Monday, October 31, 2005

"Opinion polls conducted in Russia have shown that the majority of Russians have the psychology of a victim"

Here is a very interesting article in Pravda concerning the legalization of gun ownership in Russia:
The legalization of weapons in Russia would be able to strike a powerful blow on the criminal world. A criminal will probably think twice before he decides to attack this or that person because the would-be victim of the attack may have a gun too.

Rafail Sholomovich, a spokesman for the Civil Arms association, says that people do not usually harm each other in the majority of self-defense incidents, if a victim wields a gun: it usually ends with simple demonstration of weapons. The specialist said that there are about five million guns registered in Russia.
Lots of interesting stuff here: how the majority of Russians have a victim mindset that is hard to overcome, how the government could find a new source of taxation if gun ownership were, that many Russians simply are not familiar with firearms, etc. None of which addresses the basic human right of self defense.

And Makarovs and TTs (are they talking about old TT-33 type guns?) are going for anywhere from $500 to $3000! On the black market, of course.

Conservative President with Conservative Support Nominates Conservative for Supreme Court

People for the American Way President Ralph G. Neas expressed outrage over today's nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. "To think that the president of the United States would nominate a judge with a clear-cut, well-established conservative judicial philosophy, contrary to the wishes of millions of Americans who are diametrically opposed [to his judicial philosophy] is just mind-boggling," Neas stated. Neas further stated that "We are going to Bork him like he's never been Borked before."

Also, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D. Nevada) expressed concern that this could cause a fundamental shift in future Supreme Court rulings, stating that "replacing a swing voter like Justice O'Connor with such an obvious conservative shows and alarming disregard for precedent."

In a related story, comic strip character Lucy Van Pelt publicly criticized the departing O'Connor today, saying that "the trouble with O'Connor" is that she is "always changing rainbows."

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Translation: "I Feel More Self-Righteous as a Defensless Victim"

News from North Carolina:
One example, Valone said, is a recently passed requirement that people who obtain domestic violence restraint orders against perpetrators be provided information about how to obtain a concealed handgun permit.
'We advocated this law in response to an increasing number of murders by domestic abusers who ignore restraining orders,' Valone said.

Price disagreed with that change in the law, saying she didn't think it was a good thing to introduce guns into domestic violence situations.

'For them (gun advocates) the gun is the solution to most problems,' she said. 'For us, we feel like the gun makes the problem worse and often creates the problem.
Yes, if a woman decides to protect herself from an abusive other, and chooses a gun for protection, it's her own fault she got beaten up in the past because now she has a gun. Did I get it right?

Price also said she likes the restrictions that the law places on permit holders.

'When I go to the Y to exercise, I see a sign that says don't carry concealed weapons here,' she said. 'We like those restrictions.'
They must have some incredible signs, if it only takes a sign to prevent unlawful violent attack at the Y. Amazing. Can I get some of those signs here? I'd put them up everywhere, if they work that well.

Handgun Carrier Discrimination in New Hampshire

The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News reports:
'The bottom line is that this type of thing shouldn't be happening in a state where (carrying a pistol) is perfectly allowed,' said [Peggy S.] Dean, a lawyer and consulting counsel to Gun Owners of New Hampshire, the gun-rights advocacy organization.

Dean, in a routine followed often in the 10 years she has lived on Warren Street in Concord, was taking a late-night walk on June 16. She was on Pleasant Street out by St. Paul School when state trooper Abbott Presby stopped his cruiser.

'He must have asked me six times for a driver's license. Then he proceeded to ask what I was doing there and I kept asking him, 'Are you detaining me?' Dean said.

She didn't have her driver's license. She had a cellular phone, a credit card, her license to carry a concealed pistol and her Glock 23 in a nylon, neon-pink fanny pack.

Dean wrote a letter to state police Col. Frederick H. Booth citing her constitutional rights and complaining of her 'detention' by Presby.

'Had I not vigorously, repeatedly and firmly asserted that I wanted to (be) released from this detention I could have been illegally held there indefinitely. I firmly believe that it was only after I explained to trooper Presby that I was an attorney that the impetus to release me awakened,' Dean wrote.

Three months later, state police Lt. Mark J. Myrdek responded, writing that a review of the incident had found Presby's 'actions and conduct were justified, lawful and proper.'
Of course they were. I would have stopped her too, for openly carrying a neon-pink fanny pack.

On March 27, 2004, at about 9:15 p.m., three police officers in uniform and two detectives in plain clothes converged on Michael Pelletier as he thumbed through a book at Barnes & Noble store in Manchester. Pelletier and his wife had marked their 11th anniversary with dinner, then gone to the bookstore, where his coat stayed in the car. He had forgotten the change in attire left visible the holstered Glock 30 pistol tucked into his belt at his back.

A shopper telephoned police.

Pelletier said the officers 'basically grabbed me by the shoulder, disarmed me and took me out of the store. They ran my license and registration and the serial number on the gun and stood around lecturing me for 20 minutes. It was irritating, but at least I wasn't arrested.'

'What boggled my mind was that out of at least seven officers and dispatchers involved not one seemed to know that open carry is legal in New Hampshire and they basically treated this like they would a felony stop. . . . I wasn't doing anything illegal. I was minding my own business and I think they could muster the ability to treat me with courtesy and respect in that situation,' said Pelletier, who lives in Merrimack and is a West Coast transplant drawn here by the Free State Project's pick of New Hampshire in 2003 as the place to promote its minimal-government agenda.
Yes, they're professionals, after all, they should have been able to treat you that way. They should have known their own state laws.

Here's a good one:
Like Pelletier, David Ridley's move to New Hampshire was inspired by the Free State Project. He came from Texas, which he described as having restrictive gun licensing laws.
Compared to California/New York, no. Compared to New Hampshire/Vermont, yes. Compared to the U.S. Constitution, yes. If I were to leave Texas for that reason, I personally think I'd pick Vermont.

'When you come to a place where the right is recognized by government and you've never had it before, it's a right you want to celebrate. At the same time, if you don't exercise the right, I think you will eventually lose it. So for me, open-carry is primarily a political thing,' said Ridley, who lives in Keene.

Ridley had changed jackets and was engrossed in lettering a placard on the hood of his car in a supermarket parking lot in Salem on March 21 when five police officers, responding to a citizen's call, asked about the holstered Glock 19 on his hip.

"They said, 'You alarmed a person who saw the gun.'"

'When that is the situation, they have to respond to the call. I understand that, but what was wrong was when they started talking about arresting me when I hadn't done anything illegal,' Ridley said.

In responding to a letter from Ridley, Salem Police Chief Paul T. Donovan wrote that his officers would continue to respond 'with an open mind' when a complaint comes in about someone carrying a firearm.
If I lived in New Hampshire, I would prefer that they respond with a thorough knowledge of their own state laws, rather than an open mind.

'In this day and age where people have committed some very violent attacks using firearms, it is understandable that people who do not understand the values of law-abiding firearms owners run scared. We need to work at improving our image with those who don't understand,' Donovan wrote.
This sounds like it was written by just a gun owner, but it was actually written by the police chief. I completely agree with his statement about improving "our" image, but I also must keep in mind that this was written in a lame attempt to excuse the incompetence of his own officers.

They didn't like being dogcatchers

Two Wilson County constables forced from office because they didn't bother getting their peace officer licenses within 270 days of getting elected:
Both men were being paid less than $200 a year to be constables in Wilson County - a role that traditionally carries little duties in the county, according to Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney.

Quinney said sheriff's deputies handle most of the constable's work in Wilson County.
I don't know why the position of "constable" was ever created in this county. I think it must have just been so someone's cousin could wear a badge and look tough. Would you put yourself at risk by actually taking part in law-enforcement-type activities for only $200 a year? I wouldn't.

StatCounter seems to be broken

I know it's free, but this is the first time I've had any problems with it. It hasn't recorded any activity since about 6:30 AM yesterday. Am I talking to myself? Heh.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Okay, so I'm a pedant

I just noticed that I misspelled the word "aggregation" in a previous post. But it's already several days old, so I'm not going to bother editing it.

More Left-Handed Rifles

I just noticed an ad in a well-known gun magazine that a company called Stag Arms has four different models of eeevil black tactical rifles in 5.56 Nato that are completely left-handed!

Don't bother them with facts

Sometimes when I'm working I listen to the Diane Rehm Show on NPR. I like to think of it as keeping an eye on the enemy. On Friday's second hour, which is usually time for the more or less non-political "fluff" piece, she interviewed someone who had written a book about a man named Bert Williams, who at one time was one of the most famous and wealthy celebrities alive, and who has now been almost completely forgotten. He was a vaudville performer, and was unique in that we was a black man who performed in blackface. But this post isn't about him.

The author being interviewed is named Caryl Phillips. Ms. Rehm asked him about the unusual spelling of his first name. He told a story of how his mother had taken it from someone who was very prominent in the press at about the time of his birth, named Caryl Chessman. Mr. Phillips said, "So I did some research on him a little while ago, and found that he was the most notorious mass-murderer in American history." Ms. Rehm replied, "I remember Caryl Chessman."

