Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A day or so ago he posted an insightful piece about
I don’t feel a void in my life for this lack of experience, but nonetheless, one should own and fire this quintessential firearm – it’s a kind of duty which has been laid upon us by history.
So, when one of these showed up at my local gunshop, I felt it was time to do my duty, and make
So, without further ado, allow me to introduce my newest boomstick…
You’ll notice it doesn’t really look like a government model, and there’s a story that goes with it. I was saving up the money for the .45 and lining up all the stuff that needs to go with a new gun, and making frequent visits to the store to commune with my future purchase. When I noticed the Smith Model 19 in the rental case.
It just kind of stood out among the Taurus, and Glock, and Springfield Armory offerings, so I asked to see it, and it felt GOOD. So I put it back - I was buying a gummint model.
Next time at the range for a little practice with the J-Frame, I asked to see it again. It had been in the case for two weeks and I don't think anyone had rented it, or if they had, they had only put a few rounds through it. I asked for a bore light... the inside of the barrel was like a mirror and the rifling was sharp and distinct.
Nope, I've got revolvers, and I'm buying that .45 auto, I said to myself.
I happened to be at the range a week later, and since I was definitely buying the High Standard, there was no harm in renting the Smith, just, you know, to see how it shot...
It shot good. Real good.
I took another turn with the bore light... the forcing cone was clean and showed no evidence of cracking. The finish was black and shiny, without scratches, or wear at the muzzle or cylinder face, and she locked up tight. Hell, there wasn't even a visible drag line around the cylinder. I actually believed Mike, the merchant of death behind the counter, when he said the guy who brought it in claimed only ten or so rounds had gone through it.
So forgive me John Moses. I meant to buy a forty-five, I really did, and there is no excuse but the weakness of my soul for I have been possessed by the allure of the Smith and Wesson.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
On the trip out, I saw one of those things that sends the wheels spinning.
We were driving west through the farms and fields of Erie and Ottawa Counties, when a car passed us – not surprising, I drive by setting the cruise control at the speed limit and staying in the right hand lane. On the back was a sticker with the word “CO-EXIST” formed out of letters shaped from the symbols of the world’s religions.
My first reaction was irritation, but I stopped to think about why it was irritating – and a few things came to mind:
First of course was the incredible shallowness of it. Humans have been struggling with the existence of evil for as long as we have been on the planet. Plato, Augustine, and Hannah Ardent all confronted it. Their answers differed on the source of evil – conflict among the gods mirrored on earth, or original sin, but they all agree people are often vicious animals, and that will never change. I don’t think they are sitting in philosopher heaven slapping their foreheads and saying, “Coexist, why didn’t we think of that!”
Next, the sheer, stumbling, childishness it shows– there are places in the world where simply having that bumper sticker on your car is cause to be dragged down the street by your heels and stoned to death – legally. Those are the people who need to hear your message, not me, but I don’t see that you have any plan for getting the message to them.
Finally, the arrogant presumption of it. Friend, you’re preaching to the choir; you live in a place where coexistence is a way of life. In fact it’s enshrined in our founding documents. But here’s the ugly little secret… do you know how we got to this place? We got here by killing the ones who didn’t want to coexist with us. The freedom you enjoy to drive on down the highway with your opinion displayed on your bumper was paid for in blood – the blood of soldiers who surely would have rather been anywhere else than Yorktown, Fredericksburg, or Baghdad, but also the blood of innocents in places like Dresden, and Hiroshima – where children who died screaming as fire rained down from the sky.
There is nothing you can do to alter the fact that your liberty is a bloodstained thing. And there is nothing you can do to alter the fact keeping it will require more blood be spilled.
What you can do is live in such a way as to redeem that blood. Think long and deep about your life and freedom, learn what it really costs, and realize though that may be high, the cost of regaining it once lost would be astronomical.
Finally accept that the freedom you pass on to your children, though it won’t be pure, can be less bloody, but a bumper sticker slogan won’t help.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
If he were on fire, I would not piss on him.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Naturally, the editorialist gives us the police view on the matter:
My question to Mr. Ferrara is: If sending more bullets flying isn't the answer, when you arrive at the scene of an active shooting (assuming you are in time to do anything other than identify the bodies) what are you going to do to stop it, use harsh language?
