Monday, April 30, 2007

Texas Governor Calls For Freedom

The article speaks for it'self:

From KXAN:

While people across the country have called for gun control in the wake of Virginia Tech, Gov. Rick Perry called for gun freedom Monday.

Perry met with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, who is traveling the country to decide how the government can prepare schools for these types of situations.

Perry said Texas should consider allowing licensed, law-abiding citizens to carry their authorized weapon anywhere in the state.

"Whether it's on a college campus or wherever, and frankly, I think it's time for our citizens to be able to protect themselves," Perry said. "The last time I checked, putting up a sign that says, 'Don't bring your gun in here,' for someone who has ill intent on their mind, they could (not) care less."
Governor Perry and Attorney General Abbott have worked very hard for gun rights in Texas. Even prior to signing the Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground Bill, they worked to get reciprocity for Texas licensed CHL's with quite a few other states.

This statement is frosting on the cake. I look forward to holding him to this in the future.

Now if Perry would just forget about that pesky Trans Texas Corridor, and attempting to require HPV vaccines for all school girls in Texas, he could have quite the legacy.

Interesting Trends

Poking through the firearm related news this afternoon, I noticed some trends you might find interesting.

From KDFI Local 8 News:

SANDY, Utah Thousands flocked to the annual Crossroads of the West gun show this weekend, continuing a trend of rising attendance.

Show manager Bob Templeton says the two-day show at the South Towne Exposition Center attracted about 10,000 visitors. He says a similar show in February drew 12,000...

...He says the show's three-hour concealed weapons permit course also saw an increase in participants.
From KGW Northwest News Channel 8:

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The number of Portland-area residents seeking concealed handgun licenses has spiked in the two weeks since a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech University.

Weekly requests for the licenses have tripled in Multnomah County and doubled in neighboring Washington County, officials said...
From (Powered by the Detroit Free Press):

More women are getting concealed-weapons permits now than ever before, according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

And so, they’re getting training on how to use handguns.

The office is offering a gun-safety class from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 12. The first half will be classroom instruction at the Sheriff’s Training Center, 9555 Haggerty in Belleville. The second half will be firearms training at the indoor pistol range, 3100 Henry Ruff in Westland...
Contrary to what the Brady Bunch desires, more and more folks are accepting a bit of personal responsibility and are taking steps to protect themselves. This is a very positive trend that I hope continues a bit longer than the moment.

If you happen to be a new firearm owner, I would like to remind you that the safe and effective use of that firearm is your responsibility. Seek out and attend basic firearm training and make the Four Rules of Firearm Safety a habit.

A mom, a gun, and two young boys

An outstanding bit of writing to start your week.

By Birdie Jaworski

H/T to The Gun Blogs

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday's Blog of the Week

The Blog of the Week for this week is a blog that I very much enjoy reading, and that I should have mentioned quite awhile ago.

Xavier is a "Nurse with a gun" and a very informative blogger.

Xavier Thoughts is this week's "Blog of the Week".

Over at Xavier Thoughts you will find some very helpful material including:


Xavier is very knowledgeable on the nuts and bolts of basic firearms and has interesting commentary on the daily issues. Xavier Thoughts is a highly recommended read.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Crazed Liberal Zealot

To what lengths will the anti's go to disarm the free citizens of America? How many other unalienable rights will they be willing to push aside to take our guns? Will there ever be a time when they have imposed enough laws upon the citizenry, or will this onslaught continue until we live in a truly Orwellian society?

Consider this, one anti's plan to disarm America.

From the Toledo Blade:

By Dan Simpson

LAST week's tragedy at Virginia Tech in which a mentally disturbed person gunned down 32 of America's finest - intelligent young people with futures ahead of them - once again puts the phenomenon of an armed society into focus for Americans.

The likely underestimate of how many guns are wandering around America runs at 240 million in a population of about 300 million. What was clear last week is that at least two of those guns were in the wrong hands.

When people talk about doing something about guns in America, it often comes down to this: "How could America disarm even if it wanted to? There are so many guns out there."

Because I have little or no power to influence the "if" part of the issue, I will stick with the "how." And before anyone starts to hyperventilate and think I'm a crazed liberal zealot wanting to take his gun from his cold, dead hands, let me share my experience of guns.

As a child I played cowboys and Indians with cap guns. I had a Daisy Red Ryder B-B gun. My father had in his bedside table drawer an old pistol which I examined surreptitiously from time to time. When assigned to the American embassy in Beirut during the war in Lebanon, I sometimes carried a .357 Magnum, which I could fire accurately. I also learned to handle and fire a variety of weapons while I was there, including Uzis and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
Remember this sentence: "And before anyone starts to hyperventilate and think I'm a crazed liberal zealot wanting to take his gun from his cold, dead hands, let me share my experience of guns." We will come back to it in a bit.

Once again an anti attempts to gain credibility through the fact that he has some experience with firearms. Up to this point in the editorial, this is just a copy of the fill in the blank Brady Bunch letter for editorials. This anti takes it one giant step further.

Now, how would one disarm the American population? First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty.
It is that simple, just pass a law and confiscate private property from the citizenry. Forget all about that pesky little Fifth Amendment, the .gov is not taking private property for public use, they are going to destroy it.

Oh no... what about the hunters?

Hunters would be able to deposit their hunting weapons in a centrally located arsenal, heavily guarded, from which they would be able to withdraw them each hunting season upon presentation of a valid hunting license. The weapons would be required to be redeposited at the end of the season on pain of arrest. When hunters submit a request for their weapons, federal, state, and local checks would be made to establish that they had not been convicted of a violent crime since the last time they withdrew their weapons. In the process, arsenal staff would take at least a quick look at each hunter to try to affirm that he was not obviously unhinged.

It would have to be the case that the term "hunting weapon" did not include anti-tank ordnance, assault weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, or other weapons of war.
Whew, that is good. We will still be able to hunt. What is a little inconvenience if it will save just one life?

This guy has thought of everything. He even has an answer for the "What about our historical and collectible firearms?"

All antique or interesting non-hunting weapons would be required to be delivered to a local or regional museum, also to be under strict 24-hour-a-day guard. There they would be on display, if the owner desired, as part of an interesting exhibit of antique American weapons, as family heirlooms from proud wars past or as part of collections.
There would even be a place in this brave new world for gun dealers:

Gun dealers could continue their work, selling hunting and antique firearms. They would be required to maintain very tight inventories. Any gun sold would be delivered immediately by the dealer to the nearest arsenal or the museum, not to the buyer.
Now comes the hard part. What about those of us who decide that we are not going to hand over our firearms, who still believe in the concepts of freedom and liberty that are the very foundation of our republic? What to do with us?

The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.
Oh boy, Special Squads. I think I have seen that acronym before, now who was it that used SS as a designation for a special branch of police enforcers? I'm sure it will come to me at some point.

It would take an old school SS force to trample the Fourth Amendment as proposed.

This is the point where the author reaches the wrong conclusion:

Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for "carrying."
The author honestly thinks that just because a law such as this is passed, that Americans will comply. I am happy to say that we will not. Legislation such as this will be the line in the sand for millions of Americans. How many of the more than 240 millions firearms in American households does he really think will be turned in during the three month "amnesty" period? 10%? 20%? I would be very surprised if more than 15% or so were turned in to the .gov during this time. Even if half of the firearms in America were turned in, that is still 120 million firearms in the hands of folks who will not easily give them up. If (and this is a very big if) the .gov could muster a SS force large enough to perform these "sweeps", they would be met with very heavy resistance and would suffer major casualties.

Where would Dan Simpson be during all this? Would he be on the front lines, confiscating firearms by force? Or, will he be hiding behind those who are willing to do his dirty work for him? How many American lives is he willing to take to reach this gun free utopia? Or more accurately - How many Americans is he willing to murder to achieve his goals? The dead will number in the thousands, but I guess to Dan Simpson, it would be worth it. Dan Simpson really is one "crazed liberal zealot wanting to take my gun from my cold, dead hands."

