Thursday, February 28, 2008

Texas State Rifle Association Annual Meeting

Join us for the TSRA Annual Meeting and 5th Annual Sportsman's Spectacular!

Conveniently located near the intersection of IH-635 and Military Parkway in Mesquite, the Sportsman's Spectacular gun show will be held in the Mesquite Rodeo Convention Center. Follow the signs to Resistol Arena, and the Convention Center is co-located in the same parking lot.

The Sportsman's Spectacular is a full buy, sell and trade gun show. Over 300 tables and booths, and nearly 100% firearm and firearm-related vendors. Admission is only $7.00, or $4.00 for TSRA members with their membership card. Join the TSRA, or renew your membership, and get free admission.

We are once again doing a blood drive with Carter Blood Center, and those donating a pint of blood will also get free admission. Give Blood, Save a Life, Get in for free!
A good time will be had by one and all. The schedule is up here.

Lies and Fear Mongering in Hawaii (Or Hawaii 5O, .50BMG That Is)

Armed and Safe posted this YouTube clip the other day, and it has been bothering me ever since.

The gun fearing police officer in this video is Maj. Gregory Lefcourt, the Legislative Liaison for the Honolulu Police Department. The Legislative Liaison works for the Support Services Bureau under Administrative Operations. As evidenced by this video clip, the Legislative Liaison is a weenie, a liar and a fear monger.

Quotes attributed to Maj. Lefcourt:

"People have said they can use this for hunting, but the damage it will do to an animal is so tremendous, it actually vaporizes the area that it strikes."
The .50 BMG is also an energy weapon that can vaporize flesh? Is Lefcourt an idiot or a liar? I am hanging my hat on liar.

Lefcourt said the Barrett would be able to accurately strike a target from the top of the Police Department's downtown headquarters, where yesterday's news conference was held, to the state Capitol, a distance of 0.4 miles.
One has to wonder how many times Lefcourt has stood on top of police headquarters and fantasized about shooting someone at the State Capitol. He has verified a clear field of fire, ranged his shot, and obviously thought about it. If I were a state legislator who went against the wishes of Lefcourt, I might think about using an entrance other than the one facing police headquarters. Just a thought.

Oh by the way. 0.4 miles is just over 700 yards. Quite a few calibers other than the .50 BMG can make that shot, is Lefcourt insinuating all should be banned?

So, how many violent acts have been committed by a goblin with a .50 BMG?

Police said no major incidents on Oahu were tied to the rifle,...
No incidents? As in Zero, not a single one, nada, none?

...and hope to prevent future incidents.
Oh, we are preventing potential future incidents now. Cool. Straightarrow posted a comment to the original post on Armed and Safe stating:

Commercial airliners have been known to do a lot of damage, also. Perhaps all tourist flights to the islands should be stopped. Then there would be no need to ban the .50 cal. as there would be no airliners for it to destroy.
The terrorist act of 9/11 has proven the devastating capabilities of a commercial airliner in the wrong hands, maybe Maj. Lefcourt should start worrying about that "potential future incident".

The National Guard chimes in:

"It does concern us -- shooting down airplanes four miles distances," Hawaii National Guard Gen. Gary Ishikawa said.
What is the General doing getting publicly involved in state politics?

Hyunchback had this to say over at Shooting the Messenger:

Get the general to demonstrate. "General, this is an ordinary Barret .50. Out there, four miles, is a derelict ship we have anchored. Not in motion as would an aircraft would be.

Now, you lay down there and shoot it.

Or eat your words, liar."
I'd like to see Lefcourt try the 700 yard shot, much less four miles. The official line is that they worry about one of these rifles getting into the "wrong" hands. They indicate that anyone can take an accurate 700+ yard shot just by picking up the rifle and pointing it in the general direction of the target. I really would like to see one of these jerks try to show us how easy it is by shooting the rifle themselves.

One last quote, this one from comments on Say Uncle:

Moriarty states:

Law enforcement officials should learn to speak for themselves. Apart from its reputation as a precision target rifle, the .50 BMG is known for overpenetrating structures and “neutralizing” enemy combatants at ranges that preclude positive identification. It’s entirely unclear what role it has in civilian law enforcement. (Liability attorneys, take note.)

Given that the maximum documented range for a police “sniper” engagement was some 187 yards, one imagines that Barretts are mostly “display bling” for recruitment or a range toy for bored officers. Hawaiian taxpayers should demand that .50 BMGs are banned for police use, seized and sold to private bidders and the proceeds refunded to them.
Good idea.

