Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Not So Modern Militia

Taken at a historical re-enactment a few years back.

4 legs vs 2 legs

Some of you may remember me writing about this on the now defunct Brady Blog. I’m reposting here for those who missed reading about it there or on the cover of the New York Times. Ok, that’s a huge lie, the NYT never covered it, but they should have.

For those who read my welcome post, this happened during one of our camping trips in Idaho with Grandma and Grandpa. I stated that that story spawned many others; this is but one of them.

The Grands were a funny bunch; we had access to the .22’s and ammo at age 10 but couldn’t take the Honda Enduro 250 motorcycles out for a spin until we reached the ripe old age of 12 because motorcycles were dangerous. Their concept was that transportation to the best hunting grounds was more hazardous than our shooting activities once we arrived as long as we followed the 4 basic rules of gun safety. It was explained to us that if we violated any safety rules with the gun or the bike, both would be denied to us. Grandpa taught me how to ride and seemed ever so delighted in taking me down steep hills and through creek beds at high speeds. I wrecked a few times before I realized that I could follow his tracks at a slower speed and still reach the destination. That was exactly what he was trying to teach me but he knew it would have a bigger impact if I discovered it myself. So he let me wreck and the lesson burned in.

2 years later, at the age of 14, my “vacation” started as it had before. I gorged on breakfast, slammed my fork on the table and asked for Grandpa’s Marlin Golden 39A lever action .22 and keys to the motorcycle. I slung the rifle cross chest and left the adult camp behind.

The cool thing about trail riding in Idaho is that all the pine needles makes the soil too acidic for most underbrush to grow. Pick a line and hit the gas.

So I’m cruising along hoping to end up where the jack rabbits stand still and I hear a noise off to my left side that I knew didn’t come from the bike, even though it was close enough to make me think twice. It wasn’t a snort, it wasn’t a grunt…it was like the devil himself attempting to blow out an eternity of candles on a cake he hated.

I had just disturbed a sleeping black bear, and apparently, he was kinda pissed.

At first, I really wasn’t that concerned. I figured that the Honda could outpace him with a flick of the wrist. The problem was that even though I didn’t have underbrush to deal with, I was still “off-trail” and dodging pine trees both standing and sprawled on the ground.

I’m now doing 40mph through the woods and looking over my shoulder and seeing him pace me. All the classic crap happened. Time slowed down, adrenaline pumped, my butt hole puckered a bit. I was scared.

I spent a little too much time looking over my shoulder and clipped a grand old pine tree with my left handle bar. The plastic hand guard saved me some broken fingers but I still ate a mouthful of dirt on impact.

With everything still in slow-mo, I knew I couldn’t get back to the bike and escape in time. It was go time. I ripped the .22 off my back and fired it into the ground before I even realized I was cocking the rifle again.
I managed to get off 3-5 shots before he stopped his advance. He looked at me with eyes I can not describe. On one hand, he looked at me like I was easy prey, and the next glance was something akin to “don’t ever do that again.”

I knew a .22 wasn’t the ideal bear load and I played my bluff. Thankfully, he/she didn’t want to come any closer to my boom stick.

For those who argue that 2-legger scum don’t respect the laws against violence, I would like to add the fact that 4-leggers can’t even comprehend the nature of laws to begin with.

Stay safe, stay armed. Your life may depend upon it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

On the latest Helmke Huffpo rant, a new batch of drive-by posters repeat talking points from Moore's "Bowling for Columbine", Bellesiles "Arming America", and the classic "Assault Weapon = Machineguns firing hi velocity AP ammo" meme's along with all the usual nonsense.

Goebbels was right.

Police Support

I was talking to a local police officer the other day. He told me that his department is working on several ideas to get more involved with the community and to show their support for firearm rights.

One is the offering of Basic Pistol courses that would include two days of training including at least 10 hours of shooting. Areas of emphasis would be maintenance, assembly/disasembly, proper stances, grip, etc. They're planning on offering both co-ed classes and classes for women. While this wouldn't make one qualified for a CCW (which the officer I spoke to also supported) an additional benefit that they're tossing around is then to open up the police pistol range once or twice a month to 'graduates'.

The other idea that is being worked on is to upgrade their ranges for IDPA and other competitions since there are none in our area.

As he said, these are not "if" they're going to happen but "when".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

IGOLD 2009

A very successful day. Make sure to visit IllinoisCarry for a liveblog version of the events as well as more photos. ISRA has added a media and photo/video roundup.