Who is Dan Simpson? Is he just some nobody who got published so the paper could get exposure?

The Face of the Enemy

Dan Simpson retired from the U.S. Foreign Service after 35 years of assignments to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, including as U.S. ambassador to the Central African Republic, ambassador and special envoy to Somalia, and ambasssador to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He has been associate editor and member of the editorial board of the Post-Gazette and The Toledo Blade since 2001.
It appears that we may owe Dan a bit of thanks, thanks for giving us a look at how the leftest see us, and the lengths they will go to achieve their goals.

So what do we do? Do we fight the soft war here and now. Fight each and every attack upon our liberty though the political area while we can? Or do we stockpile ammo and weapons for the day that the .gov decides it is strong enough to disarm us?

Me, I much prefer the soft war. Fighting battles with faxes and emails, supporting those of like mind with money and time.

The need to get involved becomes more urgent every day. If you doubt me, do a Google News search on "gun". The anti's are in full force and filling the editorial pages with tripe such as this. On the bright side, more and more pro-liberty commentary is reaching the papers and being published, so give it a shot.

Write letters, send faxes, and take a friend shooting.

Now may be a good time to recommend one of my favorite books, Unintended Consequences by John Ross. Unintended Consequences provides an inclusive history lesson of gun control laws, and the abuses of the BATFE over the years. It is a piece of fiction that goes right to the heart of the matter of gun control.

Also commenting on this editorial:

Live from the (upper) Texas Gulf Coast

The War on Guns here and here.

Hell in a Handbasket

And likely every other gun blogger out there.

Friday, April 27, 2007

H.R. 1022, Assault Weapon Ban Update

Just a quick FYI

HR 1022 now has 41 cosponsors.

For more on HR 1022, go here.

From the Firearms Coalition

Gun Law News has posted this notice from the Firearms Coalition:

Action demands counter-action and the Brady’s latest campaign needs to be answered. Gun rights activists have proven over and over again that they can overwhelm politicians with calls, letters, and e-mails and we need to be doing so right now.

Even though the American people have made it pretty clear that they are not interested in seeing additional restrictions on firearms, and the politicians from both sides of the aisle in Washington are reticent to make calls for new gun control measures, the threat remains. Many – if not most – politicians have an inclination toward government control, including government control of firearms. The only thing holding these tendencies in check is the well-founded belief that taking action in support of gun control is political suicide.

Sarah Brady is mounting a relentless fundraising and activism campaign based around the theme, “What are you going to do about gun violence in America?” She is challenging supporters to take action by asking politicians that question and by making a contribution to her organization ($32 in honor of the 32 dead in Blacksburg). Sarah says the campaign is working. She claims that more than 50,000 calls and e-mails have been sent to political leaders since the tragic events at Virginia Tech last week, asking them, “What are YOU going to do about gun violence?” The anti-gun, mainstream media has stepped up to do their part, inviting Jim and Sarah, and their key staffers to appear on the major news/talk programs and providing them with the opportunity to try to make the senseless murders in Blacksburg into a rallying call for gun restrictions.

If supporters of liberty sit in silence or try to appease the gun-haters, the politicians might conclude that the American people are ready to support more erosion of our civil rights. The only way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to keep the politicians on notice that support for gun control equals early retirement. Sarah Brady’s 50,000 contacts is barely a ripple compared to the waves of messages the gun rights community can deliver. Such a deluge needs to occur right now.

Politicians need to hear loud and clear that GunVoters will not tolerate any further encroachment and would like to see repeal of the existing restrictions. Senators and Representatives need to understand that “compromise” legislation like Carolyn McCarthy’s H.R.297 will not be excused even if NRA gives them a green light. The “servants of the people” need to hear from you today in a clear, unambiguous way that any and all legislation to expand or enhance gun control efforts will result in adverse consequences in the next election.

What are YOU doing to defend liberty and protect gun rights?

Take action and demand action! Never depend on the other guy to do the work for you.

Send messages to your elected officials today.

Copy this Alert to every pro-liberty forum and web site you can find.

Make a contribution to the Firearms Coalition, subscribe to our newsletter, and encourage others to do the same.

The tide toward gun control seems to be changing in our favor, but that can be reversed in a moment if rights activists drop their guard. Complacency is our greatest enemy.

Send Sarah Brady a clear and resounding answer to her question, “What are you going to do…?” Show her and the waffling politicians what true citizen activism is all about.

Yours for the Second Amendment,

Jeff Knox
Director of Operations
The Firearms Coalition
Neal Knox Associates
Box 3313
Manassas, VA 20108

Fighting the soft war is not easy, but it is necessary. We need to keep reminding our "Representatives" that they in fact are OUR Representatives and that they answer to us. Call, write and fax your local, state and federal representatives and let them know that you will not stand for further restrictions on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Write informed letters without threats, just let them know where you stand on the issue.

One thing that I have found helpful is an internet fax account. They are relatively inexpensive and will allow you to send faxes from your computer. I understand that faxes are much more effective than email, and faster than snail mail. Phone calls are also very persuasive.

Spend a bit of time this weekend protecting our rights. Pen a letter and get it to your rep's.

For more ideas on how to fight for your Second Amendment rights, go here.

Educating Your Kids

If you have a firearm in the home, then you are responsible for educating your children in the safe way to handle that firearm. I wrote an earlier post titled "Kids and Firearm Safety ". In that post I mentioned what I consider the minimum responsibilities of a parent who keeps firearms in the home.

So now you have been a responsible parent. You have taught your children how to safely handle a firearm, and you have even taken them out to the range. You may find that they enjoy shooting as much as you do, and want to become even better at it. Now what do you do, where do you go to let them participate in the shooting sports with kids their own age?

If your child is in high school, there is always the JROTC. Many JROTC organizations have air or small-bore rifle teams. The JROTC rifle teams compete in local, state and national competitions. At the higher levels, these kids are extremely competitive. The 2007 National JROTC Air Rifle National Championship took place on April 12 to 14 at Fort Benning GA. The Individual National Champion in the Precision class was decided by mere tenths of a point after two days of shooting. The final went down to the last shot with Amber Criss hanging onto the Championship with a narrow lead of 1273.7 to Kyle Phillips 1273.15. As you can see, marksmanship is the one arena where the only thing that matters is the individual, the girls can beat the boys (and often do).

Another organization that promotes the shooting sports is the 4-H. The 4-H offers a very wide variety of opportunities in the shooting sports. Archery, black powder, hunting, air rifle and pistol, rim-fire rifle and pistol, center-fire rifle and pistol are all offered by various 4-H groups. If your child has an interest in shooting, the 4-H may be able to help build upon that interest. The Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program is sponsored by Texas A&M University. The Texas 4-H Shooting Sports is a very popular program attended by one heck of a lot of kids. If you go to the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports site, click on "State Games" to get an idea of what all if offered. The 4-H State Games is literally a mile of kids on the firing line, and it is a blast to attend. The 4-H also has a national match that is very competitive.

My #3 daughter competed in both JROTC and the 4-H. She stuck with the 4-H longer because she enjoyed it more.

If you are looking for a shooting sports program for your children, the 4-H or the JROTC are both excellent programs that will teach more than just marksmanship.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Erma Werke EM1

I receive a surprising (to me) number of search hits looking for information on the Erma Werke EM1. I purchased one of these carbines for my grandson so that I could teach him to shoot with his own firearm (He has just recently matured to the point where we can pick a date to do this. May 5th is most likely going to be our first day at the range).

As there is not much in the way of information online about the EM1, I thought I might do my part in adding to the web library by documenting what little I have to offer on this firearm.

