Friday, April 28, 2006

So I went to see United 93...

...and even now I am on edge. Of course, we all know what happens in the movie and how it ends, but still I was not expecting the emotional wallop the movie packed. Did I think it would get to me? Yup, even just as I watched the trailer...but the trailer doesn't do the whole movie justice. I do not want to spoil it for anyone, but I will freely admit I broke down and cried when they showed the people on the plane telling their families goodbye for the last time. Pissed me off? You bet it did. I sit here and think about how assholes like Kos can sit there and smugly proclaim they're so over that black day in September, and I try not to pay much mind to them, but when I think about that and contrast it with the images presented in "United 93," it just makes my blood boil. It's bad enough that these adherents to the so-called "Religion of Peace" want to kill us, but to see people sit there and effectively proclaim that the threat Islam poses isn't a big deal, and to see them so easily "get over it," is just completely beyond my comprehension. Time will tell, but I'd like to think that "United 93" will snap some of these people out of their stupor and wake them up to the fact that yes, there are people out there who want to KILL us, and it would be in our best interests to KILL THEM FIRST before they got that chance. I was discussing the movie with a fella I work with last week, and he mentioned the songs "Have You Forgotten" by Darryl Worley and "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" by Toby Keith, and said those songs came to mind when he thought of what's been going on since 9-11. I told him that I can understand the points those songs were trying to make (more so with Worley's song), but that I think "United 93" will do a much better job of driving those points home. It's one thing to just ask the plaintive question "Have you forgotten?" But it's quite another to put the events on the big screen for all the world to see -- the fright and deep sadness of the passengers on the plane, the cold fanaticism of the Muslim hijackers, the confusion and tension on the ground in the air traffic control centers, and last, but certainly most of all, the heroism of those brave souls who stormed the cockpit of that plane in a last-ditch effort to save their lives and the lives of God knows how many others on the ground -- to see to it that we do not forget. The American character was on fine display on that plane that sunny but oh-so-dark September day. God bless them, every one...may they all rest in peace.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Excellent advice

...from John Hawkins @ Right Wing News, 10 Pieces Of Advice For Republicans In Washington (emphasis mine):

Stop Getting Involved In Primary Elections: When President Bush and the National Republican Senatorial Committee back RINOS like Arlen Specter or Lincoln Chafee in Republican primaries, it sends the wrong message. The Senators are in effect, being told that they can thwart the will of the majority of Republicans without consequence while a large portion of the base is given the impression that Republicans in Washington are unsympathetic to their views. In my book, if a sitting Republican Senator can't even win a primary without a lot of help from the Party, he'll probably be more of a hindrance than an asset over the long-term anyway.

Yes, indeed. It is long past time for Republicans in Washington to stop selling out conservative principles to maintain their grip on power. It is just simply not worth continuing our support for Republicans in Congress if they're going to sell out its conservative base just to maintain their control of Congress. I know well that this is a critical time in our nation's history, and I still believe that as a whole, we would be much better off with the GOP at the levers of power in Washington, but at the same time, just having (R) beside your name as a candidate doesn't make you worthy of support. If it came down to a matchup between an Arlen Specter/Lincoln (or John) Chafee-type Republican and a Zell Miller-type Democrat, I honestly believe I would have no trouble at all voting for the latter. I don't know Lincoln Chafee's views on gun control, but does anyone remember this legendary quote from John Chafee?

I shortly will introduce legislation banning the sale, manufacture or possession of handguns (with exceptions for law enforcement and licensed target clubs)....It is time to act. We cannot go on like this. Ban them!

Something tells me that, as the old saying goes, the fruit does not fall far from the tree. And the younger Chafee's leftist views on other issues are well-known. Opposes Bush tax cuts, supports the evisceration of the First Amendment with the McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform" act, supports ratification of the Kyoto treaty, pro-abortion, opposes drilling in ANWR...anyone wanna bet on him NOT supporting whatever infringements on our gun rights that comes down the pike? And the Republicans actually stand for this? I know well there is room for differences of opinion, but folks like Chafee (both father and son), Specter, etc. are, in my mind, some of the biggest reasons that people say there isn't a bit of difference between the two parties.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Navigating the Minefield; or, An Argument Gunnies Need to Avoid

Looking at the Sitemeter a couple of days ago, I saw that someone was directed here by searching on's search engine for "fully auto Ruger P89." So, just for grins I clicked on over to those search results to see what came up...and I came upon this discussion from "IL: Gun Violence Victims Rally Around Governor's Proposal [Re: Ban Assault Weapons]." It was just more HCI bullshit, of course, about supporting Rod Blagojevich's and Dick Daley's "assault weapons" ban for Illinois. Never mind all the arguments -- we've seen them all put forth in the media, time after time -- but, I did find one thing interesting. One poster put up a list of the guns most used in crime, to show that the weapons the ban covered were never used in crimes:

Guns Used In Crimes (Before The Federal "Assault Weapon" Ban):
10 Most Frequently Traced Guns Used In Crimes In 1994:
1) Lorcin P25 (pistol)
2) Davis Ind. P380 (pistol)
3) Raven Arms MP25 (pistol)
4) Lorcin L25 (pistol)
5) Mossberg 500 (shotgun)
6) Phoenix Arms Raven (pistol)
7) Jennings J22 (pistol)
8) Ruger P89 (pistol)
9) Glock 17 (pistol)
10) Bryco 38 (pistol)

Guns Used In Crimes (Six Years AFTER The Federal "Assault Weapon" Ban:
10 Most Frequently Traced Guns Used in Crimes In 2000:
1. Smith and Wesson .38 (revolver)
2. Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic (pistol)
3. Lorcin Engineering .380 semiautomatic (pistol)
4. Raven Arms .25 semiautomatic (pistol)
5. Mossberg 12 gauge (shotgun)
6. Smith and Wesson 9mm semiautomatic (pistol)
7. Smith and Wesson .357 (revolver)
8. Bryco Arms 9mm semiautomatic (pistol)
9. Bryco Arms .380 semiautomatic (pistol)
10. Davis Industries .380 semiautomatic (pistol)

Advancing this line of argument, in my mind, is extremely dangerous, and here's why. I know this is perfectly obvious to many, but it needs to be stated again: the anti-gunners know that the weapons they want to ban are not widely used in crimes, and they don't care. So it's absolutely useless to talk about what kinds of guns are used in crimes, and it could indeed be dangerous -- because they could very well use that list to, you guessed it, call for a ban once again on defensive sidearms, and on top of that, ban certain calibers as well, even if they are used in rifles. Look at all the common, highly-used calibers here: .380ACP, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, 9mm. We all know what could come of this: calls for special taxes on these calibers, ID & registration to buy them (for both the ammunition and the arms), restricted sales and all those other schemes these bastards like to tout as "common-sense gun control" measures. They will stop at nothing to strip us of our right of self-defense, and we must fight then, every step of the way -- and be careful we do not fall into the traps they set, whether those traps are intentional or not.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oh, now this is just great...

