Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Buffalo Bore and the .380 Auto

It seems to me that folks who own a .380 caliber pistol do so for pretty much one reason, concealed carry for self defense.

I mean seriously. The little .380's aren't the most fun to shoot out at the range and are not going to impress anyone with their 25 yard accuracy. The only thing they are good for is that last ditch, up close and personal, effort to defend yourself and your family. Some would argue that they are only marginally effective at that even.

With this in mind, it is nice to see an ammunition manufacturer directly address this issue right from the get-g0.

The folks over at Buffalo Bore are never ones to mince words:
The 380 auto inhabits a valuable and useful place in our society, mostly because of the easily concealable, tiny pistols chambered for it. HOWEVER, because of the very limited size of the cartridge, it is plagued with limited power and therefore most of the existing ammo in 380 auto suffers from not being reliable as a man-stopper. We've studied and played with nearly all of the existing available 380 ammo and find it wanting as a reliable means of self defense, especially against a large, insane, drugged up/pain free, determined attacker.

Here's the problem. The current 380 auto frangible ammo delivers a large amount of surface trauma, but lacks serious penetration. For example, if you shot me or another sane man in the face with modern frangible 380 ammo, it would blow off a big portion of my cheek and send a few teeth down my throat, I would undoubtedly fall to the ground in shock and pain, but I would be very much alive and functional if I could get past the shock and pain as that frangible bullet would have stopped some where inside my face, never making it to my brain. However, if you shot a drugged up maniac in the face with that same frangible 380 ammo and blew half his cheek off, he would keep right on coming because he is insane and is not thinking like you or I. Plus, he is likely pain free and fear free and wont know that half his cheek is missing and if he did know, he would not care. So whatever 380 ammo you shoot him in the face with, had better go through his face and blow his brain stem out the back of his head, because only a CNS (central nervous system) hit with a 380 is going to stop him. Likewise, a torso hit to the sternum needs to penetrate deep enough to blow all the way through his spine in order to shut him down spontaneously. If you fail to shut him down instantly, you and your loved ones are going to have to find a way to survive while you wait for him to bleed out and pass out. The best chance of survival for you and your family is to shut down the attacker instantly. So, we've designed a few 380 auto +P loads to keep you and your loved ones alive under the worst of scenarios...
I like the Buffalo Bore .45-70 cartridges and carry the Low Recoil, Low Flash .357 Magnum ammunition in my SP-101. So who knows, if I were to pick up a new Micro Desert Eagle this week, it might be worth my while to grab a few boxes of the Buffalo Bore .380 Auto +P ammunition to shake it out with.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A New Gun Show This Weekend

Well, new to me anyway.

This Sunday I will be working a table at the Texas Gun and Guitar Show in Hillsboro. From all accounts, this is a pretty nice show. Heck, they even put on a Saturday Night Party and Jam

I will be there on Sunday helping to increase the membership of the Texas State Rifle Association and the NRA. I think I'll bring along the Gun Blog .45 and maybe my AR (A Mixmaster Dissipator) to attract folks to the table and get them interested in joining.

Click here for directions. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Taking Shape for Life - an Update

It has been three weeks since I last updated you on my weigh loss progress. At that time I weighed 204.5 pounds. I now weigh 193! An 11 pound loss over three weeks this far into a weight loss program is just plain awesome. That is pretty much the only way I can describe it.

I have lost 80 pounds since Memorial Day, that is Memorial Day of this year. I am very happy with my progress and excited about this weight loss. V's kinda excited about the new me also.

I am just 3 pounds shy of my goal weight of 190 lbs. At my goal weight I will have a healthy Body Mass Index for the first time since my time in the Navy. I will no longer be counted amongst the obese or overweight of America.

If you are interested in losing weight, in achieving the same success as I have achieved, shoot me an email (address is in the profile) or head on over here.

Yes, this is for real. And yes, you can do this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It Has Been A While...

...since I was over at the Blackhawk! web site. Since I've lost all this weight, I have a few things that I need to replace. One is a duty belt that can now go around me and one of my grand kids. My Instructors Gun Belt is also too large as are my old 5.11 pants, shorts and various concealment shirts. It is time to start on my new wardrobe.

Blackhawk! is doing something super cool now that will save me some big money as I replace my now too small other brand pants. They have a Trade Up Program where you can trade in your non-Blackhawk! pants for a 50% credit on a new pair of Blackhawk! pants and shorts. I may have seen this promotion before, but now it hits home. I can save some money (this makes V extra happy)!

Another cool thing I found on the Blackhawk! site is the Serpa Quick Disconnect System. This video with Chuck Buis demonstrates the system:

I still think Chuck has the best possible name for someone in this industry. Oh by the way, Hey Chuck! If you end up reading this, V wants to know when you guys are going to make a Serpa for her Hi Power?

Blackhawk! has a lot of cool stuff, more than ever. If you haven't been to the web site in a bit, now is as good a time as any to head on over.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Texas State Rifle Association Has...

...a new Executive Director.

AUSTIN - The Texas State Rifle Association has officially relocated from Addison to Austin. As the state affiliate of the NRA celebrates its 90th anniversary, forty thousand registered members from across the state have two major developments to follow. Not only has our headquarters traveled south on I-35 from the metroplex to the Capital of Texas, but a new Executive Director has also been named to take the association forward.
So who is this new Executive Director of the Texas State Rifle Association? Mr. Charles Cotton. Charles is a civil trial attorney who has been working with the TSRA on legislative matters since 1985. He is the Vice Chair of the TSRA Legislative Committee, proprietor of a very active Texas CHL related gun board, and NRA Board Member. I am acquainted with Charles having met him at Friends of NRA and TSRA Foundation banquets, legislative committee meetings in Austin, and over drinks with James Dark at the NRA Annual Meetings in Louisville.

Charles is a very strong supporter of our Rights to Keep and Bear Arms. His knowledge of the legislative process here in Texas and the relationships he has developed with gun owners and legislators alike will make for a strong foundation supporting him through his tenure as Executive Director. The TSRA made an excellent choice for this leadership position.

Right now the Texas State Rifle Association is 40,000 members strong. It should be triple that by the next legislative session. If you are a Texas Gun Owner, you really should be a member of the Texas State Rifle Association.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Republicans in the 12th Congressional District...

...of Texas have a chance to make a change during this next primary season. Representative Kay Granger has some competition this go around, and her competition looks promising. Sam Finley is throwing his hat into the ring and seems to be working hard to get the 12th district Republican vote.

If you have been disappointed in some of Kay Granger's recent votes, and would like to see a different Republican representing your district, it is worth your while to give Same Finley a good hard look.

Sam will be formally announcing his candidacy during a town hall style meeting tomorrow evening (Sept. 2) at the "Ol" South Pancake House on University Ave in Fort Worth. The meeting starts at 6:30PM. Sam will also be speaking at the 912 Project Common Sense March and Rally in Fort Worth on Saturday, September 12.

Day at the Gun Show

It is a beautiful, cool, North Texas late Summer day. I had to make a decision this morning, do yard work or head out to the Original Fort Worth Gun Show. Heading out to the gun show won.

It seems that the attendance surge brought on my the Obama election and the Eric Holder confirmation has settled down a bit. I arrived a little after 10:00 and there was not much in the way of a line to get in. I was at the show for over three hours and the crowd did build up, but not near the mass of people who were at the shows earlier in the year.

It looked like business was brisk, lots of firearms being sold at the larger dealer tables and the gun safe vendors appeared to be keeping pretty busy.

I had the opportunity to meet up with the NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) for Texas Congressional District 12 (Kay Granger's district) and spent a good while talking guns and politics with him. If you are in District 12, and you want to help elect pro 2A candidates, let me know and I will get you his contact information.

