Saturday, September 30, 2006

Second Amendment Carnival V

The fifth edition of the Second Amendment Carnival is on at Free Constitution

Providing the best 2nd Amendment coverage the blogosphere has to offer.

Head on over and check it out.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Brady Bunch and the shootings at Platt Canyon High School.

As expected, it did not take long for the Brady Campaign to use the shooting incident at Colorado's Platt Canyon High School as a platform for fundraising and more gun control. Here is their press release:

Washington DC – Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement:“Our prayers and good wishes go out to all of the families who went through a painful ordeal today as the hostage standoff developed at Platt Canyon High School. We also offer spiritual support to the survivors of the terrible tragedy at Columbine High School, who I know found themselves reliving bad memories today.

“We must all redouble our efforts to take all necessary steps to make our schools safer for our children. This is a responsibility we all share.”
That is all they have to say so far. Soon this incident will be mentioned in all their fundraising letters and emails, and on the floor of state legislatures across the nation. "We need more gun laws to prevent violence in our schools" and "Do it for the children" will once again be the buzz words for this bunch and the other anti-gunners.

Let us take a different and more sensible approach at making our schools safer for "the children" shall we?

Instead of making our schools targets of opportunity for any nutcase or terrorist, why don't we allow our law abiding teacher and school officials to carry firearms if they wish? We trust our schools with the minds of our children, we expect the schools to be safe places for our children to learn and develop, yet we take away the means for our teachers and school officials to protect those we hold most dear. This is lunacy.

"Gun free school zone" laws must be repealed. One man held this Colorado high school hostage. One man reportedly sexually molested hostages before killing one and then himself. Just one man. An armed teacher, parent, counselor, coach or janitor could have put a stop to this in the early stages of the crisis.

Our children are our most precious resource, protecting them should be our highest priority. Gun free school zone laws do nothing to prevent incidents like this one from occurring, they will do nothing to prevent future incidents either. As long as schools are easy targets, they will be in danger from terrorists and nut cases. When it becomes known that schools are no longer unrestricted free fire zones for the bad guys, when it is known that an attack on our children at school will not be an easy task, then our children truly will be safer.

Home work assignment: How many schools have been attached in terror laden Israel?

News story on the High School Shooting.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Jeff Cooper

Jeff Cooper

May 10, 1920 - September 25, 2006

I never had the opportunity to meet Colonel Cooper in person, but he has taught me much. My small skills in The Modern Technique of the Pistol were gained from reading his commentary and from second and third hand instruction from those he has taught in person. If you have happened to stumble upon this page and do not know who Jeff Cooper was, here is a brief biography:

If you don't know who Jeff Cooper is you are obviously not a shooter. For those who may have come in late or are new to the shooting sports, here is a little bit about him.

Born John Dean Cooper on May 10, 1920, and known to his friends as "Jeff," he is a former Marine Lt. Colonel who served in WWII and Korea, history professor and an ongoing student of history, philosopher, adventurer, author, and shottist. Jeff is recognized as the father of what is commonly referred to as "The Modern Techniques of Shooting." The modern technique deals with "practical" shooting--that is the use of firearms in their intended roles as tools for personal protection and hunting rather than just instruments of recreation.

Jeff makes no claim as to his inventing anything novel. Rather he recognized and codified the useful ideas and techniques of many different individuals spanning many years, Many of these older ideas had been forgotten in the rush to "improve" things. Combining and modifying them through observation of unrestricted competition and personal testing, he gradually developed "The Modern Technique." While his principal contributions have been in the field of defensive pistolcraft, he has also been a major (if not the major) contributor to practical riflecraft and defensive shotgunning. Many people have taken the theories he developed and now either claim that they invented them or fail to at least give him credit when they teach them. However, the fact remains that it was Jeff who started it all and whose ideas have held up to the test of time.

In addition, since ideas are useless unless taught to others, Jeff then developed new teaching techniques to impart these skills to people in the most efficient manner possible. In 1975 he founded the American Pistol Institute whose overriding purpose was to teach weaponcraft to law-abiding citizens and law enforcement personnel.

In Yavapai did Uncle Jeff
A stately shooting range decree,
Where senators and belted earls,
And cooks and cops and working girls,
Could study weaponry

As API began to teach the rifle and shotgun as well as the pistol, the name was hanged to Gunsite which Jeff ran until mid 1992 when it was sold to a new owner who pretty much destroyed the school's reputation to Jeff's dismay. He was not associated with the Gunsite Training Center that existed from that date until October 1999. The original Gunsite under Jeff has come to be known as "orange" Gunsite while the circa '92 - 99 school is generally referred to as "gray" Gunsite, due to a change in the school's colors by that management.

There were many people who felt that the things that made Gunsite under Jeff a very special experience were missing, never to be attained again.

