Sunday, August 31, 2008

Insights on Sarah

Michael Dukes shares his view on Sarah Palin with David Codrea over at The War on Guns.


Sarah is real.

She is an honest genuine person. She truly cares about Alaskans and the people of her community. She dared to take on the Republican party here, and took that fight straight to the people. She's called for the resignation of the Head of the Alaskan Republicans and forced the former Attorney General to resign by bringing his corrupt actions to light. She has been a crusader for eliminating the 'Good Ol'Boy' politics.

And as far as the 2nd Amendment goes, let me tell you a little story...
You are going to have to head on over to read the rest of it

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Great News, Mystery Solved

On Thursday I asked if anyone could Recognise This Pistol?

Well someone has and that piece of American history is on it's way home.

From the Star Telegram:

By Chris Vaughn


Morris, 62, can hardly believe that he opened his morning Star-Telegram and saw his father’s service weapon and his mother’s picture, in the hands of the Parker County sheriff. He had all but given up hope he would see it again.

"Nothing in this world that I owned had more sentimental value to me," he said. "That gun meant the world to me. It means the world to me. I was in tears when I read that article."

Last October, someone stole three guns from Morris’ house, including his father’s .45-caliber Army pistol. He filed a police report with Stephenville but did not have the serial numbers.
I'll take this opportune moment to remind everyone to write down the serial numbers of all of their firearms, especially ones that are passed down in the family.

This pistol has quite the history. Here is one quick quote:

The custom, plexiglass hand grips came from the windshield of a crashed German bomber.

"His men took that windshield out and made those grips for his weapon," Jim Morris said. "They really admired him."
Head on over and read the rest.

There are states in this country where it is getting harder and harder to pass down important family heirlooms such as this pistol. Just something to think about when the politicians and the anti's start talking about restricting private party transfers.

Notice Anything New...

...about the Mixmaster?

More on Palin

D. Martyn covers the 10 reasons Why Palin Is An Excellent Choice for McCain.

It really is funny when you read blogs and news releases that attempt to make an issue of Palin's inexperience as an executive. They try to make the case that her short ten year as Governor of the nation's largest state does not qualify her to be in the position that is "just one heartbeat" away from the presidency. The irony of Obama, and those who support him, trying to make a perceived "lack of experience" in an opponent a concern for voters is almost overwhelming in it's magnitude.

Here is a man who has accomplished absolutely nothing in his tenure as a state and federal Senator. As a candidate, Obama has been very successful. Senator Obama has crushed the Clinton Machine. He has also accomplished something that has never been done before, he is the first black man to lead his party to the Presidential Elections. But as a representative of the people, he has accomplished nothing, nada, zilch. It is this lack of accomplishment that makes it dangerous for the Obama team to harp on any seeming lack of experience on Panlin's part, her list of accomplishments will come back to slap them straight upside the head.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Just in Case You Missed It

Governor, and soon to be Vice President, Sarah Palin's speech:



H/T to The Hot Joints

John McCain has done the unexpected and made it so that I am excited about supporting his ticket for the Presidency. Sarah Palin is an excellent choice and is one of two that he could have chosen to get my full support for his campaign.

McCain/Palin - That's The Ticket!

This is Good News

Thursday, August 28, 2008

There Once Was an Anti From Nantucket...

Ever since the Harrold ISD made the decision to be proactive in protecting their kids and allow staff and administrators who had a valid CHL to carry a firearm at school, the anti's have been having spasms of hysteria and there has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I have not commented on the rhetoric of the anti's because I just did not feel like providing any recognition to their efforts.

But this comment, from the fishing report dude for The Nantucket Independent, just got stuck in my craw.

Tight Lines with Andrew Spencer




I read the other day that a school district in my own home state of Texas has taken what might be called a relatively unorthodox step in terms of classroom discipline. At schools in the Harrold Independent School District, teachers will now be allowed to carry guns. Loaded guns. While they're at work...

...They're not going to let just anybody carry a gun, no sir. They're going to require the standard state license, plus a district-mandated "crisis training" program. And finally, they have to get permission from the school officials. It's for personal protection, according to school officials, in the event of a lock-down situation.

Wait for it…wait for it…

To quote David Thweatt, superintendent of the Harrold ISD, "It's just common sense."

There it is!

NOW it's all crystal clear. Sounds pretty much like an air-tight idea, right? I mean, seriously. What could go wrong with this plan? You've got people in a high-stress job. You give them twenty-two potential targets for their stress and then hand them a gun. Yeah, this sounds like a great idea. After all, it's just common sense, right?

Folks, thank your luckiest of lucky stars that you're not residents of Harrold, Texas. And in the unlikely event that you are, move. Quickly. I know it's a bad real estate market, but sell your house and get out of town. And while I don't want to turn this into some political rally where we start fighting about the second Amendment or Charlton Heston or whatever. But kids, regardless of your views on the NRA and gun control, I think we can probably all agree that this is an idea that is, at best, a bad one.
No Spencer, we don't all agree that our children should be left to cower behind closed doors and under desks in this age of psycho shooters and terrorists. We do not all agree that providing a target rich environment for any goblin who wishes to do harm to our children is a good idea. We are not all scared of the individual who accepts responsibility for his or her own life and well being.

I can think of one thing that we can agree upon though, we can agree that the State of Texas is much better off with you in Nantucket. Keep to your fishing reports Spencer, folks may not realize that you are a panty waste if you limit yourself to talking about the manly art of landing a Striper.

Recognise This Pistol?


From the Star Telegram:
By Chris Vaughn

WEATHERFORD — The woman wears a knee-length dress and has a dark coat, about the same color as her hair. She has a berette on the left side.

She stands in front of a couple of shrubs, at what appears to be the side of a house. She isn’t smiling, but neither does she look unhappy.

For decades, she has not moved, her photo overlaid with plexiglass and screwed into the grip of an Army-issue 1943 .45-caliber. She is almost certainly the sweetheart of a U.S. serviceman who fought the Nazis or the Japanese during the Second World War.

"It’s got a pretty good history somewhere," said Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler.

Trouble is, Fowler hasn’t been able to crack this case. Not for lack of trying, though...

...Last December, Parker County deputies executed a search warrant at a house in search of a suspect. He wasn’t there, but they found the gun under a mattress. The homeowner told them he thought it was stolen.
Someone here in North Texas is missing an important family heirloom. I'll bet the goblin stole it from an elderly couple and they may not even know it is missing. Heck, it may not even have been stolen in N. Texas. It sure would be nice to reunite this piece of American history back with the family who owns it.

Here is an image of the grips:

Who is She?

Anyone with information about the woman or the pistol can contact the Parker County Sheriff’s Department at (817) 594-8845.

Update: Great News, Mystery Solved

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Gun Blog .45

The pistol that ParaUSA provided for those of us who wanted to shoot a .45 ACP caliber pistol was the PXT LDA Single Stack Tac-S with a couple of add ons to make it special for this event.



As you can see ParaUSA added custom paint, adjustable rear target and fibre optic front sights, and a set of Crimson Trace Laser Grips. The dirt was my little addition to this package. These images were taken at the end of day 1, and we did not clean these pistols until the end of day 2.

When I was first reading up on this pistol and the Light Double Action (LDA) trigger system, one word kept running through my mind - "Why?"

Why take the effort to put a double action trigger assembly into a 1911 frame?

If you are determined to develop a double action 1911, why keep the grip and thumb safeties?

