Archive for July, 2006

Just Another Tool

July 14, 2006

In comments over at Irons in the Fire, BobG from Near the Salty City sums it up quite well:

at 54, with a stent, 4 bads disks, and some extra poundage on me, I don’t like the idea of trying to scrap with a couple of 19 year-olds on meth.

And that, friends, is what it’s all about. Some folks have the physical strength, experience with martial arts and all that good stuff…but then some of us are at a disadvantage in that department, one that for all the effort we could give it can arguably never be completely overcome. Me, I’m a gimp. I have a bad arm and a bad leg, been that way ever since I was born. I walk, but with a limp, and the arm isn’t as strong as the good arm. Give me a can of mace or pepperspray or a knife against, say, a couple of 23-year-old ex-high-school football players high on crystal meth, and I might get in a good jab or two, but it might well be the last thing I ever did. But with a .45 in my hand, well, the playing field is leveled considerably, and I have a hell of a lot more to work with than if I were staking my making it through the scrape by just my physical ability alone. Some things just cannot be planned for, and that’s what a gun is there for — a tool for when the situation at hand is beyond the limits of all the other tools in the box. Would that the world’s gun bigots could see it as such instead of some evil talisman whose possession makes people prone to kill, or, as I recently heard one person put it, use his or her fellow citizens for target practice. I don’t think I’ll ever understand that point of view.

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Quote of the Day

July 13, 2006

From Jay Tea at Wizbang!

Massachusetts likes to refer to itself as “the cradle of liberty,” citing its key role in the American revolution. It’s a fit metaphor. Unfortunately, Liberty has grown up and left the crib, leaving only a smelly, befouled diaper behind.

A-yup. Really gives new meaning to the term “statist shithole.” I’ve said this about many places, and it fits for Massachusetts as well — I suppose it’d be a nice place to visit, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live there.

A New Level Of Spin — and Not from the MSM!

July 12, 2006

Bloggers often accuse the mainstream media of spinning issues to fit their agenda, and with very good reason, especially on the contentious issue of gun control. However, I do believe this takes spin to an entirely new level — and, ironically enough, it comes from a blogger! (h/t: the lovely and gracious Nicki)

What about the second amendment rights of Americans? Well, what about them? That wasn’t the focus of this conference…

Well, if you read the news reports about the conference from any kind of mainstream media outlet, of course it wasn’t! If you read the news reports from the MSM, you’d see snakes like Kofi Annan and Rebecca Peters protesting that they didn’t want to take Americans’ guns away.
If you solely relied on the news reports from the MSM, it’s not so likely you’d see Rebecca Peters saying, “I think American citizens should not be exempt from the rules that apply to the rest of the world. At the moment there are no rules applying to the rest of the world. That’s what we’re working for. American citizens should have guns that are suitable for the legitimate purposes that they can prove,” as if we had a burden to some central authority to prove why we needed a firearm.
If you solely relied on the MSM for an eye on this conference, you might not have caught the Peters quote from her debate with Wayne LaPierre: “Yes, I believe that semiautomatic rifles and shotguns have no legitimate role in civilian hands. And not only that, handguns have no legitimate role in civilian hands.”
If you solely relied on the MSM for information about this conference and some of the requirements Peters and her den of vipers wanted to impose on us, you might well have found no mention of what they point to as “effective laws,” and the example the rest of the world should follow (PDF alert!):

Elements of effective national gun laws: an example from
Australia
• Gun ownership should require a licence obtained by meeting a
series of criteria which include a minimum age, a clean criminal
record, undergoing safety training and establishing a genuine
reason for needing to own a gun.
• When deciding whether to grant or renew a licence, police can take into account all relevant circumstances.
• People convicted of assault are banned from having a gun licence for five years.
• People subject to domestic violence restraining orders are banned from having a gun licence for five years.
• People with domestic violence restraining orders against them are subject to compulsory seizure of all their guns.
• All guns must be registered at time of sale or transfer and when the licence is renewed.
• There is a 28-day waiting period to buy a gun.
• ‘Genuine reason’ must be proved separately for each gun, effectively imposing a limit on the number that any one person can own.
• Guns cannot be bought or sold privately but only through licensed dealers or the police.

Let us, once again, look at the Second Amendment:
“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

–Waiting periods.
–Requirements to submit “a genuine reason” for owning a gun.
–Licenses granted at the whim of the police, aka “The Only Ones…”
–Registration.
–Limits on the number and types of firearms non-state actors may own.
–Proof required for taking ownership of a firearm, probably subject to denial for any reason.

