So I work up my little rant about modern country music, and just a few days later comes an oh-so-welcome blast from the past.
From YouTube, via Big White Hat, comes something I haven't seen in ages: the video to one of the best country songs of the 1980s -- indeed, one of the greatest songs of all-time from any genre -- Dan Seals' "Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)."
Hearing Seals back in his days as England Dan (with John Ford Coley), I for one would have never guessed he had something like this in him...but he did, and some other great songs as well. Seals co-wrote this particular piece with Beaumont native and Lamar University graduate Bob McDill; it was a No. 1 hit the week of July 5, 1986. I was only 8 years old then, and I can't say I really remembered much of what I was listening to at that age, but I remember hearing the song and other songs from Dan Seals' country days in later years and I liked them all, even the ones with a more contemporary sound to them. I think this one and "One Friend" are my favorites, though. Both of them bring back some great memories of days gone by, as they were just a couple of songs I'd hear on what was then Solid Gold Sunday, the Sunday night classic country show on Houston's heritage country station, FM 100.3 KILT. They'd play oldies mixed in during the week too, but from 7 to midnight on Sundays they'd play nothing but music from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Some of great songs I heard during that time slot were Cal Smith's "Country Bumpkin," John Conlee's "Old School" and Gary Stewart's "Out Of Hand." I can hear those songs, close my eyes and I am back there again...
I'd like to say thanks to JR at A Keyboard And A .45 for bringing my attention to the Big White Hat blog via the link on his sidebar. He'll be a regular read of mine from now on.
Friday, August 31, 2007
So I work up my little rant about modern country music, and just a few days later comes an oh-so-welcome blast from the past.
More BS from the Culturologist with the mail-order degree:
That's just rich, considering the "we" he speaks of is the contingent of people who go unarmed. Oh, wait...you mean they're going to send other people with guns to come and get ours? I guess that's only logical, as you know well what they say about not bringing a knife or club to a gunfight. Still, though, would it be too much to ask for those who would so undermine our rights, to man up and come take our guns themselves? With only said knife, club, or whatever weapon they have at their personal disposal? Why send others to do their dirty work? Why, indeed...because these people are cowards, despicable cowards, not worth even the clumps of mud on the shoes of our Founding Fathers. Even the term "man up" is a misnomer. I keep thinking of the words of Julia Gorin:
If even a small minority of the vast majority of the rest of us, the Americans who are not deluded into believing the dishonest and self-serving propaganda of the gun lobby, the Americans who don't buy the 'war of all against all' narrative that the isolated, paranoid, wannabe militiaman NRA member takes as his Gospel, the Americans who care more about our children than about some Daniel Boone fantasy of the American frontier that was never true and is all the more obviously false today, we will win.
We will win.
LET'S be honest. He's scared of the thing. That's understandable -- so am I. But as a girl I have the luxury of being able to admit it. I don't have to masquerade squeamishness as grand principle-in the interest of mankind, no less.And, of course, people's emotions, using their own hateful rhetoric as so many do. Once again, gun-haters -- if you want our guns, come and get them yourselves. Don't you even believe that much in your cause?
A man does. He has to say things like "One Taniqua Hall is one too many," as a New York radio talk show host did in referring to the 9-year old New York girl who was accidentally shot last year by her 12-year old cousin playing with his uncle's gun. But the truth is he desperately needs Taniqua Hall, just like he needs as many Columbines and Santees as can be mustered, until they spell an end to the Second Amendment. And not for the benefit of the masses, but for the benefit of his self-esteem.
He often accuses men with guns of "compensating for something." The truth is quite the reverse. After all, how is he supposed to feel knowing there are men out there who aren't intimidated by the big bad inanimate villain? How is he to feel in the face of adolescent boys who have used the family gun effectively in defending the family from an armed intruder? So if he can't touch a gun, he doesn't want other men to be able to either. And to achieve his ends, he'll use the only weapon he knows how to manipulate: the law.
There is absolutely no excuse for this:
Virginia Tech officials could have saved lives if they had quickly warned the campus that two students had been shot to death and a killer was on the loose, a panel that investigated the attacks said Thursday.Two hours. For two blasted hours those students were sitting ducks for that madman. If it was one of my kids that had been on that campus that day, dead or not, I'd have been trembling with rage right about the time I read that. This goes way the hell beyond bad planning if you ask me; this, folks, clearly rises to the level of flat-out criminal malfeasance. If Virginia Tech administrators were not going to allow students the means of defending themselves, then damn it, they should have come up with a better plan than the one they had in place. Seems this one takes the old saying to an entirely new level: "When seconds count, the cops are only two hours away."
Instead, it took administrators more than two hours to get out an e-mail warning students and staff to be cautious. The shooter had time to leave the dormitory where the first two victims were killed, mail a letter, and then enter a classroom building, chain the doors shut and kill 31 more people, including himself.
