Sunday, December 28, 2008

Do NOT spend Christmas with SWMBO and The Geek!

This is not the way we had planned to spend Christmas.

The Monday before Christmas, SWMBO went to her doctor for a check-up because she had been registering uncommonly low blood-pressure readings. It turns out that her blood-pressure medicine had been working too hard, so they gave her something to come back in two days to see how it worked.

On Wednesday (Christmas Eve Day) she went back to the doctor and actually met her local Oncologist. He noticed that she had trouble concentrating, and her sense of balance was so disorganized that she couldn't walk without help.

The doctor sent her to the hospital for tests.

She was in the hospital Wednesday afternoon, all day Thursday (Christmas Day), and until 2pm on Friday. The tests given to her indicated to her Oncologist that she had had all of the chemotherapy that she could endure for the immediate future.

Some of the testing indicated that there were other problems which implied some internal bleeding.

Friday afternoon I took her home, and then went out to fill the ELEVEN new prescriptions.

She was suppose to receive her tenth scheduled infusion Friday, two days after Christmas; the Oncologist canceled that appointment. Also the next, until they could determine what was going on with her.

She will see her Oncologist tomorrow (Monday), at which time he will have the advantage of having ALL the results of the test from last week, plus a thorough review of her charts.

There are several possible courses of treatment available, so it's not that they don't know what to do. They just don't know which course to choose until they have discussed the options among themselves and with SWMBO.

We're not frightened by this, we're coping with it. We're a little disappointed that it took her health-care practitioners so long to recognize that she wasn't handling the infusions as well as her Oncologists had hoped.

Tuesday evening, after she was checked into the hospital, the nurse-practitioner who noted her inability to walk came by the hospital after her work-day was completed, to check on SWMBO and ensure that she was getting the treatment and the attention that she so obviously needed.

As I have said at least 3 times before here, her once-weekly schedule is very much different from the usual once-monthly schedule that most chemotherapy patients receive. It is designed for a patient who is deemed healthy enough (except for the obvious exception that they have a cancer tumor which must be reduced) and strong enough to endure it.

After nine brutal weeks, SWMBO is obviously unable to continue such a grueling regimen. Her hair is gone, and besides the symptoms of physical weakness and disorganization which have been mentioned, the chemicals are no longer being absorbed by her body ... or by her cancer.

Her family can follow the written instructions to make sure she takes her morning medications (which must be taken with food ... someone needs to fix her breakfast).

I'll be there in the evening to make sure she gets a good dinner, gets the right medication (with food), gets cleaned up and ready for bed.

We worked a Sunday crossword puzzle today. Her fingers are numb (they are all black with bruises, caused by the chemotherapy) and she can't write. But she can solve some of the very obtuse questions presented by the puzzles, so she's still still being more in charge of her life than she thinks.

We bought a seven-pound Ham for Christmas, and ate some of it in the last two days. She doesn't have much appetite, so we have a lot of it left. She can't eat much at one time, but an extra meal a day (and the inclusion of some 'comfort food' such as Yogurt) helps her to make sure that she gets food with her medication.

This is all new, and we're still working out what she needs help to accomplish, and what she can do for herself. She is determined to do as much for herself as she can manage, and as long as she has a caretaker to do the things she cannot do, she is getting along just fine.

But not as fine as she wants. We spent some time today watching videos of SWMBO on the range. She wants to be back on the range, she want's her life back. We're going to get her life back, and she will be back as "She - Who Must Be Obeyed"

Watch out, boys, for the time when SWMBO is working as Range Officer and calls to the gallery:

"Hey, you guys! Get off your ass, get out here and tape these targets!"

What's not to love? (Double-click on the picture to see the full-size image of SWMBO in her Milieu.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Peak Gun Sales registered through NICS

Background Checks on Gun Sales Most Ever in November -NSSF


BACKGROUND CHECKS ON GUN SALES MOST EVER IN NOVEMBER
Background checks on the sale of firearms reached record levels during the month of November, pointing to a spike in sales for the month. Data from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show a 42 percent increase in November firearm purchaser background checks. A total of 1,529,635 checks -- the highest monthly total ever -- were reported for the month, up from 1,079,923 in November 2007. Federal law requires FBI background checks on individuals purchasing firearms from federally licensed retailers. The NICS increase coincides with an increase in federal excise taxes reported by firearms and ammunition manufacturers, another key economic indicator for the firearms industry. Trends such as excise taxes and NICS data are strong indicators of sales patterns; however, they are not actual sales. There is no data source that captures firearms sales by month.

