Sunday, September 30, 2007
I had not told my grandson that I had purchased this new rifle. I was waiting for him to show an interest in going back out to the range before I did, so it was a nice surprise for him.
The little Marlin 15YN fit him perfectly, and he had a good time shooting it. Most of his shooting was standing at 5 yards, then from sand bags at 25. He also put a few rounds through the Ruger Mark 1. I also brought the AR, just to show him how it operated. He had mentioned in the past that he wanted to see me shoot it, so I brought it along. After I shot it a couple of times, he decided that he wanted a turn. His first shot was standing with one round in the magazine. I helped support the weight of the barrel, and he pulled it in tight against his shoulder. After his first shot, there was a smile as big as Texas on his face. A bit latter he wanted another go at it, this time on the sand bags.
I took this picture between his fourth and fifth shot. Note the finger control.
Another good thing about taking the grandson to the range, he is one heck of a brass scrounger.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
We shot six stages and went through a little over a hundred rounds of ammunition. Twenty four shooters showed up, and we split into two groups. I think that I ended up in the more interesting of the two groups. We had a wide range of firearms and skill sets on the line, and everyone got along very well. In our group we had one shooter with a lever action, and one with an M1 Carbine. The rest of us shot AR's of one sort or another. Most folks had flat tops with optics, a couple of us had A1/A2's with iron sights.
The lever action fell out midway through the match with what appeared to be a pretty serious failure of his firearm. Hopefully it appeared worse that it was and turns out to be an easy fix. One individual had a squib load. Thankfully the bullet cleared the barrel, the action did not cycle. I think the M1 Carbine had a stove pipe, but I was not standing where I could see and tell for sure. I am happy to say that the problem I had with the trigger pin last week is well and truly resolved, it did not move a bit and my Mixmaster Dissipater functioned flawlessly.
When I showed up to this match, I had two goals. I did not want to get any procedural errors, and I did not want to put any holes in the "no shoot" targets. After the walk through, I added a third goal. One of the stages included firing three shots at a hostage taker from a kneeling position around cover at 25 yards. I very much wanted to do good on this one target, and I did. That made my whole day.
If you can't tell, I had a blast. We got to shoot moving targets, and at targets while moving. We shot prone, kneeling, standing, walking and crouching. It turns out that I did not need the drop leg ammo pouch after all, but don't tell V that. I bought it, so it is getting used.
The guys at Cross Timbers IDPA did a great job with this match. This was their (I can soon say our as I am joining CTIDPA) first Carbine Match, and I thought it ran very smoothly. The pre-match training that was held last weekend was a very good idea and went a long way towards helping those of us who had not done this sort of thing before fit right in.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Now, let's say that we got really angry, angry enough to chase this guy through stop lights, catch up to him in an apartment complex, and fire three rounds at the passenger as he ran away. To make this story even more interesting, we smell of alcohol.
What would happen to you or I, in such a situation? Think about it for a second, where would we be right now if one of us did something like that?
Well, if we happen to be a Pasadena Texas police officer, we get 18 months probation for a Class A misdemeanor, a $400 fine, are required to attend anger management classes, do community service and undergo random urine tests.
Zero jail time, a minor slap on the wrist and off he goes.
Some of us animals must be much more equal than others.
Was this an isolated incident, a fluke, not evidence of a problem with the Pasadena police department?
Kacz is at least the fourth Pasadena officer prosecuted criminally since last year. His conviction comes at a time when Pasadena officers Jason W. Buckaloo and Christopher S. Jones are under investigation for their role in the July 21 homicide of Pedro Gonzales Jr.Guess not.
Read the whole story here.
Thanks to Ryan for the link.
CRIMINAL ALIEN PROGRAMNow that is good news. The police working with ICE to deport criminal illegals. The mayor and city council of Irving have instructed the police force to screen everyone who is arrested to determine their citizenship or immigration status, and turn the illegals over to ICE. This is what every police department in the country should be doing.
Irving police have been screening arrested people and have turned over 1,373 to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials this year. Data from the city show that the number of prisoners turned over to ICE is increasing.
About four illegal immigrants a month were identified among people arrested in Irving before police began the Criminal Alien Program, according to police data.
About 50 a month were identified after police started the program in September 2006.
About 130 a month were being identified by April.
Up to 300 a month are being identified now, according to the mayor.
The article I pulled these statistics from?
It is this one by Patrick McGee:
Mr. McGee also wrote:
Carlos Quintanilla organized the protest against the police program, in which officials screen all inmates for possible referral to federal immigration authorities. He urged the crowd to boycott Irving businesses and to call the mayor to demand an end to deportations.This has become quite the event here in North Texas. It is a bit depressing to see the images of well over a thousand people protesting the fact that the city is turning illegals who have gotten themselves cross ways with the police over to ICE.
What Irving is doing proves that new laws are not necessary. We do not need a new immigration bill, we need to enforce our current immigration laws. Enforcing the current laws, along with securing the border will go a very long way towards restoring the rule of law and stopping the flood of illegals over our borders.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
A quick refresher before we continue:
- All firearms are loaded - There are no exceptions, period. Know this rule and live it. Handle all firearms accordingly.
- Never let the muzzle of a firearm point at anything you are not willing to destroy - If you are not willing to see a bullet hole in it, do not allow a firearm's muzzle to point at it. If you are doing dry fire drills in your home, extra care needs to be made to insure that ammo is not even in the same room as you are. Dry fire drills can be dangerous because they do violate Rule #2.
- Keep your finger off the trigger unless your sights are on the target - You do not gain any speed at all by keeping your finger on the trigger. Keep it out of the guard until you are sighted on the target. Practice this until it becomes second nature. If this rule were followed 100% of the time, there would be no negligent discharges.
- Be sure of your target and what is behind it - Be aware of your surroundings whether on a range, in the woods, or in a potentially lethal conflict. Never shoot at sounds or at a target you can not positively identify.
An area in which I may have been remiss, is in talking about proper gun etiquette, explaining how to follow the Four Rules in every day life. I will work on that in future commentary on firearm safety issues.
What brought all this to mind is a post by Xavier, Passing Guns. That post, and the comments attached to it, describe how to properly pass a firearm to another person. This is a very important lesson for new firearms owners, and one that is often not taught at the sales counter.
Civis Proeliator shares his final lesson on passing guns in Revisiting My Younger Days, a short story of a father's tough love.
Both of these commentaries are well worth your time.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The officer had a concealed firearm, and was able to protect himself by killing the goblin.
Note the irony. This incident occurred just three days after the brutal murder of three college students behind a near by school.
In NJ, the officer has the opportunity to protect himself, the college kids did not.
The officer survived his attack, the college kids did not.
I guess that in NJ, an officer's life is much more valuable that yours or mine. Why else would we be denied the same right to self defense that an off duty officer enjoys?
Thanks to Tony for the video.
Anonymous said...I have no means of verifying that this comment was in fact written by Mz Rathbone, but for the sake of my response, I will assume it was.
i've been in the news... I'm Carter Albrecht's girlfriend, and I hate this law... i want to fight to see it changed. It's ashame that no justice will be served for Carter...
Here's my open letter:
I want everyone to know:
-what a wonderful, talented loving man Carter is. A brilliant musician, but more importantly the most amazing man I've ever known.