Speaking of Kay Granger, it seems she may have a bit of a fight ahead of her during the next primary season. Sam Finley is throwing his hat in the race as a Republican Candidate for the 12th Congressional District. I spent some time talking with the folks at his table at the show and with his campaign manager. I had to leave before Sam got there, but there is another opportunity to meet him that I will talk about in another post.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Steve Moses of the Bluff Dale Firearms Academy had set up a table at the show. V and I trained with Steve a couple years ago with another couple and I have to say that Steve did an outstanding job of working with us. It is good to see them getting some exposure.

I did pick up a couple of items from the show, and AR-15 parts kit (can never have too many spare parts) and a D-Fender Extractor Enhancer for an AR-15. I have had a couple extraction issues of late and if this fixes them, it is well worth the price. I've been wanting a Center of Mass Car Safe for a good while now, and there was a vendor at the show who had them at what looked like a good price, so I brought one of those home with me also. Something I did not buy was ammo. Some of these folks are still way to proud of their ammo. I saw 100 round Winchester White Box marked at $60.00, other tables had it as low as $45.00 and everywhere in between. There is ammo in stock, but the prices on pistol ammo is still ridiculous. Rifle ammo was a bit better, but still inflated.

I went to the show looking for a Magnum Research Micro Desert Eagle. I need something that I can slip into a pair of gym shorts and just wanted to check out the Magnum Research entry in the .380 market. No luck this time. There was a Sig P232 that felt pretty good in the hand for such a small firearm.

All in all a good day at the gun show. Tim and Michelle have done a great job of building this gun show into an even well worth attending. One of the better shows in North Texas. Seeing as how we have a gun show near every weekend, that is saying a lot.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Taking Shape for Life - Week 13

Let me start out this update by first saying "Thank You" to all the folks who have been encouraging me and leaving such supportive comments in my weight loss update posts. I do appreciate your kindness and support.

A few of you have commented that you are using some of the same principles that I am to lose weight, just doing it without the convenience of prepackaged grab and go meals. Once out of the weight loss phase of my program, I will also be making each of my smaller meals for the day. A book that I have found to be very helpful is Dr. A's Habits of Health (The Path to Permanent Weight Control and Optimal Health). Doctor Anderson is the co-founder of Take Shape for Life, and his book can also be found on the Take Shape for Life website. Dr. Anderson's book supports both the 5 & 1 Plan that I am using for my weight loss program, and a do-it-yourself plan for weight loss. This book goes much further than that even, this book gives you to tools to achieve a long lifetime of ultimate health. Check it out.

Now for the results of Monday's weigh in.....

On Monday morning I weighed 208.5 pounds, made it to under 210 in 13 weeks. I have lost 64 1/2 pounds in 13 weeks, very near a 5 pound/week average. I know I am starting to sound like a bloody late night infomercial, but this program really works. My success is not some isolated incident. I mentioned previously that I am so impressed with my success that I have decided to join with the company to help others have the same success as I have. I am now coaching a small group of folks who want to lose weight and get healthy. One couple that I am helping has already lost 35 pounds between them in the first two weeks. That is way cool, and yeah, that gets me pumped up. I really enjoy helping people.

I am getting near my goal of 190 pounds. When I started 13 weeks ago, I was not so sure that I would be able to do this. A healthy weight seemed out of reach. Now I am almost there. It is getting close to time for me to order my new Milt Sparks belt, I have been wanting one of these for a very long time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vacation in California

Vicki and I are visiting my parents in Southern California. The weather this weekend is outstanding! It was 66°F this morning when we had our first cup of coffee on the back patio.

My folks live in Oceanside and we will be spending most of our time in Laguna Beach. Yesterday we attended the Members Appreciation Day at the Festival of the Arts. Today we will be going to the Sawdust Festival and the Art a Fair. Tomorrow will be spent revisiting some of our favorite artist's at these shows and in the art galleries of Laguna Beach. Tomorrow night we will be at the Pageant of the Masters. Wednesday we may charter a half day fishing trip off the coast, fun fun.

I enjoy this yearly visit with my parents, the art, the beach cities, and the great food (no worries, all the food is and will be on plan). I don't enjoy the fact that goblins have more rights than free citizens in the Peoples Republic. I guess that is what "Civil Disobedience" was invented for.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Taking Shape for Life - Week 11

Last Monday completed another week of my program to develop a fit, lean and healthy body. I lost another 5 1/2 pounds last week. To me, that is pretty amazing. Over the course of 11 weeks I have lost a total of 57 1/2 pounds.

I started blogging about my journey as a means to hold myself accountable. I figured that if I started slacking, you all would keep me in line and motivated. Now I blog about it because I am so excited about how well I am doing, and because it has not taken a whole heck of a lot of effort to get here. What is really cool is the fact that my success is not atypical, people everywhere are enjoying the same success that I am.

Eleven weeks ago I couldn't walk up a long flight of stairs without panting for breath by the time I got to the top. Last Monday I ran up those same stairs, twice, just for the heck of it.

This attempted take over of our health care system by the .gov highlights one very important issue. We need to become responsible for our own long term health. I am going to do everything within my power to stay as far away from a .gov run health care system as possible. Building a healthier, leaner body will go a long way towards achieving that goal.

The program is a simple one, not always easy, but simple. Pretty much has to be for me to be successful on it. As I have mentioned before, I am so impressed with my success, and with this program, that I decided that I wanted to help others see the same results that I am. If you are at all interested in losing weight and gaining a healthier body, head on over here to see if this program might be the right one for you too.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Need More Proof...

...that gun free zones just don't work?

Try this on for size.

A nearly 600-pound man was able to hide a weapon for more than a day while he was in custody, police told KPRC Local 2 Wednesday.

"Obviously the system broke down," former Harris County Detention Major Mark Kellar said. "The procedures didn't work as they were designed to work."

Houston police said George Vera, 25, was arrested Aug. 2 and taken to the city jail. He spent a day there before being transferred to the Harris County Jail. After being there for 14 hours, going through intake procedures, he was taken to the showers, the final step before going to his cell. There, Vera told police he had a 9mm handgun on him, along with 2 clips.
So this inmate had a pistol, and two magazines inside a jail cell. He then carried them on prisoner transport between jails, and was only found out because he "...told police" he had them?

To my way of thinking, the inside of a jail cell is pretty much the most secure "gun free zone" there is, yet still the goblins get guns into those zones.

This is not an isolated incident. Inmates With Guns and Inmate Found With Gun are earlier posts of incidents where goblins had guns in lockup, once in a maximum security unit of the Mississippi State Penitentiary.

Those who restrict our rights by creating so called "gun free zones" know these facts and understand that some silly sign will not provide any measure of safety to the good folks who are unfortunate enough to be caught in one of these zones when a goblin goes on a rampage.

So if our safety is not their goal, what is?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Taking Shape for Life - Week 10

Yes I changed the title of this weekly post a bit. Calling this program a diet is a bit of a misnomer. I am taking charge of my body, and my health. I am getting fit.

For those of you who have been following along, I have just completed the tenth week of my plan to take back my body. Ten weeks ago I weighed 273 pounds, was wearing tight XXL shirts, and size 44 jeans. Ten short weeks ago I could not climb up the flight and a half of stairs to get on any of the roofs of the buildings I am responsible for at work without getting a little winded. Ten weeks ago I was severely obese.

Last week I lost another 3 pounds for a total of 52 pounds in 10 weeks. Yeah, I'm kinda proud of that achievement.

For all you folks like me who enjoy charts, here is a quick chart of my weight loss journey so far.

A nice steady downward trend. I'll tell you what... V is very happy with my somewhat leaner, stronger and more energetic body. My doctors are also very happy with my success so far. Resting heart rate, cholesterol and blood pressure are all well within healthy norms and I am feeling great.

