Friday, October 31, 2008

JR's Halloween Wine Recommendation

Here is a wine that not only has a label to fit the Halloween motif, it is good enough to stock up on now to save for future occasions.

The wine I am talking about is Bogle Vineyards "Phantom".

Bogle Vineyards - Phantom

I have a penchant for purchasing wines produced from old vine grapes. It seems to me the deeper the roots, the more trace elements are delivered to the grape. Phantom is a blend of Petite Sirah, Old Vine Zinfandel and Old Vine Mourvedre.

This is an excellent red wine to enjoy with friends. It is a bold wine that stands alone without foods, or can be enjoyed with foods that you might normally pair with a Zinfandel or Meritage.

This wine will cellar well and will only improve with age over the next few years. At $20 a bottle, it is an excellent value, one of my seasonal favorites.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Someone Said There Aught to be a Law...

...and then lookie here, there is one.

From the Nanny State

H/T SondraK

Is There A "Reasonable" Gun Control Law?

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.

We often hear these days from people on both sides of the gun control issue that they are all in favor of "reasonable" gun control measures but each accuses the other side of being unreasonable by the positions they take. Is the "reasonable" gun control law a lot like Sasquatch, Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster - some sketchy evidence but no real proof of its existence? Let's take a moment and explore the situation once more.

Is a complete ban on the ownership of firearms "reasonable?" I have often joked that I would agree to a complete destruction of all guns and ammunition if everyone took everything they had and threw them into a volcano somewhere. The problem is I know humans and human nature and somebody somewhere would hold out and keep his guns because he thinks I am so I choose to hold onto mine in case he does (did I lose you?). When our benevolent government officials talk about a total ban, they are not being truthful because they make the exception for government employees to keep their's. In a land where no one owns a firearm, the man who does is king and can very easily become a ruthless tyrant. The best way to keep these persons in check is that all the people are armed and prepared to defend themselves. "But a police officer's/soldier's job is dangerous and that's why they need their firearms." I won't dispute that and will not bar them from access to the weapons they need to protect themselves but the reason their jobs are dangerous is because life is dangerous and if anyone hasn't noticed, I'm just as much alive as the average police officer/soldier and have just as much a right to protect my life, too.

Is a ban on certain types of firearms "reasonable?" Again this is another question of the equality between the agents of government and the people they supposedly serve but now in regards to the level of weapons technology. History shows that when two peoples have come into contact with each other, regardless of the disparity in the sizes of population, the group with the better weapons ends up annihilating or decimating and enslaving the less advanced civilization. The earliest gun control laws in America were in place to keep the slaves from fighting for and gaining their freedom. This situation only ensures the victory of the agents of government over the people and does nothing to make life any safer.

Is complete registration of all firearms "reasonable?" The usual justification for this is it's what the government forces people to do with their automobiles but remember this is only done to collect taxes on automobiles that people intend to operate on the public roadways and not for those motor vehicles kept at the homestead and only driven on private property. Registration is supposed to make it easier to trace a firearm back to its "rightful" (read "registered") owner but that's only if a firearm is left at the scene of a crime and the police find it. And like automobiles, firearms can be stolen and then used in crimes or used in crimes and the owner reports them stolen. What registration really does is give our benevolent government officials an inventory to look for when they get around to confiscating all firearms in the hands of non-government personnel. We merely need to study History again and see that confiscation always follows registration which is sold to the public as a crime control measure (ever wonder why History is not a top priority subject in the government schools?).

Is the licensing of all gun owners "reasonable?" Again the usual example of this is what the government does with people who drive cars but this analogy falls apart, too, because the driver's license only applies to the operation of a motor vehicle on the public roadways and not the ownership of the automobile being used. Many people have a driver's license who do not own a car and many own motor vehicles who don't have driver's licenses and you don't have to have a government-issued driver's license to drive on private property. The government, through its judicial branch, refuses to allow itself to be held responsible for the actions of any person licensed by it no matter the apparent incompetence of the licensee to engage in the licensed activity and the licensing of drivers was sold to the public as way to eliminate fatal automobile accidents (oops...). Licensing, like registration, only gives the government a nice list of persons and homes to begin with when they choose to confiscate all the guns in private hands.

Here we see that what our benevolent government officials consider "reasonable" is usually meant to give them and their minions the advantage and control over the governed. So are there any reasonable measures that might be of some use in preventing the misuse of firearms? I've come up with two.

I'm sure everyone can agree that children (nine years and under) and juveniles (10 to 17 years) shouldn't have unrestricted access to firearms. It is the position of authority and responsibility of a parent to decide when it is the right time for their child to exercise that child's right to keep and bear arms. The government shouldn't outlaw the possession of firearms by young people but only prohibit adults who are not the child's parent or guardian from providing, in any form or fashion, firearms to children without the consent and knowledge of the child's parent(s). Also I believe that most people will agree that we don't want firearms in the hands of persons who are mentally incompetent but I wouldn't leave it to the government to decide who is incompetent and who isn't (I think a lot of our politicians would qualify). History shows us once again that benevolent government officials like to use the power to diagnose psychiatric/psychological disorders to quash political opponents (the former USSR is a good example) so I would leave this decision up to the affected person's family. The government can affirm the family's decision through the due process of law in a court of competent jurisdiction. The power for both of these situations is not left to the government but to that basic building block of human civilization and good social order, the family.

We can see that most "reasonable" measures recommended by the government are usually designed to secure itself from any threat, foreign and domestic, and since it has all the pens and ink it needs to write the laws, it will probably get the "reasonable" restrictions it wants. We can argue and protest but we must resolve to resist at all costs when it comes to our lives and our liberty. One last note for those who might be sent to collect my weapons at some point in the future. When you step across the spent brass on the floor in my home and pry my gun from my cold, dead hands, mind the barrel. It will be red-hot and you might burn your fingers on it...

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost

For further reading I would like to recommend The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong and Straight Shooting: Firearms, Economics and Public Policy both by John R. Lott, Jr.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Turn In Your Deer Rifle And Your 12-gauge Shotgun To The Texas Department Of Gun Control

The above is the headline for an editorial written by Barbara Hudson, the Chairman of the Blanco County Democratic Party. This was Barbara's attempt at jest, to mock my concerns about what will happen to our right to keep and bear arms under an Obama presidency and a Democrat super-majority in congress.

In the Blanco County News she writes:

Now that I have your attention, read the rest of the story:

That is an order that will never be given by a Democratic government. Democrats will protect Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms,
Wheew, that is cool. Here I thought the Dems were all about gun control. It is good to see that they are as interested in protecting our Second Amendment right to own firearms.

Let us see what else she has to say.

...and will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists by fighting gun crime, reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, and closing the gun show loophole, as President Bush proposed and failed to do.
Holy sheep dip bat man, I do believe that Barbara has a somewhat skewed idea about what it means to "...protect Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms".

She even goes on to state:

Democrats passed the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban.
This is one interesting article. You would almost think it was written tongue in cheek by a conservative to illustrate the disinformation being put out by the Democrats. But it is not, it really was written by a Democrat Party Chair.

Barbara, Ma'am, the Democrats do want to take away our deer and shot guns. The proof is in the pudding. Take a quick look at H.R. 1022, the assault weapon ban supported by the Dems.

This turkey gun will be banned by H.R. 1022:

Remington Model 11-87™ SP-T Thumbhole

Model 11-87™ SP-T Thumbhole

Just look at the evil thumb hole stock, specifically banned by the new AWB.

How about this fine FN?

FN SLP Mark 1

This beautiful semiautomatic shotgun has a fixed magazine capacity greater than 5 rounds. This is way too much firepower for a free citizen to handle according to the Democrats.

So yes, they do want to ban our shotguns, to say otherwise is disingenuous.

How many of you have a Mini-14® Ranch Rifle?

Ruger Mini 14

This familiar rifle is banned specifically by name in the assault weapons ban that is supported by the Democrats.

The Democrats are playing down their aspirations on gun control, what else are they whitewashing? Could it be their plans to redistribute the wealth of this nation?

Thanks to 45Superman for the email heads up on this column.

Update: Here is the text of H.R. 1022.

