Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Cuteness

If this doesn't set your 'Awwwwww' machine into overload, you've got some serious issues.



Seriously, who wouldn't love to have a pet otter (or 3) around?

(Link and pic borrowed from The Agitator himself, Radley Balko.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas To All!


From all of us here at Casa De Hazmat, Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How's That Police Interceptor Workin' Out For You?

You know them high-dollar, high horse power cars that are all the rage in police departments around the country?

Yeah, well you know how to outrun one?

Get yourself a 1994 Ford Escort.

Evidently, that's what one rascally runner used to outrun two jusisdictions in my home town.

Next time you think having that tuned up 351 Windsor, 440 Wedge, or a nitrous-equipped lawn mower will help you outrun the local Po-Po, remember this: a 1994 Escort is all you need.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Need More

At the last fun show, I picked up 380 rds of Norinco .308. 19 boxes in the original shipping crate.

I've already got a little bit of Chinese .308, but I think I need more. I was able to get 14 of the 19 boxes into the can.


Whadda y'all think? I'm not even sure how much is in the can now. Hell, I didn't know before when I put the last 280 in.

It's Official.

Kyle Orton needs to be shining a spot on the bench with his ass. Only 166 yds this game and no touchdowns in the last 2 games, I think it's past time to see what all that money was shelled out for in Tebow. I mean, it's not like Denver's in any contention for a playoff spot. Well, maybe a high draft pick in next years draft, but not even a sniff at the Wild Card.

It wouldn't be so bad if he actually TRIED or something. But come on. I've seen better acting in p0rn.

It's time to see what all the hype is about. Start Tebow.

You Know Your Team Sucks

When you know they are going to appear in highlight reels for the other team as what not to do in football and you've been scouted and been beaten on two, count 'em, TWO fake field goals. Both of which were touchdowns.

I think the joke is absolutely true.

What do the Denver Broncos and Billy Graham have in common?

They can both make 70,000 people stand up and say 'Jesus Christ'.

It is also official, Kyle Orton sucks as an NFL quarterback.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Did You Know...

That according to the producers of the hit TV show The Defenders, the reason they put serial numbers on guns is to track criminals?

Me either! Who knew?

I guess that I'm a criminal in their eyes. And here I actually like the show and its characters. A lot of respect was lost today over this.

Party Time In Baltimore

It seems as though a group of folks have a problem with firearms in Maryland, and Baltimore in particular and are all upset that the owner of the oldest gun store in town didn't jump on the Bloomberg group Mayors Against You...I mean Illegal guns 10 pt plan. The hidden part of this 'plan' is to eradicate what they term 'illegal gun sales' by having the store record the purchases made by their customers and having that information run through a database kept by some lackey.

No invasion of privacy issues there at all. Not a one.

They tried to talk reasonable, but communications broke down over that pesky little invasion of privacy thing.

So the group decides they're going to picket said store.

How does our intrepid store owner respond?

By having a party, of course!

Talk about the ultimate counter protest, eh?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day everyone. May your day be filled with the laughter and love of family and friends.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wanted

Professional football players and coach. Must be able to compete/coach at a minimum of the collegiate level. Interested parties can apply in person at Denver Broncos corporate headquarters.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Newest Member of the 700 Club

That would be the Remington 700 club, and not the 700 club of Pat Robertson fame on the ABC Family channel.

For years I've wanted a Remington 700. My Dad has had one since before I was born. 6 months before I was born to be exact, chambered in .270 Win. That rifle has taken more game in our family than any other rifle. It's taken countless deer, numerous elk, and one moose. I also took my first two deer with that rifle. (One a side note, all this hubbub about the model 700 recently hasn't made much difference to me. Dad's got one in .270, and my brother has one in .243. In our experience, this dust up is much ado about nothing.)

Being a southpaw, decent rifles are hard to come by. Very few rifle makers offer their wares to us lefties. And even fewer still offer them in the caliber I was looking for, .308 Win. Oh, I could have had all kinds of stuff from Remington, Ruger, and others in calibers ranging from .204 Ruger all the way up to .375 H&H. But .308 was very few manufacturers list of chamberings.

My first left handed rifle in .308 was a Savage Model 10GLXP3. A decent enough gun, the Savage. Excellent trigger in the Accu-Trigger, but the rest of the gun left a lot to be desired. It was too light, firstly, and was not fun to shoot because of this. Secondly, the parts seemed to be made of pot metal. Lastly, the stock looked to be made from something besides walnut. Oh, it looked like walnut, but if I were to scratch the surface finish off, I'm betting it would've been a white colored wood under there.

Last spring, I scared up a used Ruger M77 Hawkeye in .308. Very good gun, easy to shoot with enough weight to absorb the recoil. She came with a Leupold VX-1 2-7x33mm scope sitting on top. The previous owner had glass bedded her, and she shoots like a dream.

Last Friday, I was down at the local funstore here in RC, and was ogling a newish left handed 700 chambered in '06. Nice dark walnut stock, mounted iron sights, and just an all around good looking gun. Talking with the sales dude, I was lamenting the fact that Big Green had offered the left handed 700 in every caliber under the sun EXCEPT .308 in their hunting line. The only place you could find a lefty 700 in .308 was in either their line (XCR) or the police line (SPS). On my way out the door, I talked with the owner and passed along my frustration at not being able to obtain what I was after. He didn't miss a beat in telling me that he had, in fact, put out a left handed 700 in .308 that very afternoon. Talk about a dose of cold water.

TOTAL AWESOMENESS!!! That's what I wanted to hear! So I had them put it back for me and yesterday I went and traded that Savage Model 10GLXP3 towards that 700. After adding a Sightron S1 3-9x40 scope and Leupold bases and two-piece base, the total OTD was right at $504.

So yes, Louise, I'm now a member of the Remington 700 club.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

He's Hit Everything He's Aimed At, Carter

Bonus plug for an obscure western movie reference, that being John Cleese from 'Silverado' commenting on the fact that Danny Glover's character 'Mel', was shooting at a trailing possee not to hurt them, but to scare them away. He also says, after having his hat shot off his noggin, 'Today, my jurisdiction ends HERE!'.

Why do I bring this up? Well, there was an editorial in the Casper Star today talking about how great the One is.

From his 'landmark' health care legislation, to the 'financial reform', everything the One wanted, he got. Or as John Cleese remarked 'He's hit everything he's aimed at, Carter!'

Where I diverge from the letter writer is this. All those pieces of the One's legislative agenda were precisely what pushed the greatest mid-term turnover in over 70 yrs. Over 60 seats in the House of Representin'.

What the letter writer fails to comprehend is that this is not a left-of-center country. We are a center-right bunch who tend to think that the .gov needs to stay in the nifty little boundaries set forth in that 223 yr old piece of parchment commonly referred to as 'The Constitution of The United States', most notably the enumerated powers spelled out in Article 1, Section 8.

No where in this document does it lay out the foundation for the unprecedented power grab seen these last 2 yrs. Even under the most twisted of logic, these grabs don't pass the smell test. Personnal mandates to purchase? Uh-uh. Federal ownership of two car companies? Nope, not there either. Taking over student loans? Sorry, that ain't in there either.

Now, adding 4 million acres to the federal land regsiter? Can't quite see that either, as outside of post offices and military reservations, the USGOV can't own land.