News quotes taken from:

The Star Bulletin

KITV Channel 4

and The Honolulu Advertiser

Calling Car 6030...

...of the Dallas P.D. - Put your bloody seat belt on!

Click It or Ticket is a big deal for you guys, stop being such a shameless hypocrite.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why Are Castle Doctrine Laws so Important?

An article from today's Dallas Morning News highlights the increase in home invasions by ever more dangerous goblins.

By Steve Thompson

The first bang at the door came just after midnight. It woke Kiki Simpson and her husband inside their four-bedroom home near the southern tip of White Rock Lake.

Then came the second bang. They jolted upright in bed.

"They're trying to break in," William Simpson said. "Somebody's getting into the house."

The third bang splintered wood and cracked apart the locks.

"Hey, hey, hey!" Mr. Simpson yelled as he sprang from bed. "What are you doing?"

They were kicking in the front door, presumably to steal jewelry and electronics, even while the home's security alarm sounded. It took Mr. Simpson, gun in hand, to scare away the intruders.

During recent months, burglars have brazenly kicked in doors, cut phone lines and even confronted terrified homeowners in several East Dallas and White Rock neighborhoods. The break-ins are keeping crime watch groups on alert.
As the goblins become more confident in their violent ways, they commit crimes more often, and with an escalating level of violence.

How many home invasions/burglaries are occurring?

The neighborhood was hit by 37 home burglaries in 2007, which was more than double that of the year before, Ms. Whalen said.
This is in one, fairly upscale, neighborhood. These burglaries are happening more than three times a month, in just this one neighborhood. Incidents like this are starting to happen in my neighborhood also. The houses two doors down on each side of mine have been burglarized in the past couple of weeks. One when the homeowner was home. This kind of answers the question - "Hey JR, why do you keep a firearm handy even while you are at home?"

The article asked a question about motive:

Some also wonder if recent break-ins are a symptom of hard times.

"Is the economy taking such a downturn that people are starting to feel a little bit more desperate?" asked Laura Freeland, whose back door in the Swiss Avenue Historic District was kicked in recently while her 6-month-old son and nanny were inside.
If you are a decent human being, you will not take another's property, no matter your personal economic circumstances. If you are a goblin at heart, any excuse will do.

Some neighborhoods are taking a "bite out of crime" by using a resource that kind of disturbs me.

Several years ago, Forest Hills and other neighborhoods began deploying another crime-fighting tool. They hire uniformed off-duty Dallas police officers to cruise the streets in patrol cars. Many say these "extended neighborhood patrols" have reduced crime drastically.
Does the city get paid for the use of the patrol cars? When do these officers sleep? Why the hell do citizens have to pay extra to get police coverage in their neighborhoods? Why is it that citizens can not be openly armed when out and about in their own neighborhoods as a crime deterrent? That last question does not pertain to folks living in states that allow open carry, states such as Arizona.

The goblins are getting bolder. If they want your TV, they come and get it. It does not matter to them if you are home or not. When they kick in your door, what will you do?

In other news:

Monday, February 25, 2008

This Upcoming Friday is...

... the night of the Lone Star Friends of NRA Dinner. If you live in N. Texas, and you enjoy the company of other gunnies, you should be there.

Click here for more information.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day at The Range

Today was another one of those beautiful Spring days in Texas that are just perfect for heading out to the range, so off I went.

The first item on today's agenda was to op check V's Hi Power. I replaced the stock hammer with a Cylinder & Slide "no bite" hammer and the stock safety with an extended safety. V was having trouble engaging the safety with her strong hand thumb, the extended safety is easier for her to manipulate. Everything worked as expected. V had a couple items of her own that she wanted to get done today, so we will have to wait until the next range trip to find out how she likes the modifications.

Next up was the first field test of the Wilson Combat Elite Tactical Magazine and the CobraMag. You can find my initial comparison of these two magazines here. Today's field test included one of each magazine. As I have no ammo sponsors (hint, hint) and only a limited amount of ammunition I wanted to keep this first field test simple. One example of each magazine, three types of ammunition and three different drills. The ammunition I used today was Federal HST 230 gr. +P, Fiocchi 230 gr. round nose, and my hand-loads (230 gr. RNF Precision Bullets over 3.9 gr. of Hodgdon Clays). The drills included one magazine of slow fire, one of draw and fire one round, and, one of draw and fire double taps.

I started with the Federal HST and the slow fire drill, no problems. The magazines functioned well in both of the drills from the holster using the HST also. On to the Fiocchi, and the first failure.

