Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Awhile Back...

...I saw this YouTube Video and really appreciated what the actor was trying to do. I didn't post it because it was a little out of date with the facts, but still very relevant. Give it a watch.


Now it appears that the Obamessiah has turned his gaze upon this video blogger.

Read about it at "Obama attempts intimidation tactics against blogger"

I am Late...

...getting to this, but RideFast was involved in a "Fun Shoot" record turnout. Man, that sounds like a great time and something we should work on around here.


DirtCrasher has a few thoughts on Obamerica that are worth reading. When Obama said he was going to change America, he meant it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tax Day Tea Parties

National Tax Day Tea Party

I am sure you have heard at least a bit about the Tea Parties that have been happening all over the country. Hopefully you know about the ones scheduled for April 15th. But maybe you don't know the background behind these protests. From the National Tax Day Tea Party web site:

Tax Day Tea Party

The Tax Day Tea Party is a national collaborative grassroots effort organized by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, the DontGo Movement and many other online groups/coalitions.

The Tea Party protests, in their current form, began in early 2009 when Rick Santelli, the On Air Editor for CNBC, set out on a rant to expose the bankrupt liberal agenda of the White House Administration and Congress. Specifically, the flawed “Stimulus Bill” and pork filled budget.

During Rick’s rant (see video below), he called for a “Chicago tea Party” where advocates of the free-market system could join in a protest against out of control government spending.

A few days later, grassroots activists and average Joe Americans began organizing what would soon become the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party effort.

On February 27th, an estimated 30,000 Americans took to the street in 40+ cities accross the country in the first nationwide “Tea Party” protest.

Organizers of the February 27th events pledged to continue on with an even bigger and better protest to follow the first. With April 15th being “Tax Day”, it was decided to schedule the second round of Tea Party protests to ride alongside the tax deadline.

And with that, the “Tax Day Tea Party”, the second round of the Nationwide Tea Party protests, moved into reality.

Right now I feel that the out of control .gov spending and the nationalization of major segments of the American economy are the number one issues of the day. This is a turning point for the United States, and if we don't put a stop to this madness our grandchildren will rue the day that we failed.

Tax Day Tea Parties are taking place all over this great country. Head on over here to find one near you.

Click here to find a Texas Tax Day Tea Party.

V and I will be attending the Dallas Tax Day Tea Party. The Dallas event will take place at the Dallas City Hall from 5:30 to 9:00PM. Why so long? Here is the answer:

We are moving the time to 5:30-9. We still want a great crowd at 5:30 for the local news, but we’ve been notified that a national news show will carry the event live at 9pm, so we hope you’re excited about the chance to really make an impact. It’s well worth a little of our time to do so. Can’t wait to see you at Dallas City Hall!
I know that all y'all who read this blog are not the protesting kind of people. You are like V and I. You work, you take care of your family, you pay your bills and put food on the table. Free time is precious and best spent with those you love. You expect your elected officials to do what you elected them to do and see no reason to stand out in the streets waving signs like a '60's hippie.

This event is worth it. Our elected officials are not doing what is best for our country, and we have to let them know that we do not approve. Those folks up on Capitol Hill know that we have to be pretty pissed to do something like this, and the more bodies we have on the streets, the more they will understand just how pissed we are.

This will be V's very first protest, my second. Take the time to join us, there is an event near you.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More on Gunz in Mexico and an AWB

Since they ask, why not head over to Newsy.com and let them know what you think about this story.

I found this Newsy video while looking for an embeddable version of this FoxNews Video that covers some "Gun rights advocates' concerns about Attorney General Eric Holder's commitment to the Second Amendment". Watch the Foxnews vid all the way to the end. An assault weapons ban is still on the congressional table.

Thanks to David Reich for the heads up on the Foxnews vid.

If you do not want to register at Newsy.com to comment, you can comment on YouTube.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jay Leno on the Stimulus Package

Thanks to Tony3Dogs for the tip.

Texas Campus Carry Bill is...

...scheduled for public hearing on Monday, March 30th. HB 1893, an act relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education, is scheduled for a hearing by the Public Safety Committee next Monday.

This is a very important piece of legislation that will not only expand upon our right to keep and bear arms, but will also greatly reduce the risk of an active shooter situation at a Texas college. Not only are "gun free school zones" easy pickings for deranged individuals looking to make headlines as they commit suicide by cop, and take as many unarmed people with them as they can, our schools are perfect targets for well trained terrorists.

If you support legal concealed carry by licensed CHL holders, please contact the members of the Public Safety Committee and ask them to pass HB 1893 on to the House Floor for open debate by the full House.

The SCCC have produced an excellent handbook on campus concealed carry that might help you with your letter to the committee members and your representative. The "Students for Concealed Carry on Campus Handbook - Texas Edition" (.pdf) is an outstanding resource that is well worth your time reading.

Update: The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus have a Facebook page that is kept up to date with all the most recent information on campus carry across the nation.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Employer Parking Lot Bill Passes Texas Senate

As pointed out by JT in the comments to an earlier post, the Texas Senate has passed SB730. SB 730 is an act relating to an employee ’s transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee ’s employer. In other words, the "Employer Parking Lot" bill.

From the Houston Chronicle:

By David Saleh Rauf

AUSTIN — Texans would be allowed to stow their guns and ammo inside their locked cars or trucks while at work and parked on employer property under a controversial bill passed Wednesday by the state Senate.