I don’t know about y’all, but that sounds a hell of a lot like infringement of Americans’ Second Amendment rights to me, to say nothing of everyone’s basic human right of self-defense, and the evisceration of the presumption of innocence. (Of course, one could argue that last thing went out the door as the ATF Form 4473 came in…) But make no mistake; this conference was a strike, not just at Americans’ rights, but at the rights of everyone to defend themselves from those who might oppress them, whether it be a petty thief or a tyrannical government. And anyone who would say otherwise isn’t paying attention.

Thoughts: UN Disarmament Conference Gone Down in Flames

July 12, 2006

Yes, it’s late I know, but…
From David Kopel at the Volokh Conspiracy (h/t GeekWithA.45)

the word from the United Nations small arms conference is that the conference is concluding with NO final document, and NO plans for any follow-up conference…
If a few hundred votes had changed in Florida in 2000, or if 60,000 votes had changed in Ohio in 2004, the results of the 2001 and 2006 U.N. gun control conferences would have been entirely different. There would now be a legally binding international treaty creating an international legal norm against civilian gun ownership, a prohibition on the transfer of firearms to “non-state actors” (such as groups resisting tyrants), and a new newspeak international human rights standard requiring restrictive licensing of gun owners. With a Presidential signature on such a treaty (even if the treaty were never brought to the Senate floor for ratification), the principles of the anti-gun treaty would be eroding the Second Amendment, through Executive Orders, and through the inclination of some courts to use unratified treaties as guidance in interpretting the U.S. Constitution.

We scored a major, major victory here…and as I sit here this morning, I am silently thanking God that President George W. Bush was elected and re-elected. As imperfect as his record on Second Amendment issues has been (i.e., support of the purely symbolic AWB, and no reigning in of the ATF), he really came through for us in appointing John Bolton as our ambassador to the United Nations. As they say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. 😉 It’s been said that the perfect is often the enemy of the good, and nowhere has this been made more evident than by the results of the UN conference and what David Kopel points out above. Those 400 votes in 2000, and 60,000 in 2004, could very well have been those of gun owners who went for a third party because they didn’t consider GWB to be the best candidate for the cause with a serious chance of winning. Call me crazy, call me a traitor to the cause, but I’d say that in settling for less, in this case, we got a hell of a lot more than we’d ever dreamed of. Not only did we get our chestnuts pulled out of the fire, we got the fire extinguished completely, at least for now, and some ground on which to stand and advance further on the goal to total recognition of of our natural right of self-defense. And isn’t this just precious!:

“This was total meltdown,” said Anthea Lawson, spokesperson for the International Action Network on Small Arms. “Seldom have diplomats worked so hard for so few results. They’ve squandered an opportunity to save thousands of lives.”

Now, lest you think I am a heartless bastard, history shows that the lives Anthea Lawson talked of saving would more or less have been those of state actors seeking to violate the natural rights of the people whom they govern and strip those people of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which, of course, people we’ve all read about pledged their Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor to preserve.

Of course, they won’t be giving up…

a leaked copy of Canada’s proposal — supported by a number of states — called for a one-week meeting to be held in Geneva in 2007….
Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, president of the conference, said he didn’t consider the meeting a failure. “It ended without a final document, but a lot of work was done and there was a sense of collective will that we will see the program of action implemented,” he said.
The U.S. opposed a further UN review meeting. And it is unlikely to support Canada’s proposal for a parallel conference in Geneva. The National Rifle Association, which attacked the conference as an infringement on American constitutional rights, also condemned efforts to continue the talks.
But, it said, the Geneva meeting would be funded on a “voluntary basis” and take place only if countries anted up. The plan was hailed by European delegates.

It just goes to show you: the United States doesn’t have allies in this world, so much as fleeting, temporary alliances on certain issues. We all know how the UK’s Tony Blair feels about guns, and Australian PM John Howard, and as much good as President Bush has done for us on our most basic natural right, we need to keep the views of Blair, Howard and their ilk in mind when we hear the president refer to these people as our “friends” or “allies.”
In the meantime, though, me and my Springfield 1911 are going to the range today. I haven’t fed her in a few weeks. She’s gotten hungry and lonely.
😉

RINO Alert, As If We Didn’t Already Know

July 9, 2006

Captain Ed, on Rudy Giuliani:

Rudy supports a right to abortion, gay marriage, and gun control…. It will make it quite difficult for Rudy to win in the primaries outside of New England, and it’s doubtful that he will gain much by making a complete change on any of those positions. What’s more likely to work is a philosophical explanation of his stances, followed by a pledge to work with the party to meet its goals in some type of big-tent fashion.

