Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Historical Firearms Offered in Online Auction

USPRwire is reporting that the Robert Howard Firearms Collection Available for Online Bidding. This is the largest collection of American firearms ever offered up at auction.

Proxibid, a premier provider of live auction broadcasting services, today announced that the Robert Howard Collection, Part II, of firearms will be available for online bidding at the Proxibid Web site February 5-6, 2007. The live auction will take place in San Francisco at the Greg Martin Auctions Gallery and in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at The Frank Jones Center.

Mr. Howard’s family has a deep military history, which was the catalyst for his firearms collection several years ago. During WWII, Mr. Howard served in the US Military in Europe as a Company Commander for more than thirty months; served as Trial Judge Advocate of several General Courts Martial trying felony cases in Summerset, Devon and Cornwall Counties, England; and was awarded five Campaign medals beginning with the Normandy Campaign. An avid firearms collector, Mr. Howard has amassed a collection of American firearms representing the finest condition and selection in private hands. The full 30 years of Mr. Howard’s collecting will be available at the auction.

“This is one of the finest gun collections available at auction today,” said Greg Martin, of Greg Martin Auctions.“ Mr. Howard is a legend among gun collectors. By offering this auction online, gun collectors from around the globe will have the opportunity to participate in and win some of the most sought-after firearms available.”

Highlights of this auction include:
• Lot 459: Fine Colt Texas Paterson or Holster Model Revolver of New England Sea Captain Seth Lewis Loring, with California Gold Rush History;
• Lot 745: Exceptional Early Model Henry Lever Action Repeating Rifle (Circa 1862);
• Lot 1: Rare U.S. Martial Second Contact North & Cheney Single-Shot Flintlock Pistol;
• Lot 3: Rare and Historic U.S. Martial Rappahannock Forge Revolutionary War Flintlock Light Dragoon Pistol, with SCHREIDER Barrel Marking, c. 1776-77 Together with Collection of Excavated Relics Recovered From the Site of the Original Rappahannock Forge;
• Lot 121: Exceptional Sharps Model 1874 Buffalo Rifle Together with Associated Wooden Travel Case and Buffalo Hunter's Accessories.
The online auction catalog includes 21 pages of quality firearms and accessories that date from the 1700's.

Click on images for more information on the firearms illustrated.

Lot # 125

Sharps-borchhardt Model 1878 Single Shot Breechloading Long Range Target Rifle

Lot # 173

Exceptional Maynard First Model Breechloading Civil War Carbine

Lot # 307

Fine W.W. Marston Three-barrel Derringer Pistol

There is something for everyone at this auction, antique ammunition in unopened boxes, Civil War era Bowie Knives, and a plethora of historical firearms in excellent condition.

10,000th Visitor

At some time during this next week, A Keyboard and a .45 will have it's 10,000th visitor.

All I can say is... Thanks! I appreciate all of you stopping by to see what is new, and I sincerely hope that I continue to keep your interest.

To celebrate, I will give the 10,000th visitor a copy of Mathhew Bracken's book "Enemies Foreign and Domestic". So keep an eye on the counter at the bottom of the page, and if you are number 10,000, send an email so I can get that book off to you.

Thanks again to all of your who have made A Keyboard and a .45 a part of your day.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It is Well Past Time to Secure Our Borders.

From the Houston Chronicle

Houston gang suspect wanted in decapitations


A suspected MS-13 gang member arrested Saturday on assault and immigration charges is wanted in Honduras for the decapitation slayings late last year of his former in-laws.

Albin Zelaya-Zelaya, 26, was charged in October for burglary of a habitation with intent to commit aggravated assault. He also was wanted by federal authorities for entering the country illegally, officials said.

Investigators learned Zelaya-Zelaya, also known as Flaco, slipped into the United States sometime after Christmas, the day when Eleazar and Suyapa Vasquez were murdered in their home in Honduras.

Also arrested Saturday were Zelaya-Zelaya's brother, Pablo Romero, 31; Miguel Estrada, 21; Johnny Fernandez, 27; Marlin Turcios, 20; and Marcos Caldron, 24. They were charged with evading arrest and and also face immigration charges, police said.

The men are suspects in a series of kidnappings of illegal immigrants in the Houston area, police said.

Romero also is wanted in the slaying of the Vasquez couple, police said.

According to Interpol, Zelaya-Zelaya is wanted for questioning about a December 2004 attack on a bus in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, that killed almost 40 people, Houston police said.
MS-13 are some very, very evil goblins. They make SUR 13 look like a Boy Scout troop. If you have not heard about MS-13, do a Google search for "machete attacks", you will learn all you need to know. This gang has prompted Massachusetts to get tough. Check out Senate Bill 1384, An Act Relative to the Possession of a Machete.

Isn't our illustrious representative from Massachusetts one of the major players stumping for open borders and amnesty programs for illegal aliens?

We are represented by idiots.

Talk About a Slow News Day

From the Star Telegram:


EULESS -- For at least one customer, Tom Bodett probably won't be leaving the light on.

A thief took two cotton towels, two hand towels and an ashtray from a Motel 6 in the 100 block of Airport Freeway on Monday.

A police report did not have the dollar loss in the theft.

Bodett, the longtime spokesman for Motel 6, uses his trademark promise that "We'll leave the light on for you" to entice customers to the economy motels.

But Bodett won't be losing sleep over the Euless theft.

A police report states that a 28-year-old Watauga man who had been registered to the room from which the items were stolen was questioned by police officers in the motel's parking lot.

Patrol officers interviewed the man after noticing that he had been sitting in his vehicle in the parking lot for a long time.

In his vehicle were the missing towels and ashtray, reports state.

Motivational Poster

Barking Moonbat's Motivational Poster of the Day

Thanks to the skipper over at Barking Moonbat Early Warning System

Monday, January 29, 2007

Look What Followed me Home!

I was tooling around the neighborhood the other day, just looking around and checking out the new and interesting items folks had put up for auction. Gunbroker always has something interesting if you look hard enough, and it is a good place to determine firearm values before you go to a gun show or pawn shop.

Well anyway, I opened my email this morning and guess what - A 1964 Ruger Mark 1 decided to follow me home!

1964 Ruger RST-6 Mark 1

The adoption papers have been forwarded and it will be on it's way tomorrow.

Gotta love those 1 cent/no reserve auctions.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday's Blog of The Week

This weeks Blog of The Week is the first blog listed on my sidebar under the "Blogs I Read" header. It is the first blog I check on in the mornings, and it is a blog I visit more than once a day.

Of course I am talking about - Airborne Combat Engineer!

ACE comments on a wide variety of subjects that would be of interest to readers of this blog. He has good insight on new military weapons systems, new products from the firearms industry, and news of the day. Every time I visit, I find something worth reading and looking into.

Give ACE a visit, you will be glad you did.

Closing the "Gun Show Loophole"

The gun show loophole

The anti's have done a very good job of introducing that nonsensical phrase into the American psyche. That phrase is meaningless, a false representation, and basically a lie. There is no such thing as a "Gun show loophole". Firearm transactions at gun shows are regulated by the same local, state and federal laws as any other firearm transaction in that locale. There is no special pass related to gun shows that allows you to purchase a firearm outside of the laws of the state.

The anti's, with the willing help of the media, are effective at spreading propaganda. Just ask a couple of your friends and acquaintances about the "Gun show loophole" and see what they say. There is now this belief that anyone can go to gun shows and purchase any firearm they desire without .gov regulation. This belief is, of course, wrong.

Along with the propaganda assault, comes the legislation.

On the federal level, House Bill H.R. 96 has been introduced by Representative Michael Castle of Delaware. H.R. 96 has three co-sponsors and is titled "Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2007". This is a horrendous bill which must be stopped. The purpose of this bill is not to close an imaginary loophole, but to put a stop to gun shows, period. Passage of this bill would make operating a gun show a paperwork and criminal liability nightmare. H.R. 96 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

On the local level, here in Texas we have HB 594 submitted by Yvonne Davis. Yvonne Davis is the same anti who submitted HB 595 which I commented upon here. HB 594 is titled "An act Relating to the creation of certain offenses concerning firearm sales at gun shows." HB 594 has no co-sponsors and no real support in Austin. I doubt that this bill will even be debated, this time.

Neither one of these bills are new. Legislation such as this has been introduced before, and has failed. The problem is that each time legislation like this gets introduced, it gets a little bit more support. The Texas bill will fail this time around. I am not so sure about the federal one. I would hope it never makes it out of committee.

If there is no such thing as a gun show loophole, why are the anti's and the politicians pushing so hard to enact anti-gun show legislation?