The Senate voted 31-0 to prohibit employers from enforcing restrictions against employees possessing a legally owned handgun or ammunition inside a locked vehicle while in a company parking lot. Firearms and ammo must be stored out of sight...
You know this has to chap the rabidly anti gun staff of the Chron's rear ends, especially since the bill passed with a vote of 31-0.

SB 730 was amended in committee to exempt school districts from this legislation. School employees will still be prohibited from leaving a firearm in the car on company property. That is an interesting exception for a couple of reasons. First is that a CHL holder who is not employed by the school can, in most cases, have a firearm in their vehicle on school property. Second, the fact that this exception was inserted in this bill does not bode well for our campus carry legislation. I guess we will have to see.

SB 730 is now in the Texas House. When you get a free moment, let your Senator know that you appreciate their vote supporting SB 730, and let your Representative know that you would like for them to support this important bill.

Edit: The link to SB 730 above is to the bill "as introduced". Here is the link to the bill that passed the Senate.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The company I work for manufactures an automotive air condition part. When new car sales are up, our business is up. When new car sales are down, so is our production. Well, new car sales are down and have been for quite awhile. Cuts in benefits and overtime over the past couple of years have resulted in pretty close to a 27% decrease in take home pay. Yesterday we were called in to a meeting and learned of the latest cut. Managers and Supervisors are taking an across the board 5% cut in pay. When you do the math, that is over a 30% reduction in pay over the course of a couple years.

I don't mention this to garner sympathy. V and I are going to be okay. We locked in a low 30 year fixed rate mortgage on our fixer-upper home that we purchased below market value. Things are just getting a bit tight and we don't have much in the way of extra money to spend on things like trips to Phoenix in May. The money we have will be better spent replacing the back fence and siding on the Master Bedroom expansion that proves the previous owner of this house knew nothing about carpentry and installing siding.

We are going to have to cancel our trip to the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits and the Blogbash. A trip like that is just not very reasonable this year. I will hold on to the room for a few more days in case one of y'all are going and can't get a room at the hotel with most of the other bloggers. We can just transfer the reservation to your name.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Firearm Related Bills That Should be Opposed This Legislative Session

There are only a few firearms related bills in this Texas legislative session that I am actively opposing. Conspicuous by their absence are bills to limit handgun purchases and close the misrepresented "Gun Show Loophole". I have to wonder if Rep. Yvonne Davis has decided that exercises in futility are indeed futile? Or has she decided that this type of legislation will get more traction on the federal level?

Here are the bills that I am actively opposing:

HB760 / SB2345 An act relating to county regulation of sound levels; providing a criminal penalty. These bills are similar to HB 736 which is a bill "Relating to authorizing county regulation of nuisances and disorderly conduct". I spoke about HB 736 here. These bills will make it easier for antis to shut down shooting ranges and criminalize shooting on ones own property, no matter how much acreage is owned. All that would be needed is one person to file a complaint. These three bills need to be opposed. HB760 and SB2345 are not as onerous as HB736. As written, they regulate noise levels between the hours of 10:00PM and 6:00AM. If these bills become law, the regulated time can be easily expanded. If you decide to contact your representatives about these bills, it may be a good idea to let them know that you are against any statewide legislation concerning noise levels in unincorporated areas of any county. Other bills that seek to regulate noise levels in unincorporated areas are HB1119, HB1507, and SB1893.

HB1164 / SB651: An act relating to restrictions on the use of a stun gun; providing certain criminal penalties and defenses to prosecution. These bills would require an individual to obtain a license similar to a CHL in order to carry or use a stun gun. Other than being stupid, this kind of law would significantly increase the workload on DPS and further delay the processing of Concealed Handgun Licenses. SB94 is a similar bill that would criminalize having a stun gun in your own home with out a license. These bills are nanny state stupidity that, if passed, will end up costing the tax payer many thousands of dollars to support the expanded bureaucracy necessary to issue and keep track of these licenses.

That is pretty much it for this legislative session. Not much to get under my craw. HB1395 is a PETA sponsored bill that is not getting much traction, but should be opposed on general principal. This bill could significantly affect hunters.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Took a Little R&R These...

...past few days. I worked on the yard, played with youngest granddaughter, hung out with friends, got to know oldest daughters new beau, and spent some alone time with V.

I did not watch the news, work on the blog, read much of other blogs, or keep up with email.

For the folks who enjoy reading the blog on a regular basis, I apologize. I just needed some down time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 13th Has Come and Gone

So what does that mean for Texans?

March 13th was the last day to file new bills for consideration during the current legislative session. That is it folks, what's on the table is what we have to work with.

Here are the bills that I am actively supporting, and their status so far as I know it.

HB267 / SB1188: An act relating to the interstate purchase of certain firearms.

The NICS has been rejecting out of state long gun purchases for Texans when the transaction was in a state that was not "contiguous" to Texas. In other words I could purchase a rifle from an FFL in Arkansas, but not Kansas. This is due to a poorly written Texas statute. These bills rectify that situation.

HB 267 is in the Public Safety Committee and SB 1188 is in the Criminal Justice Committee.