Ruger LCP Recall

Ruger has recently received a small number of reports from the field indicating that LCP pistols can discharge when dropped onto a hard surface with a round in the chamber. We are firmly committed to safety and would like to retrofit all older LCP Pistols. The retrofit involves installation of an upgraded hammer mechanism at no charge to the customer...

...How to determine if your pistol needs the retrofit: All LCP pistols bearing prefix “370” (that is, serial number 370-xxxxx) may be affected. Newly manufactured and retrofitted “370” prefix LCP pistols with the new hammer mechanism installed have been marked with a diamond in the flat portion of the slot just behind and below the hammer as show to the right. Going forward, new pistols will be marked with the serial number prefix “371” (serial number 371-xxxxx). Pistols with the “371” prefix are not affected.
For more information, go here.

H/T DownRange TV

Let's See What is...

...on the television at 7:00 tonight. Obama infomercial, Obama infomercial, Obama infomercial in Spanish, Obama TV, Obama infomercial... oh wait, there is a Stars game on tonight. Darn, starts at 7:30.

It is a good thing we have the Outdoor Channel, the JR household will be watching an episode of Shooting Gallery. Heck, even if we've seen it before it will be more interesting than anything Obama has to say.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aggies Get It

The Texas A&M student paper, The Batt, has a very informative article on the basics of owning a firearm. It covers responsibilities, safety and the law. it is quite good for a college paper.

By Teri Ruland

Before pulling the trigger or picking up a firearm, safety tips, laws and what granddad taught you can play a role in how to properly use a firearm.
What is great about this article, an LEO factually explains what the term "premises" means as it pertains to Texas CHL holders and prohibited places. Give it a read.

TSRA Second Amendment Radio Spot

See the Texas State Rifle Association for more.

Because Chuck Norris Said So, That's Why

H/T to Tam

If Obama Wins...

If the polls are to be believed, one week from today we will be electing the Senator who has been rated the most liberal Senator in history to the office of President of The United States. If the Democrats can get enough people to the polls to elect Obama, then I fear they will get enough people to the polls to gain a super-majority in Congress. What Republicans that are left may very well be powerless to even slow down the avalanche of leftist legislation that will fly across capitol hill straight to the President's desk. We can stop this, I am not sure that we will, but we can. In the event that we do not, here is a little excerpt from the Democrat National Platform that should give you a heads up as to what to expect shortly after Inauguration Day.

From the Democrat National Platform (.pdf page 48):

"We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact and enforce commonsense laws and improvements -- like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system, and reinstating the assault weapons ban ..."
As you most likely know, "closing the gun show loophole" is anti speak for criminalizing the private sale or transfer of firearms. Their version of "improving the background check system" will place millions of Americans on the 'deny' list used by NICS. And finally, "reinstating the assault weapons ban". They are not interested in reinstating the assault weapons ban. Even they know that the AWB was a failure. It failed to control crime, and worse for them, it failed to disarm America. Nope, they are not going to reinstate the AWB, they are going to pass a new and improved AWB, an AWB similar to H.R. 1022.

H.R. 1022 is "To reauthorize the assault weapons ban, and for other purposes", it is sitting in the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, and it has 67 Cosponsors.

Go and read H.R. 1022, digest it and then consider that this may be the lite version of what they may push when they have a super-majority. H.R. 1022 has a sunset and a grandfather clause. I will bet you dimes for dollars that at least the sunset clause will be removed before this bill leaves the house floor.

Maybe H.R. 1022 will die in committee. If it does, the bill that replaces it will be much worse. A bill that would replace H.R. 1022 will contain all the elements of H.R. 1022, plus verbiage that would criminalize the private transfer of all firearms and possibly even a national firearm registry.

If Obama is elected, an Assault Weapon Ban will become law.

We can stop this!

Monday, October 27, 2008


I really doubt that there are any "undecided" voters visiting this particular blog. You folks are either voting for McCain, for a third party, not voting, or voting for Obama. Either way, you have made up your minds.

This post is for those of you who have decided to sit out this election, I would ask that you reconsider.

Please consider the consequences of an Obama presidency coupled with a super majority of Democrats in Congress. As far as gun rights go, what gun rights? The first bit of legislation that will pass is H.R. 1022 or similar, a revamped version of an Assault Weapons Ban. Not familiar with H.R. 1022? Go here. Taxes? Obama will allow the Bush Tax Cuts to expire, this is a tax increase on each and every one of us who pay taxes. Obama's health plan will ruin the worlds best heath care system. Yes, we can reduce the cost of our health care, but not by nationalising it. Are you concerned about free speech? Just look at how Obama and his minions treat those who disagree with him. They sic attorneys after stations that show NRA ads, spend one heck of a lot of money investigating a plumber who asks an inopportune question, and fully support the Fairness Doctrine.

Obama is an old school Marxist and he will do his very best to destroy America as we know it. I know that it is hard to believe, but facts are facts. He is a nobody from nowhere who happened to make a great speech at the previous Democrat National Convention.

Please do not sit out this election, help to defeat Barack Obama.

Plot to Kill Obama Foiled

If this turns out to be as reported, then good on the ATF.

Federal agents have disrupted a plot to assassinate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate dozens of black students in Tennessee, the ATF said Monday.

In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they broke up plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.

A source in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told FOX News that the two skinheads, who were picked up in Crockett County, Tenn., were plotting to shoot 88 black students and decapitate 14 others described as non-whites. The source said officials believe the suspects were planning to attempt an assassination against Obama.

The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

But officials could not describe how advanced or credible the plot was, nor could they say if they had contacted the Obama campaign...
Their plan sounds like a Neo-Nazi's wet dream.

I despise what Barack Obama stands for and I fear for our country if he is elected president. But a skinhead assassination attempt on Obama is the worst possible thing that could happen to this country. People would be justifiably angry, and there would be fighting in the streets. The .gov would overreact and impose martial law in several of our major cities. You think the bailout bill went through Congress fast, compared to how quickly they would pass H.R. 1022, the bailout bill was a back burner issue. We would have a new Assault Weapons Ban in less than a week, no matter the firearm used in the assassination attempt.

We can defeat Obama at the ballot box, and if we fail, we can work to limit the damage he may do. Assassinating him is not the answer.

A Brush With Fate

45Superman recalls a brush with fate in "My thirteenth year as an '"assault weapons" violence survivor'"

Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of my becoming an "'assault weapons' violence survivor." That's right--citizen disarmament advocates don't have a monopoly on people who were at the scene when some mentally unhinged loser decides to look for self-esteem in the act of mass murder.

It was thirteen years ago today that at Ft. Bragg, just such a loser opened fire on us early in the morning as we were beginning what was to be a four mile run...
Head on over and read the whole thing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Unemployment And The Price Of Apples

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
Imagine for a moment you are the owner of a small apple orchard. It isn't your main occupation but you make a little extra money at it to pay for some things around the old homestead. In years past you've simply sold your apples on the side of the road in front of your place but that has always been a little troublesome, particularly when the weather was disagreeable. You've heard of a new "Farmers' Market" that you want to try. They have a paved lot that keeps you out of the mud when it rains, the stands are already built with electrical outlets, and there are clean restrooms on site.

The owner/manager of the market charges you based on a percentage of your total sales; if you don't sell anything, you don't have to pay anything. But there is one catch. You have to sell your apples at a certain minimum price. You can sell them for higher than that price but at no time can you sell them for less. Since the price is greater that anything you ever gotten for your apples before you are quite agreeable to these terms and set up your shop.

Now there are plenty of folks walking around the market and looking but no one seems to want to buy your apples. When an older couple walks up, you ask them how many pounds would they like you to bag up for them. They mention they would like to buy two pounds but ask if you can come down on the price. You explain the rule about the price and they say they will just have to wait till the price comes down.

You continue to sit out in the warm Autumn sun and you notice that some of your apples are beginning to spoil. Then you see two guys in a pick-up truck parked just outside the fence of the market with a sign that says they are selling apples at a price half that of what you must charge and there is the old couple buying from these guys what appears to be four pounds. You complain to the owner about these guys and he calls the police who forces them to move their truck or be arrested for some parking violation. And you continue to sit. And your apples continue to spoil.