As one graduate so aptly put it:

"Another analogy, if you will: In Winchester Cathedral in SE England rests the Round Table. One can read the legends, one can follow the code of chivalry, one can practice skill at arms. But one cannot sit at that table ever again."

However, the school has changed owners again and it is now known as Gunsite Academy. The new owners involved Jeff in the school again and things are looking up at Gunsite. The new management has restored the former status and integrity to the school and from all reports they have succeeded handsomely.

Jeff is also the founder of the International Practical Shooting Confederation, a member of the NRA Board of Directors, and Editor-at-large for Guns & Ammo magazine. He has taught defensive pistolcraft in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, South Africa, Southwest Africa, and Rhodesia. Jeff is the recipient of the 1995 Outstanding American handgunner award. He is the author of many thought-provoking, insightful, and well-written books and articles on many subjects besides just shooting. In February of 2001 Jeff received an award from the Saint Gabriel Possenti Society, honoring his contributions to handgunning. (St.Possenti is the patron saint of shooters--particularly handgunners)

Rest in Peace Colonel, you made this world a better, and safer place to be.

The above bio was taken from Fr. Frogs Pad.

Jeff Cooper's Commentaries can be found here.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday's Blog of the Week

Tamara on View From the Porch posted an insightful piece on CCW in the home. Her piece focuses more upon firearm safety than personal safety.

...The second stumbling point I have is a more pragmatic one, and that's one of safety. The pistol on my hip is loaded and cocked. It will be loaded and cocked when it is set gently in its storage rack tonight, and will still be loaded and cocked when it gets holstered again tomorrow morning. Actually, the only time it is not loaded and cocked is when I've shot it dry on the range, or have it torn apart for cleaning; otherwise it is either sitting safely in a storage rack, or safely in the holster on my hip, where there is no chance that it will spontaneously go off. Contrast that with the more typical on-again-off-again gun toter.

1) Wake up in morning and decide that maybe they should carry today. Hmmm... Glock or Kimber? Maybe HK? They decide to take the Glock today. They pick up their (empty) pistol and a loaded mag, chamber the top round off the mag, top off the mag, and put the Glock in its holster.

2) Get done with running errands, get home, take Glock off, unchamber round, do some dry fire practice at the teevee.

3) Buddy calls and invites them to a movie. To pack or not to pack? Better take the Glock. The top round off the magazine gets re-chambered (maybe for the second or third time), the gun is re-holstered, and off they go.

4) After the movie they decide to stop for a beer. Gun is unholstered and put in glovebox. Gun is reholstered for trip home.5) Nighty-nite time. Gun is unholstered, unchambered, and the chambered round is placed in the mag so it can be chambered again tomorrow (bullet setback, anyone?)

"Actually, the only time it is not loaded and cocked is when I've shot it dry on the range, or have it torn apart for cleaning; otherwise it is either sitting safely in a storage rack, or safely in the holster on my hip, where there is no chance that it will spontaneously go off." That is pretty much my routine with one exception. Attending gun shows here in the DFW Metroplex the gun is required to be unloaded and tie wrapped in a safe condition (an irritating procedure that is good fodder for a future post).

I recommend you stop by View From the Porch, you will be glad you did.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Officer slaying adds to immigration debate

This article really got my dander up. It pretty much highlights many of the problems we have with politics and law enforcement today. This story takes place in Houston, basically the center of Harris County. The Harris County D.A. ignores Texas State legislation on individuals traveling with loaded pistols/revolvers in their vehicles and has directed the police to arrest anyone discovered with a loaded firearm in the car. The D.A. and the Houston Police are aggressively going after law abiding Texas citizens and infringing upon our right to keep and bear arms.

What the Houston Police are not doing is enforcing immigration laws. What the Harris County District Attorneys office is not doing is demanding harsh sentences for convicted violent criminals. This is what happens when you put politics ahead of good law enforcement:

HOUSTON - Houston's police chief is standing behind his policy of not enforcing immigration laws after an illegal immigrant was charged with killing a police officer during a routine traffic stop.

Chief Harold Hurtt instead directed blame for Thursday's slaying of Officer Rodney Johnson, who was shot in the face and head in his patrol car, toward federal agencies charged with securing the border.

"If the government would fulfill their responsibility of protecting the border," Hurtt said Friday, "we probably would not be standing here today."Hurtt's policy prohibits officers from questioning suspects about their residency.

The suspect, Juan Leonardo Quintero, 32, was arraigned on capital murder charges Friday. Police said he gave officers "a full confession" but has not said why he fired.

The police chief has told illegals that they are welcome in Houston, that the police will not enforce state or federal immigration laws. By doing this, he has laid out the welcome mat for illegals to cross the border and come to Houston. Before an illegal even crosses the border, he knows that all he has to do is make it to Houston and all will be well. Enticements like this draw more illegals and make it even harder to secure our borders.