HB1020: An act relating to the use, exhibition, or possession of a firearm by public school students participating in certain school-sponsored programs and activities sponsored or supported by the Parks and Wildlife Department.

I have previously mentioned HB 1020 here. This bill would open the door to once again allow public school sponsored shooting sports in Texas. The fact that there is no companion senate bill does not bode well for this bill. Getting this bill passed would take one heck of a lot of public support.

HB 1020 is in the Public Education Committee.

HB1301 / SB730: An act relating to an employee ’s transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee ’s employer.

In other words, the Employer Parking Lot bills. My most recent thoughts on SB 730 can be found here. A more in depth explanation of why I believe that employers do not have the right to restrict firearm possession in employee vehicles parked parked on company parking lots can be found here.

HB 1301 is in the Public Safety Committee. SB 730 has been considered in public hearing in the Criminal Justice Committee. SB 730 is currently "Pending in Committee".

HB1644 / SB1236: An act relating to admonishments given to a person charged with a misdemeanor.

These bills would require that an individual charged with a domestic violence crime be informed that if he or she pleads guilty or is convicted of a domestic violence crime, they will lose their right to keep and bear arms (not much strength in this "right" if it can so easily be taken away). Many folks don't understand that if they are convicted of a family violence misdemeanor, they will loose their ability to legally purchase or own firearms. Informing them of this fact is the right thing to do.

HB 1644 is in the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. SB 1236 is in the Criminal Justice Committee.

HB1893 / SB 1236: An Act relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education.

These are the the campus-carry bills. These are likely the most important bills on the table this year. For more information on these bills, you can look at the Texas Campus Carry Study or Texas Campus-Carry Bills Have Been Filed.

HB 1893 is in the Public Safety Committee. SB 1236 is in the State Affairs Committee.

HB3684: An act relating to the carrying of a handgun by a disabled person.

This bill would allow an individual with a disability that prevents them from effectively concealing a firearm to open carry that firearm. A CHL is still required. This is an outstanding piece of legislation and I sincerely hope it gets much more coverage than it has.

HB 3684 has not yet been assigned to committee.

HCR76: A resolution memorializing Congress in defense of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, affirming the right of states to nullify acts of Congress, executive orders, and judicial orders, and calling for the creation of a joint committee to communicate with other states about the limits of federal power.

This is probably my favorite piece of legislation this year. Go ahead, give it a read.

HCR 76 is in the State Affairs Committee.

There is more good firearms related legislation out there. These are the bills that I am currently actively supporting. I have not had time to study all the bills very throughoutly, when I do I may add more to this list.

I will write a post on bills I am actively opposing, then one on bills that I feel you should know about so you can decide if you want to take an active stand supporting or opposing them.

There is a Good Fisking Going on...

...over at Rustmeister's place.

Excellent job Sir!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hit this Poll

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

President Obama is contemplating reinstituting the ban on the sale of assault weapons. What do you think of this plan?
Head on over here to add your vote.

Not that they are trying to influence the outcome or anything, but this is the viewpoint that goes along with the poll:

Nothing good comes from a gun

Yeah, I know, all the stories about gun violence are just a huge conspiracy from the liberal, gun-hating media. Please.
If I were in a fisking mood, that article would be an extremely easy target. Gary Stein is quite the pantie waste and hopefully he has no children who look to him to, you know, actually be a father and take care of them in any situation that life may throw at them.

Add your vote to the poll, let them know how we feel.

H/T to Fits.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Employer Parking Lot Bill is...

...scheduled for public hearing tomorrow. On Tuesday, March 17th, the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice will hear SB 730 by Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy). SB 730 allows the legal possession of firearms and ammunition in an employee's personal locked vehicle when parked on the employer's parking lot.

This is a bill that we need to support. Call your Texas State Senator tomorrow and urge them to support SB 730. There is absolutely no way that I can get out of work tomorrow to testify at the committee meeting, or else I would be there. Hopefully when its House companion bill, HB 1301, is scheduled for a hearing I will be able to make it.

Here is the phone number for the clerk of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee: (512) 463-0345. Give Vanessa Valdez a call and let her know that we would like the committee to send this bill on as written.

The members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee are:

Sen. John Whitmire

Vice Chair:
Sen. Kel Seliger

Sen. John Carona
Sen. Rodney Ellis
Sen. Glenn Hegar
Sen. Juan Hinojosa
Sen. Dan Patrick

After you contact your Texas State Senator, it might not be a bad idea to give the members of the committee a call.

You can look here for talking points in support of this bill if you would like.

This is important, call your Texas State Senator tomorrow morning. Better yet, FAX them this evening and follow up with a morning phone call.

More on Shot Placement.

A couple weeks ago I posted an image Illustrating the importance of shot placement. Mike recently came across an FBI academy .pdf that even better illustrates the importance of shot placement.

Remember, you have to put holes where they do the most good.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Today's House Select Committee Meeting...

...was interesting. Very long, but interesting.

Representative Jim Dunnam, the Committee Chair, did an excellent job of chairing this meeting. Everyone who wanted to be heard, had a chance at the mic. Rep. Dunnam also did a great job of explaining the proceedings and the issues at hand.

The meeting was to start at 1030, but that was just not possible. Many, many more people showed up than was anticipated and we had to wait a bit while they expanded the meeting room to make room for all of us. Even with expanding the room by another third, the Fire Marshal ended up turning some people away because we were over capacity. USCitizen from Traction Control and I did make it in.

