Wednesday, December 31, 2008

All in All 2008 was...

...a pretty good year. Yeah the nation elected it's first Socialist president and the economy is in the tank. Reductions in overtime at work have resulted in a 23% pay cut and I work for a company that manufactures OEM automotive components so a salary recovery is not likely.

But, there is a bright side.

This year the JR clan gained a member with the birth of our 7th grandchild, baby Ryan Adams of Colorado. I had the opportunity to attend the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits with a press pass and got to meet quite a few other bloggers and leaders in the firearms industry. Then you folks, the readers of this blog, sent me off to Gunnie Summer Camp at Blackwater to spend the weekend shooting with Todd Jarrett. Now that was a red letter weekend.

V and I have our health, our family and each other. We make enough to pay the bills with some left over for ammo and decent wine. Life is good.

Happy New Year folks, I am off to cook V a wonderful dinner, after which we will watch the Stars game and a couple of our grand children.

Stay safe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The First Rule of Food Storage...

...is to rotate your stock.

I have a decent supply of food stores for my friend Justin Case. This past weekend we converted one of our coat closets into a food storage closet to make rotation easier. I have been doing a good job of rotating the canned goods from under the beds in the guest rooms, but the cans in the harder to get to places did not get rotated out.

We have some pretty old canned goods to go through. The oldest is 20 months past the "best by" date. This is a very small percentage of what we have on hand, but disappointing never the less. Note for future reference: 20 months past the best by date is still edible, not tasty, but edible.

This is just a reminder that if you put up food for Justin Case, remember that it is important to rotate it out. Store what you eat and eat what you store. If you get behind, V will make you eat it anyway.

The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

A couple of weeks or so before Christmas I mentioned the push to promote Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook's new book, The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms.

The Independent Institute has a follow up:

The Second Amendment Book Bomb Hits #1 in Law, #12 in History, #24 in Nonfiction at Amazon.com!

Beginning on America’s Bill of Rights Day (December 15), the Second Amendment Book Bomb was launched by the Independent Institute to communicate the importance of the Bill of Rights’ Second Amendment for the protection of liberty. With your help, constitutional rights are being pushed to the top of national book bestseller lists, making a loud and clear statement that Second Amendment rights are unalienable!

The Second Amendment Book Bomb follows directly on the heels of the truly historic victory on June 26, 2008 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own and bear arms. However, the Heller ruling was immediately attacked and efforts continue on the national level and across the country to undermine gun rights. (In this regard, President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Eric Holder for U.S. Attorney General is an ominous sign.) Therefore, to secure the Second Amendment now and for the future the American public must be made aware of the reasons why the Founders sought to protect this right.

And now we have the tool to do so—the fascinating, seminal, and inspiring, new book, The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Rights to Bear Arms, by Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook*—the perfect way both to educate ourselves and to reach friends and family who don’t yet understand Second Amendment rights. The goal is to reach one million Americans with Dr. Halbrook’s book during the holiday season and throughout the New Year ahead.

As a result, we are closing in on reaching this goal and with your further help we can make Dr. Halbrook’s book #1 on the bestseller lists. In addition to buying a copy for yourself, please consider buying additional copies for family members, friends, associates at work, community leaders, schools, libraries, journalists, policymakers, and others to use in order to spread the ideas of the Second Amendment.

Already, The Founders’ Second Amendment has skyrocketed to the following category rankings at Amazon.com:

#1: Law
#1: Civil Rights and Liberties
#1: Constitutions
#1: Constitutional Law
#1: Constitutional History
#1: Revolutionary and Founding History
#12: History
#11: Professional and Technical
#24: Nonfiction (all)

Hence, we are seeking your help now in pushing a second surge to make the book #1 overall at Amazon.com and elsewhere. Please go here and pledge to buy at least one copy of the book, and then urge everyone you know to make their pledge ASAP.

*Stephen P. Halbrook is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Rights to Bear Arms. Having won three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, he filed an Amici Curiae Brief in District of Columbia v. Heller on behalf of 55 members of the Senate, the Senate President, and 250 members of the House of Representatives.

I have not yet purchased this book, but I will early in the new year.

It will be interesting to compare Dr. Halbrook's effort with David Young's The Founders' View of the Right to Bear Arms: A Definitive History of the Second Amendment (a book I do have and highly recommend for anyone who is interested in the history of our RKBA).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Let's go Shooting

I am not working on Friday. USCitizen is not working on Friday. The weather forecast shows that Friday is going to be in the upper 50's and partly cloudy.

Sounds like a great day to go shooting to me.

If you want to go shooting on Friday with us at the sooper sekret shooting range, we will meet up at 11:00 at the sooper sekret meeting up place.

Shoot me an email or leave a comment and I will send you directions.

Let's ring in the new year with a bang.

Home Invaders Get More...

...than they bargained for.

Fits reports that a Florida Man Shoots Home Invader:

"Charles Johnson is a man of his word.

On Oct. 4, 1936, then 19, Johnson promised to love and protect his bride, Berlie Mae.

On Tuesday, he did.

Now 91, he scared off two home invaders with his 38-caliber revolver when the men threatened his wife of 72 years at their home east of Ocoee.

"I was going to kill him either way," the retired jack-of-all-trades said Wednesday. "She's all I've got to live for . . . Why would I want to live?"
You are going to have to head on over here to read how this 91 year old man protected his wife from these goblins, it is a great story for us all.

I will give you the money quote though, it is that good.
We want to get a message out to other people. Be prepared. Keep your doors locked. And be alert."

His wife added, "And have a gun ready."
Listen to your elders.

Going National

David Codrea, author of the blog "The War on Guns" and featured columnist in "Guns" magazine, has been writing a column for the Cleveland edition of Examiner.com.

It seems he is being promoted:
The column has done well both regionally and in the "Politics" category. So the powers that be have decided they'll be better served if it goes national--meaning it will now show up on the national page as well as be accessible from 59 separate city pages.
Well that is good news, pro-gun commentary gaining national attention.

Head on over and give it a read.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Long Term Underground Firearm and Ammo Storage

There is quite a bit of 'net' wisdom out there on the best way to prepare and store a firearm and ammunition for "just in case". Most of this information is theoretical and should work out just fine, but in most cases the end results of these preparations have yet to be determined.

Backwoods Home Magazine has the end results of one such experiment.

By Charles Wood


Back in the early 1990s the outlook for the nation in general and gun owners in particular seemed rather grim to many people. A few years earlier in 1986, Congress had banned civilians from owning newly manufactured machine guns. There was ever more strident talk of banning semi-automatic weapons or so called assault weapons. Many of us regarded a semi-automatic rifle as the foundation of a home defense battery. Many of us believed that more laws banning ever more types of guns were imminent. About that time I acquired a Ruger Ranch Rifle through a private sale. I decided to stash it away in a safe place just in case my worst fear was to materialize, another gun ban.
Head on over and give it a read, some good advice on prepping guns and ammo for long term storage.