And as if that wasn't bad enough, consider the response of the Virginia governor to one parent's demand that university officials be held accountable for their complete and utter failure:
Mr. Kaine, however, told the Associated Press that school officials have suffered enough, and that firing them wouldn't help prevent future incidents.Call me crazy, but I would think "future incidents" damn well could be prevented if the fired officials' replacements came up with a better plan than the one that was in place before. And call me insensitive too, but considering said criminal malfeasance of these officials, I for one couldn't give a tinker's damn about their "suffering." It was their dropping the ball several times along the way that facilitated that massacre. Heads should roll, and sniveling bureaucrats like Larry Hincker should be called out and loudly ridiculed to boot; after all, we see how his "parents, students, faculty and visitors feel(ing) safe" remark turned out to be the verbalization of such an outrageous delusion. But it's looking as if none of this will happen, and students at Virginia Tech will remain easy targets.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Wow, and to think some people accuse us gun people of frothing-at-the-mouth hatred...
For the people working in the various branches of the gun industry, moral considerations are apparently not a major concern. If you make the guns or sell the guns or rent the guns, and somebody kills him/herself with the gun, or kills someone else, well, you distance yourself and say 'I just made/sold/rented a tool, they chose to use it that way.'I really should have taken the address of this character's blog as enough of an indication that it's a veritable eternal fount of hideously stereotypical self-righteous horseshit. But no, being the masochist I am, I had to go reading through it. Nothing really new here, just the same old Brady Campaign/Violence Policy Center trash about, for example, a lady's gun being taken from her and used against her -- and this Culturologist character claims it happens "often," but, as is the gun-haters' wont, dares not back that up with any kind of statistic, not even a biased one. Not that anyone with the sense to come in out of the rain would actually believe said statistic, but one would think they'd be trying harder than that. Maybe you could call it another indication that we on the pro-rights are actually winning -- after all, if we weren't, would people like this Culturologist be spouting such vile rhetoric?
Yeah. Sure. Whatever.
You made/sold/rented a tool that is designed to KILL PEOPLE. And somebody used it for that purpose. So, good work, eh? Feel good about yourself tonight as you're thinking about what you contribute to the human project.
And I'd guess he got that degree in Culturology through the mail -- because, if you'll pardon the expression, he obviously doesn't know jack shit about the culture of the American gun-owning community at large; he'll just sit on that high horse and judge us all based on what a few do with guns, as if the problem didn't go any deeper than the supposed "easy availability" of weapons.
Really now. If you wonder why people get to saying things like "they can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers," then you need look no further than people like this -- people who will not be swayed by any arguments about the natural rights of humans -- people who, due to their blind hatred combined with misguided idealism about gun-free societies, would strip us of our most fundamental right -- the right to effective self-defense. There really is absolutely only one thing we can tell these people, when one gets right down to it:
The short answer to your demands is "No." The longer answer is two words and starts with "F." You can't have our guns...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. Now go away.
Call it frightening, call it dangerous, but is it really anything but cold, hard reality? This may, if you wish, be distilled even more into two simple Greek words that have lived on through the ages...
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
...will be a box of Berry's plated 180-grain 10mm flat-nosed bullets to reload for my Kimber. Tomorrow, I'll load some more in addition to the remainder of the last box I loaded this weekend, and go out and shoot them if it doesn't rain. They make for a great little plinking load behind 12.1 grains of Accurate No. 9. I'd go hotter, but for three things: they're plated bullets, which means you can't drive them too fast lest you strip the plating off and lead the barrel; I'll be using Remington primers instead of CCI, which basically means the prudent thing to do is start again with the minimum load; and this will be firing No. 3 for my current batch of brass. Still, though, with a hollow-point it'd make a pretty decent defensive load if it has the same ballistics as the last batch of Berry's that I drove downrange, at ~1150 fps and ~528 ft-lb. of energy. We'll see how it works -- with luck it'll be tomorrow...
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Have I mentioned lately how I despise Party apparatchiks?