I had never heard of the guy. And based on certain of my interests, I would assume that I would at sometime have heard of someone who was labeled "the most notorious mass-murderer in American history." The little alarm bell in my head started clanging.

So I just Googled him. There's an example website here. At the time of his death, he caused a huge controversy over capital punishment, because he went to the gas chamber for kidnapping and rape--but not murder.

Okay, a lot of people don't think he was guilty at all, and they believe an innocent man was executed. But that isn't the point of this post. The point is--and you can Google his name yourself and try to find one mention of it--Caryl Chessman was never convicted for, nor even accused of, murder. He was convicted of kidnap and rape. Why then, does this "author" on this radio show think he was "the most notorious mass-murderer in the history of America" and why didn't Ms. Rehm correct him if she really remembered the man?

Maybe because they are both more interested in putting on a show than in verifying the truth.

I had originally thought this book about Bert Williams might be an interesting read, even though it is a "fictionalized account" of his life. Now I wouldn't read it if it were given to me for free.

As I've said before on other topics, they can't even get one simple fact right.

Friday, October 28, 2005

U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt of Illinois gets Concealed Carry Permit

I like hearing news about members of government who are favorable toward guns, but I don't think it's really anyone's business as to who does or does not carry a weapon.

Ms. Schmidt, please, for the love of Colt, get a better gun. Not because it's a .380, but because it's a Bersa. I've seen some of these things in "action" and I would not bet my life on one.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Good Times at Iraq 2K Death Party

Make sure there are no breakable objects nearby, and then check out all the smiling happy faces at a San Francisco Death Party.

Then fire up the ol' printer and make yourself some new targets.

tnx to South Park Pundit

California man loses shotgun, receives scolding

A Watonsville, CA man fired his shotgun at trespassers who drove their vehicle at him after he told them to stop and wait for law enforcement to arrive:
As investigators continued to explore an incident in which a Watsonville landowner fired a shotgun at a pickup truck he found driving on his property last week, law enforcement officials offered some advice on using guns for protection.

Bill McGrath has been trying to catch a group of thieves that have raided his Casserly Road property several times. When he saw a pickup truck driving along his driveway about 4 a.m. on Oct. 18, McGrath initially just watched, he said. However, when the truck pulled within 30 feet of the house where his children were sleeping, he went to confront the driver, he said.

Shotgun in hand, McGrath called to the driver and told him to stop and wait for sheriff's deputies to arrive, he said. When the driver drove the truck toward McGrath, he fired at the radiator and jumped out of the way.

When a deputy arrived, he scolded McGrath, McGrath said. The deputy took the shotgun while investigators determined whether McGrath committed a crime.
And the article goes on to preach about how one should always call the authorities and let them sort it all out after you've been murdered. No, of course they don't say that, but that's what they mean.

Non-Senatorial Man With Gun Detained at Airport

A man who unfortunately is not a member of the Senate was detained at an airport for having a gun in his bag:
The incident occurred about 2:30 p.m. as Anstine prepared to board a plane for Chicago. The screeners informed airport police, who secured the weapon and detained him, said Don Marti, public safety manager at the airport.

Lincoln police cited Anstine on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon. He was not allowed to travel as planned.

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Omaha are conferring on whether federal charges should be filed, Johnson said.
Too bad he's not one of the ruling elite.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The previous post is my first public attempt at satire

Please forgive me.

New "Bond" to fight villians with only smug British self-assurance

In an unexpected release today, producers of the upcoming James Bond movie Casino Royale have stated that star Daniel Craig will not be armed with Bond's trademark Walther pistol--or any other firearm for that matter. The new Bond will overcome evil armed only with his wits and the smug self-righteous assurance so common among British movie heroes.

...Spoiler Alert!...

Insiders have leaked a brief description of some of the final scenes, when Bond confronts his newest nemesis.

Bond: I say, old chap. You can't go around taking over the world like this. After all, you haven't been duly sanctioned by the United Nations, and all that.

Arch-Villian: By Jove, Bond! How right you are! How could I have been so foolish as to think I could dominate the world with my gang of heavily armed thugs, a small arsenal of nuclear weapons, and enough biotoxin to wipe out half of Asia and the northern third of Madagascar? When there you stand, so proud and confident, smirking at me so disdainfully! I submit to you, Bond, you are the better man!

In other related stories...

British authorities today revealed that footage taken from a London-area surveillance camera shows that a gun used in a recent street shooting was actually being held in a human hand. The hand was apparently aiming the weapon while applying pressure to the trigger in order to cause it to fire, according to sources.

"Frankly, we are stunned," said Detective Lookout of the Yard. "For several decades now we have operated under the assumption that firearms were capable of operating themselves. This is a new development that will have to be seriously studied to see if we can duplicate the event."

Another unnamed source said that many British officers were not only stunned, but "shocked and stunned."

Also, the International Martini Lobby expressed outrage that the new Bond prefers his martinis "straight up." Gin sales fell today as martini-drinkers across the U.K. fell into confusion over how they should prepare their drinks.

Reading, PA logs city's first record of lawful self-defense with Taser

Any case of self-defense is good news to me. But the reporter(s) do some things wrong here.

The Reading Eagle reports:
A Reading man used an electric stun gun on another man in what police said Tuesday is the first case of a city civilian using the weapon on another in self-defense.

Allen Steffy, 26, fired the device, called a Taser, at Gregory Dameron, 25, inside a residence Monday night in the 900 block of Washington Street, police said.
Stop right there. I'm surprised I had two of these, two days in a row, but a stun gun is not a Taser. Get your facts straight, if you have a modicum of intelligence.
Police in Berks County have used the device several times to subdue and arrest people.

Dameron was pummeling Steffy during a domestic dispute when Steffy used the device, police said.

The electric discharge did not stop Dameron's assault and he later stopped beating Steffy when the resident, Robin Mayberry, 28, and others separated the men, investigators said.

Steffy is Mayberry's boyfriend, and Dameron is her former boyfriend, police said.

Dameron of the 400 block of South Fifth Street was charged with assault, burglary, trespass and related offenses in a warrant issued by District Judge Deborah P. Lachina in Reading Central Court.

He is to be arraigned when he is released from St. Joseph Medical Center. Police said Dameron was being treated there Tuesday for a stab wound to the left side, also inflicted by Steffy.

It is legal to buy stun weapons, which cost at least $300.

"Like most things, it can be purchased off the Internet," said Capt. Francis F. Drexler of the criminal investigations division.
So what? What the hell difference does it make if it can be purchased off the Internet or not? You already said it's legal to buy them, so who cares where you get them from?
"People are allowed to buy them and use them to defend themselves and their property," he said. "When it is used in an unlawful manner, then it is illegal."

Stun guns are considered prohibited offensive weapons when they are carried or used during a crime. Convicted felons cannot legally possess stun guns or handguns, Drexler said.
Pretty much just like a baseball bat or a piece of garden hose filled with sand--if it was used during a crime.
Police said Steffy is not a convicted felon.

Taser International, the largest seller of the devices, checks the background of buyers for felonies and serious misdemeanors, a company official said.

"If you buy our device, we're going to run you through a background check," spokesman Steve Tuttle said. "You've got to provide a valid Social Security identification and we verify your credit card."
Translation: Rats, he's not a felon, and Taser International even runs background checks to cover their own butts. There's nothing we can get him on.

It's not anti-gun bias. It's anti-self-defense bias.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On Brazil's Recent Referendum

Here is a BBC article about the passage of now-current Brazil gun laws from September 22, 2004:
Under the new rules, anyone carrying a gun without a licence will face a prison sentence.

Permits will be issued only to police, security guards and others in high-risk professions - but they must be at least 25 years old.

Anyone else caught carrying a firearm will face up to four years in prison.

'Those who currently have permits can carry their weapons until midnight, then they turn into pumpkins. After that, they'll be breaking the law if they take their guns out of their houses,' a Brazilian justice ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday, before the law took effect.

The BBC's Steve Kingstone in Sao Paulo says the law is part of a concerted effort by the Brazilian government to reduce the number of people killed in gun-related incidents - nearly 40,000 of them during 2003.

In July, Brazilians were offered an incentive to turn in their guns, with the government offering to pay up to $100 (£56) for every weapon handed over to the police.

So far, nearly 120,000 guns have been collected - a figure far in excess of initial expectations.

Anti-gun campaigners say they hope the new legislation will lead to a real change in behaviour in Brazil, but correspondents say the law may prove difficult to implement in practice.
So it was only a little more than a year ago when these restrictions were imposed, and it had no effect, according to the Holy Statisticians.

Brazil still has gun restrictions that I (and probably many others) would consider onerous, at the least. But the recent referendum is definitely an "up yours" to the international gun-control movement.

Weekly Check on the Bias @ Alphecca

Don't miss an excellent edition of Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias.

Er...I sent him an email tip on one of those articles, but I stupidly forgot to tell him who I was, so I don't think he connected the email with this blog.

