Archive for March, 2008

Marking an Anniversary…

March 30, 2008

…over at Matt G’s place, as he notes that 97 years ago Friday, the U.S. military adopted the Government Model 1911 as its official sidearm. I did not know the military rejected the 9mm cartridge eight years before. It would be interesting to see some intrepid Authorized Journalist ask the brass why political expediency took priority over what had been proven time and time again to, y’know, actually WORK in the field….

"…it’s always there…"

March 27, 2008

Sometimes you just have to ask, what the world’s coming to

Sometimes sobbing and sometimes feisty, 86-year-old Tillie Black recalled on the witness stand Wednesday how she awoke to find two men dragging her out of bed.

“Something hit me on the head in the doorway,” Tillie Black said. “It was something really hard. It laid me open here,” pointing to a place beneath her white hair where she received 10 or 12 stitches.

Other evidence indicates she was hit with the handle of a ball-peen hammer so hard that the hammer’s head snapped off.

She said she slipped in and out of consciousness as the two men beat and kicked her and tied her to a chair as they ransacked her rural Brazoria County home where she has lived alone since her husband’s death 11 years ago.

When the more slender of the two men pulled on her diamond ring and said he’d have to cut it off, “I was afraid he was going to cut my finger off,” she said.

Her testimony came during the trial of Vincent Woodard, 22, who, along with Eddie Jermaine Johnson, now 19, is charged with beating and robbing Black and stealing her pickup before dawn on July 25.

Just think, y’all. If Paul Helmke, Michael Barnes, Josh Sugarmann and their ilk had their way, this story would be playing out in the households of the elderly, weak and otherwise defenseless among us even more than it already is — as some might put it, it really would be rule by the young and the strong, or “might makes right.” She did exactly what they suggest, nay, demand under force of law, law enforced by other men with guns — she had no arms for her defense. I really can’t find the words to say just how morally repugnant, how evil, these people are for peddling the damnable lie that we can’t and shouldn’t be trusted to provide for our own safety. And it’s just one more reason that I honestly believe there’s a special place in the deepest, darkest, hottest pits of hell for those who advocate the sheep mentality of thinking someone else is responsible for your safety.

Interesting Walmart Encounter

March 27, 2008

Or, alternately titled, “One Of the Joys of Living In A Red State…”
Yesterday when I was at Walmart I saw a guy shopping. He had on a t-shirt. Guess what that t-shirt had on the back of it? A pistol. And not just any pistol, but a Springfield Armory Professional Model 1911. Straight from the Springfield Custom Shop, made entirely in the United States, it’s at the very top of the Springfield pistol line — and that’s reflected in the pistol’s $2,500 price tag. And you know me. I had to pipe up.
“You know, I’d love to have one of those Springfield Professional Model 1911s, but those things are EXPENSIVE.”
He turned around and it was off to the races. We stood there and talked guns for a good 10 minutes or so. He competed in IPSC at the Orange Gun Club, loaded his own ammo for the.40 and .45 and was a big 1911 guy, of course; he said he got his first 1911 at the tender age of 12 but that he also liked the HK pistols. We talked about everything gunnies talk about, including all the hooey published in the gun rags. That particular topic came up as we were discussing the Taurus 1911 and I told him I’d heard nothing but good things about it both in the gun rags AND on the Internet gun boards.
“Yeah, places like that, they don’t hold anything back,” he said, speaking of the boards. I told him about my almost getting one of those Taurus 1911s but barely missing out on it, as it was gone just a couple of days after I decided to put it on layaway at Shooters Supply.
But I thought that was pretty cool. I’ve never before been one to just talk to complete strangers out of the blue, and it’s not so often someone makes it so obvious he’s a fellow gunny. It made me think of an instance of someone asking on (I think it was) the High Road, what he should say to someone he thought might have been a fellow gunny — in Massachusetts. The guy was afraid of being ostracized if the guy wasn’t a gun person because of the political climate in Massachusetts. I’m sure it’d be a lot less likely that I’d run into a guy at Walmart with a Springfield Armory t-shirt — and the same could probably said for Springfield Armory’s home state of Illinois, too. It’s good to live in Texas. I bet it’d be just as good in Kentucky, though.

We owe you nothing…

March 25, 2008

From the brain-cell-frying corner of Algore’s Internets known as the Huffington Post

30,000 is not too many. Ah, I see.
What to do? As invited previously, both poles (as in polar opposites, but Poloks as well) owe it to 30,000 fatalities a year to hammer out a life-saving compromise.
The primary function of government is to advance the public welfare, NOT make sure every nut-case has a gun.
But the NRA crowd won’t even TALK about licensing, registration, and gawd ferbid that such result in anyone being denied their sacrosanct right to bear arms, whether “for the purpose of maintaining a well-ordered militia” or otherwise.