[NOTE: double-click on the image to see the full-size version of the graph; or, go to the link to the NSSF page to see the full article.]

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas from SWMBO and The Geek

I know I haven't been posting much lately, but Life Happens.

Sandie has had a couple of uncomfortable weeks. This week her blood pressure medicine worked too well, and when she had a checkup on Monday it was far too low to be safe. She got treatment then, and tomorrow (Christmas Eve Day) she goes in for another treatment to add fluids to increase her blood pressure to safe levels.

She's not feeling very energetic, but we still plan to celebrate a quiet Christmas in her home with a huge Ham and all the trimmings.

Thank you again to all of you who have been sending us prayers and other quiet support.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Objects which should be outlawed, to preserve the Public Order

It has been a while since I posted a "Blogmeat" article. I've been saving up for a slow news week, and this is one of them.

Here is an attenuated list of inanimate objects which have figured in the news during the past week, and which (according to the standards of the Brady Bunch) should be outlawed because they are, you know "weapons":

This last item is especially forbidding:

FORT SMITH - She's a woman who knows how to protect herself as two men who tried to rob her found out. What they didn't know was the woman is licensed to carry a concealed weapon...and yes, she was packing heat.

"A lady was flagged over Sunday evening about 6 p.m. on the interstate between Kelley Highway and the Arkansas river bridge." Lt. Steve Coppinger with State Police says that two men in a car signaled that the woman was getting a flat tire.

"When she pulled over to check her tires one of those person in that other car got out and attempted to rob her at knife point."

But what the thief didn't expect happened next. Coppinger says the female driver pulled out her handgun.

"She pointed that at her attacker and he backed away, got in the car and they fled."


Outrageous.
Imagine the effect on the National Peace if all women were allowed to carry concealed weapons, and ... when assaulted ... were permitted to defend themselves with a firearm.

Shameful!

Something must be done about this. The next thing you know, there will be Death On The Freeways as assaulted women are allowed to defend themselves against ... er .. Predators.

"Investigators say the would-have-been victim was able to turn the tables because she had a concealed carry permit. State police are keeping some details of the investigation close to their vest so they will know when they get the right guys. Right now, officials are saying they believe this to be an isolated incident.

As for advice, Lt. Coppinger says to always pull over in a well-lighted public area. And if you are pulled over by someone you don't know, don't get out of the car. Use your cell phone to call 911 and ask for assistance.

Investigators for the Arkansas State Police are trying to track down the alleged suspects and what's been described as a black Toyota Camry with Oklahoma plates. If you have any information that could be helpful to their investigation, please call Troop H in Fort Smith."



What is this country coming to?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

PLAXICO BURRESS: 2nd Amendment Hero, or Irresponsible Dolt?

PLAXICO BURRESS ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTS SELF IN LEG - New York Post

The bottom line of the November 29, 2008 NY Post story is that a football player (and role model for millions of American Children, so to speak) decided to carry a gun into a NYC bar and in one way or another managed to shoot himself in the leg. Then his friends brought him to a hospital for treatment, where he identified himself with a made-up name and a made-up story (anecdotal, no reliable reference so far) and left after treatment and before the hospital remembered to notify the police of a gun-shot wound.

He was eventually identified, arrested, and will face charges of carrying a concealed firearm (among other charges, such as making false statements).

It's interesting to see the various interpretations on the gun-bloggers, and I look forward to following the news.

My short version of the story:

He broke the law in carrying a concealed weapon in NYC, he fumbled his gun while trying to clear it (or when it slipped from the waistband of his jogging pants and grabbing it ... depends on the new sources you believe), and undeniably manage in so doing to shoot himself in the leg. Then his friends took him out of the NYC nightclub where the incident occurred, drove him to a hospital for treatment, and eventually slipped out. The police eventually identified him and charged him with a various number of offenses, not least is violation of the NYC Sullivan Law (if that law is still so called.)