I do not blame Chantix for his death. It explains his behavior, but not his death. I do think people should be made aware of warning signs of adverse reactions before they take Chantix.
Carter died from a bullet. Shot through a door that was half GLASS. The bullet was shot through glass. There was a motion light by the backdoor where he was shot. There were no dents or scuffs on the door where Carter was "banging."
I BLAME the CASTLE DOCTRINE for allowing anyone to kill someone by shooting through a window or door (glass or not), with no other reason than to claim, "I was scared."
What if Carter was asking for help? What if I had run nextdoor to ask for help, and banged on the door? Is it still okay to shoot me; if you're scared?
How late at night is too late to "bang" on someone's door? How loud does a "bang" on a door have to be before you can justify shooting the person on the other side?
Who shoots a warning shot through a well-lit glass backdoor at someone's head and then claims "I tried to aim high?" "I was scared."
Chantix is the only thing that makes any sense of Carter's behavior the night he was killed.
The real cause of his death, and the law that allows this makes none.
Ma'am, I am sorry for your loss and would not wish the pain and grief you are going through upon anyone. I do not wish to add to your suffering, but feel that I need to respond to your comments.
It was not the Castle Doctrine that caused the death of Carter, it was Carter's actions that caused his death.
If I understand the chain of events, the evening progressed along these lines:
You and Carter had been out partying and you drove a drunk Carter back to your house. When you got home, Carter became angry and slammed a glass down on the table and cut his hand. Carter then began to hit you in the face with closed fists, knocking you to the floor. Carter hit you again when you were on the floor. When you were able to break free, you ran outside. When Carter followed you outside, you went around to the back yard and through the back door, locking him out of your house.
This is the important part. You locked Carter out of your house. You locked Carter out because you were afraid of him. Carter had become violent and was beating you, the woman he loved. You did the right thing, you protected yourself.
Reports do not mention if you dialed 911 at that time.
When Carter could not get back into your house, he moved on to the neighbor's. If Carter beat on you, the woman he loved, what would have been the fate of the neighbors had he gotten in?
Your neighbors awoke to a violent man, beating on their back door. The news headlines have been filled with reports of home invasions, folks being killed by burglars. 2 shot during home invasion and Robbers wear 'Scream' masks during home invasion are just two of the local incidents that occurred in the weeks leading up to the night of Carter's death. You will probably recall that the national news was heavily reporting on the home invasion in Connecticut that ended with the husband having to watch his wife and daughters brutalized and murdered.
Castle Doctrine had nothing to do with your neighbor shooting Carter. I very much doubt that the words "Castle Doctrine" even entered your neighbors thoughts as Carter was attempting to break down the door. Your neighbor saw a threat, and took action to protect himself and his wife. I most likely would have handled that threat differently and not fired through the door. But I was not there.
Sadly, this is the world we live in now. The late night banging and hollering at your door is most likely someone intending you harm, not someone needing help. You have to admit, it seems that Carter intended harm to whoever may have been in that home. Carter may not have been a violent man, but at that moment he was a goblin.
It was Carter's violent, drug and alcohol induced rage that caused his death.
As Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd stated in her editorial "Don't throw blame at terrified homeowner":
It's not out of line, or even unusual, for people who cared about Carter Albrecht to be scrambling for answers and explanations.More information on the Texas Castle Doctrine Bill can be found here.
It is out of line to suppose that a man awakened in the middle of the night by a lunatic trying to beat the door down should be able to tell whether it's a popular musician or an escaped convict on the porch.
Monday, September 24, 2007
If you happened to have missed this verbal assault against an inanimate object, click the following link.
Michael Marks, the Federal Affairs Director of the Fifty Caliber Institute has published his response to Mz Currie's diatribe. And an excellent response it is.
...Rhetoric is the refuge of those who have no original thought, Ms. Currie, and if our only hope of saving our forest is by banning everything with which those who are challenged by a lack of common sense among us can make fire, we will have to ban the very sticks in the forest themselves.That was a small part of the rebuttal by Mr. Marks. This reasoning can be used to counter any of the anti's rhetoric involving bans and controls of inanimate objects. Head on over and read the article in it's entirety
The discussion that should be on the minds and lips of every American is not how to bubble-wrap the planet and idiot-proof every possible hazard. It should be instead on resurrecting the ideals of personal responsibility, of educating our citizens as to the impact of their actions. Moreover, it should focus on holding the minority who are challenged, accountable for their insipid deeds. The tools of our potential destruction lay everywhere, it is only by staying the hand that wields one that we can know peace and safety and preserve the environments that we cherish.
It is this aversion to accountability which I find most unfathomable. Can the banners of the world be so lacking in imagination that a knee jerk "ban it" is the best idea they can offer? Drunk drivers kill thousands each year, yet we do not ban alcohol, much less cars. But try to put a drunk away for a sincerely harsh sentence and the same bleeding hearts that will ban things in a second come out to embrace the poor, misunderstood drunk and cry for his next chance to take to the road, beer in hand, and kill again.
If bans worked, then we would have "drug free zone" signs plastered on every city corner. We would have "violence free zone" signs in every home and nary a wife or child would be abused. We would have law and order because each and every citizen, no matter how evil or twisted, would sigh and abandon their malicious ways lest they run afoul of a ban. One needs no well-honed sense of sarcasm to note the fallacy of that supposition, nor will the rose-colored immaturity of someone who thinks that bans achieve anything but the waste of taxpayer money.
You want to help stop fires, Ms. Currie? Petition for a change of law that says that anyone causing a fire will be responsible for full financial restitution of all costs to include firefighting, costs of replanting, and criminal responsibility for every scrap of property and personal injury, with perhaps a "double bonus round" for those whose actions meet the criteria for not acting reasonably in circumstances such as this. (and I would argue this incident qualifies.) Make the cost of causing harm so high that it causes fear, and then stick to your principals. Let society take a stand that says we are sick of this type of irresponsibility; we are tired of negligent fires no matter what was used to cause them.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Last weekend was the Big Town show. V and I went early on Saturday as we had two of the grandchildren Saturday evening. It is not often that I get to a gun show that early on a Saturday, and there were less people there than I expected. I picked up a drop leg magazine pouch and a dump pouch for the carbine matches. V picked up a range bag (that she has already decided is too small).
Gun shows are an interesting study in marketing, and seeing as how I am contemplating opening my own shop, I try to pay attention to what goes on at the various shows. There is a gun show almost every weekend in N. Texas. Big Town is the second largest and draws literally thousands of potential customers into the hall. Even the smaller shows in Fort Worth have excellent draws. As I walk the tables looking for that one item that I did not know I needed, I am listening to the dealers. It never fails that I overhear one dealer or another griping about slow sales. At the Big Town show I overheard a dealer complaining about how he only sold three things at the previous Fort Worth show. I was at that Fort Worth show, and it had a very good turn out, many dealers had folks lined up to fill out paperwork.
Even as early as it was at this show, the usual dealers had folks in the chairs filling out paperwork, and others were twiddling their thumbs.