Erma Werke EM1

The Erma Werke EM1 is a .22LR version of the M1 Carbine. They were manufactured in Germany from 1966 to 1976. Iver Johnson also sold EM1's in the 1980's. An Erma Werke EM1 listed in a recent, $0.01 to start - no reserve, Gun Broker auction sold for $280.00. I have seen them listed as high as $350.00, I purchased mine for less.

Parts for an EM1 are hard to come by. A good bet would be to try Numrich Gun Parts Corporation first. Numrich also has a detailed exploded parts view here. Firing pins can occasionally be found on Gun Broker or even Ebay.


Loosen the front band screw, pull the band forward and remove the upper hand guard.

Remove Upper Hand Guard

Remove the rear guard screw that is located behind the trigger guard.

Rear Guard Screw

Remove the stock from the barreled action.

Field Strip

This is as far as is usually required for general cleaning of an EM1. An aerosol based gun cleaner with lubricant will adequately clean the action. The upper receiver is cast and can easily break, and there are small parts that can disappear. I have also read a few reports about the operating slide breaking, but I am not sure how that could happen.

Another common failure is a broken firing pin. To replace the firing pin, further dis-assembly is required:

Remove the slide spring and slide spring guide by compressing the spring and pulling the guide forward and out of the lower receiver.

Remove the receiver screw and the two trigger housing retaining pins.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

To remove the upper receiver, pivot as shown in the following images. Note the ejector and sear release assemblies. Pay attention to how they are assembled so that you can get them back together correctly. With the bolt partially retracted, you can remove the slide.


Sear Release

Raise the recoil plate from it's notch and remove the firing pin spring, firing pin and the bolt.


Your EM-1 is now disassembled with the exception of the trigger group. I have not yet had a need to disassemble the trigger group, but it appears easy enough.

One common failure on this rifle is the firing pin. Mine was broken when I purchased the gun (might be why I got such a good deal on it). I could not quickly find a firing pin, so I made one.

A New and a Home Made Firing Pin

The black firing pin is the OEM (purchased off of Ebay) and the shiny bright one is the one I made. You will notice that the length of the striking portion of the pins is different. When I made mine, I did not have one to use as a template, I made mine so it extended .030" beyond the bolt face. I used A2 drill rod and decided not to heat treat it. I have over 400 rounds on the new pin without any deformation, so it appears that heat treating is not necessary. The length of the smaller diameter of the OEM firing pin is .265". If you can not find a new pin, a machine shop should be able to knock out a new one for you in no time.

Prior to reassembly, ensure that the sear spring and the sear spring plunger are properly oriented under the sear. The plunger goes down, the spring against the sear. The following image is of an incorrectly installed spring/plunger.

Spring and Plunger Improperly Installed

To reassemble, just reverse the steps you used to disassemble the rifle. Take care to align the ejector and sear release assemblies as shown in the images above.

If you have more information on the EM-1, please mention it in the comments. If you have better images, email them to me and I will add them to this post.

I hope this information is useful.

A comment to this post prompted me to disassemble my EM-1 and take an exploded view image of the trigger group.

This should help with "Where does this spring go?" questions.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Note From the Good Guys

In yesterday's post, "Between Gun Lovers and Targets", I commented on an anti gun editorial printed in a California paper. The first comment to that post led me to a very well written pro gun editorial in a Texas paper. This one is well worth sharing.

From The Orange Leader:

By Erik Onstott

Mr. Onstott begins his editorial describing Virginia Tech's "Gun Free School Zone" rules and commenting on an article published in a British newspaper, The Daily Mail. Next he takes on Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard:

As for the infuriation, we can look to Australia, as Prime Minister John Howard said that after a killing spree in his country in 1996, “We showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country.”

Every time I see such sentiments expressed, the only thing I can do is shake my head and grind my teeth — because as a member of the “gun culture” Howard so cluelessly derides, I take such statements personally. People who make such asinine statements don’t have the first accurate idea as to what the American “gun culture” is really like. To a man and woman we’re some of the kindest, most hospitable people you could ever hope to meet. And as a member of that “gun culture,” I find it profoundly offensive that a man of John Howard’s stature — who should know better — would level such a disgusting slander at me and my people.

It’s quite comforting to know, however, that Howard is proven wrong countless times every day by the actions of millions of people who carry and/or own guns in the United States. It’s estimated that between 50 million and 80 million people in the U.S. own guns; when compared to the approximately 11,000 murders committed each year with firearms in this nation, it puts into stark relief the law-abiding nature of American gun owners. The murder statistic is a tragedy indeed — but it’s not the fault of the American gun culture, Howard’s shamefully distorted view of said culture notwithstanding.

And here’s why. In the words of libertarian essayist Eric S. Raymond,“There is a 3 percent or so of psychotics, drug addicts and criminal deviants who are incapable of the dignity of free men....But for the other 97 percent, the bearing of arms functions not merely as an assertion of power but as a fierce and redemptive discipline. When sudden death hangs inches from your right hand, you become much more careful, more mindful, and much more peaceful in your heart — because you know that if you are thoughtless or sloppy in your actions or succumb to bad temper, people will die.”
This is just a short excerpt from Mr. Onstott's editorial. I highly recommend that you head on over and read the rest.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Between Gun Lovers and Targets

You do not have to go very far to find anti gun propaganda in the editorial pages of the nations news papers, but today we will head on out to the capitol of California and the Sacramento Bee.

By Jonathan Safran Foer

Knives also cut bread and carve wood and aid surgery, but guns only shoot bullets. That's what they are designed to do, and that's what they do.

When we talk about protecting our right to have guns, we are talking about protecting our right to shoot bullets. So what is it that's so important to shoot at?
His ignorance of proper terminology indicates an ignorance of firearms in general. As we shall see, this ignorance continues throughout his dissertation on why firearms are not necessary in American society.

The principal defense of guns is constitutional. The Second Amendment ensures, "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."

It's used as the final authority, to be deferred to even if not agreed with or understood. But the Constitution isn't the Bible. (The Second Amendment, being an amendment, is a testament to the Constitution's ability to correct itself.) And the Founding Fathers were neither infallible nor divine.

And times change.
Until changed, the Second Amendment is the final authority. That is just the way it is, and no amount of whining and hand wringing will change that one fact. Our Founding Fathers may not have been infallible, but they did construct the foundation of the best form of government the world has yet to experience.

No, the Constitution is not the Bible, but Mr. Foer may be surprised to learn that the Bible does give man not only the authority, but the responsibility to protect himself and his family.

"And times change" - Times may change, but people do not. Rogues and highwaymen and corrupt, power hungry politicians are as dangerous today as they were more than 200 years ago.
The editorial continues:

Does anyone any longer believe that a well-regulated militia is necessary for a free state? Why do those who fall back on the constitutional defense so often avoid the terms "militia" and "state"?

And why, after the massacre at Virginia Tech -- hours after -- did Sen. John McCain proclaim, "I do believe in the constitutional right that everyone has, in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, to carry a weapon"?

Just what is it, precisely, that he believes in? Is it the Constitution itself? (But surely he thinks it was wise to change the Constitution to abolish slavery, give women the vote, end Prohibition and so on?) Or is it the guns themselves that he believes in?

It would be refreshing to have a politician try to defend guns without any reference to the Second Amendment, but on the merits of guns. What if, hours after the killings, McCain had stood at the podium and said instead, "Guns are good because ... "
I honestly do not know about Senator McCain, he has authored and supported legislation in the past that would lead one to believe that he is not an ardent supporter of liberty and individual rights, but I do know many who are.

Those of us who are vocal supporters of the Second Amendment do not just support an individuals right to keep and bear arms, we support all unalienable rights. Mr. Foer, we support your right to freely express yourself and disagree with all we hold dear. We also support your right to be secure in your own home, free from unwarranted invasions of your privacy by the government. We believe that we can not pick and choose, that for liberty to prevail, freedom must be supported.