Let us see just what kind of hard working, decent illegal immigrant Juan really is:

According to police, Quintero was deported as an illegal felon in 1999 after being charged with indecency with a child. His record also includes an arrest for driving while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and for failing to stop and give information following an automobile accident.
Juan, our hardworking illegal immigrant, who is just here to do the jobs that Americans will not do, is a felon. He has been deported as a felon. He has also been arrested on three separate occasions that gave the police three separate opportunities to deport this scum. But that did not happen, it is not the "policy" to enforce immigration laws in Houston. It is just the policy to criminalize law abiding American citizens who travel with a firearm for personal protection from scum like Juan.

Some background on Officer Johnson:

Johnson was a Houston native who served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer until being honorably discharged in 1990. He graduated from the Houston police academy in 1994.

He is survived by his wife, Joslyn Johnson, an officer with the Houston police, and the couple's five children.

My prayers are with Mrs. Johnson and her children. My hopes are that she finds a great lawyer and sues the pants off of the Police Chief and the City of Houston.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The New York City Rally FOR Illegal Guns reported on a pro gun rally to be held in New York City. It seems that some of the citizens of NYC are getting tired of the restrictive laws currently on the books and the even more restrictive laws proposed by Mayor Bloomberg. It is about time.

New York City Gun Rights activists, Constitutional and civil libertarians, Human Rights activists, and pro-Liberty supporters will hold a rally on Monday, September 25th at 12:30pm outside City Hall in Manhattan to support so-called “illegal guns” and the thousands of decent, responsible New York State citizens and residents who own and carry them to preserve their Freedom and protect themselves from criminals, terrorists and other violent people, contrary to what NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg claims in his current campaign against “illegal guns”.

“Mayor Bloomberg is attacking our Gun Rights across the country, teaming up with big-city mayors and other powerful elitists to erode our self-defense rights and privacy rights under the guise of fighting ‘illegal guns’ and crime,” says Nic Leobold, a local Gun Rights activist and libertarian who thought up the idea for the protest. “Fortunately, most people who own ‘illegal guns’ in New York and the rest of the United States are neither criminals nor violent. They’re just decent, respectable, honest and responsible citizens who want a dependable way to defend themselves and their loved ones and defend their Liberty, and they know Michael Bloomberg or various other government thugs will seize their guns if they register them.”

Jim Lesczynski, the organizer of the famous “Guns for Tots” toy gun drive for the Manhattan Libertarian Party, who is endorsing and participating in Monday’s rally, is just as adamant: "'Illegal gun' is an oxymoron," says Lesczynski. "Any law that purports to prohibit or regulate gun ownership in any way is un-Constitutional on its face and therefore null and void. The only people who should feel threatened by armed citizens are tyrants and criminals."

"The only people who should feel threatened by armed citizens are tyrants and criminals." What an excellent statement.

I am glad to see that there are people in NYC who are willing to fight the "soft war" against illegal and immoral gun control laws. When I mention the "soft war", I am talking about people becoming politically active and publicly supporting our 2nd Amendment rights. Fighting the soft war includes writing your legislature and letters to the editor of your local news paper and speaking out against those that work to take away our right to keep and bear arms.

It does not take a whole lot to point out how ill-conceived some of these anti gun laws are to a rational person. Many firearm owners fear getting involved in the public discourse on guns. They are afraid of coming across as gun nuts or whatever the current label the anti gunners has placed upon us at the moment. That fear, that unwillingness to speak out, could be our undoing. Every individual who owns a firearm, every citizen who enjoys target or trap shooting, each of us who has a firearm for home defense or as a family heirloom, needs to speak out. If the millions of Americans that have a firearm in the home would speak out, the anti gunners would be drowned out by the magnitude of voices in favor of firearm owner rights. If every voter who owned a firearm voted for pro firearm candidates, California and New York would become as free as Vermont.

Firearm owners are a majority in America, even in states like California, Massachusetts and New York. If firearm owners voted for their guns, if we stood together against the anti gun lobby, there would be no anti gun lobby. For some reason we don't do this. The hunters support assault weapons bans, the clay pigeon shooters support politicians that prevent shall issue CHL laws from being approved, and only a few seem to want to speak out against idiotic anti gun legislation.

I am proud of these folks in NYC who are working hard to re-gain rights that have been stolen by the elected.

Hat tip to Keep and Bear Arms, where I found this story.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Cities Win One" (citizens lose)

Sometimes I have to wonder why people fear or hate an inanimate object like a firearm with such passion that it scrambles their brains. Gun laws in general make no logical sense. Some gun laws are extra idiotic.

Take for instance this recent editorial from the Columbus Dispatch with the headline "Cities win one".

A state appeals-court decision upholding Toledo’s ban on guns and other weapons in city parks is good news for Columbus and other Ohio cities.
That is the first sentence of the article, and it goes downhill from there. Let us take a look at what this law will in all actuality do for the citizens of Ohio (which does not have reciprocity with Texas, yet).