I have a hint for dealers who can not sell at a N. Texas gun show. If you only make three sales to the thousands of people who walk past your table, no one wants the crap you are selling for the price you are selling it at. Stop bitching about it, and figure out what you are doing wrong. It is not the promoters fault, and it is not the folks who pay to come to the gun shows fault, it is your fault that you can not sell to a crowd this size. If you are going to sit behind your table, complaining about your lack of sales where I can hear you, don't expect me to improve your fortune.
Today was Market Hall, arguably the best gun show in N. Texas. I had a little something to get done at work this morning and V came to help so we could go to the show after we got done. I enjoy the Market Hall show. I know several of the vendors and usually run into someone on the customer side of the tables that I know. There were four different Barrett rifles on the tables this time. One of these days I am going to have the extra cash to own my own Model 82. There was a nice selection of mil-surp rifles (as usual), and it seemed that there were more Black Rifles and black rifle accessories available than before. I wanted to pick up a couple Wilson Combat Elite Tactical Magazines (1911) to compare with my Tripp Research Cobra Mags. Robbie of Lone Star Wholesale ran out of the Wilson Combat ETM's before I got there (he had a whole box full of 'em last weekend), so you will have to wait until next time for that review. We did walk out of there with a sack full of stuff, me with cleaning supplies and V with new hearing protection. Only $135.00 down, and $40.00 of that was in tickets for an NRA drawing, not bad for a gun show.
Note to gun show ammo dealers. Yes we know the price of ammo is going up, we also know when you are running way ahead of that curve. Ammo prices at the last few shows have been, for the most part, ridiculous.
The Texas State Rifle Association did decently during the show, they signed up over 50 new members. I have said it before, and I will say it again; If you are a Texas Firearm owner, you need to be a member of the TSRA. To join the Texas State Rifle Association, click here. If you tell them I sent you, James Dark (the Executive Director) would owe me a beer at the next Lone Star Friends of NRA Banquet.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Today's instructor was Steve Moses of Bluff Dale Firearms Academy. Steve did a great job of working with us and getting us prepared to have a safe and enjoyable match. I really appreciate the fact that Steve did this training for free, and am impressed with his dedication to safety and his teaching style.
I was the only one out there with a Dissipator style AR. There was one SP1, and one SBR'd Armalite. The rest were carbines that ranged from the very basic to the Super Tacti-Kool. It will be interesting to see how everyone holds up during a match. Today there was one double feed (the SBR), and the most Super Tacti-Kool rifle on the range had a very hard time running at all. During the very last drill my trigger pin walked out and I could not fire, that issue has been resolved and will not occur again.
After the training, I went over to the 100/200 yard range to run some more ammo through the AR (If I'm gonna have to clean it, might as well make sure it is good and dirty) and try out my Grandson's new .22. All and all a good day at the range, and it looks like we will have a good group of folks shooting in the carbine matches.
Get home, clean guns, remedy trigger pin problem, then head out to the lake for a barbeque. It has been a busy day. Not bad for the last day of Summer.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Dave Kopel does.
Dave starts with a little history;
In the early fall of 1994, the gun control movement achieved unprecedented success in Congress. The "Brady Bill" had been enacted in November 1993, and went into effect in February 1994. After a very tough political fight, President Clinton's omnibus crime bill was passed in August 1994. The bill included a 10-year ban on so-called "assault weapons," as well as other gun controls. Handgun Control, Inc. (which later changed its name to "The Brady Campaign" promptly began to push for legislation which it called "Brady II."He then reminds us of the provisions of Brady II in some detail.
Although the bill was introduced, it did not receive a hearing in the final weeks of Congress before the election. The November 1994 elections resulted in a Republican landslide; in a December 1994 interview with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, President Clinton stated that the NRA was the reason that the Republicans had won control of Congress.
Nevertheless, Brady II is worth remembering as a roadmap for the gun control lobby's hopes for "the next step" in federal gun control.
Remember Arsenal licensing? How about nationwide handgun licenses, or increased taxes on firearm and ammo sales? This bill attempted to expand the list of persons banned from firearm ownership and banned many pistols and all magazines with a capacity over 6 rounds. There were several other provisions of this bill that are worth noting. Brady II is what the anti's have planned for our future.
Well, actually it is just the next step.
If "Brady II" had become law, what would have been the key to "Brady III" or "Brady IV"? Mrs. Brady has already told us.Remember this each and every time an anti mentions "common sense gun laws".
She wants a "needs-based licensing" system, under which no one could own any gun unless the local police chief decided that the person "needed" to have the gun. (Erik Eckhom, "A Little Gun Control, a Lot of Guns," New York Times, Aug. 15, 1993, p. B1).
Ownership of a gun for protection would not be considered a legitimate "need." Says Mrs. Brady "To me, the only reason for guns in civilian hands is for sporting purposes." (Tom Jackson, "Keeping the Battle Alive," Tampa Tribune, Oct. 21, 1993.)
The Brady Campaign's current rhetoric is much milder, and the group claims not to oppose defensive gun ownership.
Head on over to The Volokh Conspiracy and read the whole thing here. It is a powerful reminder of what is at stake.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The Dallas Morning News reported that Mr. Marvin Marks (81) dropped a concealed handgun during services and the firearm discharged, striking his daughters foot. Fragments of bullet/floor also struck two others. None were seriously injured.
There is an update:
By Jeffrey Weiss
Temple Emanu-El of Dallas is sending members an unusual pre-Yom Kippur message:
Please don't pack heat in the synagogue.
And by the way, the fellow who dropped his gun last week is very, very sorry.
The special letter, mailed Tuesday in advance of this weekend's High Holiday services, was a reaction to an incident that briefly made last week's Rosh Hashanah service the most famous in the nation. But not in a good way.
A 50-year member of the congregation stood for a prayer Wednesday night, and his legally concealed handgun slipped to the floor and went off. Three people were slightly injured, but the service was not interrupted.
The man with the gun, Marvin Marks, is a retired police officer. He is not to be confused with Marvin Marks, the retired furniture store owner who was sitting one row back and a few seats over and had nothing to do with the mishap.
In the letter, the armed Mr. Marks explained what happened. He said he had started to carry a concealed gun years earlier after being threatened by someone he had previously arrested. Normally, he leaves the gun in his car when he goes places where guns aren't welcome.
"On Wednesday evening, I forgot to leave it in my car. I know this is a poor excuse for bringing it into temple with me, but that is the truth," he wrote.
The gun fell out, he wrote, and although the safety was on, it fired.
Mr. Marvin Marks is 81 years old. As I stated before, he was a young man during the Holocaust and he is witnessing an increase of anti Semitism today. I assumed that he, more than most, understood the need for adequate self defence. I cut him a bit of slack for dropping his sidearm, not much, but a bit. Now we learn that he is a retired police officer. All I have to say is Mr. Marks, you know better. You know how to properly secure a firearm in it's holster, and you know how to safely carry it. Your actions not only injured your daughter, but they put others at a much greater risk.
These are the consequences of your actions:
As for the synagogue, it's putting up new signs that make it clear that concealed handguns are not welcome. The old signs excluding guns did not specifically mention legally concealed weapons, temple spokesman Dana Moffatt said.
The synagogue has posted the proper 30.06 signage that prohibits the carry of concealed weapons by CHL holders. Nice job sir. You have disarmed the law abiding amongst your congregation.