Via JR and David, with Fits also commenting, we have this little group, the supposedly pro-RKBA Amendment II Democrats. Seems they talk a great game on their home page -- and the rally they're holding in Dallas is a great thing indeed -- but once you get past that and dig deeper, they're not nearly as good as they sound:
Do you actively oppose Democrats who support sensible gun measures if they run for public office?So it would seem here that when we get right down to the brass tacks, party's going to trump principle. That being the case, what the hell's the point of this organization? Maybe they meant they'd stay home if anti-RKBA Dems eventually got the nomination for their respective offices, but until I hear otherwise I'm gonna guess they meant to say that if it came down to a pro-gun Republican versus an anti-gun Democrat, they would go in there and punch the ballot for the candidate who would strip them of their most vital civil liberty, for no other reason than the fact that he has a "D" behind his name. Or hers, as the case may be. And then how about the whole "sensible gun measures" bit? Who the hell gets to define "sensible"? We all know exactly how the Democratic leadership defines it. They're just too chicken to take it to the people because they know the party as a whole would be thrown out on their ear for it. And these so-called
We are Democrats, and as such we will support our party's nominees for local, state, and federal office. During the primaries, however, if any Democratic candidate supports gun control measures that Amendment II Democrats oppose (such as reauthorizing the national ban on semi-automatics), that primary candidate is fair game, and we will encourage voters to support Democratic candidates who are in greater harmony with our outlook on Second Amendment rights. But once the primaries are over and the candidates for the general election have been chosen, it is important that all Democrats pull together and support our party's candidates as best as we are able. Under no circumstances will Amendment II Democrats support Republican candidates who run against anti-RKBA Democrats. We are, after all, Democrats.
Amendment II Democrats will sit there and vote for these gun-grabbers so long as they have the D behind their names. It would seem to me the RKBA isn't nearly as important a bedrock principle as it is an attempt to woo pro-gun voters who are moderate on other issues besides gun control -- mere bait, if you will. Call me a cynic, but if they're not willing to go against their party when it really counts, then just what good are they? I want these people on our side, really, I do. But until they stand up and withhold their votes from anti-gun Dems, then all the talk about supporting the RKBA really is just that -- talk -- and you know what they say about THAT.
I was driving around taking care of some business yesterday morning, and on the radio in the truck I heard an old favorite of mine from the early '90s. You might remember 1993, when a bunch of the country hitmakers of the day decided to get together and record Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles. Travis Tritt's "Take It Easy" was the big hit from that record and seems to be a mainstay of country radio even now, but to my mind the best cut from that recording was Alan Jackson's rendition of "Tequila Sunrise," the song I heard as I was tooling around in the truck. Maybe it's just the way Alan sings -- he could probably make Slayer sound country -- but to my ear, that particular recording seems to be more country than a lot of what's getting spun these days. I'll freely admit to being a bit of a curmudgeon, musically speaking. I love Haggard and Jones and Charley Pride and John Conlee and all the other folks from the days gone by; we're quite lucky, I think, to have a station here in Southeast Texas that plays all that, even if they could stand to put more variety in the playlist. But I'll put my varied popular musical tastes up against anyone's. I was listening to Seether yesterday afternoon, and
Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway cd often finds its way into the player during the post-range gun-cleaning ritual, just to name a couple of examples. And I just can't help but think it's a sad commentary on what passes for mainstream "country" music now that a cover of a "rock" song from 30 years ago has so much more of that down-home country sound to it than too much of what's getting played now. I know the Eagles have often been branded as a "country-rock" band and no doubt more than a few rock fans back then had as much of a gripe with them as I do with acts like Keith Urban and Sugarland, but I'll still say it...if I wanted to listen to what's more or less middle-of-the-road pop music, I'd tune to the adult-contemporary station. (As far as non-country goes, I usually tune to contemporary hit radio.) I remember reading an article a few years back from Peter Cooper, who I think was working for the Nashville Tennessean at the time, lamenting the state of modern country music after that year's American Music Awards. He had this to say:
In Nashville, we have a Country Music Association and a country music industry. Yet we seem to blindly accept that Shania Twain's Def Leppardish drums or Billy Gilman's Star Search-y One Voice are country, merely because the songs are played on country radio and a portion of the retail proceeds end up in Tennessee wallets.
"But isn't this really just a matter of innovation, like the symphonic pop string arrangements that sounded awfully pretty on Patsy Cline's records? Wasn't the fuzz-toned rock guitar a good thing on Marty Robbins' Don't Worry? Doesn't it sound good when contemporary artist Clay Davidson lets his Southern Rock roots show?"
The difference is that Cline, Robbins, Davidson and scores of others have successfully tweaked the genre's commonly accepted norms. Innovation in country music sometimes means helping the tree to grow new branches.
At the AMAs, though, the tree was chopped and chipped and the roots were removed. Then someone put an aluminum pole where the tree once was and called it ... a tree.
Shania Twain and Billy Gilman have long disappeared from the scene, but I think Cooper's laments are every bit as valid today as they were six years ago. Incidentally, it should be noted that the "fuzz-toned rock guitar" in the 1962 Marty Robbins hit was an accident; it was supposed to be a straight-ahead bass guitar solo, but the taping mechanism they were using malfunctioned as the song was being recorded, resulting in that famous fuzz-tone.