(Bull Shannon head slap.)

They can't even get simple details right

In this opinion piece from the Minnesota Daily, there is this statement:
Tasers, also known as stun guns, are intended as a self-defense tool that sends electric voltage through a wire anchored underneath the skin.
It would seem someone could at least get something like this right. Tasers anchor the wire underneath the skin. Stun guns work by contact only. They are not the same.

Monday, October 24, 2005

As a Christian myself...

...I often pray that I be given the strength to refrain from purging the church with blood and fire. Like these idiots:
Cory Burnell wants to set up a Christian nation within the United States where abortion is illegal, gay marriage is banned, schools cannot teach evolution, children can pray to Jesus in public schools and the Ten Commandments are posted publicly.

To that end, Burnell, 29, left the Republican Party, moved from California and founded Christian Exodus two years ago with the goal of redirecting the United States by 'redeeming' one state at a time.

First up for redemption is South Carolina.

By the way, why are so many so-called "Christians" so obsessed with ancient Jewish law? The ten commandments were superceded by a much briefer set of rules, and if these so called "Christians" really wanted to make their point, they would insist on public display of the new rules:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
So there.

Cthulhu movie update

The Seattle Times has a brief article about the upcoming Cthulhu movie and somehow manages not to mention Tori "the Innsmouth Look" Spelling.


Budget has increased to $500,000.

The director is using every free extra he can get his hands on for scenes of mass deep ones coming out of the ocean.

Local scenery and people are being used to (seemingly) provide authenticity and keep costs down.

Well, I'm looking forward to it. All they have to do is give Tori webbed hands, gills, and shave all her hair off. She'll be a dead ringer for one of the Marsh brood.

Brazilians Reject Proposed Gun Ban

News here. However, with the gun restrictions passed a few years ago, I think that many otherwise law-abiding Brazilians who want to protect themselves will still have to get their guns from illegal sources, so it's not like they can just go to the nearest pawn shop and pick up a gun.

tnx to The War On Guns

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I oppose the Miers nomination

The Truth Laid Bear asks, so: I oppose the Miers nomination.

This post has been updated. I originally said I was neutral, leaning toward oppose. I've decided that oppose it is. For many reasons. My first gut reaction was to oppose her because I thought Bush had blown his chance at nominating someone who would really be on my side.

I would not go so far as to say that Miers is "about as sharp as a sack of wet peanuts," but from what I do know, she doesn't seem to be as sharp as she should be. I find myself wholly in agreement with this statement from Eric's Grumbles Before the Grave:
I am an elitist (and don't mind saying so). I want my elected representatives, my judges, my cabinet members to be the best and brightest, not the lowest common denominator. Miers is not the best and brightest. It has nothing to do with what school she attended, before someone jumps salty. I don't care what degree you have, or what school you got it from. Her written grammar in her questionnaire response to the Senate is awful. Her understanding of the basics of constitutional law seems even worse. Compare her to John Roberts and tell me she is the "best and brightest". You can't.

Emphasis is mine, of course.

And in spite of reassurances to the contrary*, I haven't been offered any real proof that she would rule on certain issues based on the constitution rather than her personal beliefs. Even if her personal beliefs are not contrary to mine, ruling that way is not for the Supreme Court, or any court for that matter. When it comes to the establishment of law, her personal beliefs are no more nor less valid than any of the judges who fall on the liberal end of the spectrum.

Not that my opinion matters, or anything.

*When other judges and politicians start telling me to "just trust us," or some variation thereof, I am immediately suspicious.

UPDATE: Click the link for The Truth Laid Bear Miers aggragation of blog posts.

First time I've seen one of these

I've always been a weather-watcher, but somehow I've never heard of this kind of warning before: the "Red Flag Warning."


Basically it means we have relatively high winds and relative low humidity. Right now the humidity is 31% at my house, and the winds have been gusting all day (official report says winds gusting to 21 mph). I have seen these kinds of conditions countless times, but this is the first time I've ever noticed an actual warning issued about it.

And we can expect lows around 30 by Tuesday morning!

More Blogroll Additions

These are both blogs that I've been reading for a while and they might as well get added to the "official" blogroll. Hell In A Handbasket is, I'm sure, familiar to many, if not all, already. Mr. Rummel beat me onto the Blue Flypaper Blacklist by nine days.

The other is The Fatman Chronicles, which just yesterday made it onto the Blue Flypaper Blacklist.

UPDATE: Also The Smallest Minority, another well-known blog which needs no introduction from me. I've been reading it regularly for a long time and somehow forgot to include it in the list.

Man shot by border patrol agents

And usually, you'd think this means I was clip-blogging about something that probably happened near Laredo. No, wrong border.

Read the article in the Great Falls Tribune. It happened near Sweetgrass, MT, and there are a couple of items in this story that interest me.
According to a brief statement released by the Havre sector office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. officers encountered the man, who was driving a stolen vehicle with Illinois license plates, during their patrol duties.

As the officers attempted to question the man, he reached for his back pocket for what was later found to be a stun gun, according to the statement, read over the phone by David Bernard, assistant chief patrol agent out of the CBP's Havre office.

"In an act of self-defense, the agents discharged their service-issued weapons," Bernard said.
So, in this instance, even though the agents outnumbered the other guy two to one, it was still justifiable self-defense for them both to shoot him when he tried to pull a stun gun. Of course, they apparently didn't know what he was reaching for at the time.
The incident concerned Pellerin-Fowlie because Canadian customs agents are not armed, despite pushing for the policy change for years with the Canadian government.

"Our members are not armed and this man was heading to the Canadian border," he said. "We have been calling for the arming of our officers for some time."
It's a good thing our guys stopped him. Otherwise those poor Canadian border agents would have been completely at the mercy of a car thief with a stun gun.

No way...

My blog is worth $10,726.26.
How much is your blog worth?

Last month when I took this meaningless little test, it said it was worth zero. And now it's worth ten grand? Does not compute.

Concealed Handguns in Minnesota

Here is a very well-balanced article (in my opinion, which probably means tht anti-self-defensers would think it's horribly biased) in the Wisconsin State Journal from a reporter who went through the entire coursework necessary to get a concealed handgun license in Minnesota, just so he could report on it:
My 'attacker' was just 15 feet away, which, I have to admit, was bad news for him. Even though it's been years since I've fired a handgun, hitting the green, life-size target was pretty much a foregone conclusion.

The more immediate question was: What was he doing there, and why won't he leave me alone? In real life, the green guy should have taken a cue from the Czech-made 9 mm pistol I was thrusting toward him and run off.

With a faint sense of something resembling pity, I fired on my impassive foe, ultimately sending 30 rounds through him although one or two probably would have done.

On the street, that kind of enthusiasm isn't something you want to explain to a jury. But in the safety of this basement shooting range Tuesday, it was the final step in my training to legally carry a concealed handgun - in Minnesota, at least.

I had spent most of the previous day with certified firearms instructor Gene German, seeking to learn what sort of training might be required here if the Legislature overturns Wisconsin's 133-year ban on carrying concealed weapons.

It isn't always guns...

...that feel the heat of media bias. They'll distort anything to sell their bird-cage liners.

I must say that the Express-News, in this case, did set the record straight:
After noting the time and date, the 64-year-old geocacher scrawled these few words, 'This old geezer thought he' and then abruptly stopped. The logbook is dirt-stained and indented, marks apparently left when Chamberlain fell on it.

Chamberlain's death made newspaper headlines and the nightly TV news. Initial reports indicated Chamberlain accidentally died during a 'scavenger hunt' after a fall in an area where he wasn't supposed to go.

Reporters never followed up with an update after results of a medical examiner's autopsy were released. It revealed that Chamberlain had suffered a massive heart attack.

The news coverage annoyed members of the geocaching community. They thought it was slanted and gave their sport an undeserved black eye. On, 'Pete' wrote that 'the media is now, and always has been, interested only in sensationalizing things.

'They get a story first, and sometimes (but not always) get it right later when everyone has forgotten everything but the sensationalized version of what happened.'

Chamberlain's wife also was upset because the stories 'made it sound like Max was doing something illegal.'
It sounds to me like he died doing something he loved. Would that we all could go that way.

Well, so much for astrology...

You are 0% Aries

Saturday, October 22, 2005

I didn't see this one coming...

...but it actually fits pretty well, except for the gender. (I wish I could shoot like her).

Riza Hawkeye

Full Metal Alchemist Character Quiz
brought to you by Quizilla

Some TV Shows I Like and Other Inconsequential Remarks

A couple of new blogs were added to the blogroll this week: Personal Protection & Firearm Training and South Park Pundit. These are both blogs that I realized had added this blog to their rolls. Both have also been added to my Bloglines subscriptions and are now regular reads. I think these are the only two I added this week.

This week I hit a new record high of 15 inbound links at TTLB. I was actually inside the top 10,000 for a couple of days.