From today's Houston Chronicle:

Prosecutors charged a veteran longshoreman with murder and aggravated assault after a Sunday morning fight inside an east Houston restaurant erupted into gunfire....

It should be fun to see how long it takes the deception specialists at groups like the Violence Policy Center and the Organization Formerly Known As Handgun Control to spin this guy as representative of concealed-carry permit holders not just in Texas, but nationwide as well. I can just hear them now...
"See? Citizens carrying guns's bad, m'kay? People only want to carry them because they're paranoid, m'kay? And the people who do carry them are prone to go off at a moment's notice, m'kay?"
And even if it turns out he was justified, the money's on the gun-grabbers pulling out the same broad, worn paintbrush and painting all gun owners as paranoid, hair-trigger-temper-possessed reprobates, as they're so prone to do when something like this happens.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Another Example From Across the Pond of How Well Civilian Disarmament Works!

Via Right, Wing-Nut! and Misha at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler comes this article from Brussels, Belgium, that's right, folks, the heart of enlightened, gun-free, oh-so-tolerant Europe:

Last Wednesday Joe Van Holsbeeck, 17 years of age, was murdered in Brussels Central Station. He was stabbed five times in the heart by North African youths. They demanded that he give them his MP3 player. When Joe refused he was savagely murdered. The atrocity happened during the evening rush hour on a crowded platform. Though there were hundreds of people on the platform, no-one interfered – perhaps because many people do not notice what is happening around them on a crowded, noisy and busy platform where passengers are rushing to catch their trains.

Read the whole thing, and the peerless Emperor's commentary on the actions of various players in this tragedy, as he does much better than I ever could. But I would like to comment on one thing:

Yesterday Marc Joris, a VB politician who is a member of the provincial council of East Flanders, criticised an initiative of VLD Governor AndrĂ© Denys against arms possession. The authorities are worried that more and more Belgians are arming themselves because they feel they are no longer adequately protected by the police. It is illegal to carry arms in Belgium, where even a pepper spray is considered to be an illegal weapon. According to Joris bearing a weapon can be a protection against crime. “There is no proof that societies are safer when citizens are not allowed to carry arms,” Joris said. Governor Denys retorted: "I am the Governor of East Flanders, not of Texas. [...] I do not want to live in such a society [where citizens are allowed to possess arms]."

Yes, indeed. We just cannot have the common folk be trusted with the means to protect themselves against those shiftless, morally bankrupt thugs who would take their stuff, and, as we see here, their very lives. That just would never do. Let them eat cake, excuse me, call 911...the police will always get there in time to protect them! And Besides that, they're the only ones professional enough! A Brit expat once told me, "I never could understand you crazy Americans and your fascination with guns." But I'd bet my last paycheck that if Joe Van Holsbeck had a .45 at his disposal with a couple of extra magazines, he'd still be alive today. Rest in peace, Joe Van Holsbeck...and burn in hell, Andre Denys.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

How About Those Country Legends, the Allman Brothers and Gordon Lightfoot!

So I was blastin' down Highway 69 here in Southeast Texas last night, listening to Country Legends 97.1, which broadcasts out of Houston. Their playlist consists of nothing but country music from the '60s, '70s and '80s...heaven on earth for a old country junkie like me. Here in the last few weeks, they've been playing a fair bit of '70s folkie Gordon Lightfoot's music..."Sundown," "Carefree Highway," and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" are some of the Lightfoot numbers I've heard on there. And as I was driving Friday night, I heard the great old Allman Brothers chestnut "Ramblin' Man." I love that song, and the Gordon Lightfoot songs too, but I never really thought of them as "country" in the sense that George Jones, Merle Haggard, et al. were. But on second thought, I think just about anything the Allmans and Gordon Lightfoot recorded would fit better in the country music canon than a lot of what's being recorded and marketed as "country music" these days. Yes, I am more or less a musical purist, I'll admit, even if I do like all sorts of different genres. And I know my complaints have been echoed through the years by each generation of country music fans, but still, I defy anyone to tell me how in the hell one can draw any kind of line between "Your Cheatin' Heart" and that stupid Hillbilly Rock Star song that Kenny Chesney sings. I know well that music "changes," and "evolves," but as it does so, isn't it supposed to maintain a healthy connection to its roots? I know, I man's "music that evokes its roots" is another man's "tired old twangy, whiny crap," but I would contend that those who think the latter of the older country music are exactly the types of people that Nashville shouldn't be marketing country music to. And the fact that they (and country radio) have been catering to these people is what's gotten them (and mainstream country music) in the sorry shape it's in now. I know that today's "country" stars claim a wide array of influences, but I think they'd all sound much better -- more, um, country, if you will -- if those influences were acts like Gordon Lightfoot, the Doobie Brothers (BEFORE Michael McDonald took over frontman duties), the Allmans or even Creedence Clearwater Revival, instead of Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel or Eric Clapton (though I do love Clapton and all the bands he's played in). I know all the arguments, I know they've been raging ever since the first amp was plugged in, but I'd like my country music to have at least a little twang to it, is that so wrong? I'd take "Long Train Runnin'" or "Sundown" before "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" on my local country station any day. And I think it'd be interesting to see how many people who liked country music before it was "cool" would share that sentiment.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Happy San Jacinto Day, y'all...

There is much I could say, but Catfish at the Texican Tattler nails it...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ah got bit by the Six Things meme!

So I got the Six Things meme from Head's Bunker, and I thought it would be fun to play along...