The Forecast for Tomorrow is...


Sounds like a great day to hit the range.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Notes From the Sidebar

I am getting caught up on my after Christmas reading and thought I would share some of the good stuff that others have posted over the past few days:

Syd has recorded another excellent podcast.







This one covers "Stopping Power, 2008 Retrospective, If DC Defies Supreme Court, Plaxico Burress, and CCW in National Parks".

Murdoc covers the Double Tap Airsoft Exercise and a Weapons Shakedown at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina.

FireHand has a bit to say with I know, it's the day before Christmas, good feelings and all...

Torrance reminds us that it is the simple things that matter with pity the fool .

RideFast comments on Our erstwhile allies - the hunter media.

Rustmeister celebrates a Blogiversary and shares Christmas at Arlington.

Mike pulls up an old essay by Brian Puckett, "We Will Not Disarm".

LawDog gives his readers a Christmas gift, A Classic LawDog File.

D. Martyn notes that in the war on terror, Pakistan is Raising the Stakes by a Few Notches.

Kevin's Quote of the Day is worth revisiting.

Speaking of "Quotes of the day", Joe has one from the ignorant.

David comments on the future of his Gun Rights Examiner column and has a simple request for those of us who find value in what he writes.

USCitizen posts images from A Day at the Range. I am jealous.

Tam shares her plan for World Peace.

John wishes us a Merry Christmas from Okinawa.

And...

Last but not in any way least...

Xavier offers up his two cents on The Kolpin Rangetector Range Bag and comments on Knives at a Gunfight.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Is

Luke, Chapter 2:

The Birth of Jesus

1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.


4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas.

It Has Been One Busy...

...busy day. I've been here, there and everywhere. Putting a trampoline together for Santa in Little Elm, picking up what I need for tomorrow's main course (leg of lamb) and a couple of sides in Arlington, finishing up last minute present wrapping then back to Little Elm for the evening. We are having Christmas with our oldest daughter her contribution to our family tree (i.e., our grand kids). V and I are having a wonderfully blessed Christmas Eve, and I hope for the same for you and yours.

Merry Christmas my friends, Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From the Civilian Marksmanship Program

Attention Highpower and Air Rifle Shooters!

The CMP is introducing a new event called “National Match Air Rifle.” The event fea­tures two courses of fire similar to the highpower rifle standing and John C. Garand courses of fire that will be shot on reduced highpower 200 and 600 yard targets on 10-meter ranges with air rifles. There will be three rifle classes, sporter, match/precision and AR-type air rifle. The CMP is con­ducting a test match at the Camp Perry Marksmanship Center on 10 Janu­ary. The CMP invites both experienced highpower shooters and recrea­tional air gun shooters to try the 10 January test match and provide feed­back to assist in finalizing the rules.
For more information, click here (.pdf).

Monday, December 22, 2008

More on Eric Holder

As you know, Eric Holder is Obama's choice for Attorney General of these United States. Mike has some very compelling reasons for why it is imperative that we Put a Hold on Eric Holder.

I know that it is the holidays and the last thing you want to do read another political column, but this is important. Head on over and give it a read.

It has been a ...

... long day at work. Got there at 0545, left at 1800. We are having a bit of remodeling done and I was supposed to move managers into their new dig today. The contractor is behind and I might be able to get started tomorrow afternoon.

I don't think it ever got above freezing today, a perfect evening for a sip or two of Martell Cordon Bleu.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Last Minute Shopping

It is a beautiful, sunny, chilly (high 30's) day here in North Texas.

You know what that means?

It means that our beautiful North Texas women can wear their furs while they are out and about.

I went out to pick up some stocking stuffers and other small items and was happy to find these women dressed to the nines in their furs at mid day. It was nice to see.

Happy Hanukkah


DoubleTapper explains the Chanuka Festival.

The Golden Moose Awards


The Outdoor Channel's Golden Moose Award fan poll is open for your votes:

Enter your vote for a chance to win! Welcome to Outdoor Channel's Fan Favorite Voting.

Please select your favorite Outdoor Channel programs and hosts from Outdoor Channel's line-up and cast your vote. Each voter will be automatically entered to win a $500 cash prize.
Our friends Michael Bane (host of Shooting Gallery) and Ted Nugent (host of Spirit of the Wild) are two of the folks that are deserving of your vote.

Head on over and give them your support. Click here to vote.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Bubbly Recommendation

It is that time of year when the Champagne flows freely and folks have to decide what to serve their guests, offer as a hostess gift or share with a loved one. I have found only one example that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone. This is Moët & Chandon's Nectar Impérial.


Moet & Chandon Nectar Impérial

This is a slightly sweet Champagne that can be appreciated by those of us who prefer the dry varieties for it's crisp finish. There are Champagnes that I like more than the Nectar Impérial, but none that I have found that can be enjoyed by pretty much any palette.

Give this one a try, you will not be disappointed.

Avg. price less than $50.00

Serve very cold alone or with cheeses, spicy foods or deserts.

Another Random Act of Violence

This time the outcome is a bit different

From MyFox DFW:


A man walking his dog in Terrell on Wednesday fatally shot an armed 17-year-old robber, police said.

The incident happened at about 10:20 p.m. in Ben Gill Park in the 100 block of Lions Club Lane where, police said, a group of teen robbers surrounded the man.

According to investigators, Markee Lamar Johnson pulled out a gun and the 47-year-old man, a licensed concealed handgun owner, fired shots.

The 17-year-old Terrell High School student was struck in the head and died at Parkland Hospital. His weapon was recovered at the scene and later determined to be stolen during a separate offense in Terrell, according to police.

Police said they would not likely file charges against the man.
The anti's would have this man disarmed and at the mercy of the goblins, and since this particular goblin was only 17, they will add his death to their misleading "kids killed by guns" statistics.

This article illustrates why you should carry all the time. As Breda so aptly put it, "Carry your gun - it's a lighter burden than regret". I'll bet that this particular dog walker appreciates that sentiment more than most.

Thanks to Tony3Dogs for the emailed heads up on this story.

Land Commissioner Patterson announces intentions in U.S. Senate race

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is one of my favorite politicians of all time. He is one of the few that I would really enjoy having over to the house for some Barbecue and a beer.

When Kay Bailey announced that she would most likely be running for Governor, I had hoped that Jerry would get involved in the Senate race for her seat.

Today he made it official.