The meeting started with a brief video presentation that was basically a bit of pro-stimulus propaganda.

After the video we jumped right in to public testimony. Organizations that were invited to testify went first. Several school districts, a few health care organizations, either the North Texas Tollway Authority or TXdot (I think it was TXdot, but I am not 100% sure. Much of the conversation focused on toll roads and toll roads that went by names other than toll roads), and a representative of the broadband internet companies. The broadband guy mentioned a quote that just pretty much stunned me. He stated something along the lines of "We have a social obligation that all have broadband internet access." The stimulus plan already allocates $6.5 Billion for expanding broadband internet access, to him that is not enough.

The best part of the day was the citizen testimony. Much of the citizen testimony focused on the $555 Million in unemployment benefits that Governor Perry turned down. Traction Control did a good job of explaining the strings that are attached to these funds, so I'll let you head on over there for that information. Much of the citizen testimony was emotional and most of it was very well done. The citizens took this opportunity to address the committee seriously and it showed. There were a few more people there asking that the legislature override Governor Perry and accept the $555 Million in unemployment benefits with the attached strings, even though the money would be spent in one month and the additional expenses that come with the strings will go on forever.

It was late in the day when it came to be my turn to testify. My testimony basically asked the committee to take great care with this money, not to treat it as 'found' money, but as money that we have borrowed from our children and grandchildren. I asked that they not fund any projects that would result in recurring legacy costs that would further increase our future tax burden. I made two copies of my testimony, one for the committee and one so I could publish it here. Somewhere between UTA and home I lost my copy. I will link to it when it is published on the committee web site.

Early in the day there were a dozen or so legislators up on the dais. Once the press left, the legislators started trickling out also. By the time it was my turn to testify, there were only two legislators left to hear me. The Committee Chair, Representative Jim Dunnam, and the Senator for my district, Senator Wendy Davis. Senator Davis is not a member of the committee, but she hung in there to the end. She was involved with the testimony, asked pertinent questions, and paid attention to all that was going on. I disagree with much of what Senator Davis stands for, but I am impressed with what she did today.

I walked out of the meeting at 1630, and testimony was still being heard. All written testimony will be published on the Texas Stimulus Fund website here.

We are going to have to keep a close eye on our legislators as they scurry to spend this money on their pet projects. We don't want them building facilities that we can not afford to staff.

The .22 Long Range Silhouette Match Has Been Canceled

Sorry folks, we are rained out. The rifle range is way to wet for the traffic necessary to run this kind of match.

Me and my yard are very happy for all this rain, but it is a bummer that we have to cancel the match. I'll let you know when we schedule the next one.

House Select Committee Meeting This Morning

Texas House of Representatives Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding is holding a public hearing this morning asking for public testimony on the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act". The hearing is here in Arlington at UTA. This is one opportunity for Texans to speak up get our thoughts put into the public record.

The committee has a website that gives us an idea of what they are planning to do with the "stimulus" monies.

Texas Stimulus Fund

Texas House of Representatives
Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding

Dear Fellow Texan,

Our country and our state face economic challenges the likes of which we have not seen in a generation or more.

Unemployment is up. The stock market is down. And middle-class Texas families are struggling with out of control utility bills, skyrocketing college tuition rates and some of the most expensive homeowners’ insurance in the country.

In response to the national economic crisis, the U.S. Congress recently passed – and President Obama signed into law – the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, also known as the federal economic stimulus bill. This $787 billion combination of tax cuts and funding for infrastructure development and job creation is an historic opportunity to invest in the future.

While Members of the Texas House did not have the opportunity to approve or disapprove of the stimulus, it is our obligation to ensure that the funds are spent with accountability and transparency. We cannot waste tax dollars, or miss the opportunity to make this one-time source of funds for work for Texans.

The bill contains billions of dollars in tax cuts. The “Making Work Pay” tax credit will provide a $400 cut for individuals making up to $75,000 per year, and $800 for families making up to $150,000. Texas home buyers will benefit from an $8,000 tax credit, and families buying new vehicles may take advantage of a new tax deduction for state and local sales taxes paid on new car purchases.

In Texas, our state will see almost $3 billion in investments intended to be spent on improving our state’s transportation infrastructure by building new highways and bridges.

Texas public schools stand to receive as much as $6 billion in support from the stimulus. And our health care system may see as much as $6 billion in the form of assistance to low-income, under-insured families and uninsured children.

Finally, by putting doing what is right for Texas first – and politics last – our state can assist laid-off workers with up to $500 million in unemployment assistance.

Texas taxpayers deserve nothing less then to have their state’s leaders working overtime on protect the future for all our families. It is my hope that www.txstimulusfund.com will be a resource for businesses, community leaders, and families across our state. Our priorities are providing transparency and accountability, and ensuring that in Texas, the stimulus is used to put our state to work for years to come.

Jim Dunnam

Chairman – Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding
The "Stimulus" bill has passed and been signed into law. It is a bad idea and bad law, but there it is. We can not change the fact that this bill is now law, but we can see to it that the monies spent are spent wisely. Using this money on projects that will increase the future tax burden on the people and businesses of Texas is not a wise move. Using this money to get even more folks on the public dole is not a wise move. Let us take our time and ensure that projects started with this money can be completed with the money in hand. Paying for the "stimulus" bill is burden enough without increasing that burden with legacy projects that will require future tax monies from the citizens of Texas.