There is women who has a stand across the aisle from you who sells apple pies and other fruit-flavored baked goods. Thinking you might be able to make a quick deal, you approach her to see if she wants to buy any of your apples. She says she buys her apples at another orchard on the other side of town because they are a lot less expensive than yours. You mention to her that she has to drive a long distance to get there and you are closer but she responds that even with the transportation costs, she saves money by buying from the other orchard. She explains that if she had to buy apples at your price, she would have to raise the price on her apple pies and then she would lose customers. So you return to your stand and have a seat. And your apples continue to spoil.

When man defies the Law of Gravity there can be significant penalties if he makes a mistake. The Economic Law of the Market Price is as immutable as the Law of Gravity and carries the same inherent risks when man begins to interfere with it. Though the price for any individual item is determined solely between the buyer and the seller as they both determine what is beneficial for each of them and only for that exact moment of time when they reach a decision, the general rules of Supply and Demand help influence the Market Price over a longer period for a whole commodity that is placed on the open market. This is basic Economics for anyone who has been through high school but the basics always bear repeating so that everyone is on the same sheet of music.

When Demand is high and the Supply of a marketable good is what might be considered normal, the price will invariably go up. When the Supply is high and Demand is normal, or dropping, the Market Price will go down. When there is a Price Floor at which a good cannot be sold beneath, if it is below the Market Price then it does not have any influence and becomes an ineffectual curiosity. If it is above the Market Price, as in our example, it becomes a hindrance to buyers wanting to make a purchase and leaves sellers with an unsold surplus. When the commodity is apples, this means rotting fruit sitting in the baskets. When the commodity is labor, this means Unemployment.

The Federal government of these United States has a Minimum Wage law that many politicians say is meant to help workers just starting their employment history to obtain a "living wage." The problem is that, like many marketable goods, workers come in different grades. We expect to pay more for premium than we do for regular gasoline and we expect to pay more for a brain surgeon than we do for the teenager we hire to mow our lawn. When the Minimum Wage is set at a level that is equal to the Market Price for an elevated grade of workers, those workers at lower grade levels due to a lack of education, training, or experience are not hired. In this fashion, the Minimum Wage law begins to punish those it is purported to help.

Those workers who are lucky enough to have a job and receive a wage increase because of an increase in the U.S. Minimum Wage may have a moment of euphoria when they seem to be getting ahead but after an expected lag, since the costs of production, transportation, distribution, and merchandising of all goods has been raised across the board, the cost of living will eventually match the increase in pay so everyone is back where they started. The Minimum Wage Law is also a factor in inducing those who want to sell their labor to immigrate to this country, illegally if necessary, so they can make more here than they did in their homeland, even if they accept less than the "legal" minimum. It also contributes to driving those who purchase labor to look outside the U.S. for a better price so that they can keep their costs of production down so as to keep their American customers who demand low prices (Always) satisfied.

Politicians can always gather more votes by promising to hold a gun to employers' heads to force them to pay people more than they might be worth to the individual employer and since taxes are based on a percentage of wages, the more one earns the more one pays which always give politician more money to spend on their pet projects. Also having masses of the chronically unemployed leaves a large pool for the government to recruit from to find persons who will "volunteer" to serve the government in a military capacity.

Now for the bad news/good news scenario. The Republicans promise to consider raising the Minimum Wage but not as high as the Democrats. The worse news is that the Democrats promise to raise the Minimum Wage. The worst news is that the Minimum Wage is going to be raised when our country needs for it to quietly go away the most. In the future, people will begin to accept wages under the table and well below the minimum just so they can earn an honest living. The good news about that is when one works off the books, one doesn't have to pay any Income Tax.

So the next time that one of your Liberal Progressive or Compassionate Neoconservative friends tells you that the Minimum Wage helps the poor, look them straight in the eye and tell them you think they need more fiber in their diet and apples are a good source of fiber...

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost

For further reading, I would like to recommend Human Action: A Treatise on Economics by Ludwig von Mises or for something a little lighter, Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt

How do You Like...

...the new header? I'm thinking it may be a little large, but it is a good image. Joe Huffman was kind enough to take this with my camera while we were at the Gun Bloggers Summer Camp at Blackwater.

You can see that my grip has slipped a bit. This was at the end of the stage and I was on my sixth magazine. Having Todd Jarrett right behind you urging you to "get it, here it comes, get it, get that one, go go go" is quite the experience.

So what do you think, a keeper?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

2A Today For the USA

L. Neil Smith recently emailed an announcement about a new resource developed by JFPO to help educate folks on the facts surrounding the Second Amendment.

Aaron Zelman, founder and executive director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, has announced creation of a vital and unique new resource for advocates of the individual right to own and carry weapons.

_2A Today for the USA_ is a free 23-minute video presentation, a weapon of thought, specifically produced to disrupt and destroy the evil, inhumane agenda of victim disarmers and gun prohibitionists with generous applications of legal and historical truth. Because JPFO encourages the widest possible distribution of this film, it is being offered on the Internet for free, with numerous options for viewing or downloading...
I finally had the opportunity to sit down and watch this video, and I have to tell you, JFPO did a great job. This is a well produced, very professional video that stars one of my favorite people, Dr. Suzanna Hupp .

The entire video is 23 minutes long, here it is in three bite size chunks:

If you want to download this video, you can do so here.

Download it, copy it to DVD, give it to your friends. This is one of the best free resources available for our use, so use it.

Today is the Last Day

Existingthing notes that Saturday Oct 25th is the last day that a law abiding Californian can purchase a firearm and have it in hand before the election results are announced.

Of course this waiting period only affects the law abiding. The not so law abiding will continue to acquire firearms without complying with state mandated waiting periods or background checks.

In Texas the only waiting period involved in a firearm transaction from a dealer is the time you wait during the NICS phone call and the time it takes to clear your credit card. We don't like waiting periods.

A quick note to all the Californians who have moved to Texas. You moved here because you did not like all the laws and taxes imposed upon you in California. We don't like those laws and taxes either, so when you raise your hand and say "There aught to be a law", expect it to get slapped down.

Back to what ExistingThing was getting at. If you think there may be some civil unrest following the election results, and you do not have the means to protect yourself and your family, today is the last day to make that purchase.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Get Out The Vote Rally

The most important thing we can do this election season is help to get out the vote. We need to get voters to the polls if we want to win.

To that end, the Texas State Rifle Association is asking for your help.

Join us for a

Get out the Vote Rally!


Senator John Cornyn

Congressman John Culberson

Saturday, October 25th
10:45am ~ speakers start at 11:00am
14133 Memorial Drive

(just west of Kirkwood, at the Bateswood light, south side of Memorial)

Hot dogs and Frito Pie afterward!

Bring your block walking shoes and help us walk before OR after the Rally!

Block walks depart at 9:30am and again after the Rally.

For more information call 281.870.0832

The Cold and Flu Season Has Arrived

A cold that has been creeping up on me all week decided today was the day to come on strong. I got everyone lined out for the day and headed back to the house.

I had the day to myself here at Casa JR so I figured it would be a good time to detail clean some of my guns. I figured wrong. When your head is throbbing, nose is running and sinuses are burning, Hoppe's #9 is not the best vapor to be breathing in.

I did get one pistol done.

I most likely will not be knocking on doors tomorrow either, I don't want to "spread the wealth" as it were.

Last weekends neighborhood walk was very successful. 36 volunteers showed up to support Representative Zedler and we contacted over 3500 homes. The campaign is looking to contact at least that many homes again this weekend. Bill Zedler's opponent may have all the out of town money, but he does not have the ground game. It will be very interesting to see the turnout in District 96 this year.

Muggers for Obama

Joe Huffman explains the mindset of Muggers for Obama.

Give it a read.

IDF Machine Guns

DoubleTapper has a very in depth post on two machine guns in use by the IDF infantry.

The guns in question? The FN Mag and the IWI Negev.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Much Ammunition is Enough?

In a comment to the post, "What to Buy Right Now!", dw asks "... what would one consider to be enough ammo and/or magazines to have on hand?"

