Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Houston DA Turns Vigilante

District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal has decided that a new Texas law is irrelevant, and will take the law into his own hands:

Motorists arrested for carrying pistols in their cars without a concealed handgun license will continue to be prosecuted in Houston, despite a new law that purports to give them a legal defense, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said Monday.

Although the sponsor said the law should reduce the number of arrests for unlawful handgun possession, Rosenthal said it won't change enforcement practices in Houston after it goes into effect on Thursday.

"It is still going to be against the law for (unlicensed) persons to carry handguns in autos," the district attorney said, adding that the new legal defense can still be challenged by prosecutors.


Rosenthal said the new presumption about "traveling" doesn't define what constitutes traveling and can be challenged in court by prosecutors, leaving it to juries to decide verdicts "based upon the facts of the case."

A prosecutor could summon witnesses to successfully argue that a defendant wasn't traveling because he was simply "driving around the corner for a carton of milk," Kepple said.
Wrong, Chuckie. This law came about exactly because of people like you, who made up their own definitions on the fly--definitions which varied from place to place and person to person. We now actually do have a clear and specific definition of traveling, and if you don't like it, I suggest you find another job. I'm sure you would do just fine driving the golf cart around the parking lot at your local Walmart.

As I have posted before, this law specifically states:

(i) For purposes of Subsection (b)(3), a person is presumed to be traveling if the person is:
(1) in a private motor vehicle;
(2) not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic;
(3) not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm;
(4) not a member of a criminal street gang, as defined by Section 71.01; and
(5) not carrying a handgun in plain view.
Intended destination or planned length of travel are not mentioned, and have nothing to do with it.

The Outrage Meter goes into the red for this one.

Related posts:
Some HB823 Details (6/18)
Representative Terry Keel's press release on HB823 (9/03)
HB823 in the news (9/03)

Submitted to Carnival of Cordite.

The .45 may be coming back

The Michael Bane Blog tips us to this:
The USSOCOM intends to issue a solicitation to obtain commercially available non-developmental item (NDI) Joint Combat Pistol (JCP) system, Caliber .45 (ACP). The Program will use full and open competition to fulfill the JCP requirement. The JCP will be delivered in accordance with specification entitled "Performance Specification Joint Combat Pistol" to be provided with issuance of the solicitation.
More details if you follow the link.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Today on NPR

How many people who read this blog also listen to NPR? Well, I listen to it quite frequently. Today I was doing my other job that doesn't require meter reading, so I was driving all day and listening to the radio. I like to listen to the NPR program Talk of the Nation. So at several minutes past 1:00 PM I switched from my jazz station to NPR and was utterly astounded to hear them giving air time to Casey Sheehan's mother. I couldn't believe they were going to actually waste airtime on her. Anyway, their usual format is to spend the first 2/3 or so of the hour on one topic, and then switch to some other topic for the remainder. She was supposed to be the guest for that first segment. When Neal Conan asked her about why she changed from her first meeting with President Bush, she said that she had already talked about that numerous times and suggested he ask about "what is going on now." He answered that she hadn't answered the question for him. She hemmed and hawed a little (as we say in Texas) and then said that she only had two minutes left. "Oh, I thought you would be on much longer," said Mr. Conan. She repeated that she only had two minutes. So he asked her to answer the question anyway. She regurgitated her apparently much-reheared and standard answer which is the exact opposite of what she originally said about the meeting. As he tried to ask her more questions, she began faking a bad cell connection by repeatedly saying "hello? hello?" as if she couldn't hear him. Then she abruptly said she had to to go, and hung up.

After this a new guest was brought on named Gary Qualls. If you haven't heard of him, check out this post: Nailed to a Cross at Moorewatch. He said that he has tried to contact her several times, and the one time he did get her on the phone she pulled the same stunt with him.

Casey Sheehan's mother apparently doesn't realize that a cell phone is a two-way radio communication. If it doesn't work one way, it doesn't work the other way, either. Her words were coming through 59 to Mr. Conan, but she was acting like she had lost him. It doesn't work that way. Her transmissions should have been breaking up as well, instead of coming through with perfect clarity. If the idiot can't handle the heat, she shouldn't have thrown herself into the oven.

By the way, this is the only post I have had, or will have, on this subject.

American Princess says "Skip Plan B"

Well, I can't blog about guns all the time. Here is something else that I think is important. The American Princess tips us to some backroomish deals between Planned Parenthood and Barr Pharmaceuticals (the owner of Plan B):
The details came tumbling out when internal Planned Parenthood e-mails were made public during a California court case. These documents detail how Planned Parenthood worked out a deal with Barr Pharmaceuticals, Plan B's owner. Under a five-year agreement, Planned Parenthood would be able to buy Plan B from Barr at bargain-basement prices, undercut local pharmacies, and clear an average $20 profit on each Plan B kit.

Americans Are Taking Personal Protection More Seriously Than Ever: Terrorist Attacks Spark Renewed Interest in Carrying Handguns

From PRWEB, Americans Are Taking Personal Protection More Seriously Than Ever: Terrorist Attacks Spark Renewed Interest in Carrying Handguns:
Indeed, according to at least one weapons expert, Americans are feeling the need for gun ownership in order to protect themselves like never before. This trend started with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 'For decades, Americans have been brainwashed into taking a passive role in their own survival,' says Chris Bird, a journalist and handgun expert. 'On September 11th, we learned that the government and the professionals could not protect us.'

Bird is so convinced of the need for people to take their protection seriously that he wrote a book entitled, 'The Concealed Handgun Manual: How to Choose, Carry, and Shoot a Gun in Self-defense.' Bird was a commissioned officer in the Royal Military Police of the British Army in the 1960s where he served as company weapon-training officer. Since then, he has moved to the U.S. and has taken an active role in educating others about the safe and wise use of weapons.

His book provides current or prospective gun-owners with insight about owning and using a handgun. With so many people interested in owning and carrying a concealed weapon, there is a need for definitive information for prospective gun-owners. In fact, forty-six states allow people to carry a concealed handgun, and it is estimated that there are more than 3.3 million people who have licenses to carry concealed handguns.

EDITORIAL: So much for gun control

An interesting editorial from the Edmonton, Alberta Sun:
When we first read the headline in last Thursday's Sun - 'Feds taking aim at gun violence' - we thought that there must have been some mistake.

Gun violence? What gun violence? We have a very expensive national gun registry that was put into place to ensure that every firearm in Canada can be tracked. We have cumbersome regulations in place that make it more difficult for Canadians to buy guns. We have armies of bureaucrats shuffling paper to and fro to make sure that everything related to guns in this country is all very above-board and law-abiding.

So there can't possibly be any gun violence in Canada!

OK, we made our point. There is still lots of gun violence in Canada, and the gun registry hasn't done a single thing to stop it.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

What I really look like

I know that many bloggers post an actual picture of themselves, or at least a partial actual picture, on their blogs. This is something I have been loathe to do. I don't really look like Alucard. Well, when I'm working, due to the hat and sunglasses that I wear, along with the unruliness of my hair when it has become completely sweat-soaked, I actually do vaguely resemble him. But here is a picture of how I really look. Except without the beard. And the pipe should have a vulcanite stem, not wood. And the shotgun should be a Mossberg, not a Winchester. Other than that, it's pretty close.

Actually this is a selection from a piece of calendar artwork by Robert Robinson which was included in a 1911 Winchester calendar and is titled Autumn Hunter. Some of you probably already know where I scanned it from. If I could get a decent 8x10 of this, I would frame it.

Pit Bull bigotry

I submit this from the San Antonio Express-News:
Officers first received an emergency call at 6:41 a.m. Sunday. Police were told four aggressive dogs, including the pit bull, were prowling the neighborhood, Correa said. A second call came in about 20 minutes later that a pit bull had bitten a pedestrian in the leg. Responding officers could not locate the animals, Correa said.
What breeds were the other dogs? Not important, it seems. One was a pit bull, and that's all you people need to know.

Police couldn't locate the dog's owner. What about the other three dogs and their owner(s)?

The way pit bulls have been treated recently in the media makes me think they must be the .50BMG of dog breeds. Same attitudes, same thought processes, two different targets.

The owner of this dog should be penalized for creating such a dog, regardless of breed.

In any case, that's one more threat to my on-the-job safety eliminated. I just wish they had eliminated all four.

Recent gun bigotry

The Smallest Minority checks into media coverage of two recent Wal-Mart shootings, and I am not surprised by the results.

tnx to The War On Guns

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Maybe I've just been lucky...

...but I have never had a single comment spam on this blog. This seems odd, because in randomly browsing other Blogger blogs, I have come across many blogs which are (somehow) even more obscure than this one, yet have been inundated by comment spam.

So just to play it safe, I've turned on word verification for commentors, which is a new feature that Blogger recently added.

Whatever you do, avoid this site!