If the answer you came up with has anything to do with criminals and illegal guns, then you have been influenced by the anti's propaganda machine. The Bureau of Justice Statistics performed a study in 2001 that determined that less than 1% of firearms owned by criminals were purchased at gun shows. Of the ones that were purchased at the gun shows, the majority were not purchased by the criminal, but by a friend or relative (straw purchases, already against the law). Gun shows are not major sources of firearms for criminals. The politicians know this, even the anti's know this, they have the same reports and facts that we do. So then why are they so determined to close gun shows?

The answer is a simple one, closing down gun shows will have a major negative effect upon the firearm industry and more importantly, the gun culture in the United States. Gun shows are a place to meet and interact with other like minded individuals, to learn about new products, and enjoy a bit of history. Most folks that attend a gun show don't purchase a firearm. I have attempted to get stats from local promoters on what percentage of attendees actually purchase a firearm, I will let you know when I hear back from them.

Gun shows are where most of us get a chance to see and handle the new products that are advertised in the gun magazines and at SHOT Show. I am interested in several of the new products that were introduced at this years SHOT Show and it will not be long before they are all available at one of the local larger gun shows. It would take several days of traveling from one gun shop to the next to check out all of these new products, and I would still probably not be able to see the wide array of historical firearms that are available at a good gun show.

It used to be that just about every department and hardware store had a gun department. Firearms were just a normal part of life. Now finding a gun section in a hardware store is the exception rather than the rule, guns have disappeared from the everyday life of most individuals, and the sale of firearms is no longer considered to be "normal". Taking someone who is not familiar with firearms to a gun show allows them to see the wide variety of individuals who attend. At a gun show you will find people from every background, culture and economic level, drawn together by one interest... firearms.

If the anti's succeed in this attempt to close down gun shows, it will be another major coup. We will lose a lot more than just a place to go and buy firearms, we will lose a bit of our heritage and tradition as gun owners. We will lose access to new products and our ability to make informed decisions concerning new purchases will be restricted. We will lose one avenue of disseminating and discussing information relating to gun laws and other political issues important to gun owners. Grass roots organizations will have a harder time recruiting members and volunteers. Gun shows bring together all aspects of the gun culture, the hunters, target shooters, collectors, police and military. Closing down gun shows will give the anti's better leverage in driving wedges between these different groups of firearm enthusiasts and make further gun control easier to accomplish.

It is very important that we put a stop to legislation such as this. Call, write and fax your congress critter and let them know that legislation meant to curtail the business of operating gun shows will not be tolerated. Inform them of the facts concerning criminals and firearms (that the vast majority of firearms owned by criminals are either stolen or purchased on the black market), and that their time would be better spent focusing on the criminal, not the tool.

A couple of related articles from the NRA/ILA:

Gun Shows: An American Tradition

Fables, Myths & Other Tall Tales; FABLE XV: A gun show "loophole" exists that allows many criminals and terrorists to purchase guns.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Nearly 260,000 have license to carry weapon

From the Houston Chronicle:


Nearly 260,000 Texans have a license to carry a concealed handgun, according to revised figures released this week by the Department of Public Safety.

At the end of last year, 258,162 people had permits, up about 4 percent from the year before and more than double the number in 1996, when Texas law first allowed people to carry concealed weapons.
And who are these folks?

Senior citizens and middle-agers are among the most likely to take advantage of the concealed handgun law.

Although those 55 and older represent just 28 percent of the state's population over the age of 21, they carry 46 percent of the permits. And one-third of the permit holders are 60 and older.

"I just turned 60, and I'm one of those guys," said Jerry Patterson, the former legislator who authored the concealed weapons law before he became Texas land commissioner...

...Patterson said he believes older Texans are more likely to have the permits because they have more time and resources to get them.
It can also be said that older folks realize that they make good targets and are at an increasing risk of being the victims of violence. They make rational decisions to minimize that risk, and to be prepared in the event that are assaulted. It only makes sense that they obtain a CHL.

According to last year's revised figures, 1.7 percent of Texans 21 and older had a concealed handgun permit.
Only 1.7% of Texans have a CHL. This is a figure we need to work on. The more folks have a CHL, the less likely anti gun laws will come out of Austin. It is just a political fact. People who take the time to get a CHL, take the time to vote. And guess what, CHL holders will not look favorably upon any politician who puts forward anti gun legislation.

As an aside; My wife and I were at a funeral yesterday. There were two guys a couple of rows ahead of us that were very obviously carrying under their suit jackets. One guy even adjusted his pants by grabbing onto the barrel of his firearm and giving it a lift. It surprised me because most of the folks I know that carry are discrete. I got a chuckle out of it and after pointing them out to my wife, turned my attention back to the service. I later learned that these two guys are police officers. There is no real reason behind sharing this little story, other than the fact that I found it interesting.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Last Chance - 2007 North Texas Friends of NRA Banquet

The 2007 North Texas Friends of NRA Banquet is next Friday evening. The list of firearms they are giving away is pretty extensive:

  • S&W Military and Police .40 caliber
  • S&W Military and Police .223 AR-15
  • S&W Sigma 9mm
  • S&W 1911 PD with Crimson Trace Grips
  • S&W 642 .38 Special
  • 3 S&W Model 22A's
  • Savage 111 Package Rifle .270 with scope
  • Marlin 60 Stainless .22 Semi Auto Rifle
  • Henry .22 Large Loop Lever Action Rifle
  • Ruger Super Six .22/.22 Mag Pistol
  • Browning Buckmark Standard .22 Semi Auto Pistol
  • Bond Arms "Texas Defender" .45/.410 Derringer
  • Remington 870 Express Magnum 12 ga.
  • Mossberg maverick 88 12 ga.
  • Remington Spartan .20 ga Side by Side
  • Century Arms .410 Side by Side Coach gun
I will be there with my wife and brother in law. I have not won a gun in ages, so your chances are pretty good if you show up.

For more information see my earlier post here.

Oh... Sandra Froman, the president of the NRA will also be there. I am going to try and finagle an interview with her at some point during the weekend.

Campus RKBA Roundup #6, Request for Submissions!

Jeremy over at The Mad Hatter started the Campus RKBA Roundup. The Roundup consists of news articles and editorials from the countries college newspapers. It allows us to keep an eye on what our upcoming generation is saying about the Second Amendment and RKBA issues.

Jeremy has gotten quite busy on the home front and is taking a bit of a sabbatical from blogging. Since what he started is such a great idea, I asked if I could take over the roundup until he is ready to start blogging again.

Jeremy has given me the go ahead. The Campus RKBA Roundup will be temporarily hosted here, by yours truly. Roundup #6 will be posted next Saturday (To see 1 thru 5 go here).

So if you come across an RKBA related article in a college paper, and would like it included in the Roundup, please forward it to me by Friday evening. Email address is in my profile.

The Campus RKBA Roundup was one of my favorite reads, so it should be fun to take over the reins for a bit.

Woman clubs lion, saves life of husband

A wife's act of bravery saves her husband from a mountain lion attack in California.

From the Denver Post:

By Lisa Leff

Woman clubs lion, saves life of husband

San Francisco - Wildlife officials on Thursday credited a woman with saving her husband's life by clubbing a mountain lion that attacked him while the couple were hiking in a California state park.

Jim and Nell Hamm, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next month, were hiking in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park when the lion pounced.

"He didn't scream. It was a different, horrible plea for help, and I turned around, and by then the cat had wrestled Jim to the ground," Nell Hamm said in an interview from the hospital where her husband was recovering from a torn scalp, puncture wounds and other injuries...

...Although the Hamms are experienced hikers, neither had seen a mountain lion before Jim Hamm was mauled, his wife said. Nell Hamm said she grabbed a 4-inch- wide log and beat the animal with it, but it would not release its hold on her husband's head.

"Jim was talking to me all through this, and he said, 'I've got a pen in my pocket and get the pen and jab him in the eye,"' she said. "So I got the pen and tried to put it in his eye, but it didn't want to go in as easy as I thought it would."

When the pen bent and became useless, Nell Hamm went back to using the log. The lion eventually let go and, with blood on its snout, stood staring at the woman. She screamed and waved the log until the animal walked away.

"She saved his life, there is no doubt about it," said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game
Another example of bravery and how a combat mindset can save a life.

Mrs. Hamm has some good back country advice:

Nell Hamm warned people never to hike in the backcountry alone.
I would add "...and unarmed".

Oh wait, I forgot, we are talking about California.

From the California State Parks website:

LOADED FIREARMS AND HUNTING are not allowed in units of the State Parks System. Possession of loaded firearms or air rifles is prohibited.
So there you have it, in California you are not only prohibited from protecting yourself from goblins and other evil creatures of the two legged sort, you are prohibited from protecting yourself from more natural violent creatures.

I first saw this mentioned over at The War on Guns.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Reloading/Pistol Cleaning Bench

Powered by RCBS

As you can see I have a bag full of cleaned brass ready and waiting for my attention.

