Thursday, May 18, 2006

We've lost another good man

I don't much like the recent fad of referring to people with similar interests or agenda as a "community", as in "the Law-Enforcement community" or "the Barking Moonbat community", but it does serve a purpose and I suppose I would have to say I was a part of "The USPSA community".

If so, it's a small community. There are about 15,000 members of USPSA (United States Practical Pistol Association), and one of the ways we keep track of each other is through The Unofficial IPSC List.

Like all small communities, we note with regret the passing of one of our members. I was saddened today when List Member Carl Schmidt informed us of the untimely death of Ray Echols.

Here's the information Carl was able to provide to us, which was apparently a forwarded Internet news-clipping:

Many will remember Ray as "The last GM" on this forum. He will be missed.
Carl Schmidt

From: *******************
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Ray Echols, Grand Master
* 63-year-old hiker killed in fall*

A Mariposa man fell to his death while hiking in the mountains, officials reported Tuesday.

Wendell Ray Echols, 63, was hiking about 9 a.m. Monday on a trail in the mountains near Lake Arrowhead when he lost his footing and fell about 200 feet, according to a coroner's news release.

Another hiker called 9-1-1. Paramedics pronounced Echols dead at the scene.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident.

I replied to The List, and can't say it better by rewording it.

Oh, damn.

Yes, I remember Ray Echols. I lost track of him for a few years, then got the nice people here on The List to send me his email address on January 2 of this year. He and I exchanged emails the next few days, and I asked him if he was still shooting.

He replied that he still shot a few local matches, but that he spent most of his time hiking. He told me that he had hiked sections of The Pacific Crest Trail, and this summer he planned to hike the entire Trail from border to border, starting in Canada and working his way to Mexico.

He sounded very enthusiastic about the three-month trek, and I'd like to think that's where he fell. I wouldn't want him to have missed out on the best hike of his life.

It wasn't a good way to die, if there is one, but he was doing something he loved.

I'll remember Ray the way he looked when I met him at the USPSA Nationals in Las Vegas, 1998. I had hoped to be squaded with him, but of course he was shooting with the Big Boys. I remember that image because of the goofy beat-to-hell straw cowboy hat he was wearing ... on top of a big blue bandana he had tied over his scalp, like a pirate's do-rag.

Ray was a one-off, and I'll miss him.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Tinman Junior: The Ultimate Concealed Carry?

You've got to laugh.

I did!

weekly "Carnival of Cordite" is one of my favorite internet activities. I contribute from time to time with links from my blog, and when he publishes on Friday I read it and go check out most of the articles he has gathered.

This week, he published Monday ... today. One of his links was courtesy of "an alert reader", showing a video of a purported student demonstrating the reason why it's important for schoolboys to "tuck in your shirt".

This is apparently a video produced by a school board, intended to justify a dress-code banning baggy pants and un-tucked shirts. (Either that, or it's a very well executed satire!)

Why should schools require that students tuck in their shirts, and eschew the wearing of baggy pants? Because you can hide an arsenal on the average 15-year old boy!

In case the link in Gullyborg's Archive file doesn't work, I shamelessly stole the video and put it on my ("The Berkley") server. As long as you can read this blog, you can see this video.

This kid had to sound ... and look ... like RoboCop when he walked.

If you would like to submit a gun-related 'post' to the Carnival of Cordite, click here for instructions and link.