Indeed. We all remember John Kerry’s posing with his trusty shotgun (with his finger on the damn trigger! *snort*) and crawling around in the brush, in a shameless attempt to position himself as somewhat friendly to guns and gun rights. I didn’t so much agree with the last sentence of the above quote, though. I along with many other Second Amendment bloggers have covered the whole issue of compromise before — it’s basically a losing strategy in the long term — but on the issue of gun control, I must agree with the good Captain:

Gun control would be a tougher nut to crack. Of the three issues Novak mentions, this is the only one with an explicit guarantee in the Constitution, and yet it’s the one right that liberals attack. It will be hard to square that impulse with the conservative base no matter what philosophical or utilitarian arguments Rudy might offer, and a pro-gun Democrat could steal the South in the general election, even if Rudy won the nomination. Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000, and the election as a result, largely on this one issue.

It would be well for Giuliani to remember that, if he fancies himself as a candidate for all of us who lean toward the Pachyderm Party. Right now, no doubt there are many who would see Giuliani as a Rockefeller Republican in the mold of Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, and John and Lincoln Chafee. And I’ve said it before, but if a Democrat came along that was not so hostile to my natural right to arms, I would seriously consider casting my vote for him, or her, as the case may be (Zell Miller, call your office!), if a Snowe, Specter or Chafee was on the ballot for the Republicans. I would say that Giuliani needs to seriously rethink his support of any kind of gun control, and not just out of political expediency — a serious, philosophical reassessment of the issue — but somehow I just don’t see that one happening. He’s a politician, after all, and whether they lean to the left or the right, most of them have their own aspirations in mind rather than the best interests of the people. I can’t help but think that we’re going to get more pandering – maybe not as blatant as John Kerry’s, but we will see what comes, in the not-too-distant future.

Gun Fun on Independence Day (and more thoughts)

July 6, 2006

What better way to celebrate the 230th anniversary of our great nation than by going to the range? It was supposed to rain yesterday, and it eventually did — in fact, before I even got back home — but in the morning before the rain rolled in, I hit the door with my range bag, the Ruger MkIII, and about 240 rounds of .22 Long Rifle. I got there and a buddy of mine, who I met through a lady I work with, was there shooting with a friend. He set me up a target at the 7-yard mark, and I loaded that little bugger and blasted away. The fella who loaned me the Ruger told me that once I shot it, I’d have to have one, and by-George, he was dead on the money. That little gun is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, and cheap to feed, to boot! I put the rounds through that little silhouette target just as fast as I could pull that trigger.
“You got him!”
“Yup. I figure ten rounds of even .22 in the head would ruin anyone’s day.” 😉
I’d gotten used to shooting the .45, and in comparison, the .22 is like a cap gun in terms of recoil. I think that might have been why I was caught off guard when my friend handed me what I think was his Glock 19 and let me run through a mag or two of 9mm. The muzzle flip on that little thing was some kind of fierce! Maybe it was just because I’d been shooting the .22, and maybe it was because my Ruger P89 9mm is almost a pound heavier (12 oz.) than the G19. I still did pretty good with it, though..I managed some COM shots when I went for ’em. Makes me want to pull out my P89 and see how it does in comparison, though, since I haven’t shot it in a while. Maybe next week.

Addendum: AlanDP at Blogonomicon says in comments:

Based on my own experience, I think polymer-framed guns have a different kind of recoil because so much of the weight is in the slide. This causes a very sharp twisty kind of recoil instead of a less sharp pushy kind of recoil.

That makes a lot of sense; I’d never thought about that. I was thinking it was more because the pistol was so light due to the polymer frame. I also saw something else I’d never seen before on any kind of autopistol: part of the top of the slide, just behind the front sights, was cut out and you could see down into the slide, where the barrel was. I asked the guy why it was like that and he said it was to make the gun lighter. I guess there are tradeoffs everywhere you look, but if the recoil was like that with a 9mm, or a .45, I’d just as soon get used to lugging around a Government Model 1911 (or a Commander or Officers’ Model). I don’t even know how one could shoot a full-power 10mm load out of a gun like that (180 grains at about 1300 fps, or in the case of the same Double Tap load 1425 fps); it’d be a handful and then some. Maybe some folks are just gluttons for punishment, but as for me, I think I’d just as soon find something heavier or better weight-balanced, such as, oh, a Kimber Eclipse Custom II — which, incidentally, is the next gun on my to-get list.