Where do a large number of crimes occur? Where do women joggers get raped and innocent citizens get mugged? Where do people take their kids to play and run, and what kind of pedophilic predators are there? The city parks!

City parks have the potential to be a good place for drug dealers to pander their business and for deviants to pander there ... City parks are often a haven for the homeless. These are a part of city life, and people tend to become blinded to them. Now, I am not ragging on city parks. A well maintained park is a city treasure, but they do have the potential for danger.

The State of Ohio just increased that potential for danger in it's city parks. The State of Ohio just handed the criminal element an open invitation to harass, molest, rape, rob, kidnap and kill in it's city parks. The city parks will be one place where the bad guys know that the citizens will not be armed. They will take advantage of this knowledge and the easy pickings arranged for them by the state.

Yesterday afternoon, later in the day but the sun was still up, a woman that works with my wife got robbed as she was leaving the office at the hospital. She was robbed at knife point. Crime in that hospital parking lot has been on the rise of late. You see, that hospital is posted with a 30.06 sign which prohibits CHL carriers from possessing their firearm on the premises. That makes the hospital parking lot a much safer place to rob someone than, let's say, the mall parking lot.

Other gems of anti gun wisdom from this editorial:

As Mentel pointed out, the state law allows restrictions on guns in a city recreation center but would let someone carry one right up to its door.

That’s nonsense and flies in the face of public safety.

State legislators who wrote the conceal-carry law are more interested in currying favor with the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers than they are in fostering public safety.

They are seeking to pass a measure that specifically would block cities from banning guns in city parks.

The exceptions to the conceal-carry rule are just about the only reason Ohioans didn’t kick up an even a bigger fuss about the ill-conceived conceal-carry law.

And last but not least:

Park are meant to be places of serenity and relaxation.

Visitors should not have to worry that the person next to them has a gun tucked away on their person or in a picnic basket.

If the author has their way, the person with the firearm will not be a law abiding citizen, but a criminal intent on doing harm.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Girls With Guns

Keep and Bear Arms is pretty much the place to go and find firearm related news all in one place. I guess it is kind of like the Drudge Report for folks interested in national and global firearm news.

While searching for an article to discuss, the headline "Girls With Guns" jumped out at me and demanded at least a quick read. You see, one of the happiest times with my third daughter is when she beat me at the long range .22 silhouette shoot for the first time. She is pretty sharp with that single shot Martini of hers. Reading the article reminded me of times spent shooting with my daughters, sharing their excitement at a well placed shot, and just a little bit of pride when others complemented them on safety or skills.

This article describes how women are becoming more involved in the shooting sports, and shooting in general:

ASHBURNHAM -- Esther Erickson pressed her face against the stock of her shotgun, and put her finger on the trigger.

"Pull!" she yelled.

An orange clay target soared over the field in front of her.

Erickson fired, as her target hovered for an instant.

She hit it with apparent ease and it exploded into tiny fluorescent pieces, almost like a miniature fireworks display.

The booming noise of her shot reverberated as she rested her 12-gauge shotgun on the ground and waited for others to take their turns.

"This really is just for fun," she said later as she took a break from shooting.

The Ashburnham woman is one of a growing number of women learning how to shoot.

She and others attribute the trend to a number of factors, including the desire to learn how to protect themselves, the chance to spend more time with their husbands and boyfriends and less social resistance to women learning how to shoot.

Erickson doesn't pay much attention to being a woman in what is stereotypically a man's sport, she said.

She said she likes the challenge of hitting the moving target.

"It's almost like competing against myself," she said.

I can relate to the "competing against myself" comment, that is what drives me to work harder at the range.

Patricia Natoli, of Maynard, has been shooting for more than 20 years.

She began shooting because her husband was a police officer.

"When I started shooting ... you didn't see women, like housewives, on the range," she said in a phone interview. "Now, you see a lot. The last three years, I've noticed a big change."

Part of the appeal is social, said Natoli, who now competes in single-action shooting, in which shooters dress up like cowboys and shoot with old-fashioned guns in play-acting scenarios.

"It's something I can do with my husband," she said.

I hope she is right about the number of women at the range increasing. There are a good number of women at the indoor ranges, and more are competing at the outdoor range. If Patricia is correct, this is a national trend, not just local.

Natoli, 51, works as a police dispatcher, and said she feels comfortable shooting around men.

Some women are nervous at first, but they loosen up quickly.

"There is no sexism on the range," she said.

Nell Vaughn, 50, of Royalston, said she surprised herself when she took up shooting.

She originally wanted to take archery, but no adult classes were available, so she enrolled in a pistol-shooting class.

Plus she figured that shooting was a good skill to have.

"I thought it would be a good idea to learn how to make a gun safe," she said in a phone interview.

And unexpectedly, she enjoyed the course for more than just its worst-case-scenario application.