That is a question that has been bantered about the gun forums, gun shops, gun ranges and pretty much anywhere gunnies have gathered ever since the first gunnie said his hellos to the second gunnie. I'll bet this is a conversation flint knappers held as they were plying their trade. The answer is pretty subjective. I am comfortable maintaining an inventory of a thousand rounds or more per caliber. Todd Jarret's comfort level is in the hundreds of thousands of rounds in inventory (and components to make a few more hundreds of thousands of rounds on hand). Others are happy with one extra box of ammo.

The minimum level of ammunition in my inventory to keep me comfortable may be more or less than what comforts you, so just use this as a general idea of where you can start. Your comfort level will probably be determined by expense and threat. How much can you afford to spend building up your inventory and why are you building an inventory. Are you stocking up on a commodity before the prices rise? Or are you preparing for a short term SHTF situation, or maybe even TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it)?

This is what I prefer to keep on hand, it makes me comfortable. I rotate my ammunition similar to rotating food stores. The quantities listed are in sealed boxes/ammo cans. Before opening a new case/box/ammo can, I purchase it's replacement (that is the intent anyway).

1. I like to keep 5000 rounds of .22 lr on hand. If I need it for trade, I have it. If ammo prices skyrocket, I have a nice supply of .22 to keep me sharp. If our local food supply is temporarily interrupted, the .22 is a great small game harvesting round.

2. I keep 1000 rounds of each caliber of a firearm that I shoot often and own for defensive purposes. That is pretty much all my firearms that I own except 1. Remember this is boxed ammo. This does not include the ammo I have in magazines.

3. I keep 200 rounds of 30-30 to feed my Grandfather's Model '94.

I know many people that keep much more ammunition than this on hand.

As to how many magazines to have on hand for each semi auto firearm, I'm still working that out. If a bill such as H.R. 1022 passes, you will never be able to purchase a new standard capacity magazine for your firearm. I would recommend, as a minimum, 5 magazines for your pistol and 10 for your rifle.

I hope that some of you folks reading this jump in and offer up some advice for dw here. Like I mentioned, I keep what makes me comfortable. At this place and time, these are the quantities that make me comfortable.

Econ 101

Who Is The Ol' Grey Ghost?

I first ran into "The Ol' Grey Ghost" in a discussion forum that we helped to moderate. Over time I came to really respect Peter for the way he handled adversity in the forum, and in how well he used the medium to get folks thinking on subjects in ways that they were not used to, what some would call "thinking outside the box".

I like Peter, he reminds me of one of the men who most influenced my life while growing up. Before going to Blackwater, I contacted Peter to get a copy of a column he wrote concerning the founders views of a standing army. We got to talking back and forth, and before you know it he is writing for "A Keyboard and a .45".

Here is Peter, in his own words:
It has been joked that a Conservative is a Liberal that has been mugged and a Liberal is a Conservative who has been falsely accused of committing a crime, but what do you get when both things happen to the same person? A gun-toting Anarchist like myself.

I was born in the Washington D.C. area during the Eisenhower administration. My father being a military man, I was raised at and have visited points all around the globe, from the Far East to Northern Africa and Western Europe along with the North American Continent. By the time I graduated high school, I had attended 14 different schools. When my father retired from active duty, my family settled in Central Texas. Once here I met and married my high school sweetheart and we went about our business raising our family.

In college, I worked in retail, selling, customizing, and repairing firearms. When I finished college, I went into a profession I had wanted to do since I was a little boy; I became a police officer. Along with my regular patrol duties, I was my department's Primary Firearms Instructor and Range master (Advanced-level, FBI-trained), Defensive Tactics and Mechanics of Arrest Instructor, DWI/Vehicular Homicide Investigator, Hostage Negotiator, Weapons Armorer, and Commander of our
on-again, off-again SWAT Team.

When the Persian Gulf War broke out, I got a letter from the U.S. Army offering me good money and a prestigious position if I went to work for them in Counter Intelligence. I took them up on the offer but before I could really get my career going I started to have trouble with my health. It seems the Army had given me a regime of vaccinations it had been advised might adversely affect the health of 5% of those to whom they administered it. My own immune system began to turn against me and attack my muscle tissue. I was medically retired from the Army and am getting along as best as I can.

Being retired I've had some time on my hands so I'm working in extreme slow motion (I'll never make any money off of it) on a Doctor of Arts degree in Political Science with secondary emphasis in American History, Criminology, Economics, and Sociology. I am a prolific reader and I enjoy watching "that boring crap" (my wife's words) on the History, Discovery, National Geographic, etc., cable channels. I also enjoy watching the Rangers, Astros, Texans, or Cowboys but a good UFC card trumps them all.

I do Karate-Jutsu as exercise and always enjoy a day on the range, especially if I can get someone else to do the cleaning-up part (I'm such a stickler for a clean weapon, particularly if my life depends on it working right, I usually have to do it myself). My favorite activity, though, is hanging out with the youngest members of the family. There is nothing more exciting to me than the beaming smile on a child's face when a knowledgeable adult takes time to explain to them how this mystical universe we live in works.

I have pretty well dedicated my life to securing the rights "to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" for myself, my family, and our friends and we have no problem sharing that with others. Politically speaking I am an Anarchist, a proponent of Anarchism. But I understand where some people cannot, figuratively speaking, sleep without a night light on so, being a reasonable man, I consent to some minor measure of government if protecting our liberty is the primary mission. Therefore, I could be considered a functional Minarchist or Anarcho-Libertarian. I do, however, have a big problem with those people who can't sleep at all unless someone tucks them into bed (parasites), or even worse, those who have to tuck everyone into bed, even when nobody is sleepy (authoritarians).

When I write, or speak before groups who invite me, I do not see it as my purpose to change people's beliefs but instead to get people to think. Think about why they hold the beliefs they do. Think about how to defend the beliefs they hold in a rational fashion. And if their beliefs are based on false premises, think about how they should adjust their beliefs. I believe if more people took the time to think instead of having a knee-jerk gut-reaction to the problems of life, this would be a better world.

If anyone has any questions for me, you can e-mail them to JR here at his blog and he will kindly forward them to me. You might even plant the seed for my next column (please let me know if you don't want your name mentioned). If you agree with what I have written so far, hang on as I'll eventually get to writing something where you won't and might even tick you off. When I do, keep an open mind and think about it...

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost
I hope that you enjoy Peter's essays as much as I do, and I hope that including his perspective will create thought provoking and lively discussion.

Now I just have to figure out how to hand him the keys so he can post directly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tricks and Treats

H/T NetRight Nation

Lunch Time Conference Call

Lunch was spent with a few fellow bloggers and Second Amendment advocates on a conference call with Governor Blunt of Missouri. The call was courtesy of a couple of the folks over at QandO Online Magazine. I left my notes at work, so I will not list the bloggers who participated which will prevent me from leaving anyone out. I was happy to see that Dave Kopel of The Independence Institute was there. Also on the call was Cam Edwards of the NRA show Cam & Company, and a representative of the Cato Institute.

Governor Blunt started the conversation by highlighting a few of the RKBA accomplishments that Missouri has achieved over the past few years. Missouri is a "Shall Issue" state with a Castle Doctrine law. The Governor mentioned passing legislation that protects established ranges from frivolous lawsuits over noise and the like, I will have to look into that, sounds like good law to me.

The Governor then detailed Obama's hard core anti gun history. Folks, Barack Obama has spent a very large portion of his professional and public career attempting to squash our right to keep and bear arms. Barack Obama is anti gun, period. If you are a gun owner, and you vote for Barack Obama, you are asking the .gov to prevent you from purchasing any more firearms. That is it in a nut shell.

The call was then opened up to questions, and here is where my notes would come in handy. A couple of the bloggers questioned how we could trust John McCain with our RKBA. We know that McCain is not a strong advocate of our unfettered RKBA. John stood in front of the NRA members at the Annual Meetings and stated that he still wants to close the "Gun Show Loophole".

John McCain advocates the elimination of the private transfer of firearms.

Barack Obama advocates for the elimination of all firearm sales, the elimination of concealed carry of handguns by private citizens, a new and improved assault weapons ban, a 500% tax increase on all firearms and ammunition, and criminalizing the use of self defence within your own home.

This is just the off the top of my head short list of what Barack Obama has championed in the past.

Barack Obama is anti gun. That is just one of his policies that trouble me.

Others asked questions about ACORN and voter fraud, polling and other election related issues.