See what these...folks...don't want to admit is, all of the cool little college/univeristy experiments that worked so well in the labs of their progressive icons don't work out so well in the real world. See California, where they're in the hole $40 million per day paying off pension liabilities. Or New York, where they've comtemplated a sugar tax to help pay for all those little entitlement programs that work oh so well.

Nope, they can keep all those little social experiments to themselves, thank you very much.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Whew...What a Week and a Half!

It's been a week and a half since the twins arrived. What a whirlwind! Wife spent 4 days and 3 nights in the hospital. Got the babies home a week from today, and got met by 'The Nanny' (our 10 yr old cat), who's not entirely sure about the new additions to Casa De Hazmat. She got a courtesy sniff of the little ones as soon they arrived and has since decided that whenever they're in the room, she's not.

As advertised, sleep has been something of an illusion so far. Their feeding schedule is 0600, 1000, 1400, 1800, 2000, and 0200. Which gives us around 3-4 hrs of sleep at night between feedings.

They also had their first trip to the doctors office today. So far, he's the 'big' brother, weighing in at 6 lbs, 3 oz to her 5 lbs 15 oz. He also has an inch on her, 20" to 19". There was also a noggin circumference done, but I can't remember the numbers there. All told, they are growing right along, right where they're supposed to be.

It has been a running joke since we found out the wife was pregnant that these two would probably be the most heavily armed children around. Between the AK collection and the 1911 collection, (now at 9, BTW with the addition of a Series 70 Colt Gov't in 9mm) plus a couple of shotguns for good measure, the twins won't lack for protection around the house.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Happiest Day Of My Life

Today, I became a father for the first real time in my life. My wife gave birth to twins at 0823 this morning. A boy, weighing 5 lbs, 15 oz measuring 18.5", and a girl weighing 5 lbs 7 oz measuring 17.75".

The reason I say first real time, is that my other two children were born in my absence, the oldest (God rest his soul) was born while I was in Germany and I didnmt get to see him in person for almost 2 years. My next youngest, was born in another state.

So to be there when these two were born was a special day. The best.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good To See My Hometown In the News

It's not very often my hometown gets a mention in anything other than statewide press, so to see this piece on a Denver website, is kind of nice.

You see, the only other times my hometown made any news outside the state was when, back in the early '80's, a guy went on a rampage through a section of town with a D-9 bulldozer and in the early '90's when an assistant principle with the high school was caught in the buff, ummmm talking, to the Welding Class teacher who was also in the buff, by the assistant principle's professional photographer husband in a local city park picnic area. (The welding shop teacher was wounded by a gun shot to the upper inside portion of his left thigh, leaving little doubt about what the enraged husband was aiming for.)

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Gun Club in the linked article, as if you're over the age of 18, you need to purchase a membership to shoot there, even if you're just a guest of someone else.

The range is nice, shooting areas are well maintained, and it's centrally located in town. As they say, the only other approved range in the county is 10 miles east of town and it costs between $5 and $6 per gun to shoot there, per person plus target and hearing protection if you don't have any. So, the $33 per year it costs to be a member ain't all that bad.

After I came across this article this morning, it seems the City Council has done something to endear themselves to the good people of Gillette. Though it's only a tentative step in the right direction, maybe the town 'leaders' will see the light and leave the Range alone.

We'll see, I guess.

Something Don't Smell Kosher Here

Doing a little Google news wandering this morning and came across this.

A couple members of the local 5-0 are suing a gun store because someone bought a gun legally from them, that was then used to try to kill said officers.

Now, I'm not from WI, so I'm not all up on their gun laws like I am here in SD, but it would seem to me that this shouldn't get out of the starting blocks and here's why.

When the store made the sale, they did so pursuant to the applicable laws of the state of WI, and under GCA 68. Meaning, they did all the paperwork required under federal law (filling out the old Form 4473, which lying on could be a felony punishable by prison time) and from other sources waited the appropriate time also required under WI law.

Reading up on this, I found this little gem by Dennis Hennigan of the Brady Bunch. Now, I'm no scholar on things legal, but it would seem that if the gun in question was purchased from the store, and the buyer was a prohibited person, then either one of two things occurred. First, the buyer lied on the form, which in itself is illegal. The other is that the NICS check was delayed and after the mandatory 3 day wait, the sale was allowed to proceed per federal law.

(See also in the above linked piece the part about the 'assault weapon, high capacity mag, and *GASP* flash suppressor! A masterful piece of scare tactics I must say....NOT!)

Either way, I can't imagine a store with the issues that are purported to follow this one around, there would be a case where the store owner knowingly sold a gun to a prohibited person.

Like I said, something don't smell kosher on this, especially when the Brady Bunch is involved.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Un-Effing-Believable

I've been a Bronco fan my whole life. Been watching Denver games since I was old enought to watch TV. I've seen some pretty pathetic performances over the years, all those Super Bowl losses, and watched them give up leads of 30 or more points to lose in the final minutes of the game.

But todays, I don't even want to dignify it as a game, ass whupping was something I thought I'd never see. There used to be jokes about Denver's schedule. You know, playing Sister Mary's School for the Blind and Cub Scout Pack 22. But I seriously think that wasn't who they were playing, but who was actually on the team this afternoon.

Josh McDaniels challenged his teams toughness last week before the Jets game. I don't think there's any question anymore. What I saw today was a team that just laid down and died on the field.

Oh, you could say they were outplayed, and they were. By a team that could only put up 9 points last week.

There was only one time in all the years that I've been a watching your games that I was embarrassed to be a Bronco fan, and that was when they got their ass handed to them by San Fran, 55-10, in Super Bowl XXIV. Today was by far much worse. 59-14? To Oakland? Really guys? I think the only thing that could have been worse was losing to Detroit or Buffalo.

I'm not challenging your toughness, but your manhood. Man up. Play like like you've got something worth fighting for. I swear, it almost seemed like you didn't even want to play today. I realize it's the Sabbath and all, but c'mon. Does anyone on the defense even know their way to the quarterback? Does anyone on the defense know how to tackle?

Offensively, you know that little round oblong thing that the refs put on the ground at the start of every play? You know, the FOOTBALL? Yeah, that thing is supposed to stay with the folks who have the same colored shirt you have on. Not the guy wearing other team's colors, and it most definitely does not go to the guy who has a free shot at your end zone. It also does not get dropped on the ground for those same other folks to pick up. Got it?

And if you do all that correctly, could you at least try to make at least 10 yds in the number of downs given? I'm not asking much, just the occasional first down every once in a while. The punter should not be getting the lion share of time on the field unless he's holding for the kicker on a point-after or field goal.

I'm not sure how many team-low records you set for yourselves today, as I could only watch until the Raiders were already up by 38 POINTS.

Gad. Get it together.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Awww, Poor Baby

just caught the post game wrap up from the bear/giants game.

Crybaby extrordinairre, Jay Cutler got bagged 9 times in the first half, and left the game exclaiming "I'm Batman" with a concussion.

BTW, tying this from my phone, so fingers crossed...

Finally Made The Plunge

After starting out in handloading with a little Lee hand press (let me tell you doing 100 rds of .45 ACP was wondermous with THAT set up) about 4 yrs ago, for Christmas 2 yrs ago, my wife got me an RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master reloading kit.