On a side note.
I wrote the original reporter and requested make and model of the firearm involved. She has not responded. But I have been told that the firearm involved was a .380, a very old Beretta. I also understand that the bullet entered the daughters foot from the top of her foot, and exited through the bottom. As the two other injured individuals were injured by fragments it appears that, and this is only speculation, the gun discharged as Mr. Marks fumbled with it as it was falling.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
What if I told you that for as little as $10.00, you could have the chance to win not only a custom pistol, but a complete custom package including some serious training at one of the countries foremost facilities? What if I mentioned that each and every penny raised went to a good cause? You would have to get in on that action, wouldn't you?
Actions Speak Louder Than Words (LTW) is a group of some of the countries best 1911 'smiths who collaborate on custom guns, raffle them off, and donate the proceeds to selected charities.
Let me present to you LTW#4
The pistol is not yet 100% complete, but ticket sales have commenced on this project.
Who is the Beneficiary of this raffle? AmericanSnipers.org, an organization structured to helping those that are on the front lines of safeguarding our freedoms.
A quick list of contributors to this project can be found here.
It is only $10.00. For a simple $10.00 bill you have a chance of owning a pistol that has been built by Stan Chen, Chuck Rogers, Don Williams, Ned Christiansen, and the shop of Yost-Bonitz Custom to name a few of the fine craftsmen working on this project.
Remember, this is for a good cause:
I would locate this shop in an area not far from the house, a small shopping district with freeway access surrounded by neighborhoods that consists mainly of single family homes. The lease rate for this area is comparatively low as the boutique style shopping has moved to the eastern end of town. The nearest gun shops are 15 to 20 minutes away, longer if there is traffic, and the closest big box stores are not really interested in selling firearms and firearm related supplies. I feel this is a good area for this type of shop.
I have the basic idea of what I would like for the shop to become, but need your help with some of the plans.
Describe your perfect gun shop.
Tell me what brings you back to your favorite shops, and what keeps you away from those you detest.
What merchandise are you surprised not to find in some shops? Heck, a list of necessities would be good just in case I have missed something.
This is important as if I do open the store, it will not be as a hobby, I will have to make a living at it. Good ideas now will help me be successful then.
Monday, September 17, 2007
By Ken Fireman and Robin Stringer
Response DefendedI know that this is a bit off topic for A Keyboard and a .45, but I find the use of civilian contractors such as Blackwater in Iraq interesting. I am not at all sure of the full scale of Blackwater involvement other than armed security for civilians, and wonder at the implications of their use.
Tyrrell said the incident began when the motorcade ``took fire from various directions'' as it passed through a heavily trafficked area.
She said Blackwater personnel guarding the convoy responded with small-arms fire, shooting only at those who were attacking the motorcade. She said at least one Blackwater helicopter arrived on the scene and circled the area, yet didn't open fire.
``We responded well within the rules of engagement to protect our people,'' Tyrrell said. ``And we protected them and then we got out. They did their jobs defending American life.''
Make sure you read the comments, they are worth much more than the price of admission.
At the moment I am still working out in my mind who to support. I really like Duncan Hunter, but the press simply refuses to give him any air time. When he stood up for General Petraeus against the Dem's, there was nary a mention by the 10:00 talking heads. Fred Thompson, on the other hand, has the star appeal that gets his every move covered by the media. He already stands head and shoulders above the "top three" RINO's on the platform, and if he continues supporting Federalist ideals, then he would be someone I could stand behind.
The exciting part about these two candidates is the fact that I have two quality candidates to choose from. There is no "choosing the lesser evil" between these two.
The Constitution of the United Stated of America is 220 years old today.
Click the image above to read the Constitution. This is our governing document, read it and remind yourself of what the role of government truly encompasses. More importantly, remind yourself what the federal .gov should be leaving to the states.
Oscar Poppa has a good Constitution Day commentary that is well worth reading.
US security contractor Blackwater has been banned from operating in Iraq after eight civilians were killed in Baghdad yesterday.The Al Jazeera version: Iraq ends US security firm licence.
Blackwater offers personal security to US officials working in Iraq and is one of the better known firms involved in what critics call the privatisation of the war in Iraq.
Yesterday, a US diplomatic convoy came under fire in the Iraqi capital's western al-Yarmukh neighbourhood.
Blackwater members accompanying the convoy returned fire, leaving nine people dead, one of whom was an Iraqi police officer.
All of the other fatalities were civilian bystanders.
Iraqi Brigadier-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf confirmed that a mortar had landed close to the convoy and said the US firm had 'opened fire randomly at citizens'.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has strongly condemned the company's actions and denounced what he called the criminal response of the US contractors.
And today Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani issued an order to cancel Blackwater's licence and prohibit the company from operating anywhere in Iraq.
And from the Christian Science Monitor: Iraqi government may ban Blackwater security group.
Verification from the New York Times: Security Firm’s License Is Pulled in Iraq
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I opened that commentary with:
We daily send our children off to school, a perfect terrorist target. In 49 of the 50 states, the terrorists are guaranteed that teachers and school officials will not be armed and the children will not be defended. Modern schools are built like forts, and once the terrorist get in, they will be able to easily defend their position. In my mind, a public school would be very high on the terrorist target list of places that would get the most world wide coverage and cause the greatest amount of fear in America. Yet, we still debate, not on how to protect our children in school, but if we should even allow them protection.The debate continues, legislation is proposed, police departments train on active shooter scenarios, and some school districts develop their very own SWAT teams. The idea of allowing teachers, administrators, staff and adult students the option of carrying a concealed firearm is slowly gaining ground, but still meeting with heavy resistance. As it is, our schools remain an undefended prime target for terrorists.
So why do our enemies want to attack our children? These folks are not stupid. They are living amongst us, working and attending school. They remain undetected by our intelligence agencies and they wait, and they prepare. If they are not stupid, then what is their goal?
WC from The Gathering Storm has posted his thoughts on what is now being called "The Perfect Day Scenario" in Winds of War: The Perfect Day Scenario.
The Jihadists, like al-Qaeda, are trying to start a holy war between Islam and the West. They preach that the free democracies are at war with Islam itself and seek to destroy it. But to create that dream of a global holy war, the Jihadists need the active support of the 1.2 billion Muslims through the world. But it will take more than the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan, more than successful terrorist attacks, more than fringe hate elements on the right to awaken the ummah to the manufactured threat of a holy war by the Jihadists.The entire article is long, but well worth the read.
The 1.2 billion worldwide Muslims need to see their religion, in no uncertain terms, under attack by the free democracies. For that, the Jihadists need to create events so monstrous that the population of a non-Muslim country (read the USA) will respond by attacking and/or persecuting any and all Muslims and their organizations and mosques in their midst or, if through a massive WMD attack, respond with a nuclear attack on a Muslim country.
This type of uncontrollable anger from non-Muslims is what the militant Jihadists are striving for - especially in the USA. They know we can not be defeated militarily unless the entire Muslim world will unite as one force using modern day weapons to die for the glory of Allah.
It’s a sick dream but one that the Jihadists have confirmed time and time again.
Firehand from Irons in the Fire has been commenting on a recent series by Glen Beck on the Perfect Day scenario, and it sounds as if Glen is following the same line of thought.