The call ended too soon for me to ask anything, but I enjoyed being involved.

I'll post other blogger comments as I find them.

Sebastian posted about a Conference Call with Missouri Governor Matt Blunt.

Chris has the audio of the call in his post, Gunblogger conference call with Missouri Governor. Matt Blunt

Nicki shares her thoughts with A chat with the Governor (UPDATED)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First Alarm

First Alarm

A great job by Xavier

A Quickie From the Sidebar

USCitizen asks what If Columbo were Investigating Obama …

Texas CHL Holder Screws Up

As a group, Texas CHL holders are the most law abiding citizens of the state. But as in any group, there are those who do not fall within the norm. Tye Burke is one such individual. If this news report is factual, Tye Burke committed a felonious act and deserves to be punished to the full extend of the law.

Here is what he is said to have done:

From News Channel 11

A Lubbock man faces felony charges, after a children's soccer game turns violent.

Tye Burke, 25, was free on bond Monday, after authorities arrested him Saturday afternoon at the Berl Huffman Complex. Lubbock Police say he pulled a gun on another parent during a fight. Now, he's charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon...

...Investigators tell NewsChannel 11 that Burke got into a fight with the female coach of his child's soccer team. The soccer association tells us the children playing at the time were between seven and eight years old. Apparently, the coach's husband tried to stop Burke from yelling at his wife, and that's when the two men got into an argument in the stands. The police report states that the victim pushed Burke, and then Burke pulled a handgun and pointed it at the victim's head. Police say an off-duty prison guard tackled Burke, and got the gun away from him.

Investigators say Burke does have a concealed handgun permit, but in this situation it just compounds possible action. "The laws pertaining to a concealed handgun permit, only allows you to carry the firearm on or about your person. Beyond that, the laws that apply to using the firearm, displaying the firearm, things of that nature are the same for anybody," Lubbock Police Captain Greg Stevens said.
Well Tye, you done stepped in it and I hope they throw the book at you. It appears that you were the instigator in this incident, and if true, you have done us all a disservice. How long do you think it will be before Marsha McCartney and the Texas branch of the Brady Bunch use your incident against all Texas CHL holders? How long until your name is brought up in anti gun editorials throughout the United States?

Carrying a firearm is a right that comes with a certain amount of responsibility. I am a firm believer in the fact that each and every one of us has the right to carry the most efficient means of self defense, I also believe that those of us who abuse that right need to be separated from society.

Tye, you have abused this basic human right. You are the weakest link, Good Bye.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Would Like to Propose an Amendment

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.

In a recent column I alluded to the fact that the U.S. Constitution is a weak document when it comes to restraining the central government from growing into an oppressive oligarchy. The best analogy is that of a brahma bull being led on a dog leash by a small child; you better believe that the bull is going to make all the decisions about which direction they're going.

In the first place the Constitution does not really limit the power and scope of the federal government. It gives the government a few specific duties and delegates the authority necessary to get the job done but it does not stop it from taking on more power for itself when some of the People call for the government to handle problems that are not within its original mandates.

Secondly, unlike many modern statutes and penal codes, the Constitution contains no definitions of the terms used within it. What is a "Militia?" Who are the "People?" When is a person a "citizen?" Now just about anyone can get a hold of a modern printing of an 18th century dictionary and get a good idea of what the founders meant by the words they used but the federal government took it upon itself, through the judiciary branch, to explain to the rest of us what they think the founders meant which sometimes seems to defy all particulars of applied logic. "It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."

But probably the worst aspect is that the Constitution fails to provide for any penalties for those persons who are elected to positions established by the Constitution and after swearing an oath to "preserve, protect and defend" it, go and violate the Constitution. Time after time, a bill is passed by Congress and signed into law by the President which is applied to the people who are punished for doing in large part what comes natural for them to do. A convicted party then enters an appeal to the Supreme Court, which may take longer than the rest of his life to be heard, and may eventually be vindicated by the court finding the law to have been unconstitutional in its very construct. Nothing happens to those elected officials who came up with this disaster except to maybe watch their pet project go down in flames.

These officials once showed some respect for the restraint placed on them by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When Congress wanted to outlaw the private ownership of machine-guns, they knew that would be in violation of the Second Amendment so they decided to heavily tax the purchase of such weapons to the point of ludicrous inconvenience (define "infringed") rather than impose an outright ban. When Congress wanted to restrict the people's right to choose what they could put in their bodies, they knew the Constitution gave them no such authority so they changed the Constitution the only way authorized by it; they added the 18th Amendment and created the catastrophe known as "Prohibition" (the 18th was later repealed by the 21st Amendment). With the archaic "War on (some) Drugs" and all the gun-control laws passed since the "Decade of the Assassin" (1960's), we can see that all pretense of restraint has gone with the wind.

Therefore, I would like to propose another Amendment to the Constitution. When an elected official suggests, proposes, or enters a bill to bring about a law that is clearly unconstitutional on its face, anyone within earshot or who has a chance to read the document in question can call for a motion to have that official impeached immediately. With normal parliamentary procedure, there will have to be a second, and then a vote by all persons present with a show of hands as to determine the Constitutional standing of the proposal and the guilt of the person who made it. If a majority (50% plus one) determines that the proposed law is in fact unconstitutional, then the person determined to have made it is sent home - directly home, do not pass "Go," do not collect $200,000,000 in retirement and other benefits. The governor of the State that the official is from can appoint another until such time as an election can be held. This will also apply to those benevolent government officials who voted for or signed into law something that is later overturned by the Supreme Court on the same grounds.

Now I haven't worked out all the details yet and I can see some room for abuse if this proposed Amendment ever became part of the Constitution but I think there will be some reluctance to use it as much as there is a reluctance to use nuclear weapons. There is an aspect of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) if anyone ever tries to abuse this power to eliminate political opponents. It will certainly give those officials that take their oaths lightly a reason to pause for a second and think before they act...

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost

For further reading I would like to recommend Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. and Kevin R. C. Gutzman.

The First Annual Shotgun Sports Extravaganza

This sounds like one heck of a lot of fun for someone who enjoys the shotgun sports.

Sponsored by the Texas State Rifle Association and the 1 in 100 Gun Club of Lumberton Texas, the First Annual Shotgun Sports Extravaganza is your opportunity to break quite a few clays.

The events? Just 150 rounds. 50 sporting, 25 skeet, 25 trap, 25 five stand and 25 dove. Now that is a challenge.

The cost is $62.00/shooter, lunch is included.

For more information, go here.

"Established 1957, One-In-One Hundred Gun Club is located just eight miles north of Beaumont, home of the 1901 Spindletop Gusher, 80 miles east of Houston, and 25 miles west of Cajun Country, southwest Louisiana."

Ohio Gun Rights Advocates Have a New Voice

The has invited David Codrea of "The War on Guns" to be their "Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner."

From David's first editorial:

Now it’s time for a little shameless exploitation of my new hosts. I'd like to extend an invitation to Cleveland area gun rights activists: we have a unique and unprecedented opportunity here, courtesy of, to employ their resources and reach to get our message heard outside "the choir." Let's use it. If you know of a story that can help promote the cause, send me the link as a tip. If you're part of a gun rights group that is fighting a particular battle, supporting or opposing a particular candidate or measure this area is affected by, or if you have an event coming up, let me know about it. If you're an area gun blogger, by all means keep me apprised of work you're doing that Northeast Ohioans would be interested in. Just email me, and put EXAMINER in the subject.

Let's not make this MY Examiner page--let's make this OUR Examiner page. That also means if we post something here that will be of interest to your gun-owning friends and club members that you help spread the word through your email contacts, on gun boards, etc. And by all means leave comments. If the folks running this show see this topic generates interest, they'll be more likely to encourage more of it throughout their considerable media network. And before I forget, I also need to extend an invitation to a very important segment of Examiner readers--those horrified and angered by all of this, and who think the problem is not enough gun control.
David explains this excellent opportunity in his post "Gun Rights Examiner". Head on over, give it a read, and help to spread the word.

Murder Trial in Death of Warden Begins

Over a year and a half ago one of our Texas Game Wardens was killed by a poacher. I commented on the reporting of this incident with "Poacher Kills Game Warden".