Yes, that is a single stage press. One of these days Santa Claus is going to bring me a present from the Blue Press (hint hint).

I better get to that brass, it's not going to load itself.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Disaster Preparedness

Last year Smith & Wesson introduced the Model 500ES, Emergency Survival Kit;

Emergency Survival Kit, Smith & Wesson Style

This kit was designed for those who spend a lot of time in bear country and includes a S&W 500 along with some other survival gear. Click the image if you want more details on this kit.

This year Smith & Wesson is introducing a survival package for the rest of us. It is the Disaster Ready Kit - Allied Forces Model (SW40VE 10).

Disaster Ready Kit, Smith & Wesson Style

This kit contains the following:

    • SW40VE (10+1 Rounds)
    • Waterproof Hardigg® Storm Case
    • Crank Radio and Flashlight Combo
    • Pocket Survival Pack
    • Light & Fast Trail First Aid Kit
    • Emergency Food for 4 People (for 3 days)
    • 12" x 12" Waterproof Document Bag
    • Water Purification Tablets
    • 44 Mag Multi-Tool and Case
    • (4) Space Blankets

The SW40VE is the .40 calibre version of Smith & Wesson's Sigma Series of pistols. This kit is also available with the 14 +1 magazine.

This is a very basic 72 hour survival kit for four, plus firearm. Outdoor Life indicates that retail price for this kit is $790.00. At this price you could build the kit yourself for less out of pocket cost (pistol and case would come to around $500.00). If you were to purchase this kit for convenience, or just because, I would add cutouts for a couple boxes of ammunition. This would be a decent throw it in the trunk and forget about it kit. So long as you get plenty of range time with the included pistol, this kit (or a similar one you make yourself) could very well save your life.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

When is Enough... Enough?

Yesterday I read in the Houston Chronicle that housing assistance for Katrina Evacuees had been extended six more months. I thought that was ridiculous, but par for the course in our hand out welfare state type society. Well, it appears that almost two years of free rent and other assistance is just not quite enough for some of these people, they need more:


A six-month extension of emergency housing assistance will stave off an immediate catastrophe but will not solve the underlying problems preventing hurricane victims from rebuilding their lives, evacuees and their advocates said Monday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed that assistance would continue through Aug. 31 for about 128,000 households living in trailers, mobile homes or apartments, including about 14,000 in the Houston area. The assistance was scheduled to expire in February for victims of Hurricane Katrina and in March for those displaced by Hurricane Rita, which hit a month later...

...About 25 evacuees gathered Monday at a Stafford apartment development for senior citizens to thank FEMA for the extension while arguing that they need an additional 18 months rather than just six months.
Another 18 months? NO! Not only no, but Hell No!

I did not realize that the issue was as massive as this, 128,000 households still living off of the FEMA teat. It is high time to start weaning people off this program. In the aftermath of Katrina, Americans donated millions upon millions of dollars to support the refugees. These folks were settled into apartments or trailers or other housing with all new furniture, clothing, bedding, household supplies and pretty much anything else needed to make a new start. They then received the infamous FEMA cards and free rent. They had suffered a tragedy, yes, but everything was in place to help them quickly recover. Since housing was already paid for, all they had to do was find a job - any job, and start saving money. They have had well over a year to find a job and start taking some responsibility for themselves. Many did just that, but the folks that are left on the dole will not do for themselves so long as they do not have to. It is well past time to cut off the FEMA support to these folks. If they are unable to do for themselves, they can apply to welfare. If they can not "find" a job, then they need to look a little harder, maybe even move to where the jobs are. I understand some packing plants have a few openings.

I have been flat out broke, losing everything I had. What did I do? Sucked it up, moved from California to Colorado, worked temporary jobs first, then worked in a packing plant, then found a better job and so on until I have fully recovered.

People lose their homes every day due to one kind of tragedy or another. It is not the .gov's responsibility to support them for years after a tragedy like that.

If you have never read the following essay from "The Life Of Colonel David Crockett", you should do so. It may help you to reconsider the federal governments role in regards to charity and welfare.

Monday, January 22, 2007

And the Winner Is... Not Me

About Isabella

This custom gun, knife, and holster package worth $12,000 was donated by the very good folks over at Louder Than Words. The drawing was held at Shot Show 2007. LTW raised $16,000 for Cops 4 Kids and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. All I can say is that these guys done good.

More Photos

LTW is a collaboration of some of the country's finest craftsmen in custom guns, knives, and holsters, who donate their work to charity. If you are in the market for a custom firearm, you should look to one of these fine craftsmen to do your work.

To find out who the winner is, and get an idea of the future projects that are in store for us, go to the LTW forum here.

Anderson Says He's Done With Street Life

Remember this guy... Would Be Burglar Gets More Than He Anticipated?

He is the goblin that broke into a couple of homes in South Dallas, was caught by a homeowner and got beat for his trouble.

Well now he is recovering and taking to the reporters.

DALLAS -- A man who was beaten up by a homeowner after allegedly burglarizing his house offered an apology on Friday.

Marquis Anderson said he does not remember the events two weeks ago, when police said he broke into a man's house, stole a gun, then broke into a second house, was confronted by the owner and badly beaten.

"I might have broken into the house; I might not (have)," Anderson said. "You know what I'm saying? I'm not saying I did, 'cause I don't know. So, if I had a gun, why do I look like this?"
You look like that because you stepped into a pile of crud that was a bit above your head.

Okay, maybe more than a bit:

Anderson was hospitalized with a broken nose, collapsed lungs and a damaged liver, and he didn't wake up for six days, NBC 5 reported. Anderson said he admits that if he did what police said he did, he deserved what he got.

"He had the right to protect his property -- I give it to him," Anderson said. "I apologize to him. But I was under the influence."
Yep, let's blame it on the drugs. It may be a backhanded apology, but it is an apology none-the-less. It will be interesting to see how this case pans out in court.

Now we get to the heart of the matter. This case answers the age old question "Is corporal punishment effective?"

Anderson said he has learned his lesson.

"My life is completely changed, honestly," Anderson said. "Look at me. You think I haven't learned my lesson about this? Come on, man, you have to think about it? It's self-explanatory."

He admits that he has been in trouble before but swears this is the last time.

"Whatever it takes," Anderson said. "Get a job. The first day I get out -- the second I get out. It doesn't matter. I'm getting a job. I'm completely done with the street life, man, for real."
Maybe if he had received some loving discipline when he was young, he would not have required a trip to the hospital to learn this lesson.

Kind of makes California's proposed No Spanking Law seem kind of stupid now doesnt it?

Say Uncle used a part of this article as a "quote of the day".

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday's Blog of The Week

This weeks Blog of The Week is Armed and Safe. I found this blog by following comments left by an individual calling himself 45superman on David Codrea's blog, The War on Guns. What I found was another very good pro-rights blog that is well written and worth your time.

A couple of good examples are the following posts:

There's still a bit too much freedom in Maryland--but the state Senate is working on fixing that ,

No household left unarmed,


Looney proposal in Connecticut.

45superman writes well thought our commentary with a good sense of humor. Go check him our, you will be glad you did.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Tale of Two Extremes

Found on

The Texas parole board has recommended Gov. Rick Perry free a Dallas man serving a life sentence for violating probation when he was a teenager by testing positive for marijuana.
When I first read that headline, and then the first paragraph, I thought "Wow, that is a bit extreme". Life for popping positive on a piss test... most definitely a bit much.

Then comes the next extreme:

The board voted 5-2 Friday in favor of Tyrone Brown, who was arrested in 1990 when he was 17. He held a man up at gunpoint and robbed him of $2. Brown pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

A month after his probation began, Brown tested positive for marijuana. Prosecutors made no sentencing recommendation, while Brown's court-appointed lawyer asked the judge to send his client to boot camp, according to a court transcript.
Probation for armed robbery? Then ask for boot camp when he breaks probation? This is what I am talking about when I mention our "revolving door justice system". Do you want to reduce the amount of violent crimes that are committed with firearms? Then lock up the folks who commit those crimes for a good, long time.

This guy has been in prison for 16 years or so, that is the low end of the sentence he should have received for the armed robbery, but excessive for smoking pot. If the first judge would have done his job, then this would not have happened:

Instead, Judge Keith Dean decided on a life sentence and, according to a court transcript, said "Good luck, Mr. Brown."
Should Mr. Brown receive a pardon? I really do not have a good answer for that question. I would not be opposed to letting him out of prison on probation instead of a full pardon. I am sure that he now fully understands the consequences of violating his parole in the future.