Off to meet the IGOLD bus in Champaign. As of last count, there are buses from 30 locations heading to Springfield for the event, nearly all of them full. Meeting up w/ LonghornJeff and ArmedSchoolteacher (really wish 45Superman could be there), I will be taking photos and notes while there and will update throughout the day if possible. For the impatient, there will be a LiveFeed on Illinois Carry here as well as several Twitter accounts of attendees.

On Bus #1 (of 2) from Champaign/Urbana:
There were a total of 24 buses w/ an average of 45 people per bus.

John Naese of giving instructions:

Lunch at Golden Corral:

Arrival at Convention Center:

At Convention Center.

ArmedSchoolTeacher got me registered:

LongHornJeff directed me to the media table where I met Slappy from IllinoisCarry:

Representatives from the ISRA, Mike Weisman and Mr. Pearson have spoken and have introduced Joe Tartaro, KABA rep.

Just introduced. Brandon Phelps, legistator of the year who introduced HB2257.

Todd Vandermyde. NRA Il lobbyist. Stated CCW bill was killed in Senate Committee before the attendees arrived. Wonder how many of those legislators were endorsed by the Brady Campaign?

Just met Mike Weisman of the ISRA.

Frank Wright of GunsSaveLife: Play nice w/ the legislator and Jackson Counter protestors.

Valinda Rowe, IllinoisCarry, Women's rights in Illinois:

The ISP state that a woman should use these following items to defend herself instead of a gun: Comb, Key, or Tongue Depressor (to induce vomiting on oneself).

Colleen Lawson

Tom Shafer, local advocate and media personality:

I currently sitting next to Slappy from Illinois Carry as we liveblog the event. I will continue as long as I have WiFi and power.

The March:

Getting Started:

On the Way to the Capitol Building:

Expressing our View:

View from the March:

View From the Steps of the Capitol:

Don Moran, President, ISRA.

Cameron Grey of was there to cover the event:

In The Capitol:

Most of the Legislators were running around in committees or on the floor. Some (mostly those opposed to progressive firearm laws) were actively avoiding their constituents. I managed to surprise Rep. Chapin Rose in the hallway:

Sen. Dale Righter I found in a committee and spoke with him for a few minutes:

I'm lucky in that both are very strong 2A supporters both in words and in their voting record.

The Reception:

Candidate Rosanna Pulido and Sen. Dan Rutherford both spoke at the reception before the attendees headed home.

Some IGOLD stats:

Budget for Event: $25,000

24 buses picking up people from 30 locations

Packets Distributed: 5,100

Estimate of Attendance: 4,000-5,000 people.

Next year will be even bigger.

More photos here.

Commentary here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

AHSA Trying to Rewrite Their Past

Once again the new spokesperson for the AHSA, Colin Rogero distorts the history of the AHSA and it's leadership's role in anti-gun activities.

He states:
Ray's foundation "THE RAY AND NANCY FOUNDATION" donated to the Brady Campaign. Ray's wife Nancy was a board member. She has separated from the Brady Group and is no longer involved with their organization. Ray never supported, nor donated to the organization. Ray, and Nancy have different views on gun ownership, as many families do.
Apparently Nancy used Ray's checkbook and signed his name then because according to Ray donated $5,000 to Handgun Control Inc. in 2000.

Darn those meddling facts.

IGOLD: The Movie

IGOLD 2009. March 11th.

Watch the video.

More at the Armed School Teacher.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Confederate State of New York

New York, in a court brief, said the 2005 law violates state rights under the U.S. Constitution. "This congressional effort to control how states make law raises important questions about the Tenth Amendment's protections of state sovereignty," New York said.

Wasn't that the same argument used to defend slavery?

I seem to recall a certain reactionary lawyer claiming that "the NRA is getting its butt kicked in court". Is this what she meant?

How They Roll

So on appearances, we are dealing with a largely uniformed and easily persuaded electorate if terms are couched in misleading soundbites. We know that they will work to sway and target women and seniors. Nice of them to lay out the ground rules and battlefields for us.
This is not a new tactic. The VPC openly admits to using misdirection to push for their agenda. Classic terms such as 'cop killer bullets', 'Saturday Night Specials', 'plastic guns', etc. are the bread and butter to anti-gun groups because they sound scary to the majority of people who, unfortunately, don't pay attention.

Ask an 'average person' if they know what an 'assault weapon' is. You'll be told it's a 'high powered machinegun' or some variation thereof.

We rely on educating the public to persuade them to our way of thinking. They rely on and cultivate ignorance.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

This Gun Free Zone Brought to you by the Brady Campaign

Stripping citizens of their rights since 1974.