From the Dallas Morning News Trail Blazers Blog:

By Karen Brooks


(AUSTIN) The latest in a long line of officeholders announcing their intentions to seek the U.S. Senate seat that might be vacated by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in her run for Governor, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson today made his decision public.

"After a great deal of consideration, and much soul-searching, I am today formally announcing my intention to join many of my fellow elected officials and not seek the U.S. Senate seat," said Patterson. "I have been urged by many of my fellow Texans to seek this seat . . actually only a few Texans . . . truthfully just a couple members of my staff and a few other officeholders who want my job . . . so I'll sit this one out."
See why I like him so much?

Patterson continues:

"I will form an unexploratory committee to be sure," said Patterson, " but my heart tells me that I am deeply ambivalent about being a U.S. Senator."

"After all," said Patterson "I don't want to share statewide office with anyone, and D.C. is a tough commute for my thirty-year-old single-engine fabric-covered aerobatic airplane."

Despite the recent D.C. vs. Heller case before the Supreme Court that ruled Washington's prohibition against handguns was unconstitutional, Patterson said he could not live in the Nation's Capital. Patterson is author of the Texas Concealed Handgun Law and a known gun advocate.

"Just like Johnny Cash, I'd definitely take my guns to town," Patterson said. "Living in D.C. would be tough only because of the lack of gun ranges and available ammunition."

Paraphrasing his quote from a recent West Texas land controversy, Patterson added "No guns, no hunting, no Senate."
Head on over and read the rest, it will give you a chuckle.

Update: How the heck did DirtCrashr (from the Peoples Republik of Kalifornication) get a comment in the DMN before I did?

Police Blotter

From the Blanco County News:


• Disturbance. 2:28 AM. A complainant had a gun pointed at a subject who had broken into the residence. Officers responded and secured the situation. The subject was released to his parents.
That homeowner showed commendable restraint. I wonder if staring down the barrel of a gun was one of those "life altering" moments for this kid?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Open Up My...

...Yahoo Mail to find this in the news links:

Just where does Obama see this $850 Billion coming from? Is this money coming from a surplus built up by cutting the federal budget and increasing revenue through pro-active economic policies that support expansion of the free market? Ummm.... No.

The United States is currently over 10 Trillion dollars in debt. As a matter of fact, our national debt is -

U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCK

That is one heck of a lot of zeros. I just got back from mailing off Christmas presents to our out of state grandchildren, the same children whose shoulders will carry this debt. The Greatest Generation made sacrifices so that their children and grandchildren could live better lives. It seems our generation is sacrificing our children's future so we can live better lives.

Where is this money coming from? Are we just going to print it? Borrow it from the Chinese? How about the UAE? They have lots of cash on hand. This reckless spending has got to stop, and it has got to stop right now. We can recover, heck we can flourish without any more bail outs. We need to get back into the "America First" mindset and we need to promote the fact that this country can do anything it sets it's mind to.

Here is the JR economic recovery plan, take it for what it is worth.

The first thing we have to do is come to a consensus on the fact that wealth is not created by printing money. All printing more money does is decrease the value of the notes printed. Financial markets do not create wealth. They move wealth around, and some individuals may become wealthy, but no actual wealth is created. A service industry does not create wealth. Again, certain individuals or companies may become wealthy in the service industry, but that wealth was derived elsewhere. Wealth is created by producing products that people want to purchase. These products are produced from raw materials, and production takes energy.

The United States needs to become energy independent. We need to pump our own oil out of the earth, we need to build dozens of nuclear power plants and even some trash burning power plants, and we need to take a good hard look at viable alternative energy sources. We need to produce inexpensive energy. Reduced energy costs will free up capitol that can be used to expand production of goods. Reduced energy costs will free up consumer capitol that can be spent on goods that are manufactured by American owned companies.

Next we need to take the shackles off of American manufacturing. Many billions of dollars are spent each year on regulatory compliance by American manufactures, and more regulations are introduced all the time. We are regulating our industry out of business and our nation's wealth depends on industry. We can produce the goods that the world desires, and we can do it better than anyone else.

Printing more money will not solve our economic woes, it will just burden our children further with our debt. We need to demand that our representatives look to another avenue for creating national wealth, an avenue such as letting loose the hounds of industry (sorry, I couldn't help myself there).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random Acts of Violence

This news article by Bill Miller of the Star Telegram illustrates why it is so important to be vigilant and prepared.


A woman, her teen-age son and his friend were stopped by car thieves Sunday in south Fort Worth, and the friend was hit with beer bottle, police said.

The incident happened at about 7:40 p.m. in the 4000 block of May Street, said Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman.

The 33-year-old woman and the two boys, both 16, were in a car northbound on May Street when a car with no lights on "pulled in front of her causing her to stop," Henderson said.

Another car pulled behind her, which blocked her in, Henderson said. Two young men got out of separate cars and approached the passenger side of the woman's car...
Think this can't happen to you? This woman did nothing special to become a victim of these goblins, she was just driving with her kid and his friend in the car when these goblins decided they wanted what she had.

Further in the article you will find that the police did their jobs, they recovered the stolen car. The goblins are still at large.

David asks...

...a question in his most recent Gun Rights Examiner column:

There is, indeed, a lesson to be learned, and I'm curious to see if it has been. So I'm going to relinquish the floor. How would you respond to the assertion that it's too dangerous to keep a loaded gun in the home?
Head on over, read the column and the comments, and offer up your insight.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Obama buyers remorse - Guns edition

It seems that one of the "Authorized Journalists" who professed to be a gunnie supporting the Obamessiah is having second thoughts.


Well Bill, it's not like us "Gun Nuts" didn't try to warn you.

Second Amendment Book Bomb

From The Independent Institute:


December 15 marks America’s Bill of Rights Day, the anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. To commemorate this event, we have created the Second Amendment Book Bomb, a unique and powerful way to communicate the importance of the Bill of Rights’ Second Amendment for the protection of liberty. With your help, we can launch constitutional rights to the top of national book bestseller lists, making a loud and clear statement that Second Amendment rights are unalienable!

As you know, the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2008 landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ruling finally affirmed that the Founders fully intended the Second Amendment to protect an individual right to own and bear arms. The renowned Second Amendment scholar and lawyer Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook, Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, was key to the Heller victory—as well as to three previous gun-rights victories in cases before the Supreme Court. And his definitive defense of the Second Amendment is now available in The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms the first in-depth, book-length account of the origins of the Second Amendment and the most readable, comprehensive, and compelling work ever assembled arguing that the right to own a gun is as fundamental under the U.S. Constitution as freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Yet, even before the ink was dry on the Heller decision, efforts were underway in Washington, D.C., to resume the assault against gun rights. Further, and despite the rhetoric, both President-elect Barack Obama and his choice for Attorney General, Eric Holder, have repeatedly opposed Second Amendment rights, and any new federal judge appointments will likely be similarly biased.

