Friday, December 30, 2005

Common Dreams: Liberals and The War

Common Dreams | News & Views

Here's a website that won't appear on my blogroll.

Common Dreams is a quasi-news website which bills itself as "Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community". This Radical Liberal Sump-tank starts off comparing GW Bush with RM Nixon, and 'moves on' to a call for "... the urgent release of peace activists held in Iraq". (A look at the signatories of this petition reveals a cross-section of liberal wacko's including Noam Chomsky, Cindy Sheehan, the parents of Rachael Corrie, Ralph Nader, the 'Reverand' . . . former 'Father' . . . Daniel Berrigan, and "Mazin Qumsiyeh, author, Sharing the Land Of Canaan, board member US Campaign to End the Occupation". Just the Band of Brothers to put America Last.)

No, the Christian Peacemaker Teams were not kidnapped by the Americans, but by the Iraqi 'insurgents' (read: terrorists) against whom we are fighting. But it's obvious that CPT and Common Dreams (and the signatories of the petition) are willing to make America the villain of this peace.

Another of its current articles is titled "Show's Not So 'Purrfect' for Female Forces in Iraq". This reports the outrage of one Sharon Kibiloski, an Air Force Captain stationed in Iraq, and she's "fighting mad" because the US Army brought in a 'scantily clad female troup for a two-week tour in Kuwait and Iraq".

Her point?

"The show only appeals to men, and in my mind has the potential to increase sexual advances toward female soldiers afterward," Kibiloski said in e-mails and reiterated in a telephone interview. "To me, if the military really cared about sexual harassment, they would not sponsor such a show."
Uh, excuse me. For years, the US Military has preferred NOT to station women in combat zones, and the women who wanted to BE in combat zones were strident in their claim that they could do the job as well as men, and anyone who thinks this would be a problem must be some kind of misogynistic Neanderthal. To illustrate this, the position of the National Organization of Women (NOW), a notorious Liberal 'feminist' movement, in 1990 included the statement that
the exclusion of women from combat in the modern military is a fraud only to perpetuate a second class status of women in the military
Now that women are IN a combat zone, they have started to make a few changes. Batting her eyes at the moon, Captain Kibiloski demonstrates the worst of all possible worlds when this Air Force officer complains that another service brings in what is essentially the 21st Century's version of a USO show. The good captain was too young to have attended any of Bob Hope's shows, but I wonder what she would have thought about The Gold Diggers, "a troupe of beautiful, scantily clad girls" who were featured in his 1969 Christmas show in Camp Eagle, Vietnam.

This is just one more Liberal Cause intended to undermine the military for the sake of Political Correctness. 'Scantily clad girls' are, admittedly, 'a guy thing'. Well, so is Military Service and for reasons which are obvious to almost everyone.

Yet another article discusses a Colorado couple's decision not to pay the fifty-cent federal excise tax on their phone bill. While I have no objection to their petty tax revolt, I wonder whether they seriously believe that this is a legitimate protest against the war in Iraq, or a grand-standing hype given too much credence by Common Dreams and the originating news source, the Denver Post.

Most of the articles in Common Dreams mix news and politics with an implied slant to the far left. Their dreams are certainly 'progressive' in the sense of those Liberals who are not comfortable to be identified as such and have adopted the word 'Progressive' in preference.

Perhaps this demonstrates that they at least have a sense of shame. And well they should.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Canadian Cluebat 2: Toronto

The Globe and Mail: Bystanders gunned down on busy Toronto street

On the Day after Christmas (known as "Boxing Day" in the UK and former colonies), a 15 year-old girl was gunned down in a busy Toronto, Canada mall.

Two "groups"of "youths in their late teens and early twenties" (Read: thugs or gangbangers if you're American, yobs in the UK) got into a fight and somebody pulled a gun. Probably more than one gun was involved, because 6 people were wounded, and at the end Jane Creba lay dead on the street.

This is a terrible thing to happen, and we grieve for the Creba family. We all agree that Something Ought To Be Done about this, but what?

Straight up, we already know that the guns were illegally carried. We've already talked about Canada's ultra-expensive, ultra-not-working gun laws. In fact, we've even talked about 'technologically feasible' gadgets which keep people from suing someone else's gun.

Just to make my point painfully obvious, we have seen that making guns illegal doesn't get them off the street; it just gets them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens who carry them for self-defensive purposes. The people who want to hoo-rah the down and raise hell, the people who are looking for an escuse to go out and shoot other people; those people already have their guns, and they're using them. They don't CARE that it's illegal to have a gun. They'll get them somewhere. (Possibly more on that later)

The rest of Canada . . . is a target. Also known as an "Innocent Bystander", in situations such as this.

Got it? Good.

Back to the story.

The Mayor of Toronto, Dave Miller, is shocked, SHOCKED!, that people in his town are carrying guns and these people ( say . . . "groups of youths in their late teens and early twenties") are using their guns to shoot each other and Innocent Bystanders.

The Prime Minister . . . well, read it in the original:

Prime Minister Paul Martin offered his condolences to the family of the victim in a statement Tuesday, saying he was "horrified" by the shootings.

"The taking of innocent young life is always an outrage, but doubly so when it occurs during a season which is dedicated to celebrating the joys of family and peace.

"What we saw yesterday is a stark reminder of the challenge that governments, police forces and communities face to ensure that Canadian cities do not descend into the kind of rampant gun violence we have seen elsewhere," he said.


Oh, yeah. I get it. You mean, as in the United States, your churlish neighbor to the South. Gun violence, rampant. You want to avoid that, right?

Well, here's a clue. Your plan, whatever it is (confiscation), isn't working.

The Toronto Official Police Spokesman had something interesting to say:

"I think it's a day that Toronto has finally lost its innocence," Toronto Police spokesman Det. Sgt. Savas Kyriacou said at a news conference Tuesday. "It was a tragic loss and a tragic day."
I agree that it was a tragic loss, and a tragic day. But Detective Sergeant Kyriacou, how could you not be aware of the previous "Tragic Days" which Toronto experienced this year?

We've just been looking at the Globe and Mail. There are other news sources available, and some of them have been paying more attention to the "Tragic Day in Toronto" count than you seem to be.

The Canada Free Press ("Canada's Fastest Growing Independent News Source') will give you a rundown, if you wish:

On December 1, Toronto were looking for two men who killed a 25-year-old man in a car parking lot. This was the 74th murder in Toronto for 2005, and the 50th shooting death.

During the period December 3 thru December 27, there were ten other shooting incidents in Toronto. A couple of these incidents resulted in 'no injuries' (that they know of), but the box score by my count is:
Wounded: 11
Dead: 2

I repeat, this is JUST for the last 10 shooting incidents AFTER December 1, and in two of them there were no injuries reported.

I hardly think that the Boxing Day (December 26) shooting was the single incident in which Toronto "lost its innocence". That would be like trying to pin down the day when Heidi Fleiss lost her innocence.


The hat-tip to Hal Lindsey ( a columnist who I don't often read ) of WorldNet Dailey is in order. He posted a column today on this subject, and it piqued my interest to the point where I did a little background digging of my own. The results you see above.

The one point which Lindsey made, and which I won't try to steal because he did such a nice job of fisking it, is that . . .

According to Toronto's mayor, Toronto's gun problem is Uncle Sam's fault. It seems – gasp! – that criminals aren't obeying the gun ban. They are going to the United States and smuggling guns back into Canada. (Yes, Canada also has a law against smuggling – but that's not important. Just ask the Canadians.)
Lindsey's coup de grace:

Let's see if I am following this correctly. I don't want to misunderstand. There are poor young people suffering discrimination in Toronto whose social condition is so bleak they will even resort leaving the country to get a gun they can smuggle back so they can shoot up Toronto ...and that is America's fault?

Sure is, says Canada's prime minister, Paul Martin. Martin says half the gun crimes in Canada involve guns smuggled in from the United States. Indeed, Martin said he raised the "smuggling problem" with Condi Rice when she visited in October.

That must have been interesting. "Madame Secretary, Canadians are breaking Canadian smuggling laws and we are powerless to prevent it. What does the United States propose to do to solve our border inspection problems?"