I have been getting a few hits every day because of people Googling (under Google Images) "alucard pistol," and being referred to this link. I don't remember where I found this picture, but I'm pretty sure I had renamed it so I would be able to find it on my own computer easier. If you do search that term under Google Images, you will see that the picture referred to is the only entry. The odd thing about this is that all but a very few of the people searching for this are outside the U.S. I mean like only about 1-2% are inside the U.S. I guess Hellsing has a lot of fans worldwide. I wish they would make more episodes, or a movie, or something. I guess I could actually go and read the manga instead of just watching the anime. Whatever happens with Seras Victoria? Does she finally "go all the way" and become a real vampire? And what's the deal with those wire/string things that Walter apparently shoots out of his fingers to fight with? And does Alucard eventually get an even bigger gun?

I am not a fan of anime just for the sake of anime. But I have become a fan of certain specific anime, such as the aforementioned Hellsing, as well as Cowboy Bebop, Read Or Die, and especially, Fullmetal Alchemist.Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist
The latter is not only one of the best anime shows ever, it is one of the best TV shows ever. (I have read that many fans of the anime genre do flatly state that it is the best anime series ever.) It is full of secrets and riddles, joy and tragedy, mercy and vengeance, and having it set in a sort of parallel timeline around the year 1900 where alchemy actually works is almost beside the point. It is shown on Cartoon Network at 10:30 PM central time on Saturday (and again at 12:30 AM central Sunday morning, and I think rerun again sometime during the following week, like on Thursday).

Many other shows I enjoy run toward the same tastes as my reading: nonfiction documentaries, westerns and science fiction. Many readers of this blog will probably immediately think of Firefly, and you are right. There's also Farscape and Lexx. Farscape is now being shown on WGN. I don't know of any channels that are showing Lexx right now. I used to also really enjoy Forever Knight.

There are plenty of comedies that I enjoy also, but I don't feel like writing about them right now.

Alucard gets down to business

Releasing restrictions on control to level five...

San Antonio stops euthanizing pets with gas, turns to needle

One form of inflicting death is apparently more humane than another:
San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger said Monday that the city has officially completed its overhaul of its animal care services facility. Dogs and cats will no longer be euthanized by gas by city workers.

Unwanted animals picked up and brought to the animal care services facility will now euthanize pets by injection, a move that Hardberger says makes San Antonio a more humane city.

San Antonio's animal-control efforts came under fire last year after local residents began protesting the city's use of gas euthanasia, a practice which many contended was inhumane.
Abandoned pythons and boa constrictors will still have their heads chopped off with a post-hole digger, however.

In a related story, Jourdanton decides to stop drowning unwanted dogs in the sewer.

The Time of the Season?

Mexico City:
Police discovered on Friday that a passenger on a motorcycle involved in an accident in the rough Mexican border city of Tijuana was in fact a corpse which the driver had been carrying through the city strapped to his back.

Sydney, Australia:
A traffic warden slapped a parking ticket on a car which had its dead driver slumped at the wheel outside an Australian shopping mall, an official said Friday.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Remember New Orleans

Check out this excellent post at Xavier Thoughts: Remember New Orleans.

Xavier has also been added to the blogroll.

John Lott Interview at the Council on Foreign Relations

John Lott is the interviewee answering questions regarding Brazil's upcoming gun ban:
Q: You've written that increased gun ownership can lower crime rates. With that in mind, how effective do you think a ban on guns in Brazil would be?

A: Prior to 2004, you only had about 3.5 percent of Brazilians legally owning guns because they had a registration-licensing system down there. They've had that since 1940. The type of people who are able to get guns now tend to be a relatively small and wealthy portion of the population - just to be able to pay the fees and go through the process. So you virtually banned gun ownership anyway - legal gun ownership in Brazil - so you're going to go from banning it for 96.5 percent [of the population] to around 99 percent. I don't imagine you're going to see huge impacts on things like the crime rate.
And in an apparently unrelated incident:
SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Police found the bullet-riddled body on Thursday of a key suspect in Brazil's biggest bank robbery, in which $72 million was stolen after thieves tunneled their way in.

Luiz Fernando Salles, 26, was kidnapped next to a bar in Brazil's financial capital of Sao Paulo last Friday night by assailants claiming to be federal police agents. Police said it seemed to be the work of bandits.
No word yet on whether the Brazilian government will also seek to ban tunneling equipment. I think while they're at it, they should outlaw bank robbery and murder.

Oh, wait...

Just one question...

...about this article. And I'm not being sarcastic this time. I just want to know what they mean by "having a weapon under disability."

UPDATE: Okay, tonight while watching a new episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Nancy (title: The Prank Call of Cthulu [sic]) I think I figured it out. First, they make a law that makes it illegal for an otherwise law-abiding person to carry a weapon. That isn't enough. Next, they also have to make a law that makes it illegal for a person under a disabling influence (drugs, alcohol) to carry a weapon. Such wonderful bureaucracy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

14 Homeless make an easy $10 each in Atlanta

For another $5 I'll angrily shake my fist, too:
ATLANTA - An activist who opposes illegal immigration acknowledged he paid more than a dozen homeless people $10 each to hold signs during a rally earlier this week, but said they agreed with his message.

D.A. King, who spoke at the rally, said Wednesday that he paid '14 willing American workers to let their voices be heard about illegal immigration.'

The people he hired are homeless and regularly congregate near the Capitol, King said.

Anything can be a weapon

Don't mess with this guy before he's had his morning coffee:
BLUFFTON, S.C. - A would-be carjacker got quite a jolt when he picked the wrong car to try to steal, Jasper County deputies say. The suspect tapped the window of the car Wednesday morning with a gun and motioned the driver to get out, Chief Deputy Roy Hughes said.

The driver of the car had just bought a cup of hot coffee. So he slammed his door into the carjacker's legs, threw the coffee on him possibly burning the suspect's neck and face, and wrestled him to the ground, Hughes said.
The gun did go off, but the would-be victim got lucky and was unharmed. The would-be carjacker got away.

Area pharmacies are on the look-out for anyone with a red face trying to purchase excessive amounts of aloe vera lotion, I daresay.

Dudley Council says Piglet not offensive, A.A. Milne stops spinning in his grave

Looks like it's safe for Piglet to come out again:
Race equality rules are being reviewed at Dudley Council after workers were told to remove toy pigs from desks because they offended a Muslim staff member.

Council leaders say they will not accept 'extreme forms of political correctness'. Last month the Express & Star revealed how staff in the council's benefits department were told to remove a series of toy pigs sent as a promotion, as well as pig imagery, from their desks.

It came after a complaint from a Muslim worker who said she was offended by the items - the Koran forbids Muslims from eating and touching pork.

Councillor Pat Martin told a full council meeting: 'I fully support the actions by management to respond to the concerns from colleagues following established and approved procedures.

'However I'm satisfied these procedures need to be reconsidered to make them compatible with the current law on what's deemed to be offensive in the workplace. Therefore I've ordered an urgent review of the procedures.

'In Dudley we rightly pride ourselves on being fair and reasonable employers but we will not accept extreme forms of political correctness.'
And someone besides backward, reactionary whackos such as myself finally refers to "political correctness" (in this instance anyway) as "extreme."

When they begin referring to it as "extremism" and/or thought-control, I promise I'll be surprised.

tnx to The Lone Voice

LEAA Supports the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

A press release from the Law Enforcement Alliance of America:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA) today applauded Congressional passage of legislation that would ban nuisance lawsuits against the firearms industry. LEAA Executive Director and retired police officer James J. Fotis, described the bill as a victory for law enforcement, stating 'this junk lawsuit ban strikes a blow to those seeking to shift blame from criminals to law abiding Americans.'

Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence

DeSOTO, Texas - A piece of paper folded to resemble a gun led to the brief suspension of three Dallas-area students.
They were later reinstated, but whoever invoked the suspension in the first place needs to be removed from association with school children. He/she/it is way too stupid.

And to think, in second grade we used to make paper shields and swords, and then color the swords with red crayons for "bloodstains," so we could play Viking at recess.

tnx to The War On Guns

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

For the "I'm the only one professional enough..." files

Let me play through, or I'll blow your freakin' head off:
CHINO, Calif. - An Orange County sheriff's reserve deputy was ordered to trial for allegedly pulling a gun on two slow-playing golfers and threatening them at Los Serranos Golf & Country Club.

Witnesses said Raymond Yi, 44, pointed a gun at the golfers and flashed his sheriff's badge during the July incident.

'When I saw him cock his gun, something fell out and my mouth dropped. I couldn't believe this was happening on a golf course,' said golfer Marcelo Bautista, 35, a Los Angeles teacher who was playing on the course with his uncle Gustavo Resendiz.

Bautista said Yi had hit two balls toward the men and at the 14th hole Bautista hit Yi's ball back toward him. According to Bautista, Yi confronted him, left the fairway and returned with a badge and pointed a gun to his head.

Bautista and Resendez continued playing but Yi followed them, pushed Resendiz and then cocked his gun.

'I really thought I was gonna be killed right then and there,' said Resendiz, 61.