Blue Flypaper is a blog that so thoroughly and indefatigably espouses the liberal ideals that it has almost persuaded me to turn all my guns into sculpture and start reading the Los Angeles Times, even though I live in Texas! I even have a strange urge to eat tofu.

very much tnx to Alphecca

Man carrying unloaded guns will not be charged

From King County Journal (Washington state):
No charges will be filed against a man who police found walking along a busy East Hill street with a large revolver in a hip holster and carrying a rifle.

But there were no reports that the man made any threatening gestures or aimed the unloaded guns at anybody. And it is legal for the man to possess the firearms, according to Tami Perdue, the city's chief prosecuting attorney.

"There are no criminal charges that will be filed in this incident,'' Perdue said Friday.
No charges will be filed. However, that didn't stop police from confiscating BB guns, a "bullet-proof vest," other firearms, ammo and handcuffs from the man's home. These items allegedly will be returned.

He was repeatedly cautioned not to carry firearms openly, because, according to the city's chief prosecuting attorney Tami Perdue:
"You don't know how other people would react,'' she said, adding, "if they had a legal concealed pistol permit, would they draw their weapon?"
Yes, that's right. Those of us with who legally carry concealed are really all looking for anyone else who obviously is armed so we can all eliminate each other. In the end, there can be only one.


Budapest Mayor gets dictatorial on fashion

Or should I say chauvinistic?:
The mayor of one Budapest district wants female City Hall staff to wear miniskirts only if they have 'completely perfect legs' and the skirts are no shorter than 2-3 centimeters (about 1 inch) above the knee.

Gabor Mitynan, a conservative who runs the wealthy 12th district, also wants male employees to wear blazers in summer, and told the Website ( the dress code was needed because he had seen staff dressed like beggars or vacationers.

Mitynan also dislikes crop tops -- popular in Budapest -- saying 'few women have well-trained bellies worth showing to people' and wants the city to legislate on stocking thickness, proposing 5-10 denier for summer, 15 for spring and autumn and 20 for winter.
Furthermore, female City Hall staff may go topless if they have completely perfect...


Robbery suspect takes a break at Wilson County Jail

RedNova has an "oddity" report from my home county -- Man Found Locked in Women's Prison Cell:
Authorities are investigating how a male prisoner managed to lock himself up with eight female prisoners at the Wilson County Jail.


Officials believe Joseph Krist, 34, sneaked into the cell after he moved a mop and bucket from his cell into a vestibule located between his and the women's cell. Krist apparently didn't return to his cell, but instead stayed in the vestibule until the women's cell door was remotely opened by a jail employee for them to get the mop.

Deagen said of Krist was in the cell for about 11 hours Monday. He was jailed on a bank robbery charge.
He was returned to his own cell, exhausted but smiling.

(okay, that last line is just my own joke--it's not part of the report)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #28 is up

The newest Carnival of Cordite is over at Resistance is Futile! Sigh...I have nothing in it this week, and my submission last week was pretty lame, I must say. Work has been wearing me down for the past couple of weeks. I'm working on something better for next week's carnival however. My hit counter could use another infusion.

Put things in perspective...

The Milky Way from RedNova's images of the universe:
The survey, conducted using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, sampled light from an estimated 30 million stars in the plane of the galaxy in an effort to build a detailed portrait of the inner regions of the Milky Way.
Download the full-size image. It makes one heck of a desktop wallpaper. They should have had the arrow pointing at the "SUN" instead point to "YOU ARE HERE."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Austin Community College officials change their mind

In an update to this post about former U.S. Marine Carl Basham, All Things Conservative now reports that officials of Austin Community college have changed their minds and say they are "delighted" and "proud" that Mr. Basham would join their institution. That didn't take long.

"Defense of Self" bill in Alaska reports:
If a 15-year-old intruder had been armed when Robert Locke found him in the bushes outside his Wasilla home Aug. 7, the boy would probably be dead today.

And Locke, the owner of Sharpshooters Gun and Pawn in Palmer, might have been facing jail or a wrongful-death suit filed by the boy's family if that had happened.

That's why Locke supports new legislation drafted by Rep. Carl Gatto, R-Palmer, known as the 'Defense of Self' bill. If passed, the bill would protect homeowners or legal occupants from being sued if they kill someone they felt was threatening their life, property, or family.

'If that kid would have been armed I wouldn't have hesitated for a minute to eliminate him,' said Locke, who found the boy leaving his property with a pocketful of his wife's jewelry, cash and pain medicine when he drove into his driveway late that Sunday night. 'I'm just glad it was me and not my wife who came home. She would have shot and killed all three of them and let the dogs chew on their bones.'


The draft legislation, which will be introduced in legislative committees in January, would not allow a citizen to use deadly force against a peace officer engaged in official duties. It would, however, protect someone who believes the use of deadly force is necessary for self defense against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, second-degree sexual assault, first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and robbery in any degree.

The bill would allow more leeway to the provision in the law that encourages homeowners to retreat from the intruder if they know with certainty that they can be safe that way. The bill also adds wording to the original law to exempt someone from the duty to retreat if they are in a place where they have the right to be, such as in their own home.

In addition, a new subsection to state law would be added to allow someone in a motor vehicle to use deadly force upon another during a carjacking, as well as allow someone outside a vehicle to use deadly force against someone believed to be stealing the vehicle while someone else is inside it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Local bowhunter invents tool to increase accuracy of bows

The Wilson County News reports:
He recently went to market with his first patented invention. The Air-Rest product he developed is designed to increase the accuracy of a bow by preventing arrows from having “unwanted contact or friction” with any part of the apparatus, save for the cable that a shooter draws back and releases during the shooting process, Minica said.


Rather than resting on the side of the bow, an arrow that is shot from an Air-Rest equipped bow sits in suspended animation within a magnetic field.

Watching an arrow being drawn and fired through an Air-Rest system is like experiencing an optical illusion. The arrow appears to be held fast by some invisible force, which of course, it is. But the magnetic field that holds the arrow is so powerful, there is absolutely no wobble or waver detectable.
Why didn't I think of that? The Air-Rest retails for about $100.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Anthony Diotaiuto's mother plans scholarship fund in honor of son

The Sun-Sentinel reports on Marlene Diotaiuto, the mother of SWAT victim Anthony Diotaiuto, who plans to start a scholarship fund in honor of her son. In the report is this newest tidbit:
Anthony Diotaiuto worked full-time as a bartender at the Carolina Ale House in Weston and as a DJ on weekends. He was also a part-time student at Broward Community College, where he was studying restaurant management.
So not only did he work full time during the week and part time on weekends, but he was also a part time college student. Somebody really screwed the pooch on this one.
Instead of flowers, the family suggested donations in Anthony Diotaiuto's memory to Marlene's Angels scholarship fund, 2801 SW 87th Ave., Number 1003, Davie, Florida 33328.

Figures from H.P. Lovecraft is going to produce a line of creature figures from the works of Lovecraft:
These creatures will range in size and come with multiple points of articulation as well as ball-joints, depending on the piece.
The first three are Cthulhu, Pickman's Model (a ghoul), and Dagon.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

How not to clear a barrel obstruction

After several months of being scannerless, and several weeks of being printerless, I finally bought a new HP printer/scanner yesterday. So now we can all look forward to some pictures being posted to this blog on occasion.

Here is a favorite of mine from a book I have. A Colt Official Police Revolver in .38 caliber that has been cut away so we can see the insides. A squib round apparently got stuck in the barrel, so someone decided to keep shooting until the barrel was cleared (uh-huh). The results are clear to see.

Blogroll Notes

I have switched to using Blogrolling to create the blogroll in the sidebar. It's just less confusing for me than using my Bloglines subscriptions.

My blogroll is made up of blogs that I read regularly, which means pretty much every day. It also includes blogs that have put me on their blogroll, which means I will be reading them quite regularly also, just to see what's up.

A brand new addition today is Featherless Biped. It has been weeks since I last did a Blogrolling search, and this website turned up which looks quite interesting.

There are quite a few blogs that I check into less regularly. There are also some blogs that I'm still deciding about.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

John Lott on Canada's gun problem

John Lott has written an excellent article regarding Canada's recent blaming of their "gun problems" on the United States:
Of course, there is a minor little problem with the attacks on the U.S.. Canadians really don't know what the facts are. The reason is simple: despite billions of dollars spent on the Canada's gun registration program and the program not actually solving any crimes, the government does not even know the number of crime guns seized in Canada, let alone where those crime guns came from. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported in late-July that they "cannot know if [the guns] were traceable or where they might have been traced." Thus, even if smuggled guns were an important problem, the Canadian government doesn't know if it is worse now than in the past.

Five Personal Idiosyncrasies

I'm really a pretty boring sort of person. And I never really try to participate in memes. However, this one sounded interesting, so I thought I'd rack my brain and see if I could come up with five things. I picked this up at Cowboy Blob's.