This site has a couple of good videos that explain the program in some detail, and more great testimonials. This site has even more information.

If you have any questions about my progress so far, how I am accomplishing it, or even my future goals, go ahead and send me an email. The address is in my profile.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Quote of the Day

From my friend Fits:

Ya see, its like this: Obama took 6 months to decide on what dog to get the kids, okay...

And wants Congress to pass universal healthcare in 6 weeks.

Why do I get the feeling that somethings wrong with this picture...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Need Some Phone Help

I know squat about the new smart phones. I know the IPhone has some cool aps that I would use (shot timer, ballistics to name a couple), but I don't know if these type of aps can be run on other phones.

It is well past time I upgraded my cell phone. I need easy email access and an easy to use keyboard. I need a phone that is, you know, a quality phone. Imaging and MP3 capabilities are nice options that I would use, but are not my primary focus.

Under my plan, I can upgrade to one of these phones without breaking the bank.

An iPhone 3G - 16GB Refurb)

A Samsung Impression (Refurb)

A Nokia Surge

A Motorola Karma QA1

And a BlackBerry Pearl 8110

The internal memory and the screen size of the iPhone are large pluses. The Surge has a very nice display and the BlackBerry is a BlackBerry.

Any of you have a good recommendation for me on this one? Right now I am leaning towards the iPhone, but I have not made up my mind yet.

Friday, July 31, 2009

This Sunday I...

...will be manning a table at the Texas Scooter Times Summer Swap Meet in Dallas. My friend Phil and I will be looking to sign up new members for the Texas State Rifle Association.

This looks to be a real good time.

Summer Swap Meet

If you happen to end up there, look me up.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Important Message for Texas Voters

From my friend Ken. Ken is one of the organizers for the Dallas Tea Party Group and the Director of the North Texas Gun Owners.

From Ken:

I'm going to ask you, right now, to mark the date MARCH 2, 2010 on your calendar. If you don't recognize the date, don't sweat it. Unfortunately, March 2, 2010 will come and go without much notice from the substantial majority of Texans.

It won't, however, go unnoticed owing to a lack of importance. QUITE THE CONTRARY. March 2, 2010 is an election day, when the outcome of most of our federal and state races will be determined.

Now, you may be forgiven for thinking, as most do, that most outcomes are decided in NOVEMBER, but you would be wrong. In MOST races, the voting taking place in November is merely a FORMAL RATIFICATION of the results of the primary election in March.

In other words, MOST races are essentially decided once the primary election is finished. This is particularly true in legislative races, which involve districts SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to ensure that one party or the other will ALWAYS win a particular district. The substantial majority of races are not competitive in the November election, because they are not INTENDED to be. It's called "gerrymandering", and it's designed into our political system at every level. As politicians will tell you, "it's not a bug--it's a feature!"

In MOST races, the ONLY realistic way to affect the outcome of the GENERAL election in NOVEMBER is to affect the outcome of the PRIMARY election in MARCH. In most cases, by the time you get to November, THE GAME IS ALREADY UP.

The CRITICAL point is this: whatever change you may hope to get done in the next election cycle, you must go from March 2, 2010 and work backwards to TODAY. Yes, there will still be PLENTY of work to do after March 2, but the number of possible outcomes will be substantially diminished at that point. In each race in which the citizens fail to get a GOOD candidate on the ballot, they will be faced, ONCE AGAIN, with a choice between CRUMMY and AWFUL.

Let's not let that happen.

Let's go get 'em.

- K

We have some very critical primary elections coming up this go around. From high profile races like the Texas Governor race and the battle for Kay Bailey Hutchison's Senate seat to quite a few Texas House and Senate seats. This is our opportunity to let those who obstructed the passage of the Parking Lots and Campus Carry Bills know just exactly how we feel about their poor judgement.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Medifast Diet - Week 9

Well I did it, this week I passed the first real milestone on my weight loss journey. I am no longer officially "Obese". I am now just an Overweight American. And you know what? For the moment that feels pretty darn good.

In my ninth week I lost 4.5 pounds. My total weight loss over the past 9 weeks is 49 pounds! I have grand children that weigh less than that.

I mentioned earlier about some issues that I had concealing a 1911 as I was losing weight, the shirts just seemed to cling to the grip of my Kimber. I pretty much resolved that issue this weekend. I purchased some clothes that actually fit and moved the carry position of my pistol back along the belt a bit and all is good once again.

It is probably time I traded off some of my gear that no longer fits. I'll have to take some pictures so if you are interested you can see what I have to trade.

If you are at all interested in learning more about what I am doing to lose this weight, head on over here. There are two videos there that will be worth your time to watch.

I've lost near 50 pounds in 9 weeks. How cool is that?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Knew That...

...the propane tank exchanges that are popping up at gas stations, grocery stores and just about everywhere else were more expensive than getting a tank filled by a propane supplier, but I didn't realise just how much more expensive.

We started exchanging tanks for the convenience. Turning in a tank or two while at the hardware or grocery store just meant one less trip to the propane fill station. It was not long before I noticed that our 20 lb. tanks were being labeled as 17.5 lb. tanks. A bit irritating but the price of fuel was going up and this kept the exchange price the same (basically $20 to $22 depending on where you went). Last month V exchanged a couple of tanks and came home with 15 lb tanks. I was pissed. I went back to Lowe's to find that they were only filling tanks to 15 pounds now.

That was it for me. No more tank exchanges, no matter the convenience.

Yesterday I went to Godfrey Propane to fill a 20 lb tank and my backup 13 lb tank. Guess what, they filled the 20 lb tank to 20 pounds for $15.00. That is 5 more pounds of gas for $5.00 less than at Lowe's. Lowe's propane = $1.33/pound. Godfrey's Propane = $.75/pound, and you will get a full tank at Godfrey's.

Exchanging propane tanks = one bad idea for you, one great idea for the folks who came up with the idea.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Governor Perry, Senator Hutchison, and EBR's

The 2010 Governor's race here in Texas is already heating up. Our Senior Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, has decided to challenge Governor Rick Perry in the Republican Primaries next year.

This is exciting. Two very popular politicians running for the same position should make for some good politics.

Reader Jay from Houston sent a link to an AR15.com thread with images of Governor Perry at LaRue Tactical. Like Mark LaRue says, "Bet our Texas Governor can out shoot y'all's Governor".

Here is Governor Perry being spotted by Todd Hodnett as he shoots 1/2 MOA groups.

Governor Rick Perry and his Spotter, Todd Hodnett

Here is a close up of Governor Perry's form on the bench.

Governor Rick Perry at LaRue Tactical

Seems our Governor likes to shoot EBR's. The fact that he can shoot sub MOA groups shows that his range time includes more than just photo ops.

What does Kay Bailey think about EBR's and EBR owners?

The following video was clipped from a presentation at the Heritage Foundation concerning an individual right to keep and bear arms. Even though Senator Hutchison joined with fifty-four other senators, 250 representatives, and Vice President Cheney to submit an amicus brief in favor of Heller in the SCOTUS DC v Heller case, she still supports an Assault Weapons Ban.

This one statement shows just how far off the mark she is with her definition of an individuals right to keep and bear arms. I have comments on this issue previously, and have contacted her office concerning these remarks. I know for a fact that at least one member of her staff is reading this blog and knows of our concerns over this issue. The Senator's response so far has been less than adequate.

There will be more to come comparing and contrasting the records of both these politicians concerning our right to keep and bear arms.

Sorry about the quality of the video. I somehow got the sound track a couple seconds off track from the image. I'll continue to tinker with it and see if I can get it right.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Girls and Guns, The Playmate Edition

Playboy Cyber Girl of the Year, Sharae Spears, hits the gun range with the head of Playboy security.