Second Amendment Carnival VIII

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

Head on over and find out what Stan has lined up for us this week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Texas House Bill 595 (Waiting Periods for Handgun Purchases)

Texas State Representative Yvonne Davis (Dallas) has issued two very anti gun pieces of legislation for the 2007 Texas Legislature. The company that I work for is located right smack dab in the center of Ms. Davis's district. This is a high crime area. A good percentage of the violent crime that occurs in Dallas occurs in Representative Davis's district. Our company pays multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars in both state and city taxes. On top of taxes, we pay multiple thousands of dollars each year complying with state environmental and safety regulations and Dallas city codes. This company provides a significant source of revenue to the City of Dallas and the State of Texas. You would think that we would get some sort of a return on investment. As we are in an industrial area, the occasional car thief picks our one open parking lot to strip and leave stolen vehicles. When we report finding a stolen vehicle in our parking lot, the police refuse to even come out and give it a look. We have to go through the car and try to determine who the owner is and give them a call. Last year some thieves cut through three different fences and broke into our yard equipment shed. They ended up stealing over $8000.00 in yard equipment. The police once again refused to come out and investigate, they just took our statement over the phone. We did find a policeman's card stuck in the front door one morning, so maybe we just had the misfortune to be closed when they stopped by. We are, after all, only a 20 hour a day operation. Crime in many different aspects can be observed daily in the mini mart parking lots and on the streets of Ms. Davis's district. What is her answer? Why an anti gun bill of course.

Author: Yvonne Davis

Co-Authors and Sponsors: None

SECTION 1. Chapter 46, Penal Code, is amended by adding Section 46.061 to read as follows:


(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) purchases more than one handgun, or sells more than one handgun to the same person, within a 30-day period;
I generally attend three or so gun shows a month, plus the occasional visit to a gun or pawn shop. What difference does it make if I purchase one handgun each visit, or one every six months? How does this bill fall under the Bill of Rights, specifically the Second Amendment (...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.) Limiting my ability to purchase more than one handgun a month is most definitely "infringing" upon my right to keep and bear arms. It is also just plain ignorant. I have more than one handgun. If I purchase two or twenty more next week, my ability to wreck havoc, if I were so inclined, would not be affect in the least. The very first part of this proposed law is not just unconstitutional, it is ignorant and will accomplish nothing except hamper a law abiding citizen's ability to freely purchase handguns.

(2) purchases a handgun without first completing and delivering to the seller a handgun purchase form as prescribed by the Department of Public Safety; or...
rut ro

(3) sells a handgun to any person without first:

(A) submitting to the Department of Public Safety a handgun purchase form completed and delivered to the seller by the purchaser; and

(B) receiving notice from the Department of Public Safety that the purchaser did not purchase another handgun within the 30-day period preceding the date of the form.

(b) For purposes of this section:

(1) a handgun purchase form is complete if:

(A) the form is signed and dated; and

(B) the other information requested by the form is substantially complete; and

(2) a purchase or sale may be made in exchange for cash, goods, services, or other remuneration.
Heavy sigh...

If you are a Texan, please re-read (3) above. Read it, and the text preceding it, very carefully...

Did you catch it? This bill makes it a state jail felony to be involved in a private transaction involving a handgun without first filling out DPS paperwork, and getting approval from DPS. This should really piss you off.

The remainder of the bill exempts "The Only Ones" from this limitation, including the paperwork. The bill also assigns DPS the responsibility of implementing, maintaining and enforcing this program. Of course, to make this program work, DPS has to maintain records of each and every handgun purchase. The bill says nothing about additional funding for DPS.

I have an idea for Ms. Davis. Instead of saddling DPS with a paperwork nightmare, and stomping all over the constitution, why don't you look into programs that help the local police force do a better job of fighting crime? Why don't you investigate ways to break up the gangs and lock up the violent drug cartels? Why don't you attempt to do something real instead of coming up with this B.S., insignificant, worthless, do nothing piece of legislation? Oh... yeah, you are correct. Actually getting to the heart of the matter is hard work and may disenfranchise some of your constituents. Ma'am, the hard work is work well worth while, and in the long run will have a positive effect on the community you serve.

I know that this bill does not stand much of a chance of getting out of committee. But bills like it will be introduced again and again, each time gaining a little bit more support until one day it will become an issue. Write you representative now, let them know that anti freedom bills such as this one are unacceptable and should not even be considered for debate.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Day at the Range

Before the holidays, a fellow blogger and I began an email exchange discussing hockey, the news and each others blogs. He mentioned that his boys had not had any exposure to firearms or any firearm safety training. Well that's not good. The boys are of the age where curiosity about firearms could get them hurt if they were ever around someone who did not handle firearms safely. I offered to take them to the range and show them the basics "after the holidays". Well... today was after the holidays (the cold/wet weather could be here for awhile and I did not want the boys to feel like we were leaving them hanging).

Earlier in the week (Monday), the forecast was for partly cloudy skies with highs in the upper 40's. Must be nice to make the money they do without any expectations of accuracy. It did not make it quite that warm today, but there was no wind and we were properly dressed so it was not uncomfortable.

Arrived at the range at 0900, my in car thermometer indicated that it was 33°F. The cars crunched through icy snow as we drove up to the bays, we were the only ones there.

The guys were great. They paid good attention when we were discussing how to operate each firearm, and they made conscious efforts to be safe at all times. Dad and I were right on top of them and the infrequent bit of inattention was quickly remedied. I brought out several rifles and three pistols for the guys to shoot.

The Smorgasbord

We started with the long guns. First was the Erma Werke EM-1. It is a .22 cal. look alike of the M-1 Carbine. Each boy fired a couple of 5 round magazines, becoming familiar with holding a rifle (on sand bags) and the safety rules. Next was the Ruger 10/22. Again each boy ran through a couple of 5 round magazines. After Dad and I were confident that they were comfortable with the firearms, we let them shoot at the same time. This is how the day progressed. When it appeared that the boys might be getting a bit bored with what they had, we would introduce another firearm. The older boy really liked the MixMaster Dissipater AR-15 and the pistols. He thought the .22 was too small, and the .45 was to big, but like Goldilocks, the 9mm was just right. The younger boy was the sharp shooter and he settled in with the Martini single shot .22. He really liked the target sights and once he got the hang of it he blasted the center out of a paper plate.

One Holy Plate

This is the two of them shooting what they enjoyed the best:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I really think they had a blast. We did not work much on form, mainly safety and making sure they were comfortable and having fun. By the end of the day they had slowed down and were concentrating on each shot. I had a great time and I appreciate Mark trusting me with his boys on their first shooting experience.

Now to get them into the 4-H or some other regular youth shooting group...

As we were driving away from the range, the temperature was 39°F. I'm not sure any of us really noticed the cold.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Anti-gun in Philadelphia

Karen Heller of the Philadelphia Inquirer has written an anti-gun editorial that was printed in the Belleville News Democrat. If you do not recall the name Karen Heller, maybe you will recognize some of her other work for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Karen's works include comparisons of televisions top cooking shows (TV's stovetop show-offs), commentary on the Golden Globes, fashion (In a pique about pink), and fat pets (Kidding ourselves, and now our canines). Yes folks this very experienced and hard hitting writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer has focused her attention upon guns.

By Karen Heller

Any fool can kill a deer. I know, because I've almost done it several times. All that's required is a car driven at a relatively good speed, 30 miles an hour should do it, near a wooded area around dusk or later.

Voila, venison a la Camry.

As for pen-raised fowl, released on exclusive preserves for desk-bound potentates, that doesn't require much skill, either, simply money and will, though it's preferable not to spray deep-pocketed supporters with bird shot.
She starts off with a bang, letting the hunters know that she is not just after "evil black rifles" and high capacity magazines, she is going after the hunters also. In this, I can respect her. Most of the anti's hide their true intent by making the hunters feel safe and dividing gun owners. Karen is upfront and forthright in announcing that we are all targets of her disapproval.

The less "a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State" rings true in contemporary America, the more the gun culture revs up its high-caliber lobbying and propaganda machine.
The aftermath of Katrina and the threat of domestic terrorism are just two issues that prove the need for The People to have the ability to bear arms and ensure security.

We've made smokers pariah, forcing them out to the street. Alcoholism and drug abuse, once private demons, have become public crusades. Abolishing trans fats is a civic battle legislated by urban councils.

Guns, however, reign supreme. Criticize the need for guns, the obsession with guns, and you're labeled unpatriotic, anti-Constitution or - horrors - a liberal.
This is probably the most disgusting comment of her article. Basically she is saying that since government has stepped out of its boundaries and commenced interfering with individual liberty in these other areas, that government can infringe upon any liberty it wishes. I wonder how Karen would feel if the government decided to infringe upon her freedom to write articles such as this, or to live in the neighborhood she chooses?

Any politician running for higher office has to kiss the long barrel of the NRA and gun fetishists, preferably by praising gun ownership and going hunting - a dwindling passion - to show how authentically American he is.
Ma'am, is it possible that some politicians might understand constitutional law? Is it possible that some politicians may enjoy hunting and other shooting sports? Is it possible that some politicians may actually understand that the purpose of government is to protect freedom and individual liberties, not infringe upon them?