I hate clowns. Circus clowns, anyway. I have great respect for rodeo clowns.

I actually believe that sometimes certain items simply vanish. No one took them--they are just gone. I compulsively place certain important items in the exact same spot every time I put them down because of this. I want to make sure that when they vanish, I know it wasn't my fault.

I have an aversion, shall we say, to amphibians. Toads are the worst. Frogs are slightly less bad. I'm not too fond of turtles, either.

You know how Spiderman had his "Spidey-sense"? Well, I have the same thing, except that it's specific to exposed female cleavage. I'm serious. If there's any within eyesight, I know about it, even if I haven't turned that way to look yet.

There are certain foods that I absolutely cannot tolerate. I mean, they actually make me physically ill. Macaroni makes me vomit, although I love spaghetti (I don't know why, since they're both pasta). The mere sight of guacamole makes me queasy. No kidding. Someone once made me a sandwich and smeared some of that stuff on it, and on my first bite I had to make a run for the bathroom. I can't handle pineapple or coconut either.

I have an odd habit of laughing at things that no one else sees humor in, and not laughing at things that some other people think are funny. A new-age girl I once knew said this was because I was the archetypal Fool (from the Tarot deck). I like to think it's because I have a highly refined sense of the absurd.

I like to sleep with my head under a pillow.

I have had "The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe" in my nightstand for about 20 years now. I occasionally just pick it up and read a couple of poems at random.

I have a number of old gospel hymns so well memorized that if the world of Fahrenheit 451 came to pass, I would be the guy they go to for old gospel hymns.

A long time ago our local PBS station showed Dr. Who every weeknight at 10:00 PM. They started at the very beginning and showed every episode that has survived right through to the end with Sylvester McCoy. I taped almost every single episode, and I still have all the tapes. (And yes, I know the series is being revived).

A friend of mine and I have a habit of using random lines from Monty Python as titles for our emails, although the lines usually have no relation whatsoever to the content of the email.

Well, I said at the beginning that I was a pretty boring sort of person.

Rewilding America

When I first heard of this, this past week, I thought, cool, let's let wild lions and cheetahs loose in North America. The only way to control their populations is hunting, and this would mean those of us who could never afford a trip to Africa could get a chance at big-game hunting right here in the good ol' U.S. of A!

My second thought was, nope, can't be that simple, Bubba.

Some spokesman (I didn't catch his name) was on NPR's Science Friday this week. Now Ira Flatow isn't really one to ask hardball questions, but this spoksman was so lame that Ira actually kept asking him the same question at least twice, maybe three times. The basic question was, Yeah, but how are you actually going to do it?

The spokesman seemed to be about three hints short of a clue. All he could do was go back to a species of tortoise that is nearly extinct here, and by starting with them, re-introducing them back to the wild, and using a "science-based process," we would eventually work up to lions, cheetahs, elephants, and camels. These are all animals which had prehistoric counterparts living on this continent some 15,000 years ago, so it only follows that these modern-day versions of them should thrive here now. His logic, not mine. Personally, I would love it if a wombat population were established here, because I just love the word "wombat" and try to work it into everyday conversation as often as possible, but I guess there were never any sabre-toothed wombats living in this neck of the woods.

(By the way, camels were given a chance already, and didn't make it. The Army tried using them in place of horses in the southwest back in the old days. Eventually the project was discontinued and all the camels were set free. They weren't able to establish themselves and survive. But then, they weren't subjected to a "science-based process," whatever that is).

This person also loved using the reintroduction of wolves in the west as an example. Of course, these were the same kinds of wolves that were essentially wiped out within the lifetimes of humans living today. He failed to clarify how this was the same kind of thing as reintroducing contemporary cousins of prehistoric species.

But, it's really worse than just some goofball coming up with some goofball idea. Liberty Matters has a good roundup on this, of which I will quote some, and although this is an older article, its age shows that this has been brewing for a long time:
The Wildlands Project is a massive program for restructuring society around nature as the organizing principle. The concept is Foreman's, but the plan was developed by Dr. Reed Noss under grants from The Nature Conservancy and the National Audubon Society. It was first published in Wild Earth, a publication of the Cenozoic Society, of which Foreman is chairman.

Funded by the Ira Hiti Foundation for Deep Ecology, 75,000 copies of the plan
were produced and distributed. The Wildlands Project was set up as a corporation with offices in Arizona and Oregon; Foreman is Chairman of the Board; Reed Noss is a Director.

Working in tandem with the Wildlands Project is the Biosphere Reserve Program, a creation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The objective of the program, conceived in 1971, has been to designate sites worldwide for preservation and to protect the biodiversity of chosen sites on a global level. Toward that end, the Sierra Club has redrawn the map of North America into 21 "bioregions."

In turn, each of the 21 bioregions has been divided into three zones:

1) Wilderness area, designated as habitat of plants and animals. Human habitation, use, or intrusion is forbidden.

(2) Buffer zones surrounding the wilderness areas. Limited, and strictly controlled, human access is permitted within this zone.

(3) Cooperation zones, the only zones where humans will be permitted to live.

According to Dr. Michael Coffman of Environmental Perspectives, Inc., a strategy to implement reserves and corridors (in the northern Rockies, for example, see map on page 4 [Ed. Note: Not reproduced here; see maps at ]) would be to:

1) Start with a seemingly innocent-sounding program like the "World Heritage Areas in Danger." Bring all human activity under regulation in a 14-18 million acre buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park.

2) Next, declare all federal land (except Indian reservations) as buffers, along with private land within federal administration boundaries.

3) Next, extend the U.S. Heritage corridor buffer zone concept along major river systems. Begin to convert critical federal lands and ecosystems to reserves.

4) Finally, convert all U.S. Forest Service, grasslands, and wildlife refuges to reserves. Add missing reserves and corridors so that 50 percent of landscape is preserved. [Based on United Nations World Heritage Program; United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 8a-e; United Nations Global Biodiversity Assessment, Section; U.S. Man and the Biosphere Strategic Plan (1994 draft); U.S. Heritage Corridors Program; and "The Wildlands Project," (published in Wild Earth, Dec. 1992). Also, see Science, "The High Cost of Biodiversity," Vol. 280, June 25, 1993, pp.1868-1871.]

Investigative reporter Karen Lee Bixman, in her article, "The Taking of America," states that "each of the 21 bioregions will be governed by bioregional councils. Although in its infancy stage, the setting up of such a council is taking place [now] in the south in conjunction with the Smokey Mountain National Park in Tennessee. When these councils come into play, local, state and national government will not be able to interfere with their enforcement. It will be under the strong arm of the UN.Environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy and other green organizations will be given the green light [to be] the enforcement arm of these councils at the local level." [Karen Lee Bixman, "The Taking of America," The Investigative Reporter (Huntington Beach, CA), March 1996, .3.]

It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this is a radical agenda designed to control not just the land, but all human activity, as well. Under the Wildlands Project, at least 50 percent of the land area of America would be returned to "core wilderness areas" where human activity is barred.

Those areas would be connected by corridors, a few miles wide. The core areas and corridors would be surrounded by "buffer zones" in which "managed" human activity would be allowed, provided that biodiversity protection is the first priority. Reed Noss's words put it very, very plainly: "the collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans." ["Rewilding America," eco-logic Magazine (Publ. By Environmental Conservation Organization, Hollow Rock, TN), November/December 1995, p.20.]
That's a big quote, but then it's a long article. And yes, this is just another facet of the "all humans must die so that the earth can be preserved" movement.

Maybe I'm way behind the curve on this one, and maybe I'm wrong. But it seems plenty sinister to me. Note especially the words I emphasized in the last quoted paragraph above. Sinister, because he is talking about animals that do not even live on this continent now, and never did (although their prehistoric cousins did).

I still think it would be cool to go elephant hunting in Arizona. All I would need is to find somebody who would rent me a .416 Rigby.

Something I just discovered...

I installed a search tool on this site, mainly for my own use in hunting down previous posts. I picked one that has a very large limit, which it will be a long time before I reach, and also one that I can index manually.

I discovered something. I found this out simply due to a hunch, based on no conscious technical knowledge on my part.

A while back I went into my Blogger settings and changed "Add your blog to our listings?" to NO. I did this so that my blog wouldn't be included in the "next blog" button function anymore. This way my web stats would be a lot more accurate, and the web counter that I recently installed would be more accurate, because it would eliminate random hits from that "next blog" thing.

Whatever this "NO" setting does, it also prevents the site from being spidered by certain search engines. I'm not sure exactly which ones or how extensive, except that, for sure, Picosearch and Freefind are both rendered inoperable by this setting.

Some Minutemen in Texas will be carrying concealed weapons

Talk about stating the obvious. But of course, this is a problem for some.