I was not super enthusiastic about the choice of pistols being provided to us, I really like the crisp break and quick reset of the single action 1911 pistol. But what the heck, free ammo and a weekend training with Todd Jarrett? I would of shot a Lorcin with a smile on my face if that is what it took to be a part of this adventure.

I can not remember if it was Todd or Kerby (the ParaUSA rep) who asked during our initial briefing on the Gun Blog .45 if any of us were used to shooting to reset (allowing the trigger to move forward just enough to reset it). I have worked hard to try and become proficient at a quick trigger reset on my Kimber. Well, that's all out the door. The LDA has two resets and will not fire if you attempt to press the trigger after the first reset. Todd Jarrett said that he never uses quick trigger reset, as a matter of fact he takes his finger entirely off of the trigger between shots. Todd Jarrett is a world champion who has fired literally millions of rounds perfecting his skills. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt eh?

So off to the range to put holes in targets.

Here is my first target. We shot spot #2 first, followed by spot #3 then two mags into spot #1. This was from 5 yards pretty much as quickly as you could get a sight picture.

Not to bad for me, especially seeing as how this was the first time shooting this pistol. You may notice that spot #2 only has 7 holes. That's where trying to get a quick reset can get you into trouble with this pistol. It was just habit. I fired the pistol and while releasing the trigger felt it reset and automatically pressed. Nothing happened. Let go of the trigger and pressed again, and again nothing happened. Racked the slide and continued on. This happened twice early on in the first day and I quickly broke my habit of the quick trigger reset. I mentioned the issue to Kerby later that evening and tried to re-create the fault with an empty firearm. Well, the one time I demonstrated it to him, the action worked as it should. Kerby thought I might have gotten off of the grip safety while trying to clear the fault, I'm not convinced that was the issue. These two faults were the only problem I had with this pistol and they both happened in the first hundred rounds or so. After that it was smooth sailing.

As you can see by the images of the pistol, we did not do any cleaning after the first day's shooting. As a matter of fact, we did not clean them until after the end of the second day. We did squirt some oil on the bushing and top of the barrel late in the afternoon of the second day, but that was it. When we started shooting, I thought my pistol was pretty dry. The trigger assembly had plenty of grease, but the rails and barrel were quite dry. The gun ran. And it ran, and it ran some more. The first consequence of a fouled and dry pistol was the slide stopped locking open on an empty magazine. This was after five, maybe six hundred rounds. Then it became harder to manually chamber a round. Just before oiling in the afternoon of the second day I needed to add a little manual assist to chamber the first round. This leads us to a lesson learned through pain. When shooting a pistol with adjustable target sights, attempting to assist the slide into battery by popping it with your palm of your hand will catch your attention. Those sights are sharp! The first thing I am going to do when my pistol arrives (yes, I ended up liking it enough to decide to purchase it) is either dehorn it or send it off to Novak's for new sights.

This is one sturdy and dependable firearm. The steel frame feels good in the hand and the ergonomics are perfect for me. As far as accuracy goes, this is one accurate commander length pistol. I saw Todd empty a magazine into one small hole at around 12 yards. I also saw Todd drop an 8" circular plate at around 90 yards. I personally dropped plates at 35 yards and all of my shoot house shots ended up in the "A" zone. How about that LDA trigger? By the end of the first day I was liking it, by the end of the third I was wanting to take it home. The take up is very smooth and it breaks clean every time.

This bring me back to my earlier questions:

Why take the effort to put a double action trigger assembly into a 1911frame?

If you are determined to develop a double action 1911, why keep the grip and thumb safeties?

I think I can answer most of my "whys" now.

This is an excellent choice for an open carry pistol. Being able to carry a 1911 style pistol hammer down and basically "cocked and locked" at the same time is an asset for anyone who open carries. I have gotten the "OMG is that thing cocked" before and being able to carry in the same state of readiness with the hammer down will avoid that reaction.

To me, the thumb safety is also a good idea. In the event that someone gets ahold of your firearm in a scuffle, any amount of time it takes them to figure out why they can't fire your gun is to your advantage. The 1911 thumb safety is an ergonomically easy device to actuate and places your strong hand thumb into proper position for a two handed grip.

The question I still don't have an answer to is why the grip safety? Seriously, the grip safety is totally unnecessary and may be the cause of problems. Todd Jarrett mentioned that all of his grip safeties were disconnected and I will look into disconnecting mine when I receive it.

This is a quality firearm. It is rugged and dependable and if it will eat an odd shaped bullet as the frangible we were shooting, I am confident that these guns will eat anything.

More opinions on the Gun Blog 45:

Say Uncle comments on his Para USA TAC S LDA.

Robb Allen fills us in on what he thought About the gun .

Don says:

"Others have written about the LDA pistol Para-USA provided for the weekend. I'm not going to get all analytical right now, because I'm out of time and my pregnant co-teacher is going to blind me with a plastic spoon if I'm late. I'll just say this: I'm selling one my guns and buying that one. If you know me, you know that's not something I do without thinking it over. More follows. ..."
Kevin chimes in with his Report from Blackwater.

Sebastian comments on the Para LDA 1911, The Good and the Bad.

Maddened Fowl offers up his opinion of Para-USA

Joe points out that the Gun Blog 45 is Cool! But it Has a Pri 0 Bug.

If you have any questions about the ParaUSA PXT LDA Single Stack Tac-S, please ask. I'll answer as I can, or get the answer for you from ParaUSA.

Film From Camp

Sebastian shares a compilation of highlights of our training at the ParaUSA Gun Blogger Summer Camp.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting Caught Up

I'm getting caught up on my blog reading, a lot of good stuff has been posted while I was at "camp".

Fits commented on a "Florida neighborhood preparing to take up arms in crime-plagued area and become a "locked and loaded" community..."

Steve leads us to a Girls of the IDF photo essay, and an old Maxim Silencer brochure.

The LawDog tells the story of when he wore The Pink Gorilla Suit, and quite the story it is.

David is spot on in his commentary on our Harris County District Attorney and those who work under him with "What Ken Allows", and has a great idea for a new television show - rexHunt.

John has a quote that tells it like it is "From the Mouths of SEALS". Language warning.

The CowtownCop shares a day in the life of an officer: Riot in the Projects.

That's it for now. I have been gently reminded that the lawn kind of missed me this past weekend and I have some work to do. This short list of good reading should keep you busy for awhile.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blackwater, Day 3

A day late.

Day three is shoot house day on range T7. Each range we were on had the rules front and center, just in case someone forgot.

The shoot houses at Blackwater are true 360° shoot houses. All the exterior walls are AR 500 armor plate. The interior walls are AR 500 plate finished with plywood to give a more realistic appearance. Interior doors were the same hollow wood doors found pretty much anywhere.


The shoot house roof was open and the entire structure is covered by the metal building to provide shade and protection from the elements. This was one of several shoot houses that we saw at Blackwater, and it is the one we used.

Before we did any actual clearing of the shoot house, Todd spent some time on the uses and advantages of using laser grips. Each of our pistols were equipped with Crimson Trace Laser Grips. Using each of the test monkeys bloggers, Todd demonstrated how effective lasers were at pointing out deficiencies in grip, trigger control, stance, sight picture and follow through. Laser grips can be used as an outstanding training aid, and these Crimson Trace grips were easy to use, bright and accurate. At 10+ yards Todd pretty much emptied a magazine into the same hole on a target. Not bad for a Commander sized pistol using frangible ammunition, not bad at all.

Running through the shoot house was our first timed event, and our first actual competition. To add a little pressure, the best shooter was to receive a pair of Crimson Trace Laser Grips of their choice. I really wanted to win V a set of these grips for her Browning Hi Power. It was not to be.


