Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Advocacy of a Failure, from an Unlikely Source

I read John Hawkins' blog every day almost, and I agree with just about everything he says, but he laid a huge goose egg last week with this column for Human Events Online in which he defended the War On Some Drugs (link is to un-edited piece on Hawkins' blog -- ed.) There are some pretty good fiskings of Hawkins' misguided piece already, but I do have some things to say in response to some of the assertions he puts forth....

...Some people certainly argue that if illicit drugs were legalized, their usage would drop. However, the fact that drugs are illegal is certainly holding down their usage. Just look at what happened during prohibition if you want proof of that. Per Ann Coulter in her book, "How to Talk to a Liberal if you Must:"

"Prohibition resulted in startling reductions in alcohol consumption (over 50 percent), cirrhosis of the liver (63 percent), admissions to mental health clinics for alcohol psychosis (60 percent), and arrests for drunk and disorderly conduct (50 percent)." -- P.311

That's what happened when alcohol was made illegal. However, on the other hand, if we make drugs legal, safer, easier to obtain, more societally accepted, and some people say even cheaper as well, there would almost have to be an enormous spike in usage.

I'll admit I like a lot of what Ann Coulter writes, but still I can't help but shudder to see her being cited as if she was some kind of authority. Perhaps that's irrelevant, perhaps she actually got her statistics from a reputable source, but even the statistics are irrelevant in light of the utter overall failure Prohibition was. How much of the American people's money went down THAT pit before we admitted that maybe that particular nanny-statist idea wasn't such a good one after all? I don't advocate partaking of any kind of illegal drug -- personally, that's money better spent on gun stuff for me -- but if people want to spend a bit of their hard-earned money on a dimebag, then really, what business is it of mine? And I would think that's what a big part of the funds burned in the War On Some Drugs goes to eliminating -- the demon weed. Whatever the proportion might be, here's a piece of the commentary from Lee at Right-Thinking from the Left Coast:
I’ll admit that I like drugs. When I was a young man (late high school, early college) I used to do a SHITLOAD of drugs. I’ve never smoked crack and I’ve never injected anything, but I’ve used various combinations of marijuana, LSD, ecstasy, and cocaine....Now, as an adult, I might smoke a little marijuana, but I also like drinking Jack Daniel’s. They help me relax after a stressful day at work. I come home, make a drink or smoke a bowl, lay on my couch and watch TV.

But here comes the money shot:
Now, according to John’s calculus, I should be some strung-out drug-addled loser who breaks into houses to get money to feed my drug habit. The reality of the situation is that this year I’ll make over $100,000, I have a job with an enormous degree of responsibility in a highly technological field (right now I’m supervising 16 people), and I’m about as normal a guy as you’ll ever meet.

Not only have I done drugs in the past, but I’ll admit that I liked the effect they had on me. (I’m not going to cop out like politicians and talk about how it was a valuable learning experience. I got high and liked it, period.) Now I have enough money to where I could buy all the drugs I like in any amount I choose. I wouldn’t even have to get in my car to find drugs, I could walk. And yet, mysteriously, I’m somehow able to control my base animal impulses to try harder and harder drugs....

I know a lot of people who recreationally use drugs. These are educated, intelligent people with families, who run businesses, respect the law, pay their taxes, and contribute to society. They also like to put intoxicants in their bodies. In fact, during my life the vast majority of the people I have known have, at one time or another, done drugs. Out of these people, I can count on one hand the number of times any of them had serious problems because of doing so.

How Lee's experience could be extrapolated to the entire population, I don't know, but I suppose there are those out there who can lead normal lives while they do cocaine, heroin, or what-have-you. I hate to sound like I am advocating drug use, because I'm not. Like I said, that's money better spent on other things for me, and I know that very bad things can happen when cocaine or heroin is introduced into someone's life. But the same goes for tobacco and alcohol too, and again, if I am not mistaken, Prohibition is widely regarded across the political spectrum to be an unmitigated disaster. And it's beyond argument, in my mind, that the War On Some Drugs has been the same, a complete and utter failure, in more ways than one. Does the name Kathryn Johnston ring a bell to John and his fellow apologists? How about Cory Maye? Were their lives worth taking or irrevocably ruining so your neighbor couldn't light one up? I daresay it's just this sort of thing that leads to a totalitarian state, and I think that is directly attributable to the welfare state that Mr. Hawkins talks about next...
But, some people may say, "so what if drug usage does explode? They're not hurting anyone but themselves." That might be true in a purely capitalistic society, but in the sort of welfare state that we have in this country, the rest of us would end up paying a significant share of the bills of people who don't hold jobs or end up strung out in the hospital without jobs -- and that's even if you forget about the thugs who'd end up robbing our houses to get things to pawn to buy more drugs. Even setting that aside, we make laws that prevent people from harming themselves all the time in our society. In many states there are helmet laws, laws that require us to wear seatbelts, laws against prostitution, and it's even illegal to commit suicide. So banning harmful drugs is just par for the course.

As Lee so brilliantly put it, "John supports the nanny state when the nanny state mentality provides justification for his own anti-drug position. He says these things are "par for the course." There’s been a whole lot of stuff in this country that has been par for the course which we subsequently recognized were moral and societal evils. Slavery, for one."