Man, what an improvement. I could actually sit down and load ammo in a normal fashion. It works great for fine tuning loads for hunting and for precision work (not that I'm any kind of a precise marksman). Which will still be its primary function.

But doing bulk reloading was getting to be too much. When I got into the 10mm thing (on top of the .45 ACP thing) last winter/spring, ammo was scarce and components were even worse. So I bought stuff when/where I could. In doing so, I wound up with over 1k pieces of 10mm brass. Using that little RC single stage press took me the better part of 2 months to push out that 1000+ rds of 10mm.

So, I'd been really thinking long and hard about getting a Dillon. Specifically for reloading bulk ammo. But, in looking through the Blue Press (for those of you not in the 'know', the Blue Press is Dillon's catalog) it came down to either the RL 550B, or the 650B.

Decisions, decisions.

So, this past Thursday, I was walking through one of our local big box sporting goods stores and noticed an RL 550B on display. After some questioning back and forth betwixt me and the salesdude, I'm heading out the door the proud owner of a brand spanking new Dillon RL 550B press.

Cost? $50 under book. And without the shipping charges of ordering it from said catalog. Since then, I've got conversion plates for .45 ACP, .40 S&W/10mm, AND .41 Mag. The only other one I need is .308 and I'll be cranking out bulk ammo like a madman.

The sad part is, due to events this weekend, I was unable to get it set up. Between my brother showing up yesterday afternoon, a full afternoon today of watching an absolutely amazing game between my Broncos and the Titans, getting car seats for Hazmat A&B (who are due at any time I might add) and some persistent neck issues, I didn't get much done save getting the area cleared off to set it up. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rest In Peace, SSgt Bryan Berky

UPDATE: Yesterday, there was a dedication ceremony in the ring of the fallen at Ellsworth AFB, honoring SSgt Berky. Here is the memorial dedicated to his memory:



On Saturday morning, 12 Sep, SSgt Berky made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, leaving behind a wife and 9-month old son.

I didn't know SSgt Berky well, but I knew him. A great sense of humor and being an EOD troop, dedicated to his job. I got the sense that being around him, you couldn't help but smile.



Lo there, do I see my father,


Lo there, do I see my mother


and my sisters and my brothers.




Lo there, do I see the line of my people,


back to the beginning




Lo, they do call to me,


they bid me to take my place among them


in the halls of Valhalla,


Where the brave may live forever

Rest in peace, brother. You have earned your place in Valhalla.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Another Hollyweird Remake

Just when you thought all the originality in Hollyweird was gone, and they couldn't possibly remake ANOTHER classic movie, along comes the Coen Brothers. You know, of 'Fargo', and 'Oh Brother Where Art Though' fame.

Here's the trailer.



Now, I'll give the brothers credit where credit is due. I've seen 'Oh Brother', and probably a couple of other of their films, but I'm out to lunch on this one.

This is the movie that gave us one of the most famous and memorable scenes from a western:



Now, in the interest of honesty, I have seen some of the recent Hollyweird remakes, and they were pretty good. 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (Side bar question: Is it still a remake if the guy who originally did the film is behind the remake?), Both of the 'Halloween' movies by Rob Zombie, and of course Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in 'Walking Tall'. '3:10 To Yuma' wasn't bad, but in the interest of full disclosure, I didn't see the original. 'Last House on the Left' was pretty good, considering, again, I didn't see the original.

Some were so awful I can't even begin to describe them, like the remake starring Sly Stallone playing the part of a gangster that was originally played by Michael Caine, or 'I Know You're Home Alone' or some such nonsense.

Will I go see the remake of True Grit at the theater? Don't rightly know. Could I keep my head out of the old John Wayne classic and watch this from a fresh perspective? Again, I don't know.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gun Control in the 20th Century

I've long held the belief that our current crop of gun control owes it's origins with the Volstead Act.

The Volstead Act, you'll recall was Prohibition. Because of the complete ban on alcohol, organized crime exploded. As did the tools of their trade. 1928 Thompsons and BARs were the stock and trade of the gangsters of the era (Capone, Segal, Lucky Luciano), as well as the bank robbing bandits that terrorized the heartland between 1929 and 1935. Think Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Machine Gun Kelly, and Ma Barker.

To combat this threat, the government, in its infinite wisdom thought they could thwart the tools these desperadoes used by creating a tax on these and other weapons; most notably short barrelled rifles, short barrelled shotguns, suppressors, and any other class of firearms deemed by executive fiat to be too dangerous for the general public to own, like zip guns and cane guns.

Since the National Firearms Act of 1934, and its subsequent court case, US v Miller, the door has been pretty much wide-open, at least on the federal level. That is until Heller v DC and McDonald v Chicago.

One of the most sneaky and underhanded pieces of legislation since the Gun Control Act of 1968 was the Hughes Amendment. This little gem, while billed at being a boon to gun owners and check on the power of the ATF, actually cut gun owners off at the knees. Prior to that fateful day, one could produce an ATF form 1 and manufacture a fully automatic machine gun. Since then, only ATF certified dealers who meet specific criteria can manufacture full-auto firearms. What this has effectively done is create a market where only the truly rich can afford these weapons. Prices of full auto firearms are at a point where one has to have a lot of disposable income to afford one. No other class of firearms covered by the NFA was affected.

Think, for a minute. You're a gun owner and veteran and would like to have a fully functional M16 or M14 like the one you carried in Vietnam or Desert Storm. Unless you can afford the cost of brand new car, this is likely not going to happen. Think I'm lying? Do an Internet search for 'Class 3 weapons" and get back with me on the price. When met with a choice between a decent used car or that original Colt/Armalite AR15 for $12,000+, which are you going to make?

My thing going forward from McDonald and Heller would be to challenge the Hughes Amendment and its blanket ban on manufacture of post May 1986 machine guns. Talk about class warfare, here you have it. Only the rich can afford these weapons. Where else in our system of laws do we allow certain portions of a right to be outright banned? We don't have literacy tests for voting, you can still read books printed/written 2000 years ago, and there's no tax on going to the house of worship of your choice.

Now others will disagree with me. Fine. My argument for them is this. If I'm trustworthy enough to walk into a gun store and buy anything with a barrel length of 16" or greater (or 18" for a shotgun), what suddenly makes me so terrible that I can't be trusted with something that fires more than one bullet per pull of the trigger?

Others will scream bloody murder (pardon the pun) about their investments. I understand. But my rights are not about your investment and are not subject to a market artificially created by government fiat.

Dale Jr, Redux

I noticed that I've got a couple of visits about my screed regarding Dale Jr. Maybe one of those hits was from Junior himself.

I stand behind what I said. I love the guy to death, always had a soft spot for him even before Senior passed away. I like seeing him succeed.

But what I've been seeing from him since the BS started over at DEI between him and that thing that called herself Dale Sr.s wife, it's been a downhill spiral ever since.

My wife thinks the start of his problems began with the wreck he had at Sonoma in the Corvette that caught fire. I call BS. He won races after that, during his last stint in the Chase.

Maybe his Daddy was from a different breed. I don't know, breaking your sternum and putting your ca on the pole at Watkins Glen seems to be from a by-gone era.

The only thing I can deduce from watching almost every single race between then and now is that he has become scared of the equipment he routinely operates on a weekly basis.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kinda Puts Things Into Perspective

Over at Lady Tam's place, it's been a bad couple of weeks. First, they had a death in the family.