Here's everybody getting ready for the stage.

There were three people in the shoot house while it was hot. The shooter, Todd Jarrett, and the camera man.



Here you can see that the Down Range TV cameraman is happy to still be alive after one of the runs.



So who won the grips? That would be Mr. Robb Allen. He did an outstanding job. We shot two scenarios in the shoot house, Robb took first place in the first stage, and third in the second. I was very pleased in how I did in the first stage. While shooting the second stage, I did not time my mag changes at all and totally missed one target, did not even see it and passed it by.
One of the great things about this weekend was getting to hang out with Dave Hardy, and I think Dave's favorite part of the weekend was the shoot house.



When we finished up with the shoot house, it was time to try out ParaUSA's new AR style rifle, the Tactical Target Rifle. I'll be writing more detailed posts on all of the equipment we used later in the week, let me just mention that this is one heck of a nice rifle. It is pretty much a zero recoil .223, an AR with a folding stock. They are also coming out with a .308 that I am now really looking forward to shooting (don't mention to V that "shooting" is often a euphemism for "purchasing if it's as good as I think it will be").

The Range:


The instructor



And Tam, looks pretty comfortable with an EBR doesn't she?


We had several good rifle folk in the group and the gong was well rung.
Here is Todd shooting a 6 or 8 inch plate at ≈90 yards.

Equally as impressive, and a bit surprising, was the fact that Kerby (the ParaUSA rep) was also able to accomplish the feat.

Our time at the rifle range was almost surreal. While we were shooting the Tactical Target Rifle, the driving range behind us was being used and cars were ramming each other and/or spinning out when they were a little too aggressive in a curve and IED's were going off as they reached the other end of the track. Off to our right we could hear what sounded like a call to prayer followed shortly by machine gun and rifle fire. With the three gun match that was also going on, it seemed a busy Sunday afternoon at Blackwater.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blackwater, Day 2


That image pretty much says it all. We spent the day shooting with Todd Jarrett. That image was taken in the middle of my sixth magazine in the last stage. My grip has slipped a bit, but this was one running and gunning stage.

We started the day working on grip. Todd worked with each of us to got our hands in the correct grip. He then drew alignment marks on our hands so that we could check our grip as the day went on. This was very effective. Yes, my grip had slipped towards the end of that last stage, but I have the tools to improve.

The first drill of the day was against turning targets. Starting from the low ready, concentrating on maintaining a good grip, we had two seconds to empty a magazine into the target with good hits. The focus was on grip and getting quality hits. Todd is a shooter and we put plenty of brass on the ground. We ran through each new drill several times, refilled our mags and did it again. If you weren't shooting, you were loading magazines.

We moved on to two shot drills from the holster on steel, then shooting from 25 yards. After lunch it was shooting on the move. We were moving, the steel was moving, and during the last stage we had two movers, three stationary plates, twelve falling plates, four barricades and pink flamingos. Okay, no pink flamingos but they would have fit right in. It took most of us six or seven mags to get through that stage.

It was a great day, and for tomorrow, we get the shoot house.

Images From Day 1

As promised, here they are.

Let's start with breakfast. As you can see, Robb was really happy to be here.



Then we are on the bus and off to Blackhawk. The inside is just as cool as the outside.


After the visit at Blackhawk, we made it to Blackwater.

My first target with the new gun. We started on spot 2, then 3 and finally a couple of mags in 1. Not bad for my first time with this ParaUSA LDA trigger system

Caleb shows good form as he prepares to down some plates.

Here's Todd and Tam, the ones most of you are probably interested in seeing.

And yes Virginia, there really are Black Helicopters.

That was just one small snip of our first day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Blackwater, Day 1

How do gun bloggers spend the evening after getting off of the range? Posting to their blogs of course.

All of the images I took today are still in my camera. I should have downloaded the appropriate software from home 'cause this Wifi is sloooow. So no images with this post, I will download the software while I sleep so we'll have images tomorrow.

The first place we stopped on the Blackhawk bus was, Blackhawk headquarters. We had the opportunity to learn a bit about Blackhawk history and their several different product lines. I did not know that Knoxx was a subsidiary of Blackhawk. If you are looking for a pistol grip for your 12 ga., the Breachers Grip just might be the ticket. The Blackhawk rep's demonstrated the Serpa holster and went over the various clothing lines. Blackhawk is bringing more and more manufacturing back to the United States. We left with a box of swag for use over the weekend, product reviews to follow.

Forty minutes or so down the road and we made Blackwater. I have to tell you that Blackwater is probably the most impressive training facility I have ever seen. 8000 acres to be used for pretty much any kind of training the customer might demand. Shot houses galore, an armory that would make some small armies jealous and then there are the ranges. It looked like every range we saw had steel of one sort or another.

After the site tour, we ate lunch (sliders, of course) then into the class room. Crimson Trace and International Cartridge Corporation are sponsors of this shindig and had their opportunity to go over their wares, and ParaUSA went over some company history and commented on their move to the United States. They also had the opportunity to extol the virtues of the LDA trigger system. They are very proud of this system, and make a good case for it's use. Finally Todd gives a briefing on the operation of the firearms we are going to use, a bit on range safety, and we were issued our pistols. I'm not going to talk more about our issue sidearm until I can post the images to do them justice. Let's just say ParaUSA outdid themselves for this event.

Finally, it is range time. First we put some holes in paper targets just to get a feel for the firearms and so Todd could get a feel for us. Next was knocking over plates, about my favorite thing to do. Before we started shooting, Todd performed a demonstration on just how frangible the frangible ammo of ICC really was. He emptied a magazine at a stationary plate from about 8 or 10 inches away. Nothing but dust. This is some good stuff for shooting against steel. 155 grains out the .45 at over 1100fps.

Speaking of ammo, it seems that ICC brought a bit more than 1500 rounds each, just in case. I am so ready to put much more of that down range.

After shooting, The Shooting Gallery guys started filming Todd with a couple of the bloggers and the rest of us compared notes and just enjoyed the gunnie goodness.

Tomorrow we start the serious stuff. Pictures tomorrow, I promise.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Duh!


H/T to Fits

The Gathering

Most of us have arrived at the Norfolk staging area (The Hampton Inn) and are getting settled in for the night.

Sailorcurt has outdone himself in the art of being neighborly. Curt met us at the airport with a large enough van to handle us and our luggage, drove us to dinner at the Lone Star Steakhouse, and then delivered us all safe and sound to the hotel. He also has dinner set up for Sunday. I have not been in Norfolk in 28 years and Curt's helpfulness is appreciated.

After dinner we headed over to the Holiday Inn (the Hampton has no bar) for adult beverages and a bit of blogger fellowship. I ducked out early because it's past my bedtime, but did stick around long enough to see Tam and Joe arrive.

In the morning we hop on the Blackhawk bus and are on our way to Blackwater.


It's gonna be a good weekend.

Today is The Day

Blackwater here I come. I am packed and ready to go, just waiting on my ride to the airport.

Three days of training with one of the best, Todd Jarrett. 1500 rounds of .45 ACP and a ParaUSA PXT LDA Single Stack Tac-S to put them through is waiting for me in North Carolina.

I can't wait. Thanks again for voting me into this adventure!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bob S.

Send me an email, please.

U.S. News and World Report...