Cooper's closing words were quite apt as well:
...if country means "whatever," it really means nothing at all. It's nothing more than an asparagus steak, or Bogart's mythical desert seaside, and the fan base is likely to further recede. No one goes to an Italian restaurant hoping for tacos.There are those of us to whom the term "country music"still does mean something. And too much of what "country radio" and the Nashville establishment calls "country" isn't.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Via this morning's Chron, from Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post, the latest example of why so many of us in "fly-over country" hold the big-city mainstream media in such low regard...
Too bad Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick that people like me love dogs more than cows. Or, to put it another way, I prefer the taste of Angus and Hereford to Rottweiler and pit bull. Otherwise, the federal agents who recently charged Vick with dogfighting would have to arrest nearly all of us for participating in far worse acts of animal cruelty.
Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney is credited with having said: "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian." Well, they don't -- and most of us are carnivores. We'll kill a duck, deer, turkey -- name any meat -- for the sheer entertainment of our palates or for the fun of the hunt.
Vick's farm was raided by agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the same USDA that permits the wholesale slaughter of cows, chickens, pigs and lambs.
Vick's case ought to be handled by a state's attorney, but it isn't. He is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. You'd think the guy had been caught smuggling a ton of heroin in the carcasses of dead poodles. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson is presiding. His previous experience includes hearing cases that involve people suspected of being al-Qaeda sympathizers or "enemy combatants."
Perpetrators of gun violence ought to be taken so seriously.
According to data recently released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, nearly half of more than 10,000 guns recovered by law enforcement authorities in the Washington area came from Virginia. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people -- human beings, not dogs -- have been killed by these guns. But you won't find any gun manufacturers -- or even many killers, for that matter -- being hauled into court on conspiracy charges.
Apparently you have to be a dogfight promoter for that.
First off...I haven't been hunting in ages, I'll admit it. So I could be wrong with what I am about to say -- but if I remember correctly, most states specify a minimum energy level that a bullet must generate to be legal for hunting. I remember Bob at Near the Salty City said something about my 10mm handloads being strong enough to take deer with in his home state of Utah, with its lower limit of 500 ft-lbs for that animal. But here's what I am getting at -- don't they have those lower energy limits to make the kill as painless and quick as possible for the animal? I can't think of any other reason, really, and it makes sense to me. But beyond that, I would argue that killing animals for food is perfectly natural. And since we as humans were born with the ability to fashion the tools to fight our way to the top of the food chain -- and they don't call it that because of the way it rolls off the tongue -- would it not follow that it was perfectly natural that we would do that, too? Mr. Milloy might not think me so enlightened, as I don't think his comparison of hunting and dogfighting makes any sense at all, but with his status as a member of the coastal media, so insulated from the realities of life outside the newsroom, that much is to be expected from him and his faux-intellectual ilk.
As for the gun manufacturers being hauled into court on what I guess would be conspiracy to flood the inner cities with guns...I can't help but think of what the great Larry Elder wrote in his book "Ten Things You Can't Say In America":
A black friend said that manufacturers conspire to "put" guns in the black community. "Larry, guns, like drugs are brought in from the outside. There's no gun manufacturer in Compton in Watts."
"Yes," I said. "And there are no pig farms or egg hatcheries there either. But I had ham and eggs this morning. Grow up."
Sounds to me like that'd pretty good advice for Milloy to take, intellectually speaking. No doubt many media professionals think ending up at the Washington Post, New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle would be the pinnacle of their career. Reading crap like this I really can't understand why. Is those people's self-esteem really THAT low?!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Remind me never again to boast out loud about my guns' reliability...
So far that Springfield Loaded has run like a top, but over the past couple of weeks trouble's started creeping up with it. About once every hundred rounds or so, the spent casing's been getting caught in the action as it cycles; when that happens, I have to drop the mag and work the action back and forth to get it out. Last Sunday was the worst, and to be honest I was in a bit of a funk by the time I left. The gun jammed on me yet again, with the 230-grain Blazer Brass ball, and I thought I'd never get that blasted spent casing out. I had a rod with me just for the possibility I'd need it, but the case looked like it was caught in the mag and I spent a good ten minutes with that thing trying to get it out, putting a scratch on the slide in the process. Not so fun, no...between that and wondering if the girl I'd gone out on a date with the night before would go out with me again, I was more than a little bit stressed this week. I've been communicating with the good folks at Springfield the last few days, and the gun as I sit here is on its way back to Illinois to be looked at by their 1911 wizards. I'll admit this is the second 1911 from them that I've had troubles with, but they fixed the last one and I don't have any reason to doubt they'll do me right this time too. They're doing inventory this coming week, and it won't be till the week after that they'll be able to look at it. She left Beaumont just after 8 tonight. In the meantime, I have other guns to shoot -- more homemade 10mm fun awaits me later this week -- and another date on the horizon, so I am feelin' better tonight...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
When I was working in television, I spent quite a bit of time in New York City. There are lots of things about the place I like, but New York gun laws don’t fall in that category.