At the end of Monday's preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge Raymond Youngquist said there was enough evidence to order trial. Yi is charged with two counts of assault with a firearm and two counts of making criminal threats. He will be arraigned Nov. 1.

Bob Schwartz to file charges against...himself?

More "oddities" from RedNova:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The author of a new state law that allows felony charges against owners of dangerous dogs was hospitalized over the weekend - after his own dog attacked him.

Bob Schwartz, who also is Gov. Bill Richardson's crime adviser, was hospitalized at University of New Mexico Hospital on Sunday night with bites on both his arms, said Pahl Shipley, a spokesman for the governor.

The hospital declined to release Schwartz's condition, but Shipley said Schwartz is 'going to be fine.'

Schwartz has three dogs registered with the city: a boxer and two English bulldogs, said Denise Wilcox, who oversees Albuquerque's animal care centers.
I wholeheartedly approve of laws that hold owners of vicious monster dogs accountable--it's the owner's fault that their dogs got that way.

But the irony of this one is as thick and sweet as cold molasses.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Obscure blog with weird name says Philip Pullman is insufficiently intelligent

From ekklesia:
Feted children's writer Philip Pullman has said that CS Lewis's famous Narnia books - about to become the latest Disney cinematic blockbuster - portray a version of Christianity that relies on martial combat, outdated fears of sexuality and women, and racist attitudes, according to the Observer newspaper in the UK.
Why just pick on Lewis? Tolkien was a Christian (and a close friend of Lewis), and look at his books.

Martial combat: Well, I don't think I need to even comment on that.

Outdated fears of sexuality and women: None of the Seven were female. The only prominent female in the story is Galadriel, and she isn't even human. She sits in her sanctuary and manipulates everyone she can as she sees fit.

Racist attitudes: The dark, ugly orcs are all evil, because, well, they're all dark, ugly orcs.

I think this Pullman guy is just jealous because he knows he will never write anything close to Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.

tnx to Next to Last Samurai

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A little research I've been doing...

A typically slow weekend, with a nice barbecue yesterday, and nothing today except that silly test that says I'm a samurai with a long, purple ponytail.

I've been researching the use of Airsoft gas blowback pistols for use in practicing pistolcraft. Primarily, practicing drawing and point shooting with a gun that fairly closely approximates a real gun in weight, size, and even function, except that it only shoots plastic bb's. It looks like it would actually be useful practice.

There aren't any Springfield XD Airsoft pistols, but there are plenty of replica Glock 17's, which is almost exactly the same length (to me that's important for draw practice). Any comments?

I am a...Samurai?

I thought I would be more of a wizard/assassin, but this is pretty cool too. But I don't have long, purple hair. Yet.

You are a Samurai.
You are full of honour and value respect. You are not really the stereotypical hero, but you do fight for good. Just in your own way. For you, it is most certainly okay to kill an evil person, if it is for justice and peace. You also don't believe in mourning all the time and think that once you've hit a bad stage in life you just have to get up again. It's pointless to concentrate on emotional pain and better to just get on with everything. You also are a down to earth type of person and think before you act. Impulsive people may annoy you somewhat.

Main weapon: Sword
Quote: "Always do the right thing. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" -Mark Twain
Facial expression: Small smile

What Type of Killer Are You? [cool pictures]
brought to you by Quizilla

tnx to The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Cool weather = barbecue time

After the long, intensely hot summer we finally have some cool weather. By which I mean, high 60's for the low and high 80's for the high. That means it's time to barbecue. So instead of sitting inside all day today, reading blogs and posting things of my own, I'm going to be outside, smoking my pipe, barbecuing a couple of shoulder roasts and a sausage, and reading a couple of new gun magazines that came in the mail this week.

I prefer shoulder roast to brisket, if I'm doing it myself. I think the roast tastes better. My dad was always a brisket guy, but after he had my barbecued roast he changed his mind.

I use a Black Diamond model New Braunfels Smoker. I like to use wood hunks at the ratio of about 3/4 mesquite and 1/4 hickory. I don't use propane (sorry Hank).

Things of Consequence

It's odd how many of the rightward-leaning and gun-focused blogs that I read are posting about the 4,000-year-old noodles. I also found it interesting, although I am still waiting to hear if they also found a fully intact and unopened packet of 4,000-year-old "beef" flavoring.

None of the blogs I read have yet mentioned this:
Posted by Picasa

Heather Carbo, a matter-of-fact librarian at an evangelical seminary outside Philadelphia, was cleaning out an archival cabinet one hot afternoon in July. It was a dirty and routine job. But there, on the bottom shelf, she stumbled across what may be one of the most important musicological finds in years.

It was a working manuscript score for a piano version of Beethoven's "Grosse Fuge," a monument of classical music. And it was in the composer's own hand, according to Sotheby's auction house. The 80-page manuscript in mainly brown ink - a furious scattering of notes across the page, with many changes and cross-outs, some so deep that the paper is punctured - dates from the final months of Beethoven's life.

The score had effectively disappeared from view for 115 years, apparently never examined by scholars. It goes on display today, just for the afternoon, at the school, the Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa.


Any manuscript showing a composer's self-editing gives invaluable insight into his working methods, and this is a particularly rich example. Such second thoughts are particularly revealing in the case of Beethoven, who, never satisfied, honed his ideas brutally - unlike, say, Mozart, who was typically able to spill out a large score in nearly finished form.

What's more, this manuscript is among Beethoven's last, from the period when he was stone deaf. It not only depicts his thought processes at their most introspective and his working methods at their most intense, but also gives a sense of his concern for his legacy. The "Grosse Fuge," originally part of a string quartet, had been badly treated by a baffled public, and he was evidently eager to see it live on in a form in which music lovers could play it on their pianos at home.
Heavily edited, so furiously in parts that he ripped the paper. Bits of red sealing wax which he used as glue to paste in entire new sections. Eraser smears and everything.

From Wikipedia:
Beethoven was often in poor health, especially after his mid-20s, when he began to suffer from serious stomach pains. In 1826 his health took a drastic turn for the worse. His death in the following year was attributed to liver disease, but modern research on a lock of Beethoven's hair taken at the time of his death shows that lead poisoning could well have contributed to his ill-health and untimely death (the levels of lead were more than 100 times higher than levels found in most people today). The source of the lead poisoning may have been fish from the heavily polluted Danube River and lead compounds used to sweeten wines. It is unlikely that lead poisoning was the cause of his deafness, which several researchers think was caused by an autoimmune disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus. The hair analysis did not detect mercury, which is consistent with the view that Beethoven did not have syphilis (syphilis was treated with mercury compounds at the time). The absence of drug metabolites suggests Beethoven avoided opiate painkillers.

Beethoven continued working on his music until the day he died.

Do you think the Almighty considers your puny instrument when He speaks to me?"
(Beethoven's answer to a violinist who complained that his part was written in a difficult key).

Friday, October 14, 2005

And now I will reveal the ultimate unutterable truth...

This is actually quite accurate.

Abhorrent Livestock-Abducting Nightmare from the Dreaded Pit

tnx to Hell in a Handbasket
The Monster Name Decoder

The Unspeakable Madness of Tori

Cinematical casually mentions:
[Dan] Gildark is the director of Cthulhua [sic], a film based on H.P. Lovecraft's mythology - starring Tori Spelling, if you can believe that..."
Some of us still don't want to believe it. Unfortunately, truth is often more horrible than fiction.

(Yes, I'm going to continue flogging this equine--deceased or not--until it has been swallowed by the maelstrom of mediocrity. I hope it's a good movie, but do not expect it to be.)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Squib Loads"

Alan (a different Alan) at personal protection training & firearm instruction posts about "squib loads," and how the bullet still exited the barrel, in a .380. I also have witnessed such an episode with new-in-the-box .380 ammo, although I don't know what brand it was. It happened to the guy next to me who was using a Bersa. I heard it and the rangemaster who was standing several yards away heard it. Since I was looking downrange at the time, I was also able to see the bullet kick up dust in front of the target (it didn't quite make it to the target).

I'm hoping this means that light bullets in short barrels might still be able to consistently clear the barrel even when loaded improperly. (But it's not something I would count on).

An Alligator with a Shotgun

Here's an interesting editorial from The Independent Florida Alligator:
The Editorial Board is going to stand its ground.

Just don't try to break into the Alligator offices - we might shoot you with our vintage sawed-off shotgun.

Continuing with our conservative streak this week, we see some benefits to the recently enacted law that redefines self-defense.

"Nobody in their right mind..."

Yeah. From The Bryan-College Station Eagle:
'Nobody in their right mind would put a weapon in a briefcase that clearly has to be X-rayed at an airport,' Guerra said. 'If you just want to be arrested, you can just take a weapon to the airport and wave it and say, 'I want to be arrested.' Some people will make innocent mistakes.'
So of course, it's just a simple mistake and he should be allowed to skip happily away.

I still believe that if this had just been some common everyday Joe, he would now be charged with "a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine."