During the draw and double tap drill, I experienced one failure to eject. It looked similar to the above re-creation. The empty casing was left on the breech face and under the extractor. This was round #7 in the Wilson Combat ETM magazine.

Next in line were my reloads, and another failure. This time it was during the draw and fire one shot drill. The malfunction was a failure to eject, and once again it was round #7 in the Wilson Combat ETM magazine.

I had two rounds of each type of ammo left, so loaded one in each magazine and rapid fired three rounds. 75 rounds through each magazine, 150 rounds total with two failures. Each failure was the 7th round in the ETM magazine. This was a very small sample size, and I am not at all ready to blame the failures on the magazine. Perhaps someone with a bit more knowledge than I will chime in and offer an opinion on the cause of these failures.

When I finished field testing the magazines, there was still plenty of day left so I moved down a couple of bays and uncased the AR. Granted, 200 yards is not very far, but it sure is fun to ring a gong with an open sighted rifle at that distance.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

An Afternoon Project

Want to get really good at detail stripping a Browning Hi Power? May I suggest hand fitting an extended safety from Cylinder and Slide.

After today, I think I got it down pat.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why DC's Gun Law is Unconstitutional

Saul Cornell is a Professor of History at the Ohio State University, and a dedicated anti. He has published several essays and a couple of books that purport to prove that the second amendment is not an individual right. He plays fast and loose with the facts of history and is easily Fisked as proven by E. David Quammen here.

I only bring up Mr. Cornell because he has joined with 14 other professional academic historians to file an amicus brief in support of D.C. in D.C. v Heller. These 15 history professors came to the conclusion that
"...the authors of the Second Amendment would be flabbergasted to learn that in endorsing the republican principle of a well-regulated militia, they were also precluding restrictions on such potentially dangerous property as firearms..."
Just reading that quote brings a little bile to the back of my throat. These are professors of history, people we pay good money to teach our kids history.

David E. Young, author and historian, has taken this brief to task. He points out their errors and omissions in an article published on the George Mason University's History News Network.

Historical arguments about American bills of rights are major points of discussion in the District of Columbia vs Heller case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue is exactly what the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution means and whether it was proper for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to overturn Washington D.C.'s handgun ban for violating the Second Amendment. An amicus brief in support of Washington D.C.'s handgun ban dealing with the historical issues in the case was filed by fifteen professional academic historians. One would expect such a brief to be historically accurate, address the Second Amendment in its proper Bill of Rights related context, and include the most relevant figures, statements, and actions for understanding any historical issues in the dispute. However, any such expectation is left largely unfulfilled in the historians' brief.
Mr. Young does a very good job of disproving the basic premise behind these so called "scholars" support of the DC gun ban. Head on over and give it a read, you may learn something.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Concealed Carry and College

The anti's are aghast of the very idea of legally carrying a concealed firearm on a school campus. They articulate a fear of blood flowing down dormitory hallways, drunk Frat Boys settling simple disagreements with hot lead, and students shooting teachers over poor grades. The Anti's lament that students are too young and have no self control. These folks do not have a very high opinion of today's college students. What these Gun-Fearing Wussies fail to mention is the fact that in order to carry a concealed firearm on a school campus, a person would have to follow all local, state and federal firearms laws. At a minimum, they would have to be 21 years of age. They could have done a full four year Army or Marine Corps tour by then. Another little factoid that the Anti's fail to ever mention is that the State of Utah allows concealed carry on all public college campuses. That is correct. If you are legal to carry in Utah, you are legal to carry at college in Utah.

Umm... where are all the news reports of the random acts of violence involving firearms on Utah campuses? Why have I not heard of any accidental shootings involving a licensed college student on a school campus? You know the Brady Bunch is waiting with baited breath for the first accident or incident to occur so they can dance in the blood of injured, but it has just not happened.

CNN is carrying a story on this very subject:

By Joshua Molina

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) -- The senior at the University of Utah gets dressed and then decides which gun is easiest to conceal under his clothes.

If he's wearing a T-shirt, he'll take a smaller, low-profile gun to class. If he's wearing a coat, he may carry a different weapon, he said.

He started carrying a gun to class after the massacre at Virginia Tech, but the student says he's not part of the problem of campus shootings and could instead be part of a solution.

Nick, who asked not to be fully identified so his fellow students wouldn't know he carried a gun, says he has had a concealed weapons permit for more than three years. But it was Seung-Hui Cho's murderous campus rampage that made him take a gun to class...