Monday, July 21, 2008
Aside from their offhand "Obama can save us" endorsement, they offer this laser-like insight:
We share the anger and outrage caused by bands of young thugs. No family should have to endure the loss or injury of a loved one in this way. Yet in the search for solutions care must be taken to properly punish offenders and address the root causes of violence -- without giving in to fear, ignorance and racism.
Let us for a moment pretend that the root causes they speak of are not simply progressive code speak for white people not paying enough taxes and cutting enough slack for the social pathology of others.
What were the root causes which made these stellar citizens decide to gang up and sexually assault a twelve year old girl then dance on top of her father’s skull when he tried to stop them?
Poverty? There doesn't seem to be a mention of robbery, and if robbery was the intent, wouldn’t they attack before the family went into the park, rather than when they were leaving, after having spent their money?
Racism? The paper doesn’t give the race of the victims, but if they also were black, calling the attack a response to racism would make no sense. And if they were white, is the Star Tribune suggesting these sort of attacks should be viewed as a spontaneous overflow of rage at the injustice of society?
The latter, at least has some logical consistency, but ignores the inevitable conclusion: If I must consider every black person I meet as a potential time bomb ready to explode into random violence, I am going to stay away from them as much as possible – that’s not racism; it’s just common sense.
Since promoting “racism equals root causes” leads to a dead end, perhaps we can consider other root causes: Nihilism for example – to a stunted imagination, empathy is an unknowable concept, and “it seemed like a good idea at the time” is all the justification needed for any act. Based on the available evidence, this particular root cause seem more likely than many others.
The good news is that barbarous nihilism is a cause which can be addressed – it is difficult, and uncomfortable to point out and oppose those things which cause a culture to degenerate, but it can be done by someone with good faith and desire to shed their preconceptions. The bad news is that description does not apply to the editors of the Star Tribune.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Suppose Garrison Keillor can find a way to fit the antics of these modern day Hucks and Toms into a segment of his radio show?
Normally, I try to avoid commenting on stories like these - many other people do it better, but occasionally the antics of the Feral-American community make me too angry to remain silent.
Personal favorite? Scott County Attorney Patrick Ciliberto laying down the law:
That's telling 'em sparky. I bet every violent criminal in a hundred mile radius is looking over his shoulder now. "Whoa dude, stay outta Scott County-they take it personal!"
The suspects, charged with a third degree felony(?!?!?!), are out on bail right now, and the victims are in hiding. But not to worry, if the father who was stomped trying to keep his twelve-year-old daughter from being gang raped is found to have permanent injuries, or takes a turn for the worse, or dies or something - then these guys are in real trouble yah-you-bet-by-gum. Because according to Patrick "Law West of the Pecos" Ciliberto:
Look for extreme punishment in that case - perhaps an extra day of community service, or if it survives the eighth amendment challenge - taking away their gameboys.
These Minnesota prosecutors could teach the English a thing or two about dealing with violent crime.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I just had a chance to listen (the meanies at work expect me to produce completed projects instead of listening to podcasts) to Ahab's brilliant podcast and gosh I'm a lucky guy.
Also remember Vote Ahab for Everything - we will bend the universe to our iron will and he will rule the world.
That is all.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I can see this point and, in truth, would be taken slightly aback if I saw a gun on the hip of the guy next to me in line at the Giant Eagle. On the other hand, I don't think I'd call the police.
That having been said, I think the times have changed somewhat, and open carry is no longer beyond the pale, so we should at least refrain from criticism even if we cannot lend support.
Seriously Steve, take me for example, I'm not really a joiner, so I'm certainly not part of any militia you would recognize, therefore you withdraw your consent for me to own guns - so be it. I've still got them what's your plan now genius?
Stevie boy - don't keep these things to yourself... share with us your next step.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I went here and searched for "Pro-Gun Rally In Chicago" and several permutations thereof. Maybe you can find something, but I didn't.
Then I found this and wonder if there is some connection.
When a newspapers go from deciding that news is important to deciding only news they agree with is important, they've joined the ranks of Pravda and the Peoples Daily, and are no longer worthy of the heritage and protection that so many gave their lives to secure for them.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Yesterday, I got there extra early just to make sure we would have a place to sit, and naturally felt a little guilty taking up a table for six all by my lonesome. I tried to make up for it by giving the very nice waitress lady something to do. And she, bless her heart, answered the call like the pro she was.