As for the "welfare state"? A welfare state it may be, but when you take personal responsibility away from people, when they make mistakes and you use the public dime to bail them out, whatever the cost may be, then a welfare state is what you get. I don't particularly agree with the assertion that we should keep drugs illegal because of the bills we'll incur due to those who misuse those drugs to the point they can't function. Call me a heartless libertarian, but people deserve to lie in the bed they've made for themselves. A free society is ultimately going to falter and crumble under the burden of a welfare state such as the one we have here. We're already seeing it now.
And possibly the most infuriating snippet of Hawkins' screed goes to this:
There's probably not a person reading this column who doesn't know someone who has faced terrible consequences in his life because of drug use.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, the tried-and-true, appallingly effective appeal to emotion the gun-grabbers trot out every time they unveil another infringement on our rights. "There's probably not a person reading this column who doesn't know someone who has faced terrible consequences in his life because of 'gun violence.'" I don't know if I've said it before, but I'll surely say it now: Policy based on emotion, or more on emotion than logic, can only lead to denial of rights and loss of liberty. I really expected better from one who calls himself a conservative, but given that hint of an authoritarian streak, I guess I know better now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

It's Not Paranoia If The Mountain Lion's Really Out To Get You

Something to think about here, the next time you hear leftist asshats like those on the New York Times editorial board lambasting the advocacy of things such as carrying weapons in national parks...

A Northern California hiker attacked by a mountain lion last week was airlifted to a San Francisco hospital Sunday, where he will likely undergo more surgery.

A spokesman for Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata said doctors wanted to send 70-year-old Jim Hamm to a major research hospital in San Francisco after they performed emergency surgery on his scalp and downgraded his condition from fair to serious.

Hamm first underwent surgery Wednesday after a female mountain lion ambushed him at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. He and his wife, Nell, were hiking when the lion scalped him, mauled his face, ripped off part of his lips and inflicted other puncture wounds and scratches.

This man was almost killed, and he had absolutely no way to effectively defend himself, being as it was he was banned by California law from carrying a firearm in the park (thanks to JR for the link):
LOADED FIREARMS AND HUNTING are not allowed in units of the State Parks System. Possession of loaded firearms or air rifles is prohibited. Exceptions are for hunting in recreation areas that have been designated by the State Park and Recreation Commission.

Yet ivory-tower elitist media hacks at places like the New York Times and Washington Post will sit there in those air-conditioned offices of theirs and carp about the NRA "nationalizing...armed paranoia." God help us if their warped mindset gains any more traction than it already has in the halls of power...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Morning 1911 Musings: Kimber vs. Springfield Armory?

I was looking for data this morning on 1911 market share in the United States, and I couldn't find any hard stuff, but from what I've heard it's largely divvied up among three manufacturers: Springfield Armory, Kimber and Smith & Wesson.
Many would probably say that among the three, Kimber is the best, the cream of the crop. I know people who would say that; when I was in the market for a 10mm 1911, the folks at the gun store (Shooters Supply, Beaumont, TX) mentioned the Dan Wesson Razorback and had nothing but good things to say about them, even though they recommended the Kimbers. I mentioned this to a friend as I was showing off the Kimber I eventually picked up, and he said something to the effect of, "don't buy a damn knockoff! Kimber's the best there is!"
He'd been touting the virtues of the Kimbers for a while, and there's no doubt in my mind they're both very good guns. Hell, I have two of them. And I plan to get more -- when, though, I don't know. (Next up, incidentally, for BAG Day, is the aforementioned Dan Wesson Razorback.) But I had been lusting after one of the Springfield full-size Loaded 1911s for a while, I guess ever since I got a look at it on their website. Skeletonized hammer & trigger, match-grade everything, ambi safety & three-dot fixed tritium night sights, all wrapped up in a beautifully low-key, understated Parkerized package. It was quite pricey, though, as any quality 1911 would be. Shooters quoted me $750 before tax. I ended up getting it from my normal FFL for $763 and change out the door; it would have been about $30 or so less than that, were it not for the higher-than-normal shipping charges.
And here's where Kimber comes in. The Springfield did indeed come Loaded, with just about everything one could want on a 1911, most notably the ambidextrous safety (good for lefties) and fixed night sights. This is just another wild-arsed guess, but a Kimber -- say, the Custom II -- with those same features (the ambi safety would probably have to be added at the Custom Shop) would probably run close to $900-950. And as I say, Kimber (in my experience) makes a fine pistol. I don't know why the Springfield isn't just as good of a pistol as the Kimber for ~$150 less, though no doubt there are some out there who would still try to say that if you don't get a Kimber you're settling for less. And if anyone tried to tell me that, I'd just ask them if they wanted to pony up the dough for my next Kimber.
Incidentally, when I got the new Springfield, I told my FFL, "I bet you, when I show this to (mutual friend who made the "knockoff" comment about the Dan Wesson), he'll say, 'you shoulda bought a Kimber!'" I really thought for a while that the friend had, well, drunk the Kimber Kool-Aid. I showed it to him, though, and he said I made an excellent choice...

Friday, January 26, 2007

So Much For 'Never Again'

Rather frightening news, via THR, from Yahoo/Agence France-Presse...

Forty-one percent of Britons believe that an event like the Holocaust could happen in the country today, given the depth of intolerance and prejudice, according to a new survey.
Furthermore, 36 percent thought that most people would do nothing about it if it did happen, in a poll released ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on Saturday.

Well, my guess as to why those figures are what they are, would be the fact that the British have by and large not only been disarmed, but emasculated -- which, really, is a consequence of disarmament, if you think about it. Their government basically tells them, "if somebody breaks in your home, give him what he wants, don't hurt him." And, of course, God help you if you actually do anything to try to defend yourself. And it's only natural that effects of the laws preventing self-defense over there would extend to other threats, such as, for example, yet more crazy fundamentalist Muslims, who the smart money says would be the ones perpetrating this genocide. It's a sad state of affairs over there indeed, but what's really infuriating is this...