Six Things You Did Not Know About Me

1. You might think I have a beautiful smile if you saw it, but it's not all real -- the two front teeth are crowns. My real ones got knocked out in a boating accident just before my freshman year in high school.
2. What I hate more than anything is when someone says something to me that they don't mean, just to test me, just to see what I would say. I once was involved with a girl who did this constantly, as if all the reasons our relationship became the cluster-fuck of epic proportions that it did, were not big enough tests enough in and of themselves. She knew good and well that I hated it and she kept on doing it. She's long gone now, and good riddance, but still, that's almost three years of my life that I'll never get back...
3. I like mayonnaise on my sandwiches -- not Miracle Whip. It'll do in a pench, better Miracle Whip than a dry sandwich -- but still, I am always ragging on my mother about that. "Yeah, I guess salad dressing will be fine.." after all, it does say Miracle Whip Salad Dressing on the jar...
4. I love to sing along with stuff I like on the radio, very loud, and CRANK IT UP! No matter who looks at me funny. ;-) Last song I sang along with? Roger Creager's "The Everclear Song," just a few minutes ago on 100.3 KILT in Houston.
5. Speaking of the big E, my first monster hangover was off a mixed drink with Everclear in it -- homemade fuzzy navel, made with that, oj and peach schnapps. My best friend from high school was mixing it and put about twice as much everclear in it as he should have. I spent the next day at work, with an 18-wheeler sitting on my head, puking my innards out -- 4 times in 5 1/2 hours. I think that may be some kind of record among my buddies...
6. I collect coffee mugs, from anywhere and everywhere I go. The one I drink out of is a forest-green one, from the Gruene General Store in Gruene, Texas, about 35 miles north of San Antonio. I got it on a trip to San Antonio to see George Strait back in November 2002. (6th out of 11 times)

I don't know who to pass it on to, though...I don't know who else reads my blog or who else has gotten it, but it was still fun.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Carnival of Cordite No. 55...

is up at Resistance is futile!

More on Country vs. Hip-Hop Culture

Today while doing work on the computer at school, I was listening to Cross Canadian Ragweed's self-titled cd, the purple album. Now, for those of you who don't have this cd, lemme tell ya, it's got some downright violent tunes on it. Examples include:

Truth be known, I could smoke you where you're standin',
But what kind of good would be done then?
Rip off my gloves, and do it bare handed
But then again, I'd feel better in the end
("Don't Need You")

Had an eye for things a-shinin', my pockets were not deep
She went out a-prowlin', lookin' for some fresher meat
Thought she was clever, I pulled up in the rear
I pulled out my Old Timer, I cut that boy from ear to ear
Yeah, she begged me not to do it, said her runnin' days are through,
I said, I forgive you, as the bullet casings flew
Satisfaction, it locomotived through my brain
Now the walls of Huntsville, keep me under lock and chain
("Walls of Huntsville")

No doubt the folks who are being weaned on Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney and their ilk would hear that and clamp their ears in agony. "Oh my God, he's talking about killing! I can't let my kids listen to that!" Never mind that the music was not really aimed at kids, but that's another post entirely. My point is, it may be that these good ole boys from Oklahoma are singing about violently killing an unfaithful or contrary lover, but you can't, even in your wildest dreams, ever see them actually doing it. Contrast that to the kind of folks that Proof, the Notorious B.I.G, etc. ran with, and it's quite plain to see that those folks do indeed live the violence they sing. I don't know the guys from Cross Canadian Ragweed, but I do know the kind of folks that listen to them, and they're all pretty good people, get up and go to work every day for an honest day's pay, and respect their elders and all that good stuff -- in other words, not the kind of folks who'd solve their marital problems (or any other kind of relationship-type problems, for that matter) with a knife or a gun. Now, granted, the so-called "hip-hop culture" has undoubtedly been quite corrupted by some bad people, but, like it or not, it is what it is -- and the fact is that the members of that culture enable the worse aspects of it by continuing to finance those who promote those bad aspects. We may well have a DUI now and then, and that's regrettable, but at least you don't see us listening to songs that refer to our women as bitches 'n' ho's, or that talk about pullin' out a Glock nine and bustin' a cap in somebody because they "disrespected" you. You want your culture to shine and be respected? Well, clean it up and start looking in the mirror instead of pointing out the flaws in other cultures to distract everyone!!

Try Getting Your Head Around This

Today I got this month's issue of America's First Freedom, my NRA member magazine, in the mail. Thumbing through it, I saw this quote from Casey Anderson, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:

We're a gun-control group, but not anti-gun.

Now, how do you reconcile this statement with the fact that this organization was originally known as The Coalition To Ban Handguns? They Want To Ban Handguns, but "we're...not anti-gun." That settles it...these people HAVE to be from another planet, because this defies all earthly logic. But seeing some of this character's other statements, another saying comes to mind...
"He's not the sharpest tool in the shed...but he is a tool!"

Monday, April 17, 2006

For Every Man A Kimber Ultra Carry-family Pistol? If Only...

Looking at the ole Sitemeter, I see someone in the vicinity of Wichita, Kansas recently came upon my site via a Dogpile web search for "Kimber Ultra Carry Shortage." Lord have mercy, but I shudder to think of how much those are gonna be when they come off back-order, if indeed they are as the Tactical Ultra IIs are. That retail price of $800 to $989 may well look like a bargain. But if you come back, I would highly recommend you check out GunsAmerica...they might have what you're looking for.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bad Comparisons; or, Hey, I Got yer Culture of Firepower Right Here!

The Houston Chronicle's Zharmer Hardimon, on the comparisons between hip-hop culture and country music culture:

Comedian Chris Rock once joked that country-music stars don't go around shooting each other. (Though rap stars don't seem to go around getting ticketed for DUI.)

Whoa. Is it just me, or is this comparison a little bit off? While I would never want to downplay the serious dangers posed by driving under the influence, to sit there and compare that in any way with pulling out a gun and shooting someone with malice aforethought is just disgusting. I guess some people will attempt to rationalize the poisoning of their chosen cultures any way they can, but this is just outrageous. It's like, say, comparing Dick Cheney's carelessness with his shotgun to some street thug walking into the local 7-11 with his Glock wondernine and blowing away the clerk for the fifty bucks in the cash register. I know that in the case of Dick Cheney's hunting accident, his partner could well have been critically injured or killed, just as dead as the 7-11 clerk...but, of course, the law would not see the two incidents the same, as Cheney would probably have been slapped with some sort of manslaughter charge and the street thug would have gone down for capital murder. Bad comparisons aside, the gutless wonders who make up (and study) this rancid excuse of a "culture" continue to blame the guns...

"How many rappers have been shot, lost a brother, lost a friend?" asks Bascunan. "How much gun violence have we heard of? It seemed pretty obvious what the problem was. Guns escalate violence."

"Guns escalate violence." Judas Priest, will the cop-outs never cease? Here we go yet again, blaming the inanimate object instead of the mutant holding the object. Pretty obvious what the problem was? Well, apparently not -- that gun doesn't fire itself, Scooter, no matter what the world's would-be do-gooders try to make you think (or, in your case, actually did make you think). Makes me think of that "culture of firepower" that moronic Seattle columnist was blabbering on about. Maybe, in the case of hip-hop culture, that moniker ain't so far off base. Consider this...

