Saturday, May 31, 2008

It Was Demolition Day... Casa JR.

When we purchased our house, we knew that there was a lot of work to be done to make it ours. The previous owners were the original owners of close to 30 years. The husband was not quite the craftsman that he thought he was, leading to problems that we bought in to fixing.

The Master Bedroom is done, the Master Bath is next on the list of indoor projects.

Today's demolition was an outdoor project. The previous owner had built the patio in stages. There are 7 different concrete pours and two different types of brick /pavestone additions. The patio cover was attached to the house and there was a built in dog run and a privacy fence under the cover. There is also a little pump room attached to the house for the above ground pool that I demo'd after the first summer. We took out the dog run and privacy fence right away upon moving in. The yard fence is adequate for privacy and we needed to open up the patio a bit.

Today was the day that I demo'd out the patio cover. It had some dry rot and carpenter ants were all over the place. But first things first. I had to go into work and make sure everything was lined out for my guys. After a short morning at work (3 hours) I come home and get ready for the demolition. We have wind chimes, a kiddie swing, lights, electrical, the satellite cable and stuff like that hanging from the cover. I had to get that all off before I could break out the heavy tools and the chain saw. About the time I finished up getting ready, a friend showed up with his trailer. It would have taken 4 or 5 pickup loads to get everything to the dump, but that Big Tex Model 50 LA trailer was plenty large enough for the job.

Once the trailer arrived, I started my demo work. A chain saw and some heavy tools made the job much easier. It is end of month, so V was working closing out the books for the medical office that employs her. It was just me and the patio cover. A quart and a half of Gatoraid and two quarts of water later, and the patio cover was in the trailer. The demolition got a bit interesting when I cut through a carpenter ant nest. I was covered in ants. They were inside my safety glasses, inside my shirt, they were everywhere. It's a good thing they were carpenter ants. I would be one hurting puppy if I had that many fire ants on me.

V got done just about the time I put the last piece into the trailer. We swept up the mess, hooked the trailer up to her new jeep (my truck did not have the right electrical hook up for the trailer electrical), and headed off to the dump. The dump closes at 4:30, we got there at 4:29. Whoo hooo. 880 pounds of patio cover is now in the Arlington landfill and my back yard looks much better.

A couple of discoveries when removing the cover. I now know where possums and the like are getting into my attic. There is a 5" x 8" hole under my eves that is due to dry rot. One 2x4 is rotted up into the attic. It's a good thing I have a great roofer on call at work. I am not looking forward to this report.

I did not remove the facing boards that attached part of the patio cover to the house. The last time the house was roofed, they tiled over these boards. I'll wait until my roofer comes out to remove those, I'm sure that there will be problems behind those boards.

The joys of home ownership.

On the plus side. Purchasing an older, fixer upper house at a good price is a nice hedge against housing market corrections.

Friday, May 30, 2008

100,000th Visitor

A Keyboard and a .45 will have it's 100,000th visitor sometime in the next few hours. If you happen to be that visitor, please email a screen shot showing the site meter at the bottom of the page, and I will send you the book (or video) of your choice off of my side bar under the "Recommended Reading/Viewing" header.

The email address is in my profile

Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Visually Appealing Ad

Ammo Alley

Sarah Steelman Bought a Gun Today

Who is Sarah Steelman you ask? She is the current Missouri State Treasurer and is running for Governor as a Republican.

Sarah Steelman

It seems she purchased a rifle for your 13 year old son today.

From The Star:

By Jason Noble

Getting to Ammo Alley from Jefferson City is pretty easy — you get on Highway 63 North and then take a hard right.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Steelman did just that this afternoon, visiting the rural Hartsburg gun shop with the two goals: to buy a rifle for her 13-year-old son and broadcast her commitment to the Second Amendment.
Jason has a bit of trouble hiding his contempt for the candidate in this piece, but he does get the salient points in print.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Voting in November

Here in Texas we have much more at stake in the November elections than just helping to decide the next President of these United States. The folks who we elect to represent us will have a larger effect on our day to day lives than whoever we send to the White House. As a matter of fact, we have the opportunity to put folks on Capitol Hill who could help put the brakes on the liberal agendas of whoever may become president. At stake is one U.S. Senatorial seat, and 32 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Wouldn't it be nice if we Texans could oust our most despicable representative, Sheila Jackson Lee? Not likely, but nice. What we can do is keep our best on the hill, and maybe even gain a seat or two. All we have to do is show up and vote.

At the state level, all 150 State Representative seats are on the ballot. If Republicans don't show up, we loose. Period. We have 11 State Senator seats, The Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and several other judges also on the ballot.

As you can see, there is a lot at stake in November.

Do you want to make advances in our right to keep and bear arms? Or would you prefer legislation that would limit handgun purchases in the State of Texas to one per month? It was the Republicans who spearheaded the Castle Doctrine Laws, and it will be Republicans who fight to get rid of prohibited places for CHL holders. It was Republicans who created our budget surplus, and it is Republicans who promote the economy building free market in Texas. Republicans have stopped the implementation of a state income tax, and is the Republicans who will continue to keep the states fingers out of our paychecks.

Do not stay home this November, too much is at stake.

For a list of Texas candidates, go here.

I am putting my money and my time where my mouth is. I have joined Texas Victory 2008. I am a Texas Volunteer Deputy Registrar, and can register Texas voters in Tarrant County. If you live in Arlington, I will most likely be knocking on your door.

Research your candidates, we have some good folks on the ballot. If you can not find the information you are looking for, give me a holler and I will do what I can to get that information for you.

