23 October 2008

The Hatter Grins

The first semi-auto I shot when I lived in FL was a Glock. Friend and coworker owned it. 'Twas a Glock 19, and I think between the two of us, we easily burned through 300 rounds of ammo.

Fun gun to shoot, but not one I would seriously consider owning if I had other alternatives.

Xavier seems to echo some of my reservations against this very popular brand of autoloader, especially in the lack-of-a-manual-safety department. This tends to be among the top three complaints against Glocks (the other two being their plastic frames, and the fact they are not a ).

However, he puts an angle on it that I really hadn't thought of before:
I dislike the safety on the trigger. The whole idea seems silly to me. A gun ought not go off unless the trigger is pulled. So to make the gun safer through a mechanical means, it only follows that the mechanical safety be independent of the trigger.
Sagely observation, if I do say so myself.

I will echo his respect for the firearm, though. They are reliable, and their modularity allows you to exchange certain parts between them if one breaks. And if a person shoots well with a Glock, more power to them.

But otherwise, nothing beats a H&K.

11 October 2008

Pius XII up for beatification

Read it while perusing Der Spiegel yesterday.

Go ahead and read the article. It's in English.

Some of the regular readers (who have probably dropped off after I had pretty much fallen off the blogging scene) are probably wondering "what's with all the foreign newspapers?"

I can read them (along with Spanish and French...working on Dutch this winter), and sometimes you get a different perspective than what is found in the US media.

Take Sarah Palin's nomination as VP running mate, for example. I went through several Norwegian, German, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, and French online newspapers a good part of that day. Whereas the U.S. leftist propaganda machine was pretty quick to try to find dirt on something that took attention from their anointed one















Most of the European press looked on with what I would describe as "positive curiosity." Interestingly enough, as much as our propaganda machine likes to look at "world opinion," they didn't seem all that hot on sharing in the relatively positive attitude the Euro newspapers I looked at had.

But anyway, getting back to the story at hand...

Pius XII was the Pope during WWII. He is currently up for "beatification," which is the Catholics' way of putting someone on the track toward sainthood.

I'm not all that familiar with the process, and my own theological proclivities find it to be something of a waste of time and energy, but regardless of which side of the confessional fence you stand on, beatification pretty much points out a Catholic personality of note.

Whether or not you were a Jew during this time, "note" might bear some pretty negative connotations. A fair amount of people are not terribly thrilled with Benedict XVI's motion to go on with the beatification process, partially out of speculation that Pius XII (né Eugenio Pacelli) did not do nearly enough to help save persecuted Jews during the Holocaust.

My interest in this matter comes from the research I did on the topic of the Churches during the Holocaust when I was in grad school. By virtue of that research, I'm something of an expert on the topic.

Those of you interested in reading my master's thesis can email me or find it yourself at UT's library or obtain it through interlibrary loan. Here's the pertinent information:

Hatfield, Jeremy Todd, 1969-
An overview of the two faces of the church in German Holocaust literature : passivity and opposition / Jeremy Todd Hatfield.
1995.
vi, 66 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

Call number Thesis95.H38

The conclusions that I drew from the Vaticans' dealings during this time are mixed--on the one hand, the Church was very much interested in its own survival, and did factor in the Nazis in consideration of the rise of Communism that was also going on at the time. In this, it limited itself in official, high-profile actions against the Nazis.

On the other hand, there were a handful of notable priests, f. eks. von Galen, Lichtenberg (ditto on his beatification in 1996), and Maximilian Kolbe (canonized in 1982), who did not just stand idly by, but largely acted outside the Church's directives in its dealings with the Nazis.

Despite this, von Galen was beatified in 2005; Lichtenberg in 1996. Kolbe was canonized in 1982. Despite my views on Catholic sainthood, I can stand behind the elections of these individuals to there revered statuses. But Pacelli himself? That's a hard call to make, especially having the luxury of looking back 60 years after the fact.

Anyway, it pushed my history button, and I wound up buying two books on Half.com. One was "Hitler's Pope," and the other a rebutting work called "The Myth of Hitler's Pope." I'll reserve judgement until I have read both of these.

80s Music Quiz

Taken from today's online edition of Aftenposten.

It's in Norwegian, but all the tunes are from the U.S. of A. Simply start the quiz by clicking on the arrow, and you have a few seconds to recognize who wrote the song playing.

I got 96 out of 100. But that's no surprise. I grew up with '80s music.

10 October 2008

Chavez Strikes again

And this time, he hopes to undermine America's Capitalist stranglehold on his revolutionary domain...

By attacking McDonald's.
















More to read about it here (in German, from Der Spiegel)

And for those of you who only ready English, here's another news agency's take on it.

Boo-frickin' hoo.

Socialist medicine leaves us with a mess like Canada.
Socialist government leaves us with a wreck like the former East Bloc Countries
Socialist food services will starve the people out.

I don't think Chavez would be able to placate Venezuelans with state-approved Bolivar Burritos.

Whatever Happened to Ex-Post Facto?

h/t Xavier Thoughts

Orange County, PRC, is in the process of revoking some 146 CCW permits it had already issued.

The reason comes in a letter the revokees will receive:
"The Department has determined that your identified risk does not meet the good cause threshold as required under the new CCW policy based upon the information you provided. As a result of this determination, the Department's present intention is to revoke your CCW license."
Now, what caught my attention was "under the new CCW policy."

Fischig. Now, I am not entirely certain what all getting an Orange County CCW permit entails, or if they can be revoked so easily. But my limited legal understanding remembers something called "ex-post facto," which means that if a standard changes, it should not violate another's right, even if it were acquired under an older set of standards.

Take, for instance, speed limits. If Alaska should invoke a strict 55 mph statewide highway speed limit today, it could not revoke my license for having driven 65 mph on its highways for the last few years.

But yet, the new Sherriff of Orange County seems to be doing exactly this sort of thing for legally-acquired CCW permits.

At any rate, I went ahead and read the original article, to see what on earth is going on over there, and found out something that pissed me off even more.

Turns out that Mike Carona, the former Sherriff of Orange County, and who I remember appearing on Full Disclosure about 3 years ago debating L.A. Sherriff Lee Baca over the CCW issue, was indicted on some sort of corruption charge fairly recently. Seems that he showed a little bit of favoritism in handing out permits.

Well, hell. As if an Arschlecker like Lee Baca is any cleaner. He's reknowned for exactly the same sort of behavior, only catering to his county's elite.

But, you see, Baca knows who's in power over in the PRC, and bends over for them like a good...*cough* *cough*. Trying to keep it clean here.

He keeps his position (take that as a double-entendre if you want), while Carona (more favorable to the federal interpretation of 2A--unpopular with the so-called elite) gets canned. Someone else more faithful to the PRC's party line moves in, and the disease keeps spreading.

Thank God I am NOT a subject of the PRC.

28 September 2008

Gun Control is People Control

And this bit of history proves further that the ones who benefit are those in power. No surprise there. The examples of Adolf Hitler, Communist Russia, and other autocratic regimes have been used enough to demonstrate that point.

These are probably the more blatant examples of forceful policy used to keep the underlings in line. But on a more subtle level, gun privileges can be dangled out like a carrot on a stick to keep a person or party in power.

This snippet of history comes from 1800s Italy. Sicily, to be precise. I've been reading John Dickie's Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia when I came across this paragraph, and found it very apropos to how the right to self-defense can be manipulated for purposes of political influence:
"Gun licenses are a good example of the chain of favours linking men like [Don Raffaele] Palizzolo [a prominent man in mid-to-late 1800s Palermo] and the mafia. They could only be obtained with a reference from a leading citizen, such as a politician. This was an obvious opportunity to curry favour. In the run-up to elections the deal became more systematic. On the order of the Minister of the Interior, the prefect could withdraw all gun permits. His declared aim was to prevent the political contest spilling over into violence, but the real aim was to influence the vote. Only sponsoring letters from the central government's favoured electoral candidate would allow the licenses to be returned. The politicians would sell such letters for electoral funds, votes, or favours."
If that isn't an example of what can happen if we allow our 2A rights to be "reinterpreted," then I don't know what is. What was once a right becomes a plaything in the hands of someone wanting to hold onto power.