"Bullseye is a very quiet, slow thing, it was much like meditation," she said. "You really become aware of how much your mind and body interact."

Vaughn said she enjoyed the required discipline and hand-eye coordination, which mirrored the skills she had honed playing Irish flute and violin.

There are a couple very interesting and good aspects to this article:

1. The more women that are seen involved with firearms, the more women will want to try out shooting. The more women involved with shooting, the more gun rights activist are on our side.

2. This article was written in a Massachusetts newspaper, the Sentines & Enterprise of Fitchburg, MA. The entire article was written about women with firearms in a positive light, a rare occurrence.

There is one paragraph in the article that we all need to take to heart:

"Women have been turned off by guns, mainly because of some of the good old boy antics of men, who tried to make it an exclusive-type thing"

Take a friend shooting, show them a safe and fun time. The more shooters we have, the less ears for the Brady Bunch.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday's Blog of the Week!

The Ten Ring reports on the wheelchair bound grandmother in NYC that fought back when mugged. She ended up shooting her attacker in the elbow. The article discusses a John Lott editorial and some of the difficulties that we encounter when talking with the anti-gun crowd:

It’s not just a gun banning politician’s impotence at disarming criminals. It’s their visceral and emotional hatred of guns. Lott quotes Bloomberg, “I don't know why people carry guns. Guns kill people.

"This is the hardest thing to deal with when we talk to anti-gunnies, at least for me. Their minds are locked into a form of stasis as they chant their mantra of “guns kill.” They think that anyone who likes to own and shoot guns must be uncivilized and anti-social. They fear the object and hate/fear the gun owner.

The Ten Ring is an excellent firearm related blog. I highly recommend it to folks interested in commentary on the Second Amendment, firearm news and other general firearm information.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Penn and Teller: Bullshit! Gun Control

Penn and Teller show us that people kill people, not guns.

If you have ever seen Penn and Teller, you know what to expect from this video, if not then I have to warn you that they do use language that is inappropriate for children.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Do away with the Second Amendment?

Kellerman: a call to disarm - Opinion

Chris kellerman, a Visual and Performing Arts student at Texas Tech has written an opinion piece for Texas Tech's newspaper, The Daily Toreador. This article concerns doing away with the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

...I think we need to take one away. Here it is: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"You got it - the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Frankly, folks, I'm tired of it. We debate it all the time and get nowhere, so I say let's just remove it all together.

So, Mr. Kellerman is tired of debating about the Second Amendment, and is promoting doing away with it. Mr. Kellerman does not appear to understand history, the history of the United States or of the world in general. Mr. Kellerman does not understand the genius of our constitution, or of the men that wrote it. As a matter of fact he states:

...I am so tired of it! People throw quotes from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin into political debates with me all the time, and I want to hit them in the face. Who cares what James Madison and the rest said? They've been dead for more than 150 years!
While Mr. Kellerman exercises his First Amendment rights, he wants to "hit" people in the face who use history and reason in a debate with him. He gets angry when people use logic to discredit his opinions. His anger is proof that his arguments are not sound, and that his opinion lacks merit.

Mr. Kellerman goes on to explain that the constitution is outdated because some of the Founding Fathers owned slaves. That reasoning is not worthy of comment.

Mr. Kellerman wants to do away with the Second Amendment because he wants to do away with guns. He looks at the results of gun violence and comes to the conclusion that the guns perpetrate that violence.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there were more than 30,000 gun deaths in the United States in 2003 - all because of guns. Gun-lovers often say things such as, "Guns don't kill people. People do." Well, that's true, it is not the gun itself that kills a person. However, it certainly makes it easier.
30,000 firearm related deaths during 2003. Mr. kellerman does not mention that 16,000 of those firearm deaths were due to suicide (this is less than half the total suicides). If you take out the suicides and the deaths due to legal intervention/war, you are down to 12,900 firearm related deaths due to homicide or accident. 12,900 is still a very large number, but let us put this into perspective. How many people died in the U.S. during 2003? Care to take a guess?

2,448,288! Out of two and a half million deaths, approximately 13,000 were firearm related homicides or accidents. That is less than 1/3 the number of people who died from the flu and pneumonia. Perspective is a good thing.

If you want to reduce the number of homicides committed each year with a firearm, lock up the criminal that committed that crime. Lock him up and either dispose of him, or throw away the key forever.

Mr. Kellerman, I hope that you read this. It is important that you come to understand one of the basic building blocks of America, what had differentiated the United States of America from the rest of the world.

The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence states:

...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government...

You see Mr. Kellerman, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not given to us by the Second Amendment, it is affirmed by it. Our creator has endowed us with the unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. If we have the unalienable right to Life, then we also have the unalienable right to protect that life. If we have the unalienable right to Liberty, then we have the unalienable right to protect that liberty. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or gun collecting. The Second Amendment is to ensure that the people have the ability to enforce their right to "...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government..."