In reading the last week's gunblogger write-ups of this notorious case, I found two which seem to best illustrate the polarization of the gun commuity.

Xavier Thoughts describes Burress as a wanna-be gangbanger who carried a loaded (cocked and, maybe, locked) into a public drinking place and through negligence and inexperience managed to drop the gun and in so doing shot himself. As Xavier says in response that the Heller Decision may apply (in regards to NYC's draconian gun laws):
The landmark Heller decision does not apply. For once Bloomberg is right. Plaxico Burress knowingly violated the law. This was not an act of civil disobedience. Plaxico Burress did not have to go to the Manhattan nightclub. If he decided to go, he did not need to carry a gun. Being a wealthy athlete, he had more options than many people. He could have hired bodyguards to protect him and his bling. Instead, he chose to play the role of the thug and carry his gat in his sags and go clubbin'. He is not a victim. He knowingly and willfully violated the law, no matter how unjust that law is. Plaxico Burress was an arrogant athlete who thought he was special, that the law did not apply to him, that he was beyond, if not above the law.

On the other side of the controversy is an article by Michael Bane, author of "The Michael Bane Log" and producer of (among others) "Down Range TV".

Bane's article cites an earlier article by Ted Nugent, which seems to blame NYC gun restrictions because they did not allow Burress the opportunity to train and qualify for a Concealed Carry Permit.

If NYC permitted an individual to legally own and carry a concealed pistol, Nugent's arguments seem to suggest, Burress would not have qualified until he was able to demonstrate reasonable gun-handling skills.

This seems, to me, to be among the best of circular reasoning. If Burress couldn't have qualified for a concealed carry permit (if such were offered in his current home state of New York), he wouldn't have carried a gun.

But Burress already did not qualify for a New Your carry permit, so why expect that failing the NY test would have dissuaded him from carrying that night?

Besides, he (Burress) already possessed a Florida carry permit. Was he not required to meet some minimum standards in Florida? Even though the Florida permit wasn't accepted in New York, one would have expected that SOME level of gun-handling profeciency needed to be demonstrated then and there.

Ultimately, and in the actual fact, Burress proved that he was unable to carry a gun safely, and that IS the bottom line.

Comments in the Bane blog seem generally to focus on the failures of New York State and New York City to provide a reasonable path to a Concealed Carry Permit. They ignore the obvious facts that Burress is an idiot and has no business carrying a deadly weapon in any circumstances, let along a NYC bar. Who carries a cocked-and-locked semi-automatic pistol in the waistband of his jogging pants, other than a Gang-banger wanna be whose only apparent motivation is to appear "dangerous" to his friends?

Well, if that was his motivations, I'm sure that his friends are convinced that he is a dangerous man with a gun. I'm convinced the NYC police and Mayor Bloomberg are convinced, and 90% of America is convinced that Plaxico Burress is a dangerous man with a gun.

So are the on-call medical personnel at the Emergency Room at Cornell Medical Center (or New York Presbyterian Hospital, depending on which news reports you choose to believe), who had to treat his through-and-through shot to the leg ... self-inflicted ... convinced that" Plaxico Burress is a dangerous man with a gun."

This is not a Second Amendment issue. This is an issue of having identified (by a practical demonstration of his own inability to safely carry a gun) that one Plaxico Burress is an idiot, has no qualification to carry a firearm, and is an embarassment to the defenders of the Second Amendment.


While the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution grants each citizen with "... the right to Keep and Bear Arms", none few of us who defend that right are willing to defend a man who has proven himself to be an irresponsible and incompetent idiot. He has demonstrated that he is unwilling, perhaps unable, to accept responsibility for his own actions. By the series of bad decisions he has made in this single incident, he illustrates the 'worst case' proposed by anti-gun advocates across the world.

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms defenders around the world owe it to themselves to denounce this yahoo, and support any civil and other legal charges which may be levied against him.

I do not want to be in the same room with this man. Nobody I know, most of whom safely handle firearms on a weekly, if not daily, basis, would be safe around this man if he was in reach of a firearm.

We need to take a stand to the effect that a person who has shown himself incompetent to handle a firearm should be dissuaded until he has demonstrated that he has, minimally, proven otherwise. And there should be a minimum time after he has proved his ability to responsibly choose when and how he should carry a firearm, before his rights have been restored.