I will stand at my podium and complete your challenge "Guns are good because..."

Guns are good because they allow the weak to defend themselves from the strong and the few to defend against the many. Tools are what set humans apart from the creatures. We do not have fangs, claws, speed or an exoskeleton to protects us from violence. What we do have is our ability to create and use tools. For most folks, a firearm is the most efficient and effective tool for this purpose. A firearm will allow my daughters to protect themselves from rapist or violent thugs, as well as my getting old (Dad, just be glad I didn't call you "elderly") father from muggers and thieves. Oh wait... Dad lives in CA, a state that protects muggers and thieves by disarming it's free citizens, so scratch that.

Mr. Foer does not agree with the "self defense" argument:

But what would have followed? Guns are good because they provide the ultimate self-defense? While I'm sure some people believe that having a gun at their bedside will make them safer, they are wrong. This is not my opinion, and it's not a political or controversial statement. It is a fact. Guns kept in the home for self-protection are 43 times more likely to kill a family member, friend or acquaintance than to kill an intruder, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Guns on the street make us less safe. For every justifiable handgun homicide, there are more than 50 handgun murders, according to the FBI. The expanding right to carry concealed guns makes us even less safe.
Well Sir, your numbers are not factual. As a matter of fact they are pretty much fictitious. The study that you quote has been discredited. The fact of the matter is that accidental firearm related fatalities are at almost a 92% decrease in accidental/negligent firearm-related fatalities since 1930. You also failed to mention the more than 1,000,000 times each year that firearms are used by free citizens to protect themselves from violence.

Next, Mr. Foer takes on the hunters. I'll not spend any time on that, as the "right to hunt" is not constitutionally affirmed. I will post one quick quote for those hunters who feel they are on the side of the anti's:

But something else is going on. Something that sounds as bad as it is. Hunters love death. Can someone explain to me why that's acceptable, or why that love of death should be more important than the safety of the 94 percent of us who don't have hunting licenses and don't hunt?
And then the final quote, bringing in the children and more fractured facts:

In 2004, more preschoolers than law enforcement officers were killed by firearms, according to the Children's Defense Fund. The number of children killed by guns in the United States each year is about three times greater than the number of servicemen and women killed annually in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, more children have been killed by guns in the past 25 years than the total number of American fatalities in all wars of the past five decades. It's possible that the upcoming election will be decided by the war in Iraq. But what about the far deadlier war at home?
I will have to admit that I did not go over to the CDF to check out their "facts" but I understand that these are also padded with the inclusion of gang bangers up to the age of 21 and rely heavily upon inner city gang related homicide.

If Mr. Foer were truly interested in saving the lives of children, he would be spending much more time editorializing about the dangers of swimming pools than firearms.

They're pulled from backyard pools and bathtubs each year, tiny limp bodies, blue and not breathing.

A young life can vanish quickly under water. A survivor can endure a lifetime of disabilities. Either way, families are torn apart by an almost always preventable tragedy.

Standard summer companions in our desert climate, swimming pools can be deadlier for children than guns. A child is 100 times more likely to die in a swimming accident than in gunplay, writes Steven D. Levitt, University of Chicago economics professor and best-selling author.

Levitt analyzed child deaths from residential swimming pools and guns and found one child under 10 drowns annually for every 11,000 pools. By comparison, one child under 10 each year is killed by a gun for every 1 million guns, according to his research, outlined in a new book "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side to Everything," which he co-wrote with journalist Stephen J. Dubner.
At it's heart, the gun control debate is not just a debate about our right to keep and bear arms, it is a debate about individual freedoms and liberty. Are we free citizens, grabbing our piece of the American Dream and making our own destinies? Or are we becoming subjects to the State, living how we are told to live and trading freedom for a fleeting feeling of safety? An abstract feeling of safety is indeed fleeting and will evaporate during the next natural or man-made disaster. It will be proven false when a goblin decides he wants your wallet, or car, or to rape and defile you. As proven at Virginia Tech, the facade of safety is just that, a facade.

I would email the author of this editorial, but can not find an address. Even his website has no contact information. Well Mr. Foer, if you happen to be the sort that does a search for your name, you will find your way here. I welcome any comments you may have.

Campus RKBA Roundup Numbers 7 and 7.5

The Mad Hatter is back and has jumped into the fray with not one, but two Campus RKBA Roundups.

The "finally got off my butt and back in the game" edition.
The "making up for lost time" edition.

I am glad to have him back. Head on over to find out what is printed in the collage news concerning the Second Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Monday, April 23, 2007

From the "Dumb Crooks" Files

Three against one. The three had at least one firearm, but the one had his wits about him.

From The Star Telegram:

By Bill Miller

A quick-thinking Dallas man lured three would-be carjackers into a trap that resulted in their arrests early Sunday at D/FW Airport, police said.

The incident began about 11:45 p.m. Saturday as Theodore Owens, 45, who had just parked outside a friend’s house in the 9200 block of Sweetwater Drive in Dallas, was attacked by three teenage men, said Senior Cpl. Donna Hernandez, police spokeswoman.

"He was struck in the face with the butt of a gun," Hernandez said. "When they discovered he didn’t have much money, they discussed ways to get more money."

Owens, however, persuaded them to drive with him in his car to the airport where he worked for a company that provides curbside baggage handling.

He told them that he would withdraw money from the ATM at his credit union which was behind the security gate, Hernandez said. After parking outside a terminal, two of the suspects stayed with the car and one man went with Owens to the security gate.

"But the suspect obviously couldn’t get through security, so he told him to wait there while he went inside to the credit union," Hernandez said.

But once he cleared the gate he got to a phone and called 911, Hernandez said. Airport security officers then arrested the two men back at the car and arrested the third suspect nearby.
That was some quick thinking, and most likely even quicker talking.

First Hand Account

It is not often that a blogger gets a first hand account of the use of a concealed firearm by a CHL holder.

Blogs of War has such an account:

My neighbor didn’t stand a chance and he was getting pushed down the sidewalk. I decided to sprint for the attacker’s back and try to spear him and put him down when my neighbor, arms and legs bloodied, came up in a perfect shooting stance with a .380. He was amped and screaming “Don’t fu*king do it..back away” and I was in the middle of it...
Head on over and read the rest, I'll hold off on my comments until later.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Main Street Arts Festival

An event that I really look forward to attending each year is the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth. I have been told that it is the eighth largest arts festival in the country, and I can believe it. Main Street is cordoned off along with a couple of the side streets and parking lots for artist, food and bands. This year we did not find anything for ourselves, but did find an album for #1 daughter's wedding pictures from this artist. My daughter is finally marrying the love of her life this June, and V is doing the wedding pictures for her. The album we picked up will be a wonderful presentation for her photos.

An event such as an outdoor arts festival or carnival is a good study people and their awareness of their surroundings. Today there were thousands of folks on Main Street, 99% of them were in Condition White. These folks were oblivious to their surroundings and unprepared for any kind of trouble. Many of the artist were keeping an alert eye on people in and around their booths, but were not quite in Condition Yellow as I understand it. They were alert to the potential of a shop lifter or thief, but not to the potential of a violent encounter. I also noticed a couple other CHL holders, one was so obvious that he may have been an off duty police officer, that were having a good time and enjoying the day. As these guys did not notice me, even though I was staring at them, I will have to say that they also were in Condition White. I did not notice any undercover officers, but we went earlier in the day than usual. Saturday afternoon and on into the evening is when I prefer to go. The people watching is much more interesting. In the evening you know that there are predators around, you just have to identify them. Some will make your hair stand on end as you watch them scan the crowd for prey. The predators will pick up on your attention and notice you out of the crowd, they have their own definition of alertness. The evening also brings out the protectors, the undercover officers, who along with the large presence of uniformed officers strive to keep the crowd safe.

