Thursday, September 07, 2006

Crazy Croc Match Results

You didn't win.

Read "The Ten Ring"

I've been reading "The Ten Ring" for some time now, because it's a well-written Gun Blog and because it often presents articles which are of interest to me.

I usually go to it from Michael Bane's Shooting Gallery, because I spend a lot of time there both writing and reading the other folks Michael has linked to.

Tonite I was reading an especially fascinating Ten Ring article about 'Another Hysterical "Gun Owner"', and it occured to me that as often as I read this blog .... maybe you don't!

Sure, the blog frequently includes articles that don't interest me.

I'm pretty sure that Denise and Sam don't get much out of my IPSC-related articles, either. They don't shoot the sport, and my articles on The Croc Match (for example) probably don't float their boat.

But they spend a lot of time on RKBA subjects, and that does interest me.

You may not spend much time on the Bane Shooting Gallery website (though you'd be a damn fool not to), so I've not only written this article to draw your attention to the, I've also added them to my sidebar under "Places I Recommend".

I strongly encourage you to go check them out.

Heck, they may even add ME to THEIR sidebar!

Stamp THIS!

CA Legislative Info and Contact Tools

Microstamping ammunition in Kalifornia (AB 352) has been defeated!

(GIF courtesy of NRA Members' Council of California)

You may recall that California tried this kind of Closet Gun Control before ... last year, and it took a year to defeat it in the Senate. I blogged about it April 27, 2005, June 5, 2005, June 8, 2005, and June 12, 2005.

In the June 12, 2005 article I said:

Another bill, AB352 (not previously mentioned here), would require that new firearms sold in California after a certain date would automatically stamp each cartridge case with the serial number unique to this firearm. Parenthetically, we should note that this constitutes ipso facto registration of every new pistol sold in California, because the purported purpose of this measure is to aid in criminal investigations whenever a firearm is used in the commission of a crime.

In order for "... (automatic stamping of) ... each cartridge case with the serial number unique to this firearm..." to be effective, ALL applicable firearms must be registered.

So much for the 2nd amendment.
This may not, in retrospect, be completely clear.

If you (a Law Enforcement Officer) happen upon a scene where an ejected case is found, you may discover that the case is indeed stamped with "... the serial number unique to this firearm..."

This is of little value without being able to tie the serial number of the firearm to the owner. The only way to do this is to require that each firearm be registered.

This means the firearm must be registered, and the logical extention is that when registration is legally required, confiscation cannot be far behind. California has proved that logical extention when it first required registration of "assault weapons", then (California's Attorney General Bill Lockyer) used that same registration list to enforce confiscation ... without compensation, if you recall.

Fortunately, AB 352 has (as of August 31, 2006) FINALLY been voted down. It's difficult to imagine how an illegal gun-control law could fail in Kalifornia, but it has, and that's A Good Thing.

Jim Shepherd in "The Outdoor Wire", (my favorite online Shooting Community Information Resource; subscribe here), has the story:

The California legislature has failed to pass the "MicroStamp" legislature reported last week in The Shooting Wire. As introduced, AB 352 would have led to significant price increases for consumers on all firearms, with the Attorney General of California then having the right to require serialization of all ammunition.

Micro stamping would have made it difficult to sell firearms in California; serialization would have ended sales as all firearms and ammunition manufacturers agree that while micro stamping would have been difficult, serialization would have been downright impossible.

Despite the failure of the measure, it is another example of the measures anti-firearms legislators are willing to take in their campaign to remove firearms from legal owners in California. Micro stamping, the heart and supposed intent of the bill would have forced manufacturers to use a patented process available from a single manufacturer. Legal experts tell us that fact could have formed the basis for a stay of the bill. Neither did the fact that micro stamping was being mis-applied in this supposed application. Micro stamping has proven effective in identifying tiny computer components, but it was not designed to turn the firing pins of every firearm into a tiny stamping machine, pounding the model, serial number and manufacturer of the firearm into every shell casing.