As we head into the new year, let's hold on to the one number that trumps all others: 406.

That's how many people were murdered in Philadelphia last year. And here's where generalizations hold up. Most of the victims were young. Most of them were poor. Most of them were black. Most of them were killed with guns.

Our problems are bigger than guns. But guns are our problem.
So, instead of addressing the problems that are associated with this narrowly defined community, she goes after an inanimate object, guns. Karen has just proven that she is not interested in reducing violent crime, she just does not like guns. If Karen were interested in reducing violent crime, she would be focusing on the violent criminal, not the tool used.

Second Amendment militiamen tirelessly argue that guns don't kill people, people do. But guns kill people far more efficiently than people without them do. Guns allow disturbed people to shoot up Amish schools. And thugs to shoot children in front of city schools. And distraught kids to terrorize suburban schools.

Why aren't local governments as obsessed with guns and crime as they are with partially hydrogenated oils? Why aren't the pious as worried about violence as they are about gay marriage? Where is the PETA for people being senselessly killed? Where are the celebrities clamoring for assistance to make this country a safer place?
We need a crusade for peace at home, too. We need to attack guns and the all-too-powerful lobbyists and manufacturers the way cigarettes came under siege. In the modern world, among "civilized democracies," America is a repository of shame when it comes to gun violence. We're modeling ourselves on antiquated ideals, holding on to values that are firing us back to the Wild West.
Why aren't local governments isolating violent criminals from society with harsh sentences for violent crimes? Why aren't the folks who are worried about my guns insisting that cities break up the violent gangs and get the criminals off of our streets? Where are the celebrities demanding truth in sentencing laws and a end to revolving door justice?

Karen, it has been proven over and over again that attacking the tool will not fix the problem. The problem is that we have allowed a very violent subculture to grow in this country. Breaking that subculture, removing gangs from the inner city, improving inner city schools and really giving the good kids a chance to succeed will go much farther towards reducing violent crime than demonizing a piece of metal, plastic and wood.

David over at The War on Guns led me to this article.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Assault Weapons, What Are They?

Yesterday, David over at The War on Guns pointed out an anti gun editorial/opinion piece that needed fisking. The editorial is titled "America's Gun Culture", written by "reporter" John Merchant. It is a very weak anti-gun piece that basically follows the "assault weapons are bad, I know because I used to shoot rabbits" party line of the gun grabbers. It is full of misinformation and inaccuracies. I commented upon it, but did not spend much time as it really was a very weak argument.

I checked back on the article this afternoon to see what folks have added to the comments, and to see if maybe the author had replied to any (he had not). There are some good comments posted, but one really sticks out. The comments author explains assault weapons in such a way that should make sense to just about anyone.

My definition of a assault weapon is short and sweet, but does not do a lot for folks that do not understand very much about firearms:

"A military rifle, capable of controlled, fully-automatic fire from the shoulder, with an effective range of at least 300 metres".
The commenter's explanation does much better:

Rick Schwartz

Assault weapons were first developed by the Germans in WWII, and further refined by the Russians post-war as defined by the AK-47. America’s version, the M-4, wasn’t too bad either.

They tried to meet the needs of the soldiers who were actually fighting so the weapons tended to be:

--of a smaller caliber
--easy to maintain
--Shot from the hip if necessary
--fairly accurate out to a reasonable distance.
--Could be fired in three different modes, single, 3-shot, and full automatic.

Any extra metal or wood was left off the gun, and if the part wasn’t needed it wasn’t on the gun. This meant that often the stock was just a bare outline of metal. Now, being lightweight created it’s own set of problems.

The foremost problem is that the barrel was a skinny, short little thing, which meant that it got pretty hot quickly. This is not good. Even a little .22 heats up just at the firing range, and a soldier didn’t want to be worrying about a hot barrel. That can cause many bad things to happen including ammo accidentally firing at random. To minimize that a “shroud” was used over the barrel, with ventilating holes to carry away the heat. It didn’t add anything to the gun except to keep the barrel cooler when firing multiple rounds in a short time.

Often a flash-suppressor was added, not to keep the enemy from knowing where the fire is coming from, but to keep the soldier’s nighttime eyesight protected. The enemy would have plenty of notice about where the fire is coming from since the bullets would be coming directly towards him.

Soldiers don’t like humping heavy things; they have enough to carry anyway so the smaller the rounds (bullets) the more the soldier could pack. One can never have too much ammo, but it doesn’t do any good if you’ve left it all back at the barracks.

This meant the majority of the assault riffles were chambered for the .223 round. That means the width of the bullet is only .223 of a full inch. The significance of this?

Well, the most popular round in the world, and the one that is used to take more rabbits and squirrels than any other (because that’s about all it’s powerful enough for) is the .22.

The bullet is a little thing. Itty bitty. Imagine something less than a quarter inch in diameter. And the dreaded assault riffle bullet is three one hundredths of an inch bigger in diameter. The actual bullet really isn’t that much larger than a fat grain of rice.

So how does such a small bullet help the soldier? Because the .223 is put into a larger cartridge with more powder it comes out of the barrel much faster than a normal .22. That creates more energy when it hits someone, but the size of the bullet has always kept it from being considered a sure mankiller. In Vietnam a Marine coined the term “poodle killer” for the .223 and that name has stuck even to today. That was okay with the soldiers because in reality a wounded soldier on the other side was better than a dead soldier. A dead soldier was forgotten about but a wounded one needed on average four other soldiers to take care of him.

Because of the way the gun was normally carried on patrol it was good to have a way to immediately bring it into play… thus the stock and grip were designed to fire, if necessary, from the hip. Couldn’t hit a darn thing with it that way but when bullets are coming towards you, you don’t always stick your head up to check their accuracy. So it worked in a fashion. Kept the enemies heads down until a soldier could get into a better position behind cover.

The rifle didn’t have to be super accurate and it wasn’t. Especially at a distance. Combat is just not that spaced out. If you can barely see the guy it’s a job for artillery, not rifles.

The main distinguishing feature, though, was it’s ability to “select” fire. The shooter could choose between, with one pull of the trigger, to shoot one shot, three shots, or full automatic which meant the gun would fire all the rounds attached to it. Some magazines held five rounds, some ten, twenty, thirty, and even a hundred.

The truth is though, very few of the assault rifles are ever fired full auto by trained troops. The reason is because they just can’t hit anything. Inside a barn they would have trouble hitting the sides of the barn. The gun wants to rise, and unless one is a super-sized Rambo the gun WILL rise into the air while it’s firing.

Virtually every company commander in Vietnam had a standing rule: an automatic $50.00 fine for any troop who shot his gun at full auto without an express order from the commander. This was the days when $50 was a months pay for these guys.

There were some extremely limited times when full auto was helpful, and then one was glad they had it.

Our guys in Iraq are under similar orders about firing full auto. It’s just not a productive way to fight a war.

Why is the full auto bit stressed. Because these guns are NOT what is being sold today, and what every one screams about when they say “assault weapons.”

The guns sold to the civilian market that “look like” the military weapons all fire ONE SHOT at a time, just like virtually every other gun on the market. It’s nothing special, and it’s the way civilian rifles have been made for almost 140 years.

Getting a full-fledged automatic assault weapon as a civilian is nearly impossible, and unless one has jumped through many, many hoops it is also highly illegal.

Full auto weapons have been illegal for citizens to own since 1934 except under exceptional circumstances. That’s 1934. Period. In order to own one, the gun has to match a severely defined description, and a citizen has to fill out and get a number of federal permits, pay an exorbitant amount of money as a “tax” and have the gun registered with the federal government. There are only a few thousand permits across the entire United States. “Machine guns” and “automatic weapons” are simply not bought down at Walmart.

Complaining about legally-sold fully automatic weapons is akin to complaining about how circuses mistreat unicorns.

What the anti-gunners mean when they say "assault weapons" are guns that are made to “look like” the real ones. And that’s it. There are a number of variations in manufacturers, and model names, but not a single one of them would be found on a battlefield. The real soldiers would laugh at them.

One can take a little .22 rifle which looks like a harmless little plinking rifle that wouldn’t do any great damage to a armadillo and for a couple of hundred dollars buy all kinds of replacement parts and add-ons such as the barrel-shroud that would make it indistinguishable (from the outside) to an “assault rifle.” Yet, internally it would be the same little ol’ .22.

What many in the anti-gun movement are trying to do is to get one to believe that if you put racing stripes and decals on your dad’s Oldsmobile you can take it out to the NASCAR track and compete equally.