That was followed by even more grim news today.

This led me to think about our family pet, Shadow.

Shadow is my wife's kitty since before I moved in. She was literally a stray from up the street. She's a long haired kitty, what they refer to as a Nermal. Fur so dark brown it's almost black and sheds enough you could literally knit another just from the hair sucked up in the vacuum or from the brush.

Anyway, in the 8 years since I moved in, as I explained in comments over at Tams place, she's become our Nanny. She will let us know when it's time to go to bed, when it's time to get up, when it's time to eat (of course), and will even comfort either or both of us when we're under the weather. She also tucks us in at bedtime before she hits her food dish before returning to the bed to ensure we're all comfy and sleeping. Shadow has also been known to let us know when we have company, whether it's of the physical kind, or when it's of the unseen variety.

And since Mrs. Hazmat is expecting twins (due mid-November, boy and girl) , she's taken to following my wife around to make sure everything's OK. From going to the fridge all the way to escorting her to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

What happened with Miss Tam and Bobbi got me to thinking what my wife and I would do if we ever lost Shadow. For sure, there would be a terrible hole in our lives. Not having our alarm clock or chaperon for bedtime would be sorely missed. But also the other things. The little things that cat owners and lovers always get a kick out of. Like running at full bore down the hallway in order to beat us to bed, only to run headlong into the end of the bed, misjudging the speed and catapult angle when attempting this feet of daredevil only cats are capable of. Or the remote control kitty spot, the one where when you scratch it just right, you can make the kitty clean herself uncontrollably for as long as you've hit the 'spot'.

My wife is very emotional when it comes to her kitty. Losing her bestest friend in the world (besides me) would literally tear her up. She and I both would be lost without her. I pray that Shadow lives a long and healthy life.

I feel for Tam and Bobbi and the loss they've suffered. I can imagine losing one pet. I cannot begin to fathom the grief that accompanies the loss of two pets in less than two weeks. My condolences on your loss, ladies, I wish there was something I could do.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Parts Bleg

I'm going to be the proud owner of a 7.62x39 AKS-47U parts kit in the next week or so. In order to expedite the Form 1 process, I'm in need of an NDS 1KP receiver.

I've contacted Harlan at NoDak Spud receivers, and he's not planning another run until maybe November.

Does anyone have a NDS 1 KP receiver they would be willing to sell me?

Just drop a comment or email me at thunderriverhomeATgmaildotcom.

Thanks!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Open Letter to Dale Earnhardt, Jr

I'm going to take a break from my usual blog fare to write an open letter to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., supposed driver of the number 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevrolet Impala.

I've been a loyal fan of your family for as long as I can remember, and I write this as a concerned lifelong Earnhardt fan.

Dude, what the hell is going on? I've been watching you race in the Cup series since your rookie season, and watched you win 2 Busch series championships, and I can honestly say that who ever is driving the 88 this year ain't the guy who I watched win the Daytona 500, 5 Talledega races, and 11 other events.

Seriously, when did you decide to let the guy selling T-shirts out front of the track start driving? Are you that scared to wreck that you really forgot where on the floor board they put the gas pedal? Tonight in Richmond, if there was a record for passing the most cars while heading to the back of the pack without wrecking, you would have it. The only thing I've seen fall faster than you in a race was the anchor on the last boat I was on. I've watched you have good runs, usually in the top 5-10, only to finish somewhere behind the start and park crowd. I think the pace car actually passed and lapped you, and he spent most of the night parked on pit road.

It would be very easy to blame the crew and crew chief, but they're only as good as the guy giving them information on how the car is performing. And bud, that message ain't getting through. The best and brightest at Hendrick Motorsports are at your disposal, and it's almost like you're in your own little world, completely ignorant of what your teammates are doing and what they have to offer. Three of the best drivers in motorsports are just a phone call away and it seems they might as well not even exist.

It's really telling when guys who have a limited budget and only one car in their team, yet they can somehow manage to finish higher in the race than you can.

When Paul Menard can run better than you, and he's been said to only be able to run fast enough to get in everybody's way can finish higher than you, you've got problems.

Sounds to me like you need one of those 'Ricky Bobby' interventions. Somebody needs to show you where the gas pedal is in your car, either that or Lance McGrew needs to put a bigger one in.

Dude, if you're that scared of wrecking, just hang it up. Seriously. If all you're going to do is ride around and take up space on the track, I'm sure there are some up-and-comers in the Nationwide, Camping World Truck, or ARCA racing series who would be up for the task. At least Darrel Waltrip and Rusty Wallace knew when it was time to hang it up. Because right now, whatever it is you're doing, it ain't working.

It's gut-check time, bud. Grow a pair and find the driver (not the rider) who ran away from the pack in Texas in 2000, or just go back to your party bar in North Carolina and watch the race from the comfort and safety of your couch.

If you (or anyone else for that matter) has a problem with what I've written, tough. Take a long look in the mirror and think long and hard about who you are and what you've become. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only Earnhardt fan out there who is sorely disappointed in you and what's become of you.

My wife, who's a bigger fan of yours than I am says I'm being mean. I say it's tough love. Somebody has to say it, and it might as well be me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Buffalo Chip Machine Gun Shoot, Wrap Up Edition

Well, another Rally has come and gone. More rounds were put down range in one week than I could ever hope to fire in 5 yrs, and I'm left with a great sense of satisfaction.

One of the best things about this week was getting to meet new folks, not only from around the local area, but from literally around the world. France, Germany, England, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other countries I wasn't able to personally verify. For those folks, if they weren't in the military in their respective home countries, this was the first and possibly only time they will ever get to fire a gun of any kind, let alone the fully automatic ones we had. For those folks who I had the privilege of helping out, I hope I left them with a positive image of American gun ownership and safety.

There were also several times over the course of the week where I had the opportunity to give an American their first taste of firing a gun. Some went big and tried the .50 sniper rifle, while others went with something that didn't require a lot, like the M1919 Browning machine gun. A smile and a helping hand in picking out a gun for them to shoot, coupled with the smile on their face that one shooter said "you couldn't knock off their face with a ball bat" made it all worth while.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn't thank the guys who made this all possible, the fine folks from Guns of Freedom. While it was nice to get paid, what I did this last week wasn't about money. It was about having fun, helping people out, and meeting new folks. Money was secondary in everything. Don't get me wrong, money's nice, but the reasons why I did it are more important. From helping the guys out with getting Gatorade when it was nasty hot, to getting buckets to put the brass in when it was clear we were running out of room, to getting more spray oil for the guns when it was obvious we were running out quickly, it wasn't about money. I was just happy to help out.

Of course, it wouldn't be Sturgis if you didn't run into a celebrity once in a while. And I ran into some really nice guys. Brett Michaels and Rupert from Survivor are two of the nicest guys I've ever met. I hope to run into them again in the future.

Well, there you have it. I can't wait for next year.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Buffalo Chip Machine Gun Shoot, Day 7

Well, the 7th and final day has come and gone. Today was a little slower than the rest, due partly to Mother Nature (it was only in the mid-60s when I got there) and this being the last day of this year's Rally.

Worked about 4 hrs today, and I felt bad about leaving early. I mean, I did help make some of the mess that the crew had to clean up. But Mrs Hazmat wanted to go out to dinner tonight, and since she's been so understanding with this whole Machine Gun Shoot thing, and not getting upset with the hours I've been working, she deserved a good dinner at the Olive Garden.