"As genocides in Europe, Rwanda and Bosnia have shown, it doesn't take much to turn these negative conditions into something far more calamitous.

"We need to be constantly on our guard against this, which is why we are asking the public to show their support by lighting a candle to commemorate those killed in past genocides."

No, sir, what you need to be doing is your level best to restore the right of self-defense to yourself and your fellow benighted subjects, and arm yourselves... I suppose lighting candles and all that might make you feel good, but it isn't going to do a damned thing to keep yet another genocide from happening. It's one thing to be "aware" that you're about to be beaten to death with a crowbar or something like that, but it's quite another to do something like, say, pull out a gun and shoot the goblin dead where he stands before he makes that first critical swing with the aforementioned crowbar. (I would argue that the firearm option would be a hell of a lot more effective, but I'm just a crazy, warmongering, violent Texan and American, what the hell do I know? /sarcasm) I keep thinking of what Judge Alex Kozinski said in his dissent to the decision denying appeal of Silveria v. Lockyer:

...A revolt by Nat Turner and a few dozen other armed blacks could be put down without much difficulty; one by four million armed blacks would have meant big trouble.

All too many of the other great tragedies of history--Stalin's atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few--were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, as the Militia Act required here. If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.
My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history....

Many others have forgotten those lessons as well. The law of unintended consequences cannot be repealed, though, and it looks like some of those consequences might make for yet more killing fields...and streets, too.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Now Why Didn't I Think of That?

If you're not reading Alexandra von Maltzan over at All Things Beautiful, you really should be, and her latest post is but one reason why (emphasis mine -- ed.):

"Our two revolutions are at heart the same", Chavez said, comparing Iran's overthrow of the Shah with his self-styled socialist movement.

Such statements always intrigue me.

Could Chavez really be so ignorant and not only fail to grasp the difference, but the sheer enormity of it?...Is it possible, that he doesn't know any better? Or does he choose to ignore the Mullahcracy's all-important emphasis on it being an Islamic revolution; that they couldn't care less about all the worldly and material promises inherent in the western ideology of 'revolutions'.

Back in the dusty streets of Tehran, critics are quick to attack the obvious:

What are our bounds with Venezuela, Nicaragua or Ecuador and Bolivia? Are we neighbors? Do we share the same faith?

Of course not. Chavez is just another Infidel; yes, one of use temporarily, but Infidel none the less. Much in the same vain as Infidel members of the MSM are temporarily praised when promoting Islamofascist propaganda.

In other words, Hugo Chavez is little more than a useful idiot to Ahmadinejad and his merry band of fundamentalist Muslim crazies. Their revolutions at heart the same? More like diametrically opposed, as von Maltzan so very astutely points out, and how ironic it is that the Iranians are pointing out that Emperor Chavez is as naked as the day he was born. To be fair, though, I suppose more than a few Venezuelans have figured that out; their viewpoint's just likely as not going to get any exposure in the international media.
Chavez always seemed to me to be, if you'll pardon the expression, to be just another leftist blowhard, only with a lot more power than most leftist blowhards. We've all heard of the promises he's made to the people of his nation. And we all know that those promises will go unkept due to all the inherent, fatal flaws of socialism. You'd think these morons would finally figure out that their better mousetrap's been proven to be a dismal failure. Based on the fact that he is deploying that failed mousetrap in Venezuela, I suppose Chavez might just be too ignorant or stupid to figure that out...and that in the end, all his alliance with Ahmadinejad means is that Ahmadinejad is gonna slice Chavez's head off last. I hope we never get to that point, though, because if we do it'll mean that much blood has been shed, at least if von Maltzan's hypothesis is correct:
...our Thug-In-Chief is most likely promising nukes to each and every one who will support his struggle against all of those nasty nations trying to stop him from fulfilling his promise of a nuclear Holocaust. What a dream scenario: the US surrounded by hostile nuclear powers, giving hell to the great Satan in the North. That ought to buy our Thug-In-Chief some time to sort things out in the Middle East - or so he hopes.

Dream scenario, indeed. We do live in interesting times...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Still Standing in Line?

From Ken Hoffman's Q&A Sunday column in this morning's Chron (Hoffman's reply in plain text -- ed.):

I stood in line (eighth person) at the Fiesta on Fannin to get tickets to celebrate Hannah Montana's birthday at the Hannah Montana show. It took me 45 minutes to get to the window. I was told that only single tickets were left. The first person in line was recognized to be a scalper. He took 20 minutes to buy tickets with a big wad of cash. Ticketmaster needs to pull the plug on these guys. Don't they know it is illegal? I refuse to pay big bucks for tickets that I should have been able to buy myself. How can we teach our kids to be reasonable consumers and still enjoy shows when this is allowed to go on? I'm ticked.

Jane Cominsky, Houston

We have been trying for 12 years to buy tickets to a George Strait performance at the rodeo. We have gone early to stand in line and have called as soon as we could. Is it impossible or is there something else I can try? Would appreciate your advice.

Susanne Miller, Houston

Any time you're dealing with George Strait at the rodeo, it's a crapshoot. You might as well buy a lottery ticket. There are tens of thousands of tickets left for other country stars, though. Scalping tickets is not illegal in Texas.