In his post, What happens if the terrorists do attack our schools?, Firehand comments on what he thinks will happen in the aftermath of a terrorist school attack. In Some thoughts on Glenn Beck's 'Perfect Day' , Firehand mentions that no matter how we react to such a scenario, we are in a no win situation. We will be either the Evil West persecuting Muslims, or we will be the Weak West ready for the taking.
The ever increasing probability that our schools will be attacked is explained by John Giduck on Front Sight, Press. The commentary, Lessons from Beslan, reaffirms that our schools are prime targets.
To understand how credible the threat is, we need only to look at the achievements of so many terror groups. In the first six months of 2006, 204 schools were attacked in Afghanistan. Three of them were attacked in two days in the first week of July 2007. Between 1984 and 1994 more than 300 schools were attacked in Turkey.Mr. Giduck continues by listing events that are directly connected with terrorists and American schools.
The number of school attacks are rising in places like Pakistan, Iraq, Indonesia and Thailand as well. A new girls’ school in Iraq was found to have dozens of bombs hidden in the floor and walls and, just two weeks ago, a school was targeted in Great Britain. I also bet you never heard that the backup plan for the Madrid train bombers was a school attack.
As we start to see real success in Iraq (success that even the media can not ignore), and more terrorists cells are broken up throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, those who are already here in the United States will take action.
I pray that they make a mistake, that they are found out before they can attack, but I am afraid that will not be the case. Our Constitution affirms our right to defend ourselves, our families and our way of life. Without an individual right to bear arms, and the folks who are willing to accept the responsibility that right entails, we can not adequately defend against random acts of terrorism in our communities, malls and schools.
Remember that during this upcoming election cycle, and while you are dropping your children off at school.
The Alamo City Shooting & Outdoor Sportsfest is an annual event organized and sponsored by Students for the Second Amendment and The Collegiate Firearms Instructor Program
The purpose of this event is to introduce young people, families, and youth-serving organizations to the safe enjoyment of the shooting sports, as well as many other outdoor sports and activities. The focus of the event is safety and education.
This event is being held at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio. Daughter #3 competed at this complex during the 4H State Finals and calling it a "shooting range" does not do it justice. Complex is the more accurate term to describe a facility with 92 Skeet and Trap fields, 5 Sporting Clays courses, 2 NSCA 5-Stand Sporting fields and 150 positions on the pistol/rifle ranges. This is quite the complex.
The Alamo City Shooting and Outdoor Sportsfest is billed as the "Largest NRA Shooting Sports Camp in the United States".
The Sportsfest offers the following:
Pistol Shooting ~ Rifle Shooting
Shotgun Shooting ~ Field Archery
Muzzleloading Pistol & Rifle Shooting
Cowboy Action Shooting ~ Wildlife Education
Bass Casting & Fishing ~Hunters Skills Trail
Historic Firearm Displays ~ Map & Compass
Living History Reenactors ~ Hunting Dogs
Military Demonstrations & Vehicles and much more!
The best part is that this even is FREE for folks 18 years and younger, and only $5.00 for adults.
Events such as this are an outstanding way to introduce our shooting and outdoor sports heritage to the next generation.
Sponsors for this event are listed here, these are individuals and organizations actively working to promote youth shooting programs in America.
Friday, September 14, 2007
You can find it here.
From The Daily Campus: (University of Connecticut)
By Chris Donnelly
If there is one thing anyone can be sure of in this country, it is that Americans love guns. Not a day goes by when you don't see a fine American citizen killing some poor, defenseless person/animal with a .50 caliber hand cannon on television, or you hear about some random act of violence (a bank robbery, a homicide, or a crazed postal worker) which involves a gun in some respect. Therefore, being a proponent of living in general, I think it's about time we as a country threw in the towel when it comes to the whole "I'm from America, and I have a God-given right to kill and spread carnage whenever I feel like it" gig and adopt a platform of life.This diatribe is not even worth fisking, it is just trash. This kid goes on for another page of nonsense, but you get the picture from what I posted. This kid has absolutely no concept of history, responsibility, or life outside academia. The perfect liberal politician in training.
Nothing is more ironic than your average conservative Republican who vehemently cares about not using a couple of cells for stem cell research (that just get thrown out anyways) and claims that they care about life, but yet they have a large enough arsenal in their cellar to single-handedly occupy Paris (for purely hunting purposes only, mind you). If we are going to take this approach as a country, then every time I get a nose bleed I better call an ambulance to save the thousands of cells from dying.
The simple fact is that guns serve no tangible purpose anymore. The main reason why we created the whole Second Amendment was something along the lines of protecting ourselves back in the 1700s from the people we stole our land from; aka Native Americans, who, in my book, we should still be paying reparations to as an apology for the numerous instances of rape, theft and murder that occurred at the hands of 'true' Americans. Oh, and we can never forget the necessity of a firearm to protect your log cabin from being invaded by bears.
But wait, if we stopped having guns and if we even took it to the level of decreasing our military arsenal as well, it would be much harder for us to start wars, the classic American past time. Forget baseball, nothing makes a real American man happier than a beer in one hand, the controls to a flat screen LCD TV in the other, and the latest front line report from Fox News in front of him, fresh with depictions of carnage and massed destruction brought to you live from some country in the Middle East that we can't (or don't bother to learn to) pronounce anyways.
Was this a letter to the editor, printed to maintain some sort of political equilibrium in an otherwise decent newspaper? I am afraid not:
Staff Columnist Chris Donnelly is a 5th-semester sociology and political science double major.This was written by a paid columnist for this college paper.
One has to wonder if this is the way Chris was raised, or has he gone all loopy since he left home?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Why does one need to pack heat in a place of worship?
ACE does a very good job of tracking negligent shootings in the news and uses the articles to illustrate the need for safe firearm handling.
Here is the article he was commenting upon:
From the Dallas Morning News:
By Holly Yan
Three people were injured when a gun accidentally discharged during Rosh Hashanah services at Temple Emanu-El on Wednesday evening.Mr. Marks, a young man during the Holocaust, and an old man during this recent increase in anti-semitism, has good reason to be armed at all times.
When Marvin Marks, 81, stood up at the synagogue, a gun that he was carrying dropped and fired, police said. The bullet struck his 42-year-old daughter in the foot; she was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Two others suffered minor scrapes from the bullet. Police said Mr. Marks was licensed to carry the gun, and the shooting is listed as accidental.
He was negligent in his method of carry, but not in the fact that he did carry, even in the synagogue.
Head on over and join in the commentary. Play nice as ACE is a friend.
From the Star Telegram:
By Michael Graczyk
HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Condemned prisoner Joseph Lave was spared execution Thursday when the Dallas County district attorney's office withdrew its request that he be given a lethal injection for his part in the gruesome slayings of two sporting goods store workers during a robbery 15 years ago...Due to the deceitful acts of a couple of attorneys from the DA's office, this goblin is spared the needle. Let us review what he did, and why he was convicted.
...Lave's commutation request to the board was rejected Tuesday in a 7-0 vote. Unlike Foster, Lave was tried alone in Dallas County, but both men were convicted under Texas' unique law of parties, which makes eligible for execution anyone involved in a capital crime.
