Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Shooter Report

Yesterday I took my wife to the range. While it's not the first time she's gone with me, this is the very first time she's done any shooting.

First, a little background is in order. When I first moved in with her, she didn't want anything to do with guns. Didn't want any around, didn't want them in the house, didn't even want to look at them. After a hunting trip to western Wyoming, I purchased a Ruger Black Hawk in .41 Mag so as to have a sidearm in a similar caliber to the others in our group. Not too long after that, I bought a Ruger P-94 in .40 S&W for personal protection. It was another year until I got my next gun, a Century Arms imported Maadi MISR/SA, a post '94 ban AK clone that was decidedly more work than pleasure to shoot (but that's a story for another time).

So, being sensitive to her feelings, I had to store my budding collection at our next door neighbors house. After getting a couple more AKs, the neighbor ran out of room for my stuff. Finally, she (my then girlfriend and now wife) relented and let me get a Stack-On 8-gun locker (the first of what has become 3) to keep them in. So now I had my burgeoning collection in the house, but she still wanted nothing to do with them.

Eventually, she came around to the point of reloading magazines after trips to the range, 8 or 10 of them per trip. (Yeah, that was back when 7.62x39 was still $60/500 and one could afford to fire 3-400 rds per trip to the range.) To this day, if I come back with empty magazines from any of my rifles, be they AKs, the M-1A, the Saigas, or my commie sniper guns, I get in trouble if I reload the mags myself.

A couple of years ago, I got into rolling my own ammunition. What, with the price of commercial ammunition getting higher by the day, plus the fact I couldn't find any commercial hunting loads in 7.62x54r (145-155 gr soft points) that didn't cost $40 or more per box, I made the plunge. This turned out to be a great idea, as it allowed us to have quality time together while reloading. She's taken so much to this process I got an RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for Christmas last year to replace the little Lee Handloader I'd had, and we'd used, for the last 3 years.

So, yesterday, I was heading out to the range to shoot my new hunting rifle, a Savage 10GLXP3, left hand. I'd asked if she wanted to go, as I needed someone to spot where my shots were going, as I haven't completely got her sighted in yet. She agreed and off to the range we went. Now, to be honest, I've asked her several times if she wanted to go shooting, and the response was always either an outright No or The Look. The only time she'd willingly went to the range with me was last fall when I had to bribe her with breakfast to go. The only thing she did that day was spot shots for me and bird-dog brass from one of my commie snipers, an NDM-86 in .308. Well, after some vivid nightmares (she's a firm believer in the power of dreams) she decided all on her own that yesterday was the day she wanted to learn to shoot. No input from me at all. This was entirely HER decision.

So, I loaded up the 6" Ruger Mark II I'd bought for just such an occasion, along with the LH .308 and all the accoutrements of a day at the open air, public access range. I know, the Mark II is not exactly a ladies gun; the grips are too big, the trigger reach is just a little too far, and it was a whole lotta front end heavy, but it was there for $225 and I wanted a .22 pistol, so there!

Once we got to the range it took a bit of coaxing to get her to come over to where I was set up, and it took a lot more convincing to get her to actually hold the pistol. Initially, I had her hold the pistol and I stood behind her and put my hands over hers. The first 2 shots were me pulling the trigger with her hands under mine just holding the pistol. I don't think she opened her eyes for those two shots, and there were tears on her cheeks afterward. At this point I was ready to call the whole thing off as I didn't want her to do anything she wasn't ready to do. But she persisted. Putting her fears aside, she fired the rest of the magazine with my hands over hers, but she was the one actually pulling the trigger. During this, I talked to her about proper sight alignment and the 4 Rules, particularly keeping her booger hook off the bang switch until she was ready to fire.