The meeting starts at 1030, hope to see you there.

Brings Back Memories

Old NFO shows the land-bound how to experience real shipboard life with his do it yourself kit.

Fun stuff.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Texas Employer Parking Lot Bills...

...need our support.

SB730 and HB1301 are the two bills that relate "to an employee's transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee's employer." The petrochemical industry is leading the charge against these bills and has dedicated a ton of money to hire lobbyist and keep them busy opposing these bills throughout the legislative session.

It is very important that our voice is also heard by our legislators. Here is a copy of a fax that I sent to my representatives in Austin:

I am writing today to ask for your support of HB 1301, a bill relating to an employee's transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee's employer. This bill is commonly referred to as the "Employer Parking Lot Bill".

A Texans 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 therefore is most well known is SB 378, commonly referred to as the Texas Castle Doctrine Law.

The Castle Doctrine states that a person is justified in using deadly force against another if that person believed that the deadly force was immediately necessary and the bad guy had:

"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..."

The Castle Doctrine extended our natural right to defend ourselves to our "vehicle, or place of business or employment".

Another outstanding piece of legislation that became law during the last legislative session was HB 1815, the Motorist Protection Act.

HB 1815 basically, for the law abiding Texan, decriminalized the act of carrying a concealed handgun inside a vehicle.

Texas law recognizes an individual’s 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 recognizes an individual’s 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 employer’s 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.

Thank you for your support of HB 1301

Representative Diane Patrick supported both the Castle Doctrine and Motorist Protection Acts during the last legislative session. In the email I sent out accompanying the FAX I added a couple sentences thanking her for that support.

Here is Representative Patrick's reply:

Dear Mr. R:

As your state representative, I appreciate your taking the time to contact my office and voice your concern and support regarding HB 1301 related to an employee's transportation and storage of firearms while on property controlled by an employer.

I appreciate your input and the information you provided on this subject. I will continue to monitor this issue as session progresses. Please feel free to contact me or my office with additional questions or concerns.


Diane Patrick, Ph.D.

Arlington, Pantego, Dalworthington Gardens
This non-committal answer proves the point that we have a lot of work ahead of us if we want this legislation to pass.

Senator Wendy Davis has yet to respond.

A few talking points that you can mention when you write and call your Texas State Representative (thanks Charles)
SB 730/HB1301 do not prevent an employer from keeping guns out of the workplace; it only applies to locked cars in the parking lot;

SB 730/HB1301 provide employers immunity from civil liability for any injury or damage that may result from storage of firearms in locked vehicles, unless the employer is grossly negligent.

SB 730/HB1301 allow employers to prohibit firearms in a parking area, if the parking lot is not accessible to the general public and the employer provides alternative parking for employees. Or the employer can opt to provide a place to lock up an unloaded firearm. This provision is especially useful to the petrochemical industry and any other business needing to protect sensitive areas.

SB 730/HB1301 would not apply to company-owned vehicles, nor would it allow storage of firearms in vehicles parked on property where the possession of firearms is prohibited under state or federal law.
I know this was a long post. If you made it this far, thanks.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Public Hearing in North Texas

The Texas House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding is holding a public hearing here in Arlington this coming Saturday, March 14th. You can find the notice here.

The committee is meeting to hear public testimony on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (you know, the non-stimulus stimulus package).

This is where we can support Rick Perry's rejection of stimulus money for unemployment.

I plan on being there. I'll post more information as I get it.

Salesman of the Year (And it is Only March)

H/T to FireHand

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Letter to The IRS

I heard this on the radio during my drive in to work the other day.

Taxed to excess

Dear IRS,

I am sorry to inform you that I will not be able to pay taxes owed April 15, but all is not lost.

I have paid these taxes: accounts receivable tax, building permit tax, CDL tax, cigarette tax, corporate income tax, dog licence tax, federal income tax, unemployment tax, gasoline tax, hunting licence tax, fishing licence tax, waterfowl stamp tax, inheritance tax, inventory tax, liquor tax, luxury tax, medicare tax, city, school and county property tax (up 33 percent last 4 years), real estate tax, social security tax, road usage tax, toll road tax, state and city sales tax, recreational vehicle tax, state franchise tax, state unemployment tax, telephone federal excise tax, telephone federal state and local surcharge tax, telephone minimum usage surcharge tax, telephone state and local tax, utility tax, vehicle licence registration tax, capitol gains tax, lease severance tax, oil and gas assessment tax, Colorado property tax, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma and New Mexico sales tax, and many more that I can’t recall but I have run out of space and money.

When you do not receive my check April 15, just know that it is an honest mistake. Please treat me the same way you treated Congressmen Charles Rangle, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and ex-Congressman Tom Dashelle and, of course, your boss Timothy Geithner. No penalties and no interest.

P.S. I will make at least a partial payment as soon as I get my stimulus check.

Ed Barnett

Wichita Falls, Texas
Good job Mr. Barnett, that was one great letter.

You can find the letter on the Wichita Falls TimesRecordNews.

