Sunday, July 31, 2005

When you don't have a gun, you do what you can #2

Vancouver, BC:

A Canadian emergency room nurse is being credited with saving her 4-year-old daughter's life this week after a cougar attacked the child.

Monique Bazille used a cooler holding four cans of beer to fight the big cat during the attack on Vancouver Island, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported.
On the first try, she hit the cougar on its shoulder, but it refused to release Hayley.

'It wasn't leaving,' the mother told reporters. 'It snarled and growled at me. It stood its ground. But I stood mine.'

'I said: 'You get off of her.' And I was screaming and I went to kick him.'

Eventually, the cougar, its mouth red with her daughter's blood, released the girl and went back into the bush.

How is her daughter doing?
She said her daughter, being treated at a Vancouver hospital, is independent and angry. Said Bazille, 'She says she'd like to take the kitty to the deep end of the pool and drown it.'

Encouraging news from Pennsylvania

From the Bucks County Courier Times:
Call it an interest in hunting, sport or a push for protection. Whatever the reason, Bucks County has been the second-highest seller of handguns in the state for the last three years.

'There are more and more people - and I've noticed younger people - that are getting interested in weapons,' firearms specialist Michele James said, '... as scary as it may seem.'

Bucks County outsold 66 other counties - including Philadelphia - to claim the second-highest rank in the state during the past three years. Only Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, had more handgun sales, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

James, who works in the Bucks County Sheriff's Office, said she believes changes in society, like the threat of terrorism, are making people consider buying and carrying handguns.

'I really do believe society is the reason gun sales are up,' James said. 'Probably, about 40 percent of people [in Bucks] have licenses to carry ... and I can almost guarantee that about 70 percent of people have a gun in their home.'

But they aren't using them to commit crimes in Bucks, according to District Attorney Diane Gibbons.

The DA said she doesn't see a correlation with gun sales here and crime.
The gun dealer saying that everyone should have training before they are allowed to buy a gun makes me a little uneasy, but I can see his point. He didn't say anything about licensing, just training. So many people these days get all their gun knowledge from TV and movies, that when they do make the decision to buy a gun, they probably do need some real training.

A Brief History of .50 BMG Cartridge Development @ AmmoGuide

AmmoGuide has A Brief History of .50 Browning Machine Gun Cartridge Development:
Tradition has it that the cartridge that was to become the .50 BMG we know today, was initiated at the personal request of General John (Blackjack) Pershing. This request for a heavy machine gun cartridge came in light of American experiences with the large-caliber weapons employed by the European nations during WW1. The request, in April 1918, for a weapon with an effective range of 6,000 meters and a muzzle velocity of 2600 fps was contracted to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The proposed cartridge was to have both machine gun and anti-tank capabilities.

Later that same month, Winchester began the fabrication of test cartridges to obtain ballistic data. Initially they used 16-gauge, brass shotshells, necked down to accept commercial 500-grain lead 45-70 projectiles. Propellant charges used varied from 120-150 grains, developing 2485 to 2944 fps muzzle velocity, and generated a (probably wildly overestimated) breech pressure of 90,000 psi!! (Compare that to the pressures developed in the current cartridges on the chart above.)

In late 1918, work on the cartridge was transferred from Winchester to Frankford Arsenal, where it remained (almost exclusively) until well into WW2. Design work on the weapon itself was performed by John Browning and Colt.

During the ensuing years of development, the cartridge case design went through a series of metamorphoses. Case lengths from 4.08 inches to 3.80 inches were tried. Rimmed, semi-rimmed, and rimless case designs were considered. Both the 13mm German anti-tank round and a scaled-up 30-06 cartridge design were copied, with the latter finally winning approval. Projectile weights from 800 to 508 grains were tested. And cartridge overall lengths from 5.51 to 5.00 inches were explored. (Compare with the stats listed in the chart above.)

Eventually, advances in tank armor outpaced that of anti-tank rifles, so the .50 BMG became, exclusively, a heavy machine gun caliber cartridge. The first machine gun was standardized as the M1921 and, in 1924, the Caliber .50 Browning Machine Gun Cartridge was adopted in the form pretty much as we know it still today.

I am not surprised

Want to Get Sorted?

I'm a Ravenclaw!

tnx to Countertop Chronicles

Radiological Terrorism

Here is a very long and interesting read at RedNova regarding Radiological Terrorism. An excerpt:

To construct an RDD, a terrorist group must obtain radioactive materials, use those materials to fabricate a weapon, deliver the weapon to the attack site, and detonate the device. Each of these steps suggests intercessionary measures that can be used to help prevent an attack.

Obtaining radioactive materials requires access to the materials; radioactive sources must be either purchased or stolen. Legal purchase in the United States requires possession of a radioactive materials license, and vendors are not allowed to sell radioactive materials except to properly licensed customers. Terrorist groups could accomplish this via subterfuge (e.g., copying or altering a legitimate radioactive materials license or applying for a license under false pretenses). A terrorist group can also take advantage of existing bulletin boards on which radioactive sources are advertised, often 'free to a good home' by organizations that no longer use them. To transfer a radioactive source legally, it is sufficient to have a copy on-hand of the radioactive materials license of the recipient, which can be supplied by the receiving organization. This leaves open the possibility that a terrorist group could falsify these records to obtain an unwanted radioactive source. To preclude this possibility, regulatory bodies should consider requiring licensing documents be obtained only from a regulatory authority with licensing jurisdiction over the source recipient rather than counting on the integrity of the source recipient.

The most straightforward deterrent to stealing radioactive sources is to increase security via better locking systems, the presence of security guards, alarm systems to indicate a source's theft, and so forth. It is also important to note that radioactive materials licenses are considered public documents and are available for scrutiny by the public. This means that a terrorist organization may be able to obtain copies of licensing documents and use these to identify likely targets for theft. Accordingly, we may wish to remove these documents from public scrutiny.

Radioactive materials obtained overseas must be moved into the United States in order to be used against us. This means that containers with large radioactive sources must either emit high levels of radiation or they must contain large amounts of lead. Developing suitable detection instruments may help address this problem. That being said, current radiation detectors are difficult for untrained personnel to use; it may be necessary to develop a new family of radiation detectors that will help avoid some of the errors that have occurred in the recent past.

Finally, radioactive materials must be transported from the point of entry to the location of fabrication or use. Establishing a network of sensitive radiation sensors around likely target cities can help to detect any but the best-shielded radioactive sources, possibly permitting interdiction prior to use. Aerial surveys may help in this matter, too, depending on the number of available aircraft, detector sensitivity, and the size of the city.

Fabricating an RDD, as noted earlier, can lead to exposure to dangerously high levels of radiation. This, plus the need to avoid detection, may necessitate the use of remote manipulators and/or large amounts of lead shielding. Accordingly, it may be desirable to require lead vendors to report sales of large amounts of lead, remote manipulators, and other such paraphernalia. Although this will not prevent RDD construction, it may at least make it more difficult, more dangerous, or more amenable to detection.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Releasing restrictions on control to level five...

If any readers of this blog are unfamiliar with the picture in my profile, I thought I would mention for you that the Encore Action channel has begun showing Hellsing again on Friday nights at...11:00 PM central time, I think. This is an all-too-short series which features some nice gun action. Watch it if you want to see what happens to a vampire when he/she is shot with a .454 Casull, in which the projectile has been modified to hold a small pocket of holy water. Or something.

Seven in Texas

While going through the blogroll tonight, I noticed that Texas seems to lead in defensive firearms use this week at the Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog.

My first (and probably only) Lance Armstrong post

American Lance Armstrong suffered defeat in London's Court of Appeal Friday, just five days after his record seventh victory in the Tour de France.

Three judges ruled that the Sunday Times newspaper was entitled to argue that it could print a story containing allegations that Armstrong had taken performance-enhancing drugs. The cyclist has denied taking banned drugs.

The judges agreed with the paper that it was entitled to argue such a story was privileged on the basis it was in the public interest and the newspaper had a duty to publish it.