Yes, many of the look-alikes fire the same round as the military ones do, but this is considered an underpowered round by the civilian world. It’s certainly less powerful than what Uncle Bob’s deer hunting rifle fires. And, by the way, it does make a perfectly fine hunting gun if used on the right game. People love hunting varmints such as coyotes, and it’s even popular for some small types of deer in parts of the country where the forest is thick and sight is only fifty yards or so. Those who talk about “machine guns” blasting away at deer are just doing it to demagogue the discussion.

They are lightweight, rugged, and easy to maintain because many people, including tens of thousands of ranchers, farmers, and backpackers need this type of rifle while out in the fields. Many police departments in both big and little cities across the nation are converting to these guns for the same reasons.

These rifles can use magazines that hold up to 30 rounds, but if one can shoot three 10 round mags in 30 seconds or one 30 round mag in 24 seconds it is not really any more dangerous. When the King riots were happening in L.A. there were many Koreans on their rooftops with their AR-15s and multiple round mags. They kept their neighborhood from burning down. That’s a pretty impressive reason for wanting any weapon.

A farmer friend of mine in northwest Arkansas carries one on the back of his tractor out in the fields. His bane is armadillos, which tear up his crops faster than anything else. When he sees one he shoots it. He needs something that can stand up to the abuse of being shaken for hours on the tractor, is lightweight and short enough not to get in his way, and is powerful enough to pierce the ‘dillo hide. His AR-15, the semi-auto civilian model of the M-4, is perfect for his use.

The civilian models have been made more accurate than the military models because the majority of the guns sold are simply used as target rifles. It’s a huge sport and tens of thousands compete across the country to see who can maintain the most accurate rifle. Go to most outdoor ranges and you’ll see all kinds of guys with their AR-15s and others at the line. These guys are just average, everyday guys (and some women) who like to put little holes in paper with things that go bang.

Many of these folk are former military who just hold fond memories of those days. Others just want to look cool, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. A lot of them consider the military as "heroes" and just want to emulate them.

Again, these guns may “look” like a military weapon but they are the farthest thing from one… they just fire one bullet at a time the way every other civilian rifle is sold. There is fundamentally no difference between them and Uncle Bob’s hunting rifle except in looks, and a smaller type bullet.

Now that you know the truth of the matter you can spot when someone is ignorant about assault weapons and yet are still willing to give their opinion about something they know nothing about.
So there you have it, one great explanation of the differences between assault weapons and those we are allowed to own (in most states and cities). This is going to be a great help to me when discussing assault weapons bans with folks who are not very knowledgeable about firearms.

Monday, January 15, 2007

84-Year-Old Homeowner Shoots Intruder

Folks often question why anyone would need a firearm for self defense, and many states and municipalities make it very difficult or even impossible for a homeowner to legally obtain a firearm to defend their home and person. I have often said that gun control laws such as the ones in Washington D.C. are not only unconstitutional, they are immoral. A firearm in the hand is a free citizens best means of self defense. Nature has provided all of it's creatures with some means of defense against predators. The gazelle has it's speed, and the porcupine it's quills. Humans have the unique ability to make and use tools, and the best tool currently available for defense against a violent predator is a firearm. A firearm is the great equalizer, it allows the weak and small to defend themselves from the strong, and the old to defend themselves from the young. There are many, many occurances of people defending themselves from violence with a firearm.

Action News 5 reports on one such situation.

Syan Rhodes reports

Police say 84-year-old Willie Hancox called 911 around two Friday afternoon to say that he had shot an intruder.

Hancox says he fired two shots, hitting an intruder twice in the head.

Hancox says he is sick of the crime in his community.

"He said if they come in the door, I'm not gonna let them kill me and he meant that," says neighbor, Dorothy Dickerson.

Dickerson lives across the street and looks after Hancox.

Dickerson adds, "I say God is good, cause they had no business in there, and whoever did that got what they deserved. And, I say it in front of they face, not behind they back and I mean it."
It sounds like the entire community is tired of crime and criminals.

Dickerson's sentiment is shared by most neighbors.

"He did the right thing," says neighbor, Markel Dickerson. "People that's law abiding people is getting tired of being pushed around by the thugs and thieves and dope dealers."
Now before anyone protests, stating that Mr. Hancox took the law into his own hands, remember that the goblin entered his home with the intent of robbing and possibly doing harm, and Mr. Hancox reacted to the situation.

This story almost had a much different ending:

That's why Mr. Hancox had a gun, one his sons recently tried to take from him.

"We came over here that Saturday morning he said, hey, where's my gun, I need it back. I told him dad, you dont' really need a gun in this house." says Jake Hancox.

Jake Hancox says after speaking with his brother, the two decided to give the gun back to their father.

Now, both brothers are glad they listened. Jake Hancox says that the situation could have easily ended the other way around.
Thank goodness the son's had a change of heart and allowed Dad his means of protection.

As for the goblin:

The intruder is listed in critical condition.
The politicians of Washington D.C., New York City and Boston would have denied Mr. Hancox the ability to protect himself from the goblin. These politicians feel that it is their right to leave an old man defenseless in his home, and easy prey for predators. These politicians are traitors to the constitution and to the people they supposedly serve.

I found this article on Keep and Bear Arms.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Year of the Pig

This is the funniest commentary I have read all weekend.

Sunday's Blog of the Week

This weeks blog of the week is fairly new but very interesting. It is a corroborative effort by On Point Firearms and Rican Havoc Productions. I found this blog by looking for shot show coverage, and boy do they have it. The blog includes quality video coverage of the shot show, and, some very good video firearm reviews.

One example:

Dan Wesson Commander Classic Bobtail Review

Again, the Shot Show coverage is high quality and fun to watch. The next best thing to being there.

Go and check it out, it is new enough that you can visit the previous pages and get a watch all the video.

Unbiased Reviews
Open Discussion

Mass Slaughter in our Schools: the Terrorists’ Chilling Plan

We daily send our children off to school, a perfect terrorist target. In 49 of the 50 states, the terrorists are guaranteed that teachers and school officials will not be armed and the children will not be defended. Modern schools are built like forts, and once the terrorist get in, they will be able to easily defend their position. In my mind, a public school would be very high on the terrorist target list of places that would get the most world wide coverage and cause the greatest amount of fear in America. Yet, we still debate, not on how to protect our children in school, but if we should even allow them protection.

DesertRat from Ordnance-Corner posted the following article from This article covers known terrorist threats to our public schools, it explains how they could happen, and some of the immediate effects of a major attack upon an American public school.

Part 1 of a 3-part series

By Chuck Remsberg

Probably the last place you want to think of terrorists striking is your kids’ school. But according to two trainers at an anti-terrorism conference on the East Coast, preparations for attacks on American schools that will bring rivers of blood and staggering body counts are well underway in Islamic terrorist camps.

• The intended attackers have bluntly warned us they’re going to do it.

• They’re already begun testing school-related targets here.

• They’ve given us a catastrophic model to train against, which we’ve
largely ignored and they’ve learned more deadly tactics from.

“We don’t know for sure what they will do. But by definition, a successful attack is one we are not ready for,” declared one of the instructors, Lt.Col. Dave Grossman. Our schools fit that description to a “T”—as in Terrorism and Threat.
"...a successful attack is one we are not ready for." Are we in any way, shape or form ready for an attack upon a public school? No, not even the least bit ready. Some cities may have plans in place for what to do after a school is attacked, but there is pretty much nothing in the way of prevention. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that some politicians are working to ensure the exact opposite.

Why schools? I have commented on this issue here. The author of this article has two reasons of his own:

1. Our values. “The most sacred thing to us is our children, our babies,” Rassa said. Killing hundreds of them at a time would significantly “boost Islamic morale and lower that of the enemy” (us). In Grossman’s words, terrorists see this effort as “an attempt to defile our nation” by leaving it “stunned to its soul.”

2. Our lack of preparation. Police agencies “aren’t used to this,” Rassa said. “We deal with acts of a criminal nature. This is an act of war,” but because of our laws “we can’t depend on the military to help us,” at least at the outset.
An attack upon a public school would be a stunning blow.

School personnel, Rassa said, “are not even close” to being either mentally or physically prepared. “Most don’t even have response plans for handling a single active shooter. Their world is taught to nurture and care for people. They don’t want to deal with this.”

The American public, “sticking their heads in the sand, can’t be mentally prepared,” he said. “They’re going to freak when it happens,” their stubborn denial making the crisis “all the more shocking.”
It is not only "school personnel" that do not want to deal with this, neither do our politicians. They would rather make symbolic gestures such as assault weapons bans or one handgun a month laws than accept the fact that we live in a dangerous world, and that our best defense is a well armed free citizenry.

How do we know that the terrorist are targeting our schools?

Al-Qaeda has publicly asserted the “right” to kill 2,000,000 American children, Rassa explained, and has warned that “operations are in stages of preparation” now. He played vivid videotapes confiscated in Afghanistan, showing al-Qaeda terrorists practicing the takeover of a school. The trainees issue commands in English, rehearse separating youngsters into manageable groups and meeting any resistance with violence. Some “hostages” are taken to the rooftop, dangled over the edge, then “shot.”

