Archive for August, 2007

More Rich Gun-Hater Rhetoric

August 31, 2007

More BS from the Culturologist with the mail-order degree:

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.

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:

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.
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.

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?

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No Excuse

August 31, 2007

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.
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.

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.”
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.

Judgmental Much?

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.’

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.

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?
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…
Molon Labe.

My Rights Day Purchase…

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…

Not-So-Pro-2A Democrats?

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?
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.

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
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.

Sunday Morning Musical Musings: Maybe It’s A Familiar Complaint, But Still…

August 26, 2007

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.

More East Coast Mainstream Media Idiocy

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.

*snip*

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?!

Gun Troubles

August 25, 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…

Fred Thompson Takes Another Swing…

August 23, 2007

and slams another one out of the park:

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:

“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.”

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.”

(h/t Instapundit)

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.

15,000

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.