News Report:


Raw video: Burress turns himself in to the police:


Video - Bloomburg urges full prosecution of Buress:


Video - Many questions, few details in Burress shooting:


Vudei - New Details Emerge About Burress Shooting



The following video may be some explanation for why Burress was carrying:


This video is obviously a satirical response:


_________________________________________________________________
UPDATE: December 15, 2008

One commenter took exception to a statement in this article:

"...( Plaxico Burress ...) is an embarrassment to the defenders of the Second Amendment."

The comment disputed that statement in favor of his own:
"The Sullivan Gun Laws are an embarrassment to the defenders of the 2A."

I disagree.

In my opinion, the Sullivan Law is an insult to the defenders of the Second amendment. It is an embarrassment to the people of the state and the city of New York. Why? Because after nearly 100 years of failing to prove that it provides any benefit to the safety and welfare of the community, they have yet to repeal this racist law.

And I'll fight any man in this bar to disagrees!
[download Bing Crosby: Two Shillalagh O'Sullivan]

NOTE: This article was also updated to provide a link to the Gun Law News article on the Sullivan Act. And in the process I corrected a missing link in my sidebar (see "Other RKBA Websites") by adding Gun Law News (Home).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bailout!





Hat Tip to AJ, who always manages to find the perfect way to express the way we all feel.

Right Click to see the full-size image.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SWMBO Report: Good News Update!

SWMBO had a "CT SCAN" (I have no better idea than you do about what this is, but I suspect it's a soft-tissue scan of the body) early this week. Yesterday she phoned to say that she had received the results of the test.

Essentially, they told here that they saw much improvement in all four lobes of the lungs, and that they considered these results to indicate, essentially, that "You're Getting Better!"

Perhaps she'll chose to give the technical details, but it's nothing I'm likely to understand. Uncharacteristically, I'm satisfied with "You're Getting Better". Sometimes the short story is the best.

She's getting better. She also looks and sounds better. She has more energy, her face has lost that pallid look. She has her color back, and there's a bit of the old sparkle in her eyes. She doesn't fall asleep on the couch so readily and she has control of her balance when she walked to her 9th weekly Infusion today.

She feels so much better that she is planning to drive to her sister's house (15 miles away) to 'supervise' the Christmas decorations, while I'm suffering in the rain at the monthly ARPC match with The Beloved Kimber (the sights of which I cannot see, and for which I have insufficient ammunition loaded to shoot the match.)

She called tonight to find out what time I expect to come by Saturday afternoon. I told her that it was going to be a miserably rainy and cold day at the match, and we probably wouldn't get out of there by two pm. Then I have to go home and take care of the gear, shower and change to dry clothes, and I have some shopping to do. If she wants to go visit her sister, she should do so without concern about my schedule.

It has been weeks since she felt like leaving her house, and I thank God for granting her the health and energy to make this trip on her own.

As for you, our readers, I want to thank you for your prayers for her recovery, and for your good wishes and support which you have shown both of us.

In true Churchillian fashion, I have to admit that "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

We have a long way to go until SWMBO becomes a true Cancer Survivor. But with this good news, we are encouraged we have (she has) sought out the best medical advice and treatment available, and that this radical chemotherapy is, regardless of the discomfort and doubt, the best path to full recovery.

Tomorrow I will meet many of her friends at the match, and they will ask me how she is doing. I will be inordinately happy to report that she is doing better.

This is the first time I could reliably so say since June 24, 2008, when she was first diagnosed with Lung Cancer.

At the risk of repeating myself: "Thank you, Jesus". And thank you, all of our friends who have prayed for her and wished her the best possible chances of full recovery.
_________________________________________-
UPDATE: 15-DEC-2008
news...
The latest CT scan and doctor report show that I am improving. The chemo cocktail is working and I will be continuing treatment for about 5 more weeks. There will be other evaluations done during that time.
Thank you for all of the prayers, positive thoughts and encouragement that were sent on my behalf. I believe in miracles!
love and light...
Sandie

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NSSF Fact Sheet on Microstamping Ammunition

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has (I have just learned) published a fact sheet on "Ammunition Serialization", also known as Microstamping Ammunition.