I once wrote a letter to the IRS, the results of which were not very pleasant. I became a partner in a small government contracting business shortly after getting out of the Navy. It was an opportunity that I kind of fell in to, and it was really good for me and my family. I hooked up with a major general contractor for .gov construction projects on the West Coast and had jobs lined up for the foreseeable future. The the Base Realignment And Closures (BRAC) Commission pretty much shut down all the jobs that I had in the pipeline. I pretty much lost everything, moved to Colorado to find work, and took a job paying less than $8.00/hour in a meat processing plant. I had an... "well heck I don't even know what to call it" investment that managed to generate a $10,000 profit on the books without putting a penny in my pocket. I ended up owing the IRS $3k. So I wrote a nice little letter and included it with my tax return stating that I understood that I owed the taxes but just didn't have the money to pay them. It was not long after that I picked up my paycheck and it was only $8.00. The next paycheck was $6.00. That hurt.

It seems the IRS does not have a lick of humor.

Too bad I wasn't a member of the Obama Cabinet.

H/T to Mike's America for posting the letter.

USCitizen Reminds Us...

...that April 15th is Buy A Gun Day.

Buy A Gun Day

Not sure who to purchase your B.A.G. Day firearm from? USCitizen is a good man to work with.

Ammunition Finder

Whose Paranoid has come across a nifty tool, the AmmoEngine.

The AmmoEngine purports to "Find ammo fast at the lowest prices". I am not sure how many vendors are included in their data base, but it looks pretty cool.

H/T to David at The War on Guns.

Does Anyone in the DFW Area Need...

...a small, heavy duty, table that is just about perfect for mounting a reloading press?

I have a couple that are of welded square tube construction with heavy wood or laminate table tops.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Latest Austin...

...Gun Rights Examiner column by Howard Nemerov:

Gun control laws threaten to leave millions of women importuning violent predators for their lives, and sometimes those predators are their husbands.
Head on over and give it a read.

IGOLD 2009 is Tomorrow, March 11th

If you live in Illinois, and you own a gun, you need to be there.

For more information head on over here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

David has...

...a few Random Political Thoughts that are worth your while reading.

David's blog "The War on Guns", and his column as the "National Gun Rights Examiner" are two of my daily reads. David is an important voice in educating folks on our rights, especially our right to keep and bear arms. I learn a lot from David and he helps to keep me focused and committed.

That being said, I don't always agree with what he says. Heck, I don't always agree with V, and I love her with all that I am. Disagreement is not a bad thing.

Case in point.

When David states:
Another of the nominees has publicly stated he would arrest an otherwise peaceable person who he discovered was carrying concealed without a permit. One can only wonder if he would do this on an individual level what his professional response to a general confiscation order would be.
He is talking about Joseph DeBergalis, a man I have endorsed for the NRA Board of Directors. While Joe has stated that he would arrest someone who walked up to him and revealed that he was illegally carrying a firearm in New York, he has also worked to change the laws and try to make it easier to folks to get a concealed carry permit in that state. The State of NY has an AWB, Joe strives to overturn that ban. Joe enforces the laws of the state while working to change the laws that infringe upon our rights. I find him to be an honorable man, and a man who I would like to see on the NRA Board of Directors.

Our disagreement on who should be on the NRA Board of Directors is not the most important part of David's post on Random Political Thoughts. In this post David comments on the NRA amendment to the unconstitutional bill giving DC a House vote. Give David's post a read and come on back for comment. I am interested in seeing what you have to say.

Trolls are Fun

Just got this comment to my post "Contacting the Senate Judiciary Committee on Eric Holder, I'm Making it Easy For You"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving me all that useful info on how to contact the Judiciary members. I wanted to thank them for approving Mr. Holder as Attorney General and encourage them, and him, to get guns of the street, give the death penalty to anyone with an assault weapon, to anyone who gives a gun to a minor, and to charge the NRA with terrorism. You made it SO EASY for me to do this - just cut & paste!

Now y'all go back to shooting each other & in-breeding, ya hear?!
It has been awhile since I've had a troll comment like this and I got a good laugh out of it.

I didn't beat him up to bad in my reply, didn't want to hurt his delicate sensibilities.

Hey Anon, thanks for stopping by.

You really are awful cute, why hide behind the anon tag. Why not man up enough to at least come up with some sort of identity so we don’t confuse who you are with all the other trolls out there typing comments from a computer paid for by their mommies..

I happen to own firearms that you might wrongly consider "assault weapons", and I have taught many children to shoot.

I guess that means you would like to see me dead. It is a funny thing that many of you who wish to disarm law abiding gun owners are much more prone to violent thoughts and fantasies than those who you wish to disarm. You just don't seem right in the head son, maybe you should seek out some counseling.

Just a thought.

Oh, thanks for giving me an idea for a post. Hit the home page to see what folks think of you and your statements.
Anon, you really made my day. Thanks

Sunday, March 08, 2009

.22 Long Range Silhouette Match

Next Sunday, March 14th 15th, we will be holding a .22 Long Range Silhouette Match out at the JCSSA range. What do I mean by long range? Well the Rams will be out at 200 meters. Yep, we will be knocking down rams at 200m with .22 caliber rifles. It is a great time.