Hoffman's certainly right about George at the rodeo being a crapshoot...actually, you could probably say that about a George Strait show just about anywhere in this part of the country. I snagged a ticket for the Jan. 11 show at the Cajundome in Lafayette (and it was GREAT!), but that particular engagement sold out in 15 minutes, according to the Lafayette newspaper. Long ago I gave up on standing in line, though; since I got my high-speed Internet connection, it's just a whole lot easier to go to the Ticketmaster website and go from there. Had I stood in line at any of the local Ticketmaster outlets for Lafayette, I am certain I'd have been up the creek. And the same goes for George's show at the Houston rodeo; even via, I managed to get just two upper-level seats, somewhere in the fourth level, I think -- and it took me about 20 minutes to get those. I'm happy just to be there, though; that just goes to show how popular the Strait man still is here. It surprises me that there are still those who haven't figured out that the Internet is probably the best way to get tickets for high-demand shows like this now. I'd still go to the Macy's or wherever else the local outlets are, but only if I absolutely had to.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

...But It Still Has A Horrible Trigger And Feels Like A Brick...

Via Mr. Chaffin comes this torture test of a Glock 21, and he comments, "My opinion of the plastic gun from Europe goes through the roof."
I don't hate the Glock, really, I don't. Deep down, despite my overwhelming preference for John Moses Browning's exquisite creation, I think all guns are great, except for maybe the pawnshop potmetal poodle-poppers. Notwithstanding the flaws I see in Gaston's plastic pistol, I've considered getting a Glock 20...I've said it before and I'll say it again, over twice the firepower of a .357 Magnum (before a reload) is mighty tempting.
Invariably, though, somebody's going to point to a test like the one here and say, "Ah bet your slabside hunnerd-year-old jam-o-matic can't do thay-ut!" Well, maybe it can't, but to those who would point that out, I would only ask, "What's YOUR point?" No, a 1911 probably wouldn't withstand much past the sand test, even one built to JMB's original specs, but then, I don't suppose he ever thought of designing it to withstand any kind of Glock-type torture test; anyone who has any idea of the original tests the 1911 withstood before the Army adopted it all those years ago, though, knows the Army put Ole Slabsides through quite a test, still. (Some pretty good tests of a Springfield GI 1911 can be found here and here.) You build it to combat specs, and it'll function in a combat build it to match specs, as a lot of 1911s are built, well, maybe not so much.
I know that's pretty much a given with a lot of people, and maybe this is just the old contrarian coming out in me, but I just don't see much point in doing that to a gun. Just for the hell of it, maybe, if I had the money to burn, but other than that, I think I'd just rather read about other folks doing it...entertaining reading, if nothing else.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Letter To A Gun-Hater

JR did a pretty good fiskage of this, so I pretty much let that stand, but still I had to pull a Kevin Baker and write a letter to the author of this hysterical, rather offensive piece of dreck...

Dear Ms. Heller:
Regarding your recent screed, "Where's the outrage about gun violence?"
My belief is that your outrage is badly misdirected. 406 deaths is a tragedy indeed, but what you really should be asking yourself and your readers is, "How many of those 406 people ended up meeting their demise due to their own bad choices?" and "How can we put people on the path to making better choices?"
Those bad choices have been made since, well, practically the dawn of man, and they'll continue to be made, and people are going to continue dying on the streets of your fair city and every other city by whatever means their killers can manage, whether it's guns, knives, garrotes, Molotov cocktails or what have you. Many have argued that the natural state of man is one of violence, and even a cursory observation of history validates that argument in spades -- yes, even before the invention of firearms.
(Ask the folks in the UK how well that whole gun ban thing is working, by the way. As one intrepid blogger states, "the UK has uniform gun laws, IT'S A FREAKING ISLAND and guns still flow across its borders.")
I could cite statistics and so could you, but the statistics are completely irrelevant either way. You might not agree, but the fact is the first law of nature states that it's every human's right to defend himself by any means he can manage, whether it's a knife, a can of OC, nunchucks or a .45-caliber pistol. If people are denied the means of self-defense, as you apparently would like them to be, then they are denied the right of self-defense. Period. Full stop. End of story. Instead of endless cliches about "too many guns," "gun culture propaganda," "kissing the long barrel of the NRA," "values of the Wild West," ad nauseum ad infinitum...for once, how about some original commentary that would point the way to some real solutions, solutions that don't punish those who have done nothing wrong? Your readers would be much better served and you might find some enlightenment along the way yourself.

A law-abiding, eminently peaceable Texas gun owner

Not as long as something Mr. Baker would have done, but then, I always tried to stay short & to the point. Future correspondence will be posted and bumped. If, that is, I get any. We'll see.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mexico Points The Finger at US for Violence

Well, well, well...via THR, it seems the Mexicans are blaming the United States for the fact their country's such a crime-ridden shithole, and they want a new Ban on Scary-Looking Weapons on top of that!

Combat-style rifles are pouring into Mexico, aided by the end of the U.S. Assault Weapons Ban in 2004 and an arms race among several Mexican cartels battling for control of lucrative drug routes.
The weapons are purchased at stores and gun shows, then smuggled into Mexico under car seats or tucked into suitcases.
At a gun show in Tucson, Tom Myers of Phoenix hefted a jet-black AR-15 with all the extras: short barrel, telescoping stock, 30-round magazine and a menacing-looking flare launcher.
"I can sell this to you for 9½ ($950)," he said. "And there's no paperwork at all."
Because Myers is a private seller, he is not required to do a background check on the buyer or keep any records. The gun he was selling was a semiautomatic, meaning each pull of the trigger fires one round.
When asked if he had any of the deadlier automatics, he led a reporter to a nearby table.
There, James Ramey of Little Rock, Ark., was selling Hellfire and Autoburst trigger activation devices, $30 gadgets that turn any assault rifle into a rat-a-tatting machine gun.
Ramey works about 50 gun shows a year. He explained how the Mexican gangs buy their weapons at weekend shows in border cities.
"They send over a scout on Saturday to see if there's anything they want," he said. "Then they show up on Sunday with a big wad of money and somebody who's got a clean record, who's legal to buy."
Reimposing the U.S. Assault Weapons Ban would go a long way toward stemming violence long the border, Santiago Vasconcelos said.
"These weapons come from your country, we know that for a fact," he told The Republic.