Register to vote, get your friends to register to vote. To much is at stake to stay home.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day at the Range

Today's trip to the range was accompanied by a rather large agenda of tasks that I wanted to accomplish.

First and foremost I wanted to work on my draw from concealment with live ammo to see if my dry fire drills have created any bad habits. I had nothing to worry about, as a matter of fact my first shot on target accuracy has improved significantly. While working on my drills, I was also continuing my Tripp Research v Wilson Combat magazine test. I used the same magazines as my previous tests, and the results were pretty much the same as before. I am going to gather a lot more data before posting again, but I am pretty confident that the earlier issues are not random. I was also testing out the first batch of reloads through my Lee Pro 1000. They ran great up until the point when there was a small "pop", and nothing when I pulled the trigger. I found a round with no powder. The bullet did not even completely clear the case. That turned into a "take the gun home and fix" issue. All is well now.

The next task on my list was to try out my new Ruger SP 101. That is one fine revolver. The front sight takes a bit of extra concentration, but I held very good groups with .38 Special rounds. My groups opened up a bit when I shot the Buffalo Bore Tactical Short Barrel Low-Flash 158 gr .357 rounds. I am very happy with this revolver.

While I was doing all this, V was shooting her Hi-Power. While we were at NRA Con, V received a bit of instruction from one of the guys with Novak Sights. V noticed right away that her shooting had improved. She put quite a few rounds down range and was very pleased with the results.

My final task for the day was to break in the bore of my new Savage Scout, and sight in the Leupold FX II Scout Scope. This was where I bit off a little more than V could chew. The temperature got into the 90's and the day grew long for her as I shot one round, then cleaned the barrel, shot another round and ...

I started at the 50 yard range to sight in the scope. Moved to the 100, then out to the 200 yard range. When I was sighted in at 200 yards, I started ringing a gong that I hung out there. V was watching the plate swing through a spotting scope. That is when I started missing the plate. I went from nailing a 3" orange dot to missing an 8" wide plate. Something was up. The factory mounted forward rail had worked loose. Did not make it through the whole break in procedure, but that will wait for another day.

Now it's time to clean some guns. Now, where did I put that loctite...

Memorial Day

From "Fallen Heroes" a photo essay by Daniel J. Wood. Location: Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola Florida.

Mike has an excellent tribute to our fallen heroes in:

I have a flag that once flew over the USS Constitution. I do not get to fly it very often as I do not have a pole large enough to properly display it. I brought that flag out to the range with us and flew it from the center pole. I had to fly it a touch higher than half mast this morning due to the height of the pole. As the day heated up, V and I were left at the range to ourselves. The sound of that flag popping in the wind was a constant reminder of those that fought, and died, for our country.

I hope you had the opportunity to spend some time with family and friends, cook out, play, and enjoy this long weekend. I also hope that you took a moment to remember those who died so that we have the liberty to do all of the things that we do.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nano-Mortar, A First Look

Awhile back, Steve of The Firearm Blog posted "Smallest black powder artillery ever made". That post has images and video of miniature mortars, cannons and gonnes. After seeing that, I knew I had to get into the miniature arms race. For my first effort I used the provided plans.

Here is the Nano-Mortar:

1" long and 0.710" high.

Can't wait to get my hands on some black powder and give this a spark. I wonder if there is a special license for concealed carry mortars?

Friday, May 23, 2008


Our official Keyboard and a .45 model showing off the latest EPR (Evil Pink Rifle).

Too bad they didn't have the matching magazine.

Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance

America Unites In Remembrance

The National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, asks Americans wherever they are at 3 p.m., local time, on Memorial Day to pause in an act of national unity (duration: one minute).

The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who died for our freedom.

It will help to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble holiday it was meant to be. In this shared remembrance, we connect as Americans.
H/T to Sondra K.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Good Idea?

I've been commenting on all the cool and interesting stuff V and I found in the NRA Exhibit Hall. This is one item that I just do not like at all.

Safe Round. It is basically a dummy round that you would load as the first round in a pistol or revolver. If there is a negligent trigger pull, or if an intruder gets your firearm, the gun is locked up and unusable until the Safe Round is reset.

The first problem I have with this product is that it is a crutch and enables unsafe firearm handling and storage. It can be used as an excuse to leave a handgun where untrained or undisciplined children can get access to it. I can see the news report now. "Geeze officer, I thought I had loaded a Safe Round."

The second problem I have with this product is that it defeats the purpose of keeping a firearm handy for self defense. In an emergency situation where you need to use that revolver right now, are you going to remember to advance the cylinder? How about ejecting the first round in your semi-auto?

You do not need a crutch to maintain a safe, firearm owning, household.

If you watch the video and decide that this product really is for you, then head on over and pick one up. Just do me one favor and don't let this product lull you into a false sense of security and start developing lackadaisical firearm safety habits.

A couple related links:

Kids and Firearm Safety

Educating Your Kids

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Something Else to Drool Over

Steyr had a very well equipped and informative booth with pretty much everything Steyr has to offer. I of course handled the Scouts (they had a whole section of them, the marine finish scout would make a great cache gun), but what really caught my attention was the new SSG 08.

Steyr SSG 08

At 12+ pounds this is not a light rifle, but is very comfortable to shoulder. Would have loved to have given it a try prone, but not quite the venue for that.

She didn't have a nametag

Jim Shepherd, of Down Range TV, has written what may be the best piece to come out of the NRA Annual Meeting.