The Houston Chronicle reports:
Leaders of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of Texas had earlier said volunteers observing Houston's day laborers in October would carry nothing but video cameras.

But leaders now say those involved in the operations targeting local illegal immigrants will be allowed to carry arms as long as they comply with all federal and state laws.

In fact, those who have a concealed-weapons permit are being offered a discount on joining the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. An Arizona-based organization, the Minutemen started out by patrolling the Arizona-Mexico border in April to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing, but the group has announced it will conduct a variety of operations here this fall.

Members are normally charged $50 to join, with the money used to conduct a criminal background check. Those with a valid concealed-weapons permit can have that fee waived, since they already have undergone a background check and met other requirements, such as a handgun course, to get the permit, said George Klages, spokesman for the Minutemen in Houston.
So now the Minutemen have finally become targets of gun bigots. Notice the emphasized paragraph above. They can carry concealed if they comply with all the laws. So that means they are all going to be armed and looking to kill illegal aliens at their whim. Yeah.

Also note that they are not actually using a discounted fee as a recruiting tool. They have a smaller fee for those with concealed weapons permits because they know those people have already been through background checks. Those background checks aren't free, you know.

This article also points out that Chris Simcox has a gun-related criminal record:
He was convicted of entering a federal park with a loaded weapon and offering false information to a federal officer, both misdemeanors, and was sentenced to two years' probation, court records show.
Bad boy, Chris. We all know federal parks are completely free from crime and violent attacks.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Arizona and Sonora to team up on border crime

Border Governors Implement Safety Plans from AP:
The governors of Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora on Friday announced stepped-up plans to combat border-related crime, saying they were prompted to act in part because their respective national governments have been slow to help.

Arizona will create a new detail of officers to help target vehicle theft -- a crime often linked to transporting of illegal immigrants -- and to gather intelligence to identify people taking large amounts of cash from the United States to Mexico, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano said.

In addition, police in the border-area cities of Nogales, Bisbee and San Luis and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department will assign dozens more officers to combat vehicle theft, drug trafficking and other border-related crime, Napolitano said.

Meanwhile, Sonoran Gov. Eduardo Bours announced the establishment of four new checkpoints in Sonora where officers will try to identify and detain people engaged in smuggling and vehicle theft.
I never expected the Mexican Federales to do anything about border problems. Any real work will have to be done by the states. Pretty much just like in this country.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Attention XD owners

I like my XD40 so much, that for the first time, I wish there were some good lasergrip sights for it. (If someone else already makes them, I don't know about it). In the Crimson Trace forum, it has been stated that they are looking seriously at the XD series, but there are no firm plans for development...yet. So hop on over to the Crimson Trace request page and vote for the XD series.

And you can join Free Lasergrips Drawing while you're there, for a chance to win Lasergrips for one of your other guns.

Austin Community College tells veteran he is no longer a Texan

The Star-Telegram reports (bugmenot:
Carl Basham was born in Beeville, registered to vote in Travis County in 1998, holds a Texas driver's license and does his banking in Austin.

So he was shocked when Austin Community College told him a few weeks ago that he didn't qualify as a Texas resident 'for tuition purposes.' Basham, a former Marine corporal, said he was even more shocked when officials told him why: After two tours of duty in Iraq, he's been out of the state too long to qualify.
This is important to him because as a resident, his tuition would only be about $500 per semester. As a non-resident, it's about $2,600 per semester. I think bad P.R. is going to win the day on this one.

More bad news for Texas land-grabbers

Eminent Domain Bill Sent to Governor Perry:
The government's power to take private property for economic development would be limited under a bill approved today by the Texas Senate.

The eminent domain measure now goes to Governor Rick Perry, who says the bill provides common sense protection for every private property owner. Perry last week added the issue to the call of the special session on school finance.

The Senate's 17-to-6 vote of approval came as any hope of passing a school finance measure appeared to have faded for good. The bill was filed in response to a June U-S Supreme Court ruling in a Connecticut case. That decision lets governments take land for private development to generate tax money.

Texas is one of at least 25 states that have considered changes to eminent domain laws this summer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Right Hand of God comments on Intelligent Design

Right Hand of God comments Intelligent Design. I have nothing to added. Except, perhaps, amen.

Toronto Mayor wants to fight gun-smuggling by disarming residents

Apparently, the mayor of Toronto believes that illegal gun-smuggling is the fault of "lax gun laws" of the United States, and to solve the problem wants to collect all firearms from residents of Toronto and store them in a centralized location. The National Post reports:
'There's no reason to own a gun in Toronto -- collector or not. If you are a collector and you have a permit, the guns need to be stored in a way that they can't be stolen. And perhaps a centralized facility of some kind could accomplish that goal,' Mr. Miller told the National Post. 'The law requires gun owners to have proper storage, but obviously not everyone adheres to that.'

Following a spate of shootings in Toronto, the Mayor has asked city lawyers and the police to determine whether the municipality has the 'legal ability' to require individuals to store their weapons at a secure facility such as a gun club.

'It's a very serious issue and I don't have all the answers to it, but I've spoken to the [Police] Chief as well as our own legal department to see what we can do,' Mr. Miller said.

The Mayor has repeatedly blamed lax gun laws in the United States for some of Toronto's violence, saying half of the firearms in the city originated in the United States.

While pressing the federal government to stem the smuggling of guns across the border, Mr. Miller said steps must also be taken steps to address domestic gun problems.


Mr. Miller noted several U.S. cities such as Chicago have passed ordinances restricting handgun ownership. But legal gun owners argue the new rules would only make life simpler for criminals.
Chicago is his example. Yeah. But not everyone is buying it:
'It would just put all the firearms in one place so they could all be stolen at one time,' said Eric Greer of the Ontario Arms Collectors Association. 'That would be a wonderful thing.'

Mr. Greer added the Mayor's proposal would not prevent criminals from acquiring weapons, noting Canada enacted its first handgun registry in 1934.

'It hasn't made one iota of difference. And the reason is the people that registered their handguns don't commit the crimes. The people who commit crimes don't register their guns. It's as simple as that,' he said.

Other gun owners said they are tired of being conflated with murderers and thieves.

'There are legal gun owners all over Ontario who don't go around brandishing their guns, who go through the whole rigamarole to get licensed properly,' said Bill, a member of the Maple Leaf Revolver Club, who asked his last name not be used citing safety concerns. 'The Mayor's not thinking properly.'

He added most gun owners would support tough sentences for individuals caught using firearms to commit a crime.

"At most of the clubs, you will hear people say, 'Arrest the guy, look at the law and if the law says to throw him away for five years or 10 years, do it,'" the gun owner said. Mr. Miller agreed the courts must be more stringent, noting individuals caught with weapons currently are routinely released on bail.

More news on Anthony Diotaiuto

More from the Sun-Sentinel.

An ounce of pot, 10 bullets and one failed drug war:
In the annals of drug takedowns, this wasn't much. Three quarter-ounce bags of marijuana in a bedroom refrigerator, a joint and another loose gram on top. Four grams scattered on a dresser. Six pipes with pot residue, three ashtrays with less than a gram each, three packs of rolling paper and a digital scale.

Thanks to the efforts of the Sunrise Police Department, today a pothead in west Broward might have to go an extra 10 blocks to score some smoke.

And Anthony Diotaiuto is dead. All for 30.2 grams of weed, a little more than an ounce.

The drug inventory above is what Sunrise police said they found in Diotaiuto's home the morning a SWAT unit shot him with 10 bullets in a pre-dawn raid.

No coke. No heroin. No ecstasy or meth.

'What in the hell were they doing with a SWAT team?' asked Eleanor Shockett, a retired Miami-Dade circuit judge who advocates a sweeping overhaul of drug laws. 'To break into someone's home at six in the morning, possibly awaken someone from a deep sleep, someone who has a concealed weapons permit? What did they expect to happen?'

This is a tragedy that never should have happened.

Even if Diotaiuto, 23, was a small-time pot dealer, which his friends and family deny, the methods used show the madness of our country's war on drugs.

No discretion. No proportionality. No sense.

'Using SWAT in this case is like using a sledgehammer on a fly,' said Jack Cole, a former narcotics detective for the New Jersey State Police who heads Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a drug-law reform group. 'I'd much rather use a little bit of stealth.'

Cole spent 14 years as an undercover agent and nearly three decades as a cop. He doesn't understand why such a huge show of force was necessary, why it needed to be done at 6:15 a.m., or why detectives couldn't detain Diotaiuto when he left his house for work.