The Court also ruled that when the case comes to court the paper can argue a number of points which it says justified publication of the story.
But, and get this:
Last July, a Paris appeals court turned down Armstrong's request that the book should include his denial of the allegations.
Isn't that nice? The losers can print all the libelous accusation they want, but they don't have to print the winner's side. That's balance for you. They seem to be ignoring the fact that Mr. Armstrong has been the subject of laboratory tests since his early 20's, which initially established his phenomenal circulatory system which pumps a much higher than usual volume of oxygen through his system, although it was not all that efficient at converting the oxygen to energy. Further tests showed that through the years, due to his hard work and determination, as his physical fitness improved, his oxygen efficiency also improved.

Sour grapes, Frenchy.

(Sorry I don't have a reference for my statements above. I heard it on a radio interview on NPR's Science Friday program).

Stevens Favorite: A favorite old .22

I like guns with a lot of history. It doesn't need to be famous history, just a gun that you can tell has seen lots of good use throughout the years. About 20 years ago, an elderly lady who my family knew decided to sell her last gun. My dad bought it for a very small price. I have used it a couple of times since then, but never carried it for plinking or hunting because it's significantly heavier than the short-barreled Rossi pump I used to have. Heavier even than the longer-barreled Winchester Model 61 pump action which I have now (it used to be my grandfather's). I did some target shooting with it a couple of times way back then. My dad never used it at all, and it became consigned to a back corner of a closet where it sat forgotten until a few days ago, when I suddenly remembered it and asked my dad, "Hey, you still got that old single-shot .22?"

Savage Arms has a new version of the Stevens Favorite.

I am calling the gun I have a Stevens Favorite because I can't find any other model that fits it. Mine, however, is not the same as a standard Favorite. The Savage version is, as far as I can tell, the same as the original, with only a 21" barrel and overall length of 36 3/4", it weighs 4 1/2 lbs.

Stevens manufactured the Favorite from 1890 to 1939. Besides the .22, it was also chambered for now-obsolete .25 and .32 rimfire ammo. According to what I have read, the original Favorite sold for $6, but the standard barrel could be lengthened for the cost of $1 additional per inch. If true, then the one I have must have cost $13.

Here are a couple of pictures. Excuse the poor quality, I have a lousy, cheap digital camera.

That last one looks quite impressive, and may give you a better impression of the barrel. The version I have has an overall length of 42 1/2", with the barrel at a whopping 28". It is very fore-heavy, which is why I never used it much. The first 9 3/4" of the barrel at the breech end is octagonal, the rest is round. This gun has what I would call a bull barrel. The overall diameter of the barrel is a good 3/4", quite hefty compared to the 1/2" diameter of my Model 61. It has a blade front sight and a ramp adjustable rear sight. I was going to weigh it with my fish scale, but can't find it, so with a bathroom scale and my best guess, I'm calling it at least 6 pounds.

It has a falling block lever action as can be seen here, opened and closed:

This gun was specified for .22 Long Rifle only, although I can tell you from experience that any of the three standard .22 lengths can be used in it (not the magnum, though, that's a whole 'nother beast). Longs and Long Rifles work easily, but special care must be used with Shorts. This is because when the breech is opened, the extractor stands out a short distance from the breech. The cartridge is inserted into the breech and the rim end falls into the "U" of the extractor. Shorts are too short to do this easily, and can cause loading problems, but are possible and safe to use if you pay attention and watch what you're doing when you load.

The Favorite has no safety, but it does have a hammer position in which the hammer is pushed backwards and locked into place by the block when opened for loading. In this position, the hammer can't be forced into the firing pin, it is in "safe" condition. The hammer must be cocked manually before shooting. I have read that some of these had extraction problems, but I'm guessing that was just from worn-out extractors on old guns. The one I have still extracts very positively with no problems at all. The shell throws backwards a couple of inches and falls straight down off the side of the gun.

I took it out this morning and shot it so I would have a target to show off. This gun would benefit greatly from a decent rest, as I said the barrel makes it quite heavy to the forward end. This target was shot at about 22 yards or so, while I was sitting on the ground using my knees and elbows for a rest. The first shot went high (you can't see it), striking just above the target but dead center. After that I took a different sight picture and got these five shots:

This target is slightly less than 3" in diameter, and the 10-ring is just a hair less than an inch across. Not the best shooting, but then I haven't fired a rifle in over a year (yeah, yeah, I know, but I've been preoccupied with handgun shooting), and I was being eaten alive by several dozen mosquitoes at the time (as if that's any excuse). I think with a little more practice I could at least keep all my shots inside the 9-ring, and then I'll be ready for some serious squirrel sniping. I'm also going to tweak the back sight a little so I'm more comfortable with the sight picture.

I have a sneaking suspicion that somone is going to read this and tell me that it isn't actually a Favorite, but some other similar Stevens model of which I am unaware. I will gladly welcome any corrections.

The wood on this gun has its fair share of nicks and scratches, and the metal finish isn't the best anymore, either. The original buttplate is gone, and someone long ago replaced it with a strap of leather. This is a gun that has probably spent several decades feeding a hungry family on rabbits and squirrels, and I'm looking forward to taking it out again sometime soon. It's been a long time since I've had squirrel stew.

Another new tool

Another neck knife which also has a belt loop for horizontal position. This is going to be my emergency barbecue knife. I usually just use a pocket knife but I think this will work much better. You know, when you've been barbecuing all day, and the meat is pretty much done, but it just needs a little more time, and you just can't wait to sample some of the outer edges. You need a decent knife to slice off a mouthful, and with this on my neck I'll never be at a loss for a good barbecue knife.

It may also be useful for other things.

New Jersey court ensures that tour boats are safe for terrorists and pirates to hijack

Trenton, NJ:
Tour boat captains voyaging on New Jersey waters cannot carry a weapon, even if they fear terrorists may try to commandeer the vessel and deploy it as a bomb like 9/11 hijackers did with jetliners in 2001, a state appeals court ruled Friday.
The reason?
The court said that if Atanasio had the right to carry a gun, then other workers, "would be legally entitled to carry concealed firearms."
Oh, the horror.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Texas CHL shooting test

While going through my bookmarks, I came across this. It's not extensive enough to go into the links in the sidebar, but it may be of interest to non-Texans who are curious about the Texas CHL shooting test.

Random Notes

I just started using a free statistics tracking service this week, called Tracksy. So far it has been very interesting. Apparently I have gained a couple of readers who don't get here by clicking on any outside links, they must actually have the site bookmarked, and they have been checking in almost every day for the past several days. That is quite flattering, I must say.

I have added an email link in the sidebar so I can be contacted by email if anyone wants to, instead of using a comment.

I have decided to try and go a little more under the radar by removing any direct references to my real name. Not that it makes any difference.

The line of Latin in the header is my best guess as to how to say "I am not surprised" in Latin. If I ever get a coat of arms, I think this will be the motto that goes on it. Actually I think it more literally means "I do not wonder." But it's close.

I will fill up the new "Gun & Self-Defense" links a.s.a.p. I have plenty of links to put there, I just haven't done it yet. They will be in alphabetical order, not by order of what I might think is importance.

UPDATE: Okay, that should be a respectable start to my advocacy links. I would like to say that although I am not Jewish, gay, or female, anyone who supports the right to keep and bear arms and the right of self defense is on my side, as far as I'm concerned. Also I've added the NRA-ILA web sticker newsfeed to the sidebar.

Some cool news...

I just got my hands on a real Stevens Favorite. Not a reproduction, but an original. More info and a review of it will be upcoming.

Fearing increase in crime, city takes one more tool of defense away from potential victims

The small town of Pacific, WA, fearing an increase in crime, and noting that the state of Washington has no law banning stun guns, has taken upon itself the task of ensuring that none of its residents are able to use one to protect themselves from criminal attack:
The small town of Pacific on the King-Pierce county border has passed an ordinance making it illegal to carry or own a stun-gun device.

Pacific Mayor Rich Hildreth said the City Council took the action last month as more companies begin marketing the nonlethal electrical devices to civilians as well as law enforcement.
He said the city wanted to be proactive, adding that Pacific is one of the few cities in the region to take such action.

"I'm all for having tools for self-protection,'' he said. "My concern is Tasers on the streets leading to an increase in crime, especially robbery, rape, domestic violence and assault." He said the weapon can effectively disable people and make them vulnerable to crimes.
Translation: "I'm all for having tools for self-protection, as long as you can protect yourself without hurting the poor wittle bad guy."