"Sir," she said once again, "you won't let that happen to us, will you?"

Suddenly, in the middle of a record crowd in a busy convention, something clicked.

For the first time in a long time, the whole discussion about guns and gun rights coalesced into an unvarnished truth spoken by a lady most of us would have dismissed without a second glance.

The enormity of it was nearly overwhelming It was as if someone had turned on a bright light in a pitch-black room. The accompanying rush of emotion made my spine tingle and the few hairs still on my head feel as if they at attention.

I had heard a call for help. A direct plea begging that I stop treating the Second Amendment fight like it was just another story...
This one is well worth the read.

Lets Play...

...Name These Shooters!

If you need some help, you might, maybe, possibly find it here.

A Couple of .45's From the NRA Exhibits

First up is Thompson's new pistol. The Thompson 1927A-1 Deluxe Pistol.

Lightweight Deluxe Pistol, Model TA5

Kind of hard to conceal with that 50 round drum (a 100 round drum is available) and an overall length of just under two feet. But what the heck, it's no hill for a climber.

Next up is the KRISS Super V CRB/SO .45 ACP Civilian Carbine.

KRISS Super V, .45 ACP

The KRISS is most tempting. A carbine in the same caliber as my sidearm could come in handy...

How's That Gun Control Thing Working Out in Chicago?

It seems Mayor Daley's gun buy back program isn't working:

6436 S. Oakley Ave, Chicago

If you use the street map feature to move up and down the street, you can see this unfold a bit. You will also see a group of uninterested bystanders hanging out in the shade.

H/T to Say Uncle

Edit: Okay, when you blow the image up, you can see that it is most likely a squirt gun.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Fifty Calber Institute

Had a booth at the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits. Here is the prototype of the Windrunner Semi-Auto .50 Cal by EDM Arms that is up for grabs in this years raffle.

I am happy to support the Fifty Caliber Institute by being a member, and by advertising these raffles. But I do have to admit, a part of me is thinking "What the heck are you doing, the more tickets you sell, the harder it will be to win".

I am, of course, not serious. I know that if one of y'all win this rifle, I will get an invite to join you at the range. So the more folks I can send over for ticket sales, the better my chances of actually getting of putting a few rounds down range through this awesome rifle.

For more information, head on over to FCI by clicking here.

Closing the "Gun Show Loophole"

This new ad, put out by the Bloomberg cronies, pretty much highlights the weakness in Senator McCain's supposed support for our right to keep and bear arms:

There is no such thing as a gun show loophole. All firearm transactions at gun shows have to follow the exact same local, state and federal laws as any other firearm transaction in that local. Proposed laws to close a "Gun Show Loophole" have nothing to do with loopholes, and everything to do with prohibiting the private transfer of firearms and doing away with gun shows all together.

For more on this issue, please read Closing the "Gun Show Loophole"

H/T to the Star Telegram PoliTex blog

Monday, May 19, 2008

NRA Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum

The Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum was the first event that V and I attended at the 137th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Louisville. It is not the main reason I attended this years annual exhibit, but there were speakers included in the roster that I admire and wanted to see and hear in person. The fact that John McCain and his Secret Service detail decided to make the event a no firearms zone was a disappointment, but not an unexpected decision. As I have mentioned before, Sen. McCain had an opportunity to make a bold statement supporting gun owners and our right to keep and bear arms. He had the opportunity to show is trust in the citizens of these great United States, and he blew it. Again, it was not unexpected. That was not the only disappointment provided by the Senator and Republican candidate this day, but more on that later.

Karl Rove did an excellent job of pointing out exactly what Obama's stand on our right to keep and bear arms really is.

  • In 1996 Barak Obama filled out a questionnaire for the Independent Voters of Illinois in which he stated that he supported a complete ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of all handguns.
  • In 1998, according to his responses to that years Project Vote Smart Illinois State Legislative Election National Political Awareness Test, he pledged to ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
  • In 1999 the Chicago Defender reported that State Senator Obama "is proposing to make it a felony for a gun owner who's firearm was stolen from his residence which causes harm to another person if that weapon was not securely stored in the home".
  • In 2001 Obama pressed for a law to require gun owners to register with the State of Illinois. As the State Journal Register put it "The proposals would make gun owners apply in person for a firearms identification card and supply their photos and fingerprints."
  • In 2001 the Hyde Park Herald reported "State Senator Barak Obama (D 13) helped defeat a bill that would allow people who receive an order of protection to possess and carry a concealed firearm". He told the newspaper "It was a bad idea and I'm glad it failed".
  • In 1999 The Wall Street Journal reports "Mr. Obama urged enactment of a federal law prohibiting the operation of any gun store withing 5 miles of a school or park. This would eliminate gun stores from almost the entire inhabited portion of the United States".
  • In 2003 State Senator Obama voted for State Bill 1195, which the Illinois State Rifle Association stated would have banned most of the privately held shotguns, target rifles and black powder rifles in the entire State of Illinois.
  • In 2004 State Senator Obama voted 4 times against legislation protecting homeowners from prosecution in cases where they use a firearm to halt a home invasion.
  • In 2004, when asked in a questionnaire "Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of assault weapons", his response was short and to the point. "Yes".
  • In 2004 Obama told the Chicago Tribune "On the issue of carrying concealed weapons, Obama said he believes national legislation should be passed to prevent other states laws from threatening the safety of Illinois residents. Pass a federal law to do away with the state law on concealed carry". He went on to say "I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry."
There is more, but you get the gist of it.