This refers to the proposal to implement new technology to 'microstamp' (using laser technology) unique serial numbers on the base of each bullet, and on the inside of the cartridge case in which it is seated.

If you are living in Timbuktu and have never heard of the concept, it should only take you a few moments reflection to realize that, for all practical intents and purposes, it would make the cost of each round of ammunition prohibitively high. So high, in fact, it's not unreasonable to estimate that the cost increase would be on orders of magnitude: instead of costing pennies, a single round of ammunition would cost dollars. This is de facto denial of ammunition availability for all practical purposes, except to the few individuals with sufficient disposable income to afford it. And they are probably spending all of their time instead of hunting, plinking, competition and practicing.

Why would the costs be so high? Because of the cost of retooling and changing manufacturing processes, most manufacturers would be unable to support the process because they would have to charge their customers more than they could afford. They just couldn't sell it. See above paragraph.

The Fact Sheet brings up a number of objections which I had not, in the ten months that I have been writing about this phenomen, considered:

. No independent studies have been done to determine the safety implications of using high speed laser engravers in the presence of the ammunition components, i.e. primers, propellants, etc. For instance, flash photography is not permitted inside factories because of gunpowder ignition concerns

. Anti-gun legislators in the Mississippi State Senate have proposed legislation, SB 2286, that would mandate bullet serialization. If passed into law, the legislation would force the closure of the newly opened Winchester Ammunition factory in Oxford, Miss. -- a move which would result in hundreds of Mississippi workers losing their jobs and millions in tax revenue disappearing from the state. The legislation would also force law-abiding citizens and retailers to dispose of any ammunition they currently hold that is not serialized.


My own efforts, however, have also addressed other topics:
  • Microstamping can typically be obliterated by impact on a hard surface
  • Criminals, whom this technique is suppsedly intended to catch, would pick up the brass
  • Criminals would simply steal the ammunition ...
  • ... or they would use false/stolen identities to purchase ammunition
In fact, it's reasonable to assume that if this legislation were to be made Law, only criminals would own ammunition.

Here is a summary (with links) of the 23 articles I have so far written in this series on Microstamping Ammunition. Read the discussion following this list to understand the variations on proposed technology to "Serialize Ammunition", and the reasons why they are not practical, affordable, reasonable or effective.

02/12/08: Microstamping Ammunition: it isn't just for states any more!
02/13/08: Encoded Ammunition: Where We Are Now
02/13/08: Encoded Ammunition: Pennsylvania
02/13/08: Encoded Ammunition - Pro and Con
02/15/08: Encoded Ammunition: Ammunition Accountability dot Org
02/18/08: Encoded Ammunition: Maryland - They're Baaack!
02/25/08: Encoded Ammunition: Ammunition Coding Systems
02/27/08: Encoded Ammunition - Federal?
04/02/08: California AB2062: Permit to Buy Ammunition
04/08/08: Gun control bill's co-author helps kill it: History
04/09/08: Industrial Laser Solutions
04/13/08: Microstamping Ammunition
04/14/08: Microstamping Ammunition: Part 0 of Todd Lizette Interview
04/15/08: Microstamping Ammunition: New York Considering Bill
04/20/08: Microstamping Ammunition: Rhode Island
04/22/08: Todd Lizette Interview: Pre-Production
05/01/08: Microstamping Ammunition: Todd Lizotte Interview
05/01/08: Microstamping Ammunition: Todd Lizhtte Attachments
05/02/08: Microstamping: Reader Responses
05/05/08: Microstamping Ammunition: Letter from Lizotte, 05/02/08
05/05/08: Microstamping Ammunition: Replacement Parts
06/08/08: Microstamping: Rhode Island Measure Off Agenda
07/05/08: New York Microstamping Ammunition Bill Dies!



"Serializing Ammunition" = Encoding Ammunition and Microstamping Ammunition

Now that I have provided the entire list (with the exception of this article, which is the 24th in the series), I need to make clear that through out this I have actually been talking about TWO separate technological proposals, and TWO separate waves of ammunition-serialization bills.

