Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Maybe Another On The List

So South Dakota is considering Constitutional Carry. This is a very good step for the fine people of the state. We're relatively free here. We're NFA-friendly, got one of the best permit systems in the country outside of AK/VT/AZ/WY in that a permit only costs $10 and there is no training requirement. Permits are good for 4 yrs and aside from the usual suspects that don't honor ANYONES permit, there are only a few that don't recognize ours.

I say good step because for a few years, in order to buy a handgun here, you had to have a permit to pick up your purchase at the time of sale. If you didn't have one, well, it was 3 days before you got to go to the range and fondle your new purchase. That changed, I want to say, back in either 2008 or 9.

The one thing that absolutely drives me up a wall in these debates is the argument that if we allow everyone with a clean record to carry a gun without a permit, then the criminals will too. I don't know how many times I've said to family, friends, and random strangers on different forums that 'Hell-oooo, the bad guys already don't have a permit. Why do you think they call them criminals?'

The other argument that holds absolutely no water in this discussion is the one involving background checks. The 'But' crowd (you know, the I'm a Gun Owner, but...-types?) love to point out that without the permit, how do you know if the person is allowed to have a Roscoe? Never mind the anal probing that filling out the lovely ATF form 4473 brings. Add another one on top of that, this time performed by the state in order to exercise a constitutionally protected civil right, and I can't really feel sorry for these guys who think this invasion of their privacy is anything other than begging permission to exercise said right.

I mean really? That act is the only time you'll ever be subjected to a prior restraint on your rights. At no other time are you forced to fill out a form to exercise a right. And in the case of a carry permit, you're paying for privilege. Try forcing a similar form at the voting booth, or public library, or hell even buying a computer and watch the so-called 'civil libertarians' heads rotate like Linda Blair in 'The Exorcist'.

So, let's get this done. I for one welcome being on the short list with VT, AK, AZ, and WY.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Holy Crap!

So I'm down at the funstore this afternoon, hanging over the counter jaw-jacking with other customers and a couple of the counter guys. In the midst of our conversation, one of the counter guys grabs an AR slathered in Magpul stuff.

While I'm chatting, I see he's having problems getting the rifle back into battery. After a few seconds of watching him struggle, I motion for him to come over and volunteer to see what's wrong with the rifle.

So he hands me the gun, I see the bolt's not all the way forward. So I pull the charging handle to the rear and check the chamber. It's all clear. Not seeing anything in the chamber, I let the bolt go. Because the only way to take down an AR with a bolt not in battery is to get it into battery before you take take it down.


Fortunately, not a bang, but a noise nonetheless. Have you ever had that happen? Where something that wasn't supposed to happen did? I've had the reverse happen a couple of times, both in the field with a nice muley or whitetail doe in my cross hairs. Pull the trigger, expect a bang and get a click.

This sound scared the crap out of me because I'd followed all the rules. I checked the chamber. I didn't have my finger on the trigger. I had the rifle pointed away from the others at the floor.

So what caused the POP?

After taking the rifle all the way down in a detailed strip, it was discovered that a primer had somehow become lodged in the upper. Not sure where, exactly, but it was found in the lower beside the hammer. It had been pinched when the BCG rammed home.

All we knew was something was obstructing the BCG from going into battery, and the only way to get it apart to see what it was was to get the BCG back into battery. Who thinks a loose primer is roaming around the insides of a rifle? From now on, I'm adding that to my mental checklist on clearing obstructions from rifles.

I will tell you, hearing that pop and seeing the smoke coming from the ejection port, I bade my friends good day, came home, and promptly changed my shorts.

Let this be a lesson. Even when you're sure the weapon is cleared, there could be something else that causes a problem.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Well Ain't This Special

I was going to write up a post about the moron whose family sued Glock because he stole the pistol from a friend by stealing the key to his lock box and then accidentally discharging said firearm into his leg trying to return it, but this is much better.

It would seem that 2 years ago this month, a deluded schizo named Erik Ayala went and bought himself a gun from a pawn shop. Two weeks later, he goes and shoots a bunch of exchange students for which he took the cowards way out by committing suicide.

In response to this, his family is suing EVERYONE involved. From the pawn shop that sold him the gun, to the nightclub where it happened because it was in 'a high crime area downtown', to the Rotary Club (yes the Rotary Club) which sponsored the exchange students 'because they dropped off at least one of the victims' at the nightclub in question. For $1.8 mill.

Aside from the lawsuit-happy bloodsucker representing the family here, let's take a look at that pawn shop situation for a second. The complaint points out that the perpetrator was mentally unstable and that the shop 'should have known he was a danger to himself and others. Really? Now, I've never worked in a gun store, but I do spend a lot of time in them. I've seen a wearing a plaid shirt, khaki pants, and bright yellow rain boots walk in on a 100 degree day to shop and trade firearms. I've seen birkenstock-wearing hippie types lean on the counter and talk about the latest 1911 clone to hit the store, and I've seen your average everyday working class stiff walk in and buy a (insert handgun of choice here). Not once have I ever seen the 'dangerous to himself and others' guy walk in and plunk down some bread for a new Roscoe.

How, exactly, is the counter monkey supposed to know that 'Dangerous to Himself & Others' is actually dangerous to himself and others? Oh, there's that whole NICS check thing, but that system is only as good as the information that gets reported to it. No, everything went according to the law. He filled out the form, the store clerk made the call, it was approved, and 'Dangerous to Himself and Others' walked out with a 9mm Gat. Maybe if the coworkers who noticed that 'DTHAO' had accompanied him to the pawn shop that fateful day, maybe none of this would have happened.

As it is, trying to discern the motives of someone buying a gun without a crystal ball and an open copy of their mental health records, is just so much pissing in the wind. This situation, much like the one in Tuscon, is more of an indictment of the system than of the dealer. Oh, and a bloodsucking personal injury lawyer...