The Main Street Arts Festival is a very safe and family friendly event. The City of Fort Worth is to be commended for being able to host this high quality art event year after year. This is an event that you can feel comfortable bringing the entire family, and a great way to introduce your teen-aged children to the arts. The purpose of this commentary is not to scare you away from events such as this, but to simply remind you to always be alert to your surroundings and to the potential of danger, wherever you may be.

V and I will be going to the Sawdust Arts Festival and the Pageant of the Masters later this Summer. I have to tell you that the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival is right up there with the best California has to offer. As an added bonus, in Fort Worth you do not have to mess with the ridiculous anti gun laws of California. If it were not for the fact that my Parents live in Oceanside, I would not be visiting CA.

Just in case you are interested, my favorite art gallery in Fort Worth is The Milan Gallery.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Second Amendment Carnival XI

Stan over at Free Constitution has posted the eleventh edition of the Second Amendment Carnival.

Providing the best 2nd Amendment coverage the blogosphere has to offer.
Head on over and check it out.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What We Can Do...

From Oleg Volk

The End Result of a Public Education

Sometimes the anti's make it too darn easy.

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

By Andrea Eidenier

To the editor:

I am a full-time community college student. The Virginia Tech shooting doesn't scare me -- it just makes me sad. If the gunman hadn't had such ample access to either guns or ammunition, the death toll probably would have been lower or possibly nonexistent.

Every time a school shooting happens, the media, the victims' families and the general public look for reasons and people to blame. We should all start by blaming ourselves.

There's no reason for a person to carry a gun unless he is a government official, a hunter in a rural area or a criminal. There is no reason a person should be able to buy as much ammunition as he wants, especially for weapons such as pistols. These lax laws are keeping this country in danger of its own citizens.

I know that people would still have guns if they were banned. But if they were harder to get, people who are in desperate situations would seek other methods to remedy their situations.

In this country, we are so afraid of not being able to protect ourselves that we make it easier to put guns in the hands of people who will harm us. It makes me sad.
Andrea, what makes me sad is that 12+ years of a public education have done nothing to develop your critical thinking skills. This is an area in your life that you must improve upon. Life is going to throw a vast array of situations at you that require some semblance of logic to navigate. At this moment in your life, you do not have the tools necessary to make the crucial decisions that await you. I highly recommend that you seek out someone to be your mentor, someone who could help you develop your critical thinking skills.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Just For Fits

A Pink Glock, Too Cute

#3 Daughter Would Really Enjoy One Dressed Up Like This

Thanks to No Quarters

Another Quisling Turns on His Own

The repetition is getting boring, yet we must continue to refute the anti's and the anti's with guns at every turn.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Self proclaimed hunter and advocate of sport shooting, and individual gun rights, Bob Cavnar pens the following to the Letters to the Editor.

AS a gun owner who enjoys South Texas quail hunts and my annual pilgrimage to Georgia to shoot with old friends, I have always been an advocate of sport shooting and individual gun rights. However, the shocking reports from Virginia Tech, along with the searing memories of what happened at Columbine High School eight years ago, have crystallized my own thinking on this issue.

Perhaps it is time for us to acknowledge that unregulated open access to firearms through gun shows, private sales and other means encourages those who have no business owning a gun to get one. We need to establish a clear distinction between sporting arms and assault-style weapons meant only for killing people.

Proper registration, securing these weapons and even banning some would be a small price to pay if it saves lives. In this day of values-voters and culture-of-life rhetoric continuously streaming from elected officials, surely this issue is as important.
It is almost as if they use a form letter or guide to write these missives.

First establish gun owning credentials by stating you are a hunter and a supporter of gun rights. Then express shock and horror at the latest news topic concerning a violent use of firearms, and finally share the fact that you now believe that reasonable gun laws may be necessary to save lives.

Bob (I shall not call you Mr., as that is a sign of at least some small bit of respect), you sir are a quisling of the worst sort. Some would call you a Judas Goat, both terms are fitting descriptions of a man with your moral turpitude towards fellow firearm owners.

You use the fact that you hunt quail to give your opinion some validity. Many would say that in this day and age hunting is not necessary. If you would like to have quail for dinner, head on down to your local grocery store and purchase a few that have been humanely slaughtered for you by a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods. I am sure that there are quite a few "value-voters" and folks who believe in the "culture of life" who would agree that killing birds and animals for sport is a savage ritual that needs to be outlawed.

Who exactly are these folks who "have no business owning a gun"? You give no examples and leave it up to the reader to decide who exactly you are talking about. Do you mean minorities? How about folks who live in a poor neighborhood, can they be allowed firearms? It appears that anyone who is not like you should not have a firearm. You make it clear that you believe only the firearms that you personally own should be available to the general public. What an arrogant piece of work you are there Bob.

You state "We need to establish a clear distinction between sporting arms and assault-style weapons meant only for killing people." Bob... I understand that many Americans do not have much of a grasp of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I will be nice and explain the Second Amendment to you in small words and short sentences. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with "sporting arms". Read it carefully, meditate upon it for awhile, and you will figure it out. I think I will leave the figuring to you. Most of the readers of this blog do understand the intent of the Second Amendment, they also understand what "shall not be infringed" means.

Back to quail hunting. If I recall correctly, it was not that long ago that a famous quail hunter was in all the news broadcasts. Didn't someone get shot in the face while quail hunting? Hmmm... maybe banning quail hunting "would be a small price to pay if it saves lives".

If you register, the Chron does accept commentary on their letters page.

(Um.. that was a hint, get on over there)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Firearm Safety at the White House

I try to maintain a recurring theme of firearm safety in my commentary. Even though there has been almost a 92% decrease in accidental/negligent firearm-related fatalities since 1930, we can still do better.

The best way to prevent negligent firearm discharges is to follow the Four Rules of Safe Gun Handling. Each and every gun owner is obligated to not only know and follow these four rules, but to teach those who may have access to those firearms the rules.

It seems the Secret Service needs to spend some class time working on this very issue.

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Secret Service officers were injured on Tuesday after a gun held by another Secret Service officer accidentally fired inside the White House gate, according to a spokesman, Darrin Blackford...

..."It appears that at approximately 2:10 p.m. (1810 GMT) there was an accidental discharge of a service issued weapon, which occurred inside the Southwest Gate at a security post near the White House," Blackford said.
First off - the public would be much better served if these journalist and "official spokespersons" would remove the phrase "accidental discharge" from their vocabulary. This was no accident, it was negligence. Incidents such as this one should be reported as negligence so folks who do not understand firearms can at least learn that firearms do not just "go off" accidentally.

Second - Can you imagine the reaction if this has occurred while the President was in the Rose Garden giving a press conference?

I expect the Secret Service to be better trained and more familiar with firearms than this. They are, after all, the last line of defense for our President.

As a concerned citizen, I feel it is my duty to offer the following video as a training aid to the Secret Service (and anyone else who owns firearms).


For more information on firearm safety, go here.

Thanks to The War on Guns for the link to the article.

Thanks to Xavier for the video.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In Other News...

With the news focusing upon Virginia Tech, you may have missed this little bit of action that occurred in Houston.

From the Houston Chronicle:


At least one man was killed and several were wounded when rival immigrant-smuggling gangs engaged in a noontime gunbattle that started on the Southwest Freeway and ended on the feeder road, police said.

Authorities suspect one gang was attempting to steal a load of immigrants from the other...

...About noon, the occupants of two trucks — one carrying at least 10 people — exchanged gunfire while heading northbound on the freeway, Elliott said. The vehicles exited at Bissonnet and ran a red light before one truck crashed into an older model Honda Accord that was not part of the chase.

Elliott said the occupants of the two trucks "then proceeded to get out of their vehicles to have a shootout."
Incidents like this have been happening out in the desert for quite awhile now. The fact that the coyotes are getting so bold as to pull this stunt in the city says a lot for the contempt in which they hold our law enforcement organizations.