State District Judge Andy Chatham signed the request from Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins as the U.S. Supreme Court was considering an appeal from Lave's attorneys to halt the punishment
"We're gratified with the action of the district attorney's office," David Botsford, one of Lave's lawyers, said. He said Lave was equally gratified.
Mike Ware, special assistant in Watkins' conviction integrity unit, said Thursday prosecutors discovered evidence that had not been turned over to Lave's defense attorneys. The evidence, a second polygraph test given co-defendant Timothy Bates, came to light within the last few days, Ware said.
While he wouldn't describe the polygraph results in detail, it "does go directly to his credibility," Ware said.
Lave's lawyers had been requesting the information for years as part of the post-conviction process and Ware said it appeared the administrations of two previous district attorneys failed to turn it over. Watkins became Dallas County district attorney in January and has since allowed an outside review of cases where inmates are seeking post-conviction DNA testing.
Ware said Lave's case, tried in 1994, continues to be examined, but said prosecutors believe several attorneys no longer with the DA's attorney's office misled the court by saying the evidence did not exist.
"This office and this administration is about honesty, about candor, about integrity ... we do not feel it would be right to allow the execution to go through without disclosing this information to Mr. Lave's attorneys," Ware said.
The two slaying victims, Justin Marquart and Frederick Banzaf, both 18, along with the store's assistant manager, Angie King, were surprised by three intruders who got into the store in Richardson, a north Dallas suburb, just after it had closed the night before Thanksgiving 1992. Marquart and Banzaf had their heads pounded with the claw end of a hammer and then were nearly decapitated with a knife slashed across their throats.It appears like the prosecutors had him dead to rights, and then cheated to insure a conviction.
King, then 22, was bound with duct tape and similarly attacked but miraculously survived. She was able to wriggle from her restraints and call 911. She identified one of their attackers as co-worker James Langston, 26.
Hours later, Langston tried to run over a police officer attempting to question him and was shot and killed. Inside his boot, police found a business card from the store with the name and phone number of Bates written on the back. When Bates was arrested, he implicated Lave, who surrendered a few days later in Houston.
King was among the prosecution witnesses, identifying the robbers as Bates and Langston, who had worked at the store for about a year. King told of hearing a third voice, which prosecutors said was Lave's. Items from the store were found at his home and blood splatter was detected on his clothing.
Detectives believed Langston made a copy of a store key, allowing him and his companions to enter.
Evidence showed the three fled the store with almost $3,000 and dozens of shoes, warm-up suits, rifles and shotguns.
A quote from Lave's trial lawyer printed in the Dallas Morning News article on this issue:
"I don't think he should have gotten death when the other guy didn't," said Richard Franklin, Lave's trial lawyer. "They were just about equally guilty. But that's not the way ultimately it all worked out."The shoot from the hip, convict at all costs past of the Dallas County DA's office is slowly coming to light as more and more convicted felons are proven innocent. I understand that Dallas County leads the nation in overturned convictions. These folks should be held accountable, they should be standing in front of a jury explaining how they convicted so many innocent people, and screwed up solid convictions such as this one.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Chili cooking weather.
As it is a bit to late in the day to get started on a pot of chili, I think I'll just post my basic chili recipe. Enjoy.
Note: this recipe does change just about every time I make it.
Before you start, toast 3 Tbs of cumin seeds in a 300 deg. oven for a few minutes until just lightly browned. Crush the seeds with a mallet (or use a coffee grinder that you have set aside for spices like I have)
1. Puree 3 tomatoes, one 10-18 onion, 1/4 tsp Mexican Oregano, 2 tsp Paprika and 1 clove of garlic together and set aside.
2. Saute' 4 bunches of chopped scallions, 5 bell peppers, 5 serrano chilies, 1 lb chorizo (or any other hot sausage) and at least 4 garlic cloves until the sausage is brown and the onion is clear. Remove from pot.
3. Sear four lbs of beef (small cubed or course ground) that has been seasoned with Chef Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic in the sausage drippings, add a bit of lard if necessary. Just before the meat is totally finished, add a good dollop of honey.
4. Add the puree from step 1 and slowly bring to a simmer.
When the beef/tomato mixture starts to simmer, add the veggies from step 2. Also add 2 Tbs of kosher or sea salt, 4 Tbs of ground hot red chili, 4 Tbs of a milder ground red chili, a couple Tbs or so of Paul's Meat Magic and the cumin seeds. I often add a chipotle adobo paste at this point, depends on who I am cooking for.
Add enough water or beer or beef broth or ... to cover the contents of the pot plus a bit for evaporation. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, lightly covered (lid off set a bit) for 4 to 6 hours. Taste after 3 hours or so and adjust seasoning.
Depending on who I am cooking for, I will often add chopped peppers in the last 1/2 hour or so of cooking. Just what ever peppers are in the market at the time with an equal amount of red or orange bell peppers.
There are only a couple of things that are important in the recipe. The cumin is very important to chili. I like the toasted seeds, but you can use ground cumin. Start out with 1 Tbs and work your way up from there. A good, quality dried chili is also very important.
Somewhere around here I have the recipe that was used by the Yuma Territorial Prison, I just can not seem to find it at the moment. Now that was basic chili.
Oh... if you are going to add beans, add cooked beans just early enough to heat them through when the chili is done.
From the Star Telegram:
By Alex Branch
Man is critically wounded when gun discharges at shop
A customer at a Parker County gun shop was critically wounded Tuesday morning when a handgun discharged as a store employee examined it, authorities said.Safe firearm handling should be second nature to any firearm owner, and an absolute requirement for a gun store employee. Did the attendant have his finger on the trigger when "he was attempting to ensure the weapon was empty..."? We do not know for sure, what we do know is that the firearm was pointed at a customer as he attempted to clear it. That fact is painfully obvious and is pretty much irrefutable. The customer was shot, the attendant was negligent, case closed.
Perry L. Cheatham, 69, of Weatherford was shot below his left eye, according to the Parker County Sheriff's Department.
Cheatham went into the Gun Store, 4410 Tin Top Road, with a friend about 10 a.m. and took a seat at the counter, authorities said. At the same time, another customer handed a 9 mm handgun to the employee for inspection.
"The store attendant told deputies that he was attempting to ensure the weapon was empty when it discharged," according to a news release from Sheriff Larry Fowler.
A helicopter ambulance took Cheatham to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where a hospital official said he remained in critical condition Monday evening. The shooting is under investigation, Fowler said.
Some of you may have questions on how to safely bring a firearm to a gun shop, smith or gun show for work or trade. Here is one way.
Before you leave your house, clear the firearm. Remove the magazine, unload the weapon, and remove the cartridges from the magazine. If you have an empty chamber indicator (flag), insert it in the chamber. If not, then lock the slide back, or remove the bolt, or open the action on your firearm. Transport the firearm to the shop or show in a case. It is my experience that shops prefer that customers enter the shop with cased firearms. Place the case on the counter and leave it closed until you are being helped by a shop employee. Each shop may have a slightly different procedure on what to do from there, so just follow the employee's lead.