Thus, preserving our constitutional rights will hinge on our ability to educate the American people on the imperative of Second Amendment rights. The Supreme Court’s Heller decision has provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to do this.

And now we have the tool to do so. Fascinating, seminal, and inspiring, The Founders’ Second Amendment is the perfect way both to educate ourselves and to reach friends and family who don’t yet understand Second Amendment rights. Our goal is to reach one million Americans with Steve Halbrook’s book during the Holiday Season and throughout the New Year ahead. Will you help?

Let’s make the Second Amendment Book Bomb a publishing phenomenon so great that even the mainstream media will have to take notice. Let’s spread The Founders’ Second Amendment so far and wide that Americans across the political spectrum, and all walks of life, will be discussing the Second Amendment in every possible venue.

With your help, we can make Stephen Halbrook’s book #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. To make this happen, please pledge to buy at least one copy of the book before or on the December 15th Second Amendment Book Bomb date (or even afterward, if this is your only option), and then spread the word to others. Let’s make this the most amazing and explosive event ever on the right to bear arms, and declare in no uncertain terms that the Second Amendment will be around for a very long time come.


A worthwhile way to celebrate our Bill of Rights.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Training

Xavier has a great read with Reverting Back to Training. Train so what when the time comes, you will prevail.

Thoughts on a Big Three Bailout

General Motors has a debt load of $45.16 Billion. Ford Motor Co. has a debt load of $156.79 Billion. Chrysler's debt is harder to come by as it is a private enterprise owned by Cerberus Capital Management (you know, the folks buying up all the American firearm manufacturing companies), but it can be assumed that it is much more than the $15 Billion in the bailout package.

So riddle me this. How does a $15 Billion dollar bailout save companies who are much more than $200 Billion in debt? GM and Ford owe more than they are worth, billions of dollars more than they are worth.

It seems to me that investors would be much better served by the bankruptcy courts than they would by an "auto czar" and a .gov bailout of less than 10% of their debt.

But what do I know?

The Results Are In

Last Friday I posted Employer Parking Lots and Firearms - A Poll. During this past week over 4200 people visited the site. A thousand came for the Plaxico Burress on Firearm Safety video and several hundred came in on Castle Doctrine or Assault Weapons Ban posts. Some folks came to the site late and may not have scrolled down to the post, so I am going to guess that at least 1500 people saw the poll, 143 voted. The issue must not be hitting a lot of folks hot buttons. This is kind of what I had expected. Most people are not worried about their employers searching their cars at work. This type of legislation would affect a very small percentage of gun owners, but it is important never the less. This is legislation, that if worded properly, we need to support.

On to the results:

Poll Results

Thanks for participating, Peter and I really do appreciate it.

Ten Soldiers Awarded Silver Stars

From the AP (Yeah, I know the AP frowns on us using their articles like this, but this is important)


Ten soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group received Silver Stars for valor during an April 2008 mission in the Skok Valley in Afghanistan. Following are names of the soldiers, their hometowns and summations of their medal citations:

_ Staff Sgt. Dillon Behr, Rock Island, Ill.

Behr held his position even after sustaining a life-threatening wound to his leg. Behr continued to fire at insurgents despite being critically wounded a second time, allowing injured U.S. and Afghan soldiers to be evacuated. Behr fought until he was physically incapable of holding his rifle.

_ Spc. Michael D. Carter, Smithville, Texas.

Carter left his covered position and charged 15 feet into heavy fire to get a critically wounded soldier. Carter treated two team members, allowing the medic to render aid to 10 wounded Afghan commandos. Later, Carter assisted in an extremely dangerous rescue of more than six casualties down a near vertical 60 foot cliff.

_ Master Sgt. Scott Ford, Athens, Ohio

Ford organized a counter assault to reinforce his besieged teammates. Ford exposed himself to insurgent fire in order to direct the soldiers in the wadi below to move forward and assist in moving casualties. His upper left arm was almost shot off by a sniper round. With a tourniquet on his arm to stop arterial bleeding, Ford was able to climb down the mountain.

_ Staff Sgt. Seth E. Howard, Keene, N.H.

Howard fought up a 60-foot cliff under intense fire after hearing two critically wounded members were in danger of being overrun. Placing himself between his wounded comrades and the enemy fire, he provided counter sniper fire, killing between 10 and 20 insurgents. He refused to withdraw from his position, although he had less than a magazine left of ammunition, until all of his teammates and commandos were off the mountain.

_ Staff Sgt. Luis Morales, Fredericksburg, Va.

With total disregard for his own personal safety, Morales ran into the line of fire to aid a wounded teammate and used his body to shield his teammate until he was wounded. Ignoring the severity of his wound, and losing a tremendous amount of blood, he quickly administered self aid and then returned to providing life saving help to his more severely wounded teammate.

_ Staff Sgt. David J. Sanders, Huntsville, Ala.

Sanders located an alternate but more arduous route down the mountain. Sanders ascended and descended the mountain three times to move casualties.

_ Staff Sgt. Ronald J. Shurer, Pullman, Wash.

Shurer immediately rendered aid to four critically wounded U.S. and 10 injured commandos under intense fire. At least twice, he dashed into the open to treat a wounded soldier.

_ Staff Sgt. John W. Walding, Groesbeck, Texas

Walding led an attack five hundred meters up treacherous terrain, braving close air strikes to reinforce the most forward position. Despite receiving a life threatening injury, Walding continued to suppress insurgent positions in order to defend his comrades. One of his legs had to be amputated.

_ Capt. Kyle M. Walton, Carmel, Ind.

Walton repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire in order to pull wounded Americans and Afghans to safety. Walton called in effective air strikes and even dropped a 2,000-pound bomb almost directly on his position to prevent insurgent forces from overruning his force.

_ Staff Sgt. Matthew O. Williams, Casper, Wyo.

Williams fought for over an hour up a mountain while under intense enemy fire to help rescue wounded members of his team. After his team sergeant was wounded, he ran through a gauntlet of heavy machine gun fire to render aid. He then helped his team sergeant climb down a near 60 foot vertical cliff to the casualty collection point. Williams then braved more fire to climb back up the hill and help his other teammates down the cliff to safety.
It sounds like these men sure stepped in it, but when you read an account of the battle you find that "All the Americans survived."

From the CantonRep.com:

By Kevin Maurer


FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Capt. Kyle Walton remembers pressing himself into the jagged stones that covered the cliff in northeast Afghanistan.