Vasconcelos! Hey, buddy, guess what? People and things go both ways with the currently porous borders we share! You and your government wanted open borders, you basically have them for now...ain't it a bitch to find out that's a double-edged sword?
But I must admit it really burns my tail as a peaceful gun owner to find out you want my rights to be clamped down on because your government can't keep the drug cartels at bay. I am sensing a pattern want us to keep out borders open so your people can come north to partake of our milk and honey that you can't seem to produce yourself, threats to OUR sovereignty and security be damned, and now you want basically to go in the direction of disarming us, too? My, but you folks are astoundingly arrogant south of the Rio Grande. I can only say, this is yet another thing we should most assuredly keep in mind when our own President calls your government and its leaders a friend and partner of America.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Musings on a Couple of Media Snippets

First up, via TFS Magnum, we have this (emphasis mine -- ed.):

Burglar Sheldon Reece, 32, was shot in the abdomen by homeowner Abel Sisneros in Fort Worth, Texas, in December. According to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, to enter the house, Reece had to boldly disregard two signs outside: "Warning. Nothing inside is worth risking your life for. Owners of this property are highly skilled to protect life, liberty and property from criminal attacks" and "No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again."

Really, that's pretty funny that someone would actually put those signs up in their yard, but on a serious note, I hear it advised all the time via Internet gunboards and other gun folks that one should never advertise the fact that one is armed to the teeth. It might well deter some burglars, but it might advise others that you have really cool, not to mention expensive, stuff (guns) worth breaking in and stealing when you're not at home. Granted, a safe would surely slow many of them down, but I've heard it said over and over that a determined criminal could break in given enough time, which the odds are higher of them having when you're at work or wherever. And then there's the possibility that by advertising the fact that one is armed, it would drive any potential burglars to get armed themselves for a pre-emptive strike of sorts -- that is, the burglars would come in with guns blazing to get a bigger element of surprise. It's a dicey situation either way, I guess, but I'd rather have a home invader come as unprepared as possible, so the fact of my armament has thus far gone unadvertised and will continue to do so. Mr. Sisneros got lucky this go-round...his number might come up next time, though.

Next up, from an AP dispatch in this morning's Chron on a San Antonio policeman killer's impending execution (emphasis mine -- ed.):
HUNTSVILLE — San Antonio police officer Fabian Dominguez was on his way home after working his overnight shift when he noticed a car parked backward in a driveway in his neighborhood.
It didn't belong there.
He pulled behind it, drew his .40-caliber service revolver and ordered the three young men inside the car to get out. When they refused, he walked over and took the keys from the driver, then went around to the other side.
"I could see that this guy was wearing a police uniform," Johnathan Moore, a passenger in the front seat, later would say.
"I got the officer's gun and shot the officer three times in the head," Moore, then 20, said in a written statement after his arrest.

I know that what I'm about to say might sound a little nit-picky here...but why is it that so many times, when referring to police sidearms, various media people always use the term "service revolver" when in fact it's a semi-automatic? Maybe I am extrapolating way too much from the article, but I don't think there was any kind of .40-caliber revolver issued or permitted for use by any police agency, let alone a major department like San Antonio. My memory may be failing me here, but the only .40 wheelgun I know of is the Smith and Wesson 610, which could only take .40S&W cartridges because it was chambered for the .40's bigger brother, the 10mm Auto. I don't think this was malicious media mis-labeling a la the "assault weapons" debate; I'll give the AP that much. But is it too much to ask for the media to do a little more research as opposed to just using anachronistic stock terms like "service revolver"? It might have been inserted by some copy editor at the AP's Texas office, but either way, it's a contribution to the perception that the media neither know anything about firearms nor are willing to learn, and thus yet another contribution to the cause of so many gunnies' distrust of the media.
As well as is this, now that I think about it (emphasis mine -- ed.):
A shooting in Lynn sends five teenage boys to the hospital with gunshot wounds.
Investigators found evidence of a possible exchange of gunfire during the incident. Nine-millimeter and 22-millimeter shell casings were found at the scene.

22mm? You mean a fraggin' 20mm M61 Vulcan wasn't enough? Sweet Bleedin' Jeebus, these modern-day hoodlums ain't kiddin' around...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

More Northeastern RINO BS

Pull out the hip waders, folks, 'cause it's just gettin' deeper and deeper...
Via David Codrea comes this, from the Boston Globe:

Former governor Mitt Romney, who once described himself as a supporter of strong gun laws, is distancing himself from that rhetoric now as he attempts to court the gun owners who make up a significant force in Republican primary politics.
In his 1994 US Senate run, Romney backed two gun-control measures strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups: the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period on gun sales, and a ban on certain assault weapons.
"That's not going to make me the hero of the NRA," Romney told the Boston Herald in 1994.
At another campaign stop that year, he told reporters: "I don't line up with the NRA."
And as the GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2002, Romney lauded the state's strong laws during a debate against Democrat Shannon O'Brien. "We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them," he said. "I won't chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety."
Today, as he explores a presidential bid, Romney is sending a very different message on gun issues, which are far more prominent in Republican national politics than in Massachusetts.
He now touts his work as governor to ease restrictions on gun owners. He proudly describes himself as a member of the NRA -- though his campaign won't say when he joined. And Friday, at his campaign's request, top officials of the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation led him around one of the country's biggest gun shows.