THIS article started talking about the NSSF's Fact Sheet on "Ammunition Serialization", which requires unique serial numbers to be placed on both bullet and cartridge case during manufacturing. This is the process which started the series, and the articles referring to this process are identified by the then-in-vogue name "Encoded Ammunition". The objections to this are explained above and in the NSSF Fact Sheet.

However, shortly after the Brouhaha about "Encoded Ammunition" got going very strong, along came Todd Lizotte and his proposal; every firearm sold in the United States must have an unique serial number on the breech face, which would be pressure-stamped ("Microstamped" on the base of the cartridge during the recoil phrase of firing the firearm.

The original purchaser of the firearm would be identified and registered with the government of the state where the firearm was first sold. ( Whether plans were envisioned to register each subsequent purchaser of that firearm has not been made clear, but we can envision legislators drooling over the prospect of registering every firearm sale.)

The assumption was that any firearm used in a felony could be identified by the microstamped code on the empty cartridge case left behind at the scene of the crime.

Was this intended to definitively identify the culprit? Not at all. It was only intended to identify the original purchaser ... and the original seller ... of the firearm. The intent was to identify retailers who sold firearms which were later used in a crime, so 'bad dealers' could be dealt with. Or, if several firearms were traced to the original purchaser, this would help to identify "Straw Buyers".

Well, not necessarily, but at least by implication.

Of course, this process could take YEARS to provide sufficient body of evidence to implicate any individual, seller or buyer. And it's not necessarily fool-proof even then (for example, in the case of theft of a firearms collection, a buyer might seem to present the same characteristics as a Straw Buyer.

Most of the "Interview with Todd Lizotte" sub-series of articles dealt with his grandiose plans to Make America Safer From Rogue Guns, and my refutations of his assertions. For example ... what happens when the slide of a semi-automatic pistol splits; what kind of controls are in place to register the new serial number on the replacement slide, and how long would it take to get a (essentially custom-made) replacement, and how much more would that microstamping version cost than a non-microstamping version, and how likely is it that a replacement would be even possible without a frustrating and protracted bout of attempting to authenticate the legitimacy of the 'replacement' purchase?

Also, the goal was to microstamp EVERY firearm ... even single-shot and double-barrelled shotguns, and revolvers,. These firearms types are much less likely to leave behind brass, but the laws would require that they to would be subject to the law.

Further, what is to prevent a criminal from picking up brass left behind on a shooting range, reloading it, and using pre-stamped brass in a non-microstamping firearm?

Not to mention the dubious reliability of a technology which relies on microstamping a small serial number on the base of brass which is already an imperfect surface due to the headstamping which is embossed there during manufacturing.

Finally, and most egregiously, the legal machinations required to this system is de facto registration of every firearm sold in America.

And as we have learned from the lesson taught in California in 1997, Registration almost invariably leads to Confiscation. At the very least, it infringes on the privacy of the person who bought the encoded ammunition or the Microstamping firearm.

Summary:

  1. There are two methods of Serializing Ammunition: Encoding (unique serial numbers embossed on each bullet/cartridge case combination during manufacture), and Microstamping (identifying serial numbers embossed on each cartridge case during the act of firing, which relate to the individual firearm).
  2. These two techniques both rely on unproven, non-peer reviewed technology.
  3. The technologies will add greatly to the cost of the ammunition, or of the firearm.
  4. In the case of Microstamping, the added expense and frustration, and administrative overhead and complexity, compounds what would otherwise be a simple matter of buying a replacement part which is, itself, NOT typically identified by a serial number.
  5. Microstamping sometimes/often also requires that the serial number be embossed on the firing pin, to microstamp on the unblemished primer. We can only imagine the legal stumbling blocks to buy a replacement microstamping firing pin, originally priced at about $2, to match that found on the breech of the firearm.
  6. Both of these methods provide little or no help in catching criminals who have used illegal methods to acquire either the encoded ammunition or the Microstamping firearm.
  7. Both of these methods do, however provide an excellent method for the criminal to lay a false trail, to the confusion of the law enforcement agencies who have been lead to believe that they only have to find the encoded brass to find the culprit.
This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of objections to either method of serializing ammunition. However, it does illustrate the paucity of usable evidence which they may be expected to provide to Law Enforcement Agencies ... and the great expense and inconvenience they will levy upon the honest private citizen (and military unit, and police department).