While I do not often comment on our need to secure our borders, I have mentioned the lax attitude of a certain police chief when it comes to illegal aliens.

I have also mentioned that it is...

Do not forget the most important reason to secure our borders, terrorist. As horrific as the Virginia Tech shootings are, Beslin was much worse. In Beslin 338 were killed by Muslim terrorist. Our schools are not only an easy target for terrorist attack, they are a preferred target. Read more here.

It is appalling that our elected officials have done very little to secure our borders. Secure borders are one of the primary responsibilities of our federal .gov, and they ignore it. Playing politics for what they see as future votes from a new servant class of "citizen". Just another action to add to their list of shameful acts.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The LawDog's take on the Virginia Tech Shooting

From The LawDog Files:

There are reports -- granted unconfirmed at this time -- that several students were forced to line up, kneeling, and executed from behind.

I pray to the old gods -- the gods of war and blood and thunder -- that this is not the case.

I pray that some students went down fighting.

Because as bad as this is -- and this is a horror -- as bad as this is, if fifty some-odd people were injured and killed by one person whilst on their knees begging like so many Eloi, like a herd of sheep -- if no one stood up and fought back, then this is becomes an example of evil.

Not the evil that allows a man to kill other men -- although that is here in abundance. No, I am speaking of the putrescent evil which convinces good men not to fight back; the sordid filth of the soul which allows one bad man to prevail against fifty -- or 25,000 -- good men because good men have been systematically denied the mindset required to meet with, engage and defeat evil -- even if all you have is fingernails and rage.

One man. On a campus of 25,000 people. 25,000 people surrounded by fire extinguishers, book bags, pencils, pens, drafting compasses, chairs, broom handles, power strips, ceramics, chains and everything heavy and/or sharp.

One man managed to gun down fifty people -- or more -- without being stabbed and bludgeoned to death where he stood by the other 24,950 people...
Head on over and read the rest, it is well worth your time.

32 And Counting...

Throughout the day I have been thinking of what to say about the psycho who killed so many at Virginia Tech today..

Fits pretty much has it covered:

Since I'm certainly not a liberal lunatic, the one MOST responsible is the man with the deadly intent. But lets pass around some of the blame in the direction of the politicians and law enforcement traitors who forbid that collegians protect themselves, and the cowardly bastards that didn't rush in and stop this in the bud. People died because they were not allowed to fight back. More died than should have because whomever was in charge of providing protection was asleep at the switch.

This will be used by anti-gunners ad nauseum, because instead of sharing the responsibility they pass the buck.

Where are the men. Where are the patriots to see through this charade and at long last say enough is quite enough...
The fact that one armed psycho goblin could do this points out the massive failure of gun free school zones. I know, it will not be long before the blood dancers are frolicking in the gore left in the wake of this shooting, telling all who listen that just a couple more "reasonable" gun laws will prevent such an episode from happening again. Curse them, and curse the pantie wastes that enable them.

True reason understands that we continue to live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. Reason insists that we use our abilities to think and observe our surroundings to avoid danger and control our environment as much as possible. A reasonable man will also become skilled in the use of the most efficient tools available to protect himself, his family and those around him from potential random acts of violence. This slaughter could have been stopped. It could have been stopped in the dorm, and should have been stopped in the engineering building. One of the witnesses stated that she recognized gunfire because she had been a target shooter from an early age. That was just one young lady who could have ended this rampage early.

The right to self protection is a law of nature. Each and every living creature has some means of protection. The antelope has it's speed, and the porcupine it's quills. Humans have their ability to use tools, and firearms are often the best tool for the job of self defense. If concealed carry was an option at Virginia Tech, we would be reading about the heroes who put a stop to this mindless slaughter. Instead, we read of body counts.

As for those who have disarmed us, who daily chip away at out ability to protect ourselves...
They disgust me beyond words.
It took only one dedicated goblin to cause this much carnage in our school system. Just think what will happen when trained and coordinated terrorist make their move and put their "chilling plan" into action.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Day at the Range

Today was the monthly .22 caliber long range silhouette match. This match is shot similar to the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle silhouette matches, except at 2/5 scale. Targets are set at 80, 120, 154 and 200 meters. The chickens at 80 meters are shot standing, the rest are shot from the prone position with cross sticks. This match is shot with single shot rifles and open or target sights. The rifle I use is a Martini.

My Martini

I started shooting these matches with my #3 daughter. Now that she is out and on her own, I pretty much stopped shooting them. Today was the first time in quite awhile, and my score showed it. Today reminded me of how much I really enjoy shooting these matches, so I will become a regular on the firing line once again. Knocking down metal targets at 200m with a .22 is a blast.

The match is open to the public, so if you are in North Texas and are interested in shooting with us, we would be glad to have you. Contact me for more information if interested.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Something to Think About

Found at The War on Guns:

Credible Deterrence & the Logistics of Liberty

What did the Founders intend with the Second Amendment? Liberals ignored, gunnies would all agree that their purpose was to codify the people's natural right to arms. As men who had been compelled to fight for independence by the British seizure of their arms, it was natural for them to ensure that the people of future generations be enabled to maintain the tools necessary to repel tyranny. But I think the Founders' purpose was not only to set up the preconditions to resist tyranny when it appeared, but also to deter it by providing future would-be tyrants with a credible deterrent that would discourage them from making the attempt to begin with...
Another excellent read that is well worth your time.

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Style Southern Living Magazine

While bouncing around from site to site this evening, I found this article on a new magazine being published primarily in the Southeast.

Publication Celebrates the Spirit of 21st Century Southern America

Garden & Gun reflects the contemporary culture of the South with an elegant style and modern approach. The publication aims to redefine coverage of the Southern traditions, lifestyles, dreams and heritage.

“We’re more targeted and more niche than older Southern titles,” said Rebecca Darwin, publisher. “Within Garden & Gun, conservation and preservation of natural resources are as important as skeet-shooting and adventurous lifestyle.”
I enjoy reading Southwest and Southern Living magazines, this one may also end up on my coffee table.

Uncle Sam's Shooting Gallery: 100 Years

Xavier has posted a bit of firearm history, a Popular Mechanics article on the National Rifle Matches of 1940.
TRAVELING in planes, trains, buses, private cars, trucks, and even on foot, more than 10,000 eager men, women, and youngsters from all corners of the nation will head toward the shores of Lake Erie in mid-August for the largest sporting event in the world. The lure that draws this myriad of bankers, housewives, G-men, clerks, police, shopkeepers, and citizens from practically every other walk of life, is the annual National Rifle Matches sponsored jointly by the U. S. War Department and the National Rifle Association...
Head on over and read the rest of the article, and some interesting comments here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Paintball Guns, The Menace in Rhode Island

Do folks run for office for the sole purpose of writing laws? All the good laws were written a few thousand years ago, so now they come up with piddly crud like the following:

From the Pawtucket Times:

By: David Casey

...Doyle's bill, S-204, is designed to exert more state control over the use of paintball guns by including them in the state's "Weapons Law."

According to the bill: "Paintball guns shall only be used in areas designated for recreational paintball use...Protective clothing and eyewear shall be worn...Paintball guns shall not be transported at any time in the passenger compartments of motor vehicles...(and) shall be unloaded, with the gas cylinder separated from the gun...and carried in closed cases when being transported by an individual on foot."
Why is such a bill necessary?

"A lot of paintball injuries occur outside of the safe paintball arena, (when the guns are used) with criminal intent," said Policastro.

According to a fact sheet provided by RISNA, there were 1,200 paintball-related eye injuries in 2000 (nationally), almost double the amount reported in 1998.
Just for the record, it is already illegal to shoot someone maliciously with a paintball gun. Every state in the union, including Rhode Island have laws against assault.