Machine gun rounds and sniper fire ricocheted off the rocks. Two rounds slammed into his helmet, smashing his head into the ground. Nearby, three of his U.S. Army Special Forces comrades were gravely wounded. One grenade or a well-aimed bullet, Walton thought, could etch April 6, 2008 on his gravestone.

Walton and his team from the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group had been sent to kill or capture terrorists from a rugged valley that had never been penetrated by U.S. forces — or, they had been told, the Soviets before them.
Head on over and read the entire account of this battle in the mountains of Afghanistan. These men deserve at least that much of your time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Should "In God We Trust" be Removed From U.S. Currency? A Poll

My Dad sent me a link to this MSNBC poll:

Click Here to Take Poll

When I voted it was 83% to 17%. You are going to have to hit it to find out which answer is getting the most votes.

The Car Wash

The car wash is right down the road from your house. It's well lit and on a busy street. You've had a long week and it will only take a few moments to get the road dirt off your car. It will be quick, no reason to carry. Heck, you have washed your car there dozens of times before without any trouble at all. Why should this night be any different.

From the Star Telegram:

video

They caught the goblins who killed this man. That is what the police do, try to catch folks who commit crime. Preventing crime? Now that's another story. If a goblin decides to make you a target, the only person you can count on to try and stop him is you. Carry all the time. As Breda so aptly put it, "Carry your gun - it's a lighter burden than regret"

Deanna Boyd reports on the capture of the goblins.




FORT WORTH -- A pair of 28-year-old twins are behind bars today in connection with the robbery and fatal shooting of a man at a Fort Worth car wash last month...


...Thornton said investigators believe Ryan was targeted at random. He said it is unknown whether the men had driven to the store with the intent of trying to rob someone or whether it was an afterthought once they saw Ryan.
Just a random bit of the ol' ultra-violence. The antis would have us all become disarmed prey for these goblins. Gun control, in all of it's varied aspects, does nothing more than render the law abiding defenseless and at the mercy of the ruthless.

Do yourself a favor. Learn the best ways to avoid becoming a target, and learn how to defend yourself in the event that you do.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Overstepping His Bounds

Or at least sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong, wasting even more taxpayers dollars, and getting involved in an issue that Congress has no business being involved in.

Who and what am I talking about? I am sad to say that I talking about my representative, Congressman Joe Barton.


We are in a recession and a couple of wars, Congress is handing out money like there is no tomorrow, Conservatives are gearing up to offset an Obama Presidency, and this is what my representative wants to focus on.

President-elect Barack Obama isn't the only one who wants to change the way champions in college football are determined.

Obama, who has said he'd like to replace the controversial Bowl Championship Series with an eight-team playoff, was joined in a call for change Wednesday by Rep. Joe Barton of Arlington, a Texas Aggie.

Barton said he's introducing a bill to kill the BCS system, seen by many for years as confusing and unfair.

"College football is more than an exhilarating sport, it's a billion-dollar business," said Barton, R-Arlington. "Despite every effort to fix the problems of the BCS, college seasons still end in sniping and controversy, rather than clear winners and losers determined on the field."
What? Since Congress has gotten away with interfering with professional sports with the headline grabbing steroid hearings, you think you can fiddle with college football?

Please enlighten me Representative Barton, where is it stated in your charter that you have any say in collegiate sports? The BCS is one screwed up mess, so what. Let college football fix it. Why don't you focus on trying to preserve some semblance of free markets and keep your legislative aspirations within the boundaries of the Constitution.

A Quick Reminder to...

...hit this poll.


Time is running out, let your opinion be known.

For Sale!


EBAY pulled the auction, thank goodness for screen capture.

H/T to SondraK

Fits on Knives

Looking for that perfect knife to pick up for that special someone (even if that special someone is you)?

Fits has an informative series that you may be interested in. Start with Blades, then read The Spyderco Civilian, Now That's A Knife, and Griptilian. One of these folders should fit just about anybody.

New Business Card - Part 2

Robb Allen of "Sharp as a Marble" fame hooked me up with this excellent design:

We both own a "Gun Blog" Para-USA LDA so the image is an accurate one.

Thanks Robb, you do good work.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Editorial by the Houston Chronicle Endangers Texans Right to Keep and Bear Arms

As Texas Gunnies look forward to the upcoming legislative session and the battle to expand our recognised rights to keep and bear arms, other voices are advocating for exactly the opposite.

An editorial by the Houston Chronicle staff pretty much lays out their wish list for gun control legislation.

Border war

Guns don't kill people. Gangsters kill people. But Mexican narcotraffickers buy Texas guns, and thousands of people die as a result.
Decades of corruption and maleficence at all levels of the Mexican .gov and police departments has nothing to do with the violence on the Mexican side of our border, it is all the fault of "Texas guns".
No turn of phrase can hide the link between gun sales in Texas and the violence just over the border. If we want Mexico's cartels under control for our own security, we need to halt their incredibly easy access to military-grade weapons on this side of the border.
O.K., now you have my interest. Just where can I find this "...incredibly easy access to military-grade weapons on this side of the border"? If I want a "military-grade" firearm I have to get permission from my county's chief L.E.O., submit fingerprints, paperwork and $200 to the Feds, and wait four months or so for approval. This is all for a firearm that was built before 1986. Free Citizens have zero access to modern "military-grade" firearms.

Now you and I both know that the Chron is not talking about actual military-grade weapons in this editorial, they are talking about guns that look like military guns. You and I know there is a difference, many of the Chron's readers do not. This is not just an exaggeration on the part of the Chron editorial board, it is a falsification of facts intended to garner an anti-gun emotional response from their readers. It is, in fact, a lie. It is just one of the lies they attempt to get away with in this editorial.

The editorial goes on to point out that well over a thousand firearms found in Mexico were originally purchased here in Texas. They quote an article, from the Chron, that states most of these guns were purchased by "straw buyers".

The hysteria continues:
While buying guns is close to impossible in Mexico, consumers in Texas can purchase unlimited quantities of cheap imported assault weapons, or .50-caliber sniper rifles strong enough to shoot down helicopters. The stores peddling these weapons rarely break the law. The problem is there are few laws for them to break.
Read that one again. So what laws are not there for us to break? Oh... in this one little paragraph the Chron is advocating for an import ban, an assault weapons ban, a limit of how many firearms can be purchased, and a .50 caliber ban.

The rest of the editorial is just as bad. The author bemoans the fact that we can't trace firearms (while at the same time pointing out where they were purchased) and calls for firearm registration. You would think this editorial was penned by Sarah Brady herself.

The Pistolero has his take on this editorial.

Monday, December 08, 2008

New Business Card


I had a splitting headache when I got home from work this evening so fiddled around with coming up with a business card.