During Oliver North's speech, Mitt Romney held a mini interview while the Colonel was talking. That was quite rude as it distracted from what the Colonel was saying.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson gave a good speech, but did not touch upon her statements at the Heritage Foundation concerning her support of an assault weapons ban.

John Bolton was an excellent Ambassador to the United Nations and it was a pleasure to hear him talk about foreign affairs and the Middle East.

Marcus Luttrell, Navy Seal, Survivor, and author of Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, and Sgt. Greg Stube, a true American hero were the best part of the forum. No political BS, just a quick recounting of their stories and a call to serve in any way we can. These heroes received the real applause. These American Men stood in for those who continue to serve overseas and at home, and we did what we could to show our appreciation.

For the most part, this was a political rally for McCain. It was amusing to listen to Mitt Romney, past Governor of the anti gun state Massachusetts, talk about his support of our right to keep and bear arms. I wonder if he even feels a twinge of hypocrisy over signing that Mass. AWB?

Then there was Huckabee. I cringed, as did much of the audience (but not as many as I would have thought) when he joked about someone pointing a gun at Obama. They were politely received, but not much more than that.

Then we had the keynote speaker. Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for the upcoming presidential election. Once again he missed an opportunity to impress.

When talking about gun shows:

Over the years, I haven't agreed with the NRA on every issue. I have supported efforts to have NICS background checks apply to gun sales at gun shows. I recognize that gun shows are enjoyed by millions of law-abiding Americans. I do not support efforts by those who seek to regulate them out of existence. But I believe an accurate, fair and instant background check at guns shows is a reasonable requirement. I also oppose efforts to require federal regulation of all private sales such as the transfer between a father and son or husband and wife. I supported campaign finance reform because I strongly believed our system of financing campaigns was influencing elected officials to put the interests of "soft money" donors ahead of the public interest.
It was at this point, early in his speech, that a slow but steady trickle of people started leaving the venue. He had lost our interest. John McCain's determination to do away with the private sale of firearms is unacceptable. Yes David, no one booed. Honestly now, would you have? This was not a crowd of liberal college students bent on making a disturbance, but a crowd of good and decent Americans. They offered up polite applause and stood when he was done. They clapped again when he came back on stage, it was the polite thing to do. I did not hear one enthusiastic comment about McCain's platform from anyone not on a stage the entire weekend. There is hope (but not much faith) that he will pick a VP that will do us proud. There was a mixture of disappointment and disgust that this is the best that the Republican Party could come up with as a candidate. No one booed, no one walked out of there fired up for McCain either.

Folks. We have to work extra hard to get good legislators elected on our local and state levels this year. I am not sure if there is any hope for Congress at the moment. I doubt McCain would sign an AWB, but at the moment it looks like any veto from him will be easily overridden by congress. It is pretty much guaranteed that he will do away with private sales of firearms if such a bill crosses his desk, we have to keep such a bill from making it there.

Wayne LaPierre was the last speaker of the forum, he spoke to an audience heading out the door.

I have the audio of Karl Rove, John Bolton and Kay Bailey's speeches. I'll email them to anyone who asks. I'm really kind of irritated that I somehow deleted Luttrells's and Stube's talks. If anyone has them, let me know.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Back in Texas

It is going to take me a good while to get everything written that I would like to write about the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits.

First, let me say that the NRA media relations group were very supportive of the bloggers and provided us with access that we could never had had without their support. There were a couple of crossed wires here and there, but those issues were minor.

V and I both had a great time and we hit the ground running. Basically we went straight from the airport to the Celebration of American Values leadership Forum on Friday, and didn't stop until Sunday afternoon when we visited the last exhibit booth before running back to the airport to get home.

V and I talked about our favorite parts of this weekend over dinner, and there was lots to talk about. V really enjoyed talking with the folks who had a real passion and love of their life's work. Folks like David Young, who's love of history and enthusiasm for sharing that history with others is contagions. And craftsmen like Bill Alexander of Alexander Arms, Martini Cadet craftsman Robert J. Snapp, and master engraver Mike Dubber, folks who's love of their craft is as evident as the color of their eyes. I will have to agree with V, being around people like that is, for lack of a better word, exhilarating. We spoke with MR. Snapp and Dubber on Sunday afternoon, and they were as energized and enthusiastic as if it were hour one of day one. This sort of dedication was evident throughout the hall.

For me, the best part was being in the midst of 60,000 gunnies. There were 40 or so of us gun bloggers there amongst this mass of people were there for pretty much the same reason, to hang out with other gunnies. That is just goodness in and of itself.

This is an event that you really should try to get to. The atmosphere, the people, and of course the firearms, make for an experience that you will remember for quite awhile. Might as well start making plans for 2009 now.

OBTW, while we were gone...

The Stars win again!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

V's Highlight of the Day

Meeting Col. Oliver North...

I think her signed copy of American Heroes: In the Fight Against Radical Islam (War Stories) made her weekend.

From the Exhibits Floor

Bright and early at the Kentucky Exposition Center. This is only one of the entrances to this very large center. The NRA picked a great venue for this years event, plenty of space, good AC, and set up very nicely for an event such as this.

Anyone and everyone in the firearms industry is represented here. Firearm manufacturers small and large have a spot on the floor and are marketing their wares. On a side note, the Ruger LCP is getting quite the reception. Lots of folks were wanting give one a feel.

One of my highlights of my morning was the chance to meet and spend some time with Steve Lauer of Lauer Custom Weaponry. If you recall, Steve is NYC enemy #1 according to Bloomberg. Bloomberg v. Lauer Custom Weaponry will catch you up on that bit of fun.