...is asking for comments on the Harrold ISD decision to allow CHL holding teachers and staff to carry firearms on school grounds. Head on over and add your 2¢ to the conversation at Texas Teachers Packing Heat.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Twitter

I've added a Twitter Widget to the sidebar for those of you who may be interested in following everything that will be going on this weekend at Blackwater with Todd Jarrett and ParaUSA. I'll be posting small updates with Twitter as I can, then blogging in the evening.

It was your votes that sent me there, I will do my best to keep you up to date.

A Letter From Senator Hutchison

On June 20th I wrote Senator Hutchison an email. I can't remember if I followed this email up with a fax, I do not believe that I did.

Today I got a response:

Dear Mr. *JR*:

Thank you for contacting me regarding gun control in the District of Columbia. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.

The District of Columbia -- through the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 -- instituted some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation, denying residents their fundamental and constitutional right to own a firearm for defense of self and family. While the Mayor and the D.C. Council have the authority to pass laws that regulate the sale of handguns, they do not have the authority to pass laws that undermine the Constitution. Prior to the gun ban's implementation, the murder rate in the District was in decline. Following the ban, the murder rate began to rise and had tripled by 1991, while violent crime decreased nationally.

In order to correct this inequity and injustice under the law, I introduced S. 1001, the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act, to repeal the District's existing handgun ban and to restore District residents' constitutionally guaranteed right to protect themselves. My legislation garnered the support of 46 cosponsors in the Senate.

On March 18, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court heard an appeal from the District of Columbia in the case District of Columbia v. Heller. On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals's decision that the District's gun ban was unconstitutional. I submitted an amicus brief to the Court in support of the D.C. Circuit Court's decision, and was joined by 55 Senators, 250 House members, and the Vice President of the United States. The Court's decision to strike down D.C. law will likely have broad ramifications for other gun control laws across the country.

Rather than usurping the rights of law-abiding citizens, I believe that we should vigorously prosecute those who use guns to commit crimes. I have worked to enact federal anti-crime legislation to impose tough minimum sentences on those convicted of using firearms to commit crimes, to prevent early parole for violent criminals, and to provide federal funds to build new prisons and fund local law enforcement. I am pleased that the recent Supreme Court decision upholds the individual right to keep and bear arms, and I will continue to support legislation that fights crime while upholding our Second Amendment rights.

I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.

Sincerely,
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-5922 (tel)
202-224-0776 (fax)
http://hutchison.senate.gov
Very nice letter Senator, and I do appreciate your support of gun rights in Washington DC and much of the work you have done in support of your constituents. The only problem is that this form letter does not address my issues.

The letter I sent:


Senator Hutchison;

Towards the end of your presentation at the Heritage Foundation on DC v Heller and the Congressional Amicus Brief that you sponsored, you were asked about your views of an Assault Weapons Ban.

You stated:

"I support the Assault Weapons Ban and I think that has been clarified just as shouting fire in a crowded theatre clarifies the right of free speech..."

There are currently two proposed Assault Weapons Bans in the House of Representatives. HR 1022 and HR 6257. HR 6257 was introduced by Congressman Mark Kirk, a Republican from IL. HR 6257 is pretty much identical to the Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004.

If either one of these bills were to make it out of the House, would you give it your support in the Senate? I would appreciate a fairly in depth explanation as to why or why not.

As always. Thank you very much for your time.
Ma'am, you need to train your staff about paying a bit more attention to your incoming mail before sending out these form letters.

I am still very interested in your answer to my inquiry and would appreciate an answer. I know you are busy and that your office is flooded with mail. I understand that there is talk of you being McCain's choice for VP, and that you may be interested in running for Governor of Texas. I feel that your answer to this question would go a long way towards garnering support for either one of these endeavors.

Audits at Work

This week the company I work for is going through an ISO 14000 audit. ISO 14000 is a series of internationally accepted standards for an Environmental Management System. ISO 14000 requires that a company consider the environmental aspects of it's operation. We make car parts. Our customers require suppliers to be ISO 14000 certifies, we are obtaining that certification.

I enjoy audits and have been audited by the best. From Naval Reactors to CalOSHA to the EPA and various manufacturing quality standards agencies, I have been audited by them all. My area of authority is usually pretty squared away, and I try to have a good time with the auditors. They are doing their job, and if I have done mine, all goes well (I am, of course, not talking about the city code enforcement crew who's entire reason for being is revenue generation for the city).

Today I broke a golden rule that should always be observed by those being audited, I started talking politics with the auditor.

I was assigned to escort one of the auditors during today's afternoon session. Before we got going, she called her daughter to let her know that they had a place as extras in the show "Friday Night Lights". After we had completed the bulk of the afternoons audit, I mentioned that I was also going to be involved in filming a TV show this weekend. One question led to another and it turns out that she is a pretty steadfast anti. We were both wearing our "big kid" pants so called a truce before things got heated and were able to finish the audit without rancor.

This is a bit out of character for me. I would not normally put an audit at risk like that. My only excuse is that I am so very excited about getting to train with Todd Jarrett this weekend that I can't help but talk about it. One more work day and I'm off.

Thanks again to all of you who voted me into this trip. I can not thank you enough.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Gov. Rick Perry on the Harrold School District

Rick Perry is living up to his promise to support our right to keep and bear arms. Governor Perry's administration has been tenacious in reciprocal agreements with other states that give Texans the same ability to carry firearms as citizens of those states.

When DC v Heller was decided by the SCOTUS, Gov. Perry was quoted as saying:
"Texans have long held that it is a fundamental right of every law-abiding citizen to keep and bear arms. Affirmation from our country’s highest court should unquestionably cement this right for future generations of Texans and Americans."
Back in May Gov. Perry stated
Perry said he opposes concealed-gun-toting restrictions at all -- in a hospital, a public school, a beer joint or even the local courthouse.

"The last time I checked, putting a sign up that says don't bring your weapons in here, someone who has ill intent on their mind -- they could care less," Perry told reporters. "I think it makes sense for Texans to be able to protect themselves from deranged individuals, whether they're in church or whether on a college campus or wherever."

As reporters began listing places where concealed-permit holders face restrictions, Perry cut off the questioning and made it clear that he meant anywhere at all.
Today our Texas Governor continues to unabashidly support our RKBA.

From the Dallas Morning News:

By Christy Hoppe


AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry said that he supported the policy of the Harrold school district to allow teachers and staff members to carry guns at school as long as they are adequately trained in gun safety.

"The issue with handguns is training and registration," Mr. Perry said on Monday. If those provisions, which are part of Texas' concealed weapon licensing law, are met then he said he has no problem with the policy.
Now if we could just get him off of the Trans Texas Corridor kick...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

45Superman is now the...

...proud owner of The dreaded .50 caliber 'assault pistol'.

It may be time for him to change is alias.

Sunday's Blog of The Week

Back in April, Syd announced that he was Taking a Break from blogging. With 24 posts so far this month, it appears that the break is over. In case you have not guessed, this weeks Sunday Blog of The Week is...

Syd is one of my favorites. He is an authority on the 1911, and strong supporter of our right to keep and bear arms.

Recent posts that highlight his talent include:

The Magical Talisman Gun

.380 Redux and Other Mouseguns (a follow up post to No Confidence in the .380)

Definitely Madness - The Alamo and The Wind at Mt. Carmel.

Any 1911 fans need to spend some time Syd's 1911 information site, it has done me a ton of good.

Welcome back Syd!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Zedler v. Turner, Texas House District 96

As I mentioned previously, I will be highlighting a few of our local races for state office that are close and really need our support. The first local race that I would like to highlight is the race for Texas House District 96. Texas H.D. 96 includes portions of Fort Worth, Crowley, Burleson, Kennedale, Mansfield and Arlington.