23 September 2008

FactCheck goes down in flames

My Brother and I had been going over Palin vs. Obama a couple of weeks ago.

I am a gun owning, religious minded business owner from Alaska. Guess whose side I take.

He is an actor engaged to a teacher from eastern North Carolina. Guess whose side he takes.

Anyway, he told me about this great "non-partisan" website he found regarding where candidates really stand on the issues--FactCheck.org. Which he had been using to try to debunk some of the attacks against Obama and reinforce those against McCain and Palin.

Well, I'd heard about similar sites, like snopes.com, and many of them take pains to make sure the record is set straight. I figured FC was no different.

Flashback to 1995. I am writing my Master's Thesis, and Professor Höyng makes a remark about a comment I made regarding Friedrich Schiller and his approach to presenting history in drama. He says that basically, there is no difference between Schiller and how others report facts--everyone writes their own perspectives into what they are expressing.

Seems that this was not lost on FC.org. If you follow the link embedded in the title, you'll find some pretty blatant falsehoods regarding Obama's activities regarding 2A. The friendly front-end he puts on for the gun crowd is incompatible with the back-end votes he has cast while in the State and Federal senates.

Seems that FC.org has some left-leaning biases. So much for non-partisanship.

hat tip to Sharp as a Marble.

20 September 2008

After all this time...

The idea of "Muscle Memory" holds up.

I took the H&K out to the trash heap this evening, in the interests of perforating tin and styrofoam. I wasn't terribly impressed with my marksmanship at first--the first twenty rounds went left and low of my mark, but once I got past flinching, and got into my focus, I hit my targets (paper plates and the top of a soup can, from 15-20 yards) a good 80% of the time for the remaining 30 rounds I had brought with me.

Not impressive, but satisfactory, and certainly encouraging for someone who hasn't squeezed off rounds since this past March or April.

I experimented with a new grip I had seen on one of the other gun blogs. Here's my approximation of it:


















It's OK, not that much of a change from the grip I normally use:




















While I feel a little more in control of the gun with the first grip, I'll have to shoot with it some more to see if it really offers any better benefits for me than the one I have been using for about 10 years. I'm comfortable with it, am accurate with it, and I'm pretty sure that in a stress situation, this is the grip I'd naturally fall into.

I saved most of my brass from the plinking spree. Once I get some more cash, I'll have to look into reloading components for .45 ACP. If anyone has any recipes they like for self-defense loads, I'll be happy to look at them.

Normally, I'd just buy a couple of boxes of Cor-Bon, but given the rising cost of ammunition, it may behoove me to roll my own for this caliber.

Some More Thoughts...

I was near a near-shootout a couple of weeks ago. Delta had a standoff situation about two Wednesdays ago. A fellow who thought he had enough of life's bad hands decided to take a shotgun and high-power rifle, walk into a Texaco station, and hold two girls hostage.

I was in town making the mail run, when I noticed the barricades. I thought "this is odd," but made my rounds. Along the way, I heard more of the story...about two hours before I arrived in town was when the whole thing started. The guy took hostages, holed up in a room upstairs, and shot out the window when State Troopers tried to approach.

I was supposed to have dropped off a tire at that same Texaco. Obviously, I didn't get to do it.

Now, I was armed that day...which is not terribly unusual when I go into town. But I got to thinking about what I would have done if I had been one of the ones taken upstairs in that Texaco that day.

Someone threatens me with a firearm. Same person shoots at State LEOs. Under those conditions, I would have tried to bury at least 2 230gr slugs in his head at the best opportunity I would have had.

I'm not saying this to be macho. I'm telling you what my reaction would have been. Unstable guy, with weapons, threatens me, others, and actually shoots at others. Someone may very well die by his hands. I have a .45. I am going to make sure the person to die isn't me.

The State Troopers handled the situation better than I would have, I will admit. They brought in a negotiator from Anchorage. He managed to talk the guy into releasing the hostages and getting the guy to surrender.

No one was hurt. Happy ending, I guess.


On McCain's VP pick: I am an Alaskan. You can guess the rest.

This was no doubt the best thing McCain could have done. I had pretty much lost interest in the race...actually, I had ever since Fred Thompson stepped out of the race. I really thought he was the best choice out of all of them.

But once it got down to Boy Wonder and the Angry Maverick...meh. I was seriously thinking about voting Libertarian, if only out of protest.

Then comes along our governor and SHAZAM! It just got interesting again.

I'm not reacting too much to the lame attempts the lefties are making to try to find some fault with her...Bristol's pregnancy...Todd's former AIP affiliations...it just shows how desperate the propaganda department is to find dirt on the best female executive prospect this nation has seen. Remember the furor they made over Quayle and Murphy Brown and "Potatoe"? They couldn't find any real dirt on him. And it drove them nuts.

Nope, they're just jealous because there's a lot more enthusiasm over her than Hillary.















Heh. Now, as far as my take on experience is concerned, I was doing a little research myself on Boy Wonder. He's been in the Illinois State Senate. He's been junior federal state senator for Illinois for about three years.

What I've read about his activity doesn't impress me. He's able to cast his vote on issues, go along with the crowd on issues...but I haven't seen him take much initiative at all. And yet his people have gotten on our CIC's case for being too reliant on Dick Cheney for decisions.

Now, Sarah hasn't played in senate arenas much, but being the main figurehead of a town and a state, she has been the one to steer issues along (and has done a fine job of it, too). In short, she shows a lot more resolve and initiative than Boy Wonder.

My only concern about Sarah is that I hope that life at the Federal level doesn't corrupt her.

Here's a reaction to an entry found on A Keyboard and a .45:
Demorrhoids want to call those of us not under the spell of Boy Wonder's white teeth "mentally ill, mentally disabled, or mentally disturbed."

But, if I recall correctly, people seeking psychiatric help in 2004 were not conservatives. C'mon, going to a shrink because of an election? Who's really wearing the straitjacket?


Finally, a little errata to post. My last post back in April represented something not entirely true. The numbers involving our casualties under GW's rule have not been less than Clinton's during peacetime. Armed conflict tends to raise the casualty rates any way you look at it.

23 April 2008

Here's some food for thought

The more I see stuff like this, the more I know the MSM is not trustworthy.

I have long heard that the war on terror is actually doing better than the media would have you think.

Found this commentary in cartoon form over at Red Planet Cartoons:

21 April 2008

Leftists Being Less than Honest?

The horror!


According to Michelle Malkin, Obama has been getting some support from a Hunting/Shooting sports organization that wants to ban handguns.

Sound fishy to you? I mean, what shooting sports enthusiast would endorse a stance that could very well lead up to outlawing his sport? It makes no sense.

Well, it turns out to be a bogus organization, and it's called the American Hunters and Shooters Association (AHSA).

But the truth of the organization is as follows:
It was founded in 2005 by Ray Schoenke, a Kos diarist who, in fairness, really does shoot ducks, apparently. At least, most of his conversations seem to take place in a duck blind. Schoenke has pissed away thousands on Handgun Control, Inc., Americans Coming Together and a dozen of the sleazeballingest Democrats ever to run for public office. So when Schoenke says “nonpartisan” you can be sure he’s just said a word that has four syllables.
More about the organization and how it reveals Obama's gun stance at Conservative Superiority.

Bloating votes and bloating opinion. I used to think Obama to be fairly decent. Now I know better.

13 April 2008

I'll tell you what this "Gun Nut" is not

You've heard the emotionally-charged labels before, all alluding to some sort of mental deficiency simply because we have safely locked somewhere in our homes a piece of hardware that we have had a right to own ever since the 1780s.

I just feel the need to set the record straight.

My name is Jeremy T. Hatfield, and I am a gun owner. Been owning guns ever since August of 1999. Longer, if you count the BB guns I grew up with as a kid.