'When you kick in a door, all it does is alert them that someone is coming that they don't want to see,' Cole said.
If this is the "war on drugs," I want no part of it. My original opinion, that a bigger pusher turned in his name as part of a plea bargain, seems supported by this paragraph:
Broward Circuit Judge John Frusciante on Aug. 3 granted the search warrant for Diotaiuto's home. According to warrant details released Monday, Diotaiuto didn't even have to be home during the search. The warrant affidavit said a confidential informant bought an ounce of marijuana from Diotaiuto there last month. That came two weeks after an anonymous tipster told Sunrise narcotics officers that "cannabis and cocaine were being sold at all hours" at the house.
Either that, or a real drug "kingpin" used this method to eliminate some small-time competition.

Monday, August 15, 2005

San Antonio suddenly discovers an already existing technology

Someone finally realized they can synchronize traffic lights. And I must say, it's about time. WOAI reports:
Say good-bye to driving one block down main streets like Bandera Rd, Commerce St., or San Pedro, waiting at a red light, then driving one more block and waiting at another red light. City officials today announced plans to synchronize traffic lights on all of the major thoroughfares.

I haven't checked this one out thoroughly yet...

...but I think this website should prove both informative and amusing (and possibly scary as well). NK News catalogs propaganda from that goofball extraordinaire Kim Jong Il:
NK News is a searchable database of North Korean propaganda. This site contains nearly every article published on the KCNA's website, in English and Spanish, since Dec 2, 1996--over 50 MB of hard-core Stalinist propaganda! And each article written in that unique and indelible style of the KCNA.
There is also a KCNA Random Insult Generator:
You bourgeois stooge, your accusation against the DPRK is no more than barking at the moon!

More rampant "political correctness" reports:
LAS CRUCES - Pistol Pete, the gun-toting mascot for New Mexico State University, may have a battle on his hands to keep his job.

Talks are under way about whether the time has come to retire the mascot, who has donned his huge cowboy hat at Aggie games and other events for 40 years.

NMSU President Michael Martin said no one has decided that Pete needs to go, but it's at least time for a makeover.

The current Pete costume is decades-old and scares children, Martin said.
Because the mere sight of a not-gun prop gun carried by a cartoonish mascot is too traumatic for the faint of heart, I daresay.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Random Notes

Welcome other TTLB Gunblogger Community members. I'm happy to be part of the fun.

For some time now, there has been a small script on this blog that shows me the 10 most frequently clicked links for the day, thanks to MyBlogLog. Now, also from MyBlogLog, is another short script that shows any viewer how many times that day a link has been clicked by other visitors. Just hover your cursor over any link and if anyone else has followed it that day, it will show you how many.

Since I am actually starting to get a little traffic, I finally installed a hit counter on the site, thanks to StatCounter.

And last of all, someone actually subscribed to this blog with Bloglines!

NRA-ILA picks up the ball

Excerpt from NRA-ILA news:
You might have recently heard of a new organization claiming to represent hunters and gun owners. The new group calls itself the American Hunters and Shooters Association, a friendly sounding name designed to earn the trust of gun owners and hunters. The reality is that AHSA is nothing more than the enemy in camouflage.

At first glance, everything about AHSA sounds just fine. They even have one useful tool on the website, a history of wildlife conservation laws in America--strange thing is it was lifted nearly word for word from
UPDATE: Previous references #1 and #2.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

NRA-ILA Newsfeed

There is supposed to be a newsfeed from the NRA-ILA in the sidebar. For some reason, it has the bad habit of disappearing for hours at a time. So when the sidebar title says "Newsfeeds," it isn't a typo. There really should be two newsfeeds there.

Bittersweet stoplight update

Reference previous posts here and here. According to the portable flashing sign on highway 87 now, the stoplight will go into operation on Tuesday 8/16. It has been about three years since the extension to FM 1346 turned this into a four-way intersection which has been plagued with numerous accidents and more than one death.

I am convinced that if a real stoplight had been installed at this intersection in the beginning, as it should have, many of these accidents would have been prevented simply because of better traffic control. I also believe there would be a very good possibility that that little girl would not have been killed.

When this highway extension first opened, and I was utterly astounded to see that they were not going to put a stoplight there, the first thing I said to my wife was, "I wonder who will have to die before they put up a real stoplight." Unfortunately, now we know.

Some readers of this blog might be wondering why I'm harping on this. I guess this is the only way I can say "I told you so, you stupid !@#$%&* idiots." The little girl who lost her life here was the same age as my daughter, and they attended pre-K at the same time, though in different classes. I was horrified at the time it happened, and writing this has made me realize the horror still hasn't worn off very much.

A notable ruling for Mississippi

The Clarion-Ledger reports:
A faulty jury instruction prevented Ardes Johnson from being allowed to argue that he killed a man in self-defense, the Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled.

The Supreme Court on Thursday threw out Johnson's 2004 murder conviction and life sentence in Bolivar County Circuit Court.

Johnson was convicted in the 2003 stabbing death of Terrell Davis outside a store in Shelby.

Johnson claimed at trial that Davis had threatened him by displaying a gang sign and he felt his life was in danger.

Johnson said he was carrying a folding knife for protection.

Johnson also claimed he was defending Shirley Landrum, Davis' girlfriend, after she was struck by Davis.

On appeal, Johnson challenged a 'pre-arming' instruction given by the judge to the jury.

In the instruction the judge told jurors that if 'a person provokes a difficulty, arming himself in advance and intending, if necessary, to use his weapon and overcome his adversary, he becomes the aggressor and deprives himself of the right of self-defense.'

Chief Justice Jim Smith, writing for the Supreme Court, said the instruction deprived Johnson of his claim of self-defense.

'The type of pre-arming instructions has repeatedly been denounced by this court,' Smith said.
This goofball judge thinks that preparing oneself for any eventual violent attack is the same as provoking attack. Thank goodness a higher authority had the sense to tell him he was wrong.

August Range Report

I did manage to get to the range today, taking with me the XD40 and the Single-Six. Shooting the XD went pretty much as expected. I used up 100 rounds of Wolf Polyformance plus 20 rounds of Winchester JHP without a single problem. The reloads that a friend recently gave me were another story. Now at 300 rounds plus, I think the XD is sufficiently broken in and has proven itself reliable, as long as I'm using decent factory ammo and not reloads. I just need to keep working on it to improve my accuracy. I'm always kind of worried that I'm going to look like a real incompetent at a public range, but I went straight to the 15 yard line. Four other guys there were shooting at the 7 yard line and were doing no better than I at half the distance. So I guess I was doing okay.

The Single-Six was a problem. I don't know how, when, or why, but the sights were way off (high and to the left). Another kind soul there gave me one of his Shoot-N-See targets so I could see those tiny .22 holes, and it helped, but by the time I had started to get the hits where I wanted them I had run out of ammo. I think I might even go out in my big "back yard" later today or tomorrow and work on it some more. At least my grouping with this gun was quite good, I just had to keep adjusting the sights and never did get it into the center where I was aiming.

One note about this range, Bullet Hole Shooting Range. They hold CHL classes every Saturday (and CHL renewal classes every Sunday). There must have been about 30 people there for the class today (the shooting qualification for which is held on a separate range from the "public" range). If they have that many there every That's a lot of people getting CHL's.

Anthony Diotaiuto update

Sun-Sentinel reports:
Police seized 2 ounces of marijuana at the Sunrise home of Anthony Diotaiuto after shooting him 10 times, according to information on the drug raid released Tuesday.


In addition to the marijuana, Voss said, officers seized plastic bags and weight scales from Diotaiuto's home. Possession of 2 ounces of marijuana is a felony, according to state statutes.
So maybe my condemnation was too swift. Or maybe they screwed up. It seems pretty shabby to treat him like Manuel Noriega because he had 2 ounces of weed. I still don't like it. As for "plastic bags and weight scales," I have those as well. Who doesn't have plastic ziplock bags in their house? I suppose many people own a small dietary scale such as I have to weigh food portions. I still don't like it.

It takes a personal connection

The Brownsville Herald has this very misleading headline: Oliveira succeeds in passing amendment to help cousin - again. They do fill in the details later:
For the second time this summer, state Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, introduced in the House, and had passed, a measure that will directly benefit his cousin, an Austin business owner.

On Tuesday, Oliveira introduced and the House passed an amendment to an eminent-domain bill that would prohibit universities in Texas from taking private land and using it for hotels and other private ventures.
One more strike against the land-grabbers, and good for him. I don't care if his cousin does directly benefit. And by "second time," what they really mean is he changed his first amendment to apply to all universities, instead of just University of Texas.

Let there be light...

Some scientists say they have proven conclusively that the sun was shining before the Earth existed:
Our Sun was already shining brightly more than 4.5 billion years ago, as dust and gas was swirling into what would become the planets of the solar system, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

They said their finding is the first conclusive evidence that the so-called protosun affected the developing the solar system by emitting enough ultraviolet energy to catalyze the formation of organic compounds, water and other elements necessary for the evolution of life on Earth.
How about that?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Right to Self Defense gaining ground

Perhaps in the wake of Florida's recent law that expanded the right to use deadly force, a bill has been introduced in Alabama that would expand the citizens' right to self defense. The Daily Sentinel reports:
The bill would expand the circumstances under which a person may use force, including deadly force, to defend himself or herself or another person against an aggressor. The bill would make legal presumptions that a person is justified in using deadly force against an aggressor and would not require a person to retreat from an aggressor intruding into an dwelling, residence or vehicle.