The case has finally come to trial, and it is the first "Death penalty case is the first in decades for Wharton County."

From the Houston Chronicle

By Peggy O'Hare

A Wharton County jury will begin hearing testimony today in the trial of a man accused of killing a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden, marking the county's first death penalty trial in nearly 30 years.

James Garrett Freeman, 27, of Lissie could be sentenced to death if convicted of capital murder. He is accused of shooting game warden Justin P. Hurst, 34, of El Campo, following a lengthy police chase last year.

A jury of nine women and three men will gather in state District Judge Randy Clapp's court for the trial, which is expected to last about three weeks.
This is a pretty cut and dried case. The only thing the Defense is going to attempt is to get a sentence of life instead of the needle.

From the Defense attorney:

Freeman, a welder with no history of serious crimes, did not intend to shoot anyone, said his attorney, Stanley Schneider.

"The bottom line — any way you look at it — this is a tragedy because you have two families that have been destroyed," Schneider said. "How do you explain the unexplainable?"
It is pretty easy to explain. Your client got caught poaching, attempted to get away, when caught decided to shoot it out with the good guys. One of the good guys died. Your client is getting the needle, the sooner the better.

So what was this goblin poaching when all this started?

A dead opossum was later found in the area where Freeman had been parked when he first drew a game warden's attention.
To tell you the truth, I don't know the fine for shooting a opossum from the road at night is in Texas, but this particular goblin decided to kill instead of facing the music. There will be no tears shed at the JR household when he is put down.

Excitement at Work

Over the past couple of weeks my HVAC guy has been prepping our air conditioning systems for winter. Turning on the gas, firing up the heaters and making sure everything is working as it should.

This morning he turned the heat on in one of our 20 ton roof top units and it caught fire. Pretty much the whole unit was involved. He already had one of the side panels off to vent off the small amount of smoke smell that occurs the first time you fire up a heater for the season so we could use fire extinguishers to keep the flames down until the fire trucks arrived.

Now you would think that a fire starting within moments of turning on the burner may have been burner related, that is what I was explaining to upper management as the firemen put out the flames and cut into the roof curb to extinguish fire that had moved along the curb. It turns out that I was mistaken. The fire inspector found that the fire was started by an electrical short in the fresh air damper motor.

Just goes to show, you can't take anything for granted.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What to Buy Right Now!

With each passing day it appears more likely that Obama has a chance of becoming our next president. I don't think it will happen. I have more faith in the American people than that, but I would not bet against it. I never thought that Americans would re-elect Bill Clinton, and we did.

With the possibility of an Obama presidency rearing it's ugly head, what should we be purchasing as quickly as we can?

Right now, I think the vital component we need to be stocking up on is magazines. Yes, magazines. A prohibition against standard and high capacity magazines will very high on the anti's wish list after a January Obama inauguration. I know it, you know it, and the magazine dealers and manufacturers know it. Expect a fairly sharp increase in magazine prices after the November election if Obama is the one to win the vote.

So stock up now. If the standard magazine capacity for your firearm is greater than 10 rounds, you need to purchase as many magazines as you think you may need over the rest of your lifetime. It may be a good idea to buy those extra springs now also.

If I am wrong, and a prohibition against magazines that hold more than 10 rounds does not go into effect, you will still be ahead. A gunnie can never go wrong by owning a few extra magazines.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Roberta X Asks a Question

Last week Roberta X asked a simple question, a question that has become a Meme and is being answered across the blogosphere. I have not read to much of the answers other bloggers have posted, I was waiting until I posted an answer of my own.

The question?

How about you? Why do you shoot? Why do you carry, if you carry at all?
So why do I shoot?

For me, the answer to that question is pretty straight forward. I shoot because my Dad taught me to shoot. He gave me my first long gun for my seventh birthday. It was a .22/.410 over under. It was mine. My Dad's friend, Jay Boone, gave me a hunter's safety course and helped my Dad work on my shooting skills. We hunted dove, rabbit and gophers with that gun. As I got older I purchased more guns and hunted larger animals. In high school my group of friends were all shooters. We would head out to the desert on our dirt bikes or in pickup trucks, loaded down with all sorts of both long and hand guns. We never hurt anyone, or each other. We knew to be safe. Shooting was always done with folks I liked and respected.

I enjoy putting holes in little targets at distance. I have come to really enjoy the sound of a high velocity projectile striking a metal plate or a .22 bullet knocking over a metallic ram at 200 meters.

In the shooting sports, there is always something new to learn. Over the past few years I have taken up action pistol shooting, first to improve my skills for self defence, and now because it is a blast.

In the shooting sports, it is just me, my gun, and the target. Sometimes the match calls for accuracy, sometimes for speed and accuracy, and sometimes athleticism along with speed and accuracy. In the end, it comes down to the shooter, the equipment and the target.

Why do I carry?

I carry because it is my responsibility. I am responsible for my own safety and the safety and security of my family. The fact that I carry is a deterrent to goblins in my community. They do not know that I carry, but the fact that I might gives them pause. The daily news stories about goblins being put down by armed citizens should give them pause. Earlier I mentioned responsibility, maybe I should have said duty. I am a free citizen of these United States. As a free citizen, it is my duty to exercise my Second Amendment rights and fulfill my responsibilities as a citizen.

I carry because I can. I carry because I should. I carry because it is my right, my responsibility and my duty to carry.

So, why do you shoot? Why do you carry? If you don't shoot, or don't carry, why don't you?

An Email About Hope

If you have been following this blog for the past couple of months, you probably know that I was a Volunteer Deputy Registrar in Tarrant County. This position meant that I could register voters. I use the past tense because voter registration ended on October 6th here in Texas. I was not as good at registering voters as those ACORN folks are. I could not find one dead person, cartoon character or super hero who wanted to vote in this election.

My friend Phil is a Deputy Registrar in Dallas County. After all the news of ACORN activities this past week, I asked if I could share an email he sent after we worked a gun show together a Few Sundays back.

It's an email about hope:
...By the way--I did get my cards turned in. I am not sure I feel much safer. The Co. election office is just across the freeway and North one block from Market Hall. So it seemed worth the effort to try to go there. The county elections official did tell us during the deputy training that they would there every day until the registration deadline.

So I walked in the door. The security guard was standing at the door. Nice guy, but a little surprised to see anyone. ''What do you want.''. he said. I said that I had some voter registration cards to turn in, showed him the cards and told him that I was told they would be open today to accept them. ''Oh I see, yeah they are up there, go on up.''

All of the offices seemed to be locked. I finally found one door open and walked in. Four or five folks were working in a large room. Individual boxes full of papers were everywhere. They looked at me in total surprise. I explained, ''I am here to turn in voter registration cards. I was told that you would be open today to receive them...'' They still looked surprised. One fellow finally said that he would show me where to turn them in. We walked down the darkened hall, through a couple of doors, down another hall. Large office, with several cubicles. Lights off, nobody at work. ''Just set them on this desk, write down your name and deputy number, they will take care of them.''. I asked whose desk this was. ''She will take care of problem'', he said. I asked his name. ''My name is Omar'', he said. I said ''Thank you, Omar''. Shook his hand and left.

I sure hope Omar was not an ACORN guy, hope he does not grab that ID No. Hope the person on that desk does it right. I hope there are not thousands of new, questionable registrations with my ID No., someone is bound to ask questions.

I sure hope that worked.

Maybe the Obama campaign is working--There is a lot of new hope out there. Thanks again.

You see, we gun clingers have hope also.

More Pounding the Pavement

It is a beautiful day in North Texas, just about perfect for pounding the pavement and talking with folks about getting to the polls and voting for Representative Bill Zedler.

There was quite a turn out for today's push. I was pleasantly surprised by all the college age volunteers that showed up today. We even had Miss Teen Tarrant County helping to get out the vote for Rep. Zedler.

I had a good time. V was driving and our small team of two and a helper was working our list of registered voters who had a history of voting Republican or Independent. We made personal contact with well over 200 households, contact which I know made a difference for at lease a few of the people I spoke with.