Okay, before this gets too long (or "Geek Length", as we here in Geekistan like to say), let's look at what a select group of Canadians have to say about the "Gun Violence Problem in Toronto". To do that, I'll just cite the folks who commented in the "Globe and Mail" article. (Okay, so it's going into Geek Length" territory. If it bothers you, stop reading. )

Testament Number One:

Paul Thompson from Cheongju City Korea, Canada writes: Sir: Some people have commented on the malevolent influence of such things as "gangsta"-glorifying hip-hop music and films such as Four Brothers on the problem of gun violence. Personally, I don't think there is anything wrong with listening to or watching such junk as long as you don't ACT on it! I recall watching a movie like Bonnie and Clyde but I don't remember wanting to rob banks or shoot people afterwards. Of course, given how that movie ended, one could argue that it didn't glorify violence at all. My point is that if we can find out what it is that makes certain people act on the violent messages they may get from the media, we will have solved at least one piece of the puzzle. Also, I find it quite nauseating to hear so-called "conservatives" blaming liberal or socialist policies for this problem when a redneck-infested place like Texas has a gun violence problem that dwarfs ours.
"Cheongju City Korea, Canada"? I had no IDEA that Canada was THAT multicultural!
Paul may have a point, no matter how vapid he sounds, in suggesting that the problem may have something to do with "people". He's not talking about GUNS as the cause of Gun Violence, he's talking about "People".

Unfortunately, he gives away his Moral High Ground when he resorts to name calling. "so-called "conservatives"" and "redneck-infested place like Texas" are high on my twit-filter rules list, and it should be on yours. My guess: Paul has never met a REAL Conservative, and he has never been to Texas. (However, he probably has a lot of personal experience with 'infestation' based on his apparent fondness for "liberal or socialist policies".)

Testament Number Two:

A Fraser from Canada writes:

Dennis Ergas, thank you for your insightful comments. I do not agree that locking all the criminals up solves anything. Look at the US, which has the highest rate of incarceration per capita in the industrialized world, yet still has higher per capita murder rates than Canada.

There has to be a multi-pronged approach to this issue.

Fraser (he isn't from Seattle, is he?) has a fine appreciation for "Dennis Ergas". Who is that? I googled the name, and found a sergeant (66-67) in the 27th Infantry Regiment ("The Wolfhounds") in the 25th Infantry Division ("Tropical Lightning", home station Scofield Barracks in Hawaii) of the United States Army. I served in that division in 1970, in Vietnam, and I never met Dennis Ergas. Guess I didn't get around much.

But I digress. I'm in good company, because Fraser digresses, too. That's hard to do, because he never establishes a point from which he may digress. He doesn't seem to favor locking up criminals, he's very big on "per capita" statistics (without any supporting citations) and is searching for a 'multi-pronged approach'. I don't know what that is, but I'm going to add that phrase to my Twit-Filter immediately. ("Per Capita" is already in there!)

Testament Number Three:
Wilf Kruggel from Onoway, Canada writes: I've said it for years and I'll say it as often as it needs to be said, get the "cops" out of the ditches looking like coyotes hunting for that unsuspecting speeder or the one that doesn't come to a complete stop at a stop sign and put these very same highly trained cops dealing with the various gangs. The canadian police chiefs said several years ago that they are losing the fight to stop organized gangs. How long is it going to take before our idle politicians do something. instead of putting these crimminals into "fivestar hotels for life, say to "hell" with these human rights activists and put the criminals back into chaingangs and at the end of the day give them a lash or two, just as a reminder that what they did was seriously wrong. Talking to people in the middle East that had the lash, they weren't going for another round. That's what's needed in our justice system, "deterrants", not "coddling". I keep saying that we have to get away from this "socialist" mentality because that's what is the sole cause of our social problems. If nothing is done, people will just keep blowing each others "cans" off.
I'm a little intimidated by this. Wilf seems not to be a Fellow Traveler of Fraser. Won't that undermine Fraser's self-image?

Probably; and it might be a refreshing moment for Fraser, if he ever noticed it.

Wilf has take a step in the right direction; at least he doesn't seem to advocate patting Larry the Yob on the bum and sending him back out into the street to play. And he certainly agrees with me (always a virtue) by agreeing the Something Must Be Done.

But I'm afraid he's just looking a peneological solution (can I say that?).

Testament Number Four:

dave bussiere from Canada writes: This is a brutal event.
We can blame the US. We can blame immigration. But that would be naive.
The US didn't do this....some of our teens did this.
Immigration didn't do this...though maybe some immigrants did....and maybe some locally-born jerks.
I am not pro-gun.....but this is not a result of legal gun purchases by average Canadians. This is a sign of the times.
Awwww . . . shucks. If it weren't for the honor, I would have to decline the honor. "We can blame it on the US", dave says, and then he rejects the proposition entirely.

'dave' (I KNOW he has a Shift Key!) is hot on the trail, but he is perhaps only mildly in error when he says "some of our teens did this". Not. It wasn't "some of our teens", it was our (their) society which allows teens to grow up without knowing how to act. Nothing against the Canadians; we do the same thing in the US, too. dave, you're getting warmer! Keep up the good work, and keep posting.

Testament Number Five:

Jason Varmazis from Toronto, Canada writes: A child was killed on the streets of Toronto while shopping with her
parents in the late afternoon. If there ever was a wakeup call that we
must take action to address the issue of gun violence, this it.

Action is not targetting certain immigrant groups, bringing back the
death penalty, or other forms of non-judicial punishment for criminals.
And it is not another registry or gun control programme from our
corrupt and inept federal government.

Our civilized, just socitey (sic) is under attack. And we must effectively
defend her in a civilized and just manner. The will to accomplish this
is actually universal, regardless of our individual politics.

Laws concerning gun crimes must be toughened and strictly enforced.
Programmes must be funded and implemented to find and remove the
illegal guns out there. The police should put their best and brightest
on their gun removal teams. Also, you can pay with money or you can pay
with blood. Rewards for turning in illegal weapons (no questions asked)
and turning in gun offenders is money well spent. If people won't
volunteer information, it is unfortunate, but we will obviously have to
pay them for results.

And for those talking about social programmes for disadvantaged youth.
Such programmes should be funded because they will help willing
disadvantaged youth reach their full potential as adult citizens. And
that is good and just. But it won't turn around some gang banger who
lights up his weapon on a crowded street. We need tough courts and jail
for these individuals.
Darn it, Jason starts out like gang-busters (pardon the expression) in the first three paragraphs, and then he fades fast.

  1. Something Must Be Done. A no-brainer, but who am I to complain?
  2. Laws don't work. Another no-brainer, and I agree.
  3. This is a societal problem. Politics don't work. Doing good, Jason!
  4. We have to enforce our laws. What happened to Paragraph 2?
  5. Government can fund programs, and if the kids don't respond . . . hang 'em high!

No. You can't solve 'gun violence' by passing more laws, or by 'more strictly enforcing' existing laws. That has already been tried. It doesn't work.

The Government has done everything it can, which essentially consists of passing laws and throwing money at the problem. You can see where that gets us. (Here I'm talking about Canada, the US, UK, France and her riots which are NOT caused by Muslims, Holland with her street executions which are NOT caused by Muslims, etc.)

You want the answer in the simplest possible terms? I'll give you a term in two words, and you'll laugh because it is such an out-of-date concept:

Nuclear Families.

That's right. It's not a matter of governmental programs or federal/state/local laws. It's not even a matter of any religious concept such as the Ten Commandments (which just happens to be the simplest, most concise and easiest-to-follow Handbook for Life which was ever composed), although religion can be one of the more powerful tools for raising a child to be a peaceful, law-abiding, responsible, respectful and respected adult.

Here's the basic scenario:

A man and a woman get together, they make a pact to cleave to each other and forsake all others for the sake of their own children. That's their responsibility: their children.

They provide the children a good, stable home. They also provide instruction on how the children should live. They serve as role models, which only means they are an example of the kind of people that the children should attempt to emulate when they reach their own adulthood.

They love their children, and they teach them. They don't keep their children safe, warm, well-fed, clothed and happy because there's a law saying they have to, or because if the Social Worker comes around and finds they're living in a pig-sty, the Department of Human Services may cut of the Welfare Check.

At least one parent brings in an income, at least one parent provides a save and nurturing home environment. The way this is accomplished may vary according to circumstances, but that's a basic minimum.

Little Johnny isn't running around with a gang, because all of the other potention Homies are also in safe and nurturing environments. Have you ever read the studies of street gangs which state that for most of their members, that's the only family they have? Maybe you should, because that is the key to the answer.

This isn't stuff you learn in school. Teachers are there to teach you how to read and write and do ciphers. It's not THEIR job to teach them to get along with other people, or to know 'instinctively' the difference between right and wrong. It's your job.

