Monday, July 27, 2015

Congress will FINALLY trust our troops more than muslim extremists? (Or Will They?)

"You got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?"

July 27, 2015:

Eight days I posted this opinion article:

Congress pushes to allow troops to be armed on military bases - Stripes:
 July 17, 2015 
WASHINGTON – Congressional leaders said Friday they will direct the Pentagon to allow troops to carry guns on base for personal protection following a deadly shooting rampage in Tennessee that killed four Marines and seriously wounded a sailor at a recruiting center.
From here, it sounds as if someone in Washington has finally removed their cranial box from their customary rectal depository, but ... you know Politicians.

If the cameras stop rolling, the suits start strolling.  Usually whistling a tuneless ditty, as if they're merely engaged in a casual stroll across the Capital Mall, and ...

They waffle

"Oh, excuse me?  Sorry, I was misquoted" they say .. if there is any chance that they may NOT have to actually follow through on their promises to arm U.S. military in unsecured public areas in CONUS.

Because our guys are, like, in Gun Free Zones.
(I may have mentioned my dislike of GFZ before.  As in:  February 2008 - May, 2013 ... for starters)
Unfortunately, the Army's Top Brass has less confidence in the quality of our troops than has Congress!
(From Fox News:)

The Army's top officer said Friday they would review security at military recruiting and reserve centers in the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Tennessee, but urged caution amid growing calls to arm more soldiers to protect against these kinds of attacks.
Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters that arming troops in those offices could cause more problems than it might solve.
"I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I'm not talking about where you end up attacking each other," Odierno said during a morning breakfast. Instead, he said, it's more about "accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries."
[emphasis added]

A day later, I had this article to reinforce the argument AGAINST arming American Service Persons Domestically.

But wait .. there's more!

Run and shoot? Or just shoot? (It's a GAME, Folks!)

Run and shoot? Or just shoot? | The View From North Central Idaho:
Frequently at USPSA matches there are stages that can be shot many different ways. It’s a thinking game almost as much as a shooting game. What is the best way to shoot this stage? And the best way frequently depends on the shooter too
I've been enjoying Joe Huffman's continuing story of his "Introduction to USPSA Competition", because so many of the issues he describes are typical of competitors ... both new to the sport and those who have been around a while and are just thinking about how they could be more competitive.

In his latest contribution, Joe brings up one issue (1: how to be competitive using your own personal skill set) and a comment on the article brings up another issue (2: whether the techniques we learn in competition would be counter-indicated in a Defensive situation).

I'd like to use this opportunity to address both issues ... and especially point out that they are individual and not at all related:

l:)  "Run and Shoot?  Or just Shoot?"

As Joe has already learned, the 'best way' to resolve a "Shooting Problem" is to use your own personal  skill set to your best advantage.  That suggests that it's not only a matter of skills and experience, but also equipment and physicality. Assuming that the question is "is it better to (a) shoot at targets from a distance and save time by not moving; or to (b) run quickly to a closer distance and save time (and increase accuracy) by narrowing the MOA needed to contain hits withing the A-zone?"

Let's look at these in reverse order:

If you are young, agile and fleet-of foot, and if you are not confident of your ability to successfully and accurately engage targets from a distance, it might be better to aggressively charge the targets and then quickly engage them from the near distance. This takes advantage of fleetness-of-foot, and reduces the disadvantages of equipment and skill set.

If you are older* (less fleet of foot, less agile), it might be advantageous for YOU to engage the targets carefully and accurately from a longer distance.

* (Note that Open Division competitors often choose this latter technique because their electronic red-dot sights (and compensated barrels) give them an accuracy advantage at distance, and the compensated barrels also give them an advantage at close targets.  These competitors are most often older competitors who have the life-advantage of being able to afford more expensive competitive equipment, and at the same time are those who (like me) find that their visual acuity is not quite what it use to be .. nor are their legs and their breath control.  In a word, they tend to compete in OPEN Division simply because they are not as competitive physically as they once were, but they have the experience to understand the physical adjustments which allow them to be competitive mentally.

2:) (from comments):  "... what if the “targets” were shooting at you as you ran toward them over open ground? what do the “utilities” become in that situation.?"

I laughed when I read that comment.  It rejuvenates the old "IPSC WILL GET YOU KILLED" controversy, which emphasizes that the skill-sets which make one 'competitive' in IPSC competition are not conducive to real-life Defense Strategies.

And that is absolutely correct.

In IPSC competition, you stand out in the open and blaze away at cardboard targets without concern that those targets might be shooting back at you.

Please allow me to inflict my decades-old mantra once again:

It's a GAME, folks!

We are not teaching people to shoot at people.  

We are shooting at cardboard and steel targets.