There has to be at lease one candidate on the ticket who is worth your time. Contact that candidate and offer to help, there are lots of ways you can help, and any help you can give will be appreciated and remembered.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama's Socialist Roots

Kevin Baker of "The Smallest Minority" responds to criticism from commenter Markedelphia with:

In his criticism, Markedelphia stated:
Kevin, you are completely wrong. Barack Obama is not a socialist nor is he a communist. The central problem here is that when you are as far right as you are..everyone...even us good capitalists are communists.
Kevin's response is a well researched and written (as usual) article on Barack Obama's Socialist (Marxist?) roots.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Parable: The New Shovel

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.

"Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted;
persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished;
persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
By order of the author."
Mark Twain's warning to readers of Huckleberry Finn

A long time ago in a faraway land, shortly after the last Great Melting, there lived a man named Sard. Sard was a simple farmer and lived a happy life with his loving wife and their six daughters. As was his custom from time to time, Sard was on the path beside the creek walking towards the village at the other end of the valley to trade some wares since he was in need of a new shovel.

Sard looked up the side of the hill on his right and saw his neighbor and the neighbor's sons picking up stones in front of their home. They were piling them into a large heap just beside the goat pen. Sard's neighbor, Corth, was a goat herder, which was probably the best use one could find for the rocky and steep piece of land Corth had inherited from his wife's father.

"Hallooooo neighbor!" Sard shouted.

"Hallo back to your kind self!" answered Corth wiping the sweat from his brow as he took a break from his work. "And how are you on this fine day in the Greening Season?"

"Well and fit, fit and well, indeed. I'm headed into the village to see if I can trade for a new shovel as my old one finally gave out. Want to join me for the walk? I could use the company."

"Sorry no, I can't as my wife has been nagging me for weeks to get this job done and I don't want to disappoint her. I have a new shovel if you want to borrow it but I'll need it back real soon so I can finish here."

"Thank you, neighbor. Let me see if I can get one in the village first, and if not I'll borrow yours." With that Sard continued his journey down the path towards the village.

As soon as he got to the village, Sard went straight to the toolmaker's shop. "Greetings kind brother Sard," said Gaun the toolmaker with a big smile. "How might I be of service to you this fine day?"

"You are indeed the best toolmaker in the country, Gaun," said Sard, "as the last shovel you made for me lasted four harvests but I guess all good things must come to an end and I am in need of another."

"And that was two seasons more than I guaranteed," Gaun boasted, "but alas, I am all out of shovels at the moment. Your neighbor, Corth, got my last one and I won't have any supplies to make another for at least two or three days. But I'll rush one together for you as soon as I can."

"Well, that's how my luck goes sometimes," Sard said while shaking his head. "I saw Corth on the way here and he told me he had a new shovel I could borrow but I had to get it back to him as soon as possible so that he could finish something for his wife."

"What was he working on?" asked Gaun.

"I'm not sure," answered Sard. "He and his boys - and those are getting to be some big boys - were picking up all the stones in yard beside their house and piling them up beside their goat pen."

"Piling up stones?!? That sounds suspicious."

Sard and Gaun turned to see who had spoken and there stood Flav. Flav was the mostly self-appointed night watchman for the village; at least that was the excuse he gave for sleeping through most of the day, but some villagers had to question this since they had been awakened some times at night by Flav's snoring. He also had a disagreeable odor about him that led some people to give him the nickname, "Flav the Flatulent."

"Uh-huh? And how is that suspicious, Flav?" asked Sard with a degree of impatience. Flav was not one of Sard's favorite persons.

"Something the Old Wise One said once," grunted Flav. "Let's go ask him and I'll...I mean, he will tell you."

"Oh why not?" Sard taunted Flav. "You might as well come too, Gaun. This could get interesting."

"Indeed," chuckled Gaun as he threw his apron upon his workbench and followed the two men to the Temple. At the Temple the Old Wise One was engaged in a council meeting but he took a second to hear Flav's report.

"And you saw Corth gathering stones at his place, Sard?" asked the Old Wise One.

"Well, yes, but I'm sure it's noth..."

"He's preparing to attack!" growled the Old Wise One, cutting off Sard.

"Attack? Attack who?" Sard asked with disbelief.

"Why possibly you, Sard, since you live closest to him," answered the Old Wise One. "Then he may have plans for the whole village. That man is not one of us. He comes from the valley to the west."

"But his wife is one of us," Sard quickly inserted. "Corth married her and moved here with her to help her father in his last days. After the old man passed on, Corth took over the farm and he and his boys have worked hard to make it a success. Quite well, in fact. What makes you think he wants to attack anyone?"

"The Holy Writings," the Old Wise One said sternly. "The Book of Elaph says when a man is gathering stones he is preparing to attack."

"Wait, I know that verse," said Sard. "It says 'Wise is the man who gathers stones in preparation should he BE attacked' not 'to attack' like you said." Sard saw the Old Wise One was staring at him in way that could surely melt rock and the other men had less than friendly looks on their faces.

"So the Lord of all the universe has granted Sard the gift of interpreting the Holy Writings, has he now?" scowled the Old Wise One.

"My apologies, Old Wise One, but I was just say..."

"Enough!" ordered the Old Wise One. "Flav, gather a War Council immediately. We must deal with Corth before he has much more time to prepare his assault upon us. Sard, you will stay by my side so I can keep an eye on ensure your safety, of course." At this the village men made the necessary preparations to attack Corth's place first thing at dawn.

Sard felt dizzy at the way things were transpiring faster than he could think. Before he knew it, he was standing beside the Old Wise One on the hill behind Corth's home watching the village war party surround the house. At the first hint of light, there was a shout and the men rushed into the house. With some screaming from Corth's wife and the sound of a few sickening thuds, it was all over in a few seconds. Sard followed the Old Wise One down the hill and saw the bodies of Corth and his family laid out like so much garbage in the front yard. The men were patting each other on the back and congratulating themselves on the completion of another successful mission.

"Well done, men," said the Old Wise One. "You have all surely eliminated this threat to our very way of life."

Sard walked over the body of his neighbor and stood looking down upon the carnage.

"...why...?" came a quiet rasping from what remained of the body of Corth.

"Corth is still alive!" shouted Flav as he grabbed for his warclub.

"...why did you attack us...?" asked Corth in a hoarse whisper.

"Brother Sard warned us of your treachery and we 'threw the first punch' so to speak before you had a chance to attack us like you were obviously planning," pronounced the Old Wise One.

"I only told them I had seen you and your sons picking up the rocks," Sard quickly explained while nodding his head in the direction of the pile. As he knelt beside Corth he asked "Why Corth,... why were you gathering stones?"

Corth took as deep a breath as his broken ribcage would allow, "...a garden...I promised my wife I would help her plant a vegetable garden...we were clearing the plot when you walked by, neighbor..."

"And can you explain why you piled the rocks over there if not to prepare to attack?" demanded the Old Wise One.

"...wolves...the wolves had been bothering the goats...we were going to throw them at the wolves when they came around...'Wise is the man who gathers'...," and with that Corth breathed his last.

Sard rose to his feet and turned to face the other men. Some of them were beginning to have uneasy looks on their faces.

"The blasphemous fool!" spoke the Old Wise One.

"What?!?" Sard asked incredulously, forgetting for a moment that he was surrounded by heavily armed men.

"He was blatantly preparing to go to war against us all, including you, Sard, and then he has the gall to tell that lie just before he goes to meet his maker. He will surely be doomed to an eternity in Hell for that," pronounced the Old Wise One. "Leave their bodies where they lie as a sacrifice to the Gods and let the birds fill their bellies. You men have done a fine job at protecting your families and our village. Do not ever forget that. You all may take a share of Corth's belongings as long as you remember your tithes to the Temple. Flav, make sure that Sard gets something since he warned us of Corth's plans," and with that the Old Wise One headed back to the village.

"All right, men," said Flav while rubbing his greedy little hands, "let's start splitting the booty. Sard, I'll let you have first choice. What do you want?"

Sard took a moment to clear his head and solemnly said, "Corth has...had a new shovel. I have need of it. Give it to me."

"You mean this?" asked Flav holding up the shovel. "I mean its a fine shovel and all but are you sure you don't wan..."

"Give me the DAMN shovel!" demanded Sard.

"Alright, alright, you don't have to get in such a huff," replied Flav and he threw the shovel at Sard's feet. "Come on, guys, and let's hurry back to show everyone what we got for a hard night's work." The men hurried back to the village carrying their loot and laughing and guffawing the whole way.

