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:


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.


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:


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.

Trotskyite Workers Imagining Transcontinental Socialism

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

Socialist Operatives Rallying for Redistribution Of the Wealth

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

Empower Marginalized Peoples, Intern Rich Exploiters

Vegan Environmentalists Rejecting Masculinity, Imperialism, and Narrow-mindedness

League of Animal Rights' Defenders

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

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

World Institute of Nihilists Deconstructing Bourgeois Assumptions and Glorifying Subjectivism

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

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...