Just bring who you gon' bring on, who you gon' swing on?
I'm King Kong, guns blow you to king-dom come
Show you machine gun funk
Sixteen m-16's and one pump [click-clack]
The snub in my paw, shove it in your jaw

Have you runnin out this fuckin club in your drawers
We lovin the broads, there's nothin to applaud
But fuck it it's all good, the hood is up in The Source
It's fight music

That, my friends, was from the esteemed deceased rapper Proof's "Fight Music." Or how about this, from Soulja Slim...

Ya daddy made ya?
Let's see if he can be ya savior
When I cave ya chest in with me murder weapon
They can't find out Smith and Wesson
Only glocks and street machines with infer beams
You know what I mean
Fully automatic things light up the scene

You think that was the "culture of firepower" he was talking about? We all know the answer to that...

Reality Bites

So I was working the other morning, when one of my co-workers -- one I often shoot with -- came in and handed me a copy of Guy Smith's Gun Facts 4.0, which can be downloaded here. It's an 80-plus page booklet of sorts that is, in the words of its introduction, "...a quick reference guide for composing arguments for debates, letters to editors, email to your representatives, and statements to the media" -- a wealth of information, and thoroughly sourced at that. I would highly recommend that anyone who has even a passing doubt about the benefits of gun ownership -- or the futility of any and all kinds of gun bans -- download and read through it.
On page 3 of the booklet, there's a quite revealing quote from Josh Sugarmann, the executive director of the radically, frothing-at-the-mouth anti-gun Violence Policy Center:

"You can't get around the image of people shooting at people to protect their stores and it working. This is damaging to the (gun control) movement."

I know that had to be quite painful for him to admit. His organization has been perhaps the leading advocate of stripping Americans of their God-given rights pretty much since its inception, and in trying to reach that goal, it has propagated every kind of lie, deception, manipulation and otherwise half-truth that exists in the world of gun politics.
Yet here was an almost complete breakdown of the social order in Southern California in the aftermath of the acquittal of the police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King, a breakdown that the police -- one of the groups that the professional deception specialists at the VPC argue should be allowed to keep its guns -- were almost completely unable to contain and quell for several days.
So what was to be done in the interim? The Los Angeles shopkeepers showed us, as they fended off rioters with whatever kinds of firearms they were able to get their hands on. And, of course, there were the myriad stories from the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (how about YOU LOOT, I SHOOT?), and here are just a couple of stories (h/t Zendo Deb @ TFS Magnum) of armed citizens defending themselves as the police were unable to help them, due to that inherent flaw of not being able to be everywhere at once, a flaw that gun banners of all stripes have failed to address. We may win some, we may lose some, but as long as we breathe, I like to think that incidents such as these will serve to remind people of the catastrophes that would result if we let our government attempt to disarm us. Perhaps that is optimistic, but as long as we are eternally vigilant, there remains at least a flicker of hope...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hoplophobia and Irrationality

Is it so wrong to think ill of certain things you don't understand?
That question came to mind this morning as I was pouring the last bit of coffee, listening to Walton and Johnson on Rock 103.7, and making the rounds on the various gun blogs I read every day. For some reason, a conversation came to mind, one I had about a year ago with a certain female from a certain very leftist-infested area of this great land. Of course, she was just as blue as she could be, in the blue-state-red-state sense, anyway. I was telling her about that first gun purchase...why did I do this? The hell if I know. I remember once a few years earlier, a question she asked me, after I showed her a story of a self-defense incident with a gun. She came back with a story of, I think it might have been, a kid who was a victim of someone else's negligent firearm handling, and she said, " tell me what's so great about having guns."
And that one statement perfectly encapsulated her entire attitude toward firearms and firearm ownership. Just like every other stinking hoplophobe out there, she completely disregarded the benefit half of the cost-benefit analysis of firearm ownership. You know how it goes..."guns 'r bad, m'kay?"
So anyway, we were talking about my first gun purchase, and the topic of the guy she was seeing, and at the time planned to marry, entered the conversation. She mentioned that he owned a defensive sidearm, and she said this:
"He will not have it when we have kids. This has already been discussed."
I was just floored by that. Maybe it's just the Texan, gun owner and avid shooter in me, but I simply cannot fathom acquiescing to that sort of demand. I never asked her outright, as I didn't even think about it till later, but I am willing to bet what I paid for my Kimber that she probably wouldn't even consent to going to the range with him and learning how to shoot it. I cannot even begin to fathom that level of fear of an inanimate object. I don't know what could possess an otherwise rational person to be so irrational. This was the same person who said she would rather her daughter be raped and deal with it afterward than give her a gun and risk a rapist taking it and using it on her, no matter how that risk could be minimized with the right training and education. She's a good person, even though our political beliefs don't even begin to mesh, but I don't think much of that sort of irrationality.
Once upon a time I'll admit that, even though I've always been a strident advocate of the right to keep and bear arms, I was a bit apprehensive toward guns. They were loud and could be dangerous if not respected, and they kicked. Maybe that's why I don't remember shooting anything bigger than a .22. But somehow, by the time Buy-A-Gun Day rolled around last year, I wasn't even thinking about that. I just dove in and started swimming. And it was quite liberating to know that if evil was visited upon me, I had a means to fight it.The quote from Jeff Cooper -- who, incidentally, coined the terms hoplophobe and hoplophobia -- fits perfectly here:
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it."
How sad that so many people will, in effect, stick their fingers in their ears and say, "Leave it up to the police." Here's hoping for their sake and the sake of their loved ones that they never find out the hard way that the police won't always get there in time.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Absolutism vs. Incrementalism