Sard found himself alone in the yard in front of the house. Now that it was full daylight he could see the plot that Corth had staked out for his wife's garden. Sard bent over and picked up the shovel and hefted it in his hands. It was indeed of fine craftsmanship. He walked over to where the garden was to go and shoved the spade into the dark earth so that it stood by itself.

It was fast becoming a warm day, so Sard removed his cloak and then also his tunic. He tore his tunic into long strips of cloth which he used to bound his hands to protect them from the blistering work he was about to do. Sard grabbed his new shovel once more and, with the sun beating down of his bare back and tears welling in his eyes, he began the long tedious task of digging four graves...

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost

For further reading I would like to recommend War is a Racket
: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier by General Smedley D. Butler, USMC. Along with Amazon, General Butler's book is also available online for free at

Barack the Plumber

Click to embiggenate

Thanks to

Texas Fred Reports...

...that a Lakewood homeowner fatally shoots intruder.

Another Goblin Stopped by Armed Intended Victim

I am liking the unnamed author of this news article from Austin.

From Austin News KXAN:
AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - A party at an apartment on Oltorf Street in South Austin turned into a crime scene over the weekend.

Police got the call around 2:30 a.m. on Oct.11. The 911 caller said that "there was trouble." According to police reports, 26-year-old John Crayton robbed a number of party goers and ended up getting himself shot in the stomach...
The goblin "...ended up getting himself shot in the stomach." That is a hoot.

This particular goblin was not very good at his chosen profession. He starts out the robbery with a negligent discharge -
"They heard a gunshot from inside the closet, and they wondered where the gunshot came from," said Sgt. Brian Miller with the Austin Police Department. "They opened up the closet, and Mr. Crayton jumped out. He proceeded to rob everybody inside the apartment."
- finds the rewards may not have been worth the risk, -
All he got was a pack of Marlboro Light cigarettes and $3 from one victim.
- and ended up ruining a good shirt in the process.
Crayton apparently planned to exit out of back of the apartment and kicked in the door to a bedroom. Police said there were two other victims in that room, and one had a gun.

"I don't think he anticipated that," Miller said. "I don't think he anticipated anyone being there."

The victim in that room took aim and shot Crayton in the stomach.
Ocean's 11 he's not.

There was one quote from Sgt. Brian Miller that really jumped out at me:
"It was registered, he owns it and by Texas law, you have the right to defend your property and yourself," Miller said.
It was registered? With who? We don't register our guns here in Texas Sargent, you should know that. We can buy and sell private property, privately. Even when we purchase a firearm from an FFL, the only place that record is supposed to be kept is on site at the FFL holders location. So where did you look to determine that "It was registered."?

One last fun quote from the article:
The victim who shot him won't be charged.
"The victim who shot him..." Did I mention that I like this reporter?

Texas Senate District 10 Election

Texas Senate District 10 is currently represented by Republican Kim Brimer. Opposing Senator Brimer this election season is Democrat Candidate Wendy Davis. Wendy Davis has held a position on the Fort Worth City Council. While on the Fort Worth City Council, Wendy Davis attempted to make private transfer of firearms at Fort Worth gun shows illegal.

This is old news, but worth repeating. I am pleasantly surprised that WFAA is mentioning this important issue.

By Brad Watson

FORT WORTH — Gun shows are practically a Texas tradition. But now the issue of weapons sold at those shows has become a high caliber controversy in a Tarrant County state senate race.

Since the early 1970s, the City of Fort Worth has leased facilities like the Will Rogers Memorial Center for gun shows. While serving on the city council in 2000, Wendy Davis proposed limiting who could sell guns at these shows.

That controversy is now following her into the state Senate race.

"She has a proven record of attempting to pass what we consider to be bad regulations," said James Dark, executive director of the Texas State Rifle Association.

Davis says she wanted only licensed gun dealers at shows on city property since federal law requires they must do background checks on buyers.

Shows that wouldn't agree to that stipulation would have been banned under the proposal...
Goblins do not purchase their firearms at gun shows. They do not purchase them from FFL dealers, and they do not purchase them from private individuals. If a goblin wants a firearm seen at a gun show, they get a friend or relative to purchase it for them. This "straw purchase" is already illegal. The vast majority of goblins either steal guns from law abiding citizens, or purchase them from other goblins.

During the last legislative session, a bill was introduced to "close the gun show loophole" here in Texas. The bill was HB 594 and I commented on it here. HB 594 did not gain any traction at all in the legislature and was allowed to die off in committee.

We do not need to send another anti gun Senator to Austin, the ones that are already there are a few to many as it is.

This is one reason why I am supporting Kim Brimer for Senator. I am not alone. Senator Brimer is also supported by U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Mayors of all 19 cities in Senate District 10, and my State Rep., Dr. Diane Patrick.

Electoral Apocalypse and What If Your Girlfriend Doesn’t Like Guns

Syd, of "Front Sight, Press" fame, has returned to podcasting.

Check it out at Electoral Apocalypse and What If Your Girlfriend Doesn’t Like Guns.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dallas Stars Rookie Scores Hat Trick

Dallas Stars rookie Fabian Brunnstrum scores a hat trick in his first ever NHL game. Talk about getting going with a bang. You should have seen his eyes while he was sitting on the bench after the third goal. He was scanning the ice, planning his next goal.

Guess what; while typing this post the kid put a 4th puck in the net. It didn't count because the whistle blew just before it went in.

I'm excited about this 2008 team.

Debate Live Chat Starts Now!

Thanks to everyone who participated. BobS and Pops1911 contributed significantly to the chat, and I appreciate it.

I am contemplating adding a chat box to the sidebar, it seems a good way to ease communication between everyone who reads A Keyboard and a .45.

Soccer Mom Scores

Last Thursday I commented on Openly Carrying Gun Owners Being Harassed. A Soccer Mom lost her Concealed Weapons Permit because the Sheriff didn't like the fact that she open carried at a soccer game.

In this instance, right prevailed.

From My Fox Philadelphia:

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania soccer mom who packs a pistol is getting her concealed weapon permit back.

Meleanie Hain on Tuesday persuaded a Lebanon County judge to rescind the sheriff's revocation of her permit.

She had lost the permit after other parents complained last month that she was carrying her loaded handgun in a holster at her daughter's soccer game.

Judge Robert Eby said even though the law required him to give her the permit back, he questioned whether Hain showed good judgment by ignoring other parents' safety concerns.
You see judge, that is why "shall issue" is, you know, shall issue. Meleanie Hain did nothing illegal or wrong, but if you had you way you would render her defenseless because of your anti gun bigotry. You should know that a holstered firearm is not a safety concern.

Also commenting is Sebastian with Meleanie Hain Prevails

David with A Place for Fear

And many others

It Was a Hard Decision

Watch tonight's Stars game, or the final McCain/Obama debate?

Seeing as how I am hosting a "simulblog" of the debate live chat taking place over at Mike's America, I will be watching the debate.

Live chat will begin here 10 minutes before the debate, beginning at 8:50 PM EST (5:50 PM, PST).

The last two live chats were a lot of fun with over 50 people participating.

Hope to see you here.

It Has Been...

...a misty, drizzly, cloudy and cool day. Tonight the temperature is supposed to drop down into the 50's. I think Fall is officially arriving to North Texas. You know what that means don't you?

It's time to break out the Stew Pot!

I've been Jonesing for stew all day. It should be done about a half hour into before the debate.

Just Stop Paying Your Mortgage

From SignOnSanDiego:

By Peter Schiff

If you are a mortgage holder who is either struggling with crushing payments, bitter for having overpaid for your home during the bubble, or who has extravagantly refinanced when prices were rising, the government's landmark $700 billion bailout package has an important message for you: stop making your mortgage payments . . . immediately. Furthermore, if you believe that with some planning and sacrifice you may be able to meet your mortgage obligations, the government's message is clear: relax, don't bother.

While angry voters have labeled the package as a bailout for Wall Street, it is more akin to a “Get out of Jail Free” card for anyone who acted irresponsibly during the boom. Here's why...
A very good read for the way things are today.

Thanks Peter