Sorry about the poor image quality. Steve is an interesting man to talk with, has a great sense of humor, and seems like someone who would be fun to hang out with.

Have more stuff, but gotta go, lots more to see.

Day Two Begins

I finally got this laptop lined out. As you can probably tell, this is a borrowed computer and it's virus protection was pretty much non-existent. Two ad ware programs had worked their way in as I was trying to post last night and created a bit of havoc. I even found malicious script in my post (cleaned before publishing).

All is well now, the 'puter is clean and loaded up with a bit of protection.

A quick shower and I am off to meet with FNH USA to talk about their product line.

This is going to be a great day, miles of gun stuff and access to the people who make things happen.

Back in a bit.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day One in Louisville

We got a late start from home this morning. Decided that Kimber had to stay home, we did not have time to get through security with the extra steps. Turns out the plane left late, I would have had time after all.

The pilot did a good job of putting his foot in it and we landed just a few minutes later than scheduled. When we got to the rental car, V found her Kimber Guardian Angel in the side pocket of her Versipack. Oooops...

I'm not sure how TSA missed that one. We did prove one thing today, the Secret Service does a much better job of checking bags than the TSA.

We bypassed the hotel and headed straight to the Kentucky Exposition Center. Picking up the press passes as a breeze. The media line to enter the Celebration of American Values Forum was short, and security was tight. The pepper spray did not make it in. Corkscrews, ammo, and drinks were a few of the items that ended in the trash from folks in line ahead of us.

The forum was well attended and I have a ton of notes and audio from the speakers. But it is late, and I am tired, and this laptop is giving me troubles. I'll not be able to do the forum justice.

Meeting, greeting and dinner with the other bloggers at Bass Pro Shops was a great idea, another thing I will have to talk about tomorrow.

Until then...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dial 911 and...

911 is a very useful tool for public safety. It is the best way we have of getting emergency services where they are needed, the centralized dispatching system is as efficient as any bureaucracy can be. It is a useful tool, but if it is the only tool you have, you may be very disappointed.


NewsChannel 5's chief investigative reporter Phil Williams said 911 workers across the Midstate do a heroic job every day under incredibly stressful conditions, but when a Nashville woman faced a violent domestic situation back in February the system failed.

"I'm like looking out the window for him, and I don't see him," Sheila Jones recalled.

Her call for help began when an angry ex-boyfriend barged into her house.

Sheila's first call was recorded at Metro Nashville's 911 Center at 2:08 p.m.

Sheila to 911: "Get the police here now. My life is threatened. Please God. Please God. Please God. Get me police over now. He's got a knife on me. My life threatened."
This seems like a very high priority type 911 call to me, a call that would prompt an immediate response.

As they say, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away".

Well... not this time.

After getting her ex boyfriend out of the house, and several calls to 911, she learns the truth of the matter.
Two-and-half-hours into the ordeal Sheila called again. This time, she was told there was no one assigned to answer her call.

Sheila: "Nobody's coming out here?"
911: "Yes, ma'am. As soon as the sergeant gets an officer available, he's gonna send somebody out there."
Sheila: "What, do y'all want him to kill me - so you can put yellow tape around me and say we got there just for the death? Is that it? I don't understand."
And then comes the worst of it.
The worse part was what Sheila had not heard. The worst part was what the 911 call taker said after Sheila hung up the phone.

Sheila: "I'm scared to even leave out my f***ing house."
911: "OK, ma'am, I updated the call. We'll get somebody there as soon as possible."
Sheila: [Hangs up.]
911: "I really just don't give a s**t what happens to you."
911 is a good tool, but if you depend solely upon others for your security, those others just may not give a s**t about you either. Your life and your family's well being are your responsibility, accept that responsibility and learn to use the necessary tools to provide for your security.

H/T to the War on Guns

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Breaking News!

The Dallas Stars won one!

John McCain's Missed Opportunity

I am disappointed, but not surprised, by the recent announcement that firearms would not be allowed into the NRA Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum. John McCain will be there, his Secret Service detail will be there, so my legally carried sidearm will not be there. That is to bad. John McCain could have made quite the RKBA statement by allowing law abiding citizens, following the laws of Kentucky, to carry at this event. The publicity value alone should have made it worth its while. But nope, not this time.

The blame is being laid at the feet of the Secret Service -

I know there's very, very little time, but i just received confirmation about guns in the forum.

This came down from the Secret Service--it was not our call, nor Sen. McCain's.

NOTICE: By mandate of the U. S. Secret Service, no firearms will be allowed in Hall A of the Kentucky Exposition Center, the location of the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum, on Friday, May 16. Please be prepared to go through security screening to enter the venue.
As I mentioned, I am not really surprised, just a bit disappointed.

There is one interesting side note to this story. Way back in February, Barack NMN Obama held a political rally here in Dallas at the Reunion Arena. At this rally, the Secret Service had a different idea.

From the Star Telegram archives:

By Jack Douglas

DALLAS — Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena. The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department's homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order — apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service — was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena's vacant seats before Obama came on.
So a Democrat Rally in Dallas is less of a threat than an NRA forum in Kentucky?

How Not to Scratch an Itch

Sometimes you have to wonder about the efficiency of natural selection.