Also, the bill would provide immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for persons justified in using defensive force against an aggressor and would allow the court to award certain fees and expenses to persons immune from civil action if they were sued.

According to the bill, a person would be justified 'in using physical force to defend himself or herself or another person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person and may use a degree of force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary or the purpose.'
The article goes into further details of what would and would not be allowed if this bill becomes law.

This is something I've been thinking about for a while. Many states now have legalized concealed carry. I think self defense and RKBA advocates should also be focusing more on the right to use your arm. Expanding some conditions under which deadly force may be used is a good start, as well as protection against lawsuit for someone who justifiably and legally uses deadly force. For example, under this bill in Alabama, deadly force would be justified against someone "committing or about to commit a kidnapping in any degree." Unless the law has changed since my book on Texas gun laws was issued, in Texas deadly force is only allowed against someone who is committing aggravated kidnapping. This is one quirk of the law that I flatly disagree with, and if some allegedly unarmed thug tried to grab my child, I believe I would prefer to take my chances with a jury.

tnx to NRA-ILA

A couple of different examples reported by John Lott

I think we can safely say that this is an example of stopping power, tnx to John Lott's Website:
A sanitation worker who unloaded six .357 Magnum slugs into an armed kidnapper won't be charged with a crime, officials said Wednesday.
Mr. Lott also brings us an example of gun defense which didn't require discharging the firearm:
A citizen armed with a .44 Magnum stopped a suspected thief long enough for sheriff's deputies to make an arrest Tuesday morning.


Estes didn't keep the gun -- a revolver with a 6-inch barrel -- pointed very long, he said. He holstered it immediately after determining the suspect didn't pose a threat, he said.

"I made it very clear to stay in the car and that he was not at risk and that I was not a threat," said Estes, 40, who has a concealed weapon permit.
Fortunately for the thief, he decided to surrender rather than get his head blown clean off.

Blah blah blah...

Two recent items that apparently have no bearing on each other whatsoever:

Jourdanton, TX--This morning, PETA sent an urgent plea to District Attorney Rene Pena in Floresville, urging him to vigorously prosecute animal control officer Chantan Morin and other Jourdanton city workers who are reportedly being investigated for cruelty to animals. The city employees allegedly drowned at least five dogs on July 11 at the city's sewage treatment plant. According to news sources, one witness alleges that the animals were confined to cages and then lowered into the water. Those who escaped were evidently strangled with noose poles and then held under water, struggling and flailing, until they died.

'Animal care workers are trusted to protect animals from abuse, which makes the alleged actions of Morin and the others all the more troubling,' says PETA Animal Sheltering Advisor Teresa Chagrin. 'Mental health professionals and top law enforcement officials consider cruelty to animals to be a red flag.'

PETA is also sending its anti-violence public service announcement hosted by actor Dennis Franz to TV stations serving the Atascosa County area.
But she told a news conference there was no indication of "pain or suffering" among the 18 animals that police in Ahoskie, N.C., found in a shopping center garbage bin or the 13 found in a van registered to PETA. The animals received lethal injections, Newkirk said.

Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, and Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, appeared Friday in Hertford County District Court and their trial was set for July 19. Each faces 31 felony charges of animal cruelty and nine misdemeanor counts -- eight of illegal disposal of dead animals and one of trespassing.
I'm not saying these guys in Jourdanton didn't screw up--it seems they most certainly did. I have no idea why they would euthanize dogs that way. If they only wanted to save money, as they said, ammo is pretty cheap and very effective. But for PETA to jump in and start crying about it, I can only say: Pot, meet Kettle.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Firearms ownership in Russia

This is a must-read opinion piece from the Russian News & Information Agency, detailing the red tape one must work through to legally own a firearm in Russia, and the restrictions on the types of arms that are allowed.

How I bought a rifle for self-defense in Russia:
American statistics are the main argument of Russian firearms advocates. According to the U.S. Justice Department, 34% of all criminals were wounded or detained by armed civilians, while 40% have altogether given up an idea of an attack for fear of reciprocal fire. In those states that allow citizens to carry concealed arms, the level of murders is lower by 33 %, and of robberies by 37%.

Advocates of legalizing firearms in Russia often refer to the experience of neighboring Latvia: After the relevant law was adopted, street crime dropped by 80%, and the Latvian police force has been cut.

The Russian Interior Ministry is adamantly against allowing firearms. The ministry is afraid that the crime rate will go up, and especially family shootings. Gennady Gudkov of the State Duma Committee on Security voiced a typical opinion: 'If we throw 10 to 12 million guns into the streets, any teenager will be able to seize a pistol from a woman. He will start shooting whenever he can. Guns will be stolen from cars and desk drawers. The number of lost weapons will go up hundreds of times, and they will be beyond control, i.e. ready for crimes. This is a dream come true for Russian criminals.'
Yeah, I bet they're really afraid of an increase in crime. I bet they're more afraid of something else: armed civilians. The writer of this piece also voices problems with owning but not having quick access to reliable firearms (something I'm sure we've all thought about):
Successful use of long-stemmed guns is depressingly rare. Burglars have already broken in while you're still fiddling with the key to the case to get hold of your favorite gun. It is not allowed to carry such guns, or have them assembled and uncovered in a car. As for a 'rubber' pistol, an attempt to use it for self-defense often only infuriates the attacker.
Read the whole thing.

Righteous self-defense in Richmond, VA

The Times-Dispatch reports:
Since March, there have been at least three fatal shootings of armed suspects by armed victims. In at least two of those cases, Richmond prosecutors say it was in self-defense.

The Richmond commonwealth's attorney's office has concluded that the martial-arts instructor who fatally shot former NFL cornerback Mike Brim during a confrontation last April in South Richmond acted in self-defense.

Prosecutors have also decided that a pizza deliveryman acted in self-defense in March when he fatally shot a teen who attempted to rob him in the Hillside Court neighborhood, also in South Richmond.

Officials said they are awaiting toxicology reports before reaching a conclusion about the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy. Police said the boy attempted to rob a 47-year-old man with an unloaded rifle in the East End in June.

'It does appear to us in the commonwealth's attorney's office that a lot of people are armed with weapons,' said Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Learned D. Barry, the city's top homicide prosecutor.

'And because of that, situations like these are becoming more and more prevalent.'

Investigators said that Brim, 39, trailed Gary Miles to a house on Pineway Drive from his workplace at the American Karate Center on Huguenot Road on April 19.
A police investigation found that Brim, a former Virginia Union University standout who played eight seasons in the National Football League, opened fire on Miles, shooting at him several times and striking the instructor in one leg. Miles, who was also armed, returned fire, striking Brim in the torso, killing him.

'Based on the fact that the deceased followed Mr. Miles to the scene and fired at him first, we have no choice but to rule it self-defense,' Barry said.

'There were multiple rounds from Mr. Brim's gun, and only one from Mr. Miles'.
And that is how it's done.

The third instance, which is still in question awaiting toxicology test results, involved a teenager who tried to rob someone with an unloaded .22, to which he had duct-taped a large-caliber magazine in order to "make it look more menacing."
The fact that Brown's rifle was not loaded won't make a difference in the determination of whether he was shot in self-defense, according to officials.

'The victims have no clue if it is a real weapon or loaded weapon or not,' Barry said. 'And they have to protect themselves.'

Images From the Battleground

No, not the one in Iraq. The one along the U.S./Mexican border:
At 11:30 a.m. on April 22 this year, a Mexican helicopter landed in the Robinsons' backyard. Arivaca resident R.D. Ayers had driven to the ranch that morning to visit his injured dog, then under Dr. Robinson's care.

Ayers describes stepping outside the house to see what he describes as 'a military Huey-type helicopter' circling, at the same time that a truck from the Tucson Fuel Co. was pulling into the yard. The Tres Bellotas gets its power from diesel generators, and that fuel has to be delivered.

As he approached the chopper, Ayers says six men in black, commando-type uniforms stepped out. Five had ski-type masks over their faces, and they wore body armor and carried automatic rifles. On their sleeves, Ayers saw the word, Mexico.

They stood in a defensive posture around a sixth man, their leader, who identified himself as a member of the Mexican police. He pointed aggressively to the fuel truck and asked what it was doing there. Ayers, in Spanish, told the man he was in the United States, not Mexico, and that he had no business in this country and needed to leave.

But the commander refused to listen and began walking toward the truck, at which point Ayers placed himself between the commander and the truck, again telling him to scram. After a few minutes, the tense confrontation ended when the commander ordered his troops into the chopper, and they split back across the border.