The damming fact about the legislation's intent, however, wasn't in any of the hard facts, but the soft actions taken to "slip in" language permitting the Attorney General to require serialization of all ammunition sold in California "at a future date." That brought a collaborative campaign against AB 352 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), National Rifle Association, California Association of Firearms Retailers and the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

"We could not be more pleased with the outcome of this vote," said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the NSSF, "this legislation would not only have forced an unproven and costly technology upon both firearms consumers and taxpayers, but it would have allowed for the banning of all ammunition in California."

Micro stamping and ammo serialization opposition was not limited to the industry. Major law enforcement and taxation opponents also opposed AB 352 as price increases of as much as $150 per gun were projected for consumers and all taxpayers would have paid for micro stamping on law enforcement firearms.

"We have always said that further research into microstamping, like the study currently being conducted at the University of California, Davis, would be necessary before the legislature considers mandating this very dubious technology," added Keane. "By defeating AB 352, the California Assembly passed a measure of common sense."

That study not withstanding, micro stamping had also been proven by independent research to be easily defeated by either using common household tools to remove the stamping surface from original firing pins on weapons or by simply using a replacement firing pin and removing the original.

While the defeat of AB 352 may be passage of a measure of common sense, the preponderance of evidence from California may indicate that common sense will only prevail until the next effort to ban firearms.

We'll keep you posted.

--- Jim Shepherd

You may remember that I talked last year about Kalifornia's SB 357, which proposed that all ammunition sold in that state be pre-stamped with a serial number which would allow the identification of each round by manufacturer and even the individual box ... which would presumably identify the original purchaser.

You may also remember that I said it would increase the price of ammunition ten-fold, without producing the proposed benefit of identifying criminals by the ammunition left behind.

If you don't remember, or weren't aware of the controversy at that time, I urge you to go to the links published above and relive those sterling days of yesteryear when Kalifornia's Korrupt Kongresspersons started their end-run to use phoney Crime Control laws to generate Economic hardship on legitimate gunowner.

Their end purpose was Gun Control, and the curtailment of Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

These people don't have the Good of The People in mind, folks. They don't want to solve crime. They couldn't care less about criminals. They will always, eventually, catch the Gypsies Tramps and Thieves.

They want to disarm the people who elected them. They want to control you.

They're afraid of you, because you have the ultimate means to curtail governmental corruption.

Any politician who votes for gun control does NOT have your best interests at heart. He wants to enslave you, for his own benefit.

And the politicians who tell you different?

They're the worst of the lot.

Use YOUR vote to kick the blackguards out of office. You don't need to be politically savvy. All you need to do is review their public record on Gun Control Issues.

If they vote for Gun Control, they vote against you. All other issues are just background.

UPDATE: September 11, 2006

An August 25, 2006 article in CNSNEWS.COM ("Gun 'microstamping' bill passes California Senate") ... obviously written before the final vote ... has more information on the bill.

It's frightening to see how close this transparent effort to effect gun control in California came to becoming the law of the land.

Just one more reason for me to be thankful that I moved back to Oregon from California back in 1976,

H/T - Front Sight, Press

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Black Beauty Is Dead


The very name evokes imagery. A new-born stallion racing with the wind, Ferrari's rampant horse icon, and that of the Colt Firearms Company of Hartford, Connecticut!

Well, nobody has read "Black Beauty" for 20 years. Enzo Ferarri is dead, and so is Colt Firearms Company of Hartford, Connecticut.

Between the Single Action Army, and the Browning 1911, Colt managed for generations to sell every firearm they designed and produced. The phrase "Colt Legendary Quality" was well earned, as the fit and finish of Colt firearms were evidence of the craftsmanship of the near-unique production values of this famous company. Sons followed fathers into the factory, and took pride in their efforts to create the finest production firearms of their times.

The 1980's were the watershed for Colt. In 1984, when the U.S. Military replaced the 1911 with the egregious Beretta 92 as the standard-issue military sidearm, Colt (having largely ignored the civilian market, with the possible exception of small-niche revolvers) found itself a producer looking for a market.

Colt Firearms suffered a schizophrenic personality split, being divided between the "Colt Defense" military/leo/Private Security market and the lackadaisical "Civilian" market represented by Colt's Manufacturing Company LLC.

Somewhere between way-back-when and now, their union workers went on a wage-strike that lasted for four years. Colt hired unskilled workers to fill current orders, and the "Legendary Colt Quality" went straight down the tube. Eventually even their contracts for military firearms (such as the AR-16) went to foreign competitors.