.22 Long Range Silhouette

The match consists of shooting at steel silhouette chickens at 80 meters, pigs at 120 meters, turkeys at 154 meters and rams way out there at 200 meters. Chickens are shot in the standing off-hand position. All other animals may be shot from a prone or sitting position with the aid of cross sticks. The targets (and the ranges) are 2/5th scale of the BPCR Silhouette Matches. Spotting scopes are used.

This match has historically been shot with single shot rifles using iron sights. To gain more interest in shooting .22 Long Range Silhouette, we have opened this match up to any .22 rifle with any sight configuration. Basically it is "bring what you got" and have a good time.

Click on the image for a larger view.

There is a set time (14 minutes I do believe) to shoot sighter shots and get on target, then shoot ten shots for score. One shot for each animal. If you shoot at the first pig and miss, you go on to the next pig. Sighter shots are shot at a swinger mounted on the end of the silhouette rack. You have to use the same rifle throughout the match. You can't pick up a lighter rifle to shoot the chickens.

I will be shooting my old single shot Martini with peep sights. What are you going to bring?

Match starts at 0900.

Update: I got the date wrong in the original post. It is not Sunday the 14th, it is Sunday the 15th. The day was correct, the date was not.

Update #2: Match canceled due to the range being flooded by all the rain.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Day at the Range

Last Sunday I worked a table at the gun show being held in conjunction with the TSRA annual meetings. I was working a recruiting table for the North Texas Gun Owners. I had a great time passing out information and talking politics with fellow gunnies. At the gun show I met a couple of gents from across the pond, one from the UK and one from Holland who mentioned that they didn't get to do all this gun stuff at home. So of course I invited them out shooting.

The initial plan was to head out to the outdoor range, but when they called last evening they asked if 11 could shoot with us. I said sure and started making plans for hosting 11 new shooters at the private range. Only problem is that 11 guests far exceeds the rules for guests so I came up with a different plan.

This morning I called the Winchester Gallery Gun Range, explained my situation and reserved 5 adjoining lanes for this afternoon. With this many new shooters the indoor shooting range was a better idea anyway. Specific lanes with target retrievers make keeping an eye on safety issues much easier.

I also called Paul, a reader who has offered his help in the past and let him know what was going on.

I met the guys at a gas station off of I20, it turned out that only 8 showed up and 2 of them were shooters (sigh of relief on my part). We caravaned to the range and got set up. The folks at Winchester Gallery did a great job of getting us set up with adjoining lanes at the beginning of their busiest part of the day.

Paul met us at the range and helped with getting everyone settled in and understanding the basic safety rules. We covered all four but I only stressed two for this shoot. Keep the barrel pointed down range at the backstop and keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Your gun malfunctions, keep it pointed down range at the backstop, keep you finger off of the trigger and I will come help you clear it. The guys did a great job of shooting safe today, I was very pleased.

I did not take many pictures because I was busy keeping an eye on things and helping out where needed. Here are a couple that I did take, maybe the guys will email me a few more that I can add later.

An indoor range, our group alone putting more than a 1000 rounds of .45 and 9mm down range, and you might end up with a bit of smoke.

A less smoky picture of some of the targets.

What all did I bring? The Ruger Standard .22, V's Browning Hi-Power, the Ruger SP-101 .357, my Kimber Pro Carry and the Para USA Gun Blog .45. One of the two guys who was a shooter brought a loaded Springfield .45. I think each gun we had on the line had someone who found it to be his favorite. The Ruger Standard's biggest fan was from Malaysia and had never even been around firearms before. It was a very big deal for him to even pick up a gun, much less shoot it. He did an outstanding job with that Ruger.

For one of the guys, each time he moved up a caliber, that gun became his favorite. By the end of the day he was shooting full house .357 magnum out of the SP-101 and 230 gr. +P's out of the .45's.

I had a blast and I am pretty sure that a good time was had by one and all.

Now it is time to relax with a Fuller's Vintage Ale, a fine end to a great day.

Friday, March 06, 2009

13 Days to Glory

From February 22nd.

Today and this evening in San Antonio, 173 years ago, the Texican rebels holding San Antonio threw a big fandango, (drunk and dance) celebrating the birthday of George Washington. Most of the rebels were staying in San Antonio and few in the Alamo Mission itself. By all accounts it was a hell of a party. Crockett, Travis, Bowie and lots of folks from distant places.

Santa Anna had dispatched a cavalry unit to attack the town in the early hours of the 23rd, but rain, muddy roads and a swollen Medina River held them up. They would have caught the Texicans sleeping it off.

The next day there was a rumor that Santa Anna himself attended the fandango to spy on the rebels.

It was a Monday, in 1836.
Thus begins Robert's series covering the 13 days of the Siege of the Alamo.

Day One, The Mexican Army Arrives.

Day Two: Shoes, Cannon, Corn and a Recon.

Day Three: Love and War in La Villita.

Day Four: Wood, Water and Blood.

Day Five: Cannonball Stew.

Day Six: Campfire stories.

Day Seven: The Hard Passage of Secundino Alvarez.

Day Eight: Gonzales rides in.

Day Nine: Independence.

Day Ten: Long Rifles.

Day Eleven: Encirclement

Day Twelve: The Plan is set.

Day Thirteen: Deguello.

All I can say is, very well done Robert.

Under the Heading...

...of "Celebrating Guns; These bloggers are just plain old gun lovers", we've made it to a list titled:

That is kinda cool. To tell you the truth, I don't have the slightest idea of who these folks are, but I appreciate being included on their list.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About ...