This is the front, what do you think?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Plaxico Burress on Firearm Safety



Now that was funny, what makes it even funnier is the fact that this video illustrates how many of the antis view guns. This is the ignorance we have to dispel.

For some real information on firearm safety, head on over to the Handgunlaw.us site, The Fundamentals of Firearm Safety (.pdf). This is one of the best resources for firearm safety I have found. Another great firearm safety resource that I refer to often is Fr. Frog's "Thoughts on Firearms Safety". These two resources will give you the tools necessary to be a responsible firearm owner.

Speaking of Plaxico Burress, Xavier has posted the most common sense take on this incident in "The Sparrow".

Facebook

I've gone and joined the social networking site "Facebook". All the cool kids are doing it so figured I might as well.

Actually, the real reason I joined was to keep up the the group "North Texas Gun Owners".

This group is described as...

... a "rallying point" for all gun owners in North Texas, to keep track of our local, state and federal officials and make sure they're respectful of their citizens' rights to keep and bear arms.
Sounds like a good group to be affiliated with.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Todd Jarret on Reloads



This video has some very good images of Todd's grip. Pay attention to how he racks the slide during the first demonstration. I've seen him rack the slide from underneath many times. I always wondered if he used really weak recoil springs or if he just had that much stronger hand and forearm strength than I do. After shooting with him for a weekend I am leaning towards his strength.

H/T Xavier

Friday, December 05, 2008

Auction Results

I mentioned earlier that I was bidding on some surplus ammunition in an internet auction. Well, I did not come out the winner on any of the ammo lots that I was interested in. I tried to keep my biding in the 30 to 35 cents per round for the 7.62 NATO and under 15 cents per round for 9MM, I was not successful. The winners in this auction did come away with some good deals. The 7.62 went for anywhere from 40 to 50 cents per round. Not to bad in this day and age.

Did I come away empty handed?

Nope. I came away the winner of this little beauty:

A Russian Mosin Nagant Bolt Action Rifle

Serial No. 95XXX, 6.62x54R, 21 1/2-inch barrel with standard sights. Receiver shows Russian crest and 1936 date. Medium color lacquer finished wood stock.

Condition: Very Good to Excellent. Retains 85%-90% blue. Stock shows scrapes and dings to finish from storage and handling.

Estimate: 100 - 200
My winning bid? $55.00

Time to contact my favorite FFL to handle the transfer.

Employer Parking Lots and Firearms - A Poll

During the upcoming Texas legislative session there will be a push to pass legislation that would allow an employee to store a firearm in their vehicle while at work without fear of reprisal by their employer for doing so.

I fully support a citizen's right to keep and bear arms, even while at work. Our friend Peter also supports a citizen's right to keep and bear arms but views this as more of a property-rights issue and takes exception to laws that force employers to accept persons on their property without the consent of the owner.

As we disagree, we decided this would be a great topic for debate and a poll. I hope that you all join in on the fun.

For a point of reference, we will using the employer parking lot bill from last session that had my full support, HB 1037.

This bill applied to all law abiding Texans, and it provided for both the employee and the employer.

For the employee:

(b) A public or private employer may not discharge, discipline, or penalize in any manner an employee because the employee transported or stored a firearm in the employee's locked motor vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle was located on the employer's property.
For the employer:

(g) A public or private employer is not liable in a civil action for damages resulting from an occurrence involving the storage of a firearm in the motor vehicle of an employee.
This is where we will start the conversation. I'll take the point.

Point:

By JR

The Right to Self Defense Does Not Stop at Your Employers Parking Lot

A Texan's right to use force, up to and including deadly force, to defend against violence was solidly affirmed by legislation that was signed into law in the last legislative session.

The law that received the majority of the media attention and therefor is most well known is SB 378, commonly referred to as the Texas Castle Doctrine Law. One of the changes to the Texas Penal Code enacted by SB 378 had to do with determining when deadly force is justified:

Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.

(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

(b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);...
The highlights are mine. Note that Texas law equates an individuals vehicle or place of employment with their habitation when it comes to justification for using deadly force.

HB 1815, the Motorist Protection Act, was another quality piece of Texas legislation that became law during the last session. HB 1815 basically, for the law abiding Texan, decriminalized the act of carrying a concealed handgun inside a vehicle.

Texas law recognises an individuals vehicle is an extension of their castle. An officer of the law must have a warrant, probable cause, or permission to search a private vehicle. Texas law also recognises an individuals right to keep and bear arms while in their vehicle. Texas law should protect that same individual from an employer who would attempt to punish an employee for exercising this basic human right.

An employers parking lot is not private property, and does not receive the same protections as private property. Employer parking lots are subject to a library full of State imposed restrictions and regulations that do not apply to private property. An employer parking lot is subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act, Storm-water regulations, EPA regulations, and local zoning ordinances just to name a few of the ways the State regulates employer parking lots. One thing the State does not regulate, and neither should the employer, is the contents of private vehicles parked on these lots.

The employer should have no more say about my having a firearm in my glove compartment as they would a bible.

Counterpoint:

By Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost

These Laws Oppress More Rights Than They Protect

Though these laws appear on their face to be a good idea - telling someone to leave you alone while you exercise one of your Natural and inalienable rights - because they are directed at oppressing other private citizens in the exercise of one of their Natural and inalienable rights these laws do more harm than good and become the avenue through which the government eventually gets around to suppressing all liberty and freedom.

All property not claimed by, stolen by, or abandoned to the care of the government is private property and somebody somewhere has the authority to exercise the privileges and accept the responsibilities of ownership. All Natural rights grow out of the right to own property (your body is the first piece you own) and decide who may trespass upon it. When you are employed by someone, as an aspect of that employment agreement, he allows you access to his property but he can set conditions with which you must comply or you can go work somewhere else. If you take away someone's control over his own property then you have stolen his property from him. Most everyone would agree that if you took a gun and put it to your boss' head and demanded he allow you to carry a firearm on property under his control you will have committed a crime. When you demand that your "Uncle" assist you in this matter by letting your "Uncle" hold the gun, you are still an accessory to the same crime but now your "Uncle" has all the power because he is holding your gun.

These laws also infringe upon people's right to enter into contracts and to expect those contracts to be honored by all parties involved. Employment is a contract between the worker and the employer. They can be explicitly written out, like those for many professional athletes, or they can be simple handshake agreements between individuals. When one party fails to hold up his end of the negotiated bargain then the other party is free from any obligation to hold up his and can seek remuneration as numerated within the body of the contract. If your boss doesn't pay you the wages he promised then you can refuse to work and walk toward your nearest attorney's office. If you don't follow the rules the boss sets out for employees to follow while performing their jobs then he can tell you to walk away. These proposed laws excuse the employee from having to hold up his end of the contract without any compensation for the employer for his having to still hold up his end. Many businessmen just don't ban the possession of firearms on their property for personal political convictions but to prevent losing a large sum of money through a lawsuit and they may even be directed to do so by their insurance carrier. This law would void the contract between the business and the carrier and the business may have to close due to the lack of insurance (banning lawsuits only denies affected parties their right to have their dispute settled in a court of law). Customers may also have negotiated contracts where the business has promised to maintain a gun-free work environment. This law would drive the customers to look for other suppliers of the product or service they formerly purchased from this business and these customers would begin their search outside the jurisdiction of this law.