I have owned five firearms in my lifetime: four pistols, and one rifle.

I am not a member of any firearm advocacy group, although I definitely advocate 2A. I've never given a dime to the NRA nor GOA. My support for 2A comes in the form of writing on the matter fairly infrequently, reading regularly national happenings regarding firearms, supervising neighbors' kids when they go plinking, teaching them how to responsibly use them, and safely handling my own firearms.

I was raised in the South. Appalachia, to be specific. I have lived in a trailer at one time in my life (for about a month, before I left for TN to start grad school).

I'll also say that I hold two degrees, including a Master's in German Literature, am an expert on a certain period of Germany's History, speak five languages other than English (working on my sixth) and can read from a dozen others.

I have worked in Europe. Been there twice, as a matter of fact. Set foot on three continents and seven foreign countries.

I've had friends from every continent, and meet Europeans on a regular basis, so, no, you can't honestly say that I am ignorant of the world.

I am a believer in God--and come from matters of faith as someone who used to be a skeptic.


So much for stereotypes.

06 April 2008

Requiescat in Pace, Charlton Heston

October 4, 1923 - April 5, 2008

I am a recent newcomer to 2A issues. I got my first handgun in 1999, along with my concealed carry permit from the State of Florida. Because of the potential legal issues involved with concealed carry, I have since then made effort to find out about issues concerning gun rights.

In doing so, you can't help but come across the NRA and Charlton Heston. Oh, the way the left vilifies both! Even at his death, your more encephalitic lib (i.e. your typical Democratic Underground poster) can't help but spit on his grave.

Here are some jewels as quoted by The Jawa Report:

"1 less right wingnut to worry about"

"Quick, someone pry out his gun!"

"Is he soylent green yet??"

"If Heston lived another 20 years would the world be a better place? no. I think not. Its just that simple. So break out the good wine. Drink to vanquished enemies."

"Their brain-eroding diseases coincided with their rightwing turns." (referencing Heston and Reagan)

"I'll see you at Nancy Reagan's funeral. I will be the guy with the air horn and a big ol' grin."

"Rest in Hell is where I am coming from."

"I had no empathy for the aging Nazis, either."

"he was scum"

"He was a mediocre actor who believed he was Moses."

"If "liberal" means...feeling any sense of loss that some sorry piece of shithumanity such as C Heston has checked out?...Then sign me out."

In my experience, though, vitriol often follows a man of character. Heston most definitely had that. I recall a published speech given by him that put his character on open display, and I found it over here. It had to do with the Culture War that was very much noticeable in the late 1990s. Excerpt:

As I've stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms are -- are not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that. I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain accepted thoughts and speech are mandated.

For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 -- and long before Hollywood found it acceptable, I may say. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me a racist.

I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life -- throughout my whole career. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe.

I served in World War II against the Axis powers. But during a speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out the innocent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite.

Everyone I know knows I would never raise a closed fist against my country. But when I asked an audience to oppose this cultural persecution I'm talking about, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh.

From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essentially saying, "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind like that. You are using language not authorized for public consumption."

But I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys -- subjects bound to the British crown.

This is the part of the speech that I remembered, talking about the price of standing up for what you believe:

In that same spirit, I' m asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives, and onerous laws that weaken personal freedom.

But be careful. It hurts. Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies. You must be willing to be humiliated, to endure the modern-day equivalent of the police dogs at Montgomery and the water Cannons at Selma. You must be willing to experience discomfort. Now, I'm not complaining, but my own decades of social activism have left their mark on me. Let me tell you a story.

A few years ago, I heard about a -- a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a CD called "Cop Killer," celebrating the ambushing and of murdering police officers. It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the biggest entertainment conglomerate in the country -- in the world. Police across the country were outraged. And rightfully so. At least one of them had been murdered. But Time/Warner was stonewalling because the -- the CD was a cash cow for them, and the media were tiptoeing around because the rapper was black. I heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills, and I owned some shares of Time/Warner at the time, so I decided to attend the meeting.

What I did was against the advice of my family and my colleagues. I asked for the floor. To a hushed room of a thousand average American stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of "Cop Killer" -- every vicious, vulgar, instructional word:

I got my 12-Gauge sawed-off. I got my headlights turned off. I'm about to bust some shots off. I'm about to dust some cops off.

It got worse, a lot worse. Now, I won't read the rest of it to you. But trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces. Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their shoes. They hated me for that. Then I delivered another volley of sick lyrics brimming with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing the two 12-year-old nieces of Al and Tipper Gore:

She pushed her butt against my --

No. No, I won't do to you here what I did to them. Let's just say I left the room in stunned silence. When I read the lyrics to the waiting press corps outside, one of them said, "We can't print that, you know." "I know," I said, "but Time/Warner is still selling it."

Two months later, Time/Warner terminated Ice-T's contract. I'll never be offered another film by Warner Brothers, or get a good review from Time magazine. But disobedience means you have to be willing to act, not just talk.

That is character, friends. That is proper use of 1A to address serious problems. But the left-leaning radical ideologues, for all the value they put on 1A, will only sing its praises for as long as it is used to distribute their views and agendas. All others are seen as a good reason for censorship.

Especially if the views come from a former member of their number. Another great conservative was the same way: Ronald Reagan.

This is the sort of opposition you and I have to be ready to face, and some of us do. We have a very good example in Charlton Heston.

As far as his acting is concerned, I'm no theatrical critic. I can't say if Charlton were among the best actors America ever produced. But I will say that The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur were both a regular part of my viewing diet at certain times of the year, even before I took my relationship with Christ seriously.

There was also The Planet of the Apes, which I do remember with fondness from my childhood. But the last bit of acting I ever saw him take a leading role was his son's production of A Man For All Seasons. Partially because of his acting, and his choice for a well-written drama with a worthwhile message, it became my favorite drama in English.

We'll see you on the other side, Charles.

01 April 2008

U.S. News & World Report article from Last Month

It's not that I'm slow to read. It's just that I stopped subscribing to mainstream media rags the very day I got an issue of Newsweek (a magazine I grew up with) that featured Saddam's capture on the cover, but only gave a page-long story, and a very lukewarm one at that.

If ever there were an evident lack of media support for our military and our efforts to bring order to Iraq, that was it.

My folks in N.C. asked me if I wanted them to renew the subscription. I said flat-out, "No."

At any rate, someone apparently was done with the March 6 issue of USN & WR, covering the Heller case. On the cover, for those of you who remember, was a prominently-displayed Beretta 92 and something about the new battle over guns in bold block print.

Naturally, it aroused my curiosity. So, I flipped through the articles featured.

They were all written by an Emma Schwartz. And the articles appearing in that issue can be found here, here, here, and here. Since that issue, she has written another article concerning the Heller case, appearing March 18, here.

In the March 6 issue, she seems to be rather confounded that most people saw 2A as an individual right. The tone of her articles seem to take on the assumption that the collective right view is the normal way to look at 2A. She even tries to say that Circuit Courts have often ruled in favor of the collective.

But that is simply not the case. Let us refer again to Guy Smith's Gun Facts 4.2:
St. George Tucker, any early legal commentator and authority of the original meaning of the constitution wrote in Blackstone’s Commentaries "… nor will the constitution permit any prohibition of arms to the people”

The Second Amendment was listed in a Supreme Court ruling as an individual right.

The Supreme Court specifically reaffirmed that the right to keep and bear arms did not belong to the government.

In 22 of the 27 instances where the Supreme Court mentions the Second Amendment, they quote the rights clause and not the justification clause.
Now, you would figure that someone who graduated with honors in history would have been able to dig this stuff up. But, her degree was from California at Berkeley. She herself is from San Francisco. It adds up.

It would also explain the other assumptions she makes in her articles--the typical media angle of focusing on guns used in crime, while any meaningful discussion over the successful use of firearms in self-defense is very lacking. Painting the NRA in a negative light. Blaming the Bush administration for doing nothing about gun-control issues.