The incumbent in this race is Representative Bill Zedler. Rep. Zedler spoke at the Republican Senate District 10 Convention, and I had the opportunity to meet him a few weeks later. I like Bill Zedler, and even though I am not in his district, I have volunteered to help with his campaign. If you live in H.D. 96, it won't be long before you might find me knocking at your door, asking for your vote.

Representative Zedler is a strong conservative legislator. Rep. Zedler helped us pass the Castle Doctrine Law and worked to insure that New Orleans type gun confiscations would not happen in Texas. Rep. Zedler also helped pass "Jessica's Law", a law that imposes a minimum sentence of 25 years for sexually violent offenses against a child younger than 14, and the possibility of the death sentence for second offenders. Bill Zedler is my kind of legislator.

Rep. Zedler has also been a strong supporter of low taxes, a free market and secure borders. You would think that with all he has stood for in Austin, his reelection would be a shoe in. There are some indications that may not be the case.

The Democrat contender for HD 96 is Chris Turner. It appears that the Democrat Party has targeted HD 96 and has piled a lot of money into Mr. Turner's campaign. As of mid July, Mr. Turner has received $240,166 in campaign contributions. This is significantly more than Representative Zedler's $206,781. As you can see, a whole lot of money is pouring into the Turner campaign.

Chris Turner is pleased with his fundraising efforts, pleased enough to brag a bit:

“While we were thrilled with our fundraising success so far, we fully expected the incumbent to have much more money in the bank at this point,” said Turner. “To have raised and banked more than Rep. Zedler is the strongest indication yet of how well our message of change is resonating and how much trouble his campaign is in.”

Turner’s fundraising was fueled by the support of over 400 donors. “I am truly humbled and honored to have the support of hundreds of Texans who agree with our goal of bringing more partnership and less partisanship to Austin,” Turner said. “This campaign will be won with the support of teachers, small business owners, retirees and working families, and I am proud to have so many actively supporting our campaign.”

Zedler’s weak fundraising in Tarrant County is an indication of a shallow support base, forcing him to rely on the deep pockets of a few donors around the state. For example, the controversial Dr. James Leininger, a staunch proponent of private school vouchers, has already given Zedler $20,000 this year – nearly 10% of his fundraising total.
Taking a quick look at the contributors to Turner's campaign, we find that not many of them are actually from HD 96.

Over $58,000 in contributions to Turner's campaign came from Unions, PAC's, various chapters of the Democrat Party and out of state donors. 24% of the Turner campaign war chest did not come from "hundreds of Texans" who agree with Mr. Turner's platform. Add to that amount the more than $115,000 supplied from folks who live in Dallas, Waco, Austin and Houston, you can see that there is a concentrated effort by the Democrats to remove Bill Zedler from office.

Receiving this much attention from the Democrats must mean that Bill is doing something right. Rep. Bill Zedler has been endorsed by the Texas State Rifle Association, the NRA, Texas Alliance for Life, Texas Hospital Association, Texas State Association of Firefighters, Young Conservatives of Texas, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, Texas Municipal Police Association, Texas Association of Realtors, and Texas Right to Life.

Let me add to that list JR from A Keyboard and a .45.

Bill Zedler needs our help. First and foremost he needs our time. He needs us to take the time to vote this November, and to get our relatives and friends to vote. He needs us to volunteer our time helping his campaign. There are lots of ways we can help, give them a call and they will use you. During the last election, only 40% of registered voters from HD 96 actually voted. We need to do all we can to get Republicans to the polls. The Democrats are working hard, Republicans can work harder. Next, Bill needs our money. Keep Texas strong, help keep Bill Zedler in office. Contribute what you can. $5, $50 or $500, anything you can contribute will be put to good use.

Representative Bill Zedler has done a good job of representing us in Austin, let us do a good job of keeping him there.

To volunteer with, contribute to, or learn more about Bill Zedler, head on over to his website or call the Friends of Bill Zedler at 817.478.7295.

Texas' Oldest Gun Club

This makes me wish I lived closer to New Braunfels.

From The Herald Zeitung:

By Andrew Martinez


Image by Laura McKenzie

In 1849, 14 local residents began the New Braunfels Schuetzen Verein (shooting club) and almost 160 years later the club is as strong as ever.

About 100 members belong to the Schuetzen Verein and meet twice a month to shoot .22 caliber rimfire cartridges at targets 100 yards away. The club’s calendar revolves around its participation in four annual competitions hosted by its members and other local shooting clubs.

What makes the club standout is not the competitions they have or the ammunition they shoot, it’s the Schuetzen Verein’s rich tradition and history.

“This club was formed on July 4, 1849, so we believe it’s not only the oldest gun club in Texas but the oldest in the nation,” said Scott McCash, the club’s president. “We also think it’s the oldest club of any kind in New Braunfels"....

...“We have members who shoot because their parents shot and their grandparents shot and now their raising their children to shoot,” Merkel said. “Many are shooting with the same gun that they got from their dad or from their grandparents; it’s very traditional.”
If the club is still together a century from now, those Martini's will continue to be putting holes in the black.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Harrold school district to staff: Pack your pistols

This is an outstanding development in the campus carry arena.

From the Star Telegram:

By Mark Agee


When classes start Aug. 25 at the tiny Harrold school district, there will be one distinct difference from years prior — some of the teachers may have guns.

To deter and protect against school shootings, trustees have altered district policy to allow employees to carry concealed weapons if they have permits. The 110-student district lies 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border...

...Harrold Superintendent David Thweatt said a main concern was that the small community is a 30-minute drive from the county sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection.

Although Harrold is a small town, the district’s campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target, he said.
This is a school administrator who truly has his students safety as a priority. You know what? I can just about bet you that these kids are getting an above average education at this school. My hat is off to these folks, they are in for a media avalanche from the anti's, but they are doing what is right.

But isn't concealed carry on a school premises illegal in the State of Texas?

Let me pull out the law for you.

Texas Penal Code, Chapter 46
§ 46.03. PLACES WEAPONS PROHIBITED.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a):

(1) on the physical premises of a school or educational institution, any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted, or a passenger transportation vehicle of a school or educational institution, whether the school or educational institution is public or private, unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution;
The bolding is mine. So you see, the school administration is entirely within it's rights to allow CHL carry on the premises.

I am very proud of this Texas school district and would feel very secure in sending my children there.

I do have one question though. Would CHL holding parents also be allowed to carry on the campus?

A very large H/T to Texas Fred, who beat me to it on this one.

I was...

...perusing the ol' Sitemeter to see what was catching folks interest when I noticed a visitor from Mystic Connecticut. I had an instant flashback to one of my favorite restaurants, The Captain Daniel Packer Inn. The atmosphere, food and wine list are all outstanding. They took very good care of this Sailor when I was stationed in Groton/New London and they are well worth a visit if you are even in the area.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Playing Catch Up

One tidbit from the article "What (Some) Bloggers Want" that I found interesting was the following quote:

Conventional wisdom and some research shows *JR* is in the minority in the blog world. About 47 percent of bloggers say they're to the left of political center, compared with 31 percent to the right, according to a 2006 study by the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet at George Washington University.
I have to assume those numbers are correct as I don't spend a whole lot of time on Liberal blogs. If there are more liberal bloggers, why?

rgravatt of Patriot Group Online explains how the Libs got ahead in the Blogger world with How Conservatives Can Close the "Online Communication" Gap.
...Democrats are reaping what the began to sow in 1998 when Moveon.org starting building an audience in reaction to Congressional impeachment efforts. The group demonstrated how to decentralize certain aspects of communication and then turn those conversations into action. While Democrat fortunes were down for the early part of this decade, they turned to the cheapest most expedient means of grassroots communication - the Internet - and used Web sites, search engines and e-mail.