By giving up the right to Keep and Bear arms, the right to protect our freedoms, you are giving up the right to all freedoms. Yes Chris, even the right to publish your thoughts in the school paper.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rapist and Robber in NYC Cops Plea

September 12, 2006 -- A bank robber who raped a woman and pistol-whipped a nun during a two-week crime spree pleaded guilty yesterday in Queens Supreme Court and will do 25 years in prison.

Roy Williams, 33, was facing more than 50 years behind bars. But on the eve of jury selection, the ex-con took a plea deal.

This criminal, Roy Williams, robbed three banks, rapped and robbed a 34 year old woman and pistol whipped a 69 year old nun. What is the best New York can do to him? 25 years in prison, much less with parole. Roy Williams will be on the streets of New York City again. Roy Williams will be set free to prey upon innocents and wreck havoc as he sees fit. There are thousands of hardened criminals like Roy Williams on the streets of New York City today, criminals who give no thought to the pain and agony they cause others.

What can you do to protect yourself in NYC from criminals like Roy Williams? Not a whole lot. You see, NYC has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation (note that Roy, even though he used a firearm in his robberies and the pistol whipping did not face any gun charges). You have to be permitted by the city just to have a firearm in your home. Any firearm requires a permit to purchase, and a permit to have in your home or business. If you want to carry a firearm for protection, there are four different permits to choose from. The fees to own a shotgun for home defense in NYC start at $154.00. You have to have a permit and registration. Once you are approved and pay the fees, you can purchase the shotgun. So you purchase the shotgun and get some defensive training at the local indoor range. The range fees in NYC start around $260.00 for the first year and training classes are extra. So you are putting out at least $750.00 over and above the cost of the shotgun just to be a responsible gun owner in NYC. Now that you have jumped through all the hoops, and 6 or 8 months have passed since you decided to defend your home, guess what? You have to keep the shot gun locked up unless it is in your immediate possession or control. I will not even get into the consequences of protecting your family and home with a firearm in NYC, just not enough time tonight. Let us just say that the laws in NYC make it very hard for a law abiding, tax paying, citizen to defend themselves from the criminal element.

Roy and his ilk have pretty easy pickings in NYC. The law abiding citizens are disarmed, and if they do have arms, they are locked up. And hey, if Roy gets caught, he can count on a lite sentence and the opportunity to terrorise the people again soon.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years

It seems like just the other day when my wife called me at work and told me to turn on a radio, that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center. It does not feel like 5 years had passed since that nation changing day. But when you think about it, a lot has happened during those short 5 years.

The United States has been involved in not just one, but two significant wars overseas. Our military has done an outstanding job in record time. The battle for territory in both countries went quickly with very few casualties. The occupations are going better than reported by the media, but still not as well as hoped. In Iraq enemy combatants are coming from all over the Middle East to fight and attempt to disrupt the new Iraqi government, military and police. I never thought that this would be a quick war, but it appears that many in government did, at least they are saying they did.

Enough time has passed that our politicians have forgotten the importance of pulling together as a nation and fighting terrorism with one voice and one goal. Partisan politics has gotten as ugly as I have ever seen it. Nothing this administration does is right, the Democrats hinder the presidents efforts at every opportunity. Americans look at these actions on the hill with a touch of disgust and resignation to politics as usual. The enemy, be they terrorist or insurgents, look at this as a weakness that they can capitalize upon. They know that if they create a little bit more havoc, kill a few more Americans, there is a faction in our government that will use this news to try and divide our country further. The enemy understands the meaning of the strategy "Divide and Conquer". The enemy makes good use of our media to promote divisiveness here in the United States.

We have had a very public and partisan 9/11 commission convene to determine how this happened and how to prevent an act such as this from happening in the future. For my money, the commission was a waste of time and money. It did come up with a few good ideas for increasing security, but most of what they came up with was already in the works.

The Patriot Act was passed and reached the end of it's first sunset period. I am torn on this act, there are parts that are necessary, and there are parts that are a violation of the freedoms that we Americans hold dear to our hearts. The Patriot Act does need some cropping and tweaking to make it something that will work for Americans.

Since 9/11 five new grand babies have been added to our family to make a total of six. What lies ahead for these children? Are they going to grow up in a world where radical Islam spreads throughout Europe and suicide bombers walk the malls of America? I do fear for the future of my grandchildren. I fear that they will grow up in an ever more repressive environment of stronger and more invasive security requirements. I fear that may live to see a shooting war in the United States. I fear that they may watch the United States decline until it is not much different than a third world country due to unimpeded illegal immigration, and a majority of "New Americans" not being willing to assimilate into our culture.

Which leads me to what we have not done in the last five years:

We have not secured our borders, and it does not look like our representatives are too awful interested in getting that task done.