On September 11, 2001 the pilots of the four hijacked airliners were unarmed and not necessarily because of any law that forbid them from being so. Until just two months before the incident it was perfectly legal for them to have a weapon but it was the company policy of their respective employers that they shouldn't. It wasn't till after that dreadful day that the "usual suspects" in the federal government came up with the ingenious idea of outlawing any pilots from ever carrying a firearm with them so as to prevent hijackings in the future. This was like declawing your cat so that your neighbor's dog wouldn't eat it. Bringing the government into a dispute always has a tendency to muck things up. These laws that will affect the private workplace seem good now but since the government has been inserted into the question then after a shooting incident occurs and is blown out of proportion by self-serving politicians and media-types so as to shift the public mood the government will step in and ban the possession of firearms in all workplaces, including those where the employer had no objections beforehand. Then carrying a firearm on your employer's property will no longer just be grounds for dismissal but will now be a prosecutable offense like for those persons who take weapons unto the premises and grounds of the U.S. Post Office and V.A. Medical Centers (please note that these laws always exempt government agencies from having to comply with them). We might even see a new government agency like the TSA to handle all security in the workplace.

All people have the right to keep and bear arms, at whatever level of technology they can afford, wherever they go on their own property or into the public domain but this right ends at the boundary of another person's property. A property owner, whether the property is rented, leased, or owned outright, can permit or deny access to his property to those which he chooses and he may set conditions that others must comply with to be allowed onto his property. To deny a property owner this right is to steal his property from him. To bring in the government to assist in this endeavor is one of the most dangerous things to do for as Albert Jay Nock has aptly pointed out, what power we give government to do unto others in our name and for our temporary benefit is the same power that the government will use to do unto us when the winds of fortune have changed direction. Laws like these will invariably come back to bite us on our collective posterior. Are your shots up to date?

There you have it, two points of view on this important subject which will be front and center during the next Texas legislative session. Please take the time to answer the following poll and add your comments to the debate. Heck, get your family and friends involved. I would really like to get a strong consensus on how folks feel about the state seeing to it that free citizen's can maintain the means to defend themselves in their private vehicles.


They Looked a lot Like You and Me, We Did it to Ourselves



"They said that it can't happen here, it happened anyway".

For more on Joe Bethancourt, click here.

We Did It To Ourselves

I've tried three times to publish this video, and each time nothing.

I will try again later.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Statement by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

From the inbox:


For Immediate Release:
Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Media Contact: Todd Olsen
(512) 731-3213


Statement by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

Today, I am filing an exploratory committee so I can begin the process of organizing a campaign for Governor of Texas. I am not yet a candidate, but Texas law requires this first, important step before an announcement can be made.

I am transferring $1 million from my Federal account to this new state exploratory committee and will take further steps as they become appropriate.

Right now, there are a lot of Texans - friends, community and business leaders, Republicans, Democrats, Independents and people who've never been in politics - that I want to talk to before becoming a formal candidate.

While Texas is faring somewhat better economically than many other states, a positive future is not guaranteed. It will take leaders who look ahead to meet the economic and budgetary challenges that are coming.

Texans deserve a Governor who, in the context of sound budgetary policies and low taxes, works for quality schools and universities, access to health care for our families, communities safe from crime and drugs, protection of private property rights, sensible transportation and a government that listens and responds to them.

There's too much bitterness, too much anger, too little trust, too little consensus and too much infighting. And the tone comes from the top. Texans are looking for leadership and results.

I am humbled by the number of hard working Texans who have asked me to run for Governor, including my friend Dick Armey, in our state that I love so dearly. And I am honored to serve Texas in the United States Senate, protecting our state's interests and standing for our values and vision. Texans understand I put Texas first and I will continue to do so while I explore and prepare for a race for Governor of Texas.

This is not surprising news for anyone who pays even the slightest attention to Texas politics. Kay Bailey has been hinting that she wants to be Governor for quite some time now. I like Kay Bailey Hutchison, and for the most part I think she would make a great Governor for the State of Texas. But, as I mentioned in my post "We Need to Educate a Senator", there are a couple of issues that I would like to see resolved before I can fully support her bid.

On the plus side, Kay Bailey Hutchison has come out against the Trans Texas Corridor. This is a very important issue that puts her at odds with our current Governor, Rick Perry. If the Trans Texas Corridor project goes forward, people will fight to save their property. This project needs to be stopped, and Kay Bailey just might be the Republican Governor to stop it.

On the minus side is the fact that even though Senator Hutchison joined with fifty-four other senators, 250 representatives, and Vice President Cheney to submit an amicus brief in favor of Heller in the SCOTUS DC v Heller case, she later stated that she supports an Assault Weapons Ban. During a presentation before the Heritage Foundation on DC v Heller and the Congressional Amicus Brief Senator Hutchison 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...

I, along with quite a few others, have written the Senator asking for a clarification of this statement. Other than form letters, we have received no response.

Senator Hutchison's comments concerning an AWB start at time 34:52 in this video.

.22 Carbine Match

This looks like a lot of fun



H/T to CowboyBlob

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Texas Tales

From the Graham Leader:

By Mike Cox


...At some point, Bill Wharton’s long, interesting life moved someone to poetry. Whether that someone was Panhandle artist H.D. Bugbee, who published the poem in 1960, or whether someone else penned the poem is yet to be discovered.

No matter who wrote it, Bugbee featured the poem along with a pen-and-ink sketch of Wharton in a small booklet printed by Clarendon Press, “Bill Wharton or an Example of Early Hill Country Diplomacy.” Today the small piece about Wharton, his propensity to go around heeled and an understanding county sheriff is quite collectible and quite scarce.

Though no mention is made in the poem of the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms it guarantees, old Bill seems to have been one of those types who didn’t feel properly dressed without a pistol hanging on his side.
Go here to read the poem and maybe learn a bit about Texas history.

Ammo Auctions

I am bidding on some bulk surplus ammunition manufactured by the Austrian company "Hirtenberger". I bid a lot of auctions but win very few because I feel that auctions are for getting deals. I bid what is a good deal to me and if someone overbids me, so be it.