Independence Day Thoughts and Questions

July 4, 2006

(click here for Drumwaster’s Special Share)

Xavier got me to thinking (emphasis mine):

When they wrote, signed and ratified this document (the Declaration of Independence — ed.) two hundred and thirty years ago today, our founding fathers not only denounced the most powerful ruler in the world as a tyrant and they his equals if not betters, but they signed their own death warrants in a determined hope of establishing a nation such as had never before existed. While you enjoy your hotdog today, imagine the courage and faith in the future and their fellow man. Ask yourself if you could risk all you hold dear, your home, your family, your life, for a vision of a new nation. Then be humbled.

Sometimes I wonder, could I do something so daring? Say goodbye to my family, my wife, my kids and tell them I was giving them the greatest gift of all? The good people who signed that hallowed document did just that, placed their necks on the chopping block so that their children and grandchildren could prosper and live as free men and women, choosing their own destiny. Sometimes I wonder, could I do it? Could I take myself away from my loved ones? Could I be so selfless? Would they all understand? Would they be consoled with the knowledge that we would meet again in the house of the Lord one sweet day? Sometimes I wonder, especially on days such as this, as I plan to go to the shooting range this morning, and spend the afternoon with my family, and ponder the future and what it holds for me as a man, a Texan and American. The folks who signed that document made an immeasurable sacrifice for us. May we always do our very best to be worthy of it.
Happy Independence Day, Folks.

“I should spend an hour a day prostrate and thanking God I was born an American. How many struggle and die for this privilege?”
Bill Whittle

Welcome, new folks!

July 3, 2006

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome all those visting from Drumwaster’s place! Pull up a seat, enjoy your stay, and please do come back whenever you can. I won’t spoil the surprise, but I can promise you, tomorrow’s Special Share at DW will indeed be worth the download!

Can’t Question Their Motives? Or, A Different Kind of Gun Mag Nonsense

July 2, 2006

So I was over at a family friend’s house last night, drinking tequila with beer chasers as we talked gun stuff and I picked up his new Ruger MkIII .22 that he’d just picked up and offered to let me borrow for a couple of weeks. As I left, he gave me a bunch of his old gun mags that had been laying around the house. One of them was the April issue of Guns & Ammo, and in it was something I’d meant to blog about before but couldn’t find on the Web — something rather outrageous as far as content of your typical gun mags goes. Now, we’ve all heard about how most gun magazines rarely give even a hint of a negative review of a gun; an excellent spoof of a gun test and subsequent gun mag review can be found here.
You would think, though, that gun writers would more or less have things fully figured out when it comes to gun politics. You would think that they would all see right through people like Sarah Brady, Josh Sugarmann and the like. However, if you thought this, you would be wrong.
John Hay Rabb, who writes the “Second Amendment” column for Guns & Ammo, wrote in the April issue of “The Dark History of Gun Control,” in which he discussed the issue of gun control’s ignominious history of keeping guns out of the hands of black people and other disfavored groups in society. Now, this is something that really should be discussed, and it does indeed provide a possible motive about which we should question those who would impose ever more strict controls on the gun business in America. But Rabb gets off to an absolutely atrocious start, one which absolutely blows the entire premise of his column all to pieces:

For all the antipathy gun owners may feel toward those who would like to take away our guns, we have no cause to question their motives. After all, we have a common fundamental objective: a country in which citizens are safe, wherever they live, work or play. But while it may not be legitimate to question motives, it is entirely appropriate to question judgment…