We have not figured out that the vast majority of terrorist are Muslim Men, between the ages of 18 and 45. We have not directed our security screening at airports and other public places to people that fit the description of most terrorist. Yes, we do still need to randomly check the general population, but lets see a little more emphasis placed upon the people who really want to kill us, not my Mom.

We have not really gotten serious about airport screening at all. We hire a bunch of high school graduates with no experience in dealing with people, much less in a security atmosphere, how can we expect them to succeed. We should be looking at what Israel does at their airports. How have they been so successful in screening out potential terrorist? If it works for them, maybe we should use some if their procedures.

We have not done much to get away from our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

This started out to be a memorial to what happened five years ago on Sept. 11th, but it turned into a bit of a rant. I apologize to my readers, but sometimes you never know just where your fingers are going to take you when you sit down at the keyboard.

So, what is the best plan for the future? How should we go forward and ensure a great future for our children and grandchildren? I think Big White Hat has nailed it on the head with this post.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday's Blog of the Week!

Irons in the Fire posted a short, but important blog this week titled "Practical vs. 'best' accuracy". He stated:

Best accuracy is what you can get under ideal conditions; the best possible load for accuracy under the best possible firing conditions with the best possible aiming system.

Practical is what you can get with the best ammo for THAT USE with standard sights under field conditions. That's how I put it, anyway.

I would like to take this concept just a bit further. Pratical accuracy is what you can achieve under stress with the firearm that you carry, use for home defense, or hunt with.

Each of these uses of a firearm involve stresses that you really can not duplicate at a firing range. All you can do is train. Send lots of ammo down range under stressful situations that you can develop. Accuracy under a timer, or while moving or at distance. Shooting with friends can increase the stress level by adding a little competition. Go to a formal training class, especially if you carry a firearm for self defense or plan to use one to defend your home. Professional training will not only help you improve your marksmanship under stress, but should give you good ideas for training at your home range.

Irons in the Fire is a great blog and very much worthy of being "Blog of the Week"

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Brief History of Federal Gun Control, Part 1

The National Firearms Act of 1934

Prior to 1934, the federal government stayed out of the states way when it came to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Some states and cities passed laws requiring permits to carry a firearm, many of these laws were intended to keep Blacks and other minorities from carrying a firearm. Not very many whites were ever arrested for violating these "Jim Crow" type laws. A good article on gun control laws and racism can be found at CORAD.

Many people in the United States legally owned Machine Guns. They were relatively inexpensive and could be purchase in hardware stores, gun stores and through mail order. Quite a few WWI veterans brought home "souvenirs" of their time in the military. These souvenirs included machine guns, trench guns and fire arms of all sorts. There was also no age limit on firearm purchases. Most of the youth grew up with and around firearms, they were tools.

Then along comes prohibition. Prohibition caused the rise of the famous gangsters of the day, Al Capone and those who wanted to be Al Capone trafficked in illegal booze. They built up territories and violently defended those territories from other gangsters and from Treasury Agents that could not be bought off.

As a reaction to the violence of organized crime, the National Firearms Actwas passed. The National Firearms Act (NFA)is a part of the Internal Revenue Code, it is a tax act. The NFA was not meant to prohibit ownership of certain firearms and accessories, just to discourage it.

What the act covered:

1. Machine guns.

2. Silencers (suppressors).

3. Shotguns with an overall length of less than 26" or a barrel length of less than 18".

4. Rifles with an overall length of less than 26" or a barrel length of less than 16".

5. Any Other weapons: I have to just paste this from the act because it is hard to explain. "The term "any other weapon" means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell, weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire. Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition."

What the act did:

1. Required importers, manufactures and dealers of affected firearms and accessories to register with the Treasury Department. They also had to pay a tax of $1000.00 per year for importers and manufacturers, and $500.00 per year for dealers. Remember this was 1934. A thousand dollars in 1934 is approximately $15,000 now.

2. Regulated the transferring of affected firearms and accessories. To transfer an effected firearm or silencer became a chore. You have to fill out the paperwork, in duplicate. You have to supply a photo and fingerprints. You had to pay a $200.00 tax for each firearm. This was an oppressive tax. Most of these firearms could be had for $20.00 or so. Then you had to wait until the Treasury Department approved the application.

3. Required unique serial numbers be engraved on each of the affected firearms and accessories.

4. Required the Manufactures of affected firearms and accessories to apply to the Treasury Department before manufacturing the item. The manufacturer also had to pay a $200.00 tax on each item.

5. Importers could only import affected items for use by the U.S. government. No more souvenirs for the military.

These are the five main parts of the NFA. When it was passed and placed into effect, most people just ignored it. The majority of firearms owners thought it was pretty stupid and would not hold up to scrutiny by the Supreme Court. The passage of this law turned a very large portion of the citizenry into criminals.