The RISNA (Rhode Island State Nurses Association) is behind this bill, supposedly because of 1200 paintball-related eye injuries. I have some potentially shocking news for the fine nurses of Rhode Island. If you are a Rhode Island nurse, please take a seat. I would hate for you to faint and crack your head open when you read the next statistic I have to offer.


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were more than 547,000 ladder-related injuries, nearly 12,000 raking-related injuries and approximately 221,000 lawn mowing-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms, doctors’ offices and clinics in 2004. Frequent injuries include cuts, bruises and fractured bones.
That's right folks. Ladders, rakes and lawnmowers accounted for almost three quarters of a million injuries in 2004. I am a bit surprised that these nurses who work in "hospital emergency rooms, doctors’ offices and clinics" did not notice that injuries caused by tools sold by Home Depot and other hardware stores are much more prevalent than those caused by paintball guns. I am sure that once they have this information, the good folks of Rhode Island will be protected by laws criminalizing the use and sale of these household tools.

The above quote on ladder, rake and lawnmower injuries was found here.


Eject! Eject! Eject! has an excellent commentary on conspiracy theorist.

I want to forgo the niceties of the hot towel and go straight for the jugular on this one. My goal here is not to bust any of these four conspiracy theories; that has all been done much more effictively elsewhere. What I am trying to do here is to build a chain of evidence to show a progressively deteriorating epidemic of world-wide insanity, of truly diseased thinking -- not just a misunderstanding or difference of opinion but real, diagnosable mental illness.
This is a long read, but well worth the while.

Thanks to The Pistolero for leading me to this article.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Do American Citizens Have a Right to Own a Gun?

John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute has written a commentary on Parker v District of Columbia that started out well, then confused me with his conclusions. As many of you know, I can be easily confused. Maybe one of you can connect the dots for me.

By John W. Whitehead

Mr. Whitehead opens his commentary with a brief history of the D.C. gun ban:

For the past 30 years, residents of the District of Columbia have been threatened with conviction and imprisonment simply for having a gun in their homes.

In keeping with a District-wide law, all handguns were prohibited, unless they were registered before 1976. Even pistols registered prior to the ban could not be carried from room to room within a home without a license. Furthermore, licensed guns had to be kept locked up or disassembled.
The draconian and repressive anti gun laws of D.C. are well documented and known to those who are interested in Second Amendment issues. These are the very same laws that many legislatures and the anti gun groups would like to see established nation wide.

Next Mr. Whitehead describes the case of Parker v District of Columbia. It is a quick and informative description that should be read if you are not familiar with that case.

Now to the heart of the matter. Mr. Whitehead does an excellent job of explaining why the Second Amendment is an individual right, and why it is included in the Bill of Rights:

History is on Tribe’s side. With the despotism of a tyrannical king fresh in their minds, the Framers knew they had to provide a means for the people to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. They believed the right to keep and bear arms enabled a citizen to stand up to the government. If the government got out of hand, you could defend yourself—you could rebel. After all, that’s what happened in 1776.

The Framers wanted to ensure that if the government had control of the military, as it does today—including the National Guard—citizens would have a means of protecting themselves. Thus, they specifically added the Second Amendment to the Constitution to ensure that individuals—ordinary Americans—had a means of protecting themselves not only against their own government but against intruders. Furthermore, early Americans relied on ordinary weapons for many things, often keeping them in their homes.

There is nothing more solidly embedded in the Constitution than the right to bear arms. As Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.) has said, “Can anyone seriously contend that the Founders, who had just expelled their British rulers mostly by use of light arms, did not want the individual farmer, blacksmith, or merchant to be armed? Those individuals would have been killed or imprisoned by the King’s soldiers if they had relied on a federal armed force to protect them.”

“Our Founders, having just expelled the British army, knew that the right to bear arms serves as the guardian of every other right,” continued Paul. “This is the principle so often ignored by both sides in the gun control debate. Only armed citizens can resist tyrannical government.”
There it is, in black and white. "Only armed citizens can resist tyrannical government". At this point in the commentary I am really liking what Mr. Whitehead has to say and thinking that this is a nice bit of light in this day full of anti gun propaganda. Then the confusion begins.

While it must be conceded that the individual citizen could not hope to defend him or herself against local and federal law enforcement dressed in military gear, armed to the teeth with armored vehicles and weapons of mass destruction, shouldn’t Americans at least be able to protect themselves, their families and their homes against criminals?
One armed citizen would have a hard time defending against our militarized police, but a community would not. Unless of course they were disarmed.

As George Mason declared, “To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” While Congress can, of course, reasonably regulate certain types of weapons such as assault rifles, banning law-abiding citizens from having handguns in their own homes for self-defense or owning hunting rifles goes far beyond anything the Framers contemplated.
"While Congress can, of course, reasonably regulate certain types of weapons such as assault rifles" This one sentence ruins the entire article. Mr. Whitehead.. John, did you not read what you wrote in regards as to why we even have a Second Amendment? When you wrote "Thus, they specifically added the Second Amendment to the Constitution to ensure that individuals—ordinary Americans—had a means of protecting themselves not only against their own government..." didn't it cross your mind that it was so called assault weapons that were protected by the Second Amendment, not just handguns? By allowing for the "reasonable regulation" of the very weapons that can provide adequate protection for "the people" from the government, you nullify the entire purpose of the Second Amendment.

Yes, the people have the right (some would say the responsibility) to protect themselves from criminals and intruders into their homes, they also have the right to protect themselves from a criminal government. The Second Amendment affirms this right. Take that last small step John, consider what the founders intended, look at the world of today, and try to take a peek into the future. Do you honestly think that there will not become a time when "the people" will need to take up arms to protect themselves? If you can not imagine this happening in our future, then look to the past. It was not that long ago that the Deacons for Defense had to take up arms against the police to protect civil rights workers. If you can see the potential need for free citizens to take up arms against the government, you have to concede that those arms must be adequate to the task at hand.

From the Anti's

After taking a few days off for camping, I did a quick news search for a firearm related topic to comment upon. Is it me, or have the anti's redoubled their efforts in publishing anti gun propaganda, misrepresentations and outright lies?

It would take a month of Sundays just to fisk the current batch of blabber from the anti's.

A few examples:

Twice as many people committed suicide from 2000 to 2002 in the 15 states with the highest rates of gun ownership, compared with the six states where guns are least common, according to the study published in the April issue of the Journal of Trauma. The population in both groups was about the same, the study said.

Hawai'i was among the six states where gun ownership is least common. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death among U.S. men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web Site. The higher suicide rates in the Harvard study were found in men, women and children of all ages in states where more households have guns.

VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann states, "Society is leaving the gun culture behind. Nearly two thirds of American homes are gun free, and more than three quarters of Americans do not personally own a gun. Yet our nation remains hostage to the gun industry's lethality-at-any-cost mentality as measured by nearly 30,000 gun deaths per year and tens of thousands of additional wounded."

House Bill 760 has outraged gun owners across the state because it would require annual registration of every weapon they possess other than antiques -- guns manufactured before 1898 -- certain collector's items, and law-enforcement duty weapons.
These are just a few of the articles that could have been included. This is quite the reminder that even though we have had our recent successes in the courts (Parker) and in the legislature (Texas Castle Doctrine for one), we have to remain vigilant. The anti's are not letting up, they are increasing the rhetoric and lies in an attempt to turn the public against us and regain ground. The soft war is a daily battle.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Made it Back

Our annual Easter tradition now that the kids are grown and out of the house is to take a three day canoe trip down the Brazos River with friends. We usually get into the river on Saturday noonish and have the river to ourselves for the entire trip. As I mentioned in the previous post, last year it reached 101°F on the third day of the trip. Well, this year it snowed for at least four hours on Saturday and then got down to 29°F in the evening. The ladies decided that they were not too interested in sitting in canoes in the snow, the cold and the potential rain, so we ended up camping under the Possum Kingdom Lake dam. It turned out to be a good weekend. We were the only ones in the campground, and when they were not generating electricity through the dam, the fishing was great. I caught 51 fish Sunday afternoon.