I had been called a straight shooter before, but until this year it had a different meaning. In March I shot a gun for the first time, and it has since become one of my favorite hobbies...

It looks like they did a good job with her on the safety fundamentals. There was one brief finger on the trigger issue early on, but all in all she was very safe.

I would have thought that the head of security for an organization as large and diverse as Playboy would be a much better shot. I guess that is why management manages and the boots on the ground take care of taking care of business.

For more on this shoot, and Sharae Spears, head on over here (first link is safe for work, after that you are on your own).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our Weekend Project

Last weekend I found this garden bench at an estate sale for $8.00.

A couple cans of spray paint, new wood and stain turned it into a nice addition to our back yard furniture.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cindy and the Breast Cancer 3-Day

Hopefully a few of you have noticed the "Support Cindy" banner on the sidebar. You may have asked yourself "Who is this Cindy person?" and "What the heck is a Breast Cancer 3-Day?".

Cindy is a daughter through our extended family. She is fighting a very hard battle against Cancer, and with the Lord's help she is persevering. There is something about Cindy that makes her truly special, she just glows with an energy that is hard to describe. If you want to learn more about Cindy and her fight with Cancer, you can visit her website here.

Today Cindy sent out an email asking for help with the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk:

Please join me as a I walk to put an end to Breast Cancer

Support Cindy in her Efforts to Raise Money for the 2009 Dallas/Fort Worth Breast Cancer 3-Day

As most of you know, in January of this year I learned my cancer had spread/metastasized from my breast to my liver. The doctors were not at all very optimistic about a cure. Well, during my many stays in the hospital and my time at home being sick during January, February, and March, I kept seeing the TV commercial for the Komen 3 Day Walk that is going to take place in Dallas November 6-8, 2009. After seeing the commercial several times, I decided that was going to be my goal to get through all of this treatment torture. I was and am still bound and determined to make it to November to walk 60 miles in 3 days to help find a cure to this awful disease of cancer. So, I took the plunge and made the commitment and I am now an official registered walker…YEA!!!

I will be walking with a team called the Texas Longlegs, along with thousands of other women, and men too. I have several friends on other walking teams as well and we are all in this together…to make a difference. As part of my commitment as a walker, I agreed to raise $2,300 in donations. However, since I have the greatest friends and the best supporters who have been through this breast cancer journey with me, I decided to set my goal at $5,000 in donations. I have no doubt in my mind that God is going to provide, even in this troubled economy, and together we will reach this goal. So, please consider making a donation of any amount…even $10. If I get 50 people to give $10, that’s $500, and THAT will make a difference somewhere. As you consider the amount you would like to donate, please keep in mind how far I will be walking…60 MILES in 3 days (YIKES!)…and how hard I'll have to train to finish all those 60 MILES. I started training back in April and will continue to train through the hot months, even while I continue my chemo treatments too.

The easiest way you can give is online. Just follow this link to visit my personal fundraising webpage and make a donation. You can also call 1-800-996-3DAY to donate over the phone. All donations will support breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment through Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, approximately 200,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and nearly 40,000 will die from the disease. I REFUSE to be one of those 40,000. That's why I'm walking so far…to do something bold about breast cancer. I hope that you'll share this incredible adventure with me by supporting me in my fundraising efforts.

From the depths of my heart, THANK YOU soooooooooooooo much in advance for your generosity and donation! It means a LOT to me…more than words can ever express!!

God Bless!


Cindy Semple

P.S. Ask your employer if they will double your donation through a matching gift program!

Click here to visit my personal page.
I would very much appreciate it if you would help Cindy reach her goal of raising $5000 to support this outstanding cause.

If you can not help out now, the banner will be on the side bar through the walk so you can give at any time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

From the TSRA

The "War on Gunz in Mexico" is starting to hit home.

From the TSRA:

June 22, 2009 - FFLs and purchasers of "certain types" of firearms in Texas are being scrutinized by BATF due to the gun smuggling into Mexico.

Dear John,

In Border States, BATFE Asks: "May We See Your Guns?"

Friday, June 19, 2009

NRA-ILA has recently received several calls from NRA members in border states who have been visited or called by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In some cases, agents have asked to enter these people's homes, and requested serial numbers of all firearms the members possess.

In each case, the agents were making inquiries based on the number of firearms these NRA members had recently bought, and in some cases the agents said they were asking because the members had bought types of guns that are frequently recovered in Mexico.

This kind of questioning may or may not be part of a legitimate criminal investigation. For example, when BATFE traces a gun seized after use in a crime, manufacturers' and dealers' records will normally lead to the first retail buyer of that gun, and investigators will have to interview the buyer to find out how the gun ended up in criminal hands. But in other cases, the questioning may simply be based on information in dealers' records, with agents trying to "profile" potentially suspicious purchases.

On the other hand, some of the agents have used heavy-handed tactics. One reportedly demanded that a gun owner return home early from a business trip, while another threatened to "report" an NRA member as "refusing to cooperate." That kind of behavior is outrageous and unprofessional.

Whether agents act appropriately or not, concerned gun owners should remember that all constitutional protections apply. Answering questions in this type of investigation is generally an individual choice. Most importantly, there are only a few relatively rare exceptions to the general Fourth Amendment requirement that law enforcement officials need a warrant to enter a home without the residents' consent. There is nothing wrong with politely, but firmly, asserting your rights.

If BATFE contacts you and you have any question about how to respond, you may want to consult a local attorney. NRA members may also call NRA-ILA's Office of Legislative Counsel at (703) 267-1161 for further information. Whether contacting a local attorney or NRA, be sure to provide as many details as possible, including the date, time, and location, agent's name, and specific questions asked.

Copyright 2009, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.


Alice Tripp
Texas State Rifle Association
Legislative Director
Just remember - No warrant, no entrance.

Now that the meme that Americans are responsible for the Drug Gang Violence in Mexico has been such a successful propaganda tool, no matter what the evidence proves, the Antis are now starting to blame us for the violence in Jamaica.

David Codrea reports that U.S. guns blamed for Jamaican crime. At least they are not blaming Texas this time.

How long until the BATF comes knocking on your door, asking to see all the firearms you have legally purchased via an FFL?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lack of Posting

I must apologize for my recent lack of posting. Work has been a pretty significant drain on me lately and the news headlines make it seem like the Administration is Hell bent for leather to destroy the free market and make every American dependant upon the .gov for their daily needs.

I just needed a little downtime to recharge, and I am just about there.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Over the Past 24 Hours...

...we have received a boatload of rain. One storm would roll through dumping buckets of water on us and then a few hours later here comes another, with just as much rain. At 0330 it was raining as hard as I have ever seen it, pretty much a solid wall of water.

Of course with all this rain came strong winds, hail, and even a small twister or two.

All is well at Casa JR. One of the neighbors trees dropped a branch on the back fence, but there was not much damage at all. I'll just have some cleaning up to do when everything dries out.

Our oldest daughter lives in Little Elm, and she was not so fortunate.

It's interesting how the fence was taken down and the trampoline moved, but the unsecured ladder for the trampoline wasn't moved a bit.

The damage continued down the block.

Those fence posts are relatively new 4X4's snapped off right at the ground. It was quite the little Straight Line Wind Downburst to create such linear damage. There is also some roof damage to the houses along the path of the downburst, but nothing major. Our daughter and the grand kids were not home at the time, but this wind gave the neighbors a pretty good scare.

I just noticed that you can see where the trampoline sat next to the ladder. The trampoline was staked, the ladder was not.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Rochelle High School...

...takes the Texas Track and Field Team State Title. Congratulations to this high school from a small Texas town (population 600) who really took it to the larger schools for the second year in a row.

