Saturday, September 16, 2006

USPSA: Mike McCarter for President!

At a club match last weekend (September 8, 2006), Michael "Mac" McCarter announced his intention to run for the position of USPSA President in the next election.

Through the years which represent the lifespan of this blog, I have often lauded the merits of Mike "Mac" McCarter.

Mac is currently the Section Coordinator of the Columbia Cascade Section, is the past president of my home club (Albany Rifle and Pistol Club ... ARPC), and is currently the "IPSC Coordinator" of ARPC.

While holding these and other local offices, he has:
  • Dragged ARPC from the muck-and-mire of the least-regarded club in the section to what is arguably the best club in the section;
  • Improved ARPC's physical assets to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars of improvements for competitive pistol shooting, without taking one thin dime from the other disciplines at the club;
  • Established standards of competition which have served, by example, to benefit the entire section;
  • Brought two USPSA National Matches and two Area 1 matches to the Section within the past four years of his tenure (this in a section which had NEVER BEFORE hosted a level-III competition;
  • Started an aggressive USPSA Junior program, finding sponsors and recruiting participants, so that today Juniors may participate in Level-III National Competitions at little or no cost to their families, thus helping to ensure the continuation of IPSC competition in USPSA to the next generation;
  • Been the subject, or a proment person, in many USPSA Front Sight articles (I know, I wrote one or two of them);
  • Made the Columbia Cascade Section one of the most active, vibrant and productive Sections of USPSA.
For the past year, I have suggested to, and encouraged Mac to run for the office of USPSA President. He has had little comment since then, and in fact seemed embarassed by the suggestion.

No more. He has announced his candidacy, and to my way of thinking this is an encouraging sign that USPSA is still a viable competitive entity.

USPSA has elected 'place-holders' for most of its existance. Ever since Colonel Jeff Cooper left office, our leadership has been adequate, competent, almost appropriate ... but not charismatic.

No more. We NEED a Leader.

Mike McCarter is definately a Leader.

For the past ten years, USPSA has struggled to retain the level of membership it had when new preidents came into office. Presidential leadership has evinced the priority of NOT losing more members than it attracted. Only in the past year ... of an eight-year presidency ... has membership increased to the point where USPSA was willing to boast of increased membership.

In the meantime, membership in the Columbia Cascade Section has increased such that it represents a significant portion of the USPSA membership. From year to year, some sections increawse membership while others lose membership. On the average, CCS has not only maintained its average number of members, but has increased it. More, these new members are juniors and their families, which suggests that the new members are more likely (especially in view of the available sponsorship) to be retained.

I submit that Mac McCarter is the most viable USPSA Presidential Candidate that we have seen for the effective life of this organization.

And when the ballots are sent out, in a year or two, I encourage all USPSA members to remember that Mac represents the hope of us all that USPSA will endure for the benefit of our sons and daughters in Competitive Shooting Sports for the future.

It's news, but it's not NEW news!

Today we present a special issue of Cogito Ergo Geek. We once called it "BlogMeat", but we over-used tha termt. For this single occasion, representing "The Night When The Geek Woke Up In The Middle Of The Night And Couldn't Get Back To Sleep, And Looked Up Old Blog Entries Out Of Sheer Boredom", we'll take a look at Gun Blog entries going back in time.

As an added bonus, this allows me to renew links to some of my favorite firearms-related websites, as reflected on my sidebar.

First, let's look at a Tucker Carlson interview with a Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence (formerly Handgun Contro, Inc.) lawyer discussing Indiana's revision to Concealed Carry laws. Indiana voted to issue Concealed Carry licences "for life" rather than require renewal every four years. The Brady Bunch objected, and Carlson called the Brady representative "unprepared" when she couldn't cite statistics on the number of Indiana CCW licensees who have been arrested for violent gun crimes. Read the show transcript here; search for "Brady" to find the applicable segment. (Show date July 6, 2006. H/T Packing.Org)


From Xavier Thoughts, a July 19, 2006 segment showing a male teenager who seems to break every rule of gunhandling safety while sitting at his kitchen table . The big Accidental Discharge sounds bogus to me ... and to others. Also, while he (the "Idiot With Guns #41") racks the slide of what looks like a very old Colt 1911, the hammer doesn't appear (to me) to have actually remained cocked. In short, while it illustrates the violation of basic safety rules, the entire filmstrip appears contrived. But don't take my word for it, go see for yourself.
H/T The Ninth Stage. (The link is at the bottom of the page, as of this writing.)