Residents of Pacific can now rest easy. Robbers, rapists, wife-beaters, and thugs in general will now immediately turn in their illegal stun guns, being the law-abiding citizens that they are.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I'm doing some revising...

Some links may be missing and so forth. Also I'm re-adopting a new nom-de-plume. Personal reasons. Nothing serious.

Who's the racist?

NOTE: I had been posting a lot of links about the Minuteman Project, but since it has been spreading throughout the nation I decided to restrict myself only to Texas. Unless something happens somewhere else that I just can't keep quiet about. I am not a member of the Project, nor am I affiliated with them in any way. I find their cause interesting, in part because all the media seemed to immediately jump on the "vigilante" bandwagon and such accusations infuriate me when no one has been able to report any real vigilante activity. That said, this really caught my attention.

Harlingen, TX:
'Go back where you came from and allow the local authorities to handle the situation,' Maldonado said. 'Authorities who are better prepared to deal with this situation.'

Joining Maldonado in his fight against the Minuteman Project were some members of the Brown Berets, a powerful and militant organization still around since the 1960s during the Chicano Liberation movement.

The Brown Berets said that they're ready for a physical confrontation with the Minuteman volunteers.

'They're just a bunch or a group of racist people that hate not only Hispanics but blacks and other races,' said Pablo Delgado, a spokesman for the Brown Berets.
Reading of a group that calls itself by some kind of colored beret name immediately set the alarm bells a-tingling, and their racist accusations made the alarm go to full clang. I suppose if a given neighborhood suddenly had a rash of burglaries, and the residents thereof decided to form a neighborhood watch so they could observe and report illegal activities to the authorities, and the persons observed committing illegal acts turned out to be Hispanic or black or any other non-white race, that would make the neighborhood watch group racist as well. I would like to point out that in Texas, the Minutemen will be forced to patrol private property, because there just isn't any public land to patrol. If a landowner allows other law-abiding persons onto his/her property to engage in legal activities (so far there isn't any law against observing and reporting illegal activity), there isn't much anyone can do about it. So protest all you want, amigo. Also, so far none of the Minutemen have engaged in any physical confrontation with anyone (except for possibly a shin-kicking involving an "activist" in California). But the Brown Berets are ready, anyway.

Armed only with my obsolete desktop and a dial-up connection to the Internet, to Google we go.

This information comes from Fight Back!:
Fight Back!: How did they see the world?

Carlos Montes: We believed in self-determination for Chicanos. The Brown Berets' thirteen-point political program talked about self-determination as having political and economic control over our lives. It called for a return of our land, release of prisoners, jobs, education, housing, an end to the destruction of the environment by the capitalists, open borders, solidarity with all revolutionary peoples engaged in the struggle for self-determination. And we denounced the U.S. system of capitalism and imperialism.
Okay, nothing racist yet. Everyone has a right (in this country anyway) to espouse communism if they want to.

Here's something I found in the Google archive for sci.military.naval:
The California state senator and his aides took serious note of the hostilities and violence conducted by the Nazi-like, anarchist brown berets. Americans...these goons are incurably evil and have a history of routinely suppressing the First Amendment rights of Americans through acts of violence and threats of death.

Our First Amendment rights of freedom to peacefully assemble and speak are in serious jeopardy, and it is time a stand is taken to preserve these rights.

The rampage was orchestrated by Armando Navarro, a known anti-American racist, who holds a comfortable, taxpayer funded, tenured position as a professor (of hate and blood-letting?) at the University of California - Riverside, Ca., and who has devoted his life to promoting the Mexican conquest of the seven southwestern US states. He calls for the conquest to be carried out by force, if necessary. Navarro, and his minions whose combined IQ was that of a dead house plant, all appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

One California Minuteman volunteer, Jim Woods, was physically assaulted by a gang of ten of Navarro's thugs as he sat in his car alone at a border outpost. He was physically restrained in his car seat by the brown berets, who threatened to kill him. They stole his keys from the ignition and left him stranded without food or water for several hours. When Jim Woods identified two of the gang members to the Sheriff's Dept. and asked for an arrest, no action was taken by the Sheriff's deputies. One deputy just responded to Mr. Wood's plea for help with "Oh, you just lost your keys," despite repeated pleas to the contrary from Mr. Woods.
Here is a website detailing why another group--M.E.Ch.A.--has disassociated themselves from the Brown Berets. I'll just point out one item:
February 1997--Vandalism at CSUF M.E.Ch.A. office. Carolina Garcia and Rafael Barragan's picture with faces crossed out and profanity written on them. Disrespectful comments to Janette Hyder, being called a "vendida," and Monica Hernandez a "white sell-out." Painting found destroyed by glue.
Here is "news release" (or something) from the Ministry of Information of the Nation of Aztlan. I'll just throw in a couple of paragraphs. Boldface emphasis is, of course, mine:
The attack was sudden and vicious on the Internet and through the print media and came in the form of fouled-mouth threats and insults. The pornographic "jewish" LAWEEKLY with the assistance of a lackey known as the "cucaracha cartoonist" are principal culprits. This group of judios, jotos and pochos also launched an attack on the Internet through a joto infested chat room. Our intelligence sources informed us that these individuals defamed the Nation of Aztlan by calling our organization Nation of Asstlan. This same term has been used against us by the notorious anti-Mexican VCT. These pocho people are phony Mexicans with no identity nor ethnic pride. They have much self-loathing and are easy prey for judios and gringos in their efforts to manipulate them against us. The word pocho has the same meaning as taco-tio, brown anglo and vendido. Since they are economically dependent on the judios and gringos in their businesses and jobs, they easily sell out La Raza and do their bidding.

This same group also launched a World Wide Web effort to deny us our right of free speech, writing and expression. Utilizing the UCLA Physics Internet server and a "jewish-front" Internet Service Provider, they have made great efforts to deny the Mexican-American Education Council the ability to distribute their communiques through a University of New Mexico listserv. Their efforts have been largely successful because the University of New Mexico as well as a large part of the state of New Mexico is dominated by "hispanic sephardic jews." This group of influential jews are also called "marranos" and "cryptic-jews" because of their tendency to remain hidden among the general population. They are primarily descendants of the jews that were asked to leave Spain by Isabel La Catolica. The cryptic jew is "a jew first and Raza second" just like a joto is "a joto first and Raza second." This same listserv did not however censor an attack against the Brown Berets by a M. Sedano that is now published at the Brown Berets Discussion Forum at: [url deleted]
On the other hand, I will revisit a previous post about an example of Minuteman Project "racist, vigilante" behavior, in which some volunteers saved the life of a man suffering from dehydration and possibly heatstroke.

Finally, if we look again at the end of the Fight Back! interview, we read this revelation:
Fight Back!: What about today's 'Brown Berets?'

Carlos Montes: The current group that call themselves Brown Berets have not led or been involved in any positive mass campaigns for self-determination or social change. They have not been able to grow or get support from any large segments of the Chicano community. They have not taken up the fight for immigrant rights or other important issues, especially the growing anti-war movement of today. They are primarily male and male dominated. They use militant rhetoric, but do not organize.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I am an extremely amateur birdwatcher...

...more of an incidental bird observer, really. So I thought I would mention this.

Lubbock, TX:
The recent sighting of a rare hummingbird has bird biologists in Texas almost giddy. A white-eared hummingbird spotted in Lubbock earlier this month was the first to be seen in the South Plains and Panhandle regions, according to the Llano Estacado Audubon Society. Eight others have been seen in West Texas this year. Between 1972 and the end of last year, only 14 had been sighted in Texas.

'This is a real explosive jump in our numbers,' said Mark Klym, who coordinates the Texas Hummingbird Roundup for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 'Our bird biologists want to know what's going on.'

It could be a sign that the birds, which are known to nest in New Mexico, Mexico and southeast Arizona, are expanding their range, Klym said.

Somebody please explain to me...

...what is so wrong about investigating both sides of an argument.