Anybody who knows me knows I’ve always cared deeply about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. So I’ve always felt sort of relieved when I flew back home to where that particular civil liberty gets as much respect as the rest of the Bill of Rights.
Unfortunately, New York is trying, again, to force its ways on the rest of us, this time through the courts. First, they went after U.S. gun manufacturers, seeking through a lawsuit not only money but injunctive control over the entire industry. An act of congress in 2005 blocked, but did not end, that effort.
Now, the same activist federal judge from Brooklyn who provided Mayor Giuliani’s administration with the legal ruling it sought to sue gun makers, has done it again. Last week, he created a bizarre justification to allow New York City to sue out-of-state gun stores that sold guns that somehow ended up in criminal hands in the Big Apple.
I must say, that was a brilliant move on Thompson's part. Rudolph Giuliani is every bit as weak as either of the Clintons are on this issue, and that much more so when his party affilliation is taken into account. And I fully believe it can be his undoing if someone's smart enough to actually take advantage of it. I know the RKBA ideally shouldn't be a partisan issue, but the fact is that in the world we live in today, it more or less is just that. Mr. Giuliani may well call himself a Republican, but for his record on guns he might as well be Chuck Schumer, or Dianne Feinstein in drag. And his camp might as well face the fact that his record is going to be a deal-breaker for more than a few people. Of course, reading the official response -- or, should I say, non-response -- from Giuliani's camp, one can't help but get the idea he and his spokespeople are scared, very scared:
Says communications director Katie Levinson in an email the campaign blasted out tonight:Why are they scared? Because they have nothing, absolutely nothing, of substance to counter Thompson calling Giuliani out on this. If they did they'd have used it instead of pulling out the same tired old rhetoric used by the Brady Bunch and every other professional gungrabber out there about "making families safe" -- or making a not-so-veiled slam at Thompson's acting career. Rudolph Giuliani's record on a deal-making-or-breaking issue for millions of Americans is woefully anti-liberty -- and no amount of weasel rhetoric about "making families safer" is going to make those millions of Americans think otherwise. As one commenter said, "This round goes to Fred Thompson and the Constitution."
"Those who live in New York in the real world - not on TV - know that Rudy Giuliani's record of making the city safe for families speaks for itself. No amount of political theater will change that."
UPDATE: Looks like the Fred has some pretty good spokespeople working for him, too (emphasis mine - ed), and as we also see here, the verbal diarrhea is rocketing out of the mouth of at least another of Mr. Giuliani's people:
Run or keep your mouth shut!" snarled Guy Molinari, New York co-chairman for the Giuliani presidential campaign.
"If you want to bash people, jump into the pool. We're waiting for you," Molinari added.
Giuliani's adviser called Thompson out of bounds for penning a column on his blog blasting New York City's gun-control laws under Giuliani and his successor, Mayor Bloomberg.
"He's not just attacking Rudy. He's attacking every resident of New York City," Molinari charged.
Even before the column controversy, a liberal blogger had filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Thompson of violating campaign-finance laws for electioneering before filing papers for his candidacy.
"I have a serious problem with this guy. Is he running? Is he not running? Now he's going into attack mode even though he's not an announced candidate," said Molinari, a former congressman and Staten Island borough president.
Thompson - who had criticized Giuliani, Bloomberg and Brooklyn federal Judge Jack Weinstein for going after out-of-state gun dealers - laughed off Molinari's tirade.
"I am tempted to say that was a good 'shot across our bow,' " a Thompson spokesman said yesterday, "but I'm afraid that same federal judge might go after those of us who manufacture out-of-state gun metaphors."
Priceless. Absolutely priceless. And don't you worry, Mr. Molinari. Once the Fred declares, he's gonna blow Giuliani's authoritarian arse right out of your pool.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Came a little sooner than I thought it might...From Chandler, Minnesota, my 15,000th visitor came at 10:52 am today. I dunno how you got here, but I'm glad you did.
Thanks once again to all of you who make Live From the (upper) Texas Gulf Coast a part of your day. I hope you continue to find my commentary worthwhile.
Shamelessly filched from Josh...
What kinds of fun can be had with it? See below.
Fun, fun, fun, till daddy takes the t-bird away...
Friday, August 17, 2007
...even better, buy a gun if you can...
In response to the item mentioned here:
On August 28, activists in cities across America will hold a national day of protest to focus attention on the scourge of illegal gun trafficking. August 28th is the anniversary of Martin Luther King's historic March on Washington in 1963."
"The Brady Campaign and its network of Million Mom March Chapters is supporting the efforts of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition to draw attention to gun violence by organizing local events to be held in cities across America. So far, Brady Campaign activists have confirmed more than a dozen events, and more are expected." ...