From the Star Telegram:

By Matt Frazier

FORT WORTH -- Here is something to add to your list of things to not use as a back scratcher. At about 3 a.m. Sunday, Jorge Alberto Espinal, 44, of Fort Worth, was outside playing poker with some friends when he went inside the house in the 3500 block of Montague Street. While inside, Espinal got an itch on his back. To scratch it, he chose a .22 caliber revolver.
We know how this is going to end.

About 10 minutes later, he went back out and announced that he had shot himself.
At least the reporter never used the word "accident".

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Clothes Shopping

After work I hurried home, showered, changed and headed out to do some shopping for some new clothes to wear at the NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits. I quite smoking awhile back and packed on some pounds (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). Some pounds is kind of an understatement, so it was time to pick up some new things anyway.

Stopped in at the Men's Warehouse, one of my favorite places to shop for stepping out clothes. I had planned on letting the sales person who was working with me know that I was carrying a sidearm before they did any waist measurements, but never got the chance to put my plan into action. When I tried on a jacket, the sales associate discovered my Kimber. He patted my side and said, "That's there all the time, isn't it?". I said yes and that was the last of it. When measuring my waist he measured behind and also over the Kimber and set me up with some quality duds that afforded good concealment. There was another CHL'r in the store getting a suit tailored specifically for concealment. It was not big deal to the staff, the way it should be everywhere. It was very nice to work with folks like the staff at Men's Warehouse, folks who are professionals in what they do and who see the fact that you carry a sidearm as an opportunity to demonstrate their craftsmanship.

After getting done with that, I met V at Studio Movie Grill and watched Iron Man. We had a great time.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Is H.R. 1022 Gaining Traction?

Over the weekend, Sebastian commented on a PA legislator who had signed onto H.R. 1022, a new assault weapons ban introduced by Carolyn McCarthy. Pat Murphy Jumps on Gun Banning Bandwagon is the post by Sebastian that caught my eye and caused me to look and see if there was any new activity on H.R. 1022.

It seems that H.R. 1022 has gained a few new cosponsors since my last check. H.R. 1022 now has 66 cosponsors. The most recent 6 have signed on in just the last couple of weeks. Someone is stirring the pot and pushing this horrendous piece of legislation. More than 15% of the House are now signed onto this bill as cosponsors. Not bad for a bill that everyone insists is dead in the water.

For more on H.R. 1022, including images of firearms that it seeks to ban, click here and scroll down.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Things You Can Find on Youtube

A practical guide to dealing with Zombies.

Found while setting up my Twitter account for the Second Amendment Blog Bash.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Swift Verdict For an Unimaginable Crime

Yes, we can get things done quickly here in Texas.

From the Star Telegram Crime Time Blog:

By Lance Murray

Some crimes don't need much time to decide guilt and punishment.

In Tyler on Thursday, a jury needed just four minutes to convict a woman who was an organizer of a swinger's club where, prosecutors said, young children were forced to perform sexual acts for a live audience. It took six minutes for jurors to decide on a life sentence.
When you read the details of what she did, a life sentence is seems kind of lenient.

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

By Casey Knuapp

Several people gave victim impact statements, including the four victims in the case and their foster parents. Six of the 12 jurors returned to the courtroom after being released to hear their statements.

The victims — three siblings, a 10-year-old girl, a 9-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl — and their 9-year-old aunt all testified about how Ms. Mayo and other defendants in the case taught them beginning at age 5 how to dance and perform sex acts in “kindergarten,” then forced them to dance and have sex with each other in front of an audience. The defendants collected money for the performances but paid the children with food. The children were also given “silly pills” or drugs before they danced in the club.
I can not imagine the lives these children have led. Modern punishments are not up to taking this goblin to task.

David E. Young Interview, You Ask the Questions

David Codrea, of The War on Guns, will be interviewing David Young this coming Monday. As with other War on Guns interviews, David C. will open the comments for questions from the masses. This is your chance to ask one of the top authorities on The Founders' View of the Right to Bear Arms your Second Amendment related questions.

Check in, you might learn something.

Books by David E. Young:

The Origin of the Second Amendment: A Documentary History of the Bill of Rights in Commentaries on Liberty, Free Government & an Armed Populace 1787-1792

The Founders' View of the Right to Bear Arms: A Definitive History of the Second Amendment

Previous posts on David E. Young can be found here.

Friday, May 09, 2008

It has been awhile since I posted about firearm safety.

Xavier uses a recent incident to educate.

Good stuff, even in the comments.

Lou Dobbs on Olofson

What? You haven't heard of David Olofson? That is my fault for not being more proactive on this case which highlights in great detail the abuses of the BATFE. I have not raised the flag on this recent atrocity against a free citizen of the United States by the Federal .gov, and for that I am ashamed.

David Codrea of The War on Guns has been keeping us up to date on this (and other) cases of abuse by the BATFE, and should be commended.

Lou Dobbs, of CNN, is covering this case and has two excellent segments that you really must see for yourselves.

Segment 1.

Segment 2.

Please, watch both segments. This was not done under a Clinton administration, but under George Bush and his unconfirmed director of the BAFTE, Michael J. Sullivan.

The BATFE is getting very bold in their arrogance. It is past time that congress put a leash on this dog.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Red Wings vs Stars

Red Wings/Stars

The Dallas Stars get into early penalty trouble, and the 'Wings take advantage. The Red Wings score first during a 5 on 3 power play at 4:28 into the game. More penalty trouble, and another power play goal for the 'Wings at 15:34. The Stars have put themselves into a bit of a hole, but they are known for climbing out of holes like this. I believe that both goals were scored while Jere Lehtinen was off the ice getting a cut sewed up.