As long as I'm mentioning The Brady Bunch, allow me to gloat one more time in referencing their premature announcement on August 24, 2006,that the California state senate passed the egregious AB 352.

As I wrote on September 07, 2006, this impossible dream collapsed with the surprisingly realistic appreciation that enforcement of this law would be hugely expensive, completely ineffective, and was ultimately nothing more than the imposition of economic burdens on legitimate firearms owners in a thinly disguised end-run around the Second Amendment to establish ipso facto gun control. So ... Stamp THIS!, Brady!


Here's a difficult subject, based on a September 5, 2006 editorial in the New York Times.

(This link may not work for you, unless you are an on-line subscriber to the NYT. It didn't really work for me, even though I signed up for the free subscription. After the day when it appears, an article is archived by the NYT and you can't see the full text of the article without buying it. I'm not inclined to pay $4.95 to read a single article in the NYT, or even to read the whole thing 365 days a year. If you are willing to buy the article, please send it to me and I will include it where it can be read for free by others.)

The article is entitled:

Editorial Observer; Once a Progressive State, Minnesota Is Now a Fief of the N.R.A.

It concerns the "Shall Issue" Concealed Carry law that Minnesota passed last year. Basically, the author ("VERLYN KLINKENBORG") is against it.

Gun-Pro Progressive, a Maryland gun-blogger, fisked the article in NYT Editorial–How Out of Touch Can You Be?, and I was entirely impressed by the logical approach to these falacious anti-gun arguments. (Click here to read his justifacation for being a pro-gun progressive ... a fascinating read.)

If you don't care to read the whole article, here are a few of the comments. Maybe they will convince you that it's worth your time:

But to me, owning guns and knowing how to use them properly was part of a civic bargain. I would leave the police work to the police, and they would leave the squirrel hunting to me. The notion that 38 states would have “concealed carry” laws in 2006 would have seemed insane, a regression to a more primitive idea of who we are.

Being able to defend yourself is not taking police work away from the police. It is NOT the police department’s job to provide for your safety as you go about your daily business. That’s well established caselaw, something Verlyn seems to have missed. See Castle Rock, CO. vs Gonzales.

Seems he’s missed that actually 40+ states allow private citizens to carry. You’d think if allowing CCW permits led to bedlam and mayhem and a “regression to a more primitive” state of affairs, you’d have heard about it by now. It’s amazing to me people like Verlyn can look at a map of the United States, and see state after state where the passage of Shall Issue laws has been a complete non-event (no blood in the streets, no anarchy, no OK-Corral-On-Every-Corner scenarios), and not realize that they’re barking up the wrong tree. It’s as though they’re thinking “well it didn’t cause hell on earth in the first thirty-odd states that went Shall Issue…but it’s going to happen soon! Really!”
Actually, it's 48 states, as I mentioned last March.

The editorial writer mentions several other issues which are central to the gun-control frantic efforts to obfuscate the issue:

"The application for a concealed-weapon permit appears to have been created by people who believe the real threat in carrying a gun is the loss of privacy entailed in filling out the form. Yet it isn’t possible for a member of the public to find out who has received a permit and may, in fact, be packing heat."

This isn't just a "privacy Issue" as Pro-Gun Progressive argues. It's also a safety issue.
A few years ago I wrote (not on this forum) about a lady friend of mine who lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She lives in the suburbs, so she drives her car to a light-rail nexus and takes the train to work. While waiting for her morning train one cold winter morning, she was approached by a group of yobs who started their typical aggressive intimidating cant about how she should give up her purse because they needed the money in her purse more than she did. Cold and frightened, she put her hands in the pockets of her overcoat.

The yobs were immediately intimidated. The "Shall Issue" bill had recently been passed in Oregon, and the yobs knew that she could legally carry a firearms in self-defense. They accused her of having a firearm in her hand, and cursed her vigorously. But they retreated, and never threatened her again.

She had been 'tagged', in their mind, as a person who was a 'non-victim'.

The great value of "shall issue" laws is not that it allows people to carry concealed firearms, but that the yobs of the world don't know who is a non-victim. Perhaps this is an unintended consequence of these acknowledgements of an individual's right to self defense, but it is one that may act to the benefit of even those who falaciously believe that police are their first line of defense against criminal aggression.

But there’s a bigger problem. By focusing so obsessively on an individual’s rights — in this case, the purported individual right to bear arms in the library — all other rights are shoved aside. Police departments are forced to grant concealed-weapon permits to individuals who have almost none of the training and certainly none of the restrictions that police officers have.