So, it's not all that hard to understand how someone who graduated from UCB in 2004 managed to land a job writing major articles for major news corporations almost straight out of school. The leftists take care of their own.

But getting back to her confusion over collective vs. individual right--the reality is, if it were indeed a collective right as opposed to an individual one, then I would not have been able to obtain the five firearms I have owned in my lifetime (3 bought during the Clinton years), nor my fathers before me. And there would have been no way 250 million firearms would be in private possession here in our country (this is her own quote of a Virginia gun-control group).

That explains the opinions on 2A that she came across, and the Supreme Court's leaning towards individual rights that she reports about in the March 18 article.

There is a world that functions outside your ideology, sweetie. It's a shame that someone who reports about this world can't see that.

30 March 2008

Hand to Face Time: Gun Control has Helped D.C.!

Hoo boy. The budding journalists in academia are at it again.

A friend of mine asked me this afternoon if I had been keeping up with the gun rights issue in DC. Admittedly, I had not. So, I decided to look it up.

The first article I came across was from Georgetown's campus newspaper, The Hoya:

Gun Ban has Triggered Safety

The editorial board makes the comment that the gun ban worked in reducing crime:

"By 2005, the murder rate had dropped to 29 per 100,000, and the number of violent crimes had been reduced to 8,032."
Problem is, the gun ban was enacted in 1976. It took 29 years for it to show any marginally favorable results, during which, DC was crowned the murder capital of the nation (in 1991, according to the editors' own research).

Furthermore, the gun ban still doesn't seem to have eliminated crime involving firearms. In their own words, "in the past four years, at least two students have experienced the terror of being on the receiving end of a pistol’s bullet. Countless muggings and robberies have plagued the campus and surrounding community for several years, and the criminals who commit these crimes frequently carry firearms."

Happily, though, no criminals were injured by the law-abiding folk who respected the ban.

Read the comments on the article. Especially the police officer's take on the article:
Look at the crime rates just on the other side of the Potomac River from Georgetown. Almost zero! Yet Hoyas are robbed and shot constantly in DC. Why? Because the bad guys know you are not packing heat and that if they do get caught they will serve very little or no time due to the incompetent court system in DC.

On the Virginia side of the Potomac River any citizen can own a handguna nd even carry it with them, without any special permit being required. Are people walking around Arlington blowing each other away? No! The opposite is the case, Arlington's violent crime rate is very low, while DC is astronomical.

But what is even more telling is the perspective from the other side of the law--an ex-convict:

For 22 years I dealt drugs and preyed upon anyone weaker than me. With the exception of crimes against children & women I committed most every crime known to man. I did not care about the law or how much anyone suffered as long as I got my way. I have never owned a legal gun but you can rest assured I kept guns with me at all times. Not any of those guns were legally purchased. Why would I want a gun that could be traced back to me and connect me to a crime? Why would any criminal buy a legal gun ever? May as well as leave a business card at the crime scene. When I went to rob or assault anyone rest assured I looked for victims not opponents. I picked people and places that were unarmed and defenseless. If I wanted to work for a living I'd have gotten a job. I looked for and found easy prey. That is why 7/11s get robbed more than banks. Banks have a lot more money, they also have armed guards. While 7/11 does not allow employees to have guns. Some even ban customers from having guns. They call those Gun Free Zones, we call them easy pickings, Stop & Robs or Free Crimes zones. After all they made sure I was safe from being hurt.
I'll leave the rest for you guys to read.


Now's the time to get your reloading components

I was visiting one of our sister churches here in Delta, and after service, talked with one of the guys there who I shoot the bull with on guns and hunting.

He told me, "If you're planning on getting any ammo, do it now. The price of lead and copper is going to go up."

He mentioned that China is gearing up for war, and we are already involved in a couple of conflicts. So, military demand for lead and copper, naturally, is going to affect market prices for us civilians.

Matter of fact, Dave told me that if you look at a Cabela's catalog, flip over to the ammo section. Under .223 there is a disclaimer about the availability of that caliber due to military and law enforcement demand.

I looked up the matter, trying to see how much truth there was to the China deal. I mean, why would China be gearing up for war? Against whom?

I came across this article in The Statesman. Excerpts:

In a move that surprised the international strategic community, it was announced at the Fifth Session of the 10th National People’s Congress that China’s defence budget for 2007 would be 350.92 billion Yuan (US $45 billion), an increase of 17.8 per cent ($6.8 billion) over the previous year. Though Chinese analysts sought to pass off the rather steep hike as having been “caused by the sharp increase in the wages, living expenses and pensions of 2.3 million People’s Liberation Army officers, civilian personnel, soldiers and army retirees,” the world was skeptical.
Indeed. I don't think army retirees are really that much in need of the following:

...aircraft carrier under construction, the acquisition of SU-30 fighter-bombers and air-to-air refuelling capability, the drive towards acquiring re-entry vehicle technology to equip China’s ICBMs with MIRVs...
Along the way, I had discovered several articles mentioning alliances between China and Russia, and, of course, Putin's anti-Western rhetoric. It's the 1970s all over again (only this time, without all the polyester).

Confirming increasing copper prices can be seen here, and lead and ammunition prices in a very informative article right here.

Excerpt from the latter:
There are, however, other things that are going to affect the cost of enjoying the outdoors in the coming years. One of those is the cost of metal, which is on a steady climb upward for several reasons, one of the biggest of which is the export of scrap metals and raw materials to China and other emerging industrial nations. Much of the goods we buy today are manufactured in countries where it is cheaper to produce them because of cheaper labor and less stringent, (non-existent) pollution regulations. These countries, besides producing inferior goods (just look at all the recent recalls), are scarfing up metal at an alarming rate.
With the material cost of outdoor sports rising, it seems that the only outdoor enthusiasts who won't be affected by will be nudists. Not a terribly viable pastime here in Alaska, where it is cold 8 months out of the year, and mosquito-infested the remaining four.

Thankfully, I still have a sizeable stash of .45 and .44, plus reloading components for .44. I did some plinking yesterday, overseeing some boys with their .22 rifles while wowing them with the power of a .44 magnum. Probably the last time I'll do some full-out blasting for a good while.

Speaking of which, here is a shot showing some of the aftermath of yesterday's blastfest:

We were shooting cans off the drum I am sitting on. The boys were very good shots, able to hit that spent .410 casing from 25 yards out.

I managed to impress them with blasting the cans off the drum at the same distance. But, it seems that the sheer power of the .44 was more responsible for it than my own accuracy.

Please note the holes on the top of the drum. I put those there.

22 March 2008

They're out there

Now, I remember during the early days of the war on terror, when there was a trend to rename everything "French" with "freedom," sort of thumbing our noses at the nation who helped get us into Vietnam.

BUT, there are those Frenchies who seem to be less prone to PSH-itis. Here is one of them:

http://www.thedissidentfrogman.com/blog

Make sure you check out his response to Agence France Presse's coverage about the woman who held up two unfired cartridges as evidence that our troops had shot her house a good while back.

http://www.thedissidentfrogman.com/blog/link/like-a-suppository-only-stronger/

Now, there are three things I generally tend to associate with liberalism: women, Europeans, and youth. The first I have little understanding of, being a male myself. The second I understand somewhat, having spent a good 20+ years associated with European culture (a result of my language studies).

The latter part I can understand; when I was in my teens, I had some pretty good liberal leanings myself, thus proving something I read somewhere: if you're not liberal when you are in your teens or 20s, it's because you have no heart. If you're not conservative by the time you're in your 30s, it's because you have no head.

At any rate, here is someone young, european, and female, who also happens to be conservative:

http://no-pasaran.blogspot.com/

And with that goes the first two new links I've put on my good list in a long time.

07 March 2008

More on Clothing and CCW

As a part-time caregiver for a paraplegic, I sometimes get to take my client to Fairbanks for his appointments. Oftentimes, on these trips, I have my urban hardware with me.

Now, those of us who have and do carry understand that concealed carry, while for the primary purpose of self-defense, nonetheless means keeping aforementioned hardware out of sight. Especially if the public at large is prone to PSH attacks, which, happily, generally isn't the situation here in interior Alaska. Still, you've got to keep your iron covered.

