Archive for January, 2011

Oh, look! Another store clerk gets the jump!

January 31, 2011

On another robber, that is, this time on San Antonio’s west side:

A West Side convenience store clerk shot and killed a suspected armed robber Sunday night.

San Antonio police Sgt. Sean Johnson said a male and female employee were at the Leal Food Mart in the 2100 block of Leal Street when just after 8 p.m. a man wearing a mask entered the store.

Johnson said the man was armed with a handgun. The male clerk grabbed a handgun and shot the alleged robber.

Interesting. The anti-gunners say all the time that guns would not help in situations like this, but this isn’t the first time I’ve read about armed robberies going down just like the one described here. It’s almost as if anti-gunners are full of shit. Who knew?

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Not our starting destination, but still not bad.

January 30, 2011

So after church this morning, Sabra and I headed north on Highway 281 for Moe’s Southwest Grill on Stone Oak Parkway. Sabra was thinking it was the same chain she had gotten so fond of when she was living in Virginia. But we got in the parking lot and found out it was closed. Which was weird, because I looked for the place on Google beforehand and it said it was open from 11 to 4 on Sundays….

But all wasn’t lost. We headed a little bit south on Highway 281 and found another place, Orderup, with pizza, burgers and tacos. So we went in and discovered the place was somewhat similar to the Longhorn Cafe as far as their food went. I ended up getting the regular hamburger and Sabra got the cheeseburger with guacamole. She and I both agreed that the burgers weren’t really anything to write home about, but the fries and chips with salsa were pretty good. I don’t know if the fries were hand-cut — I don’t think they were — but the tortilla chips looked to be made on-site. Either way they were both very good. (And they had bottled Mexican Coke!) We’ll definitely be going back; they actually have one a good bit closer to us, on Basse Road close to the Quarry Market.

Dave! Have you ever tried that place out? They have one closer to your old stomping grounds, on I-10 just west of Wurzbach, it looks like…

Musings on a midnight ride…

January 29, 2011

So I took a late-night ride to Taco Cabana last night around midnight for some vittles for Sabra and me. (For those of you who don’t know or don’t live in Texas, Taco Cabana is a better version of Taco Bell, in that it has better fast Tex-Mex, serves beer and is open 24 hours.) I turned into the parking lot and noticed this guy hanging at the speaker at the drive-through. I was on guard, and as I eased up to the speaker, he started walking up to me. He started to say something about the time the TC drive-thru window worker asked, “May I help you?”

Less than a heartbeat later I nailed the throttle, got up to the window and ordered from there, a bit shaken, and pondered the situation. What the hell was that guy thinking, essentially lying in wait? He was more or less in plain sight and I don’t know if he had any kind of weapon on him, but really? Waiting by the bush planted by the speaker? After midnight? Nothing good could ever come of that, especially for those unarmed as I was last night. That won’t be the last midnight Taco Cabana run that I make, but it damn sure will be the last I make without the gun.

Thoughts?

Like Weer’d says…

January 29, 2011

what’s wrong with killing?

I love the revisionist history you guys come up with. Browning invented the M1911 with one purpose in mind: creating a handgun for the U.S. Army which would shoot and kill an attacker….

You guys go off on such tangents! Was he a great inventor of guns? Certainly so. And certainly not all of the guns out there are used for crimes. I never claimed otherwise. But to celebrate an item made for killing, as a symbol of a state, is disgraceful, no matter how honorable the man who invented it or how reliable or long-lasting the weapon. If the purpose were to honor a “son of Utah”, surely there are other “sons” who have invented great things which could be honored with a state symbol, without glorifying weapons.

Wow. Sometimes I don’t know why they even bother engaging intellectual lightweights like this. (On the other hand, I’ve written about them myself — hey, blogfodder, I can’t pass THAT up!) I honestly don’t see what’s so wrong with honoring a man who designed an instrument made for killing — especially when said gun in the hands of American doughboys killed only God knows how many Germans and Japanese who wanted to kill or enslave us all.

And beyond that, what’s wrong with glorifying weapons in general? Weapons give a voice to the silent and strength to the weak. I honestly don’t understand why even pacifists could be against that. Yeah, I know, they’re all about nonviolence — but, again, even Martin Luther King recognized that he was better off having people with guns backing him up. You could argue that a world without weapons is a world  in which might makes right. Considering that, I’d say that glorifying weapons is not only justifiable, but downright commendable.

Same story, different date.

January 28, 2011

I was just telling Sabra that it seems one journalist or another writes this same damn story on every major anniversary (5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years, etc.) of the Challenger disaster. And it’s always so damn shallow. “Ohhhh, the pain, most diverse space crew ever goes poof!” It’s always about how everyone left behind feels about the loss of the Challenger astronauts and never about the callous disregard Morton Thiokol management showed that ultimately led to the shuttle blowing up, specifically, “Take off your engineering hat and put on your management hat.” Many of you probably know the full extent of what that led to, but if you don’t

For a few subsequent anniversaries to the 1986 catastrophe, on the appropriate day and at the appropriate hour, NASA workers were invited to gather for a period of silence. In Houston where I worked, it was at the center’s main flagpole.