How many athletes are on the Rochelle High School Track and Field Team?


That's right, a Track and Field team of 1 won the State Title.

From Y News by Stuart Kantor:

Teen wins team state title by herself - again
Bonnie Richardson, from tiny Rochelle, Texas (population 600), has accomplished what no other Texas high school track and field athlete has ever achieved: back-to-back team state championships – by herself.

Richardson captured first in the long jump (17-04.50), second in the discus (126-09) and first in the high jump (5-8) on Friday for a total of 28 points. Returning to Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas on Saturday, Richardson placed third in the 200 (25.78) and fourth in the 100 (12.51) for a two-day total of 38 points – two points better than second-place Cayuga in Class A...
You are going to have to head on over and read this entire article for yourself.

Bonnie Richardson holds the trophy for winning the girls 1A team Texas championship on Saturday

Image by Harry Cabluck / AP

Now that is quite the accomplishment. This well rounded young woman will most likely be able to succeed at pretty much anything she puts her mind to.

Friday, June 05, 2009

New From Oleg

New From Oleg Volk

The Long Awaited...

...final update on the status of firearm related legislation in the 2009 Texas Legislative Session.

I will start with the bills I was actively supporting:
  • HB267 / SB1188: An act relating to the interstate purchase of certain firearms.

The BATFE had been denying long gun purchases to some Texans who were trying to purchase firearms from states that were not "contiguous" to the state of Texas. This legislation changed the working in Section 46.07 of the Texas Penal Code to resolve that issue.

SB 1188 was signed into law by Governor Perry on May 30th and was effective immediately upon his signature.

  • HB1020: An act relating to the use, exhibition, or possession of a firearm by public school students participating in certain school-sponsored programs and activities sponsored or supported by the Parks and Wildlife Department.
HB 1020 opens the door to public school sponsored, off campus, shooting sports.

HB 1020 passed the Senate and the House. It was sent to Governor Perry on May 26th and is awaiting his signature.
  • HB1301 / SB730: An act relating to an employee ’s transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee ’s employer.

    In other words, the Employer Parking Lot bills.

Let's start with the House version of the bill, HB 1301. HB 1301 was referred to the Public Safety Committee on February 26th. Nearly a month later, March 23rd, HB 1301 received a public hearing. Following the hearing, the bill was left "pending in committee".

The Senate version of this bill did much better. SB 730 was referred to the Criminal Justice Committee on February 25th. SB 730 received two public hearings in committee, was amended and was placed on the Senate Intent Calender on March 24th. On March 25th, SB 730 passed the Texas Senate with a unanimous vote of 31-0. SB 730, which received the full support of the Senate, was sent to the House on March 26th. Five days later, March 31st, SB 730 was read for the first time in the House and referred to Public Safety Committee. This bill, which had the unanimous support of the Senate, sat in the Public Safety Committee for near another month before receiving a public hearing on April 27th. SB 730 was voted on in committee on April 27th, the results: Ayes=5 Nays=0 Present Not Voting=1 Absent=3.

SB 730 was voted out of committee on April 27th. The bill was not sent to Calendars until May 6th, a full 10 days later. SB 730 sat in Calendars for two weeks before being considered on May 21st. The Calendar Committee placed SB 730 on the General State Calendar on May 23rd, too late for it to get considered on the House floor. Being placed on the General Calendar this late in the session pretty much ensured that SB 730 would not reach the House floor, even without the chubbing that was going on to prevent a vote on the Voter ID bill.

SB 730 was sent to the House by a unanimous vote of the Senate. The House version of this bill, HB 1301, had the bi-partisan support of 48 Members who signed on as either authors or coauthors of this legislation. This bill had the full support of the Governor and was legislation supported by the Texas Republican Party Platform.

Even after SB 730 was amended to exempt the petrochemical industry and schools, it was killed by two Republican led committees.

  • HB1644 / SB1236: An act relating to admonishments given to a person charged with a misdemeanor.
This bill requires a defendant be notified of the effect of a guilty plea or conviction for family violence on their right to possess firearms and ammo.

SB 1236 passed the Senate and the House. It was sent to Governor Perry on May 22nd and is awaiting his signature.

  • HB1893 / SB 1236: An Act relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education.

    These are the the campus-carry bills

As you know, these bills are dead. I have a future post, The Life and Death of a Texas Campus Carry Bill", bubbling around in my head so I will save any commentary until then.
  • HB3684: An act relating to the carrying of a handgun by a disabled person.
I did not talk enough about this legislation that would have allowed a disabled CHL holder to open-carry if the person’s disability “prevents the person from effectively concealing the handgun.”

HB 3684 died in the House Public Safety Committee without even receiving a public hearing. I guess "Public Safety" does not extend to those with disabilities.
  • HCR76: A resolution memorializing Congress in defense of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, affirming the right of states to nullify acts of Congress, executive orders, and judicial orders, and calling for the creation of a joint committee to communicate with other states about the limits of federal power.
HCR 76, my favorite bill of the session, died in the State Affairs Committee without receiving a public hearing.

Now for firearm related bills that I was actively opposing this legislative session:
  • HB760 / SB2345, HB736, HB1119, HB1507 and SB1893 are all noise regulation related bills that had the potential to significantly curtail firearms use in unincorporated areas of the state. All these bills failed.
  • HB1164 / SB651: An act relating to restrictions on the use of a stun gun; providing certain criminal penalties and defenses to prosecution. These bills would require an individual to obtain a license similar to a CHL in order to carry or use a stun gun. SB94 is a similar bill that would criminalize having a stun gun in your own home with out a license. These bills also failed.
There were several pieces of CHL and Firearm related legislation that made it through the legislature that I was neutral on but are very important. I will cover this legislation in it's own post soon.

Oh, one last thing. Hunters will be happy to know that PETA sponsored bill HB 1395 also died in committee.

That is it in a nut shell. Some minor victories and a couple pretty significant defeats. We did move ahead during this session and suffered no setbacks. The fact that we did not move as far ahead as we had hoped is disappointing, but not totally unexpected.

We lost ground in the last election cycle. Losing elections has consequences

Honeyville Food Products...

...is a favored supplier for the Casa JR "rainy day" preparation effort. When I have mentioned Honeyville in the past, I stated that:
Honeyville is a great resource for folks who like to put a little something away for a rainy day. Their food storage products include a wide variety of foods that would fit very well in any food storage program. The powdered eggs and instant milk substitute are definitely worth a look. They also have high quality freeze dried fruits and vegetables to add a bit of flavor (and nutrition) to your menu if you have to dig into your food stores for any reason.

Honeyville's main focus has been grains and flour for the baking industry, so of course their selection of these items is going to be top notch.
In their recent sales flier, Honeyville announced a new product:
Greetings from all of us here at Honeyville Farms! It's time to stock up and prepare for the unexpected. We're releasing new products, from food staples to treats that will keep your family healthy and happy and give you the peace of mind you need in any economic climate. For a limited time we're offering 10% off of your ENTIRE ORDER. From Thursday, June 4th, 2009 thru Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 we're offering 10% off of everything in your cart (except for our already low flat-rate shipping cost of $4.49). Just order as usual and enter the coupon code PREPARE09 during checkout. The coupon code field is on the second page of the checkout process. Enter the PREPARE09 code, click the APPLY button to the right and the savings will automatically be calculated for you. This is a great time to stock up and save on our most popular staples like Powdered Eggs, Milk Substitute, and the all new Hard White Wheat in the #10 cans.

Visit us at http://store.honeyvillegrain.com. ACT NOW as this discount will end promptly on Tuesday June 9, 2009 at 6:00PM PST. If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to place an order over the phone call us, toll-free, at (888) 810-3212. We're happy to help.
Also new this summer are canned Black Beans, Freeze Dried Blackberries, Hard Red Wheat in a #10 can, and much more.