It so happens that the interactive properties of the Internet also allowed their audience to talk back, recruit like-minded folks and build a community.

While Republicans inundating voters with mail and TV, Democrats were building communities. Democrats continued to loose races, but they built a community.

That community stood poised to engage...
The author goes on to recommend that in order to catch up with the Libs, Republicans need to "Start a dialog" and build a community to rival the Libs.

Senator John Cornyn is doing just that. Senator Cornyn is participating in conference calls with bloggers, meeting with bloggers and even has a campaign blog. Senator Cornyn is doing a great job of communicating with his constituents. More Republicans need to make use of the "New Media" to connect with the folks who put them in office.

Tron Guy on Guns


I didn't realize that the Tron Guy was still making news.

From City Pages - The Blotter

By Ben Palosaari

Tron Guy On Guns:

"I bought (an AK-47) on the day congress passed the assault weapons ban as a [makes obscene gesture] to the government," Maynard, a gun enthusiast, says. He frequently packs a Glock 27 and says that Minnesota's gun permits are even better than the laws in his native Texas. In Texas, he explains, you must conceal the weapon you're carrying, but in Minnesota, you can have it visible. He conceals his when he carries. Maynard believes that by carrying a concealed weapon, he helps prevent crime. While we were talking about guns, Neubauer left the room and returned with a fire extinguisher. "Does this make me an arsonist?" He asked. The same principle applies to guns, they maintain. It's a tool to stop something bad rather than start something bad.

A funny story they told me: One of Maynard and Neubauer's friends buys a new gun every year on gun control advocate Sarah Brady's birthday. His motto is, "If she wants me to stop buying guns, she should stop having birthdays."

Tron Guy On Politics:

"I couldn't stand having you on my (Livejournal) friends list; you're just too right wing for me," Maynard says is a common complaint he gets for his political blog post. The two are libertarian-leaning conservative that believe in protecting gun rights and having a smaller, more efficient government.

"I have severe heartburn with the concept of government-run healthcare. That is a train wreck waiting to happen," Maynard says.

Seems to have his head on right to me, well... other than running around in that costume.

Head on over and read the article, you might find it interesting.

What (Some) Bloggers Want

The Texas Weekly interview that I did last week made it into an article:


My anonymity is lost forever.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Football coaches grapple with gun policies

I always assumed that college football coaches were strict with their players. They set curfews, attempt to limit partying, and try to keep them squared away enough to play football.

A couple go to far.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

By Brian Landman


I don't see much in the way of "grappling" here.
Miami's Randy Shannon hasn't received a phone call from a single coaching brethren, a single athletic director, to chat about his zero-tolerance policy toward guns.

While his university bans its students from possessing legally owned guns on campus (not off of it, however) — a rule similarly imposed at Florida, Florida State and USF — the Hurricanes' second-year coach has gone a step further:

Have a gun and you're done.

The Second Amendment, the NRA, be darned.

"Everybody deals with things differently," he said. "It may be wrong or it may be right, but that's just the way I feel."
So coach, you are taking the way you feel and imposing an immoral and unconstitutional regulation upon your adult players. You would require them to decide between being responsible for their own safety, or playing on your football team. I understand that your prejudice can destroy a budding career and cost an athlete millions of dollars over his lifetime. It sure seems you enjoy having that power over your team.

Oh, I'm sorry, you are doing it for the children. That makes it okay.

"A lot of times, the modern athlete thinks he needs to have a gun to protect himself," Shannon said. "We have guys on the team that have kids. You could have a gun lying around in the room, under the bed, anywhere. Kids can find anything. Are you willing to take that chance that somebody gets injured or your kid gets injured because of the gun?
You know coach, the guys on the team that have kids should be the ones shouldering the responsibility of providing for and protecting those kids. You would deny a father the most efficient means of defending his family? What kind of a morally corrupt bastard are you?

I see you have quite the image of your fellow man.
"Most of the time road rage comes from getting cut off, guys taking your parking spot, and the first thing you want to do is reach under the seat and now you're going to have problems. Don't do it."
That may be your initial reaction to getting cut off, but that is not the reaction of a mature, stable adult. You, sir, should not assume that the rest of us are as unstable as you are. We handle those minor irritations without becoming, or even wishing to become violent. Maybe you should go get some help.

Coach Meyer agrees with Coach Shannon.

"I'm a parent. My daughter (Nicole) is going to college and a college campus is supposed to be the safest place in America," he said. "That made me think. Certainly, if they're going to play on our team, there's no place for them. If you have to have a gun, the Constitution says you're allowed to have one, but not at the University of Florida. I'm old school. I don't believe in that."
As many times I've read the Second Amendment, I have never noticed that University of Florida exception.

One coach interviewed has his head on straight. Bobby Bowden of FSU.

Bowden, for one, doesn't believe in banning his players from lawfully owning guns off campus.

"I've got one," he said...

...he offered this sober take on why someone might want a legally owned firearm:

"I hate to say this, there are some neighborhoods, you better have a gun," Bowden said. "I hate to say that. Our country has gotten that drastic, but there are some neighborhoods where you nearly have to have a gun just to protect yourself and your family."
Just who do these coaches think they are? They use their position to force adult players to give up their natural right to self defense.

The fact that the coach can make a public statement like this shows just how far we have to go (or how far we have strayed). If that same coach would have forbid interracial or gay relationships, or the Koran, or even vegetarians, the so-called civil libertarians would have been all up in arms. But since it's just guns he is against, no problem.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Two Sentence Beer Review

Last week's Rogue Morimoto Imperial Pilsner was such a hit, I decided to try the Rogue Chipolte Ale this afternoon.

I'm still not a fan of chili peppers in my beer.

Day at The Range

Today was the monthly IDSA match out at the range, and it was a good one. Thirteen shooters, nine stages, and a heavy breeze to help make the heat bearable. I put over 150 rounds down range and saw some improvement in my abilities. I was very happy with my performance in eight of the nine stages. The stage I tanked, I tanked bad. Let's just say 60 seconds added on to my time due to penalties, a hard to clear misfeed and a fumbled mag change all in the same stage. Ouch.

I have decided that today was the last day of my Tripp Research Cobra Mag vs. Wilson Combat ETM trial. I am done with it. The ETM failed two out of three uses today and I have had it. I'll write up a more detailed report at a latter date, but the basic results are: Tripp Research Magazine = 100% reliable, ETM not.

The last stage of the day was fired from the prone position, at three targets, at 50 yards. Not quite something you do every day.

These IDSA matches are a blast to shoot. The scoring is simple. A target is either neutralized or it is not. Failure to neutralize is a 10 second penalty. If you shoot a no-shoot target, it is a 20 second penalty. There is a 3 second penalty for a minor procedure violation and a 3 second/shot penalty for a major violation. It is kind of hard to get a procedural penalty. Raw time + penalty time = score.

If you are in the DFW Metroplex, and are interested in shooting with us, let me know and I will keep you updated.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Busy Saturday

I mentioned earlier that the company I work for had significantly cut my manpower. My Lead Mechanic broke his back three years ago or so. Last month he had some complications that are going to keep him out for at least another few weeks. Needless to say my workload had jumped. Today was spent performing annual maintenance on one of our four 150 hp low pressure air compressors. I am liking getting back into wrenching. I was reprimanded a couple of years ago for being too hands on, the company culture has changed.