“Any place that has given [Islamic terrorists] trouble, they’ve come after the kids,” Grossman said. Muslim religious literature, according to Rassa, states clearly that the killing of children not only is “permitted” in Islam but is “approved” by Mohammed, so long as the perpetrators “are striving for the general good” as interpreted by that religion.

He cited instances in Indonesia where girls on their way to school have been beheaded and in other countries where children have been shot, mutilated, raped or burned alive.

In this country this year [’06], Rassa said, there have been several school bus-related incidents involving Middle Eastern males that raise suspicion of terrorist activity. These include the surprise boarding of a school bus in Florida by two men in trench coats, who may have been on a canvassing mission, and the attempt in New York State by an Arab male to obtain a job as a school bus driver using fraudulent Social Security documents. The latter gave an address in Detroit, home to a large colony of fundamentalist Muslims. Rassa claimed that floor plans for half a dozen schools in Virginia, Texas and New Jersey have been recovered from terrorist hands in Iraq.
Did that send a chill down your spine? Did that open your eyes to the potential that our schools could be attacked? If not, read on:

The terrorists’ tactical model.

A “dress rehearsal for what terrorists plan to do to us” has already taken place, Rassa and Grossman agreed. That was the brutal takedown in 2004 of a school that served children from 6 to 17 years old in Beslan, Russia. Some 100 terrorists were involved, nearly half of whom were discreetly embedded in the large crowd of parents, staff and kids who showed up for the first day of school; the rest arrived for the surprise attack in SUVs, troop carriers and big sedans. Across a three-day siege, 700 people were wounded and 338 killed, including 172 youngsters.
The article details what happened during that incident, the total lack of humanity shown by these terrorist. Who is going to protect our children from an act such as this? The military is not garrisoned in our schools and the police have only a small presence in a very small percentage of our public schools. This is the very reason why a free citizen has the right (some would even say the responsibility) to keep and bear arms. It is the "people" who would have the first chance at putting a stop to such an attack here in America. And, in all to many instances, it is the people who have given up that right and passed off that responsibility to others.

What is the likely means of attack upon a school in the United States?

Probably not so many terrorists involved at a single location. Moving that big a contingent into place would likely attract too much attention and thwart the attack. Grossman describes a more likely possibility, in his opinion: Terrorist cells of four operatives each will strike simultaneously at four different schools. They’ll probably pick middle schools with no police officers on site, where the girls are “old enough to rape” but students are not big enough to fight back effectively.

The targets will probably be in states “with no concealed-carry laws and no hunting culture” and in communities where “police do not have rifles.” Rural areas may be favored, where 30 minutes or more could be required for responders to arrive in force.

The attackers will “mow down every kid and teacher they see” as they move in to seize the school. They’ll plant bombs throughout the buildings, and “ rape, murder and throw out bodies like they did in Russia.” Emergency vehicles responding and children fleeing will be blown up by car bombs in the parking lot.

In all, 100 to 300 children could be slaughtered in a first strike. Terrorists capable of this are already embedded in communities “all over America,” Grossman and Rassa agreed. More will probably gain entry surreptitiously from Mexico, making southern California potentially a prime target.
This danger is real, and it is imminent. How are we going to protect our schools? We elect folks who are supposed to be securing our freedoms and liberties. Instead many of them choose to attempt to disarm us and to make us dependant upon the .gov for protection. What our legislatures should be doing is funding and supporting a true civilian marksmanship program and maybe even civil defense groups. At the very minimum they should be supporting our RKBA, not for sporting purposes, but to support the true intent of the Second Amendment, to maintain the security of a free state.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Shot Show 2007

Great photographic coverage here.

Texas House Bill 284 (Castle Doctrine)

House Bill 284 is Texas's version of a "Castle Doctrine" law that has been introduced into the 2007 Texas State Legislature. The title of this bill is "Relating to the use of force or deadly force in defense of a person." It was authored by Representative Joe Driver of Garland, has 3 joint authors and 74 co-authors. This is more than half of the House, so passage of this bill is fairly certain.

So, what is a Castle Doctrine Law?

The "Castle Doctrine" simply says that if a criminal breaks into your home, your occupied vehicle or your place of business, you may presume he is there to do bodily harm and you may use any force against him.

It also removes the “duty to retreat” if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be.

Furthermore, this law provides protection from criminal prosecution and civil litigation for those who defend themselves from criminal attack.
A couple highlights of the changes in law that will be in effect due to this bill:

Section 9.31 of the Texas Penal Code (Self Defense).

9.31(a) - Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force. HB 284 adds: The actor's belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:

(1) unlawfully entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully, the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

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

(3) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

9.31(e) and (f), concerning retreat is also added:

(e) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section.

(f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

Section 9.32 of the Texas Penal Code (Deadly Force in Defense of a Person).

9.32(a)(2) is deleted,(if a reasonable person in the actor's situation would not have retreated; and) and verbiage similar to 9.31 is added to broaden the scope of when deadly force is authorized and stating that there is no requirement to retreat.

Also amended is chapter 83 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code (Use of Deadly Force in Defense of Person).

83.001. AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE. It is an affirmative defense to a civil action for damages for personal injury or death that the defendant, at the time the cause of action arose, was justified in using deadly force under Subchapter C, Chapter 9, Penal Code. The following is removed: (against a person who at the time of the use of force was committing an offense of unlawful entry in the habitation of the defendant.)

HB 284 adds 83.002:

COURT COSTS, ATTORNEY'S FEES, AND OTHER EXPENSES. A defendant who prevails in asserting the affirmative defense described by Section 83.001 may recover from the plaintiff all court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, earned income that was lost as a result of the suit, and other reasonable expenses.

In a nutshell, House Bill 284 defines the term "unlawful force" as it pertains to a goblin acting on a citizen, states that there is no requirement to retreat from a goblin who is demonstrating unlawful force, and protects the citizen from civil suits.

This is good law and needs to be passed. If you are a Texan, contact your representative and inform them that you want them to back HB 284 and pass it as written.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Home Intruder Shot Dead

This incident occurred last Wednesday, I did not comment on it as details were sketchy. Today the Star Telegram has filled in some of the blanks.


FORT WORTH - A 22-year-old man was fatally shot early Wednesday after he forced his way into his ex-girlfriend's house and started kicking in the door of the bedroom where she and her boyfriend were sleeping, police said.

Police said the woman's boyfriend, 29, grabbed a handgun and started firing, hitting Sammien Chopp once in the left chest as he pushed into the room.
The shot was not immediately fatal:

After the shooting, police said, Chopp got into a 1990 white Jaguar and tried to drive to a hospital.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m., a patrol officer saw the Jaguar driving erratically along the northbound service road of Interstate 35W just south of Berry Street. When it stopped in a traffic lane, Thornton said, the officer got out of his patrol car, put the Jaguar in park and discovered that the driver had been shot.

An ambulance took Chopp to John Peter Smith hospital, where he died at 9:14 a.m.
This next paragraph is not very clear on who called 911. It appears that a neighbor called 911, not the occupants of the house where the incident occurred. If that is the case, that was a very big mistake (the first of a couple). If you are involved in a defensive shooting, you need to be the one to call 911. It is not just your responsibility, it goes a long way towards painting yourself as the good guy in the eyes of the police and the district attorney (LawDog has more on what to do after a shooting here).

In the meantime, police received a call from a house in the 5600 block of De Cory Road, where Chopp had been shot. At the time they did not know it was related to the man in the Jaguar.

The man who shot Chopp had left after the shooting, but police called him, and he voluntarily went to the Police Department.

"We interviewed him and he was released based on the statement he gave and the statement of the witnesses," Thornton said, declining to release the man's name because he was not arrested.
The good guy left the scene and had to be called by the police. A great big NO NO. He is very lucky that he has not been charged with anything. Leaving the scene is probably the worst thing you could do after a defensive shooting.

This may explain why the D.A. and the police have taken the good guys word even though he left the scene:

According to court records, Chopp has several convictions for drugs and one for evading arrest. At the time of his death, he was awaiting trial on two drug charges, one for unlawful firearm possession, one for resisting arrest and one for assault causing bodily injury.
You can read the article in it's entirety here.

Ron Paul for President

From the Star Telegram:


HOUSTON -- Ron Paul, the iconoclastic nine-term congressman from southeast Texas, took the first step Thursday toward launching a second presidential bid in 2008, this time as a Republican.