Recently there was a bit of a conflict between some commenters at David Codrea's place and Kevin Baker of The Smallest Minority on partial victories (and partial defeats) in the battle to regain our gun rights. It more or less boiled down to absolutism vs. incrementalism -- or, if you will, compromise vs. no compromise. I tend to lean towards the "no compromise" position, myself. While it may not be the best course of action, the fact is that any kind of compromise in the battle for gun rights means that at least some people are going to be stripped of their rights -- for example, starting in 2007, Nebraskans will be able to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Nebraska, but they won't be able to carry in Omaha or Lincoln. There are those who would say that it should have been all or nothing -- that either everyone gets to carry or no one gets to carry. And I'll admit I's absolutely unconscionable that those in charge in Omaha or Lincoln could actually get away with such a blatant usurpation of their citizens' natural right (Yes, I know, it's happening in many other places too, but I really expected better in a place like Nebraska.)But, here's the thing. The pro-gun forces in the Nebraska legislature should not stop there. They should look the gun bigots in the eye and say, "This isn't the end...we won't stop until we get total victory." How well that would work, I am not sure; it may well be that the gun bigot mentality is so entrenched in Omaha and Lincoln that their representatives in the Nebraska Legislature would not ever consent to lifting the ban on concealed carry there. But incrementalism really shouldn't necessarily be thought of as a bad thing. After all, we all know the gun bigots have succeeded in eroding our gun rights over the years. And how do you think they did it? A little at a time. In increments. The same strategy could work just as well for us. We can always give ground with the intention of going back for it later -- but that's the key: going back for it later...not giving it up entirely. And that, I think, is what folks like David Codrea are worried about. I can't blame them, as I worry about it myself, because if you keep on giving without even trying to take back, you're just going to keep giving and giving and giving until you have nothing left. Compromise? Sure, go right ahead...with the ultimate goal of advancing a little further. They've taken our rights away, a little at a time. And we can get them back, a little at a time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Another quick thanks...

to David Codrea (though a bit belated) and Firehand for linking me, and the visitors from their great sites. Once again, welcome! Pull up a chair and stay a while.

On REAL Race Traitors...

First, a little context...
Every now and then, if you're an avid reader of the news (both traditional sources and non-traditional sources, i.e., blogs), you'll see a prominent black American (let's call him BA1) slandering another prominent black American (call him BA2) as a "race traitor," more often than not because BA1 thinks BA2's political views are not what BA1 considers as "acceptable black opinions." Or sometimes BA1 views BA2 as, um, being an Uncle Tom, or selling out to the eeeevil White Oppressors. Recent examples include Michael Steele, the Republican lieutenant governor of Maryland, being called "Simple Sambo" and being portrayed in blackface by leftist blogger Steve Gilliard, and Harry Belafonte, whose biggest contribution to society is the "Banana Boat Song," calling Army General and Secretary of State Colin Powell a "house slave."
Meanwhile, real race traitors go ignored.
The support of some black organizations and so-called "black leaders" of encroachments on the natural right of self-defense is well-known. For example, you have the NAACP filing suit against various firearm manufacturers for "gun violence" in the black community -- why do they always talk of "gun violence" instead of "criminal violence"? -- and race pimps like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson adopting Handgun Control's talking point that blood will run in the streets with more liberalized concealed-carry laws.
And then there's Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams. Last year, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rep. Mark Souder sponsored a bill known as the D.C. Personal Protection Act, which aims to roll back the oppressive gun laws in our nation's capital and thus once again respect the D.C. citizens' natural right of self-defense. Williams called the D.C. Personal Protection Act "an insult to all the people who died in our city due to gun violence."
Such arrogance leaves me speechless. It's bad enough that Washington is the crime-ridden shithole it is, but for Mr. Williams -- a public official who travels around his fiefdom with a contingent of armed-to-the-teeth bodyguards -- to sit there and support the denial of black Washingtonians' most fundamental right is completely beyond the pale. The use of gun laws to deny blacks this right is quite well-documented in Clayton Cramer's paper "The Racist Roots of Gun Control":

Starting in 1751, the French Black Code required Louisiana colonists to stop any blacks, and if necessary, beat "any black carrying any potential weapon, such as a cane."
...Similarly, in the sixteenth century the colony of New Spain, terrified of black slave revolts, prohibited all blacks, free and slave, from carrying arms. the infamous Dred Scott decision, the U.S. Supreme Court showed that it shared this understanding that citizenship excluded blacks, and because of the relationship between citizenship and the carrying of arms:
It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.[ Dred Scott v. Sandford , 60 U.S. 393, 417 (1857)]...

...Robert Sherrill - at one time a correspondent for The Nation and a supporter of restrictive gun control laws - argued in his book The Saturday Night Special that fear of armed blacks was the major provocation of the Gun Control Act of 1968:
The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed not to control guns to but control blacks, and inasmuch as a majority of Congress did not want to do the former but were ashamed to show that their goal was the latter, the result was that they did neither. Indeed, this law, the first gun-control law passed by Congress in thirty years, was one of the grand jokes of our time. [ Robert Sherrill, The Saturday Night Special , (New York, Charterhouse: 1973), 280-91.]
Sherrill failed to provide "smoking gun" evidence for his claim, but there is no shortage of evidence of the level of fear that gripped white America in the late 1960s. The California Legislature adopted a major new arms law in 1967, for the first time prohibiting the open carry of firearms in cities. [ Assembly Office of Research, Smoking Gun: The Case For Concealed Weapon Permit Reform , (Sacramento, State of California: 1986), 6.] This law was pushed over the top by the Black Panthers demonstrating against it - by walking into the Assembly Chamber carrying "pistols, rifles, [and] at least one sawed-off shotgun." [ "Capitol Is Invaded", Sacramento Bee, May 2, 1967, A1, A10.] This of course pushed the law through, in spite of significant opposition from conservative Republicans such as State Senator John G. Schmitz. [ "Bill Barring Loaded Weapons In Public Clears Senate 29-7", Sacramento Bee, July 27, 1967, A6.]
Another piece of evidence that corroborates Sherrill's belief that both liberals and conservatives intended the Gun Control Act of 1968 as race control more than gun control has recently been found. There are strong similarities between the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the 1938 weapons law adopted by Nazi Germany. [ Jim Simkin and Aaron Zelman, "Gun Control": Gateway to Tyranny , (Milwaukee, Wisc., Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership: 1992), is a highly polemical work, but it does provide the full text (in both German and English) of the various weapons laws and regulations adopted by the Weimar Republic and the Nazis from 1928 to 1938.] This is no coincidence; one of the principal authors of the Gun Control Act of 1968 was Sen. Thomas Dodd of Connecticut. After World War II, Dodd was assistant to the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crime trials. [ Sherrill, 67.] Shortly before the Gun Control Act of 1968 was written, Dodd asked the Library of Congress to translate the 1938 German weapons law into English - and Dodd supplied the German text to be translated. [ Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, "The War on Gun Ownership Still Goes On!", Guns & Ammo , [May 1993], 30-31.] Dodd was not a Nazi; he had a reputation as an aggressive federal prosecutor of civil rights violations, and it seems unlikely that any sort of American Holocaust was intended. Nonetheless, it would not be surprising if Dodd found it convenient to adapt a law that had already proven its efficacy at disarming a minority group.
Today is not 1968, so when proponents of restrictive gun control insist that their motivations are color-blind, there is a possibility that they are telling the truth. Nonetheless, there are some rather interesting questions that should be asked today. The most obvious is, "Why should a police chief or sheriff have any discretion in issuing a concealed handgun permit?" Here in California, even the state legislature's research arm-hardly a nest of pro-gunners-has admitted that the vast majority of permits to carry concealed handguns in California are issued to white males....
Gun control advocates today are not so foolish as to promote openly racist laws, and so the question might be asked: "What is the relevance of racist gun control laws of the past?" My concern is that the motivations for disarming blacks in the past are really not so different from the motivations for disarming law-abiding citizens today. In the last century, the rhetoric in support of such laws was that "they" were too violent, too untrustworthy, to be allowed weapons. Today, the same elitist rhetoric regards law-abiding Americans in the same way, as child-like creatures in need of guidance from the government. In the last century, while never openly admitted, one of the goals of disarming blacks was to make them more willing to accept various forms of economic oppression, including the sharecropping system, in which free blacks were reduced to an economic state not dramatically superior to the conditions of slavery.