And via THR, we have this from Newsmax:
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney touted his conservative credentials at a gun show in Orlando, Fla., Friday, where he met with a GOP-friendly crowd in an effort to garner support for his 2008 campaign.
"I support the right of individuals to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution," said Romney, former governor of Massachusetts.

Granted, I don't really find any of this surprising, as we all know by now that politicians will say just about anything to get elected. I do, however, find it quite insulting. It seems like just about every leftist politician who tosses his (or her) hat into the ring every four years pulls crap like this.
"I support the Second Amendment."
Once again, we have a politician mouthing empty platitudes, as even a cursory glance at Mr. Romney's record, and his rhetoric, clearly shows he favors all sorts of infringements on our right to keep and bear arms. He supports the Brady background check and the "assault weapons" ban, even going so far as to sign a bill passing such a ban in Massachusetts that pretty much mirrored the now-expired federal AWB. As the Globe quotes Romney as saying as the GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2002, during a debate against Democrat Shannon O'Brien, "We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them. I won't chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety." I do not think the Second Amendment means what Mr. Romney thinks it means.
Why, oh why do these elitists continue to insult our intelligence so? Contrary to the media-driven perceptions, gun owners are not stupid. We do keep up with the issues, and we are quite politically astute. We know empty platitudes and pandering when we hear them, and here's a clear-cut case of just that.
I may well be preaching to the choir here, but Mitt Romney sure as hell is not a supporter of the right to keep and bear arms as envisioned by our Founding Fathers in accordance with the laws of nature and the principles of true liberty and freedom. As Bruce said, with friends like these, who needs enemies?
And, like David Codrea, I'd like to know -- what in the bloody hell is Wayne LaPierre doing escorting him around? Somehow I think I already know the answer, and it's quite disheartening to say the least.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Best News of the Young Year!

Via JR over at A Keyboard and a .45, and several other bloggers, comes this excellent, excellent news:

Ron Paul, the iconoclastic nine-term congressman from southeast Texas, took the first step Thursday toward launching a second presidential bid in 2008, this time as a Republican.

Talk about the answer to a real conservative Republican's prayers. Between the Northeastern leftists Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney and the Constitution-trashing, power- and -attention-hungry John McCain, the GOP field for 2008 was looking positively nightmarish. I don't know what kind of chance Mr. Paul is going to have, but you can be damn sure he'll get my money, and my vote if he gets that far. As the article says, his candidacy is a long-shot, but then once upon a time no one ever thought a California movie star could ever be elected to that office, but Ronald Wilson Reagan proved them wrong -- twice -- and he was a long-shot candidate, too. Don't give up, Mr. Paul. We need you...dear God, do we ever.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Same "Progressive" Anti-Gun Drivel, Different Day

Via Jeff at Alphecca, via the Huffington Post, comes this, from Paul Helmke, the chairman of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence Ownership:

...this book (David Hemmenway's "Private Guns, Public Health" -- ed.) was recommended highly as one of the best summaries of the issue of gun violence in the United States. After meeting with Dr. Hemenway at his office at the Harvard School of Public Health last October, I was even more interested in reading this book.
Hemenway starts by making it clear that taking a "public health" approach to the issue of gun violence is no more "anti-gun" than efforts to deal with other areas of injury are "anti-stairs, anti-swimming pools, [or] anti-cars."

Actually, Hemmenway's full of shit here. Talking around his own damned issue, just as pretty as you please. Obfuscating it, even. There just isn't any other way to put it. The anti-gunners have been casting gun ownership as a public health issue, again, for years now. Hell, it was one of the main rationales behind the lawsuits against the gun manufacturers, for crying out loud! Does Hemmenway and his ilk think anyone who really knows this issue is going to swallow that line of crap? Really now. If there's any kind of public health issue here, it's the fact that the morals and value systems have gotten so far out of whack that violence perpetrated with guns has gotten to the point that it has, and then there's the contention people put forth that a good chunk of the violence perpetrated with guns is related to the illegal drug trade that flourishes due to the War On Some Drugs. But you'll never see these hacks say anything about that -- it's always "get rid of the eeeevil guns!" -- which leads me to believe even more than I already did that it isn't about guns at all...but about control.
As for Hemmenway and his deceptions, well, take a gander at this...