Two hours later, when Breda, her mom, and our friend Nicole arrived, I was feeling decidedly mellow. Perhaps mellow is not quite the right word, but I did keep a table secure for our little group by putting my body, well liver anyway, on the line. Yep, I took one (six*) for the team.
Ain't I something.
* 1Lost Nation Pale Ale (...mmmm hops)
1Wild Irish Red (very tasty)
1PDG Porter (very very tasty)
3 Willoughby Wheats (light, refreshing, and low, well lowish, in alcohol)
Need coffee now.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Sort of like having a pimp come to your house and beat you for money to pay back a client whose wallet was stolen by a hooker. Except in this case it hard to tell exactly which one is the pimp, the hooker, and the john with the missing billfold.
We do however, know who is going to get screwed.
So true, if I had to go to the nightstand at four-inna-a-blasted-m, I'd be as likely to come up with a plastic slinky and a handful of Canadian Two Dollar Coins as a gun. I'll take it as a warning - a little house cleaning is in order.
I have guns, most of my friends have them, and no one I call friend would advocate forcible disarmament. But for all those guns, not one owner believes them to be anything but inanimate chunks of metal and plastic. They may think of them as elegant machines, means to defense, or artifacts requiring skill to master, but never a thing possessed of power in itself. The true fetishists are the Bradys, and the Sugarmanns, and the Helmkes, for they are the ones who see what is essentially a mundane tool as a magical idol which can take over the mind of whoever holds it.
This isn't to say there is not a philosophical aspect to the decision to go armed. I think about it every day, and more eloquent people than I, have put words to the thoughts of everyone who carries a firearm for defense. But a philosophy is a human thing, and my firearm does not have one. In truth, it would make things easier if it did - we could simply prohibit the possession of evil guns and limit people to owning the good ones.
It is commonplace to note the use of projection by the gun controllers - even that term implies that guns are capable of independent action - it is obvious that many of of them distrust themselves and cannot conceive of people who think differently than they, thus everyone should be disarmed for the good of all.
I think there is some validity in the projection argument, but in the end it leads nowhere - as true as it may be, it is still a form of name calling and will convince neither the anti-gunners nor have much affect on the uncommitted.
But there is a corollary argument: While Paul, Sarah, and Josh, do not go home every night filled with rage and glad they do not have a gun handy, they do lie, misrepresent, and slander. They do those things because they believe their means are justified by their ends, and believe, or have convinced themselves, that their opponents do the same.
It is this projection which is the most egregious and makes them most vulnerable, for it can be countered most effectively not only by letters to the editor, or comment thread flame wars, but simple everyday actions - every time we take a new person shooting, or engage in community service, we give lie to the claim that gun-owners are bitter knuckle-draggers one step away from being mass murderers. Lies and slander consist of words, and should be responded to with truth and goodwill, but they are also actions, and can be defeated by actions.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Who do these people think they are? How does it come to pass that a person may come to believe they are in the right by terrorizing those who are dedicated to improving life.
The prize for irony-proof mind goes to some human weedpatch named Jason Black:
Uh Jason, no. An animal doesn't have as much of a right to life as I do, and if you or any of your worthless sack-of-crap friends come near my home with a firebomb - I would consider it provocation enough to shoot your ass.
It's happening in California, so the authorities probably consider these idiots to be heroes.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Dear God has it come to this?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
But I do notice Mr. Lawdog has a critter report of a very instructional nature posted - hie thee hence and be amazed and amused.
Lets recap: The anointed one has the nuts, flakes, old media, and permanently offended in his pocket, and is making a strong hopey-changey appeal to the mush minded middle who aren't sure what they believe, but believe it passionately.
Meanwhile, Colonel Tigh is spending his time telling conservatives to kiss off, all the while making clumsy advances to the undecided and unthinking, and having about as much luck as the average fifteen year old boy with the head cheerleader.
Just my hunch but, "I'm John McCain and I don't even nearly completely suck," is not a world beating message.
He seems like a guy who's stolen a Ferrari, but doesn't really want to go anywhere.
This is going to be painful.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Almost fifty, and for the last twenty-nine years, at least a once every couple of months, and usually more often, I've spent some time drinking beer, rolling dice, arguing that, "Of course I can steer the horse with the reins in my teeth, and use a battle ax in both hands..." and drinking beer.