The company tried to improve its relationship with the civilian market, but the lack of quality (and the misunderstanding of what their potential customers wanted) produced even more guns without a cause, and the few customers they had were even more disappointed with the quality.

The '90s were marked by another bankruptcy, somewhat mirroring that which the company had survived in the 19th century.

Colt sold to "Foreign Interests", which had no understanding at all of the American gun market. The new owners, eager to curry favor with the existing Clinton Administration, made public statements in favor of gun control. The American market for Colt firearms completely dried up in protest; the only mitigating factor was that the (foreign) owners of S&W made similar public statements. This did not actually relieve Colt's profitless misery, but perhaps it did help to spread the blame if only because S&W's 2000 official, formal accession to the Clinton White House coersion to require (S&W) dealers to accomodate extensive and intrusive Gun Control measures which impacted ALL of their trading, not only those which involved firearms obtained from the (S&W) manufacturer. For example S&W dealers might be proscribed from selling at gun shows.

This anti-gun movement was, of course, fueled by the gun control zealots who resorted to lies in their effort to demonize guns. But here we saw the very people who built the guns supporting those who would undermine their business and their customers' ability to buy their product.

Their customers reacted with acrimonious market boycots.

Where are we now?

Who knows?

One thing is for sure: Colt is looking for a sugar daddy.

According to Jim Shepherd of "The Shooting Wire" (unfortunately, an article available only to subscribers and not available as an independent Internet link), one possible buyer of Colt's Manufacturing Company LLC might have been STI:

Other stories, including the sale of Colt, have dragged on longer than the Florida elections. Today, there's still no definitive resolution to the saga. An arbitrarily high valuation of the civilian side of the business ended that outright sale option in the Colt soap opera.

STI, the company that was ready to buy the civilian operation, has moved on, announcing upcoming production of a single-action revolver called the Texican. It will be aimed at the upper echelon cowboy action competitors, following the same model that has made STI's "race guns" major players in practical shooting.

With a highly successful, manufacturing-oriented business model, STI may, indeed, make a dent in the cowboy market - especially if STI contributes bonus money to cowboy action the way it has in practical shooting. The Texican may find its way into the holsters of the new generation of single-action shooters, despite the fact SASS has continually shied away from the idea of "win money" and sponsorships. STI's move into cowboy action may lead to the recognition that professional shooters exist in cowboy action.
(Link to the "Texican" is mine; it does not provide any "Texican" content, only a reference to its perhaps-future into STI's "Legacy" line of products.)

How 'dead' is Colt?

It's so dead, it hasn't even the organization needed to sell body parts.

If Black Beauty (to invent a parallel) can't even be sold to a glue-factory, that would be unfortunate. That Colt's Manufacturing Company LLC can't be sold to a solid, reputable and prosperous company like STI, which would certainly produce a resurrection 'in a manner reminiscent to Lazarus', is a sad commentary on the Firearms Industry in America today.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crocodile Hunter Zero - Stingray One

Crocodile Hunter Stever Erwin died (news release September 4, 2006) while filming in the ocean off the Great Barrier Reef.

He apparently approached a Stingray too close, frightening it. The Stingray flipped its tail up, under his ribcage and into his heart.

He was DOA at the mainland.

Erwin is best known for a 2004 incident in which he held his infant son in his arms while feeding ('taunting'?) a crocodile.

Erwin was 44, and is survived by his wife and children, including (apparently) his four-year-old son.

If there is any justice here, it is in that he was survived by the son who was part of his actions which attracted international approbation.

Michael Jackson Take Note.

USPSA Website Member Area Password

For those of you who didn't notice, the "Members' Area" website has been assigned a new Username and password.

According to Rob Boudrie in the Brian Enos Forum:
The old and new password will work concurrently for at least a month or three.

The reason we change the username and password, rather than just the password, is to allow an overlap. We can have multiple username/password pairs, but only one password per username.

I hadn't noticed this. If you haven't either, I encourage you to drag out your September/October 2006 "Front Sight" magazine (Volume 23, Number 5) and look at the very bottom two lines in the center column of Page 1 to get the new "Username" and "Password".