Sometimes, you may learn part of it in a church. Even if you're not 'religious', you can see that religion is a way to live and it probably has a lot of practical lessons that will help you see the way to fulfill your obligation to your family.

This is the hardest possible way to resolve the problem of "gun violence". We've gone so far down the wrong road, we're in our umpteenth generation of people who believe that the Government (including schools, and even churches) should be responsible for removing the threat of violence -- any violence -- from our culture.

We have to fix the parents, so they can fix the children. That means it's a family problem, and they only way the family can function is if they REMAIN a family where each member is responsible to every other member of the family.

By the way, I couched this essay in terms of Canadian Cluelessness. Apologies to our Canadian friends (and Australian, French, Deutch et al) if I seem to be singling you out. We're all in the same boat, we've all lost our way. It isn't a national problem, but all nations are struggling with it. Why isn't anybody listening to the people who are already pointing this out?

Because it's just too hard.

I never said it would be easy.

I just said it would work.

Less than 24 hours after I wrote this piece, I found an article about an assault in Milwaukee which illustrates almost every point.

MILWAUKEE - A prosecutor began reviewing possible charges Thursday against five juveniles in the brutal mob beating of a man yanked from his car while driving through a north side neighborhood. Two are 17 years old, two are 16 and one is 14, according to a police statement that did not give the genders of the suspects in the attack on Samuel McClain, a 50-year-old father of 12. Police continue to seek more suspects, the release said.

"I thought that the last time this happened in our community that people would wake up," Johnson said. "It's time for this to stop. Parents need to sit down and talk with their children about what's right and what's wrong."
("Johnson" is the wife of the victim in the beating)

State Rep. Leon Young, D-Milwaukee, said he plans to introduce a bill in the Legislature early next year that would toughen the penalties for those participating in group assaults. Young, a former Milwaukee police officer, started working with the department after several 2004 mob beatings.

The penalty enhancer would kick in when three or more people take part in violence against a person and would range from one extra year in prison to five, depending on the severity of the victim's injuries.

Locally, a group of City Council members said Thursday they will introduce an anti-gang ordinance that would allow police to ticket groups of people who loiter in a menacing fashion.

Sure, keep it up. Treat the symptoms, but not the cause.

Of course, it might have been worse. He might have been attacked by a gang of youthful Chihuahuas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Cooper and Citizenship

Jeff Cooper's Commentaries

I've only just now referenced The Colonel's monthly offering, and I note that the version which 'popped up' is his November, 2005, commentaries.

This is, as usual, interesting and instructive. (Here is a comment on his September post, among other less pertinent offerings.)

The single most edifying entry was his Teddy Quote:

The following quotation from Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 is appropriate at this time:
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

via Leon Flancher

I don't always agree with Col. Cooper, but I find myself marching in block-step with his approval of the thoughts of our mutual hero, Theodore Roosevelt.

Any man who wishes to immigrate to this great country is welcome, provided he is determined to become a citizen. He may come to my home, and I will feed him, clothe him, and welcome him as a Brother. Provided only that he embrace this land as his homeland and hold no other state above this nation.

But when a man comes to my home and partakes of the largesse available herein, yet maintains a higher allegiance to his origin, then I label him a curr, and a liar, and a traitor to his espoused convictions.

I have no use for a man who lies, or for a night-slinking backstabber who professes to be a friend even though he knows that he is not my friend.

He may swear allegiance to any state that he wishes, but as long as the country he calls 'home' is not this country, he may not partake of the advantages granted willingly by THIS country.

To do so is not only ignoble, but it is craven and cowardly. We have no need for foreign investment with a hidden agenda.

We have recently seen in France that the immigrants there are all too willing to go on the public dole as 'citizens', but they do not consider themselves citizens. They have no obligation to their adopted country, even though they use their supposed citizenship to their own advantage. At the same time , they destroy public property and undermine the public peace of their supposedly adopted country.

And here, in the land I was born in, I see foreigners who come here for the economic advantage who are unwilling to repay their debt by giving their allegience to their adopted land.

I see immigrants who, even when they go as far as to perform the legal qualifications to become citizens, still hold as their priority a religion which proposes that any perfidy is allowed as long as it permits them to attack their chosen country, even though they have seemingly adopted it as their own.

There are exceptions to this sad turn of events. There are immigrants who come to this country and truly adopt it as their new homeland, as their new homeland has adopted them. Again, I welcome them as Brothers.

Too often, though, we find that we have clasped a serpent to our breast. Is it so remarkable, then, that we resent immigrants who demonstrate no investiture in their new country and may even wish ill of us?

I can find no comfort in their espousal of their rights, when they do not acknowledge their obligations.

I wish them gone. All of them.

There is sufficient dishonesty in this country, among those of us who are legally here. We have no need of self-imported malcontents who suck at the public teat and only bite us in return.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Lies, Damned Lies, and Shooting Lies

Concealed Carry Response Time [Archive] - THR: "
A good shooter can draw and fire a double tap in less than a second... average one can do it in about 1.3 seconds... which is probably not fast enough if he is caught unaware... he will probably cap the ED, but will also probably get cut too. At this point the victim better shoot the ED to the ground, because that knife is awfully close and easy to use...even by a wounded ED."

I shoot in IPSC matches about 30 - 40 times a year . . . conservatively speaking, and I'm talking VERY conservative. I've been an IPSC competitor for over 20 years, and I currently shoot a Race Gun from a Race Holster, which means that I'm loaded, I have the fastest-draw holster I can find, and I'm READY to draw and engage the closest possible target as soon as the buzzer sounds. I probably start 240 - 250 stages every year, which means that I engage first-targets that many times a year, in live-fire, so I probably have a very good idea how long it takes me to engage a non-threatening target under the best possible conditions and under some (competitive, not life-threatening) circumstances.

Let's talk about the buzzer. I hear it every weekend, and when it goes off I'm aware that the shooting problem does not involve my possible demise. It's a shooting problem, not a self-defense situation. I expect it to go off within a couple of seconds of when it actually DOES go off, and there is no confusion involved; I know it's a signal that I WILL draw and start shooting. The target(s) are pre-defined, and I know that it's a shooting problem. I don't have to wonder if I should be required to draw and shoot, there are no ethical aspects to the situation that I have to consider. Essentially, it's a no-brainer.

My very best draw-time (hitting the A-zone of a cardboard IPSC target at 7 yards) is 0.85 seconds, and that's just with ONE shot. No double-tap involved, and my best double-tap time adds another 0.13 - 0.15 seconds to the equation. Best possible situation: a double-tape in over one second, and who knows where the heck the second shot went? Besides, I'm ready and I'm only shooting at cardboard.

This guy is talking about an "average shooter" who can double-tap an aggressor in 1.3 seconds.

Heck, if the target is at all difficult, I'm lucky if I can get my first shot off at that time, and the target is a piece of cardboard several steps away from me.

Put a defensive-carry gun and holster on my, and my draw/engagement time is going to double, at least. Chances are my first shot is going into the dirt closer to my feet than to the feet of my attacker. And I'm darned if I'm confident that my second shot will bite meat, because you see I'm accustomed to the characteristics of a competition race gun, not a clumsy clunky defense pistol.

All I'm saying is that if you read the Forums, you're likely to read a lot of opinions from people who are probably well-intentioned, but that doesn't mean that they know what they're talking about.

Sometimes that presents an unrealistically optimistic self-defense scenario, sometimes it's unrealistically pessimistic. It's a crap shoot. It's a box of chocolates, a la Forest Gump ("Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're going to get.")

My advise is, don't pay any attention to the expectations propounded by people you don't know. In this case, you may read on and find that some of the best competitive shooters in the world (eg: Jerry Miculek) are saying "I just do not believe that anyone is going to be able to draw and fire in a second or second and a half under those conditions. I suspect 2 seconds would be a very good time."

Well, I think I would be very unlikely to draw and double-tap a target, any target let along an attacker, in less than two seconds. This presupposes that I was very much READY to repell an attacker, and frankly I think it would take most of us a couple of seconds to convince ourselves that we are actually being attacked.

So, while you are training diligently to defend yourself against a Lethal Force attack, remember that you are only human and thus subject to human frailties. IF you will train to defend yourself against attack, don't forget that movement is probably one of the best defenses against sudden, unexpected, violent attack.