After getting cleaned up from work, V and I went out Colter's for dinner. Not the best Barbecue, but it was close and I didn't have to cook.

After dinner V bought me a new laptop to make it easier to blog from Blackwater. Did I marry good or what?

So that is what I have been doing this evening, getting everything set up and tinkering around with my new toy.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Opening Ceremonies

Dinner was going very well. Two perfectly grilled rib eye steaks (from grass fed beef), grilled asparagus, and yeast rolls. The wine, a 2006 vintage Two Hands Angels Share Shiraz, was just about a perfect match for the meal and the evening. V and I were watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, eating dinner and talking about our respective days. The food, wine and company was outstanding. The visual effects of the ceremonies was something to be seen. The Chicoms have to be commended on the effort that went in to that pageant.

Well, they have to be commended up until the point where we got a mini lecture on globull warming and the misuse of our natural resources. The largest polluters on this planet are going to lecture the world on pollution? The country that devours the most natural resources than any other is going to lecture us on their misuse? I don't think so.

I'm not sure if the talking heads were reading from a network script or one written by the Chinese. Either way, to read that load of crud for an American audience was just plain wrong.

Shortly after that fiasco there was a bit that reminded me of Douglas Adams. There was a skit that was meant to highlight the Chinese space program. A planet came out of the stage, dancers were circling the planet and two signers sang from atop the planet. Over the signers heads, whales were swimming through the sky. I had to laugh.

I just hope that everyone who is watching the Olympics remembers this one fact. China is not our friend.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Upcoming Elections

Here in Texas, we have a lot at stake in these upcoming elections. The races for the Texas House and Senate are being hotly contested and our candidates really do need our help.

What's at stake? For the big picture, just read the Texas Democrat Platform, they pretty much lay it out for you. More spending, more entitlements, more taxes and less opportunity to succeed.

The main focus of this blog is gun rights, and gun rights are going to be front and center during the next legislative session. There will be at least three initiatives expanding gun rights introduced. First will be a employer parking lot bill that would affirm the right of a law abiding gun owner to have his or her firearm in their personal vehicle while at work. Second will be a bill authorizing CHL holders to carry a concealed handgun on all state funded college campuses. And third will be an open carry bill. The anti's will be introducing legislation of their own. At a minimum we will see a "one gun a month" bill and a "closing the gun show loop hole" bill introduced.

Which bills go forward and become law, and which ones end up languishing in committee depends entirely upon the makeup of the legislator. If Republicans loose much ground in the Texas legislator, we will not see progress in gun rights legislation. It is pretty much as simple as that.

So plan on voting, and bring a friend or two to the polls. Vigorously support your local candidate for the Texas State House or Senate. Donate some of your hard earned money to your candidate and offer them some help. I understand that there is a lot of out of state money supporting the opposition, we need to do what we can to counter that out of state influence and elect strong conservative candidates.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be highlighting a few of the races that are close and really need our support.

Sniper Frogs

In this week's Fort Worth Weekly we find an article on sports alternatives to the Olympics for those who may be interested in something a little different.

By Dan McGraw

Forget the Olympics. You can watch world-class sports first-hand at your local park, bar, or shooting range.
Featured in this article is the Texas Christian University rifle team.

Sniper Frogs

Texas Christian University finished third in this year’s NCAA rifle team competition. But these were not Texas good ol’ boys polishing up their deer-hunting skills. The squad is made up entirely of women.

Lauren Sullivan helped the TCU rifle team finish third in the country.

Shooters use two kinds of rifles (small-bore and air rifle) to fire at targets from a distance of about 50 feet. All the members of TCU’s team will be juniors this year (Riford, Erin Lorenzen, Emily Paper, and Lauren Sullivan), so the expectations are high. In last year’s college championships, the TCU women finished just a few points behind second-place Army (all men) and also beat out Navy, which came in seventh. Three team members were named All-Americans.
Okay, we can leave the Navy jokes at the door.

These young ladies are quite proficient at their sport and coverage like this can only help the gun rights movement.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

An Evening Interview.

This afternoon I received an email from Elizabeth Pierson of the Texas Weekly requesting an interview. We emailed back and forth and decided that since I was heading out to the range right after work, we agreed to do the interview on the way back from the range.

We spent a little over 20 minutes taking about blogs, the potential influence of blogs on the upcoming elections, the issues and guns. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing how it comes together in her article.

Afternoon/Evening at The Range

Catfish of The Texican Tattler invited me to join the Dallas Action Pistol Shooters for a practice session at Quail Creek Public Shooting Range this afternoon. So after work I hurried home, got my gear (forgot my hat) and headed near to Denton to learn a bit from one of the better action pistol shooters in the Metroplex.

Did I mention it was near Denton? There is always something going on with the 35W so I left early to get there on time. It's a good thing I did. One dead school bus in the left hand lane followed by one dead tractor trailer in the right hand lane intermixed with a couple of wrecks in the opposite direction that everyone had to stop and gawk at made a usual 40 some aught minute drive last north of an hour. Pulled into the parking lot just before 6:00, paid the range fees and met all the guys. Turns out I knew most of the folks there from the Cross Timbers IDPA matches, so I fit right in.

I decided to use my Fobus paddle holster for the first set of drills. I pretty much never use the Fobus for anything other than a handy place to keep my pistol when I'm at the range doing something other than drills. I had a bit of trouble getting the gun out so I switched over to my Milt Sparks that I use for my daily carry and for matches.

I had a great time and Catfish pointed out some areas where I have backslid. I have been working on double taps and three shot drills so much that a nice and consistent 6 shot cadence was problematic. It was bang bang - bang bang bang - bang - bang bang. I'll have to work on that. My draw has also gotten sloppy, I have to go back to slowing down and working through each step.

The Kimber failed on the 11th round of the day. Hammer drop, nothing. Eject the round, hammer drop, nothing. Looking at the primers you could barely see a dent. Removed the firing pin and found nothing wrong. Reassembled the pistol and all was well. I'm really not sure what happened. I had a second failure, a double feed when shooting a five target stage. That was the only jam, and it was with the Wilson Combat ETM that I am testing. Zero failures with the Tripp Research magazine so far, and quite a few with the ETM. I am about ready to pass these on to someone else to continue the test.

It was a good afternoon that went into the evening. I put about 130 rounds down range and found some things that I need to work on before we go to Blackwater with Todd Jarrett.

It is outstanding that catfish does this for the local action pistol shooters who want to improve their abilities and I am sure to be taking advantage of this resource again and again.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I Wonder...

...what the gun had against the courthouse?

From the El Paso Times:

By Stephanie Sanchez


Two law enforcement officials suffered gunshot wounds Monday after one of their weapons accidentally discharged at the El Paso Federal Courthouse, U.S. Marshals Service in El Paso officials said.
The weapon just "accidentally discharged" eh? I do wish reporters would stop it with the "accidentally discharged" crud.

To give the Marshals some credit, they tell it a bit differently.

A U.S. Marshals' deputy discharged his weapon, fired one bullet, and injured himself and a Border Patrol agent in the federal courthouse at about 10:45 a.m. Monday, said Gerry Payan, supervisory deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service in El Paso.
And now for the FBI.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were conducting an investigation Monday afternoon to determine how the shooting happened.