..the peerless David Codrea over at The War On Guns came up with an excellent idea: Buy a box of ammunition or anything else gun-related on that day, and a few days before, tell the local gun shops about the protest and our little way of counter-protesting. I don't know if the local gun shops would give a discount on a gun, but I don't know why they wouldn't give a discount on things like bullets, powder, primers, targets or anything else gun-related just for a day.
Like the title says, a week from Tuesday, go buy something gun-related, and tell your friends to do the same, and tell the gun stores about it beforehand. We should take every opportunity to
step up to the plate and defend our rights, and this is one great way to do it.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Warning -- Profanity alert!
So I made the mistake of watching 60 Minutes tonight, and apparently it was a rerun of an older episode about the whole Stop Snitchin' phenomenon. And this rapper who calls himself Cam'ron actually admitted he wouldn't turn in a serial killer living next door because "it would be bad for business." And all I can say to that is what I told my folks when I heard him say that -- "Anybody who wouldn't turn in a serial killer is a piece of shit." This sentiment was further confirmed when I heard him later say, in what seemed to be a defense of the thug culture, "I just think that rap takes way more slack than the video games and the movies. We don't make guns. Smith and Wesson makes guns...Like, white people make guns and bullets and all we're doing is rhyming and putting words together." And then all I could do was yell out, "Smith and Wesson didn't pull that goddamned trigger, you motherfucker!"
Even my folks were surprised at that...I don't usually get so animated, but my, did that ever piss me off. That was just downright brazen of him to come right out with such bigotry. Rarely are bigots so honest! And it's amazing how Jesse Jackson and his fellow race hustlers never point the finger at those who have attitudes like that and call them out for what they're doing to hip-hop and black culture. Sure it's easier to blame the guns, but Jesse ought to be asking what kind of mentality is bred from the thought that turning in a serial killer is "bad for business."
At least one person sees this mentality for the danger it is, though, and the double standards that those who subscribe to it adhere to. Educator Geoffrey Canada had this to say:
"You don't need someone destroying you when your own people are the worst messengers possibly...And this is what black people in America have not come to grips with. If we had a bunch a people in robes saying this stuff, there would be a movement all over America to shut this thing down. That it's young black millionaires, we are doing nothing."
I really couldn't have said it any better than that...
Saturday, August 11, 2007
...as Tam said, "must stop laughing...hurts...can't...breathe...."
And with a little exploration, I found this. Some absolutely priceless stories. You're absolutely cheating yourself if you don't read them! No snippets, just click!
Oh, and before you do, put down your drink...
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Via just about everyone, comes this, on the campaign trail with Mitt Romney:
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended his five sons' decision not to enlist in the military, saying they're showing their support for the country by "helping me get elected."
Call that whatever you want, but if it's not the definition of asinine, I don't know what is. The woman who asked the question, the name of the organization she was identified with raises a huge red flag, but still I can't help but agree with what she said later:
The woman who asked the question, Rachel Griffiths, 41, of Milan, Ill., identified herself as a member of Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good, as well as the sister of an Army major who had served in Iraq.
"Of course not," Griffiths said when asked if she was satisfied with Romney's answer. "He told me the way his son shows support for our military and our nation is to buy a Winnebago and ride across Iowa and help him get elected."
Progressive Action for the Common Good...I think that pretty much says it all. But as for Romney's sons thinking he'd make a great president, well, there are more of a few of us in the Republican base who beg to differ and think that his sons are indeed NOT doing the country any kind of good -- on the contrary. It would seem that in addition to being a panderer, who will do or say just about anything to get elected (click here), Romney's a bit of a narcissist. I read a comment somewhere that that particular remark from Romney sounded like something John Kerry would say, and that sounds about right to me. He's just one more RINO that needs to just mosey on back to his lefty refuge.
Monday, August 06, 2007
"Guns are great to have around," he continues. "Just like seat belts and fire extinguishers - you don't know when you're going to need one, but when there's an intruder in my house I'll be glad to have it." I look around and watch a dozen or so gun-toting, plaid-wearing bearded guys nod in agreement. I decide now's not the time to mention that children can't accidentally kill themselves by playing with seat belts and a fire can't steal your fire extinguisher and use it against you.My, aren't WE witty today...but for the fact that a kid can get hurt or, yes, even killed by playing with the seat belt. If kid takes off seatbelt while Mom's blasting down the highway at 75 mph and they get in a wreck, chances are kid will be hurt, or, yes, killed. As for the fire stealing the fire extinguisher, well, that's what training and practice are for, so the bad guy doesn't get the drop on you...It's been said before, but it deserves to be said again: Being in possession of a gun doesn't make you armed any more than possession of a guitar makes you a virtuoso musician. Something that was quite obviously lost on this, this...person. *spit*
Having completed my eight-second firearm tutorial, I don my safety goggles and large red earmuffs and head for the shooting range. Carefully cradling my pistol and a box of 50 .38 Specials to my chest, I ease my way down to lane number six. Every few seconds I violently twitch as another gun is fired; even with ear protection the noise is deafening. I'll be glad to get out of here without soiling my undergarments.There is much I could say to that, but the fact that a grown man would admit -- in print -- that handling a firearm makes him want to crap on himself, well, that says volumes more than I could, even at my most eloquent. (As an aside, I personally think the .38 Special is a pussycat, relatively speaking. I guess it's a good thing this cretin didn't try .357 Magnum. He'd probably have suffered a massive heart attack right there on the spot.)