Mother Nature, however, had other plans for the day. While sighting in the .308, it took to raining, so we packed up everything so we could head home. Driving up to the backstop to retrieve the target and stand, the rain stopped and she asked if she could shoot some more. Taken a little aback, I said sure and loaded up three mags for the Mark II. After showing her how to do mag changes and charge the pistol, I turned her loose. Next to where my target stand was set up was an old discarded coffee can that some ignoramus left on the range (this is an ongoing problem at this particular range, and I'm surprised the Forest Service hasn't shut this range down over it) that she decided to take aim at. It didn't take long and she was making the can jump around the backstop area. If Ma Nature hadn't intervened again, we wouldn't have left until darkness came or we ran out of ammo, a 500 rd brick of Winchester Dynapoint, whichever would have come first.

One of her biggest complaints with the Mark II was that it was too front end heavy for her to shoot. So when we got back to town, we stopped by the local fun store to see if they had anything to her liking. After looking at several offerings, and bragging about how well she'd dispatched the hapless coffee can, she settled on the Sig Mosquito. The Sig fit her hand right, she could easily manipulate the controls, and the weight was just right. After a little horse trading, I traded the Mark II in for the Mosquito. So not only is she a new shooter, she's one of the thousands of new gun owners.

When we finally got home, she didn't waste any time calling her mother, my mother, and our next door neighbor to tell them what she'd done. I can't begin to describe how proud I am of my wife for tackling her fears head on. Yesterday was indeed a special day.

On our next range trip, I'll set up the target. Now, we'll have both of our targets hung on the fridge. Although I fear that with practice, she could, and probably will, outshoot me. I don't mind, such is life, I can't always be the best at everything we do.

Not a bad day at all. My wife conquered a long held fear and I get to play the doting hubby. Nope, not a bad day at all, if I do say so meself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hold The Phone

This piece looked like just another puff piece on the border patrol going about their daily business, doing a thankless job that many consider to be racist and authoritarian. My argument is not about that, I think the Border Patrol guys get little in the way of thanks for a thankless job.

But I noticed this quote in the linked piece.

"As Brownsville's CBP officers perform their critical mission of protecting the homeland from terrorists and weapons of terrorism, they continually apprehend wanted fugitives and seize dangerous narcotics," said Michael Freeman, CBP Port Director, Brownsville.

Any guesses what set me off about this quote? I'll give you a hint. There were two other large authoritarian countries that referred to their home country as "________Land.

Russia referred to her self as the "Motherland".

Nazi Germany was referred to as the "Fatherland" by its inhabitants.

See what makes me nervous about this quote?

Another of the Clueless Class

I guess for some folks, freedom is too messy. Take the writer of this piece. He bemoans the fact that a convicted felon used a gun to kill someone. Never mind the scum who shot up the Holocaust Museum was a prohibited person and had been since the 80's. No, what we need is just one more law making felon in possession and murder more illegal.

He also rails on about the flawed thinking involved in the text of 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." His first faltering step down this road comes from his flawed premise that the 2A is, was, and shall always be, a law enforcement tool. While he didn't stumble headlong into the National Guard argument, he still maintains that citizen militias were the forerunners of of modern local police departments. Different avenue, same destination. The "people" he says should have the right to keep and bear arms at those the 2A was designed are those who the 2A was explicitly designed to protect AGAINST. And since he has so obviously forgotten, let me remind him of Hurricane Katrina. regular citizens banded together to protect each other's homes and property from vandals and looters in the absence of any police presence. What was that definition of a citizens militia he threw out again?

His second false premise is his assertion that pro-2A supporters believe the amendment in question protects an individual right, where, as he states "the intent of the 2nd Amendment is to protect society". Who does he think is going to protect "society"? Law enforcement? Not knocking law enforcement here, but in more than a few cases, they have been part of the problem. No, the "people" who are going to "protect" society are the very people the 2A was written for, you and me.

What has also gotten his panties in a twist is the notion that conservative lawmakers (i.e. Republicans) are on the dole to the NRA and are thus advancing the mythological " gun lobby's" agenda. Does he not realize that while the NRA has over 4 million members (and growing I might add), there are conservatively over 100 million gun owners in this country? That 99.99999% of them are not criminals, a good percentage of them will not kill anything and/or anybody, and the VOTE? SO how does this moron explain the phenomena of the "Blue Dog Democrat", who was elected to office in conservative states like VA and MT precisely because they are pro-gun? I would like to know.