The Stars are missing Stu Barnes. He needs to get better quick.

Update: End of the Second Period. Red Wings 4, Stars 1.

Total shots on goal: Red Wings 25, Stars 15.

They are out shooting us, and Chris Osgood has made some outstanding saves on the shots we have gotten through.

The 'Wings have scored two this period. The first on a power play, the second 5 on 5.

The period did end on a high note. The Stars had three very strong shifts and ended up with a goal 5 on 5 at 18:53 into the Second. Going into the locker room with a goal is a good thing.

Marty is not at his best. He has made a couple magnificent saves, but allowing four goals makes it hard for your offense to win a game. Granted, he has been hung out to dry by the Stars defense a time or two.

Zetterberg with the puck

It's going to be a great Third Period. Go Stars!

Update: The third period was once again the Stars best of the game. Shots on goal were even, and the Stars picked up the pace on hitting.

Red Wings win, 4/1.

The Red Wings were my favorite team for nearly 20 years. But since I have watched pretty much every Stars game for the last 8+ years, I have grown quite fond of them. They can do better than they did tonight, and I am sure they will. Win or lose, this is some great hockey.

I do have a request for the Red Wings. Aaron Downey played an important role on your way to the cup. Let him get in on at least one game during the playoffs, he deserves it.

Good News in Texas

I have heard talk, on the gun boards and from acquaintances, about a decline in CHL applications in Texas because the Motorist Protection Act allows all law abiding Texans to have a concealed handgun in their vehicles.

This news article dispels that myth.

From the Star Telegram:

AUSTIN -- Texans are applying for concealed handgun licenses at a rate nearly 40 percent higher than a year ago, causing a backlog in new applications and permit renewals, according to a newspaper report.

The Houston Chronicle reported in its Thursday editions that state officials can't explain the surge in applications, while handgun instructors point to factors ranging from the looming presidential election to newly strengthened privacy laws for Texas gun owners.

The state is taking a month longer than the 60 days allowed by law to process original applications, the newspaper reported. Renewals are going 80 days past the mandated 45-day period.

"We're trying really hard, but there have been delays because of the tremendous increase in applications," said Tela Mange, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman.

Last week alone, the state reported processing 1,043 original applications but receiving 1,871 requests.
Now that is cool. A Texan who takes the time and effort to get a CHL is also a Texan who will take the time and effort to vote. A voting block with hard numbers is very hard to ignore in Austin.

Why the increase? The article mentions the new Texas CHL privacy law and the upcoming elections as factors. I would submit the increase in violent crime has more to do with a persons decision to carry a firearm than who might become President.

I have had a small role to play in three of those applications, and I can attest to the delay.

This is a good trend, and it can get better. The more folks who have a CHL, the more who know someone with a CHL. The more folks who know someone with a CHL, the more who will want to get one of their own...

The Stars/Red Wings game is starting. Gotta go.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thieves Get Bolder Every Day

Stealing ATM machines from the small Stop and Rob stores is a crime that has been gaining popularity these past couple of years. Often times the goblins will steal a pick up truck or SUV, crash the vehicle into the store after it is closed for the night, grab the ATM machine and leave in a second (often times also stolen) vehicle. Business owners doing what they can to discourage these goblins. They install crash barriers and the like, turning the Stop and Rob into a mini fortress. Those that can not afford crash barriers, empty the machines at night. They leave the machine open to a goblins can see that they are empty before taking out a wall to get to the machine. Pickings are getting slimmer, so the goblins have to improvise, overcome...

From the Star Telegram:

By Domingo Ramirez Jr.

GRAPEVINE -- A group of brazen thieves stole an ATM early today after they smashed a window and used a chain to pull the machine out of a convenience store while a clerk looked on, police said.
Granted this happened in the wee hours of the morning, but the fact that it happened at an open store says tons about how bold goblins are becoming, and how this crime is escalating. The goblins get it in their mind that they want something, they are going to use whatever force is necessary to get it. Are you ready, willing, and able to counter that determination?

High Gas Prices...

...are starting to have an effect on driving habits here in North Texas.

I leave for work just before 5:30 in the morning and I have noticed that the average traffic speed for that time of the day has slowed down by pretty close to 10 mph. Still over the speed limit, but slower. The commute home has not appreciably changed. I guess it is hard to slow down when you are making going home turns.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Stars Oust the Sharks

What a great game. Over 6 periods of hard fought hockey. Turco stopped 61 of 62 shots on goal, wow. Nabokov stopped all but two. It was that second goal by Stars Captain Brendan Morrow, 5 hours and 14 minutes after the initial puck drop, that ended the Shark's run at the Cup.

Highlights from the game;

Can be found here.

Note that the last goal was scored just before 1:30, this morning. Made for a long day today.

Next up, the Red Wings. I can't wait!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Employer Parking Lots and Firearms in Texas

During this last session of the Texas legislature, several important pro-rights bills became law. Probably the most well known is SB 378, commonly referred to as the Texas Castle Doctrine Law. One of the changes to the Texas Penal Code enacted by SB 378 had to do with determining when deadly force is justified:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So as you see, current Texas law allows all law abiding Texans to carry a handgun in their vehicle for the purpose of self defense. That is, of course, unless you are going to work and your employer happens to have a policy in place that forbids firearms in vehicles on their parking lots.

Another excellent piece of legislation that became Texas law was HB 991, CHL Confidentiality. HB 991 prevents news organizations, employers, estranged angry spouses, and pretty much any one else from determining the CHL status of an individual. What does this have to do with parking lots? I'll get to that in a second.