The #10 cans of wheat is an expensive, but convenient way to store whole wheat. The #10 cans contain 5 lbs of whole wheat and, by the pound, are twice as expensive as purchasing the bulk 50# bags from Honeyville. However, the cans are packed with an oxygen absorber and have a reported shelf life of 10 to 15 years. I believe this shelf life can be easily doubled to 30+ years if stored properly. From the Provident Living website:
Longer-Term Storage—30 Years or More

Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (75°F/24°C or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought according to findings of recent scientific studies. Estimated shelf life for many products has increased to 30 years or more (see chart for new estimates of shelf life). Previous estimates of longevity were based on "best-if-used-by" recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda (essential for soaking beans), and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation, such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.

While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.

For tips on how to best preserve longer-term food storage products, see Longer-Term Supply.
Many of the canned freeze dried and low moisture products from Honeyville, if properly stored, will last decades and can basically be considered a one time purchase.

How much food should you store? This Food Storage Calculator can help with that answer.

Purchasing grains and legumes in bulk and packaging them yourself (.pdf) is a much more cost effective way to set up long term food stores, but these #10 cans of beans and wheat from Honeyville are a convenient way to get started or add something different to your current stores inventory.

For me, the freeze dried fruits and vegetables offered by Honeyville are a worthwhile addition to any long term food storage program.

If you decide to purchase anything from Honeyville, remember to enter the code "PREPARE09" at checkout to receive 10% off your entire purchase.

One last thing. I am not affiliated with Honeyville Food Products in any way. I just like their products and their flat rate $4.49 shipping fee.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

What the Heck...

...is going on with the Detroit Red Wings tonight? It only took six minutes to turn a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit.

They need to get out of the second period, quick.

Update: Final score 4-2 Pittsburgh.

For those of you who are not following the Stanley Cup Final, the series is tied 2/2. Next game is in Detroit, the day after tomorrow. Saturday night's game will be the fifth in eight nights.

Hockey players are tough.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Texas Legislative Session...

...ended yesterday. The good news is that it will be near a couple of years before we have to get busy contacting our Texas Legislators on specific firearms related bills. The bad news is that both Campus Carry and Employer Parking Lot legislation did not get passed this session.

Some time in the next few days I will compile a quick review of how all the firearms related legislation that I either supported or opposed did this session. We did make progress and suffered no setbacks. Some laws relating to Concealed Handgun Licenses have been changed so there is important information to be posted.

I just want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before posting.

Another Nail

The Bastards!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Quote of the Day

From The American Thinker

The federal government and their junior partners, the United Auto Workers, will be like the two dogs that chased the garbage truck every day. One day the truck stopped and the dogs caught it. Now what do they do?
Taken from an interesting article on "Chrysler, GM, and the Law of Unintended Consequences" by Lee Cary

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Couple Finance Related Links...

...that I think are worth your while.

The first is from The Whited Sepulchre, a North Texas Libertarian who really does have his head on straight. His post?

Next, from 2A Musing, we have some Friday financial fun. If you are a casual stock trader, this is an important read.

If you have any money in the markets, or any interest in the future of our economy, give them both a read.

On an unrelated topic. If you are one of the folks who read "A Keyboard and a .45", and have the forethought to put away a thing or two for "Justin", you may just find 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Food Storage 10 Years Ago interesting.

H/T to Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest for that last link.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pharmacist Who Shot Man Robbing Store Charged With Murder

That is not a headline you expect to see coming from an incident where a goblin meets his just deserts in Oklahoma. Unlike states along the coastline, Oklahoma has it together when it comes to folks defending themselves. There must be more to the story:

From Fox News:

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City pharmacist who shot and killed a 16-year-old would-be robber was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder.

Jerome Ersland, 57, was being held without bail in the Oklahoma County Jail.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said in an afternoon news conference that Ersland was justified in shooting Antwun Parker once in the head on May 19. But Prater said Ersland went too far when he shot Parker five more times in the abdomen while Parker lay unconscious on the floor.
That does sound like a bit much, but First Degree Murder? There has to be more.

At an afternoon news conference, Prater showed a security video in which two men burst into the pharmacy and one is shot.

Ersland is seen chasing the second man outside before returning, walking past Parker to get a second gun then going back to Parker and opening fire...

...Jacobson said the suspect who ran away from the pharmacy was armed, but no gun was found near Parker.

"Ersland shows no concern for his safety as he walks by Parker, and turns his back to Parker as he walks behind the pharmacy counter," Jacobson said. "Ersland is then seen to put the pistol he is carrying on the counter, and retrieve a second pistol from a drawer."

Ersland used this pistol to shoot Parker on the ground, the detective said.
This is how self defense turns into first degree murder. If this account is accurate, and it should be seeing as how they have it on video, then the pharmacist did step way over the line and the charges are warranted.

Update: Motor-T, in the comments, provided the link to the video.

Update #2: Guess I should read my blog list more often. Firehand commented on this yesterday with Unless the prosecutor has some evidence to prove the pharmacist lying,

Latest update: Xavier has more with Robbery Victim Charged with Murder

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Texas Campus Carry and Parking Lot Bills Update

The deadline for getting a bill to the Texas House floor is midnight tonight. SB 730, a bill "Relating to an employee's transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee's employer" (AKA the Employer Parking Lots Bill) is on page 34 of the 38 page Supplemental House Calendar scheduled for today. Seeing as how on routine legislative days, the House can get through 3 or 4 pages of the Calendar in a day, we can pretty much consider SB 730 to be dead in the water. This bill is going to be left pending on the Calendar, just as last sessions Parking Lot Bill was.

If you are looking for SB1164, a "Bill relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education", it is not there. SB1164 never even made it to a calendar.

The Democrats have done a fine job of putting a strangle hold on House business in an attempt to keep SB362, a bill "Relating to requiring a voter to present proof of identification" off the house floor. This bit of political chicanery has hammered the final nail into the coffin built for our gun bills, but the coffin itself was built around these bills by a couple high ranking Republicans.

If these bills had not been held up in committee, they could have been a done deal weeks ago.

I think it would be a great move if Governor Perry called back to back Special Legislative Sessions for each and every bill left on any House Calendar. There are major bills from both sides of the isle that will not make it to the House floor by midnight tonight. Making sure that all bills left on the Calendar are allowed their time for debate would not be seen as a partisan maneuver, but as a life lesson for our legislators. Maybe a lesson that will keep tactics like this from happening in future legislative sessions.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"On Eternal Patrol"

Submariners Prayer

Lord God, our power evermore,
Whose arms doth reach the ocean floor,

Dive with our men beneath the sea;
Traverse the depths protectively.

O' hear us when we pray, and keep
Them safe from peril in the deep.

There are no roses on a Sailor's grave,
No lilies on an ocean wave.

The only tribute are the seagulls' sweeps,
And the teardrops that a sweetheart weeps.

The Cold War Submarine Memorial

My service in the Navy was on, in, and around Submarines. So forgive me if I take a moment this Memorial day to honor my Submariner Brothers who sacrificed their lives in Submarine Warfare.
"We, who survived World War II and are privileged to rejoin our loved ones at home, salute those gallant officers and men of our submarines who lost their lives in that long struggle. We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the line against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds.

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN
Thank you to all of you who serve or have served in all branches of our military. Your sacrifice, and the sacrifice of those who have gone before, has secured our liberty and V and I thank you for all you have done.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Slowly Goes the House

The Texas House is slowly, very slowly, taking care of business. Texas Democrats are using every means possible to prevent the Voter ID bill from reaching the House floor. Each and every order of business in the House is being dragged out as long as possible. This delay tactic using the rules to eat up time is called "chubbing".