...Nick says his gun doesn't make him feel immune from attack. "But I feel that I will be able to protect myself, and I'm confident in my training and my ability," he said.
Sounds like a stand up kind of guy, the kind of guy I would hope shared a class with a family member.

But then we have the obligatory quote from a GFW:

His confidence is not shared by fellow student Griselda Espinoza, who recently transferred to the university. Some 28,000 students attend the school, as of the latest enrollment figures.

"I feel less safe knowing that a stranger sitting beside me in class may have a gun in his or her backpack," she said.

"The only people that should carry guns are trained officials."
Well, they had to throw in the "only ones" theme. It seems that is a requirement for all authorized journalist when doing a "gun" story.

The article continues on with the same pro/con theme, leaning towards the con, and covers recent legislation that would allow open carry on college campuses.

Utah sure seems a good place to send your kids off to school.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How High Must the Body-Count Go?

When a member of the NRA's Board of Directors puts his foot in it and says something that can be used by the Anti's, we bloggers get riled up and spread the news far and wide.

This time I would like to "spread the news" about an NRA board member's commentary that I wholeheartedly support.

Charles L. Cotton is a Texas member of the NRA board, he has started a blog, and posted this:

...The issue is clear and there can be no intellectually honest debate. “Gun free school zones” are killing people in alarming numbers and we are long past the time when the law must be changed. This issue will come up in the Texas Legislature in the 2009 Legislative Session and our elected officials need to follow the lead of Texas Governor Rick Perry and Indiana Senator Johnny Nugent. We trust CHLs to carry defensive handguns virtually everywhere else in the State; it’s time to say lives are just as valuable on university campuses as they are off campus.

To those who oppose this change I ask, how high must the body-count go, before you put politics and prejudice aside and vote to save lives?
As you can see, it is well worth the read.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Texas Primaries

Just a quick reminder that come March 4th we are voting for much more than just who gets to run in the presidential race. The Texas Primaries also include three State Senate Seats, over 40 State Representatives, one Federal Senator and all 32 Federal Congressional Seats.

If you don't like our choices for president, this is where we can make a difference. You have a couple of weeks to do a bit of research on your candidates.

Vote, it is important.

The TSRA's 2008 State Candidate Primary Voters Guide (two pages, look to sidebar for page 2)

Ron Paul for Congress

Ron Paul for Congress!

It would be a shame if Dr. Paul's bid for the presidency lost him his seat in Congress. We need Ron Paul and folks like him on Capitol Hill. He votes the Constitution, every time. The support he has garnered in his presidential run should carry over into support for his programs in the legislature.

Dr. Paul is being challenged in the upcoming Texas Republican Primary. Do what you can to help keep him in the Congress.

Ron Paul for Congress

The Date for the...

...Lone Star Friends of NRA Dinner is rapidly approaching. Tickets and sponsorships are still available. The guest list includes a who's who of the Texas State Rifle Association. This is a great opportunity to meet and talk with those who work so hard with the Texas Legislature in helping to secure our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It is also a great time, bidding in the auctions, listening for your number to be called in the raffles, and just hanging out with a group of like minded individuals such as ourselves. I hope to see you there.

For more information on the dinner, click here. If you are interested in sponsoring this worthwhile event, click here.

To find out more, or purchase tickets, call 1.866.TX-Rifle (866.897.4353).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmmm....

While V and I were having brunch this morning, a group of men were seated in the area behind us. There was one white gentleman who appeared to be in his early to mid 50's, a black gentleman in his late 40's or so, and 5 men of Middle Eastern decent all between the ages of 25 and 35. Both the white and the black guy were carrying large frame double stack pistols in outside the waistband holsters under sports coats. They were printing so bad that even V could pick it up, that is to say they were carrying like LEO's.

It was curious.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Out and About

V and I are going to be out and about for the rest of the weekend. We are taking some time to just hang out and enjoy each other without any distractions. We may see you at Bass Pro Shops or one of the nicer malls this afternoon. Dinner will be at The Silver Fox, and brunch tomorrow will be at Vidalias in the Renaissance Worthington Hotel. In between dinner and brunch....

We'll be "out of pocket" so to speak.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gun Free School Zones are a Failure

Once again a victim disarmament zone has given a psychopath the freedom to slaughter as many innocents as he has ammo. Once again our laws offered up a target rich environment of our kids to the savage whim of a goblin, allowing him to turn his most violent fantasies into reality. And once again the media rewards this savagery by splashing the goblin's image across the nation. We now know his whole life story, he is famous, he succeeded.