So lets talk about today's festivities. As with the rest of the week, Eugene Stoner, John Thompson, and Mikhail Kalashnikov were well represented, with Uziel Gal getting to the Top 4. Had a group of Aussies show up this morning and they were a hoot. All of them were great sports in spite of the 65 degree weather and the chilly 30 mph cross wind.

Had our last obligatory celebrity sighting, as Rupert from Survivor, as well as the Big Boss (Ron Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip Campground and Shooting Complex) came by this afternoon to do a little shooting. That was about the time I had to get going for home. I wish I could've stayed to watch and talk some more with Rupert. He's one of the genuinely nicest guys I've had the opportunity to meet. Got a picture with him, but as with the others, in the interests of privacy (his and mine) I won't be posting it here.

The cool thing was, we had just enough ammunition to finish out the week. When I left, the Big Boss was putting the last 20 rds through the M-2 HB. There was only about 200 rds of 8mm left for the Kitty Kat, and we had to load 7 more mags for the Uzis. Had plenty of mags for the AKs and there were 4 mags left for the Thompsons.

All in all, I think this year was a smashing success. Stay tuned, as tomorrow as I'll wrap up the week with a little AAR and my thoughts.

Buffalo Chip Machine Gun Shoot, Day 6

Day six was a little slower than the rest, but no less busy. Arrived to find a few people standing around eyeballing the hardware, but not shooting. That didn't last long, because within about 10 minutes of my arrival it started. It wasn't as hustle-and-bustle as the the previous days, but it was steady.

Again, the most popular guys on the line were John Thompson, Eugene Stoner, Mikhail Kalashnikov, and John Moses Browning (peace be upon him!). But we also had another addition to the popularity chart, Uziel Gal. There were a lot of folks who wanted to shoot his little creation.

Anyway, here's some pics of how much brass we went through. These are only 3 of the 9 buckets we filled this week, and we've still got one more day left.






So, to complete today's post, here's some video of some of the festivities that took place. First up is the bowling ball cannon:

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Next up, is 30 rds through Ma Duece:

Photobucket

Well, that's it for now. I hope to have more and a wrap up/AAR posted by Sunday.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Buffalo Chip Machine Gun Shoot, Day 5

Wow. Day 5 came and went the same as all the rest of them. Another day of hitting the ground running at not getting a sizable break in the action until around 6. We were so busy, I didn't get the chance to get any pics.

So far, General John Thompson, John Moses Browning (peace be upon him!), Eugene Stoner, and Mikhail Kalashnikov have been the 4 most popular guys on the line. You guessed it, the Thompson machine gun (between the 1927A1 and M1), both the M1919 and M2, the M16, and the AK-47 have been the most popular on the line this year. Oh, there's been a few shoot the MP-5s, and Hiram Maxim's 1910 Russian model has had it's share of business, but compared to the other 4, they've done next to nothing.

Had our second obligatory celebrity sighting about 30 minutes after I got on the line as Jackyll and the crew from TruTV made their appearance. This on the heels of Wednesday's arrival of Brett Michaels and the VH1 crew.

As far as international support, we've had Danes, Dutch, Germans, and had all the major players of the former British Empire come through. Aussies, Kiwi's, Canadians, and we had our first two Brits yesterday. What's great about having those folks come through is this is probably the only time in their lives they'll be able to shoot something like this. As one shooter put it yesterday, when you're done shooting, they won't be able to knock the grin on your face off with a baseball bat. I can attest to this fact. I've found that the longer the trigger is held down, the bigger the smile at the end.

This year has been so much better than the last couple of years where there was a) not enough people showing up, or b) Mother Nature had other plans. The Boss has been concerned about making enough money to cover expenses this year, but based on the numbers of folks we've been seeing, I don't think he's gonna have to worry about that.

To give you an idea of how much we've been shooting this week, we've filled 6 5-gallon buckets with brass. That's not including the steel and aluminum cased stuff we've been throwing back. We couldn't even clean up the line yesterday because we had no place to put the brass.

So hopefully today I'll be able to get some pics of the festivities and get them up for y'all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Buffalo Chip Machine Gun Shoot, Day 4

Hit the ground running again yesterday, had a line of folks waiting to shoot when I got there. Talking to the guys on the line, they were in line waiting at 0930. And it stayed that way pretty much all day long. We got our first real break around 6.


Also had our first obligatory celebrity sighting. Brett Michaels showed up to shoot, and was probably the most personable celebrity I've met. I got a picture with him, but in the interest of privacy, I'll be holding onto that one.


Anyway, here's a few pics of the line during a small break in the action.

Oddly enough, the most popular weapon on the line was Ma-Duece. One lady put 60 rds through her at a cost of $60 per 10.



The next most popular was 'Kitty Kat". An M1919 in 8mm with a chopped barrel. As you can see, picking up the brass at the end of the day was a little easier than the other weapons on the line.



A look down the line. Just as I was getting ready to start cleaning up, here came the entourage.




This is where we've shooting the sub-guns and assault rifles. This way other shooters on the line don't get showered in spent cases. BTW, when we were able to clean up, I filled that bucket a third of way up with the brass in this picture. That's not including the steel cased stuff that was thrown out front of the line.



So, as you can see, we've been busy the last couple of days. Today shouldn't be much different. If I can, I'll post the pics from today's shooting tonite. But if not, I'll be sure to have them up tomorrow morning. See you then!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buffalo Chip Machine Gun Shoot, Days 2 & 3

Sorry for the delay in getting the updates up, the other night saw me head into the Buffalo Chip to work the booth we had set up. Didn't know who was playing, but as soon as they started, it was pretty obvious.

If you look really close, you can almost make out Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons. Yup, ZZ Top was headlining that night. From our vantage point, they were about an inch and a half tall.


So, you're probably wondering just what actually happened at the shoot. Well, I've got some pictures of the idiot who put a camper at the back end of the range.
Here's a better picture of the baffle we installed with the help of the construction crew from the Chip.

Not much to report on Day 2, it was pretty busy when I arrived, and didn't let up until some weather moved in around 3. Once the weather moved off, it was right back at it until Mother Nature shut us down at dark.

Day 3 started the same as Day 2. Arrived to find a line of folks waiting to shoot. We were hustling pretty good until around 6. What effectively shut us down was last nights event, Kid Rock.

As you can see, we were pretty busy. We didn't even have time to clean up the brass. We weren't able to clean up until around 6 or so.



One highlight of the shoot so far has been the use of Star Targets. They're a binary explosive similar to Tannerite. When mixed, it takes a high velocity impact to set them off. .50 BMG usually does the trick.



Sunday, August 8, 2010

2010 Buffalo Chip Machine Gun Shoot, Day 1

Well, Day 1 for me anyway. The guys have been there since Friday.



Got there a Little after noon, and things were at a standstill. Seems the guy who owns the land behind the Shoot site, put a guy up in a camper at the top of the hill over looking the range, about 700 yds from our firing line.



So the owner of the range decided that baffles had to be installed post-haste in an attempt to keep the boowits from hitting this pwecious wittwe camper.



(Only one guy put any holes in the new baffle we installed, and he put two in it. The bonus is, he's a cop. Go figure, eh?)