Life isn't an IPSC match. You would not believe how daunting it can be to suddenly find yourself being aggressively attacked, with the range quickly shortened by your assailant. The skills you develop competing in IPSC matches, for example, will NOT serve you well against a personal assault by a determined, aggressive assailant.

How long, for example, will it take you to identify an assault when the assailant starts 30 yards from you, does not obviously show a weapon, and you don't know that YOU are the subject of the attack until it is (probably) too late ti attack?

Perhaps, if this is a concern, you should re-evaluate your training doctrine.

But you should never, NEVER, depend on your ability to respond to an attack in 1.3 seconds.

Geek Advice in how to handle this situation?

Don't ever get yourself in this situation.

The details of the solution are left as a problem for the student.

(I sure don't have the answer!)

No smoking at home

Smokers will be sent letters asking them not to light up for one hour before a council worker or health worker calls round as part of plans to protect public sector workers from the effects of passive smoking.

THE public are to be told not to smoke in their own homes as part of plans to protect public sector workers from the effect of passive smoking.

The move is the latest part of the Scottish Executive's ban on smoking in public places, which will come into force on 26 March next year.

Ministers have told councils, health boards and social work departments that they should compile a "smokers' map" of Scotland, focusing on those who regularly receive visits from officials and carers. This would identify individual households where a smoker is resident.

The smokers would then be sent letters asking them not to smoke for one hour before a council worker or health worker called round. Public bodies have also been advised to use the smokers' map to ensure that any workers who suffer from breathing problems are kept away from the homes of smokers.

But the Executive advice, which was issued to all councils, health boards and care service-providers yesterday, was derided as a "bureaucratic waste of money", and "politically correct nonsense".

There are tens of thousands of people who get visits from public sector workers at home. Many council house tenants receive official visitors for a whole variety of reasons; women with babies are visited by midwives and health visitors; the elderly and infirm often get called on by social workers and home helps; and the sick are visited by GPs.

I'm a smoker, and I'm outraged at this.

We can't' smoke in public places, and in some locales (such as my home town, Corvallis, Oregon) this includes not only bars but Public Parks.

I've posted before (and I'm too lazy too look up the reference) that at least one person has been sued to prevent him from smoking cigars on the balcony outside his own home.

Now the UK (those wonderful folks who have determined that only Criminals can own firearms for personal defense) has determined that State employees must be protected from the evil influence of the Demon Tobacco. If your own welfare state insists upon visiting you to determine whether you are a Worthy Person who is entitled to receive (mandatory) Public Assistance, you are constrained from smoking in the privacy of your own home during the period of time when the smoke may linger in your home . . . and therefore may endanger the health of the social worker who is expected to visit you.

What happens if the Nanny State Bumpkins decide upon an un-announced visit? They do this from time to time, you know, if you have been deemed worthy of such Special Attention. (That is, if you are suspected of Unacceptable Social Behavior, as defined by The State.)

The issue is not whether you should apply for benefits from The State, and thus are responsible for making every effort to present your home life-style in a manner which is acceptable to The State in order to encourage acceptance of a proposition which you have proposed.

Rather, it is whether The State can arbitrarily and unilaterally attempt to impose restrictions upon your lifestyle (unrelated to your personal habits), and whether they can use this as a springboard to be even more intrusive.

If you have never encountered the Socialist State, you may not be aware of the degree to which its minions are encouraged to infringe upon your personal freedoms.

Let's look at the question in a RKBA perspective:

We in the United States do not YET suffer such indignities as do our brothers in the United Kingdom, but let us suppose that this kind of intrusive surveillance is common 'here'.

If you are a FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder in the USA, and this law were enacted, if the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) scheduled the visitation of an agent to your tobacco shop, you would be constrained not only to cease smoking in your shop, but also to prevent your customers from smoking in you ('free smoking-zone') shop for at least one hour before the scheduled visitation from the BATFE. It would not only compromise your personal freedoms as a smoker, but also would impose unreasonable restrictions upon your right to do business.

To take it one step further, suppose you are a firearms dealer in a locale (increasingly rare!) which does not forbid smoking in your workplace. You would still be required to forbid both your customers and your employees, as well as yourself, from smoking within one hour of the SCHEDULED visit.

BTW, the Social Worker is not obliged to cleave to the announced schedule. If they don't show up, you must still have 'not smoked' for at least one hour before the SCHEDULED visit.

Is this intrusive? Yes, it is.

Is this unilateral and intrusive? Two more in the YES column.

Is it reasonable? Depends upon whether you are an individual citizen of a supposed free state, or a Social Worker. Believe me, the UK does not have the best interests of their citizens in mind when they impose this sort of legality upon their citizens.

This is just one more way in which a Socialist State can become more intrusive in the day-to-day life of their citizenry. They have no real concern about the well-being of their agents; Social Workers are a dime a dozen, and here I inflate the value of these predatory prostitutes.

No, they care not a whit about the health of their minions.

Instead, this is just one more way in which they can demonstrate that The State is more important than The Individual.

Is smoking such an important issue, to other than the 20% of any state which practices the Evil of Smoking?

No, but personal freedom IS more important than the excuse for imposing these regulations.

When you see these bureaucratic regulations imposed, you might consider that you are witness to another step up the gentle slope of Nanny State regulation of your personal freedom.

1984 is past, but "1984" as a concept is on a roll!

You're about to be rolled over. Don't let it happen without noticing that yet another of your personal freedoms . . . the freedom to live a private life . . . is being infringed upon.

2005 RKBA Blogmeat Wrapup

Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Since the end of the year is fast approaching, I've decided to include ONE more thematic 'blogmeat' post.

The theme is RKBA (mostly in America); the sub-theme is Victim-ocracy. It should be interesting to see how people are handling interpersonal relationships at the end of 2005. Maybe next year we'll run another similar post, and see if anything has changed.

Our first offering:


A 25-year-old man claiming to sell magazines in Mount Dora, Fla., was arrested for allegedly forcing his way into a woman's apartment and attacking her in front of her two children, according to a Local 6 News report.

  • Charles Hartman.
    Mount Dora police said Charles Hartman told the woman that he was selling magazines for his college so he could travel to Paris.Investigators said when Hartman realized the woman's husband was not home, he forced his way inside the apartment and attacked her while her children watched.

    The woman apparently overpowered Hartman and managed to chase him outside with a board and screamed for help, according to the report. Hartman was arrested late Wednesday.

    If this big goof had appeared at my house, I would have already had the board in hand before I opened the door. But that's just me. In other news, the Violence Policy Center has announced that you are 43 times more likely to be slap-sticked if you have a board in your home.


    Robbers mess with the wrong grandma

    INITIATIVE: Seward woman tracks thieves who boldly snatched her purse.

    A 55-year-old grandmother from Seward who had her purse snatched in the parking lot of the Dimond Boulevard Costco on Monday afternoon has taken it upon herself to "catch the twirps," she said.

    Rosie Szymanski, who came to Anchorage to celebrate Christmas with her 10-year-old grandson and other family members, said Tuesday that she has tracked the thieves to several places where they used her credit cards before she was able to cancel them. And she has obtained a videotape of what she believes are the young men using one of her cards at a McDonald's.

    Anchorage police are cautioning her to use care in her investigation.

    Szymanski said she was unloading Christmas presents into her Chevy Astro van when a young man shoved her and pinched her kidney-bean-shaped handbag from the shopping cart, she said.

    "They are lucky I didn't have my .45 automatic. I would have blasted them," said Szymanski.

    Now, Szymanski is piping mad and "in hot pursuit," she said. She has extended her trip and turned it into a hunt for the thieves, work that she says the police aren't doing fast enough.

    After she was robbed, Szymanski ran after the thief until she saw him jump into a maroon Jeep that had been waiting with the engine revving. The vehicle sped off, she said.

    "Maybe I'm a little older, a little fluffier, and he thought I wasn't going to chase him," she said. "But I did."

    The thieves got away with Szymanski's wallet, several hundred dollars in cash, and a lucky coin she had from her grandmother that she always carries with her, she said.

    On Tuesday, Syzmanski spent the day driving around Anchorage to the sites where her credit cards had been used, scribbling notes on a mini yellow legal pad, and taking down phone numbers.

    "I've been around the block a few times," she said. "These boys need to know there are consequences."

    Had these idiots read my November, 2005, post titled "Granny Has A Gun", the would have known better than to have attacked a grandmother. There's something particularly appealing about citizens who refuse to become victims. I'm hoping that Granny Szymanski starts carrying full-time. Our world would be a better one, if we had more grandmothers and fewer goblins.