Hemenway's latest attempt at data-dredging appeared in the February 1997 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. That article, "Characteristics of Automatic or Semiautomatic Firearm Ownership in the United States", attempts to make a connection between problem-drinking and emi-automatic (read: "rapid-fire") gun ownership. It was paid for by you, the American taxpayer, because it was supported, in part, by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Authored by Dr. David Hemenway and Elizabeth Richardson, it's a perfect illustration of the phrase "figures lie, and liars figure."
The title itself underscores the deception Hemenway tries to perpetrate. Hemenway creates a firearm category - "automatic or semiautomatic." The phrase "automatic or semiautomatic" is used 30 times in the course of the three-page paper - 13 times on the first page, alone. Only in his final paragraph does Hemenway admit to the reader that, in the course of his survey, he "did not ask about automatics or semiautomatics separately." That trick allows Hemenway to confuse the firearm-ignorant reader, and extend the rapid-firing capability of fully automatic firearms to semi-automatic firearms.
Hemenway knew that respondents to his survey most probably did not include any owners of fully automatic firearms, for, in the final sentence of his paper, he admits, also, that "fully automatic weapons in private hands are rare." So rare, in fact, that, given the number of lawfully-owned automatic firearms in the hands of private U.S. citizens, the number of households in the U.S., and the number of households polled, it is unlikely that even ONE such owner would have been questioned in the course of his survey!
Hemenway did not tell a single lie in order to obfuscate the truth. By creative use of the English language, he deliberately blurred the distinction between fully-automatic and semi-automatic firearms, and then set out to paint the picture of potentially murderous, machine-gun-owning problem-drinkers, living right down the block from - or right next door to - Mr. and Mrs. Joe Citizen, and family. That mental picture is enough to scare the pants off just about ANY peaceable American, including gun-owners like us!

What do you know, once again we find an anti-gun academic trying to fix the data around his pre-determined conclusion by any means necessary, including deception.
As Jeff also points out, Hemmenway has also dismissed out of hand the data from Dr. Gary Kleck, which has from what I understand been pretty well vetted and accepted as credible.
As far as where the "progressive" epithet comes in, I thought this was quite a telling comment:
Those of you who think you're progressive but oppose work on gun control should just quit whining and join the Republican party.

Now, I know there are quite a few lefties out there who don't agree with that, but still, given the number of remarks made (in comments to Huffington blog posts by both Paul Helmke and Josh Sugarmann) disparaging gun owners and gun ownership, it makes me wonder how many in the Democratic base actually still believe that gun control is not only a viable policy but still something that's going to advance them politically. I keep thinking of what Bill Whittle wrote in his excellent essay titled "Sanctuary" (the essay actually begins here, emphasis mine -- ed.):
The French Revolution produced the New Man, free of religion, and fully decimal. The streets ran red with blood for a decade – then came Napoleon, and then back to the Bourbon kings that they rebelled against in the first place. If I shared that history, I’d be a cynical, defeatist, Frenchman too. The New Soviet man was to be different: communal humanity Mark II with all the latest improvements. 50 million died, shot in the back of the head in basements and forests, or starved in frozen camps and coal mines, followed by collapse, ecological ruin and endless misery. And still these leftists push the same ideas. Poor bastards. No wonder they are so damn cynical and depressed.

And you can very well count gun control in with each of those other instances as a complete and utter failure. Yet it's the self-styled "progressives" who still push it. I loved what Kevin Baker said:
...the UK has uniform gun laws, IT'S A FREAKING ISLAND and guns still flow across its borders.

Yet the "progressives" still want to import the resultant misery to our shores.
I'd like to tell them where they can stick that kind of progress...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Another Predator Calling for Victim Disarmament

...and a member of the esteemed Religion of Peace, at that!
Via Blogonomicon comes this, and a right damn good fisking from the Jews For the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, much better than I could do, though I do have a few comments.

The idea of terrorist cells operating clandestinely in the United States, quietly amassing handguns and assault rifles, and planning suicide shooting rampages in our malls, is right out of Tom Clancy’s most recent novel....
...what about the more immediate threat posed by terrorists with guns? The potential threat of terrorist attacks using guns is far more likely than any of these other scenarios.

Oh, yes, of course, why didn't I think of that? To defeat the terrorists, let's first disarm their potential victims!
Seriously, though. The American public has more or less been armed ever since before there was an America. And America and her people have been on fundamentalist Islam's shit list since before I was even a twinkle in my mother's eye. Mall shootouts and such have been a (comparatively miniscule) threat for, hell, I don't even know how long. How convenient that it's just now being discovered, after we finally woke up to the fact that these people want us dead.

The idea of public gun ownership simply does not make sense anymore.

Really, only someone so steeped in the muck of tyranny as an Illinois attorney could make such a fatuous claim (although Illinois is just full of statist pricks, so I'd say he's probably right at home). Just how many studies have affirmed that guns in the hands of the public save lives? From John Lott, Gary Kleck, the Clinton Justice Department, for crying out loud! And there are more out there, if I remember right, though I can't think of them off the top of my head, but depending on the study one cites, guns in the hands of the public are used for self-defense between 700,000 and 3 million times each year.
As far as the claim that gun ownership doesn't deter tyranny anymore, that's every bit as wrong, as it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of armed combat; I would say the best illustration of this is what happened in Vietnam 35 years ago, and what happened with the Soviets in Afghanistan back in the 1980s. You know the basic story -- an armed and determined citizenry held back and eventually defeated the largest, most powerful armies on the planet. As far as deer rifles vs. say, full-auto weaponry, well, I would also argue that one determined American hunter with a good scoped rifle and ammo could wreak all sorts of havoc on whoever would come to disarm him and his fellow citizens. I wonder if the name Charles Whitman rings a bell with this character, or Lee Harvey Oswald, or John Allen Muhammad. Personally, I think this guy really ought to stick to lawyering and keep to himself his ignorance of why being armed goes hand-in-hand with being free...but, now that I think about it, perhaps if he didn't really believe that an armed people were a threat, he wouldn't be advocating our disarmament.

