Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming that it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a safety hazard don't see the danger of the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like."

Another response to the VT massacre, this one coming from the University of Pittsburgh's Pitt News, was written by someone who identifies more with the gun-control crowd, but interestingly enough states that gun control would not work in the U.S., simply because firearms are too embedded in our culture. He does a lot of comparisons with Western Europe, whether it be a lament that we are not more like Europe or not, I don't know.

An attempt to take the political pulse in light of the VT shootings is featured in Swarthmore College's The Phoenix. There, the writer seems to show a certain amount of astonishment at what seems to be reticence of politicians on both sides to address gun issues in light of the shootings. But I think he fails to see just how around-the-way most politicians have been over this issue, and seem to have realized the rather imprudent practice of leveraging a tragedy's emotional impact for the sake of furthering a political agenda.

Furthermore, the writer seems to be largely clueless about the state of gun rights support in Pennsylvania:

House Bill 760 was recently introduced in order to institute certain reforms, but despite Governor Rendell’s support it will face serious contention from the General Assembly, which is mostly comprised of lawmakers that support gun rights. The fact is that in Pennsylvania, as elsewhere, the minority is louder than the majority that supports gun control.

I don't think the author really thought about what he was writing when he typed out the above. He claims that PA's gun rights advocates are actually a minority (without giving any evidence--a common propaganda tactic to make it look like you have the moral high ground, when in fact, you're grasping at straws), but the previous sentence states that elected officials are mostly pro-2A. Who elected those officials? The minority?

I know Pennsylvania to be a state where there are a lot of hunting enthusiasts, so I find his assumptions about the minority and majority to be another case of ignorance borne out of Ivory-Tower isolationism.

More to come later this week, as I continue to search through the op-ed pages I can find online.