    And if this keeps up, my wish will be fulfilled.

    In other news, VPC has just announced that you are 43 times more likely to be tracked to the ends of the earth if you have a grandmother in your home.

    An Obscure Case for Pick-up Truck Control

    I'm not sure what this means. You read it, you tell me:

    2 going to prison on charge of carjacking

    The Associated Press

    Two Hartsville men who pleaded guilty to federal carjacking charges in an incident in which a man was chained to a pickup truck and dragged through a field have been sentenced to prison.

    Kenneth Smith, 41, was sentenced to 14 years in prison Wednesday by U.S. District Judge R. Bryan Harwell. Lamont McKay, 27, was sentenced to seven years.

    Prosecutors sought the reduced sentence for McKay because they said he cooperated in the case.

    Each man had faced a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    The two men began arguing with the victim over a drug deal at a Darlington County store in January, then struck him in the head and robbed him, prosecutors said.

    The men forced the victim into his own pickup truck, ordered him to drive to a nearby field and made him take his clothes off, authorities said.

    The victim was then beaten with a tire iron and burned with a cigarette lighter, chained to the truck and dragged up the road, prosecutors said.

    The victim said he was able to escape when the men turned a corner.

    The victim recovered from his injuries, which included cuts and bruises.

    The Darlington County Sheriff's Office had charged the men with assault and battery with intent to kill, kidnapping and armed robbery.

    The victim, who is white, said Smith and McKay, who are black, made racial slurs while chaining him to the truck.

    Authorities said they do not doubt the comments were made but said the crime did not appear to be racially motivated, because the robbery occurred first.

    I'm confused here. In 1999, a black man (James Byrd, Jr) was dragged behind a pick-up truck by two white men, and their sentence was increased because it was deemed to be a 'hate crime' . . . they were white, their victim was black. They had cut their victim's throat (isn't that a more 'hateful' act than robbery?) before dragging him.

    In this instance, the assailants had only robbed their victim before dragging him, knowing that he was not dead and it seems reasonable to believe that they might expect the dragging to lead to his death. Yet the courts deemed the action less 'hateful'.

    There is suddenly no humor in this thread. We're not talking about robberies thwarted because the supposed victim used an unexpected weapon to defend herself. We're talking about murder, racism, torture and violence on a level not frequently encountered in a civilized society.

    Or is it?

    There is, in fact, now a website devoted to hate crimes, and some of the examples they feature make it difficult to define that thin line between a hate crime and 'ordinary' violence.

    For example, in late September of 2005, a Navajo woman was dragged by the hair behind a pick-up truck by one of four Sioux tribal members in the truck. The ordeal 'only' lasted for one city block, and she was released before she died.

    Does the consideration of different tribal allegiance make this a hate crime?

    I don't know. And I'm not sure it's necessary to make the distinction.

    When you perform violence against another human being, and there is no "self-defense" rationalization for the action, it is at least hateful and more importantly it is prejudicial to your defense of your actions. The assailants must bear full responsibility for their assault, and it doesn't matter whether you are of the same genetic or cultural classification of your victim, there must be an element of hate or disdain involved.

    I don't belive in 'hate crimes', because I think it trivializes the violence involved.

    Every crime is a 'hate crime'. When you introduce the element of race, it makes it seem as if some races are more important than others, no matter which race (or cultural group) you choose to especially 'protect'. This emphasizes racial differences, and establishes an artificial and societally arbitrary evaluation between races.

    Isn't this exactly what we are trying to eliminate? Isn't violence between persons universally and equally deplored? Why is race, gender, sexual preference or culture considered when evaluating the degree of egrigiousness between one violent crime and another?

    The socialists among us would seemingly have us decide that it's less acceptable for a white person to murder a black man than it is for a black man to murder a white man (if we use James Byrd's murder as a standard), or for a heterosexual man to murder a homosexual man (if we use Mathew Shephard as a standard).

    But any death is an abomination. Those who would argue that one abomination is more egrigious than another are treading upon the slippery slope of positing that one person's life is more valuable or important than another, based solely upon racial (or cultural) characteristics of both the assaulted and the assailants.

    The implication is that this demeans, for example, the black man or the homosexual man or the Navajo woman, because they are 'untermenchen' and require special consideration . . . they do not (again, by implication rather than by my personal belief) deserve the same protection as does any other man or woman.

    I completely reject this mindset.

    Every man, every woman, who is assaulted or murdered deserves full protection because he or she is a human being. We all deserve the same protection. Our death should always be deserving of the same condemnation. Our assailants and our murderers should receive the same punishment.

    To do otherwise undermines our position in society. To do less implies that we are not equal in the eyes in the law.

    To apply the law inequitably undermines the Rule of Law, and this is the only feature of Western Civilization which separates from the Barbarians who hijack airliners and fly them into skyscrapers.

    I've enjoyed presenting the first couple of stories, because they were uncomplicated examples of people who defended themselves against common assailants. I don't enjoy reporting this last story, because it calls into question the issue of whether or not we truly accept all citizens as worthy of equal treatment under the law.

    There is no joy to be found here. Our nation has taken a cruel turn here, and I am sickened by it.

    I will speak no more of it, because it presents evidence that sexual and racial bigotry is still strong in America, and it is being promulgated by our most liberal (and supposedly Socialist) elements.

    Thursday, December 22, 2005


    IT's Showtime

    Microsoft recently announced its new program to improve software quality.

    It's called "We Share Your Pain", or WE-SYP

    In this video, MS TechNet presents it's experimental project by which you, the IT Professional, can share your pain of failure of MicroSoft software product performance with the programmer responsible for writing that miserable code.

    You can hook into the IT'S SHOWTIME website by clicking on the above link(s), and select either low (300kbps) or high-speed (512kbps) presentations of the video.

    Or, if you have a high-speed internet connection, you can go directly to the video here.

    Depending on the way your computer options are set up, you may see the video immediately loading to your Windows Media Player, or be presented with a choice of opening it directly or downloading it to your HD.

    Personally, I would recommend you download the file and play it over and over everytime you've received the MS Windows Blue Screen of Death.

    It'll make you feel better.

    Geek Video Rating: ("R" - for ROFLMAO)

    If you click on "Download the presentation", you get a four-frame PowerPoint presentation with diagrams.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    Eminem RULZ! (Literally!)

    Eminem Music Allegedly Used As U.S. Torture Device

    POSTED: 11:04 am CST December 19, 2005
    A human rights group is alleging the United States operated a secret prison near Afghanistan's capital as recently as last year.The group claims that music by Eminem and Dr. Dre were used as instruments of torture. New York-based Human Rights Watch has issued a report saying the United States operated a secret prison in Afghanistan and tortured detainees. The report quoted an Ethiopian-born detainee as saying he was kept in a pitch-black prison and forced to listen to Eminem and Dr. Dre’s rap music for 20 days before the music was replaced by "horrible ghost laughter and Halloween sounds."
    Well, that must have been a relief!

    Memphis Goblin Count

    This from Memphis:
    Hope Kim is still keeping track of the Goblin Count.

    Here's another one for you, Kim!
    Posted by Cathy Shapiro
    Police say homeowner shot one, others scattered
    Dec 19, 2005, 07:08 AM

    Yep, it often works out that way.

    2nd Amendment Repealed

    Americablog tells us that:

    The 2nd Amendment Has Been Repealed

    (H/T to Jeff Maass)

    The thrust of John's argument is that President Bush has broken the law, and compromised the U.S. Bill of Rights, in using NSA resources to listen in on telephone conversations between a "United States person" and non-United States people. I've listened to the commentary, I've read some of it (not all . . . this is NOT my day-job, y'know), and I've read the applicable sections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act (FISA).

    Here are the circumstances under which the cited NSA actions are legal:

    (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
    (A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
    (i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
    (ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
    (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party;
    There's more, but FISA allows the President some unilateral authority as long as
    1. The surveillance continues for no longer than one year, and
    2. No "United States person is a party"
    FISA doesn't seem to authorize the Presidential action, and I heard Rush Limbaugh this morning citing this section IN PART and out of context when he was arguing that the action was entirely legal. What I didn't hear Limbaugh include was any reference to the two points I high-lighted above.

    This is extremely time-dated material, and much better researchers than I are busily poking around in United States Code, and historical documents, trying to discover the legal justification for this action.

    It doesn't look good for the President in this situation at this time.