IPSC/USPSA is not intended to teach defensive shooting techniques.  It's sole purpose is to provide a venue where people can shoot pistols as a GAME .. an entirely "sporting purpose".

Incidentally we teach, reinforce and encourage safe gun-handling techniques  We allow people to drill in, and become intrinsically competent in, the mind-set which allows us to "run-and-gun" because those techniques (including moving, and engaging targets, with a loaded firearm with the safety off) are competitive.

Those skill sets may or may not be applicable to 'defensive' usage, but that's not the primary consideration.

It's just a game, folks.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Who is in charge here?

The American Congress is willing (if tentatively) to allow American troops to be armed in (some) Domestic venues.

But America's Top Military Command is reluctant to allow his troops to "Carry", citing concerns about safety and gun-handling competence on the part of domestic troops.

WTF?  Who is in charge here?

And if the Army can't train troops to be responsible firearms handlers, what does that say about their leadership?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"Domestic Terrorism" My Ass!

Chattanooga Shooting: Four Marines Dead in Shooting at Military Offices - ABC News:
 Four Marines were killed and three other people were injured today in a shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to the mayor and military officials.
THIS IS JUST WRONG in so many ways!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Le Morte de le Beloved Kimber: A Toy Story

I broke my Kimber Custom 1911 in .45acp pistol at the match today.

After 17 years (I bought it for under $300 in 1998) and untold thousands of rounds punched through the gun ... I broke it.

I was at an IPSC [USPSA] match at the Albany gun club, and not doing all that well because I haven't been attending many matches lately I'm out of practice. when I found myself on the Third Stage with a gun that wouldn't allow me to reload a new magazine.

Let me be a bit clearer:

I tried to do a reload, but the magazine would only go halfway in.  I tried everything; I even leaned over and whispered softly:  "I promise I'll still respect you in the morning" but that didn't work.

So I quit the stage with one magazine fired in what I had expected to be a three-magazine problem (8-round magazines), and took a zero on the stage.

[NOTE:  I had a GREAT time:  about 11 seconds on a 30-second stage, but I got a zero score of course because I ONLY SHOT EIGHT ROUNDS.]

After I signed the score sheet, I took my broke-dick gun to the safety table to get a good look at it.  After I field-stripped it and found some strong sunlight, I could look down at the magazine well through the top of the frame, and the right-hand side of the trigger yoke was protruding into the magazine well a good eighth of an inch.  It didn't look as if it had broken (at least in that part I could see), but it was at least bent.  Into the magazine well.  

And here I always thought I had a delicate finger on the trigger!

Which explained why I couldn't even drop the hammer to clear the stage: by IPSC rules, the gun didn't leave the stage "loaded" but I wasn't "clear" in the strictest sense.

I gave The Beloved Kimber to my friend, The Hobo Brasser (THB), to do the mechanical stuff involved in removing the old trigger.  I'll be ordering a replacement trigger from Brownell's (I guess), and have it delivered to THB.

 I have as much mechanical ingenuity as a hog in a sty, except perhaps not as much manual dexterity.

(I once tried to replace the floater bulb in an old-style toilet:  I broke the porcelain tank in the process.  I ended up having to buy a new toilet and hiring a plumber to install it.  THAT is how much of a mechanic I am!)

My friend THB said "I've got a back-up 1911 in the car, you can finish the match with that", which generous offer I gratefully accepted.  I finished the match with a gun that felt a LOT different (it was a Taurus, and the grip safety ... unlike The Beloved Kimber ... had not been pinned).

But wait: there's more!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

"...Conflicting Rights...." Yes, but .... No More Snarling Dogs!

I read that there's a lot of outrage about the recent Supreme Court decision accepting the concept of Gay Marriage.

I don't understand that.

What's the difference between a Gay Person and a Black Person?

Borepatch: Conflicting Rights and Our Ongoing Discussion:
In a free state, there can be no special rights. We take our rights equally. If the cake bakers had said they wouldn't bake a cake because one of the women was wearing a Confederate flag on her t-shirt, how would the press have handled it? It used to be I got to decide who I would buy things from and what I would buy. The businessman got to decide who he would sell to. It is no longer that way and it will not come back. Now I can be forced by law to buy things (healthcare, as a start) and businesses can be forced by law to sell.
Equal Rights .. it's a wonderful thing!

But some people have lately been saying that some people shouldn't marry some other people.

One thing President Obama has done for this country (or perhaps what he has done TO this country) is that he has forced us to look at societal issues from a new perspective.

President Eisenhower forced us to look at our society from the perspective of a Black Person when he integrated schools and lunch counters in the 1950's.