You will not find this goblin's image, name or history on this blog. Goblins such as this do not even deserve burial, we should leave their bodies in the open for the scavengers. We should strike their names from all public records and burn their birth certificates. There is another thing we should do...

We should stand up and say "Enough is enough". It is time that we demand an end to gun free school zones. This experiment in disarmament has failed, miserably. Our children are our most precious resource, and the most valuable target for psychos and terrorists. We need to allow them, their teachers, the staff and the parents the ability to use their natural right to protect themselves. Gun free school zones are a failure, our kids are being slaughtered, and we need to put a stop to this horrid experiment.

Contact your legislators and demand that they rectify this situation. One state allows concealed carry on campus, one state provides the precedent for the rest of us.

It might even be time for a bit of civil disobedience.

Oh hell, they just mentioned the word "arsenal" when talking about the goblin's guns. The anti's are going to be out in force now. We need to counter the hysteria, it's going to get deep.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Texas Gains a Bit More Liberty

From the Star Telegram:

By Angela K. Brown

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned the Texas statute outlawing the sales of sex toys...
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Baseball, Steroids, and Congress

Could someone please explain to me why the Congress of these United States is holding hearings on steroid use by professional baseball players?

Instead of trying to clean up baseball, maybe they should clean up the .gov.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wilson Combat v. Tripp Research

Awhile back Wilson Combat announced the development of the "Elite Tactical Magazine".

Wilson CombatbElite Tactical Magazine

From the description in the press release, and the images on the web site, I had the notion that maybe Wilson Combat was working with Tripp Research on their magazines. It appeared very similar to the "CobraMag"

Tripp Research Cobra Mag

The CobraMags are my magazine of choice, and being the inquisitive kind of guy that I am, I wrote Wilson Combat and asked if Tripp Research had anything to do with the design. Mr. Doyle DeWoody responded:

Mr. JR,
Thanks for the note. No, the fine folks at Tripp didn't have anything to do with the design of this magazine, or have any influence of any kind on it. This magazine was designed solely by Bill Wilson and a couple of our engineers, every facet was decided on based on past performance, real experience by Bill and other company shooters, and by extensive feedback from thousands of users of our previous magazines. Any similarities between the appearance of the ETM and any one else's magazine are the result of one thing - they have to look similar to fit in a 1911 pistol.

Our website lists most of the improvements we made, from thicker steel to an all-new spring to a smarter base pad to better positioning of the observation holes to a proprietary honing process for both the inside and outside of the tube, and more...
We traded a couple of emails and it became obvious that a comparison between these two top of the line 1911 magazines was in order. It turns out that Tripp Research has come out with a second generation of CobraMags, so to be sure I was comparing apples to apples, I needed to get a couple of the new CobraMags also.

So here we are, a half a year later and I finally am able to purchase these magazines. I ordered the CobraMags direct from Tripp Research and the Elite Tactical Magazines from Mike at Dallas Tactical Supplies.

MSRP for the CobraMag is $32.95, and for the Elite Tactical Magazine is $34.95. I purchased two of each and all four arrived yesterday.

You will have to forgive my images. I tried something new and it did not work out so well.

On the left is one of my older CobraMags, the center is new CobraMag and on the right is the Elite Tactical Magazine (ETM). Note that both of the new magazines have numbered tell tales to help quickly determine round count. The ETM's stamping is deeper and more pronounced than on the CobraMag and the ETM has the full round count on both sides of the magazine where the CobraMag staggers the count on both sides of the mag. The ETM base pad is similar in appearance to the CobraMag but there are some pretty significant differences that I will go in to later. From this image you can see a major difference between the two magazines. The CobraMag has a steel insert in the follower where it contacts the slide stop, the ETM does not.

The fit and finish of the CobraMag if of a higher quality than the ETM. Under 10X magnification, the feed lips of the CobraMag were nice and smooth, the ETM not so much so. The welded seam on the back of the ETM was very obvious, the CobraMag was finished to where it was hardly noticeable. The fit and finish should not effect function, but since one of my work duties is the supervision of a machine shop, fit and finish is important to me.

Both magazines have removable base plates.

The ETM has a metal spring plate that is secured in the magazine by lips in the base of the magazine. This make it so that the follower has to be removed through the top of the magazine, but makes for a very sturdy and secure magazine base. The CobraMag has a plastic spring plate and the base pad is secured via a slot in the magazine tube. Tripp does offer an alloy base pad as an option.

The above is all fine and dandy, but how do they work?

Ease of loading?