    However, I'm not sure I can agree with John at Americablog when he argues by extention, implying that this 'sets a precedent' for Presidential abbrogation of the U.S. Constitution and specifically all articles of the Bill of Rights. I have reservations about this debating technique, which I consider a 'smoke and mirrors' move most often used by someone who realizes his logical position is weak. Also, I wonder why the 2nd Amendment is suddenly trotted out in a blog which hasn't mentioned RKBA during the preceding 19 days of December articles which I have read on that blog.

    I'm not saying that the motives of the author are hidden; I'm just saying that they're not clear.

    Taxi Driver, Kick Your Ass!

    From The Guardian:

    11 hurt in clashes over ban on female taxi passengers

    Rory Carroll
    Saturday December 17, 2005
    The Guardian

    Hundreds of taxi moped operators in the northern Nigerian city of Kano have clashed with Islamic authorities over a ban on women passengers, a new sharia law which they said deprived them of their best customers.

    A fleet of riders, known as achaba, drove through the city wielding sticks this week in protests which turned violent, leaving 11 people injured and 24 motorised tricycles vandalised.

    "No amount of intimidation and lawlessness will deter us from carrying out this noble duty of stopping women from riding on achaba," said Yahaya Farouk Chedi of the religious police.

    (Emphasis added)

    Under Sharia law, women are not allowed to drive vehicles. If they want to go someplace, they have to find someone to drive them. A reasonable alternative, you might say, would be to take a taxi.

    But in this Nigerian city, the "motorized tricycle" seems to be a common form of taxi. I'm only guessing, they don't have a lot of Checkers cabs there.

    ("Gee, you can't drive, you can't take a taxi . . . you're a woman under Sharia Law, how do you get from point "A" to point "B"? Answer: Point "A" is the kitchen, or the bedroom. You don't have to go anyplace else. Besides, you're a WOMAN, and if we see you in public we will be overwhelmed with lust and defile ourselves by raping your sinful body. It's not our fault, we can't be expected to control our lust. The only defense we have is to keep you LOCKED UP! Who cares what you want? You're only a woman. Note: this doesn't reflect badly on us. We're men. If you don't like it, we can kick your ass, and the scooter you rode in on.")

    Now they can't even use taxis to get around. Continuing with my "I'm only guessing" trend, "I'm only guessing" that the lauded "noble duty of stopping women from riding on achaba" has a lot to do with treating women as second-class citizens . . . or property.

    I only know one muslim personally, and he seems as happily hen-pecked as the rest of us. He lives here (in Oregon), he does an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, and he also respects his wife. I don't think he's living under Sharia law. That's the law that the militant muslims would impose on the entire world, one nation at a time.

    How many of us could live under Sharia law, where the courts are ruled by religious leaders and there is no real 'rule of law' appeal to their decisions, unless it is supported by their primary religious beliefs?

    Let me be completely clear here. I consider the actions of the Nigerian Religious Police to be shameful. More, I consider the entire concept of Religious Police to be completely unacceptable. I'm a nominal Christian, even though religion isn't part of my life-style and I haven't been inside a church for almost a year.

    These aren't religious principles we're discussion. They're cultural principals. I think that people who use their religion to justify acting like hooligans (there is no better word in the English language to describe such conduct) are little better than animals. They're using the precepts of their avowed religion to excuse egrigious conduct. I'm searching for a word here, and I'm mulling over 'duplicitous', but it's not strong enough to express my revulsion. How about a more complex phrase, such as "state-supported thugs"? No, that's not strong enough either.

    Maybe you can help me out here.

    The point may be in comparing this 'thing' with the previous 'thing'.

    The people who beat up taxi drivers because women hire them are the same kind of people who drive airplanes into public buildings. They think they know better than we do, about how we should live our lives.

    I don't like that. I think we should fight against that sort of 'holier than thou' attitude, and we should use every weapon in our arsenal to fight their drive to impose their rules on us.

    Islamists Are Crazy

    In support of the evolved theme that Islamists Are Crazy, here's an offering from "The Scotsman dot Com", one of my favorite news sources:.

    Jihad is 'Muslim obligation'

    A lawyer defending al Qaida-linked suspects standing trial for the 2003 suicide bombings in Istanbul told a court that jihad, or holy war, was an obligation for Muslims and his clients should not be prosecuted.

    "If you punish them for this, tomorrow, will you punish them for fasting or for praying?" Osman Karahan -- a lawyer representing 14 of the 72 suspects -- asked during a nearly four-hour speech in which he read religious texts from an encyclopedia of Islam.

    If I "punish them for this" (suicide bombing of innocents) they won't be around for fasting or praying. Obviously, those activities haven't improved their ability to celebrate Allah or God in their conduct. I'll happily grant them the opportunity to reboot and restart the Game of Life, because they will be dead.

    If I understand the Hindu religion correctly, these people may have erred in this life. They have accumulated 'bad Karma'. If they have "moved away from the light" they may be reincarnated in a lower form of life.

    Perhaps they will be reincarnated as beetles.

    That would be good; they need someone to step on them for a few incarnations so they can Get A Clue.

    I think, in my next life, I want to come back as a Hindu. It seems like a religion (or philosophy, if you will), which is much easier to live up to than Wahibbism and Sharia 'law'.

    Canadian Clue-Bat

    From the Edmonton, Alberta (CA) CBC.Ca:

    Handgun sales on the rise
    Last updated Dec 19 2005 07:49 AM MST
    CBC News
    Gun shop owners say handgun sales in Edmonton are skyrocketing since Prime Minister Paul Martin's promise to ban them.

    A Canadian "Liberal Leader" made a promise to ban handguns in Alberta. Well, they're already 'almost banned', but this sounds like the Nuclear Option.

    Now that Albertans have been assured that the Demon Gun will no longer be an option, how do they react?

    Do they dance in the streets and give candy to strangers, as Pallistinians do when they are assured that Sharon is ailing?

    No, they do not.

    Instead, they rush to gun stores and buy handguns.


    What is this strange discordance between Canadian Citizens and Canadian Politicos?

    "I'm Just Guessing" that there is a national schizophrenia in action, where Canadians will vote for the Liberal Wacko de jure, but they retain sufficient grey matter to realize that "I've Got Mine!" is a survival instinct.

    Why do they buy handguns, when they are assured that the future promises that handguns will be illegal? Are they just buying handguns so they can give them up when the new administration confiscates them? That's not right. Why would they deliberately buy a Demon Gun when they are assured that it will soon be rendered Ex Post Facto illegal.

    Note: BANS lead to REGISTRATION, which leads to LICENSING, which leads to CONFISCATION. I'm sure they are clear on the concept.

    Could it be that they plan to NOT allow their new (and newly illegal) handgun to be confiscated?

    Can it be that they have no confidence in the rightness of the action, and expect to have their very own handgun for personal defense when it all goes into the crapper?

    Note to Albertans:
    Instead of planning to circumvent the Law of the Land, why don't you quit voting for these Liberal Moonbats and elect non-Liberal leaders who won't make you a criminal for performing an action (buying a handgun) which was legal when you did it?

    I don't know about you, but it seems a lot easier to fight 'em at the polls than to fight 'em at the barricades.

    To quote my old friend, Earthworm:

    "What a bunch of Maroons!"

    Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    Big Dawg Invitational

    The Michael Bane Blog: SHOOTING GALLERY Challenge/Big Dawg Invitational Update

    Michael Bane (my hero!) has once again defined competition shooting. This time, he has scheduled a 'mixed media' invitation-only match to the top Big Dawgs of various disciplines for a two-day match with surprise stages and ranges from seven to seventy yards . . . all to be engaged with 'THEIR" pistols,

    That's the deal. Invitation match, top shooters include:
    • Todd Jarrett
    • Doug Koenig
    • Rob Leatham
    • Max Michel
    • Dave Sevigney (Production King)
    • Jerry Miculek (Revolver King)
    Cowboy Action stars include:
    • Randi "Holy Terror" Rogers
    ..... that's it? You've got six male IPSC champions, and one lone Female SAS shooter?

    Sheee - ooot ... she's got 'em outnumbered and surrounded.

    I don't know about you, but Jerry M. has sacrificed his 'underdawg' status to Randi Rogers. I want her to kick serious IPSC butt, and you know that Michael Bane isn't going to play up the diversity angle at ALL.

    Yeah, right. And I'll receive an all-expenses paid invitation to represent the "Geek" contingent.

    The deal is, you do NOT "shoot what you brang".