...which has the potential to make an everyday situation less-than-everyday. Yesterday, mine happened in the Men's bathroom at Fred Meyers'.

Usually, when I'm carrying, I'll get a stall, and take the USP out and rest it on the tank or TP dispenser or somewhere off the ground while I'm doing my business. Zip up, reholster, wash up, head out.

This time, though, no stall was available.

My carry gear involves a Bianchi Black Widow holster, which I've bought for both USPs I've owned. It's your typical strong-side high CC holster, meant to be worn with a 1" belt.

For it to work, said belt must be fastened, lest the holster droop down with the hardware. Not a desirable situation in a public rest room.

This is made more complicated by the fact that I was wearing button-fly jeans at the time. Which means the top button must be loosened. Which often means the above-mentioned belt had to be loosened.

So, here I am, trying to maintain tension on the belt with my right hand while managing bladder relief operations with the other...

In short, button-fly jeans are not the best choice for CC on a belt holster. Doable, but not the best.

02 March 2008

New Leftist Organizations

Brought to you courtesy of the People's Cube.

TWITS
Trotskyite Workers Imagining Transcontinental Socialism

FRAUDS
Free-thinking Radicals for Awareness, Understanding, Diversity, and Sensitivity

SORROW
Socialist Operatives Rallying for Redistribution Of the Wealth

AIRHEADS
Academic Iconoclasts Representing Hedonism, Environmental Activism, Disarmament, and Sandal-wearing

EMPIRE
Empower Marginalized Peoples, Intern Rich Exploiters

VERMIN
Vegan Environmentalists Rejecting Masculinity, Imperialism, and Narrow-mindedness

LARD
League of Animal Rights' Defenders

GARGOYLE
Greens Advocating Recycling, Gardening Organically, Yoga, and Loving the Earth

WANKERS
West-coast Altruists, Naderites, & Kleptocrats for Enforcing Redistribution and Self-sacrifice

WINDBAGS
World Institute of Nihilists Deconstructing Bourgeois Assumptions and Glorifying Subjectivism

POTEMKIN
Pacifists Opposed To Escalation and the Military's Killing of Innocent Non-combatants

HERPES
Humanitarians Extending Relief to Poorly Endowed Sex-workers

Are we really #1?

Spurred again by our up and coming Journalist Daniel Agnew of Washington State. One of the comments brought up in his last post--about how we are #1 in per-capita gun deaths--pointed out some different online resources that position the United States further on down the scale when it comes to guns and crime.

Ctone of Legions Fate turned to Nationmaster for some stats. Guess what he found?

Regarding our international standing on murders with firearms, we rank not #1, but #8. The #1 position belongs to South Africa. They outdo us per capita by a factor of 25. 31,918 murders to our 8,259 according to a U.N. study--The seventh such study made by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention. This one covered the years 1998-2000.

Matter of fact, the top three--South Africa, Colombia, and Thailand--all have total firearm murder numbers above 20,000! In terms of raw numbers, we rank #4, but we are less than half than the next country above us in the rankings.

01 March 2008

New Addition to the Birdcage List!

Haven't messed with the Template in over a year. Hadn't really a reason to. Now I've added another one to the "Bottom of the Birdcage" list.

It's the VPC Blog.

Now, I'm not entirely sure what the author's agenda is. Because his posts are so out there, I'm kind of wondering if he isn't just making a big caricature of Antis.

Kind of like what The People's Cube has done for liberalism in general.

Speaking of which...TPC invites you to...

29 February 2008

Obama: Play up Class Warfare

This one will be more "stream of consciousness" as I peruse Obama's official campaign website...looking specifically for the official stance on issues, then compare with his voting record as reported elsewhere.

First of all, I'm impressed with his speaking voice and presentation. But I've known cheap furniture with good veneer before. People weren't terribly impressed with Fred Thompson (who was my first choice), but I think we'll look back and say he was probably the best the Republicans had to offer.

As good a place to begin with would be Civil Rights, since 2A definitely falls under that category.

"Pay Inequity Continues...Hate Crimes on the Rise...Efforts to Suppress the Vote...Disparities to Plague Criminal Justice System." I don't care for the class-warfare approach he's started out with. I thought he was for change. I could easily have heard this from Hillary or any other post-sixties hippie.

Not a thing about 2A mentioned at all on his site.

Over at OnTheIssues.org, there are four quotes related to gun control issues. Allow me to interpolate my thoughts along the way.

"You know, when the massacre happened at Virginia Tech, I think all of us were grief stricken and shocked by the carnage. But in this year alone, in Chicago, we've had 34 Chicago public school students gunned down and killed. And for the most part, there has been silence."
Not really. There is always the Anti knee-jerk response "ban guns! ban guns! 2A is the root of it all! The NRA is killing us!" And sundry other...what did Robb Allen call them...ah yes, PSHs...Which goes on for a few days until the psychiatrists up the Thioridazine dosages for the Demorrhoids that need them.

"We know what to do."

Do you, really? Like the way that congresswoman "knew" barrel shrouds?

"We've got to enforce the gun laws that are on the books. We've got to make sure that unscrupulous gun dealers aren't loading up vans and dumping guns in our communities"

Enforcing existing gun laws, yes. Fearmongering hyperbole, no.

"because we know they're not made in our communities. There aren't any gun manufacturers here, right here in the middle of Detroit."

Ahhh...so if people die in cars manufactured by VW, BMW, Porsche, and Renault, he'd be all for banning them, right?

I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manfuacturer's lobby. But I also believe that when a gangbanger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels someone disrespected him, we have a problem of morality.

OK, he goes from gun manufacturers to gangbangers. The two are not related. Also, if Mr. O is all for creating more gun-free zones in inner cities, he's going to wind up with a greater problem.

Here's a 1998 list of principles that Obama supports regarding Gun Issues:

  • Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
  • Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
  • Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
Nannystateism and addressing unrelated symptoms.

By the way, criminals' choice of firearms are not semiautos. They still tend to favor cheap revolvers:
Studies of the guns used in homicides show that
large caliber revolvers are the most frequent type
of gun used in murder, but the number of large
caliber semiautomatic guns used in murders is
increasing.


Nope, I'm not terribly impressed by Barack Obama. He's better than Hillary, but not by that much.

28 February 2008

Hillary, 2A, and the Nanny State

(Click on the title for the link)

I came across this site, while seeing how the other guys were skewering Riceman603's report on the U.S. and gun crime (feel free to drop by and add to the analysis--we may yet save another budding journalist from the path of mainstream media thinking).

He has links on how some of the potential presidential candidates handle 2A. In particular, there is Hitlery:

"We need to have a registry that really works with good information about people who are felons, people who have been committed to mental institutions."

"I would also work to reinstate the assault weapons ban."

"I think it's important to remember that the crime rate was driven down, & gun violence was driven down in the 1990s because of a combination of policies, like 100,000 police on the street and getting assault weapons off the street"

"We need to stand firm on behalf of sensible gun control legislation. We have to enact laws that will keep guns out of the hand of children and criminals and mentally unbalanced persons."

This is very telling about her philosophy on American government: The State is the answer to all your ills. Let the State handle them for you! And increase the Police to enforce the will of the State!

No thanks. Obama's preemptive jab on the Democratic Primaries no doubt held some truth to it:



I'll look into Obama shortly.

27 February 2008

...and I carry concealed

Excellent article that Sharp as a Marble found regarding a personal commentary on concealed carry.

Since permissions were explicitly by madrocketscientist on his post, here is his article in all its glory:

At any given moment, on any given day, I can legally conceal a firearm on my person for the defense of myself or others.

As a person who carries concealed, I have accepted an enormous responsibility to myself, my family, and to my community at large. I bear the responsibility to be aware, at all times, of my surroundings and of myself. I bear the responsibility of being trained and confident in the use of my firearm, and to take any and all measures to maintain control of myself, and my firearm, whether it is riding in the holster, or I have drawn it to confront a threat.