The Elite Tactical Magazine loads the full eight round easier than the CobraMag.

Ease of seating a full magazine against a forward slide?

The Elite Tactical Magazine much easier than the CobraMag and even a little easier than my used CobraMags. I had V do a second check and she picked the ETM for it's ease of seating also.

So where do we stand at the moment?

The CobraMag has a better follower, is easier to disassemble and clean, and has a better fit and finish than the ETM.

The Elite Tactical Magazine has a sturdier base pad/spring plate assembly, is easier to load and easier to seat against a forward slide.

All that is left to do is hit the range. I will write up a range report after I put a few rounds through them and run them through a match or two.

Both of these magazines come from quality manufacturers and I have no doubts that they will each function flawlessly.

Monday, February 11, 2008

DC v Heller, The Amicus Briefs

David Kopel has been doing a good job of keeping up with the Amicus Briefs supporting Heller in DC v Heller. He has been writing a brief synopsis of each brief as they are filed and posting the comments on The Volokh Conspiracy.

We are in interesting company.

I have not yet read all of the briefs, but I will. As a matter of fact, I hope they come out in book form as what I have read so far is a great study on the Second Amendment.

You can find a listing of each Amicus Brief along with a quick overview here.

Phone Call From Central Research

Thought I was going to take part in a poll tonight, turned out to be a marketing group "message testing" for Bloomberg's independent run for the presidency.

I may be a disgruntled little "r" Republican, but I'd vote for Obama if that is what it took to keep Bloomberg out of the White House.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day at the Range

Today was the monthly IDSA match out at the range. I am really beginning to like these International Defensive Shooting Association matches. They really help me to become a better defensive shooter.

It was 32° when I arrived at the range (showed up a bit early) and 77° when I left. No wind, clear skies and just a beautiful day to be out in the sun. The IDSA matches do not get quite the turn out that the IDPA and USPSA matches do, so we were able to shoot more stages.

Today we shot 9 stages, and around 200 rounds of ammo. Three of the stages started out shooting from inside of a pickup. Two from the drivers side and one from the passenger side. I shoot these matches with the same gear and clothing I normally wear out and about (well, with the exception of the double mag carrier). The typical stage starting from the truck involved engaging 2 or 3 targets through the window of the truck before opening the door, exiting the vehicle, and engaging targets on both sides of the truck. Lots of movement, magazine reloads, use of cover and pretty much any skill that would be necessary on the street. Today we fired on targets from less than one yard to around 25 yards away. A good time was had by one and all.

The Kimber has been running 100% of late.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Day at the Gun Show

This weekend's gun show is the "Original Fort Worth Gun Show". I have to tell you that they did a great job with this show. I arrived about an hour after it opened on Saturday morning, and the place was already busy. This time they filled two halls at the Amon G. Carter Exhibit Building, and there were two lines to get into the show. The lines were long, but they moved quickly and it was not long before I was into the first hall.

The first table that caught my eye was Panther City Firearms (these folks need to get a web site). You may remember that Panther City Firearms was one of the outstanding dealers that stepped up and supported National Exercise Your Rights Day last August. They had several tables and a good selection of DPMS firearms to choose from.

I went to the show looking for the new Ruger LCP and there were none to be found. I guess when Ruger says they will not be out until March, they kind of mean it. I did end up purchasing a new Pelican case for transporting firearms to Louisville for the NRA Annual Meeting, a magazine for my Ruger MK 1, and a couple of other smaller items.

The dealers were doing a brisk bit of business. I heard one dealer tell a customer that there were 12 people ahead of him to fill out paper work, another had 8 filling out paperwork and folks lined up behind them and a third had 6 in the seats with a line waiting. It was busy, and it was packed. I think everyone made money this weekend.

With the size of the crowd, there was not much time to window shop. One interesting little rifle I saw was the Taurus .17HMR pump action. It looked kind of interesting, maybe something to pick up for the "grand kids" one of these days.

Taurus .17HMR

It sure appears that the promoters of this show are looking to give the Dallas Market Hall show a run for it's money.

Competition, ain't it great.

After I left the show, I had time to go watch V shoot the qualifier for her CHL. Her class had over 60 people in it. They shot the qualifier in groups of 20. One instructor and 5 safety officers. I think that all of people helping with the course were Fort Worth LEO's. It is great to see this much interest in CHL's, over 60 people in this class alone, I sure hope this trend keeps up. V and our friends who also attended the class passed and are well on the way to legally being able to provide for their own self defense while out and about.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Alan posted a link to a truly inspired photograph of a dragonfly covered in dew in The beauty of small things. I say inspired because I probably would not have seen in my mind what a wonderful image that would turn out to be I had happened upon that particular dragonfly.