Conclusion:

Neither of these tecnologies offer a real, viable, reliable and practical method by which criminals may be brought to justice. However, they provide a great service to those who would seek to deny the honest citizen the practicable access to firearms and ammunition.



Or you can just review the entire list, in one huge page, by typing "microstamping" on the SEARCH bar at the top of this blog.
__________________________________
UPDATE: December 12, 2008
Tom Cox has a few words to say about this at "Center of Mass" TomCox.wordpress.com

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

USPSA Area 1 Elections

I recently received a [bulk] email from the Columbia Cascade Section, which covers the north-east section of Oregon. This was sent to announce a candidate for Area 1 (north-west are of USPSA Region) Director.

(As a courtesy to USPSA members in AREA 1, I include the email in the same general form in which I received it, except with certain deletions regarding a reluctance to include private information on an internet forum.)

The attached is from Tom Chambers who has decided to run for Area 1 Director. The board sends this out as a courtesy to Tom, a member of the Columbia-Cascade Section. Sending it is for the purpose of information only and does not constitute an endorsement of any kind.

xxx -- CCS Contact Name Deleted -- xxx

Columbia-Cascade Section Information Officer

Hello fellow Columbia-Cascade Shooters!

I’m Tom Chambers and I’ve decided to run for the position of Area 1 Director.

Bruce Gary, our current Director, has decided not to run for re-election and is stepping down at the end of his term in 2009.

Many of you have met me over the years but I would like to take a brief moment to let you know of some of the things I’ve done while participating in our sport.

I joined USPSA in 1996 in Oregon while at Dundee. I have competed locally, nationally, and internationally.

I am a National Range Officer Institute certified Range Master, having achieved that in 2001. I have been one of the organizers and the Range Master for 4 National Matches; the 2002 Race Gun Nationals and the 2003 Back to Back Nationals in Bend, Oregon, and the 2006 Multi-Gun Nationals held at Albany, Oregon. Over the years I have been a Chief Range Officer at numerous National Matches around the country.

I’ve been the Range Master for three Area 1 Pistol Championships and for at least five Area 1 Multi-Gun Championships. I have been the Range Master for many of our Section Championships. I helped put on the first Crazy Croc and was the Range Master/Match Director for that match for several years. I helped establish the first Level III IPSC Sanctioned Section Match in the USA right here at our Section in 2001.

I have been the Assistant Competition Director, the Competition Director, and Deputy Section Coordinator for our Section.

Bruce Gary has done an outstanding job as our Area Director for the last eight years. I want to build on his successful record and have our organization achieve new goals as the premier action shooting sport in the nation. We need to continue to grow and become the leader for other shooting disciplines both in our area and around the country.

I don’t want to take up any more of your time but feel free to contact me if you have questions or issues. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tom Chambers

xxx-- street address deleted --xxx

xxx -- phone number deleted --xxx

xxx -- email address deleted --- xxx


Out of respect for Mr. Chambers' privacy, I have declined to include his mailing address, phone number or email address. If you wish to contact Mr. Chambers directly, please address your inquiries to the Columbia Cascade Section Webmaster at http://www.columbia-cascade.org/

(I remain certain that CCS will resolve any conflicts between privacy rights and the need to contact a candidate.)

As in the policy of the Columbia Cascade Section, this notice does not express or imply an endorsement for this or any future candidate. It is provided here solely to inform voting members of Area 1 of the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) of the fact of this candidacy.

On a personal note, however: This is the first I have been made aware that the current Area 1 Director, Bruce Gary, plans to leave the office in 2009.

Mister Gary has been, in my personal opinion, the best voice for Area 1 USPSA members in the 25 years (give or take the odd hiatus) during which I have been associated with this fine organization. He has been a responsible representative for the individual member; he has been among the primary authors of the 2008 USPSA Rule Book, which was a gargantuan effort ... and a successful one, I think ... to correct many unworkable ideas which have crept into the rules of competition during the past ten years; he has been among the Directors which spearheaded the improved relationship between USPSA and IPSC (the International Practical Shooting Confederation) to the mutual benefit of Practical Shooters in America; and he has performed admirably in resolving difficult competition questions as Match Director in Area 1 Tournaments over the years.