Before I can accept this responsibility, I had to be certain of my own moral center, to know that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the two pounds of steel and plastic on my hip is more than an uncomfortable bit of weight. To know that should I reveal my weapon, the situation may escalate to a point where I must use deadly force in defense of myself or others, and to know that my skill and training may not be up to the task, and despite the firearm, I may die, and that I am OK with that

Before I can accept this responsibility, I must be old enough, I must have enough money for the permit fee, and I must subject myself to a complete background check, one that involves local, national, and possibly international police agencies. If I have any instances of violence in my background, or events that have demonstrated my inability to be careful, lawful, and responsible, I will be denied this responsibility.

Before I can accept this responsibility, I need to know how to use a firearm safely. I need to know the four rules and have them such a regular part of my daily regimen that I am always aware of them and never forget them. Depending on where I live, I may be required to bear the expense to attend firearms training, or demonstrate my skill with a firearm at the range, or demonstrate it during a mock combat scenario.

Before I can accept this responsibility, I have to have a firearm. I must do my research and choose a firearm that fits my needs, my lifestyle, and my hands. I must again have the financial resources to purchase this firearm, which can range from $200 to $2000. I must have a holster that can safely secure my firearm on my person for carry, and it is likely a good idea to have different holsters for different occasions or seasons.

Before I accept this responsibility, I must know the law governing it. I must know how I may carry, where I may or may not carry, and under what circumstances I may reveal, draw, or discharge my firearm; and I must know the consequences of being wrong in my ability to discriminate these circumstances.

As I accept this responsibility, I must understand that I will be expected to maintain a higher standard of behavior than my fellow citizen, and, it could be argued, a higher standard than even the Police, as should I make a mistake with my firearm, I will be required to defend myself against criminal charges, and I will not have the resources and influence of the Police Union to support me.

As I accept the responsibility, I must understand that I can not be allowed to make a mistake with my firearm, as one mistake will result, at the very least, in the suspension of my responsibility, and should I be convicted, the permanent revocation of that responsibility, and possible loss of my freedom.

As I accept this responsibility, I must understand the following:

  • I can not verbally reveal to anyone that I have a firearm in a manner that could be considered threatening, intimidating, or otherwise hostile without the existence of a credible threat.
  • I can not visually expose my firearm in a manner that could be considered threatening, intimidating, or otherwise hostile without the existence of a credible threat.
  • I can not draw my firearm in any manner without the existence of a lethal threat.
  • I can not discharge my firearm for any reason without the existence of a lethal threat.

As I accept this responsibility, I must understand that I can not allow myself to become involved in an easily avoidable physical, or even verbal, altercation while in possession of my firearm, and that I am required to attempt to leave or defuse a tense situation that may escalate. I must make every reasonable effort to "turn the other cheek" so that should I be forced to fight, it is only in self-defense. I must always stay in control and keep a cool head. I can not give someone a piece of my mind in the parking lot, I can not belt the guy who is talking smack about my mother, I can not go drinking and get into a fight, I must avoid confrontation whenever possible.

As I accept this responsibility, I must understand that I can never be complacent as I carry, as I can not allow another to gain control of my sidearm, nor can I ever place an innocent in jeopardy because I am careless. I must make every effort, and bear every expense, in order to improve my skill with a firearm and my ability to safely use it.

I have to be better than a model citizen, I have to an exemplary citizen.

I accept this responsibility not because I think "guns are cool" or because I want to be a gangsta, or because I want to make someone my "beyotch", or because I want to be a hero, or because I am expecting trouble and want to be tough; I am not so shallow in my self.

I accept this responsibility because the police, as honorable and courageous as they may be, can not be everywhere. I accept this responsibility because criminals, and those that would do violence for their own purposes, respect no boundaries, and can ply their trade anywhere, from the slums to the gated communities.

I accept this responsibility because I firmly believe that the only person that is responsible for my defense is me, and that every citizen, not just the police, are responsible for the defense of the community. I accept this responsibility with the same honor and courage that calls me to the aid of others, whether they are in peril for their life, or they merely stumbled on the sidewalk.

I bear this responsibility willingly and with love because I am a citizen of this great nation, and I want to protect it and all her people, and this desire imposes on me a duty to defend her with my skill, my determination, and possibly my life.

My name is The Mad Rocket Scientist, and I carry concealed.

23 February 2008

Ode to a Moonbat Bishop

Iowahawk as a modern day Geoffrey Chaucer...

...cranking out a modern day Canterbury Tales


43 I liketh bigge buttes and I cannot lye,

44 You othere faelows can't denye,


...and lambasting moonbats in the process!


Grading the Graders, Revisited

The Brady Grades are out! New! Improved! Instead of giving out letters, they're giving out numbers! Wow!

Actually, the grades have been out for a while. The new format is a little more detailed, and the results tell a little more about the unrealistic expectations of the Brady Bunch.

And, as I stated in my last post, the great state of Alaska scored 4 points out of a possible hundred, and ranked 44th out of 50. I guess we must be doing something right.

I was looking at the list of the places where the Last Frontier came up short. I'd have to say, yeah, it pretty much describes how liberal we are in Alaska when it comes to 2A.

But I also saw some things in their lists that I don't think were entirely truthful:

JUVENILE SALE
Is it illegal to sell handguns to anyone under 21 years of age? No

State law does not restrict selling handguns to juveniles under the age of 21 by unlicensed sellers. Under federal law, only federally licensed dealers are prohibited from selling or delivering handguns or ammunition for handguns to any person under the age of 21. A strong state law is needed to stop unlicensed persons from selling handguns to those under the age of 21.

If you just did a cursory check on the list, you'd think that Alaska takes pride in flouting the under-21 law. Nope. Firstly, this is a little sticky in that it deals with personal property between private individuals, and I don't need to go into the ramifications of that. Those who prefer living in an Orwellian society might not see it as a bad thing, but I personally would prefer erring on the side of civil liberties.

Another thing this bit of propaganda fails to mention are the criminal codes against selling guns to unqualified individuals (felons, mentally unstable, etc).

WAITING PERIOD
Is there a waiting period on gun sales? No

Alaska: No state requirement that there be a waiting period for gun sales beyond the "instant check" in federal law. Police are not given any additional time to run a criminal background check to make sure the gun buyer is not prohibited from acquiring firearms. There is no "cooling off" period to help prevent crimes of passion.

Not entirely true. Gun dealers are governed by Federal Law, and all first-time resident handgun buyers within the State of Alaska must undergo a 5-day waiting period. Subsequent purchases are not subject to the waiting period. Nor are people who have a CCW permit.

But again, the wording of the line-item suggests that, by golly, you come to Alaska, and you can get yourself a pimped-out Desert Eagle with a minimum of hassle.

Another thing that caught my attention were the rankings vs. scores. 50 states were featured. Not a one scored 100% (the best was California, at 79). The overwhelming majority (43) of states scored less than 50%. Of those 43, 41 scored less than 30%.

That alone should tell you that the Bradys' expectations are totally unrealistic.

Here's another telling statistic. The Bradys' top performers (California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Hawaii) are all blue states.

As a matter of fact, the top 12-ranked states in Brady's list are all blue. Once you get to North Carolina (#13), you start seeing some mixture of red and blue, but I find it rather interesting the correspondence between political affiliation and favor on the Brady scale. Further evidence suggesting the Bradys are not the "non-partisan" organization their website claims they are.

At any rate, it's time to see if the Bradys really have a good feel for what prevents gun violence. Referring to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports they make available online, 2006 edition, I found that the Brady's consistent top performer in terms of gun ownership legislation, The People's Republik of Kalifornia, is also the biggest offender in gun-related crimes.

Combining reported instances of Murder, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault with a firearm, California's tight gun restrictions could not stop 49,700 people from being victims.

This, by the way, is close to twice of the combined firearm-related incidents reported by the bottom ten states--the poorest performers by the Brady grading system--whose total is 27,349 in all.