I do have one insect picture that I think turned out pretty nice.

I took this picture of a Yellow Garden Spider at Tiger Valley while V was taking her Women's Pistol Class. I think it is kind of cool because her mate is right there with her.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Help Support Academics for the Second Amendment

With McCain pretty much a shoe in for the GOP contender in this next POTUS election, it is likely we will end up with a very anti gun Dem as president. This fact makes DC v Heller even more important. A Supreme Court finding that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms could go a long ways toward curtailing further infringement upon our liberty. Heck, it may even reverse some of the draconian anti gun laws that are currently on the books.

Academics for the Second Amendment will be filing an amicus brief in the US Supreme Court in support of Mr. Heller (and urging the Supreme Court to affirm the Court of Appeals decision that the DC gun laws are unconstitutional). These folks need our support, our financial support, to help fund their efforts. How to help WIN an individual right to keep and bear arms in the US Supreme Court's D.C. v. Heller case will introduce you to this fine group of scholars and some of the work they have already accomplished.

I know that funds may be tight, and I know that there are a lot of excellent organizations out there asking for your financial help, but this is important. By supporting this effort, you can quite possibly strike a blow for liberty that begins to unravel 70 years of unconstitutional restrictions on our freedom.

You can either donate via PayPal on the A2A site, or send a check to:

Academics for the Second Amendment
Post Office Box 131254
St. Paul, Minn. 55113

David has been helping to lead the charge. You can find out more in What Have YOU Done for Heller?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Second Amendment Blog Bash

It is a done deal. The hotel reservations are made (Executive Inn), the airline tickets purchased, and all is good to go for V and I to attend this year's NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits.

Hope to see you at the Second Amendment Blog Bash.

Note: Texas does have reciprocity with Kentucky

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fort Worth Stock Show

This past weekend V and I went to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. This is an event that I really enjoy attending. While growing up I raised hogs and showed them in the 4H and FFA. I even had a Champion at the California Mid-Winter Fair.

Well guess what? This year they made the decision to post signage in accordance with Texas PC §30.06. For you non Texans, this means that a CHL holder would be in violation of criminal trespass if they carried past the gate.

Here is a copy of the letter I wrote:

The Stock Show is one of the annual events that I really look forward to attending each and every year. I enjoy the livestock, the vendors, the food, the people and the general atmosphere of the show.

This year, something was different. This year the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo management decided that you did not want me to attend the show.

This past Saturday was the first time my wife and I could make it this year. The weather was beautiful, and we were really looking forward to an afternoon wandering the Stock Show grounds. You can not imagine my surprise, and disappointment, at finding the entrance posted in accordance with Texas PC §30.06. With that simple sign you placed an imaginary line on the ground. On one side of the line, I am an upright citizen of the United States and the State of Texas, on the other side of the line I am a criminal.

I am not a criminal, I am a law abiding citizen of these United States, and so I did not enter the grounds carrying my sidearm. But you know what? The only people who that sign will deter are the law abiding, the folks who have passed multiple background checks and have been issued a Texas CHL.

Your sign does nothing to deter the criminal. An individual who is already carrying a firearm illegally will not pay attention to that sign. As a matter of fact, they will not even be breaking criminal trespass laws as 30.06 only pertains to the CHL holder.

Do you realize that CHL holders go through more in-depth background checks than the police officers who you allow to be armed on the grounds?

Do you realize that as a group, CHL holders are more law abiding than the armed police you allow on the grounds?

Have you looked into the demographics of your average CHL holder? Do you know our average income, home owner status, or credit score?

I thought not.

Posting the Stock Show IAW PC §30.06 is lawful, but it is immoral. Denying the basic human right to protect oneself and one's family with the most efficient tool available is unconscionable, especially in light of the numerous random acts of violence that seem to occur on a routine basis.

I ask that you revisit your decision to post signage IAW PC §30.06 prior to next years show. If not, you may want to advertise the fact that you are posted early on as a large percentage of the folks you want to attract to the show are the folks who take the time to get a CHL.

Thank you for your time.

Think it will do any good?

Political Ad I Can Appreciate

H/T SondraK

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Short Story

By Mike Vanderboegh

A story that could have been a scene in Matthew Bracken's Enemies Foreign and Domestic. The story, and the comments that follow are well worth your time.