No, I'm not going to give it to you here. This website is open to everyone, not just USPSA members. Changing a secured (or even 'private') website password from time to time is "A Good Thing". I wouldn't presume to compromise USPSA's security measures.

USPSA Presidential Election

According to my Geekish Spidey-Sense (and the USPSA By-Laws), we in the United States Practical Shooting Association are soon to begin the process of electing a new President.

I remember the Presidential Debate which took place at the 1999 Limited Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. Michael Voigt was the winning candidate, and he is completing his second term in office.

According to the USPSA By-Laws, the president is elected for a four-year term of office ... which suggests that campaining should begin next year (2007) and the new President should take office in the following year (2007).


The President shall:

i.) be elected by vote of the individual membership, one vote per member,

ii.) be elected for a term of four years,

iii.) take office on January first following the year of his election,

iv.) serve until his successor is elected and takes office,

v.) be a resident of the United States Region, and

vi.) be Life Member to hold office.

Therefore, by my figuing, we should be looking at a new campaign season in 2007, with the elected president to take office in 2008.

It's not too soon for us to begin thinking about what we want in a new USPSA president. I haven't been thinking about this for too long, so the following list may be a little thin, but it seems to me that the criteria for a new president should include the following (Note that when I speak of "He/Him/His", I do so in the general sense of gender-nonspecificity; I'm certainly not suggesting that a female candidate would be less qualified, and if one should be proposed the future discussions would use the pronouns "She/Her/Hers"):

  • The goal of a president should be the advancement and improvement of 'Practical Pistol' (and by extention 'Practical Firearm') competition within the United States of America Region of IPSC.
  • Personal/Professional advancement or aggrandizement should not be a reason for his candidacy.
  • Candidates should be able to identify and define specific goals which would lead to the advancement of USPSA competition and the organization.
  • Milestones and timelines (eg: establish active programs to recruit juniors should result in the increase of membership by x number of new junior competitors by 20**) should be identified and should be a reasonable goal.
  • Specific steps to achieve these goals should be defined.
  • One of the primary planks in the candidate platform should be a determination to establish and fund new marketting efforts.
  • Candidates should be able to define "growth" activities without reference to "creating new competitive Divisions" to "attract new shooters whose (gun, magazines, caliber, etc.) have not yet been separately been acknowledged". We already have so many divisions it is almost impossible to field sufficient competitors in the 'niche' divisions to justify distributing awards. The goal should be to encourage more mainstream shooters, not to diversify to the point of absurdity ... which we may already have done.
  • The relationship between IPSC and USPSA has (tentatively) been re-defined to allow USPSA to maintain IPSC Regional certification without ignoring traditional values and legal restrictions in USPSA. The next president should be able to start with this concept and establish a formal relationship without conceding valued USPSA priorities.
Some of the planks I've mentioned may not seem important to you as an USPSA member. Others may not be clear, because I haven't done a good job of defining them.

There may be other planks which you think are important indicators of a viable candidate for USPSA president, but I haven't mentioned.

If any of these situations define your priorities, I encourage you to comment here. The goal is to achieve a consensus of what a viable candidate for USPSA President should look like BEFORE we begin to evaluate the resumes of the candidates.

Also, this may be a good start for candidates to consider what the 'hot button' issues of this election may be, and begin to consider how their own priorities fit with the General Membership.

I know this isn't a "forum" context, as it doesn't really allow for full comentary. However, you may choose to take this concept to another website (such as the USPSA Forum or the Brian Enos Forum) and discuss it there.

You will note that I haven't even mentioned competition rules. It is my expectation that a presidential candidate who meets the criteria already mentioned will also be able and willing to negotiate a reasonable next-version of the USPSA Rule Book with IPSC, to the satisfaction of all concerned parties.

Don't agree?

Tell me why!

PS: I don't want this to sound like a criticism of the tenure of Michael Voigt. He has served honorably and productively for two terms, and among his many accomplishments are both the glastnost ("openness) and perestroika ("restructuring") between IPSC and USPSA.

I apologise for appearing to suggest a similarity of relations between IPSC and USPSA with those between the "World Community" and USSR. The situations are not similar, but the terminology is remarkably appropriate even though the sociological / political division was much more pronounced for the USSR.