Seattle, WA:
Heard the one about the Texas congressman who disliked the talk about global warming? He decided to have his U.S. House of Representatives committee launch an investigation into some scientists whose work bolstered the theory of climate change. Let's not laugh. It's a true abuse of power. And, while it's easy to cringe over the anti-intellectual inclinations in red states, Seattle has its own moments of discomfort with scientific endeavors. Consider the just-abandoned plans for a $60 million regional biocontainment laboratory at the University of Washington.
This article is really about something else, but the writer decided to take a cheap shot, and pretty much revealed his own personal bias. And while someone is explaining this to me, please also explain how wanting to investigate both sides of an argument is an abuse of power.

New San Antonio city ordinance legally authorizes vigilante sign-removers

Heh. How's that for hyperbole? I don't really care one way or the other, I just saw a chance to write my own vastly overstated headline, just like a professional journalist.

San Antonio, TX:
Residents tired of seeing a forest of signs tacked to utility poles in their neighborhoods now have the legal muscle to do something about the situation.

Thanks to a revised city ordinance, San Antonio residents can tear down so-called 'bandit signs' attached to utility poles or stuck in the ground in a public right of way.

The signs--with messages about garage sales, home businesses and lost pets--are illegal, but before the revised ordinance went into effect June 19, only city staff legally could remove them.

The ordinance, passed by City Council on June 9, states that the signs are 'abandoned trash that may be removed and discarded' by anyone without informing the person who placed the sign.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Sorry for the lack of gun-related posts today...

...I couldn't find any news worth talking about. But I hate to have a day with no activity at all.

And I kinda spent my rage on the pit bull article.

Sales tax "holiday"

From the Marlin Democrat:
The wheels on the shopping carts in Texas are getting ready to roll out for the state's seventh annual Sales Tax Holiday being held August 5, 6, and 7.

The first weekend every August is set aside by state law exempting clothing a footwear priced under $100 from sales and use taxes. It is figured that the savings could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 spent.
This isn't particularly important (although I do take advantage of it). I just wanted to point out that this was one of George W. Bush's pet laws back when he was Governor. For this, and for signing the CHL bill into law, I just want to say, "Thanks, George!"

"Cold" front expected...

...for Thursday. Forecasted high of only 91. I'll have to break out the parka.

San Antonio has stupid criminals, too

Man arrested after reporting weed theft:
San Antonio, Texas - A Texas man was arrested on Monday after calling police to complain about the theft of his marijuana, authorities said.
How in the heck this ended up on a South African news website, I don't know.

I told you so...

I have mentioned previously on more than one occasion that Halt! dog spray is too weak to have any effect on vicious dogs--it only works on dogs that aren't aggressive, therefore, it's useless. (Why spray a dog that isn't aggressive in the first place?) Now we can see that the heavy-duty stuff which police carry doesn't work either. And I am not surprised. (I'm thinking of changing the subtitle of this blog to "I am not surprised." It fits me so well).

From the Union Recorder of Milledgeville, GA:
The officer used pepper spray to try to subdue the dogs, also unsuccessfully. Vance said the officer was still in danger.

With no effect from the pepper spray, the pit bull latched his teeth onto the officer's thumb. So the officer pulled his gun and shot the dogs, killing them both.

'I think the officer did everything he could before having to use deadly force. You're talking about seconds when all this happened. The officer is now being treated in the emergency room at the Oconee Regional Medical Center. He will undergo rabies shots,' he said.
I will repeat, again: dogs don't get this way unless their owner has done something to them to make them like this--even pit bulls. This is something that is important to me because of my job, in which I encounter hundreds of dogs and have met plenty of friendly pit bulls (not as many as the vicious ones, though, I must admit). First, the living conditions of these dogs should be investigated. Their owner should be investigated, if possible, to determine if he was abusing them or not. This may sound heavy-handed but someone needs to come down on these people who think it's funny to turn their dogs into killing machines. I have heard first-hand from more than one person of how some pit bulls are fed the dog version of steroids and then forced to drag around a tire on a chain, and yes, I have seen such dogs hauling around a tire on a chain while working, and they all looked like the dog equivalent of a body-builder.

If I had been this officer, I wouldn't even have bothered with the spray. As soon as they advanced on me, they would have been dead meat. Since he killed them, they can't be tested for rabies so he will have to get the shots. This is because the rabies virus (or whatever it is) dies off as soon as the body cools, leaving no evidence.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A nice new tool

Something I just picked up because it struck my fancy. And it's quite sharp, right out of the package.

I got to thinking that maybe I should add some details.

Overall length: 4 3/4"
Blade: 2 1/4" stainless steel
Full tang. The grips are wood of some sort.

This is a relatively inexpensive knife, which is important, so I won't feel so bad in case I have to ditch it. It came with a sheath with lanyard attached for wearing on the neck. It also has a belt slot on the back so it fits horizontally on the belt. No boot clip.

I should be getting another interesting tool soon. I have a fairly large collection of pocketknives, but it occured to me that I am lacking in fixed-blades. I've also been toying with the idea of a boot knife. I don't know why, I just like the design.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Well, I must not be all that smart...

...because I've already forgotten where I saw this quiz. Anyway, here's the results:


The Mad Trapper of Rat River

This is a story I first heard of several years ago, but lost the bookmark and had a hard time finding it again. Today I had another go at it and found the story again. What a relief! Anyway, stories like this are always fascinating to me. It all started because of this strange trapper who no one had ever seen or heard of before began trapping without a license in the Northwest Territory of Canada in 1931. But then, what really got the bullets flying is that he was apparently stealing from other trappers' traps, and when the Mounties went to talk to him about it, he just started shooting. His name was--as far as anyone has been able to determine--Albert Johnson, but he was better known as The Mad Trapper of Rat River:
Albert Johnson seemed to be no average trapper. The Mounties said of him to be capable of great feats and crafty beyond belief. The local Inuit said at one point in the chase that Johnson could snowshoe 2 miles for every 1 mile a dog team had to break trail.

Johnson had been back tracking in ever larger circles for the past month to evade capture. At this time hundreds of men were now tracking him. He had guns but could not use them to hunt for food--they would give away his position. He had means to light a fire to cook what food he could snare but the fire again would aid his pursuers. He also had to build shelters in snow drifts, surely his clothes must have started to get wet from perspiration and/or the elements.

When and where could he build a fire large enough to dry his clothes out or eat properly to help ward off the effects of 50 below zero weather? A tantalizing question.

Now Johnson's greatest feat was about to happen. Johnson could see that the Arctic Red River district was becoming to difficult to manage. His only escape was traverse the Richardson mountains and head into the high country of the northern Yukon. The Mounties had already closed the door on that idea by guarding the only 2 passes through this range. But the quick thinking Johnson pulled another fast one on the Mounties.

During a raging blizzard he climbed over these 7,000 ft mountains with very little food and no climbing gear. With visibility during the blizzard at near zero, trying to cling to sheer cliffs of slippery ice and numbing cold, the mountain men of the area told the Mounties it would be impossible to do at this time of the year even with the proper gear and food.
This excerpt is only a small part of the story. His ingenuity and tenaciousness were remarkable. Heck, I'd even say astounding. Not to mention his determination not to get caught and his seemingly superhuman endurance.

In the end, an airplane was brought in to help find him. There was a big gun battle, and he didn't go down until he had nine bullets in him.

There is a book available about this man: The Mad Trapper of Rat River: A True Story of Canada's Biggest Manhunt, which is in stock at Amazon. I haven't read it, but if it provides more detail than the various Internet summaries I have seen, it should be a fascinating read.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Even though I consider this more or less out of scope for this blog, since I used it as an example earlier, I feel I should update that the suspect shot by London police was not strapped with a bomb. However, if you read this report at Chrenkoff, you may see why I think that the story isn't over yet.

tnx to All Things Conservative

Random Notes

I've been tinkering with the blogroll. The biggest thing I did, which is mostly invisible to anyone else reading this, is I moved a few from the hidden "evaluating" category into a public category, and deleted a bunch of the remainder. I'm trying to get the full list pared down a little more, so I can start checking out some new ones that I haven't seen yet without it getting too bulky.

I noticed an odd thing this week. Someone used the "email this post" button to send an old, completely inconsequential and meaningless post to someone. It is meaningless because it was about changing the blog's name, which has been done again since then. This blog went through several name changes back when I was the only person in the world aware of its existence and I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. I have no clue as to why anyone would want to email that post.