After a 3 hour delay getting that set up, we were off and running. Had around, I dunno, about 30 or 40 come through in the next 5 hrs. Not bad.



The most popular weapon today had to be the .50 BMG rifle. Next on the list was the M1919 in 8mm.

If you look in the top portion of the pic, you can see the new baffle we installed. This was before the UMP .45 and 1927A1 each put holes in it.

Well, that's it for today, I'll try to put more up tomorrow with a report on how things went.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

Was listening to a call-in conservative radio show today on my satellite radio and this question came up.

"What kind of impression do you think the current administration has made so far?"

What immediately went through my mind was "A divot in the forehead made by the ball end of a 2 lb ball-peen hammer."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Buffal Chip Machine Gun Shoot

For the last 3 years, the fine folks from Guns of Freedom have been doing a machine gun shoot and rental at the Buffalo Chip Shooting Complex east of Sturgis.

This year is no exception. They'll be there again, with Mother Deuce, a couple of MG-42s, a few M-1919s, a 1910 Russian Maxim, a Mag-58, and enough shoulder-fired hardware to whet your appetite. There's also be a .50 BMG rifle, a .500 S&W revolver, and loads of Tannerite. I sincerely hope they bring the bowling ball cannon back this year. That was a real treat.

So if you're planning on hitting the Sturgis Rally and Races this year, go hit the Shoot. It's a blast!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scarrrry!

If this doesn't piss you off, I don't know what will.

(hat tip to Radley Balko from The Agitator)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DISCLOSE Act Dead

Well, it seems that the minority party managed to block passage of the of the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (D.I.S.C.L.O.S.E.) Act.

For those keeping score at home, the NRA got themselves on the wrong side of the issue when the House of Representin' carved out an exemption that made everyone else disclose who their largest donors were for political ads.

By a 57-41 margin, the measure fell on the Senate floor. I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Udate On The Bad Week

It's been about almost two weeks since my Week From Hell, so an update is in order.

First, my Mother. Broke two ribs on the left side, two lateral fractures on the right side of her pelvis, and 7 staples in her forehead. All in all, she got away pretty clean from what could have been an otherwise nasty wreck. Talking to my Dad, if the 4-wheeler had flipped over one more time, it would've landed right on top of her.

As of right now, she has no recollection of the accident itself. Just before the accident is clear and then sitting on the running board of the 4-wheeler with my Dad talking to her.

My cousin, is good news and getting better. Seems she was having constant migraines as the result of work related injuries. The docs were just kind of paying lip service to the issue and kicking the can just far enough down the road to not do any good. After 2 yrs of constant headaches, she was after anything that would take the pain away.

Fortunately, when she did what she did, drinking antifreeze, she immediately threw it up, but there was enough in her system that it attacked her kidneys which resulted in a trip to the ER in Colorado Springs.

The good news in all of this is she's getting the help she needs.

So, there's the long and short of it. Everything came out all right. Thank God.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bad Day, Yet Again

So, it seems today was NOT a good day.

First, I find out my cousin down in CO tried to commit suicide last weekend. The worst part was no one took her seriously until it was almost too late. She's in ICU and is expected to recover, though she will have on-going issues.

As if that weren't enough, tonight I got a phone call from my Dad that my Mother was involved in a 4-wheeler accident today.

Preliminary reports are that she's got a rather large cut on her head, bruises from stem to stern, and a broken pelvis. She was life-flighted from Sundance to the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper around 1730 MDT today. I'll be heading out first thing in the morning on my way to Gillette to meet up with my Dad and Brother, and then on to Casper.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What Is It...

About Big Box sporting goods stores and left handed people? We've got 2 here in RC, Cabela's and Scheels. I went looking for an inside-the-waistband holster for my Ultra-Raptor today. Both stores had plenty of IWB holsters on the racks, but nary a one, IWB or otherwise, for leftys. Now, in Cabela's defense, they have had lefty holsters on their racks before, but it's a hit-and-miss thing with them. Scheels? Not a one, ever.

Now I know that left handed folks are a numerical minority, but come on, really? Is it so hard to stock a FEW things for us southpaws? Kinda makes me feel about like a second class citizen. 'I'm sorry sir, but we don't stock them. We could order one for you...'

If I wanted it ordered, I would have ordered it and not came into the store looking for it, mmmkay?! Isn't that the point of having stores? So you don't have to order a product from either a catalog or online?

Is it too much to ask to be able to walk into a store and find something, ANYTHING, for a southpaw in the gun section of a Big Box sporting goods store?

It's enough to piss a fella off...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gots Me an Idea...

So, I know there's a couple of folks out there who stop by occasionally. I would like your opinion.

What would you all think if I took this (Saiga .308):


(pic borrowed from this Gunbroker auction)

And turned it in to this (AKS-74U), in .308 of course:


Think it'd be too much? Or would it be sublimely evil? Thoughts? Prayers?

Edit to Add: Am bumping this up for a couple of days to see what kind of reaction I'm going to get.

It's Enough To Piss a Feller Off

Wondering the AlGorian intertubz this afternoon, checking the links on the right side of the page and came across a couple of really egregious stories.

First up we have this little gem via Sispey Street and WoG. Seems that a be-ridden grandmother was tased by an overly aggressive PD down in Oklahoma. That she did not succumb to the torture these imbeciles in blue subjected her to is both a testament to her spirit and a blessing. I'm sure that had she expired from the wounds and treatment inflicted upon her by her captors, it would have been deemed as 'within department protocol'.

Second, we have this from Joe Huffman, video here. Seems an amputee was singled out for 'extra security' at an unnamed airport in Kaliforn-I-A. While not being particularly troublesome before, the numbnuts in TSA got all kinds of cry-baby-pissy-pants when her young son tried to go to Mommy. This, evidently, led to an almost pedophilic moment where the goons from TSA copped a look at the young lads privates to ensure there weren't any 'explosives' hidden in his diaper. (For a bit of irony, it would have been the ultimate irony had the young'un dropped a particularly nasty radioactive load in his Pampers, wouldn't it? Better yet, the supreme irony would've been if he'd done it while being leered at by said baby diddler.)

All this led to a 'rule change' just for her. Not only was she subjected to the humiliation this extra screening brought on, but they potentially could have cost her even more of the limb by exposing her to bacteria and germs that don't go well with amputations.

My bet, is in neither one of these cases will anyone be held to account for their actions. And that, folks, is what has become of the once Great United States. A petty tyrant on every corner.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Met A Real Celebrity Today!


So, I took the day off from work to go wonder around the tables and see what they had to offer. I've already seen what they've got listed for the auction, so this was an opportunity to see what else was for sale.

Holy Smokes! There's enough vintage and antique Winchesters there to outfit the 7th Cavalry! If I had to venture a guess on how much money is sitting in that room, I'd run out of zeros.

So, while I was wondering the aisles, I passed a guy in a green Hawaiian flowerdy shirt. I thought to myself, 'Self, that guy looked awful familiar, that couldn't have been Michael Bane, could it? Nah...but it looked an awful lot like him didn't it?'

My wonderings took me to a table of vintage Winchesters and Colt Lightnings, and standing there talking up a kid at the table is the guy in the green Hawaiian flowerdy shirt. So, my curiosity getting the best of me, I politely introduced myself by asking the gentleman why he looked awful familiar. Lo and behold, it WAS Michael Bane. Yes, that would be THE Michael Bane. Star of Downrange TV and The Best Defense, and probably the easiest guy to talk to I've ever met at a gun show.