The 1950s were a good time to be alive. ... It must have seemed to most Americans that God had truly blessed America. ... But an important change had been occurring in the nation. In the post-war period a massive demographic change began to occur. Blacks in large numbers started to move out of the South to other parts of the country.
So ... if you don't like the way a vendor sells his wares,  you don't buy from him.  Okay, I get that.  It's a Free Country.

We thought we had finally got our minds around the whole Black Thing when Ike took on the racial bigotry of Alabama.  No more apartheid, no more 'separate but equal' bull-crap.  No more water hoses, no more snarling dogs

Okay, we're still trying to get that "Black Thing" figured out.  We'll do it, though.  This is America.  Land of the Free, Home of the brave.

Except we're not yet brave enough to see ALL minorities in the same light as we are now (sort-of / kinda) seeing Racial differences.

Gay Marriage

There use to be this really awful term :"miscegenation".

It referred to marriage between people of different races.   Horrible word, I'm embarrassed that there's even a dictionary word for this ... this expression of acceptance between two people regardless of their race.

But we got past that, and we're a better people for our acceptance that people will find love where it happens, and the rest of the world be damned.

Now we're getting equally all worked up because persons of ...not a DIFFERENCE but a SAMENESS ... have grown to hope that their country will learn to accept them as readily as they did Black/White relationships.





I read so many rants about how Gay Marriage is going to undermine the Sanctity of Marriage.  But I'm not quite sure how that works.

As near as I can tell, the purpose of marriage (according to what I read) is to bless the conjugation of a man and a woman to produce children.

I married twice.   My first wife and I were blessed with two beautiful children who have grown up to be wonderful people.

My second wife and I produced no children.  She and I both had children by previous marriages, and she was no longer able to have children.  It did not matter to me; I love both my children and hers, and I felt no drive to be fecund.

So if the people who say that the purpose of marriage is to produce children, then my second marriage was an aberration?

Funny, it didn't seem that way to me.

Can someone please explain to me why it's okay that I married a woman who could no longer bear children, but if I had married a man who (obviously) could not bear children, then that would have undermined the sanctity of marriage?

The entire outbreak of outrage over gay marriage seems so queer .... I just don't understand it.

But the Good Thing is ... nobody is going to introduce aggressive canines and fire hoses at the marriage ceremony of Adam and Steve.

It's a Free Country.  This is America!

You may not like it.  I may not like it.  But it's none of our business, so ...


The Importance of Being Earnest

Sometimes you receive email from someone who sounds so real and the content is so earnest, you cannot resist replying ... even if the content is so bogus that you just KNOW it's a sham.  But you must resist the temptation anyway.

I recently received the following email:
Dear *****  
I just sent you an email note and apparently this got confused with sp*a*m. You may recall my earlier correspondence regarding our defending gun rights, including the work by our Research Fellow Stephen Halbrook, the renowned Second Amendment legal scholar, author and attorney:
Hence, would you be so kind as to advise your email provider to remove your spam complaint?
Thank you again!
Best regards,
[obfuscatory text and highlighting added]

He didn't send me a previous email, nothing was 'confused' (my software works differently), and if an earlier email had been quarantined by my security software, then this email would have suffered the same fate.

I have not, of course, been corresponding directly with any member of the Independence Institute.  The premise is bogus, as is the entire email.

Monday, July 06, 2015

NCIS performs criminal backgroiund checks on firearms purchasers?

Private Gun Ownership on the Rise in US (Infographic) | Worldwide Gun Ownership & Firearms: Private Gun Ownership on the Rise (Infographic) by Ross Toro, Infographics Artist January 04, 2012 03:01pm ET

I ran across a firearms-related link *  to LIVESCIENCE today, and I was appalled by the political bias demonstrated in their articles.

There I found this infographic:

No, it wasn't a typo.  This 'scientific' website was so certain of itself that it took the acronym NICS, scrambled it to NCIS, and then looked up that acronym.

Note the source of the information.  I'm pretty sure that the FBI knows that background checks are really conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background System, not the Naval Criminal Investigation Service.

Or by a television series.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Perfect is the enemy of Good

In response to an article about point shooting, I have some opinions about this:

When I was going through Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) in 1969, one day our instructors took my class to the range to show us what Point Shooting really means.

They gave us BB-guns ... spring loaded, so very low powered (and also very inexpensive to teach the lesson) ... and told us that they were going to teach us to shootcoins out of the sky without using the sights.

Actually, the guns had sights, albeit crude ones.  But we soon learned that the instructors were correct.  In one afternoon we learned to point-shoot moving objects without really using the sights, and with an impressive degree of accuracy.

We started out shooting quarters out of the air.  We had to supply our own quarters.

As the exercise progressed (they actually gave us two or three hours to practice), we found that quarters were too easy to hit.

I found that I could get one-shot hits on dimes tossed into the air with a surprising consistency.

Which is to say ... after a while, I couldn't miss!