Funny there, Mr Riestenberg, I have an NRA sticker on MY vehicle. Life Member, actually. Yet I have no confederate flag stickers, decals, flags or other paraphernalia in my possession. So what does that make me? I do find it telling you have a link to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership on your page. Is that where you get YOUR marching orders, and your talking points?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chicken Little Is Back

Squealing. Just like little girls who’ve come across a bug. Only now, it’s normal everyday people exercising their rights. Wow. I mean, really? Guess what folks, as you say, open carry is legal in 43 states (almost 44, Texas is working on it). The only problems encountered are by the open carry person being targeted and harassed by police while doing absolutely nothing wrong. Happened to my cousin at the rehearsal for my wedding last year. Somebody got their knickers in a knot because he had a Taurus 24/7 on his hip. While the cop was nice about and all, it was still irksome when he was asked:

1) Why he was openly carrying a firearm. (Hint: Because I can, was the response.)

2) If he had a concealed carry permit. (Wasn’t aware you had to have a CCP to open carry in SD, but my cousin did have a valid CCP.)

3) Since he had a valid CCP, could he cover up the pistol. (This was June, and about 85 deg out, what clothing does one routinely carry around with them to be able to conceal a medium frame pistol?)

4) Since he couldn’t conceal it, he was asked to remove the pistol and put away. He put it in my truck, alongside my concealed carry piece. (I, coincidentally, forgot my belt otherwise I would have been carrying that day too.)

Fortunately, nothing came of it. In other places, like some places in Virginia, this episode would have landed my cousin in the pokey with some kind of bogus charge hanging over his head and minus his Taurus.

So to rehash what the ninnies are whining about, *GASP* there may be somebody carrying either openly or concealed wherever you go, to include, and I quote:

Sipping hot chocolate with your toddler at Starbucks while a fellow patron openly displays a gun at the table next to you;

Attending a church service with your entire family knowing that the fellow parishioner sitting next to you has a handgun tucked in his belt; or

Boarding a crowded bus with your newborn child with upwards of 5 other passengers openly carrying weapons.

I also take exception to being told I’m not good enough to defend myself in a public place, I have to have law enforcement do it for me. And we all know how well that can work out, right? Law enforcement are the only ones qualified to do that job, right? (h/t to David Codrea for the "Only Ones" files.)

But, reading other related articles from this group, I doesn’t surprise me any. What, with all the pant-sh*tting hysteria displayed in all the other articles on guns from this site, it’s a wonder they have any clean clothes at all. Remember, too that this is a Joyce Foundation-funded Astroturf program. So take what they say with a grain of salt.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Quote of My Own

I left a comment on an editorial, and I thought parts of it deserved it's own post.

Here it is:

Fear the government that wants to see you disarmed, not the armed neighbor. For it is your neighbor who may, in the end, be the one who defends your freedom when you have neither the stomach or the guts to do it yourself.

For those who think that if you do away with firearms, there will paradise on earth, I've got news for you. "Gun" crime may go down, but other types of violent crime will increase. Look at what's happening in England or even in NYFC. Crack down on guns and the skells will just shift their tooling. No guns, use a knife. No knife, use a chain. Where there's a will, there's a way. Never underestimate the ability of man to do bad things to his fellow man by any means he can find.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Something To Think About

What with all the talk around the intarwebz these last few months, and all the attendtion the guys over at Sipsey Street got with their stand, it got me thinking. A lot of lefties point out that if things ever got down to the nitty-gritty and the lead content of the earth suddenly became airborne, those on the other end of the .gov wouldn't stand a chance due to said forces having tanks, helos, bombers and all matter of nifty little gadgets handy.