No cause to question motives. May not be legitimate to question motives. If this is the case, then why even bring the subject up? The gun-grabbers cannot claim ignorance on this matter anymore. We on the pro-liberty side have been screaming from the rooftops about gun control’s sordid history and the past and present effects of gun control for literally years now, and no matter what, those who would take our guns still fight on. The facts are in, ladies and gentlemen:
Gun control is racist, classist and sexist.
It leaves the weak at the mercy of the strong, the law-abiding at the mercy of the lawbreakers, and the poor and downtrodden at the mercy of the rich and well-connected.
The results of the policies the gun-grabbers advocate in this country have been plain to see for, well, a long, long time now, from Nazi Germany to Cambodia to Great Britain to Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York. Gun Control Does. Not. Work. In. Any. Form. Or. Fashion.
Yet in spite of all that, in spite of the fact that the 20,000 gun laws in this country, including the much-heralded Brady Law, have been shown to have done little or nothing to reduce crime in this country, they still press on. Not legitimate to question the motives of the gun-grabbers? The HELL IT ISN’T! Not only is it entirely legitimate, especially in light of the disarmament conference being held this week in New York, but it’s absolutely essential. If we automatically assign benign, benevolent motives to those who would take our guns away, whether they’re natives or foreigners, that in itself is a form of complacency, and that is something gun owners can ill afford even in the best of times. Not only to we have every right to question their motives; we have an absolute duty, to ourselves, our children, our fellow human beings and all who have fought and died to preserve that liberty and all the others.

The Deception of IANSA, and "The Rules"

July 1, 2006

A while back, Rebecca Peters, the head of the International Action Network on Small Arms, debated NRA president Wayne LaPierre. If I remember correctly, it was available on pay-per-view in late October of last year and is now available on DVD. IANSA has a transcript of the debate on its website. Apparently, though, substantial portions of that debate were edited out of the transcript. (big surprise there! *snort*) From THR (h/t: Carl N. Brown) comes this:

Rebecca (Peters): Yes, I believe that semiautomatic rifles and shotguns have
no legitimate role in civilian hands. And not only that, handguns
have no legitimate role in civilian hands.

So much for that “not wanting to take Americans’ guns,” eh? Ms. Peters and her evil minions have also characterized the NRA and American gun owners as hateful and paranoid. Hateful? I don’t know if I’d go quite that far, though I do have nothing but contempt for those who would disarm my countrymen and me in what amounted to nothing more than a naked power grab for the all-powerful State. And as far as paranoia is concerned, as the old saying goes, it’s not really paranoia if they’re out to get you — which Rebecca Peters, IANSA and the United Nations so obviously are.

Ms. Peters has also been quoted as saying Americans should “abide by the same rules as everyone else.” Now, you take that by itself and it sounds good — fair play for everyone, everyone gets an equal shot, etc. etc. But when you put that statement in the context of history, and you look at how many people have died, how many people have had their God-given rights denied, their lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness taken from them at the hands of various stronger players, be it The State, various criminal elements, radical fundamentalist Muslims, et al, right on up until today, by the rules Ms. Peters and her evil ideological soulmates want us to follow, that’s just an incredibly dense thing to say. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, considering the source, but just who-in-the-bloody-fuck do these people think they are trying to fool? I suppose they probably could put one over on a goodly portion of the American people, but there are many of us who are aware of our history, the sordid history of Europe, and the fact that we as a country did not get to where we are — more or less at the top of the international food chain — by following the same corrupt, tyrant-enabling, failure-prone, deadly rules as the folks across the pond. We threw their rulebook out and wrote our own, and it’s made us the envy of the world ever since. America ain’t in the best shape it’s ever been in, but it’s far preferable to the cesspool that Europe has been turning into for the last few decades, and now those socialist pukes want to drag us into the pits with them — that, at its core, is what this UN disarmament conference is all about, I think. There is much to be said about the present state of Europe, but as far as the attempts go at the disarmament of the American people, a commenter at the Geek’s place had this to say (emphasis mine):

Let them ban you the possesion of guns and you will not be citizens any more.

You’ll be sheep herds, as we are in countries with gun bans.

Here, in “fading” Spain, having a gun (for sporting purposes)is REALLY DIFFCULT, and having a gun to defend yourself is IMPOSSIBLE.

We also don’t have the right to defend ourselves: Should I shot an assailant inside my own home (if i had a gun…), an i’d spent next 20 years jailed.

In fact, sould I smack that assailant in the face and harm him, and i’d be in deep trouble with “Justice”…

So, keep it up, people. You are probably the Last Free Country, where people are real citizens. Don’t let them take that from you, or soon you’ll be sheeps, like we are.

Soon you’ll see Europe (and Spain will be first) destroyed and invaded. It’s Nature laws. We are week. Don’t be week.

Bad luck I weren’t born in the USA. Really.

We ignore those warnings at our peril, folks.