Actually, no. As far as I am concerned those of us who own guns and cherish our right to self-defense don’t owe anyone a damned thing. Those 30,000 deaths are a tragedy, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — how many of those 30,000 people met their Maker by their own choice? From what I remember that number is at least 18,000 — the number of suicides committed annually with firearms. So let’s just talk about the other 12,000. Of those, how many of those who pulled the trigger did so to get themselves out of a jam created by their own bad choices? And why is it that we don’t ever talk about the circumstances surrounding and influencing those bad choices? Somehow I think the answer to that is if we did, the leftists among us would have to face some cold, hard facts that they quite simply are afraid of. They’re just a bunch of chickenshits. And so they take the easy way out and blame the inanimate object. And those people have the stones to call US the irrational ones.
As for licensing and registration…once again, oh ignorant one, we will not countenance such nanny-state schemes because we know where they ultimately lead, as sure as night follows day, or as Tam put it, sure as God made little green apples. And of course the NRA might well sound unreasonable to many, but that’s all right. I for one would rather strangle that “reasonable restrictions” dragon in its crib than have to fight it with hot lead later. Now and then, though, I can’t help but think that the hot-lead option is ultimately where we are going, especially as our would-be overlords prattle on about teh “public safety.”
Oh, and this was just priceless.

If we elect another Republican in November, I am getting some guns.

You can’t make this stuff up, friends. They raise ten kinds of hell about what the Republican-controlled government is doing to our country, yet they want guns regulated to the point that said government is the only group who has them. I am not entirely sure what that says about their thought processes, but it sure as hell isn’t anything that would make me comfortable with trusting them with anything sharper or harder than a Nerf ball.

Re: the murder of Meredith Emerson…

March 25, 2008

…there’s absolutely nothing I could say that the ‘Dog didn’t say here, and a hell of a lot better.

Monday Morning 1911 Musings: Kimbers, External Extractors and Short Barrels

March 24, 2008

From Loving, Texas, this referral, handguns better than Kimber?
There are those who say the Kimbers are the best production 1911s out there, but I am not sure I agree with that. They are great guns indeed, but I’m not so sure that they’re really worth the higher prices than, say, a comparably equipped Springfield Armory or Dan Wesson. (More on that in a moment, stay tuned!) I’ve heard good things about the Smith & Wesson 1911s but as of yet I don’t have one. Although I’ve heard lots of hell-raising about the external extractors featured on the S&W pistols, from some of what I’ve read, Kimber was the company that soured the American gun buyer on that deviation from the original design. They had it on their 1911s for a while but eventually went back to the internal extractor. I will say that the only trouble I’ve had with either of my Kimbers was a weak magazine spring on the Tactical Ultra II — and that gun is not only one of the external extractor models, but it is also one of those infamous 3-inch-barreled pistols. And if you visit the gun boards for any length of time you’ll find people raising ten kinds of hell about the micro 1911s. They’re either very good or very bad — if you get one that runs you’re golden, but if you get one that doesn’t run, it’ll NEVER be 100%. Fortunately mine works, but again, I’ve heard a lot of people say that the shortest 1911 you’ll be able to deal with is one of the Commander-size pistols with the 4.25″ barrel. I’d say that for the .45 or the 10mm that’s a pretty good compromise — anything shorter and I’d be more worried about the corresponding velocity loss, more so with the .45 since it’s big and sloooow to begin with. But then many of the worries about said velocity loss, from what I understand, come from the fact that many if not most people use hollow-points in their personal defensive weapon. I’ve never driven anything across the chrony with my micro 1911, and no matter what, at closer ranges with ball ammo it’s still going to beat the hell out of a sharp stick.
Back to the Kimbers in general, though (back to you, Bob!)…I’ve heard people say that when you buy a Colt, you pay a premium for the name. To what extent that’s true of the Colts I do not know, but I tend to think you definitely pay for the perceived prestige of the name Kimber when you plunk down the cash for one. I still would like to have an Eclipse Custom II in 10mm one day, though.

He has risen…

March 23, 2008

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Some musings on Texas music…