The bill the Democrats are working against is SB362, a bill "Relating to requiring a voter to present proof of identification." To me, requiring a picture identification to vote is a no brainer. I guess the Dems disagree.

This move places our gun bills in further jeopardy of not making it to the House Floor. SB1164 made it out of the Public Safety Committee last night and is now in Calendars. SB730 was the first item on the general calendar for today, but left over business from yesterday has placed it on Page 23 of 27 pages of bills to be considered in the House. Not looking good for the home team.

SB 1164 does still have a chance if we can get it placed on the Major Calendar for Tuesday. Midnight Tuesday is the deadline for House consideration of Senate bills.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Song to..

...open this Memorial Day Weekend.

Sometime in between the barbecues, the events, and the get togethers with family and friends, take a few moments to remember those who gave their all so that we could enjoy the blessings of being Americans.

While you are at it, thank a Veteran. Thank the men and women who did serve, who put their lives on the line, and who are still with us today to stand in for those who are not.

Growing up

Exodus over at 2A Musing has some thoughts on the concept.

A short, worthwhile read.

SB 730, The Employer Parking Lot Bill...

...has been placed on the House General Calendar for consideration tomorrow.

Having a bill placed on the General Calendar this late in the session is pretty much a death blow to that bill. SB 730 is right there next to SB 204, a bill "Relating to a prohibition of foods containing trans fat."

This is potentially the same fate that awaits SB 1164 (Campus Carry) when it gets to Calendars. I will let you know when it is time to put pressure on the Calendars Committee concerning SB 1164.

For now, here is this morning's fax to Rep. Brian McCall:

xxxx Xxxxxxx
Arlington, TX xxxxx
May 22, 2009

Representative Brian McCall
Chair, House Committee on Calendars

I am writing today concerning SB 730, a bill relating to an employee's transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee's employer. This bill is commonly referred to as the "Employer Parking Lot Bill". This morning SB 730 has been placed on the House General Calendar after being stalled in Calendars for over two weeks. This is unacceptable, especially for a bill that passed the Texas Senate with a unanimous vote.

SB 730 should have been placed on the House Major Calendar where it would have had a chance for open debate and a vote on the House floor.

Placing SB 730 on the General Calendar is a procedural trick designed to kill this important bill, again, a bill that passed the Texas Senate with a unanimous vote.

It is a shame that a bill with so much bi-partisan support in the Texas Legislature can be killed by one small committee. It is a larger shame that a Republican Chair of a House Committee would go to such lengths to suppress legislation that is specifically supported in the Texas Republican Party Platform.

During this last election cycle I was a Volunteer Voter Registrar, a Senate District 10 Delegate and an Alternate Delegate to the Republican State Convention. I worked with the Texas Victory PAC and was a campaign volunteer who spent a few weekends walking North Texas neighborhoods, knocking on doors to get out the Republican vote.

To say that I am disappointed with the way SB 730 has been handled by the House Republican leadership would be an understatement.

Let us hope that SB 1164, when it reaches Calendars, receives the attention that it deserves and is fast tracked to a debate on the House floor.



Now to send something to the Texas Speaker of the House.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Texas Legislative Session is...

...almost over. The good news is that you will only be called upon to make a few more phone calls and send out just a couple more faxes to the Texas Legislature then we will be done for a couple years. The bad news is that there is not much time to get our bills voted on in the Texas House.

Right now we need to work on getting SB730 (the parking lots bill) out of the Calendars Committee and placed on the House Major Calendar. It is too late in the session for a bill placed on the House General Calendar to reach the floor for debate, so it is very important that SB730 be placed on the House Major Calendar.

SB730 has been in the Calendar Committee for over two weeks. This is unacceptable. Other bills are passing through the committee in 2 to 3 days, and this bill which passed the Texas Senate with a unanimous vote is being held up.

SB730, a bill "Relating to an employee's transportation and storage of certain firearms or ammunition while on certain property owned or controlled by the employee's employer", passed the Senate with a vote of 31-0. The entire Texas Senate voted in favor of this bill, and it sits in a house committee.

Representative Brian McCall is the Republican Chair of the Calendars Committee. Rep. McCall, and all the other members of the committee, need to hear from us right away. Tonight send them faxes and emails, tomorrow give them a call.

Representative Brian McCall - Chair

(512) 463-0594
(512) 463-5896 Fax

Representative Eddie Lucio III - Vice Chair

512) 463-0606
(512) 463-0660 Fax

Representative Norma Chavez

(512) 463-0622
(512) 478-6755 (Fax)

Representative Garnet Coleman

(512) 463-0524
(512) 463-1260 Fax

Representative Byron Cook

(512) 463-0730
(512) 463-2506 Fax

Representative Brandon Creighton

(512) 463-0726
(512) 463-8428 Fax

Representative Charlie Geren

(512) 463-0610
(512) 463-8310 Fax

Representative Jim Keffer

(512) 463-0656
(512) 478-8805 Fax

Representative Lois W. Kolkhorst

(512) 463-0600
(512) 463-5240 Fax

Representative Edmund Kuempel

(512) 463-0602
(512) 480-0391 Fax

Representative Jim McReynolds

(512) 463-0490
(512) 463-9059 Fax
(877) 796-0581

Representative Allan Ritter

(512) 463-0706
(512) 463-1861 Fax

Representative Burt Solomons

(512) 463-0478
(512) 463-2089 Fax

If you have any energy left, please contact the Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Straus. His contact information: (512) 463-0686 or (512) 463-1000 if the first number rolls over into voice mail, and (512) 463-0675 Fax. We need to let the Republican leadership know that we expect Republican led committees to support legislation that is in accordance with the Texas Republican Party Platform.

If you do not have access to a fax service, email me and I may be able to help.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Breaking News!

SB1164, a bill relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of institutions of higher education, has passed the Texas Senate. The final vote was 19-12 for this bill.

This bill is off to the House. As mentioned previously, this bill's first stop will be in the Public Safety Committee. We should be able to move through this committee quickly and without further amendments.

Once through the Public Safety Committee, the bill goes to Calendars. The Chair of the Calendars Committee, Representative Brian McCall, pretty much killed the House version of this bill and is working to kill the Employer Parking Lot bill, another bill that has passed the Senate.

If this bill is to see debate on the House floor, we will need to focus our efforts on contacting the members of the Calendars Committee and the House leadership to let them know that we want to see this bill on the Calendar early enough that will receive a fair debate and a vote by the full House.

There was some more good news from the Texas Senate this morning. HB1020, a bill "relating to the use, exhibition, or possession of a firearm by public school students participating in certain school-sponsored programs and activities sponsored or supported by the Parks and Wildlife Department", passed the Senate and is on it's way to the Governor's desk to be signed into law.

I commented on HB1020 in a recent Texas Legislation Update. This bill opens the door to allow school sponsored shooting sports in our public schools. Both the author of this bill in the house, and the sponsor in the Senate, are Democrats. I would like to thank Texas State Representative Joe Deshotel for authoring this bill, and State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa for sponsoring this bill in the Senate.

One final note on HB1020. This House Bill passed without a companion Senate Bill being introduced. Just a little tidbit that I found interesting.

Yesterday's Texas Senate Vote on Campus Carry

The Journal for yesterday's Texas Senate has been published, and you can read the proceedings that led up to SB1164 being passed to engrossment. Five amendments that would have gutted this bill were defeated, and one amendment that basically acknowledges current Texas law was adopted.

The votes for and against final engrossment were as follows:
CSSB 1164 as amended was passed to engrossment by the following vote: Yeas 20, Nays 10.