I've countered that argument on more than one occasion by asking that particular person to do some basic math. There are, conservatively, around 100 million gun owners out there who posses somewhere around 250 million firearms.

Now, take the combined arms of the entire US armed forces; active duty, guard, and reserve, and add in the combined forces of every law enforcement agency in the country. Even with that combined force, they are still hopelessly outgunned.

Then, just to toss a monkey wrench into the cogs, how many of those in the above mentioned group would side with the .gov? I'm betting there wouldn't be very many left when it was all said and done. For a sampling, check out this site

Even if only 3% of the gun owning public got mad enough to do something about what they saw as a government run amok, there would still be over 3 million people the .gov would have to contend with.

And that, my friends, is something to think about.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What Did I Do To Deserve This????

Somehow, I got on the White House mailing list. How this happened, I have no idea. Maybe it was all those emails to when during the last congressional term, I don't know. But the email is from David Axelrod, the "Senior Advisor" to Dear Leader.

What Mr. Axelrod wants me to do is watch "Dear Leader" pander to a constituency that doesn't have a thing to do with American politics. I heard excerpts from this speech today on the radio, and I can say unequivocally, I was underwhelmed.

One caller to a radio program I listened to today (and no, it was Limbaugh) wondered just why it is, that Iran can have nuclear power, but we here in the US of A can't. As I listened to these excerpts, I could only think to myself "How is it this guy can make all of these promises to all these people, yet we here in this country can't do anything close to what he wants the rest of world to be able to do?"

I have a hard time with anyone who goes around selling American Exceptionalism done the toilet like yesterday's spoiled milk. I didn't like it when Nazi Pelosi did it, I didn't like it when Slick Willy Clinton or his wife did it, and damn sure didn't like it when Jon Karee (sorry, I couldn't resist the dig on folks who joined the military) did it. So why should I suddenly be all hunky-dory with the new president do it?

Mark my words, this will be in our future if we do nothing to stop what is going on before our very eyes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Another Who Just Doesn't Get It

Well, it looks as if a retired preacher from Sewer Falls has his knickers in a knot over the NRA, the ban on scary looking semi-automatic rifles, and the 2A, all at the same time.

He editorializes about the true meaning of the 2A, telling you the reader, that 60% of you are wrong and have been duped by the evil gun lobby into believing the 2A protects an individual right. The good reverend would also have you believe all would be right with the world if we would just get rid of those "evil assault weapons" and make civilian ownership of all firearms impossible. What he doesn't get is gun control is a failed experiment that doesn't work. The CDC thinks so, as they couldn't find a single benefit or desired outcome of a single gun control law. The British and Australians are finding out that virtual bans on civilian gun ownership are having a negative impact on their crime rates (violent crime is going UP in spite of what the antis have promised, but gun crime is low-whoopee!)

One thing he does do is go on about how the expired '94 ban would protect us if only it was extended. The ban did nothing to reduce crime, especially use of those dreaded baby-killing machines. Hard to reduce that which wasn't even a statistical blip on the radar either before the ban went into effect in '94, or after it's expiration in '04. The ban didn't do anything other than ban cosmetic features, and manufacturers complied with the law by removing the offending features and renaming their products (also known as a loophole to anti-gunners). The exact same rifle available before the ban was available during the ban, albeit with some features removed to keep them "readily adaptable and useful for sporting purposes".

He also goes to on whimper about a statistic flopped out there by the Brady Bunch telling us that 15 kids die everyday from gun violence. What he (or the Brady Bunch for that matter) doesn't tell you is that bulk of the "kids" in their figures are between the ages of 17 and 21. Guess which age group makes up the bulk of those killed in gun violence and what those "kids" are engaged in when they become "victims"? Kind of like the kid he laments about in the editorial. Shot while breaking in to someones home, I'm betting the "victim" was an angel.

Yes, the ability of the anti-gunner to string together so much hysteria over the fact that close to 100 million gun owners did not kill anybody today can sometimes be breathtaking.