Another peculiar thing that turned up is that someone came here after Googling the term, "use pyrodex for 45 acp." I can only say, Good Lord! What for?

I have been tenuously hanging on the Slithering Reptile status in the TTLB Ecosystem. I slip down to amphibian now and then, but I think I am solidifying my hold on the reptile. I prefer reptile. Amphibians give me the creeps.

UPDATE: Another thing I've noticed is that even though Bloglines hasn't been showing that there's a problem with the RSS feed, my posts haven't been making it to Bloglines for 3 days now. This has happened before, so it doesn't bother me a whole lot, especially since no one uses Bloglines to read this blog.

Spin is everything

First, I would like to direct your attention to a website called Their own description is "Real News. Compelling Stories. Always Positive." If you are one of those people who think that good news is not really news, read no further.

This is a website that focuses on good things that happen around the world, when most media outlets are constantly harping on the bad. I remember having a discussion that turned into an argument about this concept several years ago. At the time, the subject of the argument was a television newscast that had the same theme. The other guy said that it wasn't really news and that anyone who watched it was afraid of reality. Guess what. These stories are reality. As a card-carrying member of the Cult of Victimhood, the person I was arguing with probably couldn't stand the thought of people doing good things and not being punished for it. I don't know. All I know is that he was a completely messed-up rabid liberal who apparently did not live on the same planet as I.

I would like to post an example of their take on a recent event: the shooting of an apparent terrorist in London. I have seen uncountable articles, and heard over and over again on NPR, the account of the eyewitness to the shooting. Here is a BBC report of what I'm talking about. Instead of focusing on the real story (that a probable bomber/murderer was swiftly and efficiently eliminated by law enforcement officers), they instead can talk only about how "petrified" this poor person was, and how the police chased him down and performed said elimination at close range. No compliments in this article (or anywhere else, it seems) to the officer who fired the shots without sending a spray of bullets into the train passengers as it seems many police in the United States are often wont to do. No compliments even to the British police at large in eliminating another murderer. Here you will find only accounts of some poor person who was running scared and got knocked down, then shot. And everyone is so traumatized because they actually witnessed law enforcement in action. Read it for yourself.

Now here is the version, written by one of their "citizen journalists" from London:
London is still suffering the emotional and financial backlash of the bombings on the underground and on-board bus thirty on July 7 and yesterday, July 21, was spared another tragedy when somehow an attempt to repeat the bombings went awry yesterday morning.

Police were called out to underground stations at The Oval, Warren Street and Shepherds Bush where small explosions were reported to have taken place and a bus was also evacuated in the East London suburb of Hackney. The area around the bus was evacuated after a rucksack containing explosive material was left on the bus.

Reports have said that three small explosions did occur on the underground trains, once again within seconds of each other that leads experts to believe that this was also the work of suicide bombers. Thankfully, for as yet unknown reasons, the bombs did not fully explode and only one person was slightly injured in a bizarre but lucky escape for the population of London.

The failure of the bombs to fully explode has given forensic experts a massive lead with all the explosive evidence still intact. Teams have been scouring bus 26 for clues and these will no doubt prove very valuable to the security personal that are in search of these would-be bombers.

An alleged suicide bomber was apprehended and stopped by use of deadly force at Stockwell Tube Station in central London earlier this morning, July 22. It has been speculated that the man running from the police was in the process of getting onto the train when he was shot by security teams.
Like I said, you may the kind who thinks that good news isn't really news, it's just someone trying to avoid reality. I contend that this is reality--no one is making it up. It happens. And I, for one, welcome some good news for a change.

(And if you don't like it, no one is forcing you to read it).

UPDATE: I realize that what may be "good" in the world is subject to opinion. For example, the article N.Korea calls for peace treaty with U.S. seems too simplistic to me. But then, I am automatically suspicious of anything that North Korea does. (Ever since I saw a documentary on the History Channel about Kim Jung-Il or whatever his name is, I think North Korea is more dangerous than China, because their dictator is a complete freakin' loon). But then the article Chinese farmers win back land rights seems very direct and informative, because, although I read in many places about the riots in China over loss of land rights, I didn't hear about any positive results anywhere until I read it here.

One of the first things I did at this website was to do a search for "Iraq." This turned up:
U.N. agencies back Iraqi students
U.S. Marines rescue tortured Iraqis
First female Silver Star for Iraq war
Australian hostage rescued in Iraq
Wedding numbers spike in Iraq
French journalist and driver released in Iraq
Army honors its best journalists
U.S., Japan agree to joint security report

But I guess that's enough about this. I don't have any affiliation with myself. I think I have written so much about it because I'm still haunted by that long-ago argument in which the other guy was so violently opposed to anyone spreading good news. I couldn't understand his position then, and I can't understand it now.

This is how it should be done

Jackson, MS:
Armed and ready. The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has 212 guns at its disposal and not one rightful owner.

Jim Walker, of the MDWFP, says, 'These guns were taken from hands of the bad guys. We hope to put them in the hands of the good guys.'

They were taken from violators of hunting laws or convicted felons in possession.

Walker says, 'These guns have gone to the courts. These individuals have been found guilty and these guns now belong to the state of Mississippi.'

They're not your run of the mill firearms.

Phillip Pope is the training co-ordinater for the MDWFP. He says, 'Most of them that we have are hunting type rifles or shotguns.'

Soon they hope to be in the hands of someone in need of a good gun.

Walker says, 'You have to have a federal firearms license to purchase these guns.'

They will be auctioned off in October to anyone who has that license. Half the money will go to the state and half to the agency.

Pope says, 'The guns will be sold as is. It'll be sold as a package deal.'

Walker says, 'The possible return could be substantial. Depends on who shows up.'

Wildlife officials say some guns could get up to 500 dollars. Some look brand new. The result is quite a bargain.

Pope says, 'Some of this money goes back and kinda let the violator pay for some of the stuff that our law enforcement officers need, instead of letting the taxpayers pay for it.' A welcome relief for one of many agencies hunting for cash through these lean budget years.
tnx to The Countertop Chronicles

Friday, July 22, 2005

This cheers me up a little...

Santa Monica robber killed by intended victims:
A man who tried to rob two people at gunpoint in a fast-food restaurant drive-thru was shot and killed by one of his intended victims early Thursday, police said.

(insert incoherent Fred Flintstone curse here)

I was, for a brief time, a truck driver. Whenever there's a local area truck "accident" I always wonder how it happened. Yesterday there were all kinds of reports on the radio about a truck accident that occured at IH35 and SH46 in New Braunfels which closed down the northbound side of the interstate for several hours.

Turns out the trucker was not the cause of the accident:
A woman in a stolen San Antonio code compliance department vehicle on Thursday led police on a chase on Interstate 35 to New Braunfels, where she caused a major traffic accident before being stopped...

..New Braunfels Police Sgt. Chris Snyder said the woman caused a wreck at about 1 p.m. on Interstate 35 near Texas 46, involving an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle. Two people in the car received minor injuries and were treated and released at the scene.

The wreck resulted in a four-mile backup on Interstate 35 in New Braunfels.

Resistance is good for you!

Gunner at No Quarters updates an earlier post about a university study "that showed resisting crime was normally to the good of the victim." A study that the Cult of Victimhood is sure to ignore:
Various kinds of forceful victim protective behavior, such as threatening the offender with a gun or other weapon, show the strongest negative coefficients, though none are significant. A conservative interpretation would be that armed and other forceful resistance does not appear to increase the victim's risk of injury.
Very good reading.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Another gun I need to add to the collection

The Whitney Wolverine, from the Olympic Arms website:
The original Whitney Wolverine pistols went into production in 1956 and were a huge hit with customers. It's radical 'space age' design was ergonomic to the hand, and pointed naturally for most shooters.

The Olympic Arms Whitney Wolverine is built with a high-strength polymer frame making it lightweight and durable. The pistol uses .22 LR high-velocity ammunition and is fed to the pistol through an all metal magazine which holds ten rounds.