    THEY (the producers) supply the guns, THEY supply the ammunition, THEY design and set up the stages, THEY make the rules, THEY score the stages, and THEY keep the cameras rolling while the Best of the West have every oppportunity to screw up by the numbers.

    I love it.

    Seven shooters. Six stages. Two days. What's not to like.

    Okay, I wish (as if it makes a differnece) there was a 'normal' shooter in the mix to provide perspective. And I would really like for my hero, Jerry 'The Burner' Barnhart, to be one of the competitors. But he has announced that he is no longer a competitor, and you have to respect his decision to retire even if you (as I do) would prefer that he continue competing for at least one more year. The man contributes CLASS to what would otherwise be, as the Artillaryman's creeed suggests, a "mundane affair".

    I'm thinking seven shooters is an odd number, and there needs to be some balance here.

    They need a GEEK to leven the mix.
    Well, there's . . . hey, I'M a Geek. I could do this.

    I couldn't do squat, of course, but I can provide a benchmark experience.

    I remember May, 1999, when I shot 'Mano a Mano' against Todd Jarret.

    It was Stage 5 of the 1999 Area 1 Championship match of USPSA.

    A large number of IPSC targets were presented for a four-string Timed-fire stage.

    Jarret shot a fast rhythm of engagement against the half-dozen targets, all obscured by camoflauge netting.

    I, shooting The Beloved Kimber ( .45 APC, fixed sights, C-Limited shooter) tried to keep up with his rhythm.

    He hit all of his targets, at 50, 40, 20 and 10-yard distances.

    I missed most of them. But DAMN! I sounded good, keeping up with the World Champion in pace if not in accuracy.

    I can do it again. Well, maybe not.

    This is a whole new deal, with the Best of the Besto of the Best competing agains each other

    It will be interesting, seeing if the stage designs are 'Revolver friendly' for Miculek and Rogers. I can't imagine there isn't a bias in favor of the people who are accustomed to pushing their load-limit.

    But the scenario is that everybody shoots the same gun, with the same ammunition, at the same stages.

    It could be interesting. It could be a 'level playing field'.

    It could be exciting!


    Concealed Carry

    To carry, or not to carry. That is the question.

    According to my old (and obsolete) friend, GURUNET, "Concealed Carry" means:

    concealed carry (USA)

    In the United States, concealed carry is the right to carry a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner.

    I've just posted an article about FishOrMan, describing his twenty-month legal battle to defend his Open Carry of a pistol in the state of Washington, USA.

    This is different from Concealed Carry in that you are required to carry your pistol in a manner which makes it obvious to the casual observer that you are armed.

    It is also different in that, in Open Carry states, you (supposedly) need no governmental permission to carry Open.

    This isn't always the case, as FishOrMan learned.

    Because the people who are paid to enforce the laws aren't always clear about what the law is, and how it should be applied, it may be prudent to get 'pre-approval' from the State (or County) to carry a concealed weapon. LEOs pay attention to this. Also, being 'merely human', they may apply their own interpretations as to whether your chosen method of carrying a firearm is legal.

    I have made my own decision about whether or not to carry, and the associated decision about seeking governmental approval of my right to carry a concealed weapon. This is a good time, I think, to talk about that decision.

    It's important to consider how one will exercise the right (if right it is) to carry a concealed weapon.
    Probably the most common reason for carrying a weapon is self-defense. This supposes that one will be attacked and need to defend one's life, another person's life, or even one's personal well being or property.

    Defense against, for example, rape or assault with injury which may NOT lead to death is a point of contention. Most people think that they have the right to defend themself with lethal force against injurious assault, but some assert that they would submit to assault or even die rather than to take the life of another human being. I personally find this hard to understand. Perhaps I'm just a selfish person, but I believe that anyone who would willingly assault another human being has already decided to accept the risk that it may escalate into a Life Or Death situation for at least one of the (unwilling) participants, and thus has accepted the unspoken covenant that the life of the assailant is forfeit if the assaulted can only accomplish it.

    This result (that an assaulted person might ultimately kill his or her assailant) strikes me as 'an outcome ernestly desired' by some innocent who is violently attacked. "Your Mileage May Vary", but it seems to me that I have the right to defend myself by whatever means available when attacked, and if I have not chosen to arm myself beforehand I have made the decision to submit to any injury or indignity which another can force upon me.

    You might not agree with me NOW, but when you are attacked by a naked man with a machete when you are walking to your car after work, you may have an entirely different perspective on the question. Of course, by then it will be too late to work out the ethical details.

    Thus I postulate that I have a right to arm myself in defense of myself, and this right has been generally conceded by the Bill of Rights (2nd Amendment) and specifically by over two thirds of the States of the Union.

    Given that this right is correct and real, and supported by the Rule of Law, what am I going to do with it?

    Most states which legally support the right of the individual to arm in self defense include several conditions of qualification. Most common of these conditions are proof that one is legally entitled to own a firearm (felons need not apply; insane maniacs get in line behind the felons, but don't get your hopes too high; juveniles . . . don't even think it, you have less rights than maniacs.)

    Assuming you're not a felon, or a maniac, or a juvenile, can you prove that you are competent to use a firearm? Most states require some certification that you have received the benefit of training, or have received instruction on the rights and/or obligations of a responsible carrier of weapons.

    Given, for the sake of argument, that I am a legally responsible adult citizen in all respects, and I can prove it, and if I can get at least three other people to vouch for me (also a common stepping-stone on the road to permission to carry), I can be awarded a Good Conduct Medal. This is variously referred to as 'Concealed Pistol License" (CPL), a "Concealed Weapon Permit" (CWP), or in my home state as a "Concealed Handgun Permit" (CHL). I'll use the term CHL to describe the governmental permission.

    The good thing about a CHL is that you can carry a handgun ALMOST anywhere, and you can carry someplaces where you would be subject to legal penalty if you don't have a CHL. This most accurately describes the situation in my state. If I have a concealed pistol in my car, I can go to jail. However, if I have a CHL, it becomes my "get out of jail free" card.

    This the reason why I applied for a CHL in Oregon. I often attend shooting matches around the state, and became concerned because in the confusion of loading the car with guns, ammunition, pistol belts with holsters and magazine carriers, tools, spare parts, clothing appropriate to a surprise change in the weather, food, water, a thermos of coffee, and perhaps a suitcase with toiletries and a change of clothes for a weekend stay with friends . . . I may put the bag with the guns in the back seat of the car instead of in the trunk of the car.

    In my home state, the law requires that guns must be transported in a locked compartment, and not accessible by the driver of the automobile while operating the car. By accident or inattention, I may violate that law and thus be subject to penalties including confiscation of automobile and firearm, fine, and imprisonment. (One of my cousins was once caught with a pistol in the glove compartment of his car, while on the way to a ground-squirrel hunting area. He was fortunate that he was not imprisoned, but it cost him more money than he could afford and he was put on probation for six months. Plus, he lost a really fine Ruger .22 handgun. He was perhaps careless, certainly overconfident, but absolutely not felonious in his intent.)

    To avoid this situation, I have chosen to apply for, and was eventually 'awarded with', a Concealed Handgun License by the state of Oregon and the county of Benton.

    I took a one-day class in "Home Defense" from my local gun club, filled out the forms, had three friends sign my "certificate of whatever", gave the Sheriff's office my fingerprints, gave the same sSheriff's office a check for $55, let them take my picture, and two months later received a CHL.

    Now I don't care where I put the bags with the guns when I load the car. My Jeep Cherokee doesn't have a trunk, and I don't care. Cargo compartment, back seat, front seat, glove compartment . . . it doesn't matter where I put the guns, I'm legal. They can't touch me, as long as I don't have the gun laying open to casual observation in the car. (Another local aberration.)

    So the CHL works for me, because it protects me from goofy laws which may or may not . . . but have, historically . . . cause legal problems for someone who hasn't jumped through the legal hoops and paid their danegeld to the County.

    What does this do for my Self-Defense Posture?

    Not much, if we're talking about defending myself against assailants.

    But it does a LOT in the area of defending myself against bureaucrats!

    Hey, what about defending myself against assault?

    Okay, let's talk about this.

    There are restrictions against carrying a weapon, even if you are the somewhat proud possessor of a CHL.

    FIrst, you can't carry a gun into a court of law. (Some states include "Any Public Building", such as a post office, the local FBI office, or a school ... we'll discuss this in a minute.) Often, your CHL will not allow you to carry in a place where liquor is served. This means, if you go to a restaurant and they have a license to server beer or wine, you can't bring your gun with you.