And to prove it, I'm going to break my longstanding rule on putting my face on the interwebz just this once.



My apologies for the grainy picture, the kid taking it wasn't quite sure how run the camera on a Droid. Seems they were in the area doing some filming for an upcoming episode and decided to stop by and see what was what at the show.

But I gots proof that I got to meet THE Michael Bane!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Range Clean Up

Out here in flyover country, or tourist trap, or playground (call it what you will), we have several open, free, and very public gun ranges. There are several around the Hills, the most famous and used one is Beretta Road.

The down side to having these free public ranges is that people think they are their personal target dumping grounds.

Yesterday (that would be June 12th for those keeping track at home) we had a Shoot-N-Clean Day out at Beretta Road. 7 folks showed up, ranging in age from 13 to around late 30's-early 40's. We shot a bunch of different stuff, from AKs in almost every caliber imaginable (5.45x39 all the way up to 12 ga.) to a trap gun to an AR and a 1911. Oh, and one guy brought out his registered FA Uzi in .22.

After the shooting part of the day was over, about 2 hrs after we started, the serious side of the day began, the cleaning part. Aside from the usual stuff folks will use as targets like empty milk and water containers and pop cans, we ran across some, shall we say, interesting items used as targets. We found the equivalent of 7 old TVs that had been shot up (some still mostly intact, others literally in pieces), one computer, 2 monitors, 2 microwaves, a bed, a sofa, part of a boat, half a rack of storage shelves, one either dishwasher or stove (it was partially submerged face down in a creek so we couldn't really tell), a section of exhaust pipe, a light bar from an emergency vehicle complete with inventory number, and enough particle board to make 4 or 5 cabinets.

It's also not unusual to find used condoms and broken beer and licqour bottles laying around the area either.

This is the result of our work, around 5 hrs worth:

The grayish white stuff on the tail of the trailer in the above pic is the remains of a bed we picked up. We also picked up the tattered and ruined remains of a sofa.

Another view:

What you see here is the tip of the iceberg. We only grabbed the big stuff. Not only did we fill the bed of this trailer, the bed of the truck pulling it was full as was the bed of another truck. I brought back 2 bags, as most of what I picked up found its way onto the trailer.

Oh I forgot. We even found a door. In one range we found what appeared to be the remains of somebody's divorce. Broken plates, picture frames and embroidery.

The one things that sticks out in my mind as the worst thing we found was in a creek bed behind one range: there was a plastic bag with the remains of a dog in it. That struck me as wrong on soooo many levels. I certainly hope the animal that was inside was already gone when that sack went into the creek. If it wasn't, I hope whoever did such a cruel and ugly thing roasts in the lowest levels of Hell.

But that, folks, is what we have to deal out here. Some folks are good about picking up after themselves and others not so much. Mostly not so much as you have seen.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More Idiots On PeeRade

Well, the Brady Bunch is at it again. With the release of of the ATF Firearms Trace Data for 2009, we have the proverbial knickers in a knot response from the Brady Campaign.

I haven't had time to sit down and run any data, but from the states I looked up (NY, CA, MA, SD, and WY) the bulk of the 'crime guns' numbers came from inside the state itself. NY had over 1800 trace requests, CA had over 11,000, and MA had over (of course with the most draconian laws in the country, is it any wonder?). SD and WY each were under 200 (167 and 192 respectively) total trace requests. Makes you wonder, don't it?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Overheard In The Gun Store Today

One thing I have to give my new adopted home of Rapid City is they are definitely a tourist trap. We usually see all manner of tourists around here over the course of the summer months, from the odd occasional wandering Canadian to the odd hippie or two, to the bikers that come to town during the Sturgis Rally.

Every once in a while, one will wander through the doors of my second home here, First Stop Gun and Coin. Today was no exception...except for the elderly couple and their grandson.

Grandma: Why don't they have any different books here?

Grandson: Blink....Blink

Grandma: I mean, all they have is books on guns. Don't they have anything else?

Grandson: Blink.....Blink

Grandma: Oh look, here's one on fishing. I wonder why they don't have any other books here other than stuff on Winchester and guns.

Me (to myself): The fact you're standing in a gun store is completely lost on you, isn't it?

I'm From the Government and I'm Here To

Slam! That would be the people of Magnolia Springs, AL slamming the door in the face of the government, both state and federal.

What would make a seemingly sleepy little town on the Magnolia River do such a thing you ask? How about the fact that after repeated attempts to protect their homes and livelihoods from the worst man-made disaster in our nations history, and getting rebuffed by all levels of government, they had to take matters into their own hands.

Bravo to the folks of Magnolia Springs!

Telling, Ain't It?

Why, you'd think the anti's over at the Huffington Post had stumbled upon something...incriminating.


Turns out, nosso much. Try as they might, all their arguments are reduced to jokes about the inadequecies of gun owners and putting things in places that are well, better left to others to describe.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another Grizzly Tale

Out of Jackson today, we get a report that a man, one Stephen Westmoreland, was found guilty of shooting and killing a grizzly bear.

Of all the stuff I've heard about from first hand accounts to tales related around a campfire, this (and they let you know right up front) is the first successful prosecution of somebody killing a bear in self defense.

From what I've read in the linked article, what got him convicted was the fact that the bear was 40 yds away. Now, I'm no genius here, but 40 yds is nothing when you stop to think that your average wide receiver in the NFL can do 40 yds in around 4 seconds. The fastest human runs at around 20 mph and the average pissed off bear can outrun them hands down. There's a reason why they tell you never try to run from a bear. If you do, they'll only chase you down and kill you, and you don't want to die tired.

So to set this straight, according to those in the know, even though they fall all over themselves telling you it ain't so, you've got about 2 seconds to figure out if the bear you've come across on your nature hike is going to come after you for dinner or is just trying to make an impression. Of that 2 seconds, there's that little thing drag racers like to call reaction time. The bear's already made up its mind what it's going to do, so you've got about .5 seconds to figure out what YOU'RE gonna do. And you had better hope it's the right decision, or you may well wind up in jail over it.

The prosecution wanted everyone to know that "This should not be interpreted as a message that you cannot defend yourself." Yeah right. Given the make-up of Teton County over the last 10 yrs, I think that's exactly the message they wanted to convey. Signed, sealed, and delivered.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

And Now A Word From The Opposition

Having gone from trying to beat Starbucks into submission, and failing, Paul Helmke of the Brady Bunch For The Prevention of Gun Ownership is getting his bleat on about the NRA.

What does he have to say? Well, you can read for yourself, here.

Keeping up with the whole 'NRA's all about letting terrorists have guns' thing, he tries to guilt the membership into supporting his point of view.

Supposedly taking a piece from the NRA's pledge in 1954, we get this little gem:

'I certify that I am a citizen of the United States; that I am not a member of any organization that has any part of its program the attempt to overthrow the government of the United States by force or violence; that I have never been convicted of a crime of violence and that if admitted to membership I will fulfill the obligations of good sportsmanship and good citizenship.'

Now, when I got my life membership last year (I upgraded to Endowment this year on the legacy plan) I got a copy of the Bylaws of the National Rifle Association.