But, I'm gonna close with the words of the great David Codrea (with, of course, the name changed):
You can't have our guns, Junaid. We're not going to give them up. There aren't enough of you to take them from us, and if you try we will resist...Be warned, Junaid. The wretched, superficial paranoia you live in now is nothing compared to the horror you and yours will visit on this land if you don't back off, and back off now. Push peaceable people far enough and hard enough, Junaid, and they will eventually push back. Pray that you never see America's "backbone," Junaid. Stop digging us into that hole... How many holes will be filled, Junaid, if you and your fellow subversives continue to dig away at our freedoms?
Molon Labe, Junaid.
Come and get them.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Confronting A Criminal: The VCDL Goes On the Offensive

From Sailorcurt:

(New York City Mayor Michael) Bloombergs lawsuits have already run two Virginia gun dealers out of business. If his (probably illegal) activities are allowed to go unchallenged, it will only embolden him to file further lawsuits in an attempt to shut more small businesses down. The ATF has already acknowledged that his "sting" operation was potentially illegal and some have hinted that it interfered with ongoing criminal investigations.

And the Virginia Citizen's Defense League is stepping up in a big, big way.:

Let me prefix this with the following new information - another
Virginia gun dealer is going out of business thanks to Bloomberg:
Franklin Rod & Tackle in Rocky Mount. Bloomberg's spokesman said
quite piously a few months ago that Bloomberg didn't want to put gun
dealers out of business.

We know better.


Maniacal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors'
Coalition Against Illegal Guns will be meeting for a one day
"National Summit" at the DC Capitol Hilton (corner of 16th and K at
1001 16th Street NW) on Tuesday, January 23rd - see

Bloomy's summit runs from 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM followed by an
evening reception at 5 PM at the Capitol Hilton.

VCDL's headquarters will be at the nearby Crowne Plaza Hotel at 14th
and K, where at 2:00 PM we will rally members and hand out picket
signs, and march on to the Capitol Hilton 2 blocks away to begin
protesting. ...

Click the links above for more details. Good bless you folks for standing up to that goon. If any Readers have the time and funds to make it, please do.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Window into the Darkness...

...of the anti-gunner's mind, via THR:

Heading into the 2007 Legislature, leading lawmakers are reluctant to pass new gun-control measures despite last year's mass killing on Capitol Hill, a downtown office shooting and this week's gun slaying of a Tacoma high school student.
Bryan Jones, director of the Center for American Politics and Public Policy at the University of Washington, agreed that the gun lobby is the main reason politicians are unlikely to pass new control laws.
Jones said the National Rifle Association's power is declining, but he thinks Washington politicians are "playing it safe in the sense that: Why kick a sleeping dog that's leaving you alone right now?" he said.
"I hate to say it but it's going to take the kind of massacre that kills lots of children. That's the only way we are going to see progress," Jones said.

Does it get -- dare I say it -- any more evil than that? They are now defining making progress, essentially, as innocents getting killed. There's really not much I can say to that right now, but that it's a crying shame these people still have even a shred of credibility among the general public, and that anyone -- anyone -- still ascribes any kind of benevolent motive to them. Their "solutions" have been proven time and time again to be nothing more than feel-good moves that have in fact cost untold numbers of innocents their well-being and indeed their lives. I've said before, and I'll say it again: They might well try to present a civil, rational facade, but at their cores these people are rotten.

He's probably right on one point, though:

"I think it's got to be worse than (Columbine). I mean, you didn't see anything in Colorado" in substantive new gun control laws after 15 people were killed at Columbine High School in 1999.

...but the smart money says that the next Columbine-type slaying, if it happens, is going to be something similar to the Beslan siege, with bombs, RPGs, full-auto weaponry and such, all of which is likely going to be obtained in defiance of the laws on the books...and, of course, in the aftermath, we're going to hear these very same people say, in effect, "Hey, you know what would have prevented this? Making it harder for good citizens to arm themselves!"
I've also said this before, but I'll say it one more time: Morons they are, one and all.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Red Flags, and Infighting

Via David Codrea at The War On Guns, yet again, comes this:

Nearly all courts have also held that the Second Amendment is a collective right, rather than a personal right. Therefore, despite the Second Amendment collective right to bear arms, the FAA has the authority to prohibit firearms on launch and reentry vehicles for safety and security purposes.

This, of course, was AFTER President Bush's first Attorney General, John Ashcroft, took the right and proper position that the Second Amendment protected an individual right to bear arms, despite what "nearly all courts have...held." It's quite disheartening, indeed, as is what Kim du Toit had to say about Mr. Codrea's opinion:
My personal opinion is that this is a storm in a teacup, and Codrea needs to take a Valium or something. But it still worries me that this collective rights nonsense still has currency anywhere outside the GFWs at the Brady Bunch and the Violence Policy Center.

I've been reading Kim du Toit's writings for a long time now, and I owe him a debt of gratitude for introducing me to the world of the gun bloggers, planting the seed for my re-awakening vis-a-vis the joy of shooting and all things gun-related, and helping me see things a different way with his insights on different aspects of American culture. That said, I don't find this kind of talk helpful at all. I'm pretty sure he'd agree that if there's anyone who needs to take a Valium, it's the ignoramuses at the Brady Center and elsewhere who do their best Chicken Little impersonations every time a politician proposes something that would expand protections on our natural right of self-defense. Take a Valium? No, no, no. We all need to wake up, and be a little afraid, and be quite angry -- righteously furious, even -- that an administration that so openly courted the gun owner vote would turn around and use the very same specious, dangerous reasoning the anti-gun bigots use to advocate denial of our rights to ram through something like disarming all spaceship passengers. "FAA has the authority to prohibit firearms..."?
No they don't. They just took it, via a nakedly insidious power grab, and in the process double-crossed us all.