How hideously ironic that the likes of Messrs. Jackson, Sharpton and Williams support basically the very same measures that have been used throughout world history -- not just here in the United States -- to deny their ancestors and their brothers and sisters from being truly free. Why do they do it? Have they just swallowed the gun-banner Kool-Aid? Are they just looking for a convenient scapegoat on which to blame the myriad troubles of the black community? Have they just completely abandoned the idea of personal responsibility? Could it be all of the above? No matter what, I've always thought it was quite ironic that folks like me were accused of being bigoted and insensitive towards minorities (racial, sexual, religious, etc.) just because of our political beliefs, when the fact is that -- when you look at what is arguably the most fundamental human right, the right of effective self-defense -- it is people like me, and most if not all of my fellow gun owners, who support that right for ALL people, no matter their color, race, sex or beliefs. We're not the ones trying to dis-empower the downtrodden -- it is the people who are always pointing their fingers at us, screaming "RACIST! BIGOT!" who are doing that. And it may well always be just that way, unless the so-called "leaders" in the black and other minority communities have an outbreak of common sense and bone up on their history. But that would require them to abandon the victim mentality, and would eventually lead to the loss of their influences on their respective communities as the members of those respective communities slowly empower and lead themselves, so, unfortunately, I don't see that happening anytime soon. And it's a damn shame, too.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Welcome New People...and Thanks...

Looking at the Sitemeter, I see quite a few folks clicked over to my humble corner of the blogosphere from the link at Kevin Baker's site. Thanks, Kevin, for the link and the kind words, and welcome to all the visitors. Feel free to bookmark my blog, drop in and comment anytime. I hope you find my commentary to your liking. Once again, thank you!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Meditations After One Year Behind The Sights

This week marks a special anniversary -- it'll have been one year since I re-discovered the fine art of shooting. It had been years since I'd picked up a gun, and as far as I remember, the biggest thing I'd ever shot before was a .22 rifle. I remember everyone I knew was at least a little bit surprised that I'd developed an interest in it. My stepfather seemed to think it was pretty cool -- he and I have actually been shooting a couple of times -- and my mother asked me, something like, "What would you want a gun for?"
Well, as they say, better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. The biggest reason I got it, was one night of utter stupidity a couple of months before. About 10:30 one night, I heard a knock on the door...and I answered it. Someone was looking for someone else or something like that, and I didn't know where they were. Everything came out all right, but later on, I thought, what if the guy had been armed? What if he'd had designs on my valuables? I'da been up the creek! Stupid, stupid, stupid...God only knows how many people's homes are invaded just like that.
And so, a few weeks later, I started telling my folks about wanting to buy a gun with my tax refund money. My stepdad's business partner referred me to an old school friend of his who sells guns for a living, and right on April 15 -- tax day? No way! Buy-A-Gun Day! -- I picked up my first sidearm, a Ruger P89 9mm semi-automatic pistol. We went to shoot it that weekend, as I recall, at this little range on the west side of Beaumont, me, my stepdad and stepbrother. It took me a little while to get used to it, but I warmed to it very quickly, and I have made it a habit to get out to the range every week since then. I have since picked up several additional sidearms in two additional calibers...the thoroughly battle-tested .45ACP, and .357 Magnum/.38 Special. More often than not these days it's one of my .45s that goes to the range with me, as it's what stays loaded for goblin beside the bed. I do still have much fun with the wondernine and my little snubbie .357, though.

I've never been asked outright, but no doubt many people who know that I shoot, wonder, "could he actually kill someone, would he actually kill someone if the situation warranted it?" Well, I've thought about that a lot, even since before I bought that first gun, but more so after I read Bill Whittle's essay "Tribes." Here, Whittle speaks of September 11 (emphasis mine):

If I had known, if I had only known, I could have run over that evil, sick son of a bitch Mohammed Atta in the parking lot. I could have been on one of those airplanes. They only had box cutters, for the love of God! Those seat cushions have straps on the back for floatation; they'd make excellent shields against a goddam two inch blade. Ladies, listen carefully…when I say go, you throw your shoes and cell phones and these little liquor bottles and cushions and whatever you can, just throw them right in the face of these cocksuckers and guys, when we get up there we need to kill them, fast, just break their fucking necks, just stomp on their heads until they are dead, because I know how to land a goddam airplane and…and…
Now of course, right at this moment there are people without honor or courage who read that and think this is one big jerk-off chickenhawk fantasy and on some level I guess it is. All I can tell you is that watching that show, I wished to God I had been on one of those planes, asking only that we knew what only Flight 93 knew, and that was the fate that was waiting for us if we did nothing.
Because everybody dies. Even liberals. And all I can say is that I believe in my heart that I would rather die for something bigger than myself than lead a life where nothing is more important than me. I admit freely that were I actually there I might freeze up, and wet my pants, and hide behind a stewardess, because you can never really know until you are there. But my times on the highways late at night, and with the only engine silent at 9000 feet over the South Georgia pine forests and at 400 feet climbing out of Prescott Arizona on Christmas day reassure me, a little, that perhaps I might do okay. Just as well as a common person, a common American person in a crisis – that’s all I pray for.