Once called, "The most reliable, best shooting, best pointing little .22 pistol ever handled" by the late Rex Applegate. The Whitney Wolverine makes for a great plinker, farm hand, or for a home safeguard.
I would have a good reason to buy it. The only .22 handgun I have is a single-action revolver (the Single-Six). I really should add a semi-auto to the collection. I mean, it's hardly a respectable collection without a .22 semi-auto handgun, right? And it has a very reasonable (it seems to me) MSRP of $279.50.

More info on this cool pistol:

Manufactured in 1956 and discontinued in 1957. A semi-auto with a 10 cartridge magazine and a 4.75" barrel. It was created partially as a result of new aluminum alloys recently developed in World War II. The person wwho developed it, Robert Hillberg eventually went on to work for High Standard, and the company was sold to avoid bankruptcy. Some interesting facts... The Serial numbers started at 100,000 because their machine was screwed up. Only 22,000 were even made. Also, only the first few were called the Wolverine, because another company was already using the name, and it was afterwards refered to as the Whitney Autoloader.
Samson Mfg. Corp. reproduces an old magazine ad for the Wolverine (only $39.95!). And here's another old magazine ad from the same website.

Original Wolverines are C&R eligible and are apparently desirable to collectors.

UPDATE: Welcome readers of Carnival of Cordite #23!

KelTec Sub 2000 9-mm Carbine review at Cowboy Blob's

I have already mentioned that I would like to get a Keltec Sub-2000 in .40 S&W. Now a guest-blogger at Cowboy Blob's has posted a review of the 9mm version. Suffice it to say that my appetite has been sufficiently whetted.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Now that's stoppin' power!

I love saying that, and I haven't used it in this blog for a long time. Lest Darkness Fall provides us with a link to a video of someone shooting a double-action revolver so fast it seems almost inhuman.

Churchill and Bellesiles

Clayton Cramer comments on a Ward Churchill interview in which he (Churchill) talks about Michael Bellesiles. Well worth reading.

Personally, I'd rather just pay for the therapy

Crime-hit Brazil split over possible gun sales ban:
Rio de Janeiro taxi driver Luiz Marcelo is normally mild mannered, but he loses his temper when Brazil's upcoming referendum on whether gun sales should be banned comes up in a conversation.

"All you see around us in the streets is crime, and the best they can think of is to disarm honest citizens like me and you," the 50-year-old almost shouts. "I have a gun at home and another one in this car and I'm not giving them up."

Many Brazilians share this view, saying the state does not give its people adequate protection from violent crime and they need guns for self defense. But others are afraid of having guns at home and don't like the idea of armed citizens walking the streets.
This is another news article to infuriate anyone who is not a member of the cult of victimhood. Read it if you feel like you need a quick rise in your blood pressure. Here's the line that really gets me:
"Our recommendation to clients always is not to have a gun," said Alessandro Sanches, a security consultant with Kroll Inc. international risk consulting company in Sao Paulo. He said shooting range practice is not enough to stand up to thugs, which requires psychological training and experience.
Translation: if you people keep defending yourselves, my security company is going to lose business. Alternate translation: it is better to be dead than to suffer psychological consequences of defending yourself.

There's more, if you really want to read it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

FBI and BATF should invesigate subject of CBS report, says CCRKBA

Yesterday Alphecca commented on this CBS report:
The gunrunner's name is Florin Krasniqi, and he is seen providing a new shipment of weapons to Albanian rebels, who are about to smuggle them over the mountains into Kosovo. After a few days' journey on horseback, the guns will end up in the hands of a guerrilla force known as the Kosovo Liberation Army, which has been fighting for independence from Serbia for nearly a decade.

Krasniqi took these guns to his family's home in Kosovo. Most of them were easy to get in Albania, but not the .50-caliber rifles. 'This is, we get from the home of the brave and the land of the free, as we would like to say,' says Krasniqi, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Krasniqi came to America in 1989. He was smuggled across the Mexican border in the trunk of a car with just $50 in his pocket. Today, he's an American citizen, and the owner of a highly successful roofing business.

'This is what I do for a living,' says Krasniqi. 'This is how we earn the money in New York. There's a large Albanian-American community in the New York City area.'
Now from Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms:
Following the broadcast of its latest attack on American firearm laws and .50-caliber rifles by the CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes," the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today called on the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the subject of that report, identified as Florin Krasniqi.

In his report, CBS' Ed Bradley acknowledged that Krasniqi entered the United States illegally from Mexico "in the trunk of a car" and that he is now a U.S. citizen and "highly successful" businessman. Krasniqi admitted on camera that he has also smuggled firearms purchased in this country for use by Albanian guerilla fighters, an act that may be illegal under U.S. export laws.

"We know why CBS reported this story," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. "They and other news organizations have declared war on the American firearms industry, because a vote is coming soon to protect gun makers from harassment lawsuits by grandstanding anti-gun politicians.

"They are also trying to influence legislation that would ban .50-caliber sporting rifles," he continued, "by falsely alleging that they could bring down commercial airplanes, and are a 'terrorist weapon'. If that's true, then they have Krasniqi on camera admitting that he supplied these guns to rebel fighters in Kosovo. Are these people terrorists?

"More importantly," Gottlieb observed, "CBS is continuing its tradition of attacking American firearms laws, portraying them as too weak to prevent lawbreakers from getting firearms. In reality, America has abundant gun laws, but they are designed more to trip up and penalize law-abiding citizens, rather than catch genuine criminals. As it stands, we're not certain Krasniqi isn't a lawbreaker, and that's why we think the authorities should investigate this man instead of allowing CBS and the Public Broadcast System to make him into some kind of hero.

"If this guy is running guns from America to a part of the world in turmoil, and doing it in violation of various federal and state gun laws," Gottlieb said, "he's hardly a hero."

Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias

Don't miss Alphecca: Weekly Check on the Bias, this week including some great pro-gun stuff as well!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Something to think about... brings us Making money on gun control...:
DeLay claims that, 'we must not let our victories of the past eight years...'. What victories? How was your civil right to be armed expanded over those eight years (1994-2002)? What bans - on imports or possession by law abiding persons - were lifted? What taxes on firearms were cut? During those years, the Clinton administration waged war on Federally licensed firearms dealers, boosting fees, and using every means to force thousands to give up their licenses and close legitimate tax paying businesses.

In fact, the Republicans did nothing to help you, when their solid majorities in both Houses enabled them to do so. DeLay so states: 'not a single anti SecondAmendment federal law has been passed since Republicans took control of the United States House of Representatives in 1994'. But what was done to make things better? DeLay concedes that when the Republicans had solid majorities, they did nothing to roll-back the useless but repressive Gun Control Act of 1968. To be sure, the now infamous Lautenberg Gun Ban which disarmed those convicted of a mere shouting match with a family member became law in 1996 when both Houses of Congress were controlled by Republicans. For more information on this law go to:
Gun Owners of America.

At the end of this letter, DeLay concedes the truth: he seeks only to 'protect your rights', degraded as they have been over the decades. He seems unable to imagine restoring the original luster to the Second Amendment, by peeling back the decades of filth heaped upon it by Democrat administrations.

Republicans, especially anti gun Republicans are fond of telling gun owners, you have nowhere else to go. Not true! Law abiding firearms owners, defenders of the Second Amendment have the right and the obligation to vote for a pro gun third party candidate if that will cause an anti gun Republican to lose an election. If enough anti gun Republicans lose elections then the party leaders might wake up and FORCE elected Republican's to adhere to the party platform. It is interesting to note that during President Bill Clinton's administration, the Democratic party enforced party unity and discipline to their platform calling for severe restrictions and in some cases out right bans on the ownership and use of firearms by the law abiding.

There is a reason for this. Many Republicans accept gun control in concept, but simply want to make it "reasonable" or "common sense". Will DeLay make sure they don't get a dime of your money? We doubt it? Considering that he is interested in "Defending Our [his] Majority"

We point out that with at least 240 million firearms in the United States (BATF data), gun control cannot be made to work. Of 281 million Americans, only a tiny criminal minority abuses firearms. These violent criminals will be able to get the few they need, even if every firearm in America vaporized. The UK, an island, banned handguns four years ago, but faces soaring levels of criminality, including crimes involving handguns: the handguns are smuggled into Britain, or were never given up by the criminals.