I take my target - a large off-white sheet featuring a potential intruder's head and torso - and clip it to the metal pole above me. A flick of a switch sends it flying backward into space. I load my pistol and take aim, briefly wondering how much it hurts to accidentally shoot oneself in the foot.Well, kemosabe, if you keep your hands and feet away from the hole the bullet comes out of, you won't have to wonder how much it hurts to shoot yourself, because you won't do it...but I guess that kind of logic is obviously way out of the league of some people...
I squeeze off shot after shot, jumping at the sound of each one. Some people feel powerful with a pistol in their hand; I feel terror. I reload rapidly, hoping I run out of rounds before I run out of luck and end up with nine fingers.
You do that. But don't expect a real man to have any sympathy for you when said intruder takes that fire extinguisher and bashes your pathetic little skull in.
It's not until I leave that I relax enough to take a look at my target. Though I aimed at my intruder's heart on every shot, most sailed wide, past his right shoulder. When I find an intruder in my house, I'll just throw a fire extinguisher at him.
Sorry if I come off as harsh, but there is just no excuse for this kind of thinking. I think Eric S. Raymond said it best:
To believe one is incompetent to bear arms is, therefore, to live in corroding and almost always needless fear of the self — in fact, to affirm oneself a moral coward.Moral coward. Sounds about right to me. They might scream and wail about me being judgmental, but the hell with them. I just call it like I see it. And a man who's so obviously unwilling to defend himself with whatever means he has at his disposal isn't a man at all, but a mere shell of one.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
...relatively speaking, anyway...
I got a call Friday afternoon from BZ Gun & Repair in Groves. The clerk told me he had gotten some Berry's 180-grain .40S&W/10mm bullets in if I was interested in them. Never heard of 'em before. So I did some research. Come to find out they were copper-plated instead of copper-jacketed. Which means, of course, that you can't drive 'em as fast as a jacketed bullet because the plating could come off and you'd get leading. I'd seen some conflicting reports of how fast one could load them to before getting adverse effects, anywhere from 1100 to 1300 feet per second -- and one brave soul was loading them to about fourteen-and-a-half, with what I am guessing was .357 Magnum, with no leading. 'Least that's what he said. Anyway, I bit the bullet, so to speak, and swung by there yesterday morning to pick some up. Just a box of 100, to experiment with. Later I sat down at my bench and loaded 50 rounds, with the most conservative data I could find for my components. Finished product:
Cartridge: 10mm Auto
Case: Federal twice-fired American Eagle
Bullet: 180-grain plated flat-nose
Powder Charge: 12.1 grains of Accurate Arms No. 9
Primer: CCI large pistol
I took it to the range this morning, with my Kimber Stainless Target II. Accurate rated that load for 1086 fps, albeit with a different bullet, and I was thinking it would shoot faster than that rating as did the 155-grain Hornady XTPs I've been using so far. I figured right. I took a 20-shot string and was averaging 1153.35 feet per second, with a low of 1112 and high of 1190. Only two of the shots were below 1120, though, and if you take those out it works out to about 1157 fps, with most of the shots running between 1130 and 1170. Very nice, and accurate, little midrange plinking load, runs about even with the Remington UMCs' 1150 fps. Seems like the recoil was a little heavier with these than with the 155-grainers, even though the latter was running about 200 fps faster. But it was still very manageable, with, just as important, no leading. I think I've found a winner here, for about $20 for a box of 100 completed rounds; it could go lower than that, of course, if I order components in bulk. Beats the living hell out of $25 for a box of 50. The more I roll my own, the more I like it!