Yeas: Carona, Deuell, Eltife, Estes, Fraser, Harris, Hegar, Hinojosa, Huffman, Jackson, Lucio, Nelson, Nichols, Patrick, Seliger, Shapiro, Uresti, Wentworth, Whitmire, Williams.

Nays: Averitt, Davis, Duncan, Ellis, Gallegos, Shapleigh, Van de Putte, Watson,
West, Zaffirini.

Absent-excused: Ogden.
If your Senator is in the "Yeas" column, give them a call and thank them for their continued support of SB1164.

You may note that some TSRA A-rated Senators voted against SB1164. These Senators have major universities in their districts (Averitt - Baylor, Duncan - Texas Tech, Ogden - A&M, Watson - UT).

To achieve their "A" rating, I have to assume that they indicated that they would support Campus Carry Legislation when filling out the TSRA candidate survey during this last off session. I do not know this for a fact, but I do believe that support for this legislation was necessary to receive the "A" rating.

If you live, work, or go to school in one of the Senate Districts represented by the "Nay" voting Senators, please give them a call and let them know that you are one of their constituents, that you support SB1164, and that you expect them to do the same.

One last note. Senator Gallegos helped bring this bill to the Senate floor. His was one of the votes necessary to get SB1164 to the Senate floor for debate. He is against the bill and voted against it's final passage, but he did understand the importance of allowing an open debate and vote on campus carry by the Texas Senate. If you call Senator Gallegos, please be sure to thank him for helping get the bill to the floor.

The third reading and final vote should happen today (if all goes well). The session starts at 11:00. After being at work for a couple of hours, I decided that I needed to take the rest of the day off to watch the proceedings and see how they go.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Look Back at Blackwater Chow Hall Music

I've been posting a lot of Texas legislative information of late, so for a quick break here is a video highlighting the music played at the Chow Hall at Blackwater USA. I know I've posted it before, but what the heck. Enjoy

Every meal, breakfast lunch and dinner, this song was playing. I'm sure if they served mid-rats, you could get your Slip Knot on then also.

To Paraphrase Mark Twain -

Rumors of the Texas Campus Carry Legislation's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Today the Senate surprised me by by taking SB1164 through it's second reading. Even better yet is that our Senators defeated several amendments to the bill that would have pretty much defeated it's purpose. The final vote at the end of the second reading was 20-10 for.

As the vote was 20-10, this bill should very well pass on the third reading and be sent on to the House. Hopefully the third reading and final vote will take place tomorrow.

Once SB1164 is passed by the Senate, we still have a very long row to hoe to get campus carry passed into law during this legislative session.

When SB1164 reaches the house, it's first stop will be in the Public Safety Committee. We should be able to move through this committee quickly and without further amendments.

Once through the Public Safety Committee, the bill goes to Calendars. The Chair of the Calendars Committee, Representative Brian McCall, pretty much killed the House version of this bill and is working to kill the Employer Parking Lot bill that has also passed the Senate.

If you are up for a couple of phone calls in the morning, please call Senator Uresti and Senator Lucio. Thank them for their support of SB1164 and encourage them to suspend the rules to allow the third reading of SB1164 tomorrow and also to vote for this bill (SB1164).

Senator Uresti 512.463.0119.

Senator Lucio 512.463.0127.

Once this bill makes it out of the House Public Safety Committee, it will be time to flood the entire Calendars Committee with emails, calls and faxes. We do have some good people on that committee, we need to make enough noise that their voices have a bit more strength than they do now.

Employer Parking Lot Bill Update

It appears that Representative Brian McCall, Chairman of the House Calendars Committee, has tagged SB730 and will either not let it out of Calendars Committee, or set it so late on the calendar that it will not make it to the floor in time for debate and a vote.

Brian McCall is a Collin County Republican who needs to hear from us.

SB 730 passed the Senate with a unanimous vote of 31-0. The Texas Senate sent this bill to the House expecting it to be passed in short order, and this one individual is holding it up.

Please take a moment to contact the office of Brian McCall and firmly, and politely, let him know that we expect SB730 to make it to the House floor in time for a vote. It is to late for emails. Phone calls and faxes are the order of business unless email is your only avenue of communication.

(512) 463-0594

(512) 463-5896 Fax

After calling Rep. McCall's office, call the Calendars Committee at (512) 463-0758 with the same message.

Next on the list would be Speaker of the House Joe Straus. He is the ranking Republican and it should be in his interest to see to it that legislation that is in agreement with the Texas Republican Party Platform, and has the support of a majority of the House, make it to the House floor.

His contact information: (512) 463-0686 or (512) 463-1000 if the first number rolls over into voice mail, and (512) 463-0675 Fax

If you are a Texan gun owner, you need to step up and make these calls.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Gun rights bills fade in Legislature

I do believe that Campus Carry legislation, for this Texas legislative session, is dead. There was an attempt to attach an amendment to a different piece of legislation that would have decriminalized the carrying of a concealed handgun by a CHL on the campus of public or private college or university. That attempt also failed on a "point of order".

This from Lubbock Online:

By Enrique Rangel

AUSTIN - Texans with concealed-weapon licenses will have to wait at least two more years before they can carry their firearms on college campuses.

The same goes for people expecting a sales tax holiday for the purchase of guns, shotguns, rifles and ammunition the last weekend of August. And workers who were hoping they could take their firearms to work as long as they left them inside their car or truck can forget it.

Texas may be one of the Second Amendment-friendliest states in the Union, but in this session the Legislature has pretty much decided that even in the Lone Star State gun rights have limits.

That's because, barring an 11th-hour surprise, in the last two weeks left of the current session, for all practical purposes a series of bills that drew all kinds of attention, not to mention strong opposition, are dead.

"My bills are toast. They are dead," said Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, whose most controversial bill was the one that would have allowed Texans with concealed-weapon licenses to carry their firearms on college campuses. Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, filed an identical bill in the upper chamber but it has not gone to the Senate floor for a vote.

Driver, like Rep. David Swinford, R-Dumas, and other lawmakers who support gun rights, said such bills are dead because they never got out of committee or only passed in one chamber.

Had those bills gone to the House floor for a vote they would have passed, or at least the one that would have allowed people to carry firearms on college campuses, Driver said.

"I had 76 votes," which is the minimum needed to pass a bill, said Driver, who in 2007 was the House sponsor of the "castle doctrine" bill that passed overwhelmingly in both chambers and Gov. Rick Perry signed into law. The law, which does not mention firearms, allows Texans to use deadly force against would-be attackers whether at home, office or car...
The Employer Parking Lot Bill is not quite dead, yet. SB 730 has passed the Senate and still has time for a House vote.

Campus Carry on the other hand, is dead. Part of what we had going against us was the public perception of campus carry. Here is one of the comments to the Lubbock Online article:

I am a member of the NRA and own several firearms. I wholeheartedly support laws that allow for concealed carry and home defense. However, I do have a serious concern about firearms on college campuses. Many students tend to abuse alcohol and get seriously inebriated. Alcohol tends to cloud one's inhibitions and common sense. Such students with guns in their rooms could be a very dangerous thing. I am glad this bill stalled.
If this individual really holds the beliefs stated, then this individual is really misinformed. A Texas CHL can only be had by an adult, 21 years of age or older. How many adults who are responsible enough to obtain a CHL live in a dorm? How many adults responsible enough to obtain a CHL spend their time abusing alcohol and becoming seriously inebriated? We have two years to change this public perception, because as was pointed out in the article:

...What's more, even if the bills are not revived in the last two weeks of the session, these issues will be back in the 2011 session, Burnam predicted.

Driver agreed, saying he will introduce the same bills again.
There is an election between now and the next legislative session, pro-rights candidates need our support in both the primaries and the general election.