Thus DeLay's quest for your money is as fraudulent as are the claims of gun control advocates, who claim that "gun free" societies are safer.
this and the previous post tnx to a non-blogging email tipster who shall remain anonymous

Gun Owners of America Alert-- July 14, 2005

From Gun Owners of America:

Gun owners across America are increasingly victorious in legislative and elective battles at the local, state and national levels. Nevertheless, anti-gun internationalists, long burrowed in the UN headquarters, are planning, with some success, massive international gun control measures.

This entire week, the UN is holding the second biennial meeting of States to consider the implementation of the Program of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.

Though couched in the flowery rhetoric of protecting victims of violence, the goal of the conference is nothing short of global gun control. The rabid gun banners to our north would seem to agree. 'From Canada's perspective.... serious attention should be given to the regulation of civilian possession of small arms,' said Tim Martin, head of Canada's delegation to the conference.

Sen. Vitter has meticulously documented and highlighted for his senate colleagues some of the most egregious proposals, including:

A comprehensive program for worldwide gun control and a total ban on certain types of firearms;

The establishment of an international tracking certificate which would be used to ensure UN monitoring control over the export, import, transit, stocking, and storage of legal small arms and light weapons;

Worldwide record keeping for an indefinite amount of time on the manufacture, holding and transfer of small arms and light weapons;

National registries and tracking lists of all legal firearms.

'The U.N. has no business interfering with our Second Amendment rights guaranteed by our Founding Fathers,' Sen. Vitter said.

Much of the UN's agenda was conceived in a 1995 proposal, and then adopted as a Program of Action in 2001. At that time, then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton led the U.S. opposition to the Program. The United States has neither signed nor ratified the Program.
Why should we have a law when we already have the Second Amendment? Well, here's the clincher:
Sen. Vitter's bill will prohibit any U.S. funding to the UN unless the President certifies that the world body 'has not taken action to restrict, attempt to restrict or otherwise adversely infringe upon the rights of individuals in the United States to possess a firearm or ammunition.'

More bad news for Texas land-grabbers

Austin, TX:
Private property owners would be protected from state and local governments seizing their land for economic development purposes under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the Texas House Sunday night.

The bill, drafted in response to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing eminent domain seizures for economic development projects, gained final passage 136-0...

...The House version of the eminent domain bill was amended to stop the city of Freeport from seizing waterfront land from a family-owned shrimping company to make way for a private marina project...

...The Senate has passed similar legislation, but differences must be worked out in a conference committee before midnight Wednesday when the special session ends.

The House bill also requires local approval from county commissioners courts for state use of eminent domain to seize land for gas stations, convenience stores, hotels and other commercial enterprises in the median of the Trans-Texas Corridor, Gov. Rick Perry's ambitious toll road project.
Now it goes back to the Senate, since it was amended in the House.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

More gun pix

I first came across this website a long time ago, I can't remember when, but somehow forgot to bookmark it (or possibly lost the bookmark during a long-ago computer crash). But I recently found it again due to a reference at some other website: Oleg Volk Photo Gallery: Weapons. There are lots of excellent photos here, only a small part of which are gun-related, but that's what I'm focusing on for the purposes of this blog. Some of the photos are for self-defense advocacy, and some are just pictures of guns. Many of them are of the right size and proportion to use as desktop wallpaper if you desire, or to print out for posters or handbills. Most of the advocacy pictures are for women's self defense. There are also a few pictures of just ammunition. (I never realized that a few 7.62x25mm Tokarev cartridges could be so photogenic).

I thought when I re-discovered this site that it might hold a picture that I have been looking for for a long time, but it turns out that it isn't here. It was a picture of a woman holding a shotgun and a cell phone, looking downward toward the floor several feet in front of her. The caption on the poster said: "Shoot twice, then once more to make sure. Reload. Call 911." I thought it was a great poster but I have lost it and haven't been able to find it again. If anyone has ever seen this one, please leave me a comment.

I almost forgot one more thing. This website has rss feeds for each gallery, so that if you use a news aggregator you can subscribe to it and be notified when a new photo has been posted to that gallery. Nice.

Dallas Morning News: Memo lists possible border terror plot

Memo lists possible border terror plot:
Dirt roads trace pale lines across a desolate landscape of bald peaks and plunging canyons near Texas' Big Bend and bridge the border at dozens of improvised crossings. For decades, these routes have been used to smuggle drugs and humans. Now there is growing concern they could become deadly conduits for terrorism.

The concern is buttressed by a confidential but unclassified FBI intelligence bulletin, obtained by The Dallas Morning News, that contains the vague outlines of a possible terrorist plot.

Officials from both sides of the border played down the possible threat but acknowledged that it is the sort of scenario they have to guard against. The prospect of terrorists crossing the southern border has been a rising concern among officials in Texas and Washington.

The plot, according to uncorroborated information provided by an FBI informant, involves a man, described as an Arab who goes by the nickname 'El Espanol,' and Ernesto Zatarin Beliz, also known as El Traca, suspected of being a Mexican drug trafficker and member of the Zetas, the feared enforcers of the notorious Gulf cartel.

'El Espanol is gathering truck drivers with knowledge of truck routes in the United States and explosive experts' in the state of Coahuila, according to the March 11 memo, which originated in the San Diego FBI office and was made available by a U.S. attorney's office. The informant 'believes that the activity in Coahuila, Mexico, is terrorist related.'
Maybe it's all for nothing:
The San Diego FBI analyst who wrote the document declined to comment. The division's spokeswoman said publication of such sensitive information would undermine the bureau's mission.

'We are trying to protect national security,' said Special Agent Jan Caldwell. 'We can't do that when things like this are put in newspapers.'

A senior Mexican intelligence official said the information in the memo had not been corroborated.

'The informant paved a road that led nowhere,' the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He added that Mexican federal agents spent 'literally weeks chasing down the information, only to come up empty-handed.'
But still...
The border patrol's Marfa sector is its largest, covering 510 miles of border with Mexico, including part of Big Bend National Park, and bordering the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Coahuila. With some 200 agents, it has the smallest force of any sector along the Mexican border, according to Bill Brooks, the sector spokesman.

Much of the area is desert and mountainous terrain, dotted by at least a dozen informal crossings known as Class B ports of entry. These consist of makeshift bridges capable of carrying foot and some lighter vehicle traffic. Authorities tried to seal them off after Sept. 11, 2001, but several have been re-established. Officials acknowledged that agents cannot regularly police the informal crossings.

'Who ever imagined that terrorists would use passenger planes to crash into tall buildings?' Mr. Hoffman said. 'After Sept. 11, we have to operate on a different mindset, one in which we take absolutely nothing for granted. Is it possible terrorists can come across this border with explosives or a dirty bomb? Absolutely.'

Mosquito Tests Positive For West Nile Virus in San Antonio

The first mosquito to test positive for West Nile virus in Bexar County was discovered recently on the Southeast Side.

San Antonio Metropolitan Health officials said the mosquito came from routine samples taken Friday off Roosevelt Avenue. Tests on Wednesday confirmed the findings.
Why the heck did I mention this? Because every time I work anywhere on the southside I see way too many dead birds, which have apparently not died due to violence. A few weeks ago I saw two doves in one day that were in the process of dying when I saw them, just sitting there, about half-keeled over, too weak to even flop away when I walked past them.

Fatwah issued against Anarchangel

Via Resistance is futile!:
One of my internet friends, Chris the AnarchAngel, a regular contributor to my Carnival of Cordite, has learned that a fatwah has been issued against him by islamofacist terrorists. Why? Because he has had the guts to post the truth about our enemies.
Follow both links to read more about it.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Recommended reading at Parallax Adjustment

She was just 16:
Our conversation wound its way through various topics last night. We talked about everything from education to where we live and somehow got on topic of very bad things that happen to people. I related a couple of instances of being robbed and almost mugged, and she came back with the story of her rape. She was aghast when I asked if she fought him off. The turd had a gun pointed at her, and she was scared to do anything. For someone with no firearms experience, a gun is a formidable obstacle, but there are other ways to fight.