Alex Branch is one of the better reporters covering incidents such as this one. Note that the word "accidental" was never used in the article.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
After listening to the likes of Barbara Boxer and her ilk on Capitol Hill totally disrespect and disparage General Petraeus, the man she sent to Iraq to lead our forces, I am filled with a smouldering anger and a disgust. These politicians are doing their very best to get even more of our soldiers killed. They want us to lose just so they can say that Bush lost the war. Our elected representative in DC want us to lose the war in Iraq, they want us to be defeated. They are worse than despicable and they should be run out of town on a rail.
Six years ago America was attacked. It was not the first attack by our enemies, not by a long shot, but it was the most successful. Six years ago our enemy proved that they could kill us by the thousands. The celebration that swept the Muslim world as the towers collapsed proved that this was not just supported by some small splinter faction of Islam, but by a large contingent.
Six years ago we were attacked, yet still our borders remain open, we make a show of airport security by searching kids and grandmas, and we still offer a visa lottery in Middle Eastern countries.
I really do not understand why we do not secure our borders, why we have not cancelled every temporary visa held by citizens from countries that are a source of terrorists, and why we put up with organizations like CAIR.
It is very likely that we have operational terrorist cells waiting in America, waiting and training for their big day. They may attack our schools, malls or infrastructure. The fact is that they are planning another attack. While they plan, the Democrats in Congress do their bidding and many of us attempt to forget the events of 9/11.
Some bloggers who have not forgotten:
Defiant Infidel with the post Day of the Murdering Swine.
Mike takes some time Remembering a day that is impossible to forget!
Robb Allen has good cause for Mixed emotions today.
Texas Fred offers up a linkfest of those who will Never Forget Sept 11, 2001.
The Liberty Sphere's Second Amendment News Roundup for 9/11/07 opens with "On this day of remembrance, may be remember--"
Kim will Never Forgive, Never Forget (My sentiments exactly).
Keven remembers 9/11.
US Citizen will Always Remember September 11, 2001 and provides us with another link fest.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I resemble a few of those remarks. Head on over and check it out, if you carry, you will at least crack a smile.
H/T to Front Sight, Press News from The Sight M1911, Volume 266
This brutal murder occurred in Richardson Texas. As this occurred in Texas, the death penalty is on the table. One of the three murderers is scheduled to receive the death penalty on Wednesday, the 13th of September. Joseph Lave will be second executed murderer in September, and the 25th of the year for Texas.
That is 25 goblins who will not be on our streets, doing violence ever again. Good riddance.
I find it a bit fascinating that some people would actually answer an ad such as this:
To Whom It May Concern:He has a good sense of humor? I wonder if he was laughing as he used a hammer to beat in the skull of at least one of those kids? I wonder how much humor he found in the slashing of their throats? I hope he gets a kick out of being strapped in a chair with a needle in his arm.
My name is Joseph R. Lave and I am currently a Texas DR prisoner and I would like to find a pen friend.
A little about myself – I am a 37 years old black man who has been on Texas DR for 8 years. I am originally from Houston, TX, however my case is out of Dallas, TX. I'm single, no children and I've never been married. I like sports, music, and I think I have a good sense of humor.
I look forward to hearing from you
Joseph R. Lave
3872 FM 350 South
I pray the families of the victims find some relief in the fact that this savage beast will no longer be amongst the living.
Where is the outcry against hammer violence?
This is the thermal image of the new 600 amp switch that I had installed this past weekend. The old switch had a 300°F rise in temperature with a max temperature of 422°F. The new switch has less than a 20°F rise in temperature with a max temperature of 122°F. That is the way it is supposed to be at it's current load and ambient temperature. All is good at worksville once again.
I was asked what camera I use for my thermal imaging. I use a Fluke Ti30 Thermal Imager.
It is a very handy imager that works very well for our application. The gear in the back is illustrative of what we were working on. The access doors of two switches are open showing the fuses that you can recognise in the thermal image. Our gear is different, but this will give you the basic idea.
First I listen to a Quisling Democrat belittle Four Star Gen. David Petraeus before he even has a chance to offer his report to the legislature, then I find out that some sleaze ball little accidental compilation of monkey sperm and a horses ass has damaged the Vietnam Memorial. This is unacceptable. The VietNam Memorial is one of our most sacred shrines and whoever did this deserves all that he (or she) will receive when caught. You know these pantie wastes can not help but brag on an exploit like this, and they will be caught.
The VietNam Memorial has been defaced.
I repeat… The Wall has been defaced
More pictures here.
H/T to Sondra K.
From College Scholarships.org:
Do you maintain a weblog and attend college? Would you like $10,000 to help pay for books, tuition, or other living costs? If so, read on.
We're giving away $10,000 this year to a college student who blogs. The Blogging Scholarship is awarded annually.
Your blog must contain unique and interesting information about you and/or things you are passionate about. No spam bloggers please!!! U.S. citizen; Currently attending full-time in post-secondary education; and If you win, you must be willing to allow us to list your name and blog on this page. We want to be able to say we knew you before you became a well educated, rich, and famous blogging legend.
Submission Deadline: Midnight PST on Oct. 6th 10 Finalists Announced and Public Voting Begins: 9am EST on Oct. 8th Public Voting Ends and Winner Declared: Midnight PST on Oct. 28th
Sounds like a good opportunity for some talented blogger.
H/T to The Volokh Conspiracy.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
It was hot (95°F+) and muggy, typical for Texas this time of year. We did have a breeze, and it was a beautiful day.
I had sole use of the falling plate bay. Yep, it was just me against the plate racks. I had a blast. My range does not allow the use of steel targets in the pistol bays, so shooting plates is always a treat. I also had the chance to put some Federal HST +P through my Kimber. I called Kimber a couple of weeks ago to inquire about using the HST +P in my alloy frame Pro Carry II, and they assured me that it was no problem. After shooting the +P's, I am back to being concerned about my frame.
I guess I could just choose a steel framed pistol for carry...
Saturday, September 08, 2007
"The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers delegated directly to the citizen, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power."- Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394 (1859).
Thursday, September 06, 2007
That is a 600 amp switch in the main gear for Plant 2. Note the high end of the recorded temperature is 422°F. That is a bit excessive.
Guess what I will be doing at 0200? The utility is on tap to disconnect us, a new switch was flown up from Houston, and my contractor is ready to go.
I was planning on loading up a couple hundred rounds for shooting on Saturday, that will have to wait until tomorrow.
I did get a double batch of tortilla soup made for V's office lunch tomorrow, so all is not lost.
Maybe I'll bring my infrared camera out to the range on Saturday, it will be interesting to see the hot spots on a couple firearms.
Update: Here it is, 0315, and Oncor has decided to not show up. It seems that the service department that was scheduled to perform the outage determined that they needed a supervisory review prior to disconnecting us, this review can only be done during "normal working hours", so we are SOL. When I scheduled the outage I empathised the fact that it was an emergency, gave them my cell number in the event of a problem, and was assured that they would be here by 0200 to disconnect us. We pay close to a million dollars a year for electricity, you would think that they would try a bit harder to keep us happy.
Update, once again: I have been assured, by pretty much everyone, that we are good to go for 0200, Saturday morning.
Schedule for Saturday -
0100: Arrive at work to prepare for outage.
0600: Drive to Tiger Valley for V's Women's Pistol Course (and my free time in one of their reactive target bays). I may need to hit the rack early tonight.