Ayers suspects that the Mexicans--one of Robinson's cowboys identified them as federales, Mexican federal police--were escorting a drug shipment to Tucson, and wanted to haul it in the fuel truck. Or they wanted to steal the fuel. The chopper had followed the truck much of the way down Tres Bellotas Road.

'Men with fully automatic weapons and masks don't just show up to say hello,' says a still-outraged Ayers, owner of a backhoe company and a former EMT in Arivaca. He added that if he'd had his gun, he might've fired on the invaders. 'I wasn't going to back down. This is my country.'

These drug incursions occur with some regularity along the border. The Kays and Robinson say they're personally aware of three such incursions this summer alone, and it's worth noting that the men who recently shot two Border Patrol agents near Nogales also wore black, commando-type gear.

But this episode, like the others, has disappeared into the vapor of national security. Tucson Fuel refuses comment. The Border Patrol won't talk about it, saying its agents got to the Tres Bellotas too late to learn much of anything. The FBI in Tucson took a report the same day and forwarded it to Washington, but they're not talking, either.

As for Robinson, he was gone from the ranch that day, holding a veterinary clinic on the Tohono O'Odham Reservation--ironically enough, under a contract from the Department of Homeland Security. 'I really don't know what happened,' he says. 'But I know my cowboys were so scared, they hid in the barn.'
A long article, all worth reading.

tnx to All Things Conservative

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Another editorial from my home county newspaper

Elaine Kolodziej writes:
Why not the Texas White House? Right now, the Bush-haters are having a field day attacking the president for being out of touch because he is 'on vacation' at his ranch in Texas.

The liberal press bills it as the longest vacation in 30-something years and practically accuses him of dereliction of duty because he likes to spend so much time at his Crawford ranch. Some of these East Coast liberals might be surprised that we have more than cactus and barbed wire in Texas.

We actually have Internet and cell phones and everything else high tech. You are not out of touch with the world just because you are in Texas.

We Texans would like to know how staying in the White House could mean that you are in touch with the world? Why, for heaven's sake, would politicians have 'town hall meetings' that take them out to the hinterlands unless they understood that the way to get in touch with real people is to get away from Washington and actually spend time with real people.

Of course, the European idea of the United States and most especially Texas is that we are all cowboys with morals. We tend to be pragmatic rather than politically correct. To them that very simply means that we are out of touch.

But we know there is no better way to get in touch with reality than to come to Texas where you can take a deep breath, see the clear-blue skies, and even feel the dirt. Physical exercise is more than putting on designer sweats and high-priced Nikes to go to the gym. You can work up a sweat in Texas just by going outside in August. That keeps you human. It helps keep you grounded and balanced and in touch.
And there's more.

Well, what do you know? I am surprised!

In reference to this post from yesterday, today on my trip home I was astounded to see that the hardware for a real stoplight has been installed at the intersection. It's still only operating as a flasher, but I would guess that it will be working like a stoplight in a day or two.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

But what they didn't say...

Floresville, TX::
A superintendent for a South Texas public school system faces drunken driving charges stemming from a fatal traffic accident that claimed the life of a 4-year-old La Vernia girl.

Donna Sue Cole, who is the superintendent of the Vanderbilt Industrial School District, has a pretrial hearing set for Aug. 18 at the Wilson County Courthouse.

Cole was behind the wheel of a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe that struck a 1993 Ford Explorer at the intersection of U.S. 87 and F.M. 1346 in October 2003. Kristi Billings, a 25-year-old La Vernia woman, drove the Explorer into the path of the oncoming vehicle while entering the intersection from F.M. 1346, according to a report filed by the Department of Public Safety.

Cole, who was traveling south on U.S. 87, had the right of way when she crashed into the side of Billings' sport-utility vehicle. Billings' daughter, Samantha, was seated in the left rear passenger seat near the point of impact.

Investigators subsequently filed a charge of intoxication manslaughter against Cole for her role in the collision. Breath analysis indicated that Cole's blood-alcohol content was .11 percent after the collision occurred.

DPS officials turned over the results of their investigation to the 81st Judicial District Attorney's Office. The charges were never brought before a grand jury because prosecutors believed they could not prove that Cole's alcohol consumption played a significant role in the fatal accident, authorities said.

DPS officials then followed up by filing a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated against Cole. Her legal counsel, San Antonio attorney Eduardo Garcia, filed a waiver of arraignment that was filed in the Wilson County Clerk’s office on July 5.

Cole remains employed as the superintendent of the Vanderbilt Industrial School District.
In my opinion, this woman should be nailed to the wall for driving while intoxicated.

However, you will notice that she did, in fact, have the right-of-way.

This is what they didn't say...

This is a relatively new intersection, and as soon as it opened up, everyone who lives around here could see the problem. A petition was immediately circulated, and promptly ignored.

The problem? At this point on Highway 87, the speed limit was still technically 70 mph during daylight (during which time this collision occured). FM 1346 leads directly to an elementary school. During the time that school is letting out for the day, a massive amount of traffic is fighting to get into and out of this intersection--most of which traffic is made up of vehicles carrying small children.

This intersection has two flashing lights: a yellow one for traffic on 87 and a red one for traffic on 1346.

The petition that was circulated was to try and get a real stoplight installed at this intersection.

What did they do? They put up a sign claiming that the speed limit is reduced to 55 for this area, and put some reminder bumps across the road. This intersection needs a real stoplight, not some feel-good speed limit sign and some reminder bumps.

Here's what they really didn't say...

This has not been the only collision at this intersection, nor has it been the only death, because of failure to yield right-of-way, which really means they miscalculated the speed of oncoming traffic.

This intersection needs a real stoplight, now. They got one in Sayers to handle all the traffic coming out of East Central. Why can't we have one here?

Monday, August 08, 2005

California activists want arrestees to have fair chance at injuring or killing police officers

Watsonville, CA:
Activists are pressing concerns about law enforcement's use of Taser stun guns.

Last week, Santa Cruz resident Kristian Vega was acquitted of resisting arrest and public intoxication charges during an encounter outside a bar where Santa Cruz police subdued him with a stun gun.


Activists suggest using batons, pepper spray or handcuffs.
Correct me if I am wrong, but...

Batons: get within arm's reach, opening up the opportunity for a knife attack or wresting the baton away from the officer.

Pepper spray: Doesn't work.

Handcuffs: Doesn't the arrestee have to be subdued before you can use the handcuffs?

Ferndale, MI libraries want to ensure their patrons remains easy targets

From The Oakland Press:
The words are still there in red on the Ferndale Public Library's front door.

'Absolutely no weapons including those permitted by concealed weapons law may be brought into this facility.'

The statement remains, even though the courts have said the rule is not enforceable for properly registered concealed weapons.


In 2001, Ferndale's City Council took a bold stand and voted to ban guns from its city buildings.

The move - called groundbreaking by some - spurred other cities to take similar stands. Soon Detroit, East Lansing, Saline and others had passed their own bans.

A gun rights group, Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, took Ferndale to court.


In 2002, an Oakland County Circuit Court judge upheld Ferndale's ordinance, and the gun rights group appealed.

In May 2003, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that communities can't add restrictions to state rules on where gun owners can carry weapons.

In September, 2003, when the Ferndale backers carried the case to the Michigan Supreme Court, the court refused to hear an appeal of the decision, assuring the victory to gun rights groups.


Ferndale City Manager Barwin feels otherwise, and wants the township to try again.

'My feeling is the public is very supportive (of the gun ban).'
Apparently the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners isn't considered to be part of the "public."

Raging Against Self Defense: A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality

Here is an older article from JPFO examing the psychology of those who are opposed to self defense.

Raging Against Self Defense: A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality, By Sarah Thompson, M.D.:
'You don't need to have a gun; the police will protect you.'

'If people carry guns, there will be murders over parking spaces and neighborhood basketball games.'

'I'm a pacifist. Enlightened, spiritually aware people shouldn't own guns.'

'I'd rather be raped than have some redneck militia type try to rescue me.'

How often have you heard these statements from misguided advocates of victim disarmament, or even woefully uninformed relatives and neighbors? Why do people cling so tightly to these beliefs, in the face of incontrovertible evidence that they are wrong? Why do they get so furiously angry when gun owners point out that their arguments are factually and logically incorrect? How can you communicate with these people who seem to be out of touch with reality and rational thought?

One approach to help you deal with anti-gun people is to understand their psychological processes. Once you understand why these people behave so irrationally, you can communicate more effectively with them.
Lots more worth reading.

tnx to Gun Watch

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Good grief

I thought I'd try getting in on Mr. Completely's e-Postal Handgun Match, the "Flyswatter." After warming up with 12 shots into a Shoot-n-See target at 10 yards and pretty much turning the 10-ring all yellow, I went to shoot some flies. Something was just not right. It seemed like the holes were appearing several inches from where I was aiming. I just don't know what was going on. After shooting up one target and hitting one fly, I gave up.