The effects of the NFA have nothing to do with crime, organized or not. The criminals did not care that there was a law passed that made them criminals. The gangsters did not all of a sudden become civilly minded and decide to register the Thompson's they had in the boot of the automobile. What the NFA did do was horrible for the United States.

As stated earlier, the NFA made a very large number of law abiding citizens criminals.

The NFA also severely crippled the United States Military. Where were the new machine gun designs? Who was going to keep our small arms up to par with those of the European nations? Our military is still using the same firearms they used in Vietnam. There are no John Browning's coming up with a better machine gun for the military. Not me, I am not going to risk everything I have to come up with a shoulder mounted, lightweight, accurate, mini gun that fires case-less ammo at a rate of 1000+ rpm with no recoil. Neither is anyone else.

By taxing silencers, the NFA has caused people to be affected with permanent hearing loss and caused firing ranges to be shut down due to "too much noise".

The NFA (along with later laws) has caused the price of machine guns and silencers to sky rocket. Registered machine guns in the United States can cost dozens of times more than what they are worth in the world market (hmm.. that may be an enticement for the criminal element to smuggle... nah, it's against the law)

The National Firearms Act was challenged in Federal District Court and found unconstitutional. The case went to the Supreme Court, but the defendants and their lawyers did not appear. This is how the court ruled:

In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense

At the time, short barreled shotguns were in use by the military. They were considered "Trench Guns". One lawyer could have changed the history of gun control if he would have just showed up that day. On a side note, short barreled shot guns are in use today by police departments all over the United States. They are in use with out tax stamps or special registration of the users.

So, to sum up all this information. The National Firearms Act of 1934 did nothing to curb crime, as a matter of fact it created criminals out of ordinarily law abiding citizens.

What the act did do was suppress the ingenuity of our small arms manufacturers and put our military decades behind the curve when it comes to weaponry. The act also made owning a piece of metal or wood that might be 1/8" too short a crime. The act also set the ground work for the formation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. A tax collection agency that has "special" police powers.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Idiotic U.N. Campaign Aims to Disarm Gangsters

An interesting find in this evenings news. The U.N. is now trying to appease gangs in Haiti with promises of food, money and job training. This is really going to work, just like the "guns for basketball tickets" programs work here in America. Here is the story:

Haiti's government and U.N. peacekeepers will launch a major campaign seeking to persuade hundreds of gangsters to disarm with promises of money, food and job training, but top gang leaders will not be eligible

Special U.N. envoy Edmond Mulet said officials would begin airing radio and television ads in coming days to inform the public about the disarmament plan.

The move represents the most sweeping effort to persuade gangsters to lay down their weapons and rejoin society since U.N. troops arrived in the nation two years ago.

This is what all of the money that America sends to support the U.N. is spent on? Offering gang members the opportunity to become what they despise? Gang members become gang members because they want the feeling of belonging to the "gang family" and the feeling of power over those who are considered weaker to them. The government may not believe in capitol punishment for wrong doing, but the gangs do. Even if one of these guys wanted out, the fear of Voodoo curses, along with the fear of gang punishment for selling out and leaving the gang will keep these guys home come "sign up day" for this U.N. program.

Hint to the U.N. (free of charge), recommend to the Haitians that they arrest these gang members, try them, convict them and remove them from society. That might just work a little better than offering them a job at the local Wal Mart (sorry, I could not think of anything made in Haiti other than drugs and Voodoo charms).

A nice surprise.

We had a great time over the weekend at the Hideaway Ranch and Retreat. Our hosts were very enjoyable people that made you feel right at home. The cabin was comfortable and clean and the kids had a blast.

The surprise was what I found on The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth when I got back. They did a nice little spot on this blog and I really appreciate what was said. Thanks guys.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sunday's Blog of the Week! (a couple of days early)

In just a couple of hours we are leaving for The Hideaway Ranch and Retreat with family and friends. It does not look like I will be able to do any shooting this weekend with the grand kids at this place, but it will still be fun. I am really looking forward to a weekend away with people I love and respect.

What this means to you, is that my Sunday's Blog of the Week feature is a couple of days early.

This weeks Blog was posted by a "Jacksonian" on Dumb Looks Still Free.

The Quiet and Hidden News of Iraq is a well researched article on progress in Iraq that is not generally being reported in the evening news. There is commentary on progress in rebuilding the electrical and water supply infrastructure and a couple of quotes from Iraqi government press releases. The part of this particular article that caught my eye is the banking/economical figures for Iraq. That is a country that appears to be in a pretty good economic recovery for one that the evening news portrays as a hell hole with no hope for the people. A question and a quote from the article:

So, here is the big question: what kind of civil war is it that brings unemployment down by establishing legitimate jobs, raises the economy up, stabilizes inflation and pays off foreign debts?

The building of a Nation is a quiet thing and lost in the noise because a screaming headline of death always beats, hands down, a new school, a completed sewer project, additional electrical capacity and a stabilized economy.

The links given in the article make it well worth a visit