Finally: It is 0430 on a Saturday morning. The job is completed and all is well at the plant. I even have some time to do some reading before I wake V and head out to Tiger Valley.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Am I suggesting law-abiding Americans violate standing firearms laws? Well, no; I am just asking the question: When does our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness outweigh totalitarian-leaning weapons laws and the politically correct concern for perpetrators' civil rights? When will that which is morally right and in the best interest of America and its citizens force reformation of our firearms laws? After all, miscegenation, the male-only vote, slavery and Jim Crow were once "the law of the land."Click on post title for the full article.
I was a bit surprised to find this article on the main page of the TSRA
Speaking of the TSRA, if you are a Texas gun owner, you need to be a member of the TSRA. To join the Texas State Rifle Association, click here. If you tell them I sent you, James Dark (the Executive Director) would owe me a beer at the next Lone Star Friends of NRA Banquet.
Hopefully enough of you will sign up to make it prudent of me to get a hotel room for the evening.
From the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise:
By Michael Cary
ZUEHL — The state’s “Castle Law” removes a requirement that a citizen retreat from an attacker before using force if the other person is entering a citizen’s home, auto or workplace.First, not all shootings go before a Grand Jury in the State of Texas. Many DA's do send most shootings to the Grand Jury, but not all.
But, do you shoot to kill?
Never, says Guadalupe County Commissioner Judy Cope, who not only stands occasionally on the political firing line, she frequently is on the firing line at the Bexar Community Shooting Range.
About once a month or so, Commissioner Cope answers the shoot to kill and other questions about carrying a concealed handgun in her capacity as a concealed handgun instructor, certified by the Department of Public Safety.
“Do we shoot to kill? Never shoot to kill. You shoot to stop someone because you are in fear for your life. And you can protect a third party if the person is in imminent danger. It’s a judgment call. Use only the amount of force sufficient to protect yourself,” Cope said recently to 14 men and two women who signed up for her class, either to renew a license or obtain a new one.
Cope explained to the class that every shooting, even with the advent of Senate Bill 378, or the Castle Law (it goes into effect on Saturday), deadly force must be justified.
“Every shooting goes before a grand jury, and you’re either no-billed or indicted. You must be in fear for your life, that’s the answer you should have when an attorney asks you the question,” Cope explained to the class.
Second, and this is a biggie, no where in the Penal Code does it state that being "in fear for your life" is justification to use deadly force. Someone cuts me off in traffic and I have to slam on my brakes I am in "fear for my life", but not justified to use deadly force. The law is pretty clear on what acts justify deadly force, and being in fear for your life is not one of them. Granted, it is probably a good idea to express the fear you were under when you shot the goblin when being quizzed in the presence of your lawyer, but that fear in and of itself is not justification.
As for the question "Do you shoot to kill?", well... that's why they call it deadly force. Yes I will shoot until the threat is stopped. I will stop the threat by placing 230 grains of copper and lead into the vital organs of the attacker, I expect that the attacker will be killed. This is why there are limits as to when deadly force is justified, and why a responsible individual will know and understand those limits.
The article continues:
A concealed handgun carrier who gets pulled over by a police officer would be wise to notify the officer about the handgun, because the information will be on the computer when he or she runs the license plate number.It is not just wise, it is the law in Texas.
This quote is from the La Verina Mayor Pro Tem, Harold Schott. Mr. Schott retired from the San Antonio Police Department after a 33-year career.
“If you go to buy a new shotgun, even if you’re in a policeman’s uniform, you have a five-day wait for an FBI background check. If you have a concealed handgun license, you could have the gun today. If you want to purchase a gun, a license makes it easier,” Schott said.There is no waiting period to purchase a firearm in Texas. Not a handgun, not a long gun and not even a "shotgun". All a CHL does is save you the time it takes to make the NICS phone call. A retired police officer who is the Mayor Pro Tem of a small town does not know this basic fact? A State trained and certified CHL instructor who states she has been teaching the class for the past 12 years teaches her class that "fear for your life" justifies deadly force? Maybe the reporter got it wrong, maybe he quoted her out of context. I kind of doubt it.
An example from the Christian Science Monitor:
By Rachel Graves
Orlando, Fla. - Two years ago, Florida enacted a law that allows anyone who feels threatened anywhere to use deadly force.That one opening sentence should tell you all that you need to know about this author and the article she wrote. She is either a liar, or does not understand her subject matter at all, you decide.
I really do not understand how folks can put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard?) and purposefully spew forth such disinformation. Ms. Graves has to know that she is using deceitful means to affect a readers opinion on an issue. How does she justify this to herself? Do you think she reviews what she wrote with pride? I really do not understand.
Update: The Pistolero has done quite the fisking of this article here.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
From the Star Telegram:
By Melody McDonald
FORT WORTH -- Two men were arrested early Saturday after police said they tried to kidnap a woman near Texas Christian University, and authorities believe that the men may be responsible for other attempted kidnappings in the TCU area.$31k seems a bit light for kidnapping, even if the goblin is only 19. What about goblin #2?
Jose Alberto Chavollo, 19, was in the Mansfield Jail on Monday afternoon facing charges of aggravated kidnapping, evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance. His bail was set at $31,000.
Victor Garcia, 23, remained in the Mansfield Jail on Monday on an immigration hold. He was also facing a charge of aggravated kidnapping.Just another hard working illegal caught up in the American criminal justice system.
According to the woman and witnesses, she and some friends were walking east in the 2900 block of West Berry Street when they decided to cut through a parking lot near the 3100 block of Greene Avenue. The woman was walking ahead of her friends when she rounded a corner and was out of view, according to the news release.Once again, confronting the goblin resulted in a positive ending to this story.
When the woman's friends turned the corner, they saw her on the ground and a man on top of her, striking her in the head. The friends confronted the man, who fled in a black Chevrolet Tahoe occupied by another man.
The witnesses got the license plate number and gave it to police.
These are not the only kidnappers in Fort Worth. A week or so ago I commented on this incident where a young lady fended off another kidnapper in broad daylight. Serial rapists (yes plural) and kidnappers in the Metroplex.
Ladies, it is a dangerous world out there, learn to protect yourselves.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Saturday was pretty much taken up by a bit of business we had to attend to, but we did end up on the River Walk for dinner. We ate at The Original Mexican Restaurant, then enjoyed a bit of the evening people watching that is probably the biggest attraction of the River Walk.
On Sunday we visited the The Alamo. All I can say about the Alamo is that in a quiet moment you can still hear the battle rage around you, and feel the determination of it's defenders forever enshrined it it's walls.
Lunch and dinner were again on the River Walk. Lunch was at the Iron Cactus (by far the best margaritas on the walk) and dinner was at Pesca, and was a real treat. Pesca has one of the better wine lists around, along with outstanding shellfish and seafood. With all the eating we did, it is a good thing we also did so much walking. One great thing about the River Walk is that there are no hand rails along the majority of the walk. Visitors are responsible for keeping themselves, and their children, out of the river. The nanny state has not yet reached this attraction.
I did not go into this place...
San Antonio is a great place to visit. The Alamo and the River Walk are worthy destination spots from anywhere