One thing I did notice. I was using an old box of CCI CB Caps to keep the noise down in my big extended backyard (I live on a heavily wooded rectangular 5-acre lot that is over 800 feet long). They didn't all sound the same. Some went pop and some went crack.

I was planning on taking the Single-Six to range on my next range day anyway. I gotta figure out what's going on. Maybe I'll try the next match.

Well, well, well...

I just discovered that the bogus anti-gun group at the url has a suspiciously similar url to another, pro-RKBA group, the Hunter's Shooting Association, whose url is

UPDATE: Triggerfinger noticed it, too.

(Boy am I feeling smug. I beat somone else to the punch on this one by a whole day).

I'm going to have problems explaining myself

I have made fun of "ACLU stoners" several times on this blog. That is because of when they were smoking marijuana. At the time, they were supposed to be monitoring the Minuteman volunteers, which should be a serious job, maybe even a dangerous job (according to their own hysterical rantings)--even though it turned out to not be dangerous. This was no time for getting high. If they want to go home afterwards and chill out with a smoke, that's their business. Openly and flagrantly smoking dope while they were supposed to be watching a so-called "vigilante" group is just stupid.

It boils down to this: I don't care if someone smokes marijuana, as long as it doesn't interfere with me. If they have a small toke when they want a buzz, that's their risk and their problem. There are legal ways of getting high, and there are illegal ways. If they choose an illegal way then it's their risk of getting caught. Plenty of people make it a point to get loaded on beer or other alcohol on frequent occasion and no one thinks anything of it because alcohol is legal. I am of the opinion that many things that people think are bad, are not really when used in moderation. This includes alcohol and marijuana.

So, here is another article regarding Anthony Diotaiuto :
The search warrant, provided by Diotaiuto's family, shows that the SWAT team was looking for money, bookkeeping records, firearms and other evidence that Anthony Diotaiuto sold drugs.

An inventory of items seized from the home listed 'cannabis' and 'drug paraphernalia,' as well as shell casings, firearms, and a BB gun. It did not say how much cannabis, or marijuana, or what type of paraphernalia was found.
It has already been said that Mr. Diotaiuto owned two firearms. He had a handgun, to go with his valid concealed weapons permit, and he had a shotgun. These two weapons make perfect sense to me. A handgun for when you have to leave the house, a shotgun for when you're home. These two weapons are exactly, and I would even say only, what a person needs who is concerned only with protecting himself and his family. A hunter would need more firearms, and a collector would definitely want more. Yet, undoubtedly (I'm just waiting for it), someone is going to call two guns an arsenal. So that's how "firearms" were seized. Also notice that they seized a BB gun. (Cough).

They seized shell casings. What gun owner does not have some shell casings laying around somewhere. I am not even a reloader and I have a couple of big plastic bags full of empty shells.

They found cannabis. How much, exactly? Three or four ounces? Three or four kilograms? I really want to know.

They also seized "drug paraphernalia." For anyone not familiar with marijuana use (come on, I know you're out there somewhere), this could include an alligator clip. You know, the kind that you put on the end of a wire for electrical/electronics purposes.

So here he have a man who worked two jobs, went to church every Sunday, had done everything he should to get a concealed weapons permit, and smoked a little dope.

Here's my crackpot theory: he was made an example of. Some pusher distributor of an illegal drug got nailed, and to lighten his sentence, he gave the police the names of some of his customers. Someone else, doing standard research on the names, noticed that one of them had a concealed weapons permit. And he was made an example of.

I just want to once more point out this paragraph:
The search warrant, provided by Diotaiuto's family, shows that the SWAT team was looking for money, bookkeeping records, firearms and other evidence that Anthony Diotaiuto sold drugs.
Firearms, there mere possession of them, apparently, would be evidence that he sold drugs.

He's an example for all of us.

Massive screw-up by SWAT team in Florida

I am so outraged by this that I'm going to copy pretty much the whole thing.

Sunrise, FL:
The SWAT team assembled outside Anthony Diotaiuto's home in Sunrise Golf Village early Friday morning, expecting to find drugs and guns, authorities said.

Inside, Diotaiuto had been home for only a few hours after his night shift at one of the two jobs he kept to help pay for the home where he lived with his mother. He had a valid concealed weapons permit and kept a shotgun and a handgun for safety, friends said.

It was about 6:15 when the SWAT team smashed in Diotaiuto's door and shot him dead.

Officers were right to expect him to be armed, said Lt. Robert Voss, spokesman for the Sunrise Police Department.

'He had a gun and pointed it at our officers,' Voss said Friday morning. 'Our SWAT team fired.'

Later Friday afternoon, he didn't sound as certain about whether Diotaiuto, 23, aimed his weapon.

'In all likelihood, that's what happened,' Voss said. 'I know there was a weapon found next to the body.' He also said he did not know if detectives found any drugs or whether Diotaiuto fired any shots.

The shooting outraged and confused Diotaiuto's friends, who said he had no criminal record, was not violent and didn't sell drugs.

Diotaiuto was the third person killed in police-involved shootings in the past three days in South Florida. Earlier Friday, a federal drug agent in West Palm Beach shot and killed a man in an unrelated investigation. And on Tuesday, a Miami police officer killed a drug and alcohol recovery patient after the man pointed a gun at an officer, officials said.

Many of Diotaiuto's friends protested his death Friday afternoon outside his home. His mother, Marlene, collapsed when she heard of her son's death and was too upset to speak, friends said.

'They killed an innocent person,' said Charlie Steeves, who said he was Diotaiuto's best friend. 'He didn't sell drugs. He worked two jobs to buy that house.'

Voss said information about drugs at Diotaiuto's home led to the search warrant. The search warrant was not available Friday and Voss did not know what drugs were suspected or what information the warrant contained.

The concealed weapons permit, was a 'major factor' in the department's decision to involve the SWAT team, Voss said.

'The potential for violence was there,'
Voss said. SWAT officers must knock first and announce their presence, Voss said. If no one answers, the door comes down. 'Unfortunately, this is one of those that's gone bad,' he said.

Diotaiuto worked as a bartender at the Carolina Ale House in Weston and as a DJ on weekends. Steeves said Diotaiuto got the concealed weapons permit because he didn't feel safe coming home from work at 3 a.m. He thinks Diotaiuto panicked when he heard someone break in.

'What would you do if your door was knocked down and you were asleep?' Steeves asked.

Steeves buried his head in his stepfather's shoulder, overcome by grief as friends continued to gather on Friday afternoon.

'I know, I know,' comforted the stepfather, Nils Zetterlund. 'I would jump in front of a bus for this kid.'
So. A poor guy working two jobs to provide his family with a decent home, a poor guy who goes to all the trouble to jump through the hoops to get a concealed weapons permit is murdered because they know he has a permit and is likely armed. I doubt he had anything to do with drugs. That kind of slime doesn't usually go to the trouble of holding down two legitimate jobs--it would get in the way of their drug-dealing. If I were a member of his family, I would do all in my power to make the lives of everyone involved--from the one who pulled the trigger and all the way up the chain of command--a legal hell from which there would be no relief, until they were all reduced to driving the golf cart in a Walmart parking lot.

UPDATE: Turns out this man had a previous record of drug possession. I still think he was killed for doing the right thing. Armed intruders broke his door down early in the morning, only a few hours after he'd returned home from his night job and he responded the only way he could--with his own arm. He probably had only just gone to sleep and didn't even know what was going on. His previous record of drug possession was one arrest for marijuana seven years ago, when he was 16 years old. Big freakin' deal. (Just a note: in Texas this would have prevented him from ever getting a CHL). I'm sure this one instance of marijuana possession by a 16-year-old kid will be used to paint him as a fiendish 23-year-old pusher.

New Braunfels reporter jumps on the bandwagon

This article has nothing to do with the Minuteman Project. In fact, it's another story about residents being allowed to remove signs in their neighborhoods. But that didn't stop the writer from taking a quick jab at another citizens watch group:
Vigilantes might soon be forming ranks on New Braunfels streets, prepared to take back their neighborhoods.

No, they are not an inland regiment of the Texas Minutemen - they are the Bandit Sign Police.

Armed with trash bags and walking sticks, the BSP will hunt down abandoned signs and return the city's rights of way to its natural beauty.

New Braunfels citizens have always had the right to remove the illegal signs, but with an ordinance change vote before city council Monday, Planning Department staff and members of the Sign Ordinance Committee hope to bring more attention to the public's role in attending to the city's aesthetics.
More power to them, I say. But exactly how does this story validate jumping on the "Minutemen are vigilantes even though they are doing nothing illegal and in fact pointing out horrific problems in border control" bandwagon.