Reading said bylaws, Article 3, section 1, paragraph b states:

'No individual who is a member of, and no organization composed in whole or in part of individuals who are members of, any organization or group having as its purpose or one of its purposes the overthrow by force and violence of the Government of the United States or any of its political subdivisions shall be eligible for membership.'

I don't see where the NRA has ever been about giving guns to terrorists. Either by selling them or giving them away. Nobody wants terrorists, or criminals for that matter, to have access to firearms. That said, what the NRA, and a lot of others don't much care for is putting somebody's name on a secret list and then denying them civil rights with no way or hope of ever getting off the super secret squirrel list. There's something about 'lists' that conjures up all kinds of bad history and memories; from the NKVD to the Gestapo to the Stasi to the KGB and the FSB, nobody wants their name on a list for no other reason than somebody, somewhere didn't like the way they looked or acted. Those kinds of things can get ugly in real hurry.

His other complaint, about the so-called 'gunshow loophole' or as he puts it 'loopholes that allow criminals to buy guns' is a tired old argument he's been at for some time.

His latest, though, is trying to equate NRA membership with militia membership. Now, knowing what the bylaws from 2009 and the pledge from 1954 say, I think he's trying to urinate up the long hemp object hanging from the ceiling. Reason I say that is, everyone I know of who hates the government also can't stand the NRA. Most, if not all, of them think the NRA is too squishy on gun rights for their tastes.

You know, the Prez may have been right. You've got to hitch your wagon to something bigger than yourself. My wagon just happens to be the proverbial 800 lb gorilla in gun rights.

Much Ado About Parks Lately

Seems that with the passage of concealed carry in national parks where legal, there have been some, shall we say, issues.

First up, we have one Jerry Ruth. Mr. Ruth was on his own in Yellowstone NP and was attacked by a grizzly last month. Nearly losing his jaw in the fight, he shot and killed the bear with a .41 magnum revolver of undetermined manufacture. (My guess is it was a Ruger Blackhawk, but it may well have been a S&W Md 57, too.)

And now we have an incident in Denali NP in Alaska. Via the Fairbanks News Miner, we learn of a pair of hikers who had a run-in with a grizzly in a foul mood. What we know from the linked article is they used a .45 caliber pistol to defend themselves.

And in true hysterical fashion, we have an editorial from Anchorage high on emotion and rather short on logic or facts. Same with the commentors there. High on referenceto anatomical shortcomings, short on anything else.

Now, from what I have gleaned from discussions around the intertubz and with folks familiar with these types of situations is that neither cartridge is particularly suitable for large, pissed off bruin. While a .41 mag beats a .45 ACP, both beat a sharp stick hands down in fending off 1000 lbs of mad grizzly.

So now I have to ask, how would these situations ended had the ban on concealed carry not passed?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What An Evening!

One thing I like about my adoptive home town is they seem to attract semi-pro sports teams. We've run the gambit from a CBA team (the Thrillers), to Arena Football (the Red Dogs), and now we have a CHL team, the Rapid City Rush.

With the past history of semi-pro teams in the city, it's no wonder I haven't shown much interest in them: They don't seem to last very long.

That is until April 10th. That was the date I got to see my first professional hockey game. It was the first game of a 7-game series between our second year franchise, and a team from Bosier-Shreaveport, LA for the CHL Northern Conference Finals. A friend had an extra ticket for the game and asked if I'd like to go.

I used to like watching hockey, but that was back before the NHL lockout. (For the record, Av's all the way! There'll never be another Patrick Roy.) Hockey just fell off my radar. Oh, I'd check the box scores in the paper when I thought about it, but it wasn't a priority.

Then I actually went to a game. Man, what a rush (no pun intended). To say I've come back to the game of hockey is an understatement.

I missed the last two games of that series with Bosier City (which went to seven games, BTW) with an injury (not sports related), and I missed the first game of the Ray Miron Presidents Cup Finals. But I didn't miss last nights game 6. Funny thing, though. Of the 4 games I attended, 3 went to overtime, and the home club won all three, including last night.

My words can't describe what it was like last night, so I'll let the local press do that for me. What I can say, is that last night was probably the most non-firearm related fun I've ever had. Seeing your home team overcome a 3 goal deficit to force overtime (with 2 of those goals coming in the last 8 minutes of regulation to tie it up). Then almost two complete overtime periods. Over 110 combined shots on goal. All I can say is - DAYUM!

For those who have seen a hockey game live on any level, be it NHL, AHL, CHL, or collegiate, you know what I'm talking about. For those who haven't experienced a live hockey game, you don't know what you're missing!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Racists Prick With a Badge

I'm a normally easy going person. I don't get easily riled up about things, and it generally takes a lot to do so, but something I came across last night sent me from calm to really pissed me off in about 3.2 seconds, or as it is termed a 'RCOB' moment. For the uninitiated, that would be a 'red curtain of blood' moment.

First off, let me provide a warning. While I can (and often do) swear like a muleskinner in real life, I refrain from doing so here. This is an exception to that rule, and hopefully the only time I will have to do so.

Seems there's a retired federal agent who has issues with the minority classes in this country keeping and bearing arms. What lies ahead is going to be expletive filled, so be warned, it will be ugly.

I came across the site in question from two sources. David Codrea's War on Guns, as well as Mike Vanderboegh at Sipsey Street Irregulars. I won't link to the site, as Mike and David have already done so.

(I will admit, I could only make it through the first paragragh of the bile spewed at the site linked to by Mike and David. If you can stand it, head on over to either site and take a read from the link they provided, then come on back over and read on.)

Since this asshole is obviously such a man among men that he won't allow comments contrary to his pustulent bile to appear, I'll make mine here.

First off, where does this motherfucker get the idea that the right to keep and bear arms is a "caucasian" right? In the 220-plus year history of this country, we have fought around the world and on our own soil to provide freedom for those who didn't have or were threatened with losing it.

Here's my advice to you, fuckstick. Go have advanced aeronautical intercourse with a laterally motivated pastry. In other words, dickwad, go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

My wife is of Latin descent. To insinuate that because of her ancestry she is no more entitled to the same rights and privileges I enjoy as a head of lettuce shows that you have the intelligence and cognitive abilities of a pustulent boyle on the ass end of gangrenous, red-assed baboon.

The fact that this douchebag held a federal badge and was allowed to retire with what I'm assuming is a clean record pisses me off. As a taxpaying American, I helped pay this cocksuckers salary while he was on duty and now that he's 'retired' he's still leeching off the very tax money I pay. If he held these views for his entire career, then he should have been weeded out of whatever federal academy he went to and sent to work at a location more suitable to his views, like inspecting septic tanks in Death Valley.

I've spent the last 18 and a half years defending this country and the freedoms she provides. What galls me to no end is that dipshits like this are riding the coattails of the very freedom I help protect so they can tell everyone who'll listen that those freedoms aren't for everyone.

I've got one more piece of advice for you. Fuck You and the shetland pony you rode in on.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My BAG Day Gun

Not really a gun, but it's a Bulgarian AK 74 parts kit. So, while not a real BAG Day gun, it soon will be!

You Picked a Fine Time to Lead Us...

Also on the email front from family, this was also sent sent by a family member. With today being a T.E.A. Party tax protest day, I thought it would be appropriate, given the current politcal climate of the day.