MARYVILLE, Ill. (March 8) -- A gunman walked down the aisle of a church during a Sunday service and killed the pastor, then stabbed himself and slashed two other people as congregants wrestled him to the ground, authorities said.
The man walked into the sprawling red brick First Baptist Church shortly after 8 a.m. and briefly spoke with The Rev. Fred Winters before pulling out a .45-caliber handgun and shooting Winters once in the chest, said Illinois State Police Master Trooper Ralph Timmins.

A gunman stopped not by by the police, who citizen disarmament advocates state we should rely exclusively on, but by members of the congregation who risked their own lives to stop this killer. Think of how better it would have been for them if they hadn't needed to come withing slashing distance.

Update from Uncle: The shooter has a history of mental illness due to Lyme disease.

Air-humping the Mexican Drug Cartel

So my 9 year old nephew has been bugging me to take him to the next gun show ever since I took him to his first show late last year(before the election). He naturally gravitated to the .22 Chipmunks and Crickets at that show and I mentioned that I would buy him one when he’s older, can recite and demonstrate the basic safety rules, learns how to disassemble, clean and reassemble one of my guns. I got him a tool set of wrenches and screw drivers several years ago so I’m not too worried about the latter half. My brother would regularly buy old toasters and other random appliances at garage sales for him to take apart and put back together and his mad lego skills have improved dramatically lately.

He does however need some serious work on the basic safety rules. More on that in a sec.

Gun Show…Saturday, March 7th.

I left the house at 8am and picked up my buddy, where to my delight, my other buddy, his wife, gave each of us a Church of G.O.D.(Gun Owning Disciples) T-shirt to wear to the show which she had made the night before. The certificate of membership is complete. The wallet cards are complete. The basic tenets of the faith is in rough draft form and the “Holey Book” will be a collaborative work in progress which I will detail in a future post.

Then off to pick up my nephew and my brother’s work place. I found him finishing up some chores that the other staff had given him to do for the handsome sum of $3. He’s been doing odd jobs for whatever money he can get so he CAN BUY HIS OWN CHIPMUNK. I was a bit proud to say the least. So I walk into the gun show with $87 in cash and my nephew is sporting $120 neatly folded into a money clip I had given him 2 years ago. Ya, I had the checkbook and plastic, but I was still impressed.

We arrived at the show ½ hour after the doors opened and the parking lot was bat-shit crazy full. The number of staff giving admission had doubled, the number of staff checking firearms had tripled and the line was still outside the door and into the parking lot. I’ve been to a lot of gun shows in my day and I had never seen a turn-out like that.

My dad was waiting for us near the entrance and we starting looking for a good gopher gun for him. He had mentioned that he liked the sound of the 45 LC/.410 Taurus Judge. He wants to hang a holster on the John Deere and shoot rodents as he mows the lawn in some kind of mechanized Wild Wild West re-enactment.
The price tag of the Judge turned him off in a hurry and I suggested that he switch his focus to an H & R Model 88 single shot .410 and a full length scabbard he can mount on the engine cover. His eyebrows raised in approval.

We were there a good hour before we even glanced at the price of ammo. Ouch. My next gun purchase will probably be in 5.45 X 39 so I can go to the range with something more than a .22. Talked to one of the vendors and he said he brought in a full pallet of 7.62 X 39 and sold it all in the first 20 minutes of the show.

Due to the booming economy and the rock solid security I have at my job, I knew I wasn’t going to buy anything other than accessories for the guns I already have.

EBR’s were outrageous and still flying off the tables. AK’s, AR’s, and FN’s were understandably a bit more scarce and demanding a premium. Makes me glad I bought most of mine during the ban, when they were cheap.

Saw a few choice pieces that caught my eye:

Beretta wheel gun rifle in .45 LC.
Hakim with a 7.62 X 39 barrel sleeve.
Nagant revolver with a spare .32 cylinder for dirt cheap.
Saiga AK 12 gauge.

There were probably a few more that escaped my attention but it’s kinda hard to do a thorough sweep when you have to air-hump at least two other people to get close to the table. I assume that all the RPG’s had sold out before we got in since I didn’t see any.

After the show, my nephew has the opportunity to shoot a real gun and display his safety skills. He failed. Does fine with keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction but can’t keep his finger off the trigger. I remind him repeatedly about the seriousness of his actions and he repeatedly jams his finger inside the trigger guard. I scold him and take the rifle away, telling him again why. I then get the silent treatment for the next 2 hours.

So be it.

I have at least 3 more years to work with him before I consider buying him a .22, he has at least 3 years to contemplate his actions and correct them. If being in the dog house in his eyes will accelerate his maturity, then that is a house I will gladly occupy. I'd rather be his mentor than his friend since it's obvious his foot steps are landing inside mine.

He'll understsand when he's older, and then I can be both.