Paul filed incorporation papers in Texas on Thursday to create a presidential exploratory committee that allows him and his supporters to collect money for a race. This will be Paul's second try for the White House; he was the Libertarian nominee in 1988.
This is the best news I have heard in quite awhile. The contenders on the Democrat side of the isle pretty much stand opposite of my core beliefs, and the Republican crew so far were not too much better on several issues. I was hoping Ron Paul would get into this race. At the minimum he will stir things up a bit, and there is the potential that folks are just about pissed off enough at the run of the mill Republicans that he has a chance at the nomination.

"This is going to be a grassroots American campaign," he said. "For us, it's either going to happen at the grassroots level or it's not."

Paul views the role of the federal government as limited to those duties laid out in the Constitution. As a result, he sometimes casts votes that appear to be t odds with his constituents and other Republicans.
If you want changes in your legislature, the place to get those changes is in the primaries. Ron Paul gets my full support.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Man Calls 911 After Mischief Goes Awry

Poetic justice... or just a dumb crook? You decide.

From the Star Telegram:


A vandalism suspect who told police that he had been drinking "way too much" almost sliced off his finger Monday night when he tried to slash a tire on a van on Timberline Drive.

Police found the 23-year-old Grapevine man with his right pinkie cut through the bone...

...He is expected to be arrested on suspicion of criminal mischief after he leaves the hospital.
You know he had to be a bloody mess, and the responding officers got a good laugh out of his situation. He is blaming his actions on alcohol, but he had the presence of mind to call 911 when his finger was flopping and blood was spurting.

Investigators found about $150 damage to one tire. But the large folding knife the man was using closed on his finger when he tried to slash a second tire, police said.

"He said it was a stupid move," Grapevine police Sgt. Bob Murphy said.
Stupid yes, but also malicious. I hope he gets a good spanking by the judge for this bit of "criminal mischief".

Lesson learned: If your carry knife is a folder, make sure it is a quality knife with a good locking device to prevent something like this from happening to you during your lawful use of the knife.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Store Clerk With Claws

Another Goblin that got a little bit more than he expected when he set out to rob someone who he thought was weak and defenseless. This store clerk had claws, and he may have gotten more than he expected, but no less than he deserved.

In the video, the announcer states that this was the first time she has fired a gun. She did a darn good job for someone just using instincts to protect herself.

This video shows us a couple of things. First is that a revolver is a very good weapon to have, even someone who has never fired a handgun can be effective with it. Second is that under stress, and without training, folks shoot handguns one handed.

The ownership of the firearm was not brought out in the video. If it belongs to the store owner, then the owner should have provided training for the employees. As I wrote in my previous post, if you are going to have a firearm, you are responsible for becoming proficient in the safe handling and use of that firearm.

I found this video on Shooting The Messenger.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Basic Pistol Marksmanship

So, you have a handgun. You received it as a family heirloom, or bought it for home defense, or have it just because. You have shot it a couple of times, maybe a box or two of ammo, and put it away somewhere safe until it is needed. Now is the time to become proficient in it's use. If you have a firearm in your house, you have the responsibility to become proficient in it's safe and effective use, and there is no time like the present to get started.

The best way to get started in becoming proficient in handling a firearm, is to take a class applicable to your firearm. Many ranges have firearms instructors and scheduled courses. Basic classes are usually a day or two over a weekend, and are affordable (often costing less than your firearm). Finding an instructor is not hard, finding a quality instructor may take a bit of investigation. Ask around at your local firing range, local internet forums, or inquire at a gun shop.

What... you don't have the money, or the time to take a course? Or, maybe you would like to get a couple of the basics down before spending your hard earned dollars on a course.

First, know and practice the Four Rules of Firearms Safety.

When you have the Four Rules down pat, (basically just a link site) has a copy of FM 3-23.35, Pistol Marksmanship Training online and available for you to use. This is an Army Field Manual and contains a lot of good information on basic pistol craft. There is stuff in it that folks will argue over, but all in all it is a very good starting point. Print it out, take it to the range with you, and you will be on your way to becoming proficient with your handgun.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Kids and Firearm Safety

The 3-year-old son of a Henry County police officer died after he accidentally shot himself early Friday, police said.

Clayton County police Capt. Robert Tomlin said the accident happened shortly after midnight when Marcus Kitt found the gun in a closet in his parents' bedroom.

WETUMPKA, Ala. - An 11-year-old girl was accidentally shot and killed while playing with a young relative during a Christmas party.

The boy, also 11, shot the girl with a .22-caliber rifle after they went into a room to play on Friday, said Detective Sgt. Gary Edwards of the Wetumpka Police Department.

Teen Killed in Accidental Shooting

A teen died, Friday afternoon, after he was accidentally shot by a friend at the home of a Detroit police officer.

According to investigators, three 15-year-old boys managed to unlock a gun case at a home on the city’s northwest side. The boy that lived at the house took the gun out to show his cousin and a friend and accidentally fired the weapon, hitting the friend in the head.

The headlines are brutal, the stories behind them sad and all to frequent. The fact that accidental shootings involving children are statistically rare (a young child is much more likely to drown than be involved in an accidental shooting, even though many more homes have firearms than have swimming pools) does not temper the grief and pain suffered by the families. I feel for these families, and often offer up a mental prayer for them when reading articles like those listed above. Accidental shootings involving children are tragedies, but they are tragedies that can be prevented.

So... How do we prevent these tragedies from happening? How do we, as responsible firearm owners maintain a safe, and secure, household?

The first thing that we have to do is acquire the skill to handle and use our firearms safely and effectively. We have the right to own and use firearms, with that right comes the responsibility of being proficient with those same firearms, and we need to follow the four rules of firearm safety. Our safe use and handling of firearms needs to become a part of us, a second nature. Our children will learn more by our example than by our words.

Speaking of children, we are responsible for raising children with an appropriate sense of self discipline and responsibility. This is our obligation to society, not just our children. If we have not raised a 16 year old responsible enough to safely handle a firearm, why the heck would we give him the keys to a car? It is not an easy task, and it seems to get harder with each day, but it can be done with good parenting.

Introduce children to firearms early, when they show an interest. Do this in a quiet, controlled environment. Show them how to check the firearm clear and allow them to handle it, all the time talking about safety. Let them know that they are never to touch a firearm without an adult, and that if they want to see a firearm, you will let them. This is also the perfect time to talk with them about what to do if they find a firearm laying around or in the hands of another child (don't touch, leave the area, tell and adult).

As they get older, take them to the range, or out hunting with you. Comment on how people are handling their firearms safely, and if you notice an unsafe practice, point it out. When they have reached the proper maturity, and have proven that they do understand safety, allow them to start shooting under controlled conditions. I received my first firearm when I was 7, at 13 I was riding bicycles and dirt bikes out to the fields to go shooting with my friends. There are still places in this country where kids can take a .22 and go hunt rabbits without ending up on the 10:00 news, but they are rapidly disappearing.

The #1 means of preventing your children from becoming involved in an accidental shooting is to raise responsible children, and take the mystique out of firearms.

From Fr. Frogs Pad:

I will do my best to educate my child about the many things in life that, if mishandled, can result in harm. This will require open and frank dialogue and, in the case of firearms, careful, supervised instruction in their safe handling and proper use.

I will not allow my child to play in a home headed by irresponsible and inattentive adults.

I will take proper and prudent measures to ensure the safety and security of my home. Firearms, stored in such a manner that they are readily available to my trained and practiced hand, while being secured against unauthorized use, are an important component of this security preparedness.

I will urge and DEMAND that others, including public servants, show respect for the principles of freedom and individual liberty on which our republic was founded. I will demand that my children inherit the full spectrum of liberties guaranteed to free men and not permit these freedoms to be diminished by ill-conceived attempts to trade precious liberty for illusory safety.

Proper storage of firearms and ammo when you are not in the area is just plain common sense. If your only use for firearms is hunting and target practice, then storage is easy. Purchase the best quality safe you can afford to secure your unloaded firearms.

If you have a firearm for home defense, then you have to be a bit more proactive.

Something I found on the California "Tips for Gun Owners" site:

There is no such thing as being too careful with children and guns. Never assume that simply because a toddler may lack finger strength, they can't pull the trigger. A child's thumb has twice the strength of the other fingers. When a toddler's thumb "pushes" against a trigger, invariably the barrel of the gun is pointing directly at the child's face.

I just added that as something to think about.

There are many different locking devices available today that will keep a loaded firearm secure, but ready for quick access.

The Bio Vault is one such device. It is small, discreet, and opens quickly with a fingerprint. There are other small gun locking devices that opened with an electronic touch pad or quick acting combination lock. My sidearm is either in my holster, or in one such device.

Another idea is to keep the unloaded handgun in a drawer or on a shelf, and keep a magazine or speed-loader on your person.

Firearm safety in the home is mostly common sense and educating your children.

For more on this issue, go to Fr. Frogs Pad here.

A.C.E. has been doing a good job of keeping track of accidental shootings in the news. I pulled the three examples at the top of this commentary from his site.