Friday, August 03, 2007
An interesting question posed on this thread at THR:
Okay, so I won't bore everyone with my 1911 story. Lets just say that I am a Glock/CZ shooter who bought a Kimber some time ago and got rid of it after it continued to malfunction.I think that's a fair question, but something that irked me on a few subsequent responses was negative commentary on things like front slide serrations and skeletonized hammers and triggers. I can understand gripes about deviations from the original designs like firing pin safeties and such, and I can take or leave front slide serrations. I never use them anyway but don't think they add or detract from the look of the pistol. But I do think that the skeletonized hammer & trigger add a lot to the aesthetics of the 1911. Personally, I think the 1911 is a thing of beauty whether it's a bare-bones military-spec pistol or a Springfield Loaded-type gun. I have both types and like them both just the way they are, and as I said at THR, I don't shoot the Loaded wondering if John Moses Browning would turn his nose up at that particular iteration of his design. He might not like the internal locking safety on it or the deviations from the original tolerances, but I've shot that gun enough to know it's a reliable weapon just as he intended it to be, as is the Springfield GI. But I loved Xavier's response to the original poster:
Here's my question: Why doesn't anybody make a REAL 1911-A1 pistol?
I'm talking about a real pre-series 70 1911-A1 like those that were produced in the THOUSANDS by non-firearms companies WITHOUT COMPUTERS and were generally excellent, reliable, COMBAT firearms.
I would buy a REAL 1911-A1 pistol in a heartbeat. No 1970s Colt "toilet" bushing, no 1980s firing pin block safety, no stupid front slide serrations, no dumb backstrap lawyer-lock, no "schwartz" system (I don't even know what that is, but i've heard it's no good)!
That's what you wanted,.......and you bought a Kimber? Well golly gee darn. If you want a '57 Chevy like Grandpa used to drive, you don't go buy a 2007 Lexus and then complain about it.
I must say, I thought that was pretty funny. But what I really don't understand is the animosity toward modern manufacturing technology. I'd say that as opposed to taking away from the quality of a modern 1911, they add to it, because I would think such technology would allow those guns to be turned out more rapidly than they used to be, thus keeping the prices lower than they'd otherwise be. As for the Kimbers, I guess I've just been lucky -- either that or the complaints about them on the Internet gun boards are blown way out of proportion. Between the two I have, the only issue I've had is a weak magazine spring with the Tactical Ultra II.
I wouldn't mind having an old gun like they used to make. I'd buy one in a heartbeat. And I know there's a world of difference between that Kimber and an old WWII-era Colt. But I just can't believe the modern-day 1911 is as much of a "big-boy toy" as so many claim it is. More than it used to be, no doubt, but I don't know why my Springfield Loaded would not be deserving of the legacy of the 1911 despite the differences between it and a World War II-era Colt.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Welcome, visitors from View From the Porch! Main page is here, make yourselves at home!
I don't think that, up until last night, I saw something that was just so unbelievably pathetic, until I ran up on this, from THR (http://www.charlotte.com/local/story/218113.html):
"Maybe we should buy a gun," I told my husband.Actually, I would argue that's a tribute to gun owners' diligence, considering that in my own experience, those who own guns are quite careful with them and would never be so careless as not to teach their kids about the dangers firearms pose when said firearms are not used safely. For that "man" to stand there and cite his granddaughters as an excuse not to get a gun to defend his wife and granddaughters is a borderline criminal cop-out -- not to mention a rather frightening prospect, considering he's probably old enough to come from a generation that still believed without reservation that certain things were worth killing for, among them one's loved ones. But here was the clincher, the last couple of lines:
As I waited for him to answer, I listened to the birds chirping. I looked toward the sky, hoping for rain.
"No, we shouldn't," he said finally.
"Listen to this," I said, picking up Sunday's paper. I read aloud from the front-page story, "Forced to Kill," about four Charlotte people who had each shot someone trying to protect themselves.
The killings were legal. Necessary. The police said so.
I could slip instantly into the shoes of one south Charlotte man, who woke to the sound of the doorbell seven years ago. When he heard loud banging, he grabbed a revolver and ran downstairs.
A young man had thrown an iron patio chair against the window, shattering the glass. The older man fired two safety shots. When the young man swung the chair again, the older man aimed a third time and fired, killing the intruder.
I could imagine us in the exact situation -- without a gun -- defenseless.
Not in my house
"Can't you see that happening to us?" I said."Sure, I can," my husband said. "But we have an alarm system. And we're not getting a gun."
"Two reasons," he said. "Our granddaughters."
That stopped me cold.
About 200 people in the United States kill someone each year in self-defense.
But how many die each year -- innocently -- from guns?
Let me tell you.
In the 10 years ending in 2006, 486 children under age 18 in North Carolina, alone, died from gun-related injuries.
Amazing the figure is that low, considering that 82,000 kids in this state are exposed each year to unsafely stored firearms.
In our house, we'll remain unarmed.
Defenseless is better than discovering someone we love dead.
I don't think I've ever seen such tortured logic in print anywhere other than a Handgun Control press release. And I hope that poor deluded lady never wakes up to find a goblin standing at her door with a crowbar with nothing to stop him but her manicured fingernails.