Senator Hinojosa is either ignorant or lying (or just plain stupid):
"I just told you, I was handled just like any other citizen. If you don't have a license to carry a concealed weapon, you would have been arrested. I have a license. Thank you.

REPORTER: "But isn't it a crime to go through the metal detector? No it is not a crime," Hinojosa said.
Wrong, Juan. A Texas CHL does not allow licensees to carry into prohibited areas, like airport security checkpoints:
According to The Transportation Security Administration Web site, weapons may not be brought to security checkpoints without authorization. The TSA said bringing a weapon into a checkpoint could result in criminal or civil charges.

Rodriguez said police had charged Hinojosa with taking a weapon where it is prohibited, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Please feel free, senator, to read the little book they gave you along with all the other paperwork when you applied for your license.

Yep, must be nice to be one of the pretty people.
Just six months ago he was pulled over in Kingsville for reportedly weaving in and out of a marked lane. Officers also claimed the tint on the windows of his Lincoln Navigator was too dark.

The incident was all caught on tape. The senator was only given a warning, although he claimed he was targeted because of racial profiling.
And the race card comes flying out. No, you were given a warning because you were caught on tape driving like a dumbass.

In Texas, judges must run for election, and when they do so, they proclaim their membership/allegiance to one political party or the other. I haven't been able to determine which party Henley belongs to, but my naturally cynical mental processes have already made a pretty good guess.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My "1911"

I suppose, like many gun owners, I had always wanted a Colt Model 1911. But the cost for such a gun was so high, I never seriously considered buying one. Until, that is, about 4 or 5 years ago when I discovered the pistol commonly referred to as the Sistema Colt. Here is some detailed historical information taken from

In 1927, the Argentine Commission for Foreign Acquisitions negotiated a contract with Colt for the manufacture of of .45 caliber self loading pistols specially marked and serial numbered in a separate series, and secured a licensing agreement giving the Argentine government the right to manufacture these pistols in Argentina. The agreement specified: 1) Colt would manufacture 10,000 Colt automatic pistols, caliber .45, Argentine Model 1927 for the Argentine Army, 2) that the complete knowledge base for future production of the pistols in Argentina, to include drawings, manufacturing instructions, material specifications, tool requirements, etc. would be transferred to Argentine control, and 3) that Argentine technicians would be trained in manufacturing operations and inspection.

In 1943, the Argentine Military Small Arms Factory (FMAP - Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles) began to prepare for the manufacture of Model 1927 pistols under the 1927 licensing agreement. These pistols were known as "Pistola Sistema 'Colt' Modelo Argentino 1927, Calibre 11,25mm"' Production began at the Esteban de Luca Arsenal in Buenos Aires, with the first pistols actually being assembled at the Domingo Matheu plant in Rosario, Argentina in 1945. The pistols were manufactured in accordance with Colt's 1927 drawings. They were exact copies of Colt's 1927 pistols (identical to US military M1911A1 pistols) except for very minor differences, and parts were interchangeable. The only noticeable differences were the markings, grips, black oxide bluing, a sharp edge on the rear of the hammer, and a sharp edge on the heel of the grip safety. Triggers were solid as on the 1927 Colts , and the checkering on the mainspring housing was changed from Colt type cut checkering to indented checkering.

Barrels on pistols issued to the Army had blued chambers, but the chambers on Navy, police, and commercial barrels were milled after being blued, which resulted in a bright unfinished surface comparable to Colt commercial barrels. Serial numbers were stamped on the barrels prior to bluing, and therefore, bluing remained inside the numbers.

The Sistema Colt pistols were made for the army, navy, air force, government bureaus, police organizations, and commercial sales. They were normally serial numbered on the right side of the receiver, the grip frame under the mainspring housing, on the top and right side of the slide, on the top of the chamber and the bottom of the magazine. The presence of an Argentine crest on the pistol indicates government issue; pistols without crests were made for local police, non-government agencies, commercial sales and export. All Sistema Colt pistols bear the marking D.G.F.M. - (F.M.A.P.) on the left side of the slide, which indicates manufacture by the Direccion General de Fabricaciones Militares at the Fabrica Militar de Armas Portatiles. A total of 88,494 Sistema Colt pistols were produced.

As you can see, mine was not "arsenal refinished." I do believe it was cleaned and checked for proper functioning, because it was clean and worked perfectly right out of the box. I have used both FMJ and a few different brands of JHP in it and it has always worked flawlessly. They sent 3 or 4 magazines along with it, but all but one were so battered I couldn't even get them into the gun. The one that does fit works perfectly, and a few extra mags from Cheaper Than Dirt also work just like they should.

I didn't buy it with the intention of using it as a carry gun, but if the occasion arose and I reached into my home pistol box, I would not hesitate to use this gun. It feels perfectly natural in my grip and always hits what I aim at. The only bad thing about it is, every time I shoot it, it makes me want to buy another one. That way I could leave one as is, and have one nicely refinished and tricked up with an ambidextrous safety and maybe a few other things.

I might also take this opportunity to remark that if you get tired of shooting paper targets, and start looking for other things to shoot with your .45, stay at least 15 yards away from targeted cowpies. Backsplatter can be quite dramatic if the pie is at the proper stage of semi-dryness.

(As usual, I must apologize for the poor quality of the picture).

Part of Carnival of Cordite #34

I'm out of touch...

I've just learned that there is actually a tenth planet. Well, of course, there is some controversy. Some people still say Pluto isn't really a planet, so I'm sure there will be arguments about this one for some time to come.

The current, though temporary designation for this celestial body is 2003UB313. The International Astronomical Union first has to decide what this body actually is, and then decide on a name for it. Some have suggested Persephone.

I think they should just call it X.

Ebay to help keep New Yorkers as defenseless as possible

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Online auctioneer eBay Inc. will block the sale and shipment of stun guns and other illegal weapons to New York residents after working with Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, it was announced Tuesday.

In an investigation that started last year, Spitzer's office found that eBay users were easily able to buy stun guns through the company's Web site. Investigators, posing as ordinary customers, bought 16 stun guns from 16 different sellers on eBay.

The sellers, 14 of whom are from outside New York, are believed to have sold more than 1,100 stun guns to New Yorkers from September 2003 to August 2005, investigators said. Included in the sales were a 900,000-volt Taser International Inc. stun gun valued at $57 and a $400 'Air Taser' that delivers a 50,000-volt disabling shock through darts connected by wires to the weapon.
Now that eBay has blocked sales of stun guns to NY, criminals will be helplessly wandering the streets without any means of making a living, I suppose.

tnx to NRA-ILA

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Concealed Carry Laws Color-Coded Map

NRA-ILA has a neat map in the sidebar newsfeed today.

I wonder their definition of "reasonable issue" is.

Must be nice to be one of the ruling elite...

The charge has been dismissed against a state legislator arrested by McAllen police after taking a handgun through an airport metal detector.

McAllen Municipal Court Judge Kathleen Henley threw out the prohibited handgun charge against Democratic State Senator Juan Hinojosa.
The lawmaker earlier said he made a mistake and that he had a permit to carry the weapon.

Airport security screeners found the handgun in Hinojosa's briefcase Monday at Miller International Airport.

Hinojosa says police verified his concealed handgun permit, identity and traced the weapon before releasing him.

McAllen police chief Victor Rodriguez said he's 'dismayed' about the dismissal of the charge.
Too bad the laws don't apply to everyone, eh Victor?

UPDATE: via The War On Guns. Apparently the distinguished senator is also an anti-RKBA hypocrite.

Why am I not suprised?

Don't Bring a Toy Gun to a Baseball Bat Fight

From Denver Post:
As a masked intruder lay bleeding in front of her house, Becci Starr called 911 and described a violent and emotional struggle to protect her home at the expense of a man's life.

'I have never felt so violated,' she told an operator. 'I was hitting him over the head. Like, I must have hit him 20 times. I have a baseball bat at my front door, and the guy kept coming at me. And then my husband came, and he tried to cut him up.'

Authorities released recordings of the 911 call Monday, the same day the district attorney's office announced the couple will not face criminal charges. The intruder was carrying a plastic water gun, a hunting knife, pepper spray and a flashlight when he broke into the home in the 100 block of Poorman Road in Boulder County on Oct. 3, authorities said. Starr and her husband, Scott Mattes, fought back, beating the man with a metal bat and stabbing him with his own knife.
I didn't realize Colorado has a "Make My Day" law.

I also didn't realize that you needed a law to allow you to beat some scum to death who forces his way violently through your door.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Another version has created a pamphlet to be distributed to tourists in Washington, DC. An excerpt:


Welcome to the city known to many as the
"Murder Capital of America"

Because the most restrictive gun ban in the nation
in Washington, DC only criminals have guns.

Criminals know that law-abiding citizens are
unarmed and thus you are an easy target.

Downloadable in pdf format for printing!

Anybody else have alarm bells going off?

To wit:

All Things Conservative: Coincidence?


Saints preserve us! Miers once owned a gun!