I have two copies of the original D&D players handbook (the one with the guys prying the gems from the eyes of the idol on the cover), and for those of you who are really in the know, the original boxed set of "The Keep on the Borderlands". Oh yeah, I've got it pretty bad.
For the last ten years or so, our particular poison has been "Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay".
Set in the world vaguely analogous to late fifteenth century Europe, but with all the standard elves, dwarves, and hobbi... sorry, halflings (don't be fooled, Sauron wasn't destroyed - he's an intellectual property attorney for the Tolkien estate), and with an exceedingly grim back story - life is nasty, brutish, and short - except for us hero types.
Anyway, I've been game master for the last six months or so, and yesterday I hit the jackpot.
You have to understand, the guys I play with have also been doing this as long as I have, and are hip to all the tricks. They are all voracious readers of history, sci-fi, and Shakespeare, and I will guarantee you any movie or tv show with a twist - they saw it coming a mile ago.
So when I maneuvered them into a situation where they are trapped in a village, deep in the forest, miles away from aid, with only a disparate group of farmers, and outlaws for allies, and surrounded by legions of blood-thirsty creatures whose only desire is to feast upon their flesh ... well I just gotta pat myself on the back.
Yep it's "Night of the Living Dead" tee-hee-hee.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Have a safe and glorious Fourth of July.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Everyone should print copies the article and hand them out whenever some idiot says, "More guns will only lead to...) don't really need to finish it do I?
May you and yours have a safe and happy Fourth.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
But in it, he makes a passing comment which strikes me as chilling. His premise is, yes, the individual rights interpretation was the original intent of the framers, but enough already, fanatical adherence to original intent is loony (his word). Then he continues:
Correct me if you think I'm way off base, but does anyone out there believe the Heller decision would have even reached the Appeals Court if it weren't for the alternative channel of information allowing the pro-gun side to bypass the legal/scholarly establishment? Again, I may be way wrong, but it is my understanding the heavy lifting on Heller was done by people who don't publish in the major law journals, and thus, did not have to worry about being denied tenure for their unpopular opinions.
No humor intended, but there are two kinds of people, and they tend to take opposite sides on many different issues. It is not surprising, with due allowance for those who are genuinely iconoclastic, that pro-gun and anti-gun people are also on opposite sides of issues like free markets, taxation, and environmental regulation.
So my question is this - do you think the other side is going to take this lying down?
They are not stupid; they realize their astrourf cannot match our grassroots. But remember the fairness doctrine - if you can't win on the ground, lock the other side out of the stadium.
Here is where my sheer technical ignorance comes into play, and I wish someone with more knowledge would reassure me, because the next issue in the chain of reconquering freedom, whatever that issue may be, will assuredly depend on our ability to bypass the old media channels and get the message out.
So I've got to ask, is it possible by using the courts, legislatures, the university - government bureaucracy combine, and all the other tools at their disposal, that the enemies of freedom could lock the freedom loving out of the debate?
I await the reply from those who understand how the Internet really works (it's magic to me), telling me no, the flow of information is too vast, too complex, and too powerful to be yoked to some tyrant's whim.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
With Breda carrying her Bersa, I figured the now idle S&W Airweight would make a fine summer carry gun. It might seem odd to trade one snubby in for another, but the Ruger is a hefty chunk of steel, and even with its short barrel, the recoil with .357 magnums it still quite manageable. Overall, it shoots like a much larger pistol, but does require a solid holster for carry. The Smith, on the other hand, is a true pocket pistol - light enough that I really don't notice it's there.
Saturday, I went to the range for a little practice, and learned something - skill is a perishable commodity, and the smaller the gun the more perishable the skill. Frankly, I sucked - and I picked up a flinch (sounds kind of dirty doesn't it?).
The recoil from the little gun is noticeable, very noticeable. Pardon the strange comparison but the recoil on the Ruger with .357's is like a freighter in heavy seas: bang, and up she goes, and then I haul it back down to get the sights in target for the follow-up shot, but the Smith is like a much smaller boat on a choppy lake - a little bouncy and unpredictable. After about 50 rounds of practice, I was able to get the target below - five shots in five seconds at 21 feet repeated three times, total of fifteen rounds in five inches. Not too bad, and I do have the laser sights to fall back on in a pinch. However, more practice is called for, which really really isn't a bad thing.
Oh, and the day after I made the switch, the weather turned cold, maybe I have the Al Gore touch.