Some would come up with the argument, "Well, that's because California is so huge, and naturally, bigger populations will have bigger problems. What we really need to look at are per-capita totals for a more accurate picture of guns and crime."

Fine. The total population of the bottom ten states comes to around 21,505,087, about 59% of California's population of 36,332,437. Do the math, and you'll find that the combined per-capita firearm-related crime rate is still less than California's. Maybe not by the widest of margins (8% difference), but you would think that if the Brady grading system were an accurate picture of the measures needed to stop gun violence, the results would be much more in the favor of the Brady's highest performer.

Conclusion: The Brady measures don't really help prevent crime.

22 February 2008

CCW on campus proposed by TN legislator

I sent off an email to the editors of UT's Daily Beacon yesterday, doing my best to try to enlighten the overopinionated and underinformed (the two generally go hand in hand) about CCW issues. In short, I said:

- CCW doesn't apply to everyone--people seem to jump to the conclusion that, once it's passed--hoo boy, everybody will be packing heat under their coats. Nope, only licensees get to do it. Legally, that is.

- The process of licensing involves a fair amount of money, time, and background checks. This both serves to ensure that only those serious about taking up this responsibility do so, and winds up with citizens better capable of doing just that.

- Freedom of speech doesn't require quality of content, but if there is ever going to be any real meaningful discussions on CCW, 2A, or any other topic, the anti crowd really needs to do their homework and approach the forum from a more informed POV.

But, getting back to my native state--apparently, there has been a long-standing discussion in the Volunteer State about Concealed Carry on campus. State Representative Stacey Campfield is proposing a bill allowing full-time faculty and staff who are CCW licensees to be allowed to exercise their 2A rights.

Naturally, there's opposition among liberalism's clergy and laity to let one of their temples be defiled with anything conservative.

A UTPD special operations captain doesn't like the idea, saying that students and faculty need to be more familiar with evacuation routes.

I can see his point, but to me, it's almost like he's instructing people to be better targets...the school shootings that have happened were generally not committed by outsiders, but students also familiar with the schools they terrorized. That includes emergency procedures and evacuation routes, neither of which help stop a perp in a timely fashion.

I remember as a grad student at UT (1993-1995) waking up to the sound of gunfire one night in the parking lot behind my dorm (Andy Holt Apartments). At least, I thought it was gunfire. The police sirens that sounded a good half hour gave further credence to my suspicions, and it was confirmed in the Beacon a day or two later. Some kid still in high school was upset over a breakup with his girlfriend (a student at UT) and decided to take a SKS to her car. Riddled it with about a score of holes (maybe 30) before fleeing the scene.

KPD caught up with him (they are the only ones authorized to have a weapon on campus), but by then, the damage had been long done. Police simply cannot be everywhere, and cannot respond instantaneously to a crisis.

21 February 2008

VA Tech, 10 months later

It was the VA Tech massacre that brought me out of my previous hiatus. It's almost been a year since then, and since I've been gone from the Campus Attitudes Towards RKBA scene for a while, I'm curious as to what the discussions have been in Blacksburg since then.

For starters, we have a Feb 6 article lamenting Virginia's low Brady grade.

I missed the latest round of Brady report cards. From what I understand, they've revamped their system--slightly. Lemme check and see how my state did...we got an F in 2006.

Under their new system, Alaska scored 4 out of 100 points, and is ranked 44 out of 50.

Heh. We did better than the last time I reported on the Brady grades. But I'll focus on that in another post.

Virginia ranked 14, something that the president of VA's chapter of the Million Moonbat March is disappointed about, but not terribly surprised. She blames the so-called "gun show loophole" for VA's lackluster performance.

No additional commentary from the article's author, but it drew a spate of reactions from the pro-2A crowd (you have to love online papers that allow comments), calling the piece a nice, unbiased bit of reporting on behalf of the Brady Campaign.

I do remember immediately following the shootings how some pointed to the Appalachian Law School situation, and how allowing Concealed Carry could have significantly lowered the damage PsyCho did. Around February 8, this debate was revived by students and faculty visiting Richmond to help support legislation being discussed which they supported. One of the issues standing out was concealed carry on campus.

Well, someone didn't like the idea, and is his right, he wrote about it. And with it, the usual symptoms that this person probably needs his Thioridazine prescription refilled. Fears about concealed carry have been proven time and again to be nothing more than tales of the boogie-man. But unfortunately, when you're short on facts, what do you use to fill your argument's void? Emotion coming out of vain imagination.

In reality, Concealed Carry has with it a price tag that by and large screens out the riff-raff. The states that license it requires some sort of training--basic gun handling skills, situation awareness, and awareness of legal responsibilities and consequences. Furthermore, you are fingerprinted, subjected to a background check, and the cost of all this can run you half a month's pay and several nights' worth of classes. All of these factors pretty much insure that your licensees are solid citizens.

Happily, there are a few students on VT's campus who know this, and attempt to explain how things really work with CCW (as well as the Brady Bunch's campaign of misinformation). And this one's a freshman, to boot.

20 February 2008

The Sword and the Pen

I had always wondered if Leftists would treat the 1st Amendment the same way they jump on the 2nd when it comes to trying to control crime.

I found in an Illinois campus editorial something exactly along those lines. And, the double standard over 1st and 2nd gets played out pretty good.

Another piece of evidence came up in the NIU shootings, and people are looking at a book that was left by the gunman for his girlfriend in hopes to shed some light on why he did what he did. The book in question was a copy of Nietzsche's The Anti Christ.

The author of this article, that appeared in the op-ed pages of another Illinois university, states that this has spurred consideration for banning the works of Nietzsche.

I tried looking for articles supporting this suggested ban, but came up short. I don't know where he got the idea for even the suggestion of the ban, unless it came out of the usual scuttlebutt. Still, regardless of any attempts, real or imagined, to take this book out of general circulation, this fellow's reaction is what I want to call attention to.

On the one hand, he is all for gun control, if only to include it in a battery of preventive measures:

I am 100 percent for: increased gun control laws, increased preventive measures of universities and a continual search for trying to find out a motive for the event.

This event has compelled several laws and actions to be considered and possibly implemented so that such events will not happen again.

Typical Anti-2A knee-jerk reaction to a crime involving a gun--"I'll gladly sell that right if it will make me feel safer."

However, if covering all the bases in the interests of prevention also meant taking books off the shelves that could inflame certain ideas (that is, something related to 1A), he goes in exactly the opposite direction:
However, there is one action being considered that I don't support it at all.

That is the banning of teachings by Nietzsche, particularly his book, "The Anti-Christ."

Further on down:
I am against banning books in any situation, but banning this one as a causal result of what happened last Thursday isn't the right thing to do, will not erase what happened and will not positively prevent future occurrences.
Now, I tend to agree with him on the book-banning question. I certainly would not care to see a 1A right taken away, even if it meant a little extra security.

But I hope everyone sees the hypocrisy here. I remember once during the 1990s how someone mentioned that if Libs treated 2A like 1A, then everyone would have a right to a fully automatic rocket launcher.

He sees a lack of causality between Nietzsche and the shootings. In similar measure, while the gun was the instrument, it in of itself is not to blame. It was not the cause of the crime. And yet, people like this would gladly promote infringements on the Second, which generally haven't been the right thing to do, do not erase past tragedies, and have proven quite ineffective at curbing crime.

But more importantly, the Second shares space with nine other amendments that define our rights. Disregard one, and you set dangerous legal precedent for the rest.

17 February 2008

RKBA Campus Watch # 12.1

Things sure have been busy while I was gone. In the past, my graduate Alma Mater, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, hasn't shown up on radar regarding gun issues. At least, not in its campus newspaper, The Daily Beacon.

But in running a search through its archives, I found that this month has seen a debate revolving around Concealed Carry among those whose blood runs orange and white.

Therefore, I dub this iteration of the RKBA Campus Watch
The Volunteer Edition
The debate seems to have started February 1, with an article entitled, "UT campus should allow permit-carrying people to have guns." Written by a Sophomore in Finance, he expresses some concern about recent recurring attacks on campus. The author, who holds a CCW permit, puts forth the suggestion that licensed individuals should be allowed to carry their guns on campus.