Two things happened on the drive home. First, contrary to popular belief, I learned that having a CHL does not get you out of a speeding ticket. Second, my Dad called to tell us that my Grandmother had passed away.

Grandma was the last of her generation in our family. She lived in a small town in Iowa populated mostly by folks of German decent. Grandma was a good and decent woman who loved her family very much. I remember one Christmas when I was very young. We drove out from California through one heck of a winter storm. We ended up having to spend the night in a school gymnasium here in Arlington because all the roads were closed. When we finally made it to Grandma's house, Mom and Dad has us kids go up and knock on the door (Grandma and Grandpa did not know we were coming). I can still see the look of joy on Grandma's face when she saw us kids, and how the comforters felt on her old bed that night when we finally got warmed up. Grandma lived in a different time. I was born nine months and five days after my Mom and Dad got married, and Grandma was counting the days to make sure that I was conceived after the wedding. Grandma was the last of her generation, the world is worse off without her.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Off for the Weekend

We are heading out to camp on the Brazos River. Last year it reached 100F on this Easter trip, this year it is going to drop below freezing.

See you Monday afternoon

Friday, April 06, 2007

For the Glock Fans

At least it is in .45 ACP

20/20 Looking For Self Defense Stories

From ABC News:

April 6, 2007 — Have you ever defended yourself from a crime in your home, in your business, or in public by using a gun? Perhaps you warded off a potential attacker by simply showing a gun?

40 states now allow their citizens to obtain conceal-carry permits for handguns. Some people say that's dangerous, while others say it allows them to protect themselves.

If you have a story of self-defense involving the aid of a gun and would like to tell it to 20/20, please fill out the form below. A "20/20" producer may contact you.
I am not a big fan of 20/20, but if this is on the up-and-up, it is a good thing.

Now They Have Gone Too Far

I have watched the hype concerning global warming grow with some humor and just the tiniest bit of trepidation. In my early years, I did a course of study under George Miller. Mr. Miller was a paleontologist in the Imperial Valley of California. We studied the life of the past through fossils and geological formations. I learned about climate change and the effects on life via the fossil record. Is the earth going through a warming stage? It appears so. Is this warming due to human activity? Most likely not. Heck, one volcano will spew more contaminants and carbon into the atmosphere than mankind could if we tried. During the '70's, when we were all being warned about the upcoming ice age, did the scientist urge more carbon emissions to combat global cooling? No. One wonders why not. The most likely explanation is that such a program would not work.

Now we watch Algore raise himself to sainthood on the unfounded fears of global warming. Good capitalist are making money selling carbon offsets and pandering to the fears brought on by the word of these new age environmental prophets. Legislators across the world are coming up with laws to force folks to follow the edicts of the chosen, and liberty is once again at risk. Worse yet, so is the BBQ.

From The Barking Moonbat Early Warning System we find the following:

BRUSSELS, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - The government of Belgium's French-speaking region of Wallonia, which has a population of about 4 million, has approved a tax on barbequing, local media reported.

Experts said that between 50 and 100 grams of CO2, a so-called greenhouse gas, is emitted during barbequing. Beginning June 2007, residents of Wallonia will have to pay 20 euros for a grilling session.

The local authorities plan to monitor compliance with the new tax legislation from helicopters, whose thermal sensors will detect burning grills.
The Bastards! They don't even know how to spell barbecue, and they want to tax it? I may have to boycot Belgium beer.

I wonder just how much CO2 and other pollutants will be emitted by the helicopters?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rifle Safety Manual

The Civilian Marksmanship Program has published a basic primer on safe firearm handling. This 32 page pdf file covers basic range safety and etiquette as well as some tips for accurate rifle shooting. This is a good safety manual for the target shooting sports.

Support FCI, Win a B.A.G. (or two)

Just before Christmas of last year, Doug Campbell of Frankfort, IL found out he was the lucky winner of The Fifty Caliber Institute's drawing for a Browning M3 Heavy-Barrel in Semi-Auto. Now that it my kind of Christmas present. Oh darn, Doug lives in Illinois, bummer. As you probably know, Illinois anti's are working pretty hard to ban .50 caliber firearms. One of the primary organizations working against this ban is The Fifty Caliber Institute (FCI). FCI raises funds through membership drives and raffles. This years raffle is pretty outstanding.

Click here to enter

"Enter Once, Win Twice"

Introducing FCI's Best Fundraiser Yet!

Beginning immediately FCI is introducing our most recent fundraiser and we think this will turn out to be the best fundraiser we've ever had. For starters we are giving away two fine firearms instead of one and each coupon purchased will be used in both drawings. So if you buy one coupon you get a chance to win either of these two fine firearms OR BOTH OF THEM. Coupons are $25 each, but we are also continuing our policy of giving away 5 coupons for every $100 contribution.
These are two outstanding firearms, enter now, and enter often. I can't think of a better Christmas present. Click here to enter.

From The Fifty Caliber Institute

The Fight to Protect the .50 BMG has Started:

In early March the battle to protect our rights as law abiding gun owners began again in earnest in the state of New Jersey with the introduction of a 50 caliber ban in the form of adding a new definition of a "Destructive Device" to an existing law. Senate bill 1498 and Assembly bill 3998 both add to existing law a new definition of what a destructive device is.
Illinois Follows Suit:
At the same time the state of Illinois introduced two anti-50 caliber bills of their own. HB 873 was initially introduced as an expansion of their existing Assault Weapons Bill and it added the fifty caliber rifle (and many others) to that existing law. After a short period of time SB 1471 was introduced which is a stand alone bill just banning the 50 caliber rifle.
FCI Joins Forces With Other Groups:

Since before this battle began FCI has been working in conjunction with several other gun rights organizations to do everything we can to educate the legislators of both Illinois and New Jersey to the rights of law abiding gun owners. In both states we are facing tremendous odds simply because of the changes that resulted from the elections last November. Each state has Democratic majorities in both houses and are known for their anti-gun political posture.

In IL SB 1471 has been voted out of committee already and can be brought up onto the Senate floor for a vote at any time. The identical bill HB 873 on the House side of the legislature has also been voted out of committee and can be voted on any time.

During the week of March 19th both of these bills were intensely lobbied by many people within the fifty caliber community. Ronnie Barrett, owner of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing and Mark Westrom, owner of Armalite Inc. led a delegation of representatives from the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA); the ILA Office of NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to educate legislators on the real facts relating to the fifty caliber target rifle. On Tuesday March 20th they spent the entire day meeting with state senators in an effort to garner the support to kill this devastating piece of legislation. Each member of this delegation was present to provide information at the hearings on HB 873 on Wednesday morning. Regardless of the information presented, HB 873 and two other very serious anti-gun bills passed out of committee when voted on that day.

Both of these bills now present a serious threat to the law abiding owners of fifty caliber target rifles in IL. These bills can be called to the floor of either legislative body at any time for a vote. Right now is the time for all gun owners in IL to get involved and call their legislative representatives and voice your opposition to these bills.

We are asking everyone who is a member of a shooting sports organization to forward this email to as many email addresses as you can and to share this message on as many gun rights forums as you can. We need to send a crystal clear message to the legislature in IL that we will not tolerate another debacle like what happened in CA four years ago. Law abiding gun owners need to stand together on this issue and fight to keep our right to enjoy our sport. If we don't, the next rifle they come for will be your scoped deer rifle.
For more information on The Fifty Caliber Institute, go here.

To read the latest issue of the FCI newsletter, which includes a report of the recent match which took place in Waco Texas at Tiger Valley, go here.