Cell phone saves immigrants lost in desert

So begins the Reuters headline. The first paragraph goes on to say:
A group of stranded illegal immigrants facing death in the parched Arizona desert saved themselves by using a cell phone they found to call rescue services, the U.S. Border Patrol said Thursday.
But wait, later on the article states:
Lost and low on water, they used a cell phone they found in their guide's bag to dial 911. Rescuers dispatched helicopters and located the group in the desert shortly after sunset.
However, Knight Ridder reports:
And in Altar, Mexico, 60 miles south of the border, businesses thrive on providing everything migrants might need to survive the long and perilous trip north, from backpacks and water bottles to cell phones for summoning U.S. police if they get lost in the desert.
What is my point? I'm not sure. Except that this post started because of something in Reuters' "odd news." Someone thinks it's "odd" that they would find a cell phone in the middle of the desert. But they didn't just find it out in the middle of nowhere. They found it in their coyotes' abandoned gear. What's so "odd" about that? Coyotes are evil, exploitative bastards, but that doesn't mean they're stupid.

This one cracks me up...

Antwerp, Belgium:
A shoplifter sweltering in more than 10 pieces of stolen clothing while summer temperatures soared toward 86 degrees Fahrenheit was apprehended by security guards in the Belgian city of Antwerp.
That "soared toward 86 degrees" just kills me. Around here lately 86 is the 8:30 in the morning temperature.

(However, yesterday and today we've been having some rain and cooler weather. Highs in the mid 90's only).

Friday, July 15, 2005

Jumping on the blogwagon

Since my earlier post today was somewhere on the far side of sarcastic, I thought I should balance things out a little by making fun of myself. No attributions in this post, because I've seen these on so many other blogs that I don't even remember them all. That's right, folks, more dumb "whatever-the-heck-are-you" quizzes!

I've taken so many of these quizzes, I can't remember them all anymore. I don't post them all, because sometimes I'm not in the mood, sometimes Blogger mangles the code beyond recognition, and sometimes I just don't think it's anybody's business. (Why did I ever take that "who is your inner sexy cartoon chick" quiz? For the love of...did I really want to now that deep down inside I'm Daphne Blake?) Ahem...(cough). Anyway, this has been a feature of this blog since the early days, before anyone ever read it, as can be seen in the older archives. For example, in January 2004 I discovered which classic movie I am:

I was not entirely surprised.

Yesterday my kids were delighted to discover which movie hero I am:
Personally, I would have preferred Rooster Cogburn or even Gimli, son of Gloin.

Today I went on a deep soul-searching quest to discover my extent of hippiness, and was somewhat disturbed:
I am 18% Hippie.
So Not a Hippie.
What? Am I a Republican? Why did I even bother taken this test?! I guess I'll back to my George W. Bush fan club and tell them I just wasted 10 minutes of my life. At least I don't stink, man.
I'll tell you exactly why I got so high (even though at 18% it still calls me a Republican). Because I have in the past made my own tie-dyed shirt. I am fortunate that it didn't ask me about other tie-dyed affairs, or I would have had to admit that I once even made my own tie-dyed underwear. And I wasn't even high at the time. That was a long time ago.

To get some contrasting perspective on this shattering 18% of hippiness, I found:
I am 45% White Trash.
Not Too White Trashy
The white trash in my blood will not keep me from becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but it will keep me from a good haircut and any sort of fashion sense.
I think if there had been more questions about living in a trailer house or having ever fixed anything with baling wire, I could have broken 50%.

Hoping for something more frivolous, I decided to see if I would turn up as one of my favorite Simpsons characters: the Comic Book Guy. But alas, it was not to be. It turns out I am:

Some time ago I took this "which Marvel superhero are you" quiz and had the same result as below, but the code got so mangled by Blogger that I couldn't post it. But now I can show you who I really am:
(Arioch, Arioch, come to my aid! I might also add).

Lastly, the definitive quiz. This is the quiz that truly reveals all: what movie villain are you? Two words:
Heeeeeere's Johnny! - Transforming Victims into Victors - Transforming Victims into Victors:
Help others who have been victimized by violent crime by telling your story on a television documentary while learning about self defense and safety awareness.

Deborah Courtney, a Victim Rights Advocate and Second Amendment Activist, is seeking crime victims to tell their stories for an upcoming television documentary. The program will highlight victims becoming victorious over the crimes by regaining control through safety awareness and firearms training.
tnx to The War on Guns

Vicente Fox says Mexico will stand against anyone acting outside the law

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson met with six of his Mexican counterparts Friday to discuss immigration and ways to halt a wave of drug-fueled violence that has left scores of people dead along the Mexican border.
El Presidente Fox also had something to say:
Mexican President Vicente Fox, who addressed the gathering in a video message, spoke against U.S. civilian border patrols and said Mexico will stand against anyone acting outside the law.
You mean, like people who illegally enter this country from your country? No, of course not. He's actually referring to the Minuteman Project volunteers:
The National Border Patrol Council, Local 2544 in Tucson, Ariz., endorsed the Minuteman Project, saying its members -- about 2,000 field agents -- did not have "one single complaint from a rank-and-file agent in this sector about the Minutemen."

"Every report we've received indicates these people are very supportive of the rank-and-file agents; they're courteous. Many of them are retired firefighters, cops and other professionals, and they're not causing us any problems whatsoever," the council said.
He probably wasn't thinking too much about this, either:
The plan also calls for better training for Mexican police, programs to prevent violence along the border, and the creation of a database containing the identities of members of criminal organizations, including the Zetas, a group of Mexican soldiers-turned-drug hit men believed to be controlling Nuevo Laredo.
Go for it, Vicente. Take a stand against people who are acting outside the law. It would make for a refreshing change.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

D.C. public school security guards should not have passed background check

The Washington Times reports:
The Metropolitan Police Department has licensed private security officers in the D.C. public school system despite past arrests on charges of assault, cocaine possession and passing counterfeit money, according to a draft report by the D.C. inspector general.

"There are contracted security personnel working in [public schools] who may pose a risk to the secure environment of students and staff," the draft document states.

"There is no assurance that all contracted school security personnel possess the requisite skills to ensure the safety and security of ... students and faculty," according to the report, which has not yet been finalized.
And this:
According to the report, the inspector general researched the backgrounds of 30 security officers randomly selected from among 400 working in the school system for Watkins Security Agency of D.C. Inc. last school year.
Oh, so it's not just an honest mistake. It's because someone somewhere is a complete freakin' idiot, or possibly is illiterate.

Citizens of D.C. should take note: People with records of assault and drug possession are "guarding" your kids at school. Meanwhile, it's illegal for you to keep a loaded gun in your own home to protect yourself, quite possibly from the same people who are "guarding" your kids.

CCKRBA pulls no punches:
"A news report today that ex-cons are guarding DC public schools demonstrates that DC officials are completely incompetent," John Michael Snyder, Public Affairs Director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), said here today.

"They simply cannot be trusted with the public safety," he added.

"Efforts by Mayor Anthony Williams, Police Chief Charles Ramsey and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to maintain the asinine DC gun law and prevent law-abiding citizens from getting guns to protect themselves and their families would be ludicrous if they weren't so sad," he continued. "Williams, Ramsey and Norton constitute in effect a triumvirate of tyranny – a tyranny that represses the law-abiding citizenry's right to self-defense – a tyranny of stupidity that refuses to recognize the right of decent, average people to protect themselves and their loved ones from violent, predatory criminals."

Eminent domain takes a hit in Texas

Austin, TX:
Shouting one another down in a fight about property rights, senators approved broad restrictions Wednesday on government seizure of homes or businesses to spur economic development.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Kyle Janek of Houston, and its leading critic, Democrat John Whitmire of Houston, angrily interrupted each other as they tussled over a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing such use of the government power known as eminent domain. It was an unusual brawl in the normally genteel upper chamber, known for doing its dirty work away from the floor and then staging debates full of kisses and pats on the back.

The measure, sent to the House by a vote of 25-4, would spell out the projects for which governments still may condemn land, and would forbid a taking of land for economic development by a private entity.
Senators approved a protection for Arlington's efforts to condemn homes for a proposed $650 million Dallas Cowboys stadium, already approved by voters.
I'd say screw the Cowboys, but that's just me.