    In my state, there was once a law stating that you couldn't have a handgun in your possession within 1000 yards of a school. Good law, we're doing this 'for the children', right?

    Not really. What if you live within 1000 yards of a school? What if you are driving by the school on your way to or from a shooting match? (A thousand yards is over a half-mile. Many schools are located on or near main surface streets; you may be within this artificial legal limit while driving to a shooting range from your house, your gun may be locked in the trunk, but if you're stopped for a traffic infraction you are subject to many legal penalties even though you obviously had no nefarious intention in mind.)

    This law was eventually overturned in my state, because it was too vague and put too much burden on the casual wayfarer to KNOW when he or she was within X distance of a school. Besides, there are schools which somehow have retained a 'Shooting Club', and it made it impossible for them to operate. Yes, I am aware that this is a mind-boggling situation, but in Oregon there are still some people who believe firmly that competition shooting builds character and is good 'for the children'. I happen to be one of them, because I participated in Gallery Rifle Competition from Junior High School through College (ages 11 thru 23).

    This all sounds Gun-Owner Friendly, right?

    Unfortunately, I spend most of my daylight hours on the campus of the college where I am employed. If I bring a gun to work with me, the state can prosecute me for having a firearm in a "public building".

    What if I bring a gun to work/school, but leave it in the car?
    The school may or may not have a policy (it hasn', to my knowledge, been published yet) against having guns in the car?

    Well, they MAY not be successful in prosecuting me for breaking the law; but there's a HUGE grey area, which hasn't yet been addressed, about whether an employer can refuse permission for employees to have a firearm in posession on 'their' property. As far as I know, a University Campus has not yet been defined as a "public building", so I don't really know if it's possible for me to arm myself while walking to and from my car in the dark of the pre- and post-work hours.

    Even if they can't prosecute me, they MAY be able to discharge me for having a weapon on campus, even if it is locked up in my car.

    And frankly, a gun in my car doesn't do me a lot of good if I'm attacked while I'm walking to my car in the dark at the end of the work day.

    As far as I know, this is the most dangerous part of the day . . . walking to my car after work. And I'm at least 'discouraged' from carrying to defend myself.

    Is that a familiar scenario? Is your employer the the entity which prevents you from defending yourself from random violence? I'll bet it is.

    So, what's the bottom line here?
    A concealed handgun license MAY protect you from the state; it won't protect you from the State's efforts to negate your ability to protect yourself from assault.

    H/T: Bearman's 45 blot, "Why I Don't Have A Concealed Weapons Permit"

    Act like you've got a pair!

    I received this note in the COMMENTS section of an article I wrote a couple of days ago. It wasn't directly applicable to the events of the article, but it certainly is in keeping with the RKBA theme. I quote Jason (FishOrMan) entirely for your convenience:

    Hello Jerry,

    I find you commented on my cases and it sounds like you would be interested to know I actually WON that appeal, (fighting Pro se too)!

    Needless to say, I feel like Christmas came early, (I truly figured it would take until I reached the court of appeals before I got a judge to actually look at the issue).

    Yes, I did get my ass kicked out of the whole deal. Yet, I am still unsure how I would respond to a direct violation of the right to bear arms by any state employee. They swore an oath to the Constitution, and when they are breaking that oath, I don't think they should be treated with anything better then contempt.

    That is what I think... what I will do in the future I just don't know. But, somehow, I feel my children and grandchildren are already watching me.

    The article in which I was "commenting on (his) case . . . " is called Second Amendment Woes, and I wrote it on December 22, 2004. Here's one of the most critical comments I made there:

    This poor SOB has made his stand, and has asserted his Civil Rights. Maybe someday, ten or twenty years from now, and if he has enough money (which he has not) to hire clever lawyers who will pursue the case, he may even be cleared of all criminal charges. Maybe even the civil charges (which have not yet been brought by the local authorities). For now, he's facing jail time, and bankruptcy because he needs to find and pay lawyers, and he is completely despondant about his ability to defend himself, his family, and his home. I thank him for providing a 'test case' which may someday expand the interpretation of the Second Amendment for the rest of us, but I sure wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

    (Emphasis added here)

    I'm not sure I would want to be in his shoes today, either.

    I know it took a year and a half (dating from his original May, 2004, arrest) for him to beat the rap, and it cost him a lot of time, money, anguish and embarassment. I can't imagine what his family went through, but I have checked out his blog from time to time for updates on court hearings (time off work?), trying to find decent lawyers that he could afford (who can afford any competent lawyer?), and general expense and inconvenience.

    Most difficult, I suspect, was dealing with the sheer frustration of knowing that he was being harrassed not because he broke the law, but because he demanded his rights as defined by the law.

    Second most difficult may be not knowing whether his rights as an acknowledged citizen of America would be taken away from him.

    I don't know what it has cost him, but I know it wasn't insignificant and that his life has been dramatically interrupted by his experience.

    When this all started, I was doubtful that he would be able to defend himself, or would be willing to endure the expense, humiliation and inconveneince (too weak a word!) to which he would be subjected. Most men would have given up. Most men would have cut a deal.

    Jason didn't. He stood up for himself and demanded his rights. In a very real sense, he battled for the rights of all of us here.

    This was his personal Saint Crispin's Day, and he can make any kind of speech he wants to. He earned it.

    He won, and it's one of the most remarkable stories I've heard in a long, long time.

    Congratulations, Jason. There can't be much question now whether you are Fish or Man. You've showed us the difference.
    Great Big Brass Ones!

    Monday, December 19, 2005

    NOLA, CHPs, and Katrina Confiscations

    Musings of The GeekWithA.45

    Geek With A .45 (The Alpha Geek of Bloggers, Joe Huffman notwithstanding) posted recently about Patricia Konie, a middle-aged New Orleans resident who was forcibly removed from her home during the flooding which resulted from hurricane Katrina.

    He refers to a previous post, and cites a video which is merely an overview of National Guard troops doing a house-to-house search for survivors . . . whom they were ordered to forcibly evacuate.

    One resident, Patricia Konie, was very clear when she was visited by members of the California Hiway Patrol (who were sent to help in any way they could to support the NOPD). She didn't want to leave her home, and she didn't want the police officers in her home.

    Ms Konie, you may remember, allowed the CHPs to enter her home but stood in her kitchen with a pearl-handled revolver and a clasp knife in her hand, in a non-threatening attitude (she had them both in her left hand, and was holding the revolver around the cylinder, rather than holding the grip of the revolver with her finger on or near the trigger.) When she refused to leave her home and her two dogs, the CHPs attacked her, "took her down" to the floor, confiscated her weapons and forcibly removed her from her home.

    Geek reports that she suffered a broken and dislocated shoulder, which required surgery, and is now suing for damages. *

    So far, so good.

    Trigger Finger has found himself behind the groundswell of bloggification, so he adds a great deal of details to the story. *(She's suing The State of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Police, The State of California, and the California Hiway Patrol.)

    One of the details is a link to the video which was taken when Ms Konie was 'taken down'. This is a presentation by KTVU in California, reporting on the CHPs participation in the evacuation.

    Okay, we've got to the bottom line of the JerryTheGeek version of the story.

    At the end of the KTVU video, we see Ms. Konie being lead out of her house, and the announcer mentions that she was allowed to take her two dogs with her.

    And it shows her LIFTING ONE OF HER DOGS into the back of a military vehicle. The tailgate is armpit-high on the lady, but she doesn't seem to have much problem lifting it up.

    I'm not saying she's shamming.

    The news reports cited by Geekwitha45 imply that her injuries "required surgery".
    The text of the suit cited by Trigger Finger suggests that surgery "may be necessary".

    I've never had either a broken OR a dislocated shoulder, so perhaps someone reading this may have experiential or anecdotal evidence which will clear up the question.

    All I want to know is, if a 100-pound woman was so badly injured in the shoulder, would she be able to lift a 20-pound dog to shoulder height and deposit it in the back of a truck, without showing any sign of pain or distress, shortly after the injury was inflicted?

    I always thought that a dislocated shoulder was immediately and dramatically debilitating. A childhood friend of mine suffered a broken collar-bone, and he couldn't even get out of bed for a month. Are shoulders not, after all, that painful?

    Has anyone heard whether she actually DID undergo surgery for these shoulder injuries?

    What's the dealio here?