Now, granted, I have not had the blessed fortune of spending even a second behind the control stick on an airplane, as Mr. Whittle has. But many times I do find myself thinking about the subject of the employment of lethal force... I've barreled down the highways of this great state, going to God knows where...Sulphur Springs, Dallas, Texarkana, Little Rock... I am sitting at home on a lazy afternoon, drinking Shiner Bock and listening to music that I once listened to with someone else -- someone who would have benefited tremendously from the willingness to call upon lethal force...
...and, most importantly, on the firing line, drawing a bead on a target, concentrating and chanting the shooter's mantra -- "frontsightfrontsightfrontsightfrontsight" -- in the couple of seconds before I pull the trigger... times like that, I find my own reassurance, that indeed I might just have enough sheepdog in me to make a difference. Just as much as the millions of common Americans who each year resort to the threat of lethal force to deter harm from coming to themselves and others.
No time behind the stick, as I said, but I have spent a fair amount of time behind the sights of my guns over the last year. I would venture to say I've thrown at least 5,000 rounds downrange in the last year in the various calibers I own. And that right there, is where the rubber meets the road as far as talk of lethal force is concerned. No doubt many people would hear me talk of putting a gun between me and someone who wanted to harm me, and think it was "some jerk-off chicken-hawk fantasy" and that I'd break down in a real situation. That may well turn out to be true. As Mr. Whittle said, you never really know until you're there. Any jackass can sit there and talk smack about popping a cap in somebody. But once you've held instruments of lethal force in your hands, once you've focused on that front sight so many times, rolled the trigger back, heard the CRACK, or the BOOM, and felt the recoil, reacquired the target and started the process over again, and again, and again, faster and faster...well, that changes the dynamics of such a pronouncement entirely. Could I do it? Now the questions really are:
Could I NOT do it?
What would happen if I didn't?
Could I live with the consequences of my inaction?
What if innocents ended up getting hurt -- or killed -- because of my inaction?
Would I be able to live with the knowledge that innocents came to grievous harm because I did not stop the evil in my midst?
The fate that awaits you if you don't pull the trigger, if you do not fight back -- if you do nothing -- is obvious. If you pull the instrument of lethal force, if you push back, as the brave souls on Flight 93 did, you at least have a fighting chance. If you don't, you have no chance. Flight 93 taught us a valuable lesson that horrible day in September, one we would all do well to heed. I hope and pray I never see the day I am forced to make the choice to use lethal force to defend myself...but if I do, at least, despite the efforts of the likes of Sarah and Jim Brady, Josh Sugarmann, Mike Magnum and the rest of all those treasonous scum who want to rob me, you and everyone else of our natural right of self-defense, I will be prepared as much as I can be to do it, and that's all a man could ever ask for.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Buy-A-Gun Day Purchase No. 2: Kimber Tactical Ultra II

Judas Priest on a pogo stick, did I ever luck out with this one.
I've always heard great things about the various 1911s that Kimber puts out -- basically, that they're just about the best 1911s you can get outside of the higher-end 1911s from Les Baer, Wilson Combat, etc. So my stepdad's business partner picked up one a couple of months ago -- the Tactical Ultra II .45ACP with the 3-inch barrel -- and had raved about it ever since. The fella I buy all my guns from recently hooked up with a Kimber distributor and he said he would be able to find me one for a pretty good price. To make a long story short, though, it turned out that particular sidearm was on back-order and the wait time on it was about three months or so -- and by the time they came off back-order, the price was probably going to be well north of $1,000 a pop. (The Kimber website lists the Tactical Ultra II at $1099.)
Fast forward to last Saturday, April Fool's Day. I was chewing the fat with stepdad's business partner and he pops off with this, no April Fool's joke, either...
"I'm gonna sell my Kimber."
"Do what?"
"Yeah, you want it? I'll sell it to ya for what I paid for it, think it over the next couple days and let me know."
"Won't be no thinkin', I'll take it!"

I went and picked it up the next day. I talked him into letting me pay it out in installments, as I did not have all the money up front -- $931 after tax was what he paid for it -- and brought it home. He'd only put about 50 rounds through it. Here's a pic, courtesy of the Kimber website:

God, but ain't she beautiful? I took her out later that afternoon. I was thinking I would not have enough time, but I was sitting at home, thinking, "I can MAKE time, I can't just sit here." A trip to Walmart for 100 rounds of 230-grain Winchester White Box and more targets and I was on my way. Ran through the whole box in about an hour...just from the three-yard line. God, but she's dead-on accurate, will probably end up to be the best-shooting gun I least so far. ;-) She doesn't kick nearly as bad as I thought she would with that little 3" barrel. I was pleasantly surprised...she'll make for an awesome carry gun when I get my CHL. I had a couple of failures to feed, and just one yesterday with 100 rounds of 230-grain Magtech. They said it'll take about 400 rounds to break her in, so we will see. With the big 3-dot sights, it's much easier to put the bullets where you want them to go. Only thing I don't like is the takedown...with that bushingless bull barrel, there's this little piece of wire which you have to stick in a hole on the front of the full-length guide rod to get the recoil spring-guide rod assembly (and the barrel, as the assembly holds the barrel in) out. Lose that little piece of wire and you're up the creek. I did a couple of times and uttered all sorts of curse words. Now I never let that little bugger out of my sight when it's outta the case. But I love this gun. As Stevie Ray Vaughan sang, "she's my pride and joy..." In comments to this post at View From the Porch, Xavier said,

...To many people make a $1000 pistol a safe queen.

Yes, indeed. The Lady Kimber, however, shall not meet such a fate.
Safe queen? More like range fiend.

Tales from the Range: Teaching An Old Dog An Old Trick

So I was terrorizing some innocent paper targets with my BAG Day Purchase No. 2 (details on that one to come) after work yesterday at my friendly local gun club. Man, but it's nice, accurate as all hell, well worth the exorbitant amount I plunked down for it. Anyway, I was about to close up my gun case and hit the gate, when an older guy, had to be in his 60s, came in, with a little snubbie .38 Special (I don't remember what make, it might have been S&W) and a Springfield 1911, the GI .45 -- which, if you'll remember, I commented on a couple of days ago. He'd just bought the 1911 a few days earlier; this was the first time he'd shot it. We were talking about it, and he said that he'd need some help figuring out how to take it down. I said, "I can help you with that!"
"I was hoping you'd say that..."
Now, keep in mind here, I've been shooting now for just less than a year...and, on top of that, this guy was a Coast Guard veteran; the last time he'd shot a 1911 was the last time he qualified with it, sometime around 1985, when the govt. stopped issuing the .45 and converted to the Beretta M9 with its little 9mm Europellet. I'll admit it was more than a little surprising that I, being the novice that I am, would find myself ever showing someone like that how to field-strip a 1911, even if he had not shot it since the last time he qualified with it in the Coast Guard. It was just a little surreal, but really only in a good way. He was quite impressed that I knew all the names of the various parts of the gun...slide, barrel link, slide stop notch and all that...and quite appreciative, too. I asked if he wanted to do it again just to make sure he had it down, more because of the difficulty of putting the slide stop pin back through the barrel link, and especially getting the slide stop fully back into place with the plunger tube partially blocking the hole. It took me a couple of days to figure that one out and I got the red-thumb doing it too. I thought I wasn't doing it right, but eventually I got it. He said he could do it, though, and he thanked me. So, here's hoping he got it. It just goes to never know what kinds of stories you'll come back from the ole firing line with...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Buy-A-Gun Day Purchase No. 1: My First 1911