Associated Press seems pretty excited about this news:
Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, who once owned a .45-caliber revolver, is not licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Texas. State officials refused Monday to reveal whether she has ever been licensed.

Miers' brother gave her the Smith & Wesson handgun when he was worried about her living alone in Dallas. Judge Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court, a longtime friend of Miers', has said she kept the gun for a long time.
I have the feeling the Associated Punks are very disappointed that they didn't actually catch her with a CHL.

Yes, we still have the stupid law that allows people who have no business knowing to find out if an individual has a CHL, but this problem is being worked on (I'll look it up later). Sorry AssPunks, but once a CHL has expired, you can't get the info on if someone ever had one in the past. Too bad.

An Interesting "Vigilante" Case

...that I'm going to try to follow. From the St. Petersburg Times:
In a perfect TV version of a court case, the victim of the crime would be a sympathetic, hardworking soul, unwitting prey for an obvious bad guy. The bad guy would be a menacing sort with a record as long as your arm.

In the real-life manslaughter case against Lawrence Storer, the roles might seem like they've been flipped.

Awaiting his trial, Storer runs a busy Thai restaurant in downtown Tampa. He's a self-made owner of a small business. He has no criminal record. He is accused of getting into his Ford Explorer and running down and killing 24-year-old Shantavious Wilson two years ago.

Wilson was a felon who had just robbed Storer at his restaurant, pointing a gun at his head before running off with the money.
There are some twists and turns to this case that are already making it tougher than usual.

Just a comment about her TV reference: What you are, nuts? Movies almost always portray the vigilante as the good guy. You must not be paying attention. (Death Wish, The Annihilator, Defiance, In Broad Daylight [a true story there, by the way], etc., and several others that I can't remember the name of right now).

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Been experimenting

Occasionally I sell refurbished smoking pipes on eBay. I don't have a digital camera that can take nice pictures of small objects, so intead of trying to photograph the pipes, I just lie them directly on the scanner and scan them. So far this has worked quite well.

My old scanner bit the dust a while back, so I got a nice fancy new scanner/printer for my laptop. Today I tried the same experiment with a handgun. It worked about as well as I'd hoped, except that where the colors are accurate on my laptop monitor, when I look at them from my older desktop, they are all kind of sepia-toned.

So I don't know how this is going to look to other people, but here's a picture from today's experiment.

I'll be writing more about this gun later.

Weird and Disgusting

I occasionally post what I consider weird news on this blog, because I am interested in such things. But this one goes beyond weird into the realm of stupid and disturbing:
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Black magic may have driven a Cambodian couple to bite off their daughter's thumb nails and suck her blood, officials said Sunday.

Chheng Chhorn, 46, and Srun Yoeung, 37, attacked their 12-year-old child before dawn on Thursday while she was still asleep, biting off her thumb nails and a small part of her nose to drink her blood, said Keo Norea Phy, a police official in Kampong Cham province where the incident occurred.

Neighbors rushed to the couple's house and rescued the girl after hearing her screams, he said.

After treatment at a hospital in Kampong Cham, about 50 miles east of Phom Penh, the girl was placed in the custody of other villagers. Relatives had taken her parents to a black magic healer to chase away the evil spirit that was believed to have possessed them, the police official said.

"We, the police, just have no idea what offense to charge them with," Keo Norea Phy said.
What, you don't have any laws regarding child abuse in Cambodia? Or assault?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

"Neither Predator Nor Prey"

I also read Bill Whittle's essay with the sheep/sheepdog metaphor, and for the most part, I agree with it. But after some reflection, I came to conclusion that there must be a lot of people, like myself, who don't fit the metaphor.

That's why I would like to recommend that you read Neither Predator Nor Prey at Revolutionary War Veterans Association Weblog. It uses another metaphor that I think is more accurate for many of us.

Carryability--XD40 vs. P95D

Today I broke out the old P95D since I hadn't carried it in a while, and I wanted to remind myself why. The pictures above are not to scale, and the manufacturers don't have complete info on all the dimensions; they only publish the overall length. So I measured length, width and height myself. This is what I came up with:

Length--7 1/4"
Width--1 1/8" or 1 1/4" including slide release
Height--5 1/2"

Width--1 1/8" or 1 3/16" including slide release
Height--5 3/8"

Both have an official weight of 27 ounces unloaded. The XD40 is only slightly smaller, so slightly that it doesn't seem logical that there would be a real difference. Why is it then, that it is so much easier to carry the XD40?

Part of Carnival of Cordite #34

When You Don't Have a Gun, You Do What You Can #4

From RedNova News:
NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. - A grandfather out for a walk in the woods with his son and 4-year-old grandson got the better of an attacking coyote.

Arthur Cole, 76, encountered the female coyote near the Assabet River in Northborough on Wednesday afternoon, not far from Cole's home in a retirement community.

Cole, who was attacked from behind, held the coyote down for 15 minutes until firefighters and police officers, who'd been called by family members, arrived and killed the animal by asphyxiation, according to police Sgt. James Bruce. The dead coyote was taken to Tufts Veterinary School in Westborough to be tested for rabies.

Cole suffered multiple bites and had to get stitches.

'He is going to be fine,' said his son, Peter Cole.
Previous entries: #1, #2, #3.

City Of Baytown Fires Employees For Evacuating

The City Of Baytown has apparently fired some employees for evacuating during Hurricane Rita. Apparently the city doesn't understand the difference between a meter reader and an emergency worker like a fireman:
Millions of people across the Houston area fled southeast Texas before the hurricane hit. But, at least 12 city of Baytown employees who evacuated before the storm told KPRC Local 2 they were fired for evacuating.

City officials said they had the right to fire them because they were city workers who abandoned their duties. The city said of its 650 employees, half of them were told to evacuate; the other half were housed during the storm.
Officials said the 12 employees who were fired evacuated before the city said they could.


"Either before or after a storm, anyone is liable to do anything. Every one of our job descriptions has the line, 'Other duties as may be assigned,'" Leiper said.
No, they won't. You're going to take a meter reader and train him to repair downed power lines in a couple of hours? I don't think so.
"You can't look back after the storm and say, 'Well, we didn't need them.' That's like saying we are not going to pay our firefighters this morning because they didn't have a fire last night," Leiper said.
To hell with hurricane force winds and flooding rains. You still have to get that read, fella. The future of civilization depends on it.

I know what my reply would be, but I don't use that kind of language on this blog.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Mark Your Calendars...

On an upcoming episode of Shooting Gallery in March, we get to see Michael Bane shooting like a chimpanzee.

That'll be one to watch. Heh.

SHTF Radio

Let's Talk Radio Turkey at Parallax Adjustment has inspired me to write my own thoughts on the subject of emergency (or SHTF) communications. The ability to communicate will be (and has been) a very important aspect of SHTF preparations. There are lots of hams who are more experienced and more knowledgeable on these topics than I, and if you are a ham, most of what I'm going to say won't be news to you. If you are interested in ham radio, this is going to give you lots of things to think about. I'm not saying that everything here is gospel, I just want to present some ideas that can be food for thought. Of course, these are all my opinions and some others might think I'm full of it. Even if you are not a ham, but are, shall we say, interested in SHTF scenarios, maybe this will get you interested in ham radio.

Among the many failures of the mainstream media, there is the almost non-existent reporting of the activities of ham operators during widespread emergencies. Many hams take part in the hobby primarily to stay well-practiced and prepared for emergency communications when they are needed. When floods and storms take down phone communications, hams are on the job passing messages, known as "traffic," from station to station, town to town, and state to state, providing information for friends, families, and sometimes even official agencies. In many areas, hams who are also weather-watchers take part in Skywarn, which coordinates with the local NOAA station to provide on-the-spot weather reports, providing valuable real-time information regarding lightning activity, heavy rainfall, indications of tornados forming, and various other severe-weather phenomena.

My interest in ham radio began with two things: the ability to carry on digital communications over radio, and the ability to provide emergency communications. I wasn't really into ragchewing (just talking with other people), or DX chasing (trying to contact stations in other countries). Although I have done both of those as well. These are just a collection of my thoughts and opinions about equipment that should be considered when preparing yourself for SHTF communications involving amateur radio.

Pardon me if I accidentally slip into some ham jargon that non-hams may not understand. I'll try to catch myself and explain any odd terms as they come up.

Handheld VHF/UHF Radio
Everyone should have, at minimum, a VHF (2-meter) handheld. A dual-band VHF/UHF radio is even better. These are the handgun equivalent of ham radio: there are bigger radios that will work better when they are available, but the handheld is the one you can always have on you and have access to immediately. Every licensed person in your family should have one (at least). Also, if you are going to get more than one, get them all in the same model so that everyone knows how to work it, and if something happens to one, no one has to go through a learning curve to operate a different one. Having everyone on the same model also assures that all the power packs are interchangeable, and only one model of charger needs to be used to charge all the packs. Make sure to get a model for which you can also get aftermarket battery packs that will allow the radio to operate from regular "AA" or "AAA" cells, so when the manufacturer's power pack goes dead, you can operate from plain old batteries if you don't have the time or ability to recharge the pack. As soon as you get your handheld, rig up a power cord that will allow you to plug in to your vehicle's (or generator's) power so that you can run it without having to use batteries whenever possible.