March 23, 2008

I ran up on this thought-provoking commentary from Houston deejay Leslie T. Travis on her blog re: the Texas Roadhouse and the music she plays on it.
Interesting how even the Texas music fans have the same complaints that mainstream music fans do about certain artists getting too much or too little airplay. But as she said, they’re the superstars of our movement and not playing them wouldn’t be a very smart thing to do. Besides, I think the argument about certain big stars drawing in the audience and keeping them around for more holds a hell of a lot more water here than it does in other contexts. Just as an example, I’ve heard it argued before that people like Shania Twain and Faith Hill were good for country music because they drew people to country radio that otherwise wouldn’t be listening. (For me, that’s what evoked the term “country music for people who don’t like country music.”) I never could understand that argument, because if these people are tuning in for Faith Hill and Shania Twain, do we honestly believe they’re going to go out and buy George Strait, Alan Jackson or Billy Currington? I suppose there are a few who will, but still I don’t understand why this argument is given so much validity by certain fans.
But with the Texas country it’s different. If you listen to what Leslie T. plays on her show you’ll find out, for example, that there’s not that much difference — musically speaking — between the bigger artists like Pat Green and Kevin Fowler and the lesser-known artists like Todd Fritsch and Max Stalling. Of course you’ll have the rockers like Cross Canadian Ragweed, but from what I’ve heard they seem to be the exception to the rule. (That is most definitely not to say that I do not like CCR or consider them unworthy of being called a Texas country-rock band. I farkin’ lurrrrve me some Ragweed, as you should know if you’re a longtime visitor — although I know some might not.) So if Pat, Kevin and Cory Morrow are what it takes to draw people in to hear Aaron Watson, Todd Fritsch or Brandon Rhyder, then I am all for that. Truth be told the biggest problem I have vis-a-vis Texas artists on the radio is that they’re not played enough. The Texas Roadhouse is great, but still it would be wonderful if more of the music Leslie T. played on Sunday nights was put in regular rotation during the week. I understand somewhat the reasons that it isn’t, but still it irks me a bit and I blame that more on the state of radio these days than anything else.
And then there’s another excellent point:

Still to many listeners, some of the OLD songs are new. For those that listen every week it seems like we just play a bunch of old tunes. To those that are hearing it for the first time (or even the 5th) it’s all new to them.

She’s exactly right, of course…and just as in mainstream country, the older music is every bit of worthy of being played as is the newer stuff. All the older stuff from Pat Green, Cory Morrow and Roger Creager, she’s exactly right when she says all of it is going to be new to some people. I’m sure when I first heard songs like “Take Me Out To A Dancehall,” “Nashville Blues” or “The Everclear Song,” by that time they were old hat to a lot of people — but it was that early stuff, that’s so familiar to so many people now, that got me to stay and check out more of the Texas artists. And I am reasonably certain that I am not the only one. Leslie’s hamstrung in a big way, I’ll admit it — she does work for a country station in a major market that is owned by a big corporation, so of course she’s not going to get to play as wide of a variety of the Texas stuff that she wants to, nor is she going to get to play as much of it. Basically she only has five hours a week to work with — if she had a few of the other 163, or if the Texas music was mixed more into the other 163, things would be a lot different. As it is, though, I think she does a great job with what she has to work with and I for one appreciate that. It could be a lot worse. We could have one of those cookie-cutter countdowns full of the music we hear the rest of the week.

Ooooh, my favorite Charley Pride song..

March 23, 2008

here: “Walking along, whistling a song, half foot and fancy free…a big riverboat, passing us by, she’s headed for New Orleans, there she goes, disappearing around the bend…roll on Mississippi, you make me feel like a child again…”

Tell me again about that target demo…?

March 22, 2008

Via just about everyone, it seems American Hunters and Shooters Association rep and NRA turncoat Bob Ricker is haunting the gun blogs and casting aspersions on those of us who believe in that whole “shall not be infringed” business, saying things like “AHSA is reaching out to a more educated, sophisticated and straight thinking hunter and shooter demographic.”
Well, let’s see here.
Educated. I have a bachelor’s degree in communication from Lamar University and work in a communication-related field in which other college-educated professionals seem to think I am pretty good at what I do, in several aspects. It took me ten years to get that degree, but that was due to changing majors and having to work to pay my rent, tuition and car payment. I’m guessing that Ricker would imply that education makes one intelligent, so I’ll also note that after I took the ASVAB military aptitude test in high school, I had the local Army recruiter call me and tell me I scored so high on it I could enter into any MOS I wanted to. However, due to factors beyond my control, I was unable to take that route. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — education doesn’t necessarily lead to intelligence or enlightenment. This is proven once again by the fact that Bob Ricker and his ideological soulmates are always resorting to ad hominems, straw men and other such bad arguments — if they were as smart as they like to think, they would admit the lack of validity of their arguments.
Sophisticated. Well, ya got me there. I’m just a good ole Texas country boy more than anything else. I do love me a good red wine, but if I had my way I’d rather be drinking iced tea on the porch. I drive a pickup truck and as opposed to opera, classical or whatever, you’ll find George and Merle Haggard on the iPod, as well as some of my down’n’dirty Texas favorites like Deryl Dodd and Cross Canadian Ragweed. So I guess that leaves me out of THAT.
Straight-thinking. Well, I busted my arse in college for ten years for a reason — I knew that to get anywhere and make a decent living I’d have to have that piece of paper in my hand. But I’m guessing in Bob’s world when you get right down to it even that doesn’t mean shite.
Really though, all of that is perfectly ok with me, because Bob Ricker and the rest of those frauds are little more than a bunch of elitist pricks. And all of their word vomit is little more than verbalization of their frustration at the fact that they’ve pretty much been nailed to the wall. If Ricker and his elitist Fudd buddies don’t think people like me worthy of their organization, well, I must say, I’d consider that a badge of honor.