...checking M1 Garand headspace is covered in the CMP online magazine, The First Shot.

Written by John McLean, CMP Armorer

Checking M1 Garand Head Space

Why should I care about the headspace of my rifle?

When a rifle is fired, the pressure generated inside the chamber rises to tens of thousands of pounds per inch. This pressure generated by the primer and burning powder can do serious harm to you or others around you if something goes wrong and the hot, high pressure gasses escape through a breech in the brass cartridge case.

Excessive headspace will cause the brass to stretch more than it should and increases the likelihood of a case failure.

Insufficient headspace may contribute to slam fires, light strikes on primers, misfires and more wear on parts due to the additional force needed to chamber the rounds...
This is an excellent article on headspace. Head on over and give it a read.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Illustrating the...

...importance of shot placement.

Target Awareness

Steve Moses of Bluff Dale Firearms Academy used this image during V's first defensive handgun course to impress upon us the importance of shot placement and bullet penetration. Click in the image for a larger view. Make your own conclusions. Anatomy is what it is.

This image was taken from Amok Australia. If you are at all interested in combative knife martial arts, you might want to click on the image to see what Amok has to offer.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

More on States Rights

Last week I commented on two house resolutions that have been written to assert Texas' rights under the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.

Concerned Citizen of Judging Truth has expanded on this topic with:

Head on over and give it a read.

Howard Nemerov Has...

...a recap of the TSRA Annual Meeting.

I had the opportunity to briefly meet with Howard on Sunday. I was working a recruitment booth for the North Texas Gun Owners so did not have much time to spend on the floor.

Howard Nemerov is the Austin Gun Rights Examiner and the author of the book "Four Hundred Years Of Gun Control - Why Isn't It Working?".

Texas Campus-Carry Bills Have Been Filed

I know that I am a little late on this as the bills were filed last Thursday, sorry for the delay but I just haven't been 100% lately.

Representative Joe Driver, one of my favorite Texas Rep's, filed HB1893. Senator Jeff Wentworth, another outstanding Texas representative of the people, filed SB1164.

Both bills are entitled:

AN ACT relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education.

To tell you the truth, I was a little worried about the Campus-Carry bills. Sometimes great sounding legislation can be filled with very bad content. HB 992 from the last legislative session was one such bill. Thankfully, these bills are straight forward and to the point:

SECTION 1. Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, is amended by adding Section 411.2031 to read as follows:


(a) For purposes of this section, "institution of higher education" and "private or independent institution of higher education" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003,Education Code.

(b) A license holder may carry a concealed handgun on or about the license holder ’s person while the license holder is on the campus of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education in this state.

(c) An institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education in this state may not adopt any rule, regulation, or other provision prohibiting license holders from carrying handguns on the campus of the institution.

(d) An institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education in this state may establish rules, regulations, or other provisions concerning the storage of handguns in dormitories or other residential buildings that are owned or operated by the institution and located on the campus of the institution.
The Penal Code is also amended by this bill:

SECTION 2. Sections 46.03(a) and (c), Penal Code, are amended to read as follows:

(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:

(A) pursuant to written regulations or written authorization of the institution; or

(B) the person possesses or goes on the physical premises of an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education, or on any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted, with a concealed handgun that the person is licensed to carry under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code;
Section (a)(1)(B) is the additional language included in this bill.

HB 1893 currently has 5 authors and 31 coauthors. SB 1164 currently has 11 authors.

If your representative is sponsoring this bill, please write and thank them for their support. If your representative is not yet sponsoring this bill; call, fax and write them asking that they support this very important legislation. This is Texas, both Democrats and Republicans in this state support good firearm legislation. The Castle Doctrine passed with just about as much bi-partisan support as anyone could ask for. Heck, even if you know your rep is an anti, send them a note asking for their support.

If you rep is a Republican and is cool to the idea of supporting Campus-Carry, remind them of this section of the Texas Republican Party Platform:

...We believe the Legislature should enact legislation: allowing: Concealed Handgun License holders to carry concealed weapons on publicly owned institutions of learning; and, preventing employers from prohibiting Concealed Handgun License holders from storing their concealed handgun in their vehicle while on a company parking area, and removing civil liability from property owners who do not prevent Concealed Handgun License holders from carrying on their premises.
There is going to be a lot of effort by the antis to kill this legislation. We need to do everything we can to let Austin know that this is an issue that is very important to us and that we want to see it moved forward and passed.

Don't know who represents you, or how to contact them? Head on over here and you can easily get that information.

Monday, March 02, 2009

TSRA Foundation Banquet

Friday evening's TSRA Foundation Banquet was a great time. Our table included a member of the TSRA Board of Directors and his family and a gentleman from Houston who was still in the process of rebuilding his home lost in the last Hurricane.

The sponsor statues were pretty nice and will ours will fit in quite well with ones we have received in the past.

Nope, we didn't end up with any firearms from any of the games or drawings, but V did bring home several items from the bucket drawings, including one very nice dehydrator.

We had a great time visiting with other gunnies who are active both politically and financially in supporting the shooting sports and our right to keep and bear arms. The turn out was really good, more than I had expected and I think that the TSRA Foundation did a great job in its inaugural banquet. I'm already looking forward to next year.