Last year there were three different bills introduced that attempted to remedy this situation. HB 992 (and SB 534, it's companion), HB 220, and HB 1037. The NRA and TSRA supported HB 992 and HB 220, I supported HB 1037.

HB 992 was, in my opinion, a very bad piece of legislation. First, it only pertained to CHL holders. That pretty much nullifies Castle Doctrine and the Motorist Protection Act for non CHL holders, and that is just not right. Second, it allows employers to develop a list of CHL holders.


(a) A public or private employer may not discharge, discipline, or penalize in any manner an employee because the employee:

(1) applied for a license to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code;

(2) holds a license under that subchapter; or

(3) transports or stores a handgun the employee is licensed to carry under that subchapter in the employee's locked motor vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees if the handgun is hidden from plain view and the employee has filed with the employee's immediate supervisor:

(A) a written statement signed by the employee stating that the employee:

(i) is licensed to carry a concealed handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code;

(ii) intends to store a concealed handgun in the employee's locked motor vehicle while parked in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees; and

(iii) may not remove the handgun from the employee's vehicle for any purpose other than self-defense in the immediate parking area; and

(B) a copy of the employee's license to carry a concealed handgun issued to the employee by the Department of Public Safety under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code.
That pretty much negates CHL Confidentiality. The three best pieces of legislation passed during the session would have been for naught if this bill had become law. I, for one, am very happy it never made it to the floor.

HB 220 was better, not great, but better. Again, this bill only pertained to CHL holders. Not much help for the majority of Texans. What made this bill better was the fact that it did not require a CHL holder to notify their employer of their CHL status. This bill also gave the employer an out:

A private employer may prohibit an employee from transporting or storing a concealed handgun in a vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area the employer provides for employees if:

(1) the parking lot, garage, or other area is completely surrounded by a gate and is not open to the public; and

(2) ingress to and egress from the parking lot, garage, or other area are monitored by security personnel.
HB 1037 was a good piece of legislation and deserved much more support than it received. It applied to all law abiding Texans, and it provided for both the employee and the employer.

For the employee:
(b) A public or private employer may not discharge, discipline, or penalize in any manner an employee because the employee transported or stored a firearm in the employee's locked motor vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle was located on the employer's property.
For the employer:
(g) A public or private employer is not liable in a civil action for damages resulting from an occurrence involving the storage of a firearm in the motor vehicle of an employee.
Right now, during the off season (the Texas legislature is in session every other year), bills are being drafted for the next legislative session. A parking lot bill is going to be high on the list. Personally I think our efforts would be better served working on CHL access to campuses and doing away with 30.06, but that is neither here nor there. Getting a parking lot bill passed is a priority for this next session. Now is the time when we can have the best say in what that bill looks like.

If you are interested in this type of legislation, now is the time to contact the TSRA and your representatives and let them know what you think. Send them a link to this post if you wish. If we are going to have a law concerning firearms and employer parking lots, let us make it a good one.

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Crisis?

You know what really chaps my rear about the "sub-prime mortgage crisis"?

These idiots purchased property on adjusting mortgages when the 30 year fixed rate mortgage rate was at historic lows. Just where in the hell did they thing the rate was going to go when it adjusted?

The sob stories are a bunch of crap. I am tired of hearing them, I am tired of the media and our politicians pandering to them, and I am more than tired of hearing how my tax dollars are supposed to help bail them out. We are not "suffering" a mortgage crises, we are in the midst of a personal responsibility crisis.

Where is the politician who has the intestinal fortitude to say "Look folks, you signed the contract. Make your payments or suffer the consequences"? When is the media going to stop enabling the foreclosure mindset and start hinting that maybe people have a responsibility to pay their mortgages?

It is not my fault that mortgage companies lent huge sums of money to folks who could not qualify for an American Express card. Maybe the companies who did business like that should be allowed to go under, maybe they should suffer the consequences of their poor business decisions.

Maybe, just maybe that would prevent a "crisis" like this from happening again.

Just saying...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sportsmanship is Alive and Well

It is very refreshing to read a news article that shows our kids in a positive light. These kind of stories just don't seem to be deemed newsworthy by the folks that make those decisions. That could be a good thing, it could mean that the wonderful actions of our youth are much to common to rate news space.

This story by Joseph B. Frazier rated the space. .

PORTLAND, Ore. -- With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the center-field fence.

But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.

She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single.

Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count -- an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.
You really should go and read the whole thing.

More From the Dumb Crooks File

If you are attempting to pass a bad check, might as well make it a big one.

From the Star Telegram:

By Deanna Boyd

FORT WORTH -- An aspiring record label owner is singing the blues after he was arrested last week for allegedly trying to pass a $360 billion check at a Fort Worth bank.

Employees at the Chase Bank at 8601 S. Hulen St. grew suspicious after seeing all those zeroes (10 to be exact) and called the check's owner. The woman said the suspect, Charles Ray Fuller, 21, of Crowley, is her daughter’s boyfriend and that he did not have permission to take the check or cash it.
That is just too funny. How could he possibly think the bank would cash a check that large?

Fuller was arrested on suspicion of fraud, along with unlawfully carrying a weapon and possession of marijuana after officers found less than 2 ounces of the drug and a .25-caliber handgun and magazine in his pockets.
I guess the little pistol was for self protection. He was expecting to walk out of the bank with $350,000,000,000. I wonder if he brought a large enough sack?

Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day

DoubleTapper has an example of the Heroes.