I never heard anyone say it outright, but I think it's probably a rule that you can't really call yourself a bona-fide gun nut unless you have at least one of John Moses Browning's master creations, that is, at least one M1911A1. As I got more into guns, I heard and read much about this famous sidearm and how it was THE pistol to have. So, as this year's tax season rolled around, I thought, well, it's time to take that leap. Right before I filed my tax return in late January, I went off to my friendly local gun dealer and asked him to order me a stainless-steel Springfield Mil-Spec full size 1911, shown here.

I went back to him a few days later, and over the next few weeks, seeing if it had come in yet. "Nope." They were all either out of stock or being allocated to other dealers. No idea when I'd get my hot little hands on one. And I thought, damn, what's a wannabe gun nut to do? So I held out for a few weeks. Still nothing. Fortunately, I was in luck. About six months before then, he showed me another Springer 1911 he'd gotten from someone, this one the more bare-bones model, the World War II-replica GI .45, shown here.

It was still in my dealer's safe by mid-February when the money came back, and I thought, you know what? I'm gonna bring that thing home. It's been sittin' in that damn safe for too long, that thing was made to shoot, and by-George, I will. So, a couple of days after I got the money, I went by, filled out the 4473, plunked down the money and brought her home with 100 rounds of 230-grain Magtech hardball.
Took her to the range the day after. Feels great in the hand, probably the best weight-balanced pistol made, at least the best, that is, most evenly weight-balanced pistol I own -- much more so than the Ruger P-Series pistols I own, with their synthetic stock and stainless-steel slide-barrel-guide rod assembly. (That is definitely not a dig at Bill Ruger's creations, though -- I would trust the P90 .45ACP with my life, indeed, it's the one that stays loaded in case a goblin comes calling. I've considered getting another, just because it's that damn good.) I put about 400 rounds through the Springfield, and once in about every 100 rounds, it'd get what they call a stovepipe jam; the spent shell would get caught in the slide as the slide was coming back to chamber another round. I fired off an e-mail to the good folks at the Springfield Pro Shop, and they said it sounded like the problem was a faulty extractor and recommended sending it back to check it out. So I did, and a week ago yesterday, it came back, with a new extractor. Next day, off I went to the range once more, with 200 rounds of Winchester White Box -- and it ate every last one of them, and 100 more on Sunday morning, with no problem. So we're good to go, with much more fun to come behind those low-profile GI-style sights. As it is, that's the only problem I see with this gun; after shooting with the big 3-dot sights that are found on the Ruger P-Series and many other sidearms, those tiny things take some getting used to. But it'll be good for me, I think -- make me a better shooter in the long run. I look forward to it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

If you read nothing else today...

read this. One of the most chilling, riveting pieces I've ever seen. (thank you to Misha @ The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Thoughts on the NRA

Denise at the Ten Ring got me to thinking the other day.

...every time I blog about the National Rifle Association and mention that I’m a Life Member, I get comments on how NRA compromises too much, how they support “existing” gun laws, and other issues. I’m going to head off the comments by admitting that NRA has problems. What organization doesn’t?
I support NRA because I believe that without the organization, even with its missteps, we would be virtually stripped of our gun rights today. At the same time, I know we’ve lost much especially compared to my grandfather’s time.
Sometimes NRA representatives and lobbyists even backed certain laws that even ended up taking away our liberties. The passage of the NRA-backed Firearms Protection Act (FOPA) is a case in point. It included the last minute Hughes Amendment which makes it impossible for financially average gun owners to afford a fully automatic collector’s piece no matter how good a citizen he or she is.
But, I know that politics is the art of compromise...

Good points, all, especially that last one. And I also agree that without the NRA, we would indeed be stripped of our gun rights. Still, though, I wonder. I've seen estimates that the number of armed people in the United States stands at about 50 million. The NRA membership stands at about 4 million. Granted, 4 million is a good contingent of folks, especially when you compare it to the membership in the Organization Formerly Known as Handgun Control -- about 50,000, again, these are just estimates. But, the difference in members of the respective movements does show when you look at these numbers, from

Contributions to Political Campaigns from Anti-Gunners, 1990-2006 (source):

Contributions to Political Campaigns from Pro-Gunners, 1990-2006 (source)

Over 10 times as much money went to pro-gun candidates as anti-gun candidates. So our side has the advantages as far as the contributions go. BUT! How much more could it be, if more of those 50 million gun owners were members of the NRA -- specifically, the ones who think, as at least some people do, that the NRA is made up of "a bunch of compromising weasels"? How many more of those 50 million gun owners could the NRA get if they went more towards the no-compromise stance of groups such as the Gun Owners of America? It's a question worth pondering. Perhaps they might lose some members, but that might well be more than offset by the people who would join -- and donate -- if the NRA swung towards that no-compromise stance. I am a member of the NRA, and I get America's 1st Freedom, one of the four member publications the NRA offers, every month. I recall in a recent issue, one of the authors was lamenting the membership's declining donation to the political action fund and citing it as evidence that the membership was getting, shall we say, a little apathetic. But I thought later, how much of those declining contributions are due to member dissatisfaction with the NRA's compromises? How much of the money that would be going to the NRA is now going to groups like the Gun Owners of America? I am not lamenting that, by any means, but it really would behoove the membership of the NRA to put its feet to the fire (and yes, I am guilty as charged) and see if we could get more of the no-compromise gunnies to donate. I think it might pay off, so to speak, in the long run -- and we (the NRA) would be that much closer to being as powerful as the anti-gun pansies in the press and on the left try to convince everyone else that we are.

Carnival of Cordite No. 53...

can be found here. Good stuff.