Mobile VHF/UHF Radio
These rigs will operate the same frequencies and bands as your handheld, but--generally--be able to transmit with about 10 times as much power. Every vehicle you plan on trying to move should have one. As with the handheld, a VHF rig will do fine, but a dual-band rig is even better. Again, go for the same model in each vehicle so no one has to learn to operate a bunch of different radios. Believe me, with all the bells and whistles and curious combinations of buttons that must be pressed on some radios, this is important. For that matter, avoid as many bells and whistles as possible and get radios that are simple and intuitive to operate.

HF Radio
Avoid the extremely big and expensive do-everything rigs and get a smaller, portable model produced for mobile operations. They will work just as well as the big rigs at your home station, and when you need to move, you can unhook it and carry it out the door. Even if you don't want to operate mobile all the time, install the mounting hardware, coax, power lines and antenna mount on your vehicle anyway. That way when you need to move, you can just bolt the radio in place and go. Keep the mounting bolts/screws that you need in your vehicle all the time so they'll be there when you need them. Every couple of weeks, or whenever, hook it up and make sure it all still works. An automobile is a very inhospitable environment for coax and electric wires. Eventually, the coax will develop an invisible break, a connector will get water in it, or your ground system will fail. It's much better for you to find a failure while sitting in your driveway playing around than when you actually need to communicate.

What They're For
Your handheld is very useful for close-range communications, such as car-to-car or building-to-building. If you are in an area where repeaters are still operational and within range, the range of your handheld will be greatly increased. A "repeater" is a radio system that receives your handheld's much weaker signal and re-transmits it at increased power with an antenna that is much more efficient and usually much higher up than your handheld.

The VHF/UHF mobile rig has essentially the same use as a handheld, except that it has more power and can be permanently set up with a much better antenna than the rubber duck on your handheld. Some models of dual-band rigs can also be set up to function as an emergency repeater--another important consideration. Such "cross-band" repeaters will require users to be using dual-band handhelds to take full advantage of.

The HF rig is generally for long-distance communications. Varying by frequency and time of day (not to mention solar conditions), it can be used to communicate across your state, across the country, or around the world.

Your handheld will come with a rubber duck antenna already, which is fine for most situations. But if you are in a more stationary position, there's nothing to prevent you from connecting your little handheld to real antenna, which will greatly increase its effectiveness.

There are hundreds of different models and variations of antennas for your dual-band mobile rig. Many hams sneer at magnetic mount antennas because they "look bad" or something. Forget about them and get a mag-mount anyway. If you end up in a place that has a metal roof, or anything tall and metal, for that matter, you can always connect up some extra coax and slap that mag-mount as high up as possible. A mag-mount on the roof of a house will work better than on the roof of a car. The higher you can get any antenna, the better it will work. I know of one very effective portable station that was set up by putting a mag-mount on top of a metal filing cabinet.

You should have an antenna, or a collection of antennas, that will allow you to operate your HF radio while moving. We call this, understandably, a mobile antenna. In the interest of a SHTF situation, I would recommend against anything extravagant like a screwdriver antenna, or even a bugcatcher. (Disclaimer time: I have a bugcatcher and would love to also have a screwdriver, but that's just me). Just get a few single-band antennas like the Hamstick (and yes, I also have a couple of Hamsticks stored in the toolbox of my truck). You must always be aware that--especially in rough conditions--eventually something will stop working correctly. A simple antenna like the Hamstick is very hardy and almost impossible to break. If something does happen to one of them, you will still have a few others that will get you on the air, although perhaps on a different set of frequencies. If your multi-band screwdriver antenna goes bad, that means you lose communications on...multi-bands.

Don't concentrate exclusively on mobile/portable operations. What if a disaster has knocked power out, but you are still able to remain at home? Have a system of antennas at your home location--whatever you have space for or allowed to erect under building restrictions (better yet, don't live anywhere that would put some dumb restrictions on your antenna experiments). Chasing DX is a lot of fun, and you might want to build or buy an excellent DX antenna, but for SHTF purposes, it won't be enough. (Second disclaimer time: I absolutely love my GAP Titan DX).

Simply put, the antenna made for DX, or long-distance (worldwide) communications, is designed so that it emits power at a very low angle of radiation. By emitting at a very low angle, the signal can go as far as possible before bouncing off the ionosphere and coming back down as far away around the world as possible. But if you need to communicate with someone in the next couple of adjacent counties, your bad-ass skyhook is going to be shooting its energy right over their heads and they won't hear a thing. This is why I recommend something like the Near Vertical Incident Skywave, or NVIS antenna. The NVIS is designed so that it emits radiation almost straight up, so that the signals bounce off the ionosphere right over your immediate area and come down all around you. A NVIS antenna will allow you to communicate very effectively on the lower HF bands out to a couple hundred miles or so. A NVIS antenna can be easily erected with 20-30 feet of pvc pipe, some wire, rope, and tent stakes.

Other Stuff
As I said before, eventually something will fail. Carry extra coax cable, heavy-gauge insulated wire for power lines, connectors, and lighter-gauge wire for making antennas. Cheap insulated speaker wire is excellent for making dipoles on the fly. When erecting field antennas, you will need insulators. Remember that anything non-conductive can be an insulator. I like to use pvc couplers and elbows. Plastic drink bottles can be cut up and turned into several emergency insulators. You will also probably want rope. Pack a slingshot or a bow with some fishing line to shoot over tree limbs or whatever else you can find to tie an antenna to. You can then use the fishing line to hoist your rope/wire up into the air. I prefer a very light-draw child's recurve bow for this. My compound hunting bow tends to shoot the arrows too far. Or just tie the line to something and throw it, if you are accurate enough with your throwing (I'm not).

I have found a butane-powered soldering iron to be an indispensible tool. The ability to solder antennas without having to rely on an electric soldering gun/iron is just wonderful. You can also take the tip off and use it to start fires, if necessary.

Carry an antenna book. It could be something as huge and encyclopedic as The ARRL Antenna Handbook if you really want it, but for these purposes something smaller and more practical is probably a good idea, like Simple and Fun Antennas for Hams (also available from ARRL). Any antenna books focusing on "field day" antennas will be very useful.

Rope. Did I mention rope? Something that won't start disintegrating when exposed to daily UV radiation, if possible.

Get a tuner that also has an SWR meter in it so you can make sure your homebrewed field antennas are working right.

Many models of VHF handhelds and mobile rigs can also receive the FM broadcast band. You may want to consider this in your purchase of these radios. They will also be useful as public service scanners, unless you are in an area that uses a trunked system. In that case, you'll want a dedicated scanner that is designed to monitor such systems. Likewise, remember that your HF radio is also a general coverage shortwave receiver, and can receive the AM broadcast band as well. CB radios have their place. They are cheap and plentiful, and there should be at least one in your radio arsenal. Plenty of non-hams will be trying to use these, and if you are near a major highway, you can learn a lot about traffic conditions by listening to truckers. However, also be aware that your HF radio can be used to monitor CB frequencies, although it is actually illegal to use it to transmit on such frequencies.

Make sure your portable power supply, be it generator or automobile, is properly filtered. When you do need to communicate, it is important to also be able to hear other stations, and not just a several-megahertz-wide swath of noise.

Like I said in the beginning, this isn't gospel. I'm not saying you absolutely must have everything mentioned here. I just hope it might give some prospective or new hams some ideas about what can be done.

I'm sure I've forgotten a few things in here that I had wanted to mention, so if I think of anything else I'll update it.

And remember, the main goal of most hams is to have fun.

UPDATE: CW (Morse Code)
I knew I had forgotten something. Non-hams know it as Morse Code. Hams call it CW, for Continuous Wave. You should learn it and use it. Many people will say that it's obsolete, but in this time of multi-mode digital radio communications, so is the human voice. It is true that there are other ways of communicating and even transferring files over radio. It is also true that in almost all cases, you will need a computer to operate in these modes, and you may not be able to take a computer and other necessary peripherals when the S hits the F. (Plus, a computer is going to be another enormous drain on your emergency power). When conditions are so poor that your voice can't be heard, CW can still get through. Pack a simple straight key with your SHTF radio gear. A straight key is unlikely to break because of its simple design, and if it does, repairs are easy to improvise. For that matter, it's fairly easy to improvise a straight key of some sort from scratch. I still have a plain no-frills straight key that came with a Heathkit code practice oscillator. I screwed the key down to a piece of 1x4 for a base, and it has served me well for many years. Currently the minimum requirement is to be able to copy code at 5 words per minute to be licensed for HF frequencies. Just learning the code will almost automatically put you at 5 wpm. After that, just get on the air and use it a couple of times a week, and your speed will naturally improve. And this opinion is from someone who almost never operates in anything but computer-assisted digital modes.