According to the official NASA description of the ceremony, this was to last 73 seconds, “the duration of Challenger’s flight”. That’s what press accounts said, too — look it up on the Internet, where references almost always say something like “The space shuttle Challenger explodes 73 seconds after launch, killing all seven astronauts aboard”.

But we were engineers and operators, not managers and media flacks, and we knew better. Challenger had been in flight for 73 seconds when it broke apart, and the cabin — with its crew still alive but presumably (and mercifully) soon unconscious from anoxia — continued its upwards, then downwards arc for another 134 seconds. This was more than two whole minutes of additional flight before the cabin hit the water, killing the astronauts.

And if you click the link in the above-quoted text, you’ll see this:

Analysis of crew cabin wreckage indicates the shuttle’s windows may have survived the explosion. It is thus possible the crew did not experience high-altitude cabin decompression. If so, some or all of the astronauts may have been alive and conscious all the way to impact in the Atlantic

No one ever talks about any of that in those stories. Why? Don’t those things merit more than the oh-so-fleeting mention that they get at best?

And another violent criminal commits another violent crime.

January 27, 2011

So I saw this story (about the conviction of a man who attacked a widow at her husband’s grave on Valentine’s Day 2007) and decided to go to the Beaumont Enterprise website to see what else was being said about the perpetrator of said crime, and found this:

Some officers testified Vallair had verbally threatened him while he was in the jail in 2007, and several female officers told the court Vallair had exposed himself to them….

Prosecutors also called to the stand several people who were corrections officers at the Jefferson County Jail when Vallair was housed in the jail’s maximum security or isolation cells in 2007.

The officers recounted a series of incidents involving Vallair, including him banging on the cell door, hitting a corrections officer in the eye, throwing a cup of juice on officers and becoming belligerent. A makeshift weapon was also found in Vallair’s cell.

And according to this AP story from yesterday, “Records show Vallair has previous convictions for aggravated assault and burglary and he was paroled two weeks before the attack.”

So, to recap: John Vallair is on record as being a danger to society, yet the criminal justice system saw fit to let him back out on the streets. Why?

And why do anti-gunners not have a problem with this?

I don’t have a smartass remark either…

January 27, 2011

…to this:

During the long debate over voter ID in the Senate, the Democrats proposed many amendments, most of which were defeated on straight party lines. Here, via the Chron, is one of the very few that passed:

18. Hinojosa – Accept CHL as a form of ID. Accepted by a vote of 30-0.

Clearly, the answer to Democratic concerns about voter ID is to ensure that everyone in the state gets a concealed handgun license. I don’t even have a smartass remark for that.

 

…except to say that I think it’s an absolutely smashing idea. You have to qualify on the range to get that license, which means you have to — heavens to Mergatroid! — shoot a gun. I don’t know to what extent Texas Democratic voters who get their CHL would be gun-hating statists before, but getting familiar with a personal defensive arm would surely not hurt matters vis-a-vis their opinions on the right to keep and bear arms. I could be wrong, but you never really know.

Pot calls kettle black, again…

January 27, 2011

…the pot being Ruben Navarrette and the kettle being the Huffington Post:

…even when liberals try to do the right thing and be more inclusive, they still can’t seem to surrender the need to maintain control, which leads them to open the door only a crack and remind everyone how exclusive their club really is.

Case in point: Plans by the unabashedly left-leaning Huffington Post to launch a special section of the website devoted to African-Americans and another section for Latinos.

What’s the next trend in cyberspace? Segregated lunch counters?

Navarrette actually makes a good point here, but considering how often he’s waded into the muck of racial politics I really don’t think he has any business bitching and moaning about anyone else doing it. If it’s wrong for one organization or person to be doing that sort of thing it’s wrong for all of them. That includes people like Ruben Navarrette characterizing those of us who oppose an “assault weapons” ban as “those who love their guns more than they love Mexico” and dismissing out of hand the very real threat of groups like La Raza and MEChA. That sort of thing isn’t doing any more to create unity among ethnicities than targeted media content.

Several quotes come to mind…

January 26, 2011

…reading this.

“There is no right to have access to the weapons of war in the streets of America. …For those who want to wield those weapons, we have a place for them. It is the U.S. military. And we welcome them.”

“You like to fire assault weapons? I have a place for you. It’s not in the homes and streets of America. It’s called the Army, and you can join any time!”

“Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA – ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.”

The first, of course, was from Senator John Lurch Kerry. The second was from General Wesley “Perfumed Prince” Clark. The third was from SS chief Heinrich Himmler. Note the similarities….

You really shouldn’t need training to do that.

January 26, 2011

I guess this just goes to show you how much Quanell X knows about gun handling…

Quanell X, a well-known community activist, arranged the news conference and stood with Joaquin (the brother of the would-be car thief mentioned here — ed.) as he faced reporters. He called on the Humble Police Department to better train their officers to not use their guns to break out car windows.

Seriously, if you’re hiring people who need to be trained not to use projectile weaponry to break car windows, your agency has problems that all the training in the world isn’t going to help — especially when police experts are going on record as saying that such an action should only be taken as a very last resort. What would people be saying if a civilian did something like that? And why are they giving the cop a pass on it? I tend to agree the guy breaking into the car got what he deserved, but I don’t think that should exempt the cop’s actions from the scrutiny they deserve.