"We have been asked by Marshals to conduct a standard shooting review," said Special Agent Andrea Simmons, of the FBI. She said shooting review expert agents will help determine how the gun went off.

The shooting took place in the hallway of the 3rd floor inside the El Paso Federal Courthouse located at 511 E. San Antonio, Payan said.

"It is being treated as a shooting, even though it was an accidental shooting," he said.
That last quote is quite funny, but this is the one that disturbs me.

...the U.S. Marshals' deputy will be held responsible for firing the handgun, just as any other law enforcement official would in a similar situation.
How about we hold this deputy responsible to the same degree as any other citizen would be? If I mishandled my firearm in a public place and injured another, I am pretty sure my name would be in the paper and my rear would be sitting in a jail.

Update from the El Paso Times:

By Darren Meritz


EL PASO -- The deputy U.S. marshal who accidentally discharged his weapon in the U.S. Courthouse on Monday was trying to holster the weapon when it went off, officials said, based on an initial investigation.

A statement from the U.S. Marshals Service said the deputy, who suffered non- life-threatening injuries along with a U.S. Border Patrol agent as a result of the accidental discharge, removed his firearm from a locker and attempted to holster the weapon when it fired.
I guess it wasn't the courthouse the Glock didn't like, it just didn't want to be confined in that holster.

Remember Lt. Carolyn McClish? She is a good candidate for an "accident" like this to occur while re-holstering her firearm.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rogue...

...Morimoto Imperial Pilsner. Good stuff.

When they say:
...a big malty backbone which culminates into a hedonistic mouthful.
They mean it.

Sunday's Blog of the Week

This week's "Sunday's Blog of the Week" is "The Liberty Sphere".

When Gun Law News stopped publishing a daily roundup of gun related blog commentary, we lost an important resource and a void was created in the blog-o-sphere. A daily stop for the best of the gun rights related commentary disappeared.

D. Martyn has stepped up to do his part in filling that void. The Liberty Sphere posts a daily Second Amendment News Roundup that seems to get bigger and better each week. Along with the 2A news, D. Martyn provides excellent commentary on the political arena.

The Liberty Sphere should be on your list of daily visits.

More on Open Carry

Legislation to allow open carry will be introduced during the next legislative session here in Texas. I honestly do not think it will get much traction this time around as the main push will be on campus carry and on legislation that would allow folks to have their legally owned firearm locked up in their private automobile while at work.

That being said, I hope that I am wrong and that open carry legislation gets a serious look this time around. The Cowtown Cop offers his opinion from a cop's perspective with "Open carry in the State of Texas".

Georgia recently passed HB 89 which allows expanded the number of places an individual can carry a firearm to include restaurants that sell alcohol. If I understand correctly, a permit holder in Georgia has the option of open or concealed carry. The bill was effective as of July 1st and once again the anti's hysterical rhetoric is proven false.

A report from the front lines in Atlanta from Creative Loafing.

By Andisheh Nouraee

How I learned to stop worrying and love carrying my gun in Georgia

The author starts out by expressing many of the same ideas that we see on gun boards and news commentary, that openly carrying firearms in public is a bad idea.

...I've had handguns for target shooting since I was a kid, but never carried one for self-defense. After the robbery, I applied for a permit so I could carry a gun without breaking the law. And even before the license arrived, I started to carry my gun from my driveway to my front door, which is legal; I was scared the guy would keep his promise and come back for me.

As it turned out he was arrested a couple of weeks later, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

When my permit arrived in the mail, I stuck it in my wallet and pretty much forgot about it. I didn't start carrying a weapon. He was in jail and I moved to a less transitional neighborhood. I felt safe again.

Nearly everyone I spend time with regularly has a visceral and fearful reaction to guns. Having so many gun-dreading friends and acquaintances has taught me to keep guns where no one will ever see them. Carrying a gun in public seemed like peeing in the sink of a public restroom. Not illegal, but definitely a first-degree jerk move.

I was also afraid of the reaction of strangers. I would hate to be the subject of this 911 call: "Hello, police, I'm at the Publix on North Decatur Road and there's a swarthy bald man here with a gun. He's headed for the Lean Cuisine."

So, although I had a permit, I was less than thrilled that the General Assembly passed H.B. 89 in April. The new law would give licensed firearms permit holders the right to legally carry guns into places that used to be off-limits: city and state parks, public transportation, and restaurants that serve alcohol.

It seemed to me that the law encouraged colossal dickheadedness by legalizing behavior – carrying guns openly in public – that makes people nervous.
The author goes on to describe how experience proved his notions to be unfounded, and decides to experiment a bit with open carry to see for himself how others react to a "man with a gun."

What happens when a Middle Eastern-looking man and a young black man walk into a LongHorn with loaded pistols on their belts?
You will have to head on over there to read the rest. his article is well worth your time. It gives some insight into the minds of new gun owners and those who have made the decision to legally carry a firearm for the first time.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

More First Time Gun Owners

More and more people are waking to the idea that violent crime happens every day, and really can happen to them. Robberies, rapes, murders and car jackings are just a normal part of the daily news. When folks realize that they really can become the target of a violent goblin, they start to take action to defend themselves.

From News Radio 1200 WOAI

By Berit Mason

When Ricardo Ruiz’s neighbor opened the door to a gunman and was shot in the face, Ruiz took action. He’s one of the new first time gun owners in San Antonio, learning to shoot at Texas Thunder Shooting Range.

“I chose our neighborhood as it was a safe place to live. When this happened my wife and I carefully discussed what we should do. We decided, for the first time, to get a gun for self-protection.”...

...Jerry McCall of Texas Thunder says he’s seeing a lot more customers like Ruiz.

“When a crime happens to someone, suddenly they come in scared and wanting a gun. Right now, with a bad economy, crime rises and then people want to be armed. There’s been some 40 percent increase in concealed weapons carried since January,” he says.
If you are one of these new gun owners, good on you. Congratulations on making the decision to be proactive in providing for the safety and security of yourself and your family.

I hope you understand that with firearm ownership comes responsibility. It is your responsibility to become proficient in the safe and competent handling of that firearm. You are responsible for ensuring that everyone in your household understands firearm safety.

Get some training. The NRA has some outstanding training opportunities for first time gun owners. Your local gun shop should be able to point you in the right direction also. To get started, you can learn a bit about firearm safety right here.

Back in Business

It only took Blogger around 32 hours to determine that "A Keyboard and a .45" is not a spam blog.

For those of you who get these posts via a feed, Blogger had locked me out. My first email of Friday morning was from Blogger:

Hello,

Your blog at: http://akeyboardanda45.blogspot.com/ has been identified as a potential spam blog. To correct this, please request a review by filling out the form at http://www.blogger.com/unlock-blog.g?lockedBlogID=*

Your blog will be deleted within 20 days if it isn't reviewed, and you'll be unable to publish posts during this time...
I thought this was a phishing email, until I tried to access the blog.

This was Friday morning. Friday evening I could hardly read my favorite blogs as IE kept crashing as it was loading pages.

I would get this error message:


It turns out that Site Meter has done an upgrade that doesn't play well with IE. I have removed Site Meter until at least Monday to give them a chance to get all the bugs out.

All seems to be well now.

US Citizen of Traction Control fame has offered to host "A Keyboard and a .45" in WordPress format. I am very tempted to make the move, just a bit leery about the transfer from Blogger to WordPress. I would hate to lose any information, and I do have a couple older posts that are popular with search engines that I feel are worthwhile to keep at this address.

We'll see. For the time being I am staying put, unless I change my mind.