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!