The Fall of Conservatism

I can remember when "we" won like it was just the other day. We elected a Republican President and Republicans had a strong majority in Congress. I was a GOP Team Leader and worked hard registering voters and promoting conservatism. And "we" won. I was pretty excited, couldn't wait to see the first entitlement program cut and spending curtailed. We did get tax cuts...

Well, we got tax cuts, and that is about the only Conservative issue that was even promoted. Along with the tax cuts we also got "No Child Left Behind", a bloated whore of a "Transportation Bill", a serious attempt at granting amnesty to tens of millions of illegal aliens, the McCain Feingold Act, a "Patriot Act" that targets citizens as well as terrorist, the Medicare Prescription Drug Act, and just to add icing to the cake, President Bush just proposed a $3.1 trillion dollar budget. You know how just many zeros that is?


Oh, my, goodness

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Bit of Contrast

Phlegmfatale posted the video of Suzanna Hupp's testimony against the Assault Weapons Ban.

Here is a quick bit of background for those of you who may not be familiar with Suzanna Hupp.

On Oct. 16th, 1991, Suzanna and her parents were having dinner at a Luby's restaurant in Kileen. During that dinner, a goblin drove his truck in to the restaurant and started shooting people. All in all 24 people were killed that day, two of them Suzanna's parents.

Here is how Suzanna describes that day:

Suzanna went on to become a Texas State Legislator and sponsored our "Shall Issue" CHL law. Suzanna continues to be a strong advocate for a citizen's right to keep and bear arms.

Suzanna lived through a great tragedy, she rose up and was proactive in seeing that we would not be forced to live through such a tragedy ourselves.

Contrast her actions to those of Colin Goddard, the numb nuts who was shot four times at VA Tech, yet still believes that we should all be rendered defenseless by the .gov. He is actively working with the anti's to further restrict our right to keep and bear arms. He refuses to defend himself and those he loves, and would require the rest of us to be just as defenseless. He is a coward. In order to make his cowardice less painful to his conscience, he has taken on the task of declawing those of us who by our acceptance of the responsibility to defend ourselves highlight his lack of masculinity for all the world to see.

Suzanna Hupp lives in the real world and has been successful in improving that world for the rest of us. Colin Goddard lives in fear that his cowardice will be discovered, and is doing all he can to force the rest of us to be just like him.

The Basic 1911 Primer...

...has been posted by Chris Byrne.

A very good write up on St. John Moses Browning's gift to mankind.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


To bad Jim Zumbo wasn't a part of this commercial, that would have been perfect.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Knock, Knock... An Update

During the evening of December 9th, Marianne Bourland Wilkinson was shot and killed when she answered the door of her North Richland Hills home. I commented on this seemingly random act of violence in Knock, Knock.... This was not a typical Friday Night Shooting. Mrs. Wilkinson was 68 years old and lived in a very nice neighborhood. Her husband was home at the time, he was watching TV when she answered the door. This was the first of three such shootings, the latter two involved drugs or revenge. This one defied logic.

The Star Telegram has an update on the case:

By Mark Agee

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- In the days after 68-year-old Marianne Wilkinson was gunned down on a Sunday night when she answered her doorbell, rumors swirled in her upscale North Richland Hills neighborhood.

There was the one about two mysterious men, seemingly on drugs, who were selling fake mistletoe door-to-door Dec. 9.

Another suggested it was a gang initiation, a random killing by a young gang member proving his mettle.

And an e-mail from a neighbor to the Star-Telegram claimed that Wilkinson was the victim of mistaken identity -- that a hit man went to the wrong address.

Although officers remain tight-lipped, on Thursday they named Dennis Michael Taylor, 45, and Vincent Lane, 44, as "persons of interest." Investigators said they have talked to the men but don't believe they are telling the whole story.

Public records show that Taylor is involved in a nasty divorce. At the time of the shooting, his estranged wife lived in their $400,000 house in the 8400 block of Park Brook Court -- one street to the west of Spence Court, where the shooting took place. The Taylor residence also shares the same house number as the house where Marianne Wilkinson was killed...

...Police released the names in the hope that they might generate more leads, after the reward for information was increased to $25,000 last week.

The men "may have relevant information concerning circumstances or direct knowledge of person(s) responsible for the murder of Mrs. Wilkinson," a North Richland Hills Police Department news release states.

"We want to know if anyone else has any information that could help us with these guys," Irving said. "We can't call them suspects right now. That's important to remember." Irving did not say when either man became of interest to detectives.
That would explain it. $25K is a nice reward, hopefully someone will step forward and help get this case resolved.