Heaven forfend we be a little concerned about individual rights (this is why an old lefty like me hates anti-gunner nonsense so much–rightfully so, we make a lot of hay about George Bush’s NSA program invading our privacy and ignoring our individual rights, we want invidual choice when it comes to abortion, gay marriage, religion, free speech, you name it…but not when it comes to protecting your own life). What rights are being shoved aside? You don’t have a right to insist that I can’t protect myself.

And he uses the old canard, that we’re not trained properly.


What is it good for?

It's good for a lot, if you're going to use a firearm ... let alone carry one.

The idea that police officers are poorly trained, underpaid bureaucrats who spend their on-duty hours eating donuts and harrassing hookers has been with us for far too long. I personally know a number of LEOs who work hard at gun-handling skills and are some of the most daunting IPSC competitors in the area. (I also know some whose gun-handling skills are nearly non-existant, and who frighten me whenever I share a range with them, and a few of them are members of what passes for S.W.A.T. teams locally.)

There are two points here:

One is that the police are not obligated to protect you from aggressive criminals. You're on your own, Pal, and if you don't want to be mugged, raped and murdered it behooves you to learn how to protect yourself in the best way that seems possible.

The other is that not ALL police officers, perhaps not even the majority, are incompetent when it comes to shooting. As long as a significent number of LEOs consider firearms profeciency to be, for whatever reason (self-defense, job competence or even casual firearms competition), a priority ... all those who know that competent shooters are on The Force may serve to dissuade the yobs from challenging them in the field. This is A Good Thing for civilization.

I think that local police agencies are making a big mistake by not publicizing the competitive accomplishments of their LEOs, and it seems a likely subject for a future post. If everyone knew that Officer Krupki was a Grand Master shooter, the yobs would be praying that the next time they mug a person ... the responding officer would not be Officer Krupski.

UPDATE: September 21, 2006
I've been given a copy of the original NYT article, and I've posted it for your consideration here.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Colonel Cooper

I don't know if there are any other blogs which are devoted almost entirely to IPSC/USPSA competition, so I feel an obligation to inform you of the most current news regarding Colonel Jeff Cooper.

He is currently suffering from a severe physical infirmity, a problem with his back, which has precluded almost all physical activity, including the addition of more Cooper Commentaries.

We hope that he will recover and continue guiding us in, among other subjects, The Way A Man Should Live.

We (not the 'Editorial We', but you and I) join Xavier Thoughts in wishing The Colonel a speedy recovery, but I must warn you that it doesn't look good. When a man of such seniority is confined to his bed, it requires a strong constitution for medical assistance to offer relief.

You can find the latest report on the Cooper's Commentaries page.

This makes me particularly grateful to Dillon Precision, which provided reprints Cooper's two-volume set of the Gargantuan Gunsight Gossip, of which I have spoken in previous articles and which I am still reading; slowly, and carefully.

No, I still don't agree with everything he says. But I still admire the way in which he says it.

Colonel Cooper is the Father of IPSC, in every sense of the term.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Here's a big "Whew!" for terrorists, and those who fight them.

ABC News "The Blotter" has an article about testing which is being conducted to determine the effectiveness of anti-carbomb barriers and anti-penetration materials for buildings.

You really need to read the article to understand what you're seeing, and it has links to all of the short crash-dummy tests. But they have ALL of the tests on a single film, which you can see here. (2:29 minutes. Ignore the short commercial film at the beginning.)


From my friend Bob H., I received a film which demonstrates the awesome power of the .50 BMG in the hands of an American sniper.

Here's the text which Bob sent to explain it:

These are some examples of the fight in Afghanistan.. These video shots are not made through the shooter's telescopic sight... they are made looking through the spotter's scope. The spotter lies right next to the sniper and helps the sniper to find and home in on the target.

The sniper is using a 50 caliber rifle. A 50 cal. round is about 7-8 inches long and the casing is about an inch in diameter. The bullet itself is one-half inch in diameter and roughly one and one-half inches long. Pay close attention to the beginning of the video. A Taliban is laying on top of the peak in front of you... when you hear the! shot fired... watch what happens.

The sniper is also about a half mile away... or more. It is not known if the sniper team is Marine or Army.
You can download the film here (2.32 mb WMV-format movie).

A broadband connection is recommended to watch any of these videos.

A strong stomach is recommended to watch the sniper video.
You won't believe the "Hang Time".