I did a web search to find the going rate for this ammo in bulk so I can make informed decisions in my bidding.

One GunBroker auction has the opening bid at $700/1000 rounds with no reserve.

Click to Visit Auction

70 cents a round is pretty much what I thought was a reasonable price so as long as I can stay under 70 cents a round including buyers premium and shipping, I will consider it a good deal.

There is another GunBroker auction for this same ammo that is way out there in left field.

Click to View Auction

Take a quick guess at what this guy is asking for this case of ammo, the same 1979 manufacture date at the previous lot.

You are too low.

His open is $1900, and his reserve is not met! Holy Guacamole Batman. $1.90/round for 30 year old surplus .308 NATO ammo.

One more thing about this auction. He...

Will only sell to TX Concealed Handgun Permit holder with TX driver's license.
I'm thinking his wife told him to sell off his ammo so he listed it on GunBroker. When no one bids he can tell her that he tried.

Either that or he is way proud of his Austrian ammo.

This is just an example of why you should shop around a bit before bidding in any auction, even one on the internet.

Lunch Links

Getting caught up on some of my reading during lunch and thought I'd share what I have found.

RideFast has an excellent post on The Superiority of the American Gun Culture that you will be sure to want to read.

The CowTownCop weighs in on The Open Carry Debate with some straight forward common sense.

Fits reports that a St. Louis City Leader Says Police Ineffective, Tells Residents to Get Armed.

Robb discusses some Hurdles that the law abiding have to jump in order to provide for their own protection.

and...

David posts his latest Gun Rights Examiner piece, House of Blues. If you have not been keeping up with David's Gun Rights Examiner columns, you have been missing out.

Well, that is it for now. Time to get back to work.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Recent Texas Headlines and the Next Legislative Session

There have been two firearm related topics making the rounds through the Texas news outlets over the past few days that are meant to influence the upcoming legislative session.

First is push to legalise open carry of firearms in the State of Texas.


That video from The 33 TV.com has lots to talk about in it, starting with the grip that woman has on her pistol, but it gives you the basic gist of what is going on.

OpenCarry.org has commenced it's Operation Lone Star Thunder radio campaign to garner support for open carry legislation that will be introduced during this next legislative session.

I support open carry and will do so if a good bill is introduced. If you would like to show your support for open carry legislation, you can sign a petition here (registered Texas voters only please).

The next topic that has been front page news for every major news outlet in Texas is an AP story that states "Houston called top gun supplier for Mexican drug cartels".

From the Dallas Morning News:

HOUSTON – Houston has become the top source for firearms going into Mexico, supplying drug cartel gangsters with weapons for their deadly battles, according to federal law enforcement officials.

A Mexican federal officer views a Tijuana crime scene where gunmen killed a woman and injured a police investigator at a Sam's Club parking lot on Tuesday. "Our investigations show Houston is the top source for firearms going into Mexico, top source in the country," J. Dewey Webb, special agent in charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Houston division, said in the Houston Chronicle.
Three years ago Venezuela purchased 100,000 AK-103's (modern version of the AK-47) and are now opening a Kalashnikov factory of it's very own to produce even more AK's. One has to wonder how the older firearms were disposed of. Dimes for dollars many of those weapons are in the hands of the Mexican drug cartels.

It was not that long ago when we American citizens told our representatives that we wanted our Southern border secured. We demanded a fence, congress approved a fence, where the hell is our fence? A secure border would go a long way towards stemming the flow of contraband in both directions across the border.

I opened this post by stating that both of these news topics were meant to influence upcoming legislation. The open carry story is pretty straight forward. OpenCarry.org is advocating for open carry in the State of Texas. The Texas/Mexico gun link story is not quite so open about it's purpose.

The next Texas legislative session begins in little over a month, January 13th. Hundreds of bills have already been introduced, and hundreds more are in the wings. The anti's have made some progress in the last election cycle and support for gun control measures will increase. Two major pieces of anti gun legislation were killed during the last session:

HB 594 - Closing the Gun Show Loophole. I commented upon this bill here. It died a well deserved death in committee.

HB 595 - Waiting periods for handgun purchases. This bill included 1 gun a month restrictions. Another disastrous bill. My comments are here. Thankfully this bill also died in committee.

These bills will be re-introduced and the recent blanket coverage of the supposed Texas/Mexico gun link is meant to soften up the public and garner acceptance to this legislation.

A few quoted from the article:

From MySanAntonio.com

Gun storeowners are technically right when they say they don't break any laws in selling firearms that become murder weapons south of the border. And box stores also turn a blind eye while selling customers wholesale quantities of ammo, no questions asked, knowing full well the purchases are bound for Mexico.

Legal? Yes, but hardly moral. Who wants to be a party to such gruesome transactions?
From the Houstin Chronicle

Almost always, shops that have sold guns later used in crimes have done nothing illegal.

U.S. citizens and legal residents who are not convicted of a felony, who say the gun is for their own use, and who meet a few other standards can buy all they want in Texas.

"There are no flags to be raised because you're not breaking the law," said Rachel Stohl, an expert on small arms smuggling at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C.

It is up to a gun store owner or sales clerk to decide whether they are being hoodwinked and call authorities.

"For the same person coming in repeatedly and buying these weapons at that amount of money and probably paying cash, somebody has to stand up and be a good American," said Don Clark, a retired FBI agent who headed the Houston office.

Hernandez, who the ATF contends purchased at least one of the guns used in the Acapulco massacre, pleaded guilty to making false statements during the purchase of firearms.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Among the favorite weapons of the cartels is a .223-caliber Bushmaster, which goes for about $1,000 at some Houston gun shops, and can fire rounds capable of piercing body armor.

Hernandez bought five Bushmasters one day in September 2006 from the Carter's Country on Treaschwig Road in Spring.
Oh my... Texans can purchase as many guns as they want!

Hernandez did a straw purchase, illegal. Assisted in smuggling guns into Mexico, also illegal. If he sold that quantity of guns without an FFL, he broke yet another law.

The hand wringers and bed wetters will be using the fact that Mexican Drug Gangs (you know, those ultra violent individuals who cross our border at will) illegally acquire firearms that are legally sold in the United States to write even more useless gun laws that will have absolutely no effect on the Mexican Drug Gangs.

This quote in the article really set me off:

"All the weapons the drug syndicates are using in Mexico come across the border from the United States," Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico's ambassador to the United States, said during a visit to the Houston Chronicle.
Oh yeah? Where are these goblins getting the full auto weapons, the RPG's and the hand grenades that they are using? Might it be from your very own corrupt military and police?

Ambassador Sarukhan, I would recommend you get your house in order and maybe secure your side of the border before blaming any of this violence on the United States.

For more on the guns in Mexico issue, click here.