Now, I want everyone to be aware of his approach to presenting the issue. He's not acting on some emotional response to a past campus shooting elsewhere in the country. He's focused on local problems. And the solution he offers, he presents from the instruction he got from the class he had to take prior to applying for his permit.

His key argument:

My handgun carrying permit instructor pointed out something very eye-catching and that is the fact that a person is less likely to go to a place where he knows someone else has a gun. By not being able to carry on the campus with a permit, the campus then becomes a prime place to attack someone, because those people who are going to do the crime obviously do not follow the campus guidelines for guns.

I think he could have worded this a little better, by saying that people with ill intent are less likely to go into places were the potential victims may be armed.

He even went so far as to conduct his own personal survey on the matter, and found opinion to be almost evenly split.

Published reactions were also split. Two of them, no doubt printed side by side, appeared four days later in the Beacon. The negative reaction came from a graduate student in computer engineering, and exemplifies the Finance Sophomore's observations of closed-mindedness among the antis.

It's not so much of a rebuttal as it is a rant. "Let's make it an integral part of campus life--pop quizzes where you have to clean guns! Hey, why stop there--let's throw guns out to the homeless, too! That'll stop crime."

It's amazing the depth of analytical ability that manages to get into the graduate school nowadays. Sheesh.

The positive reaction comes from a fellow who recently graduated from the Political Science department--again, stressing the issue of the state of campus safety, with adding additional comment about the rights of the citizen. Note that he was not advocating everyone carrying a gun, unlike the overboard reaction of the grad student above. That wasn't the stance of the original author, for that matter--only those who had taken the time to educate themselves about the responsibilities of carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense.

He said that guns are already around campus--carried by punk gangsta wannabes. Why should the good guys--those who put their guns away when the authorities says so--suffer for obeying the law?

A freshman in chemistry counter-reacts to this with more fear over "what if?" scenarios. What the boy needs to do is look at the results of what is.

Fact: Gun Free Zones are ripe targets for crime.

Fact: Concealed Carry deters crime.

16 February 2008

RKBA Campus Round-Up #12

Been away for six, seven months, and that means I have missed a whole semester's worth of Campus Editorials.

After doing the bit on Yale this morning, I figured I'd give the good 'ol Badger Herald a look-see. If ever there was a campus rag that regularly publishes gun-related student op-ed pieces, it's them.

And, so, I dedicate this edition of the RKBA Campus Watch to the Badgers, whose mascot's red sweater (I well remember the Cold War, despite the juxtaposition the MSM did with "Red" and "Blue" in 2004) and marching-to-the-left orientation is not lost on me.

Still, surprisingly, there was a pretty balanced representation of pro and con articles that were put out in the Fall semester of 2007. The leftists drone on with their stats to justify their fears. The gunners try their best to educate them. But the left keep coming back with the same tired, recycled points and figures that have been debunked for years.

Anyway, let's have a look at what the Herald put out since June 21, 2007, shall we?

First article...Sept. 27, 2007...starts off on a pretty positive note. For the President of UW's College Republicans put in a very sensible article about the right to Concealed Carry, and used an example that shows the sensibilities of the court system. Seems a pizza delivery fellow got robbed four times while at work. Twice he shot perps in self-defense. While he was cleared of any murder or assault charges because it was clearly evident he acted in self-defense, he nonetheless faced concealed weapons charges. It took the fourth mugging to get a ruling in his favor.

This isn't lost on the article's author. She quotes the state constitution, which allows for gun ownership specifically for the purposes of security and defense. But the way the courts see it, you have to survive violent attacks several times to show you have a security/defense need.

And, that, Mr. Xan White of Fail University, is the sort of death coming from a misinterpretation of law that I was talking about.

Good article, Sara. I hope your Dad got you a H&K for your 21st birthday, in at least .40, with 2 boxes of good practice ammo, and a box of Cor-Bon for carry.

I would that the rest of the articles were as reasonable, but unfortunately, Ivory Tower cluelessness reasserts itself the next month by a student who has wasted his academic career in that less-than-useful field of study known as Political Science (we'll see you behind the counter at the Chick-Fil-A come next September, bud).

His tack attempts to draw on "world opinion"via his travel experiences in Europe, which entails all the crime you could experience this side of the Atlantic, only without gun violence. Then he goes on to sing the praises of Europe, with its alleged lower gun crime rate than the United States, based on a 1998 study from an organization focusing on Epidemiology. Now, what germs and guns have in common is anyone's guess, apart from the title of a book by Jared Diamond, but then again, liberals have been known to make crazier connections in the not-too-distant past (Bush and Hurricanes, for example). But I digress.

But what about the rest of the crime you can enjoy in Europe, or the rest of the world, for that matter? The United States doesn't rank in the Top Ten as far as homicide is concerned. But according to GunFacts 4.2, p. 57 (hence the previous link), four European countries are in that list. And that comes from a U.N. study focusing on international crime.

Europe ain't safer--you'll get molested all sorts of ways, but hallelujah, it won't involve a gun!

T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, but it seems that October 2007 was the thoughtless-est month, at least in the town of Madison. A week after Mr. Europhile published his article, a Sophomore in English puts in her two cents' worth.

Her lament: that background checks are no guarantee of future mental stability.

Blink. Blink.

Twitch.

I don't think I have to say much more about that one. But I wonder if she would be as willing to be denied furthering her academic career on the grounds that her degree is no guarantee of future ignorance.

Fast-forward five days later to another Op-Ed by another Political Science major. Now, this guy seems a little smarter than the last one--he's backed up his hobby degree with something more practical--a degree in Sociology, which is something I can respect. Social workers are some of the more harder working, less-thanked selfless individuals I have ever known.

His article tends to reflect the sort of compassion you find in potential social workers--concern about children. Unfortunately, he makes the gross mistake of putting a lot of the blame on inanimate objects. And he isn't just talking about guns--he's talking about 2A as well, and how "accessible" it makes guns to kids.

However, there has been no correlation between gun availability and crime. Again, I turn you to GunFacts 4.2, page 19. As far as school shootings are concerned, it seems to be largely an urban phenomenon--rural areas have more ready access to guns, yet school shootings are nowhere near as common (pp. 17-18).

Personally, I'd blame it on a lack of supervision and parental involvement in the kids' lives. I had access to my Dad's guns (he kept a 1911 in the foyer closet), but had tasted enough discipline to know better than do something stupid or thoughtless with them.

It's kind of hard to tack down the next guy's position. A freshman in Computer Engineering points out the pros and cons of both sides, but swings towards the anti-side of Wisconsin's Concealed Carry debate. He shows some promise in that he has looked into what both sides have to say, but unfortunately, seems to have taken in too much of the assumptions that riddle the antis' thinking. Those assumptions all too often tend to be rooted in fear.

Take, for instance, his concern over the number of concealed guns making more guns accessible. Concealed carry in Wisconsin would be by license, and licensing is governed by certain criteria a person has to meet. It does not guarantee that everyone and their uncle would be carrying a gun. A right is not a requirement. You can easily decline to exercise it.

Then, there are concerns over "loopholes" in reciprocity. This, too, is taken into consideration by the powers that be.

But whatever his concerns are, most of them seemed to be based in the erroneous assumption that all guns will be used for criminal activity. And the overwhelming number of guns not used in crime simply does not justify that fear.

And, winding down 2007, a November article from another Political Science major--linked with History--which means that, unless he's going for a teacher position, going to grad school, or taking up a career writing books, he'll probably wind up behind the same Chick-Fil-A counter as Mr. Europhile, but as his shift manager.

Still, his training in history leads him to look deeper at the background of the Second Amendment--and unlike most of his other PoliSci compadres, and definitely most of his detractors in the comments section--finds it to assure individuals of the right to keep and bear arms.

No doubt there's lots more to dig up on other campuses elsewhere...watch this blog for more!