Besides which, he is a helluva nice guy, a hard worker, smart and tactful, and has been seen to exhibit a dedication to improvement of the Shooting Sports both before and during his tenure as a member of the USPSA Board of Directors.

I, for one, will miss his hand at the tiller. I thank him for his contributions and leadership, and wish him good luck in future ventures. Oh, and he usually beats me in matches which we both attend, although that may be mistakenly construed as damning him with faint praise.

His replacement will discover that he or she has to work hard to live up to the standards which Mr. Gary has established.

I sincerely wish Mr. Chambers good luck in his campaign.

NOTE: This is the first I have heard from a candidate for this office. As I learn of other candidates, I will attempt to provide their introductory comments and qualifications as well, when they are made available.

Combating Defamation of Religions

Don Feder, writing at "GrasstopsUSA.com" discusses the roots, causes and consequences of a recent United Nations measure (passed four days before the start of the Mumbai Massacres) which would make it an international crime to criticize a religion -- any religion. Any guesses as to which religion is pushing for passage of this measure?

Feder notes, in part:
Enactment of the Orwellian measure has been high on the agenda of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which maintains that “Islam is frequently associated with human rights violations and terrorism.”

Imagine the infidel dogs implying that there’s a connection between Islam and: honor killings, floggings for minor infractions of Sharia law, flying planes into buildings, bombings, rocket attacks and the murder of rabbis and their wives. Infamous!

My friend Robert Spencer
author of “Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs” and editor of the website Jihad Watch warns that the U.N. enactment is “a veiled attempt to restrict speech that Islamic authorities find offensive or inconvenient, including honest discussion of the motives and goals of jihad terrorists and how they make use of Islamic texts to gain recruits and justify their actions.”

The measure will not be deployed against the imams who regularly call for the blood of Christians, Jews and Hindus, or the government of Egypt that condones church burnings, or the Saudi Religious Police who smash down doors in search of covert Christian services, or Holocaust-denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or Syrian President-for-life Bashar Assad, who told Pope John Paul II that Jews “try to kill the principle of religions,” or the producers of the 2002 Egyptian television multi-series, “Horseman Without A Horse,” a dramatization of the anti-Semitic canard “The Protocols of The Elders of Zion,” or the U.N., whose 2001 Anti-Racism Conference in Durban turned into a hate-Zionism fest.

It will be used to silence the likes of Geert Wilders (the Dutch parliamentarian who produced “Fitna”), Brigitte Gabriel (the Lebanese-American journalist and author of “Because They Hate”), Bob Spencer, Ann Coulter and ex-Muslims who run websites like “Islam Watch.”

The genesis of Feder's comments is the reluctance of The New York Times to describe the authors of the Mumbai Massacre as "Muslims". Instead, they are described as "... “terrorists,” “gunmen,” “militants” and “assailants.” "

Well, they were certainly that. But what were they when they were at home?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

This Site No Longer Active


As of November 29, 2008, Kim "A Nation of Riflemen" du Toit, will no longer be posting on his "The Front Page" blog. (Also known as "The Other Side of Kim".)

I understand the reason for this is that he has other plans for all those daily hours he has been spending on the blog since ... well, for at least the five (or more) years that I have been a faithful reader.

I'm sorry to see him go. I'll miss Kim's outspoken, often profane commentary on life, love, style and shooting. Kim has been on my increasingly shortened "Blogs I Read Every Day" list since I started writing online because of his consistently high quality and quantity of writing.

Some of the time I didn't agree with him. Occasionally I considered his reactions to the daily news a bit over-the-top. But I read him anyway, every day.

A couple of times I even wrote articles in direct opposition to his stance, most notably the day in 2005 that he and Masaad Ayoob agreed that "... you don’t have a God-given right to carry a loaded gun in shopping malls where there are kids walking around.".

Then earlier in 2008 '... The Estimable Kim acknowledges that "A Pennsylvania soccer mom who packs a pistol is getting her concealed weapon permit back ...", and went on to say that she must be "... [a] f**king idiot"'.

In the course of history, maniacal gunmen determined on suicide-by-cop started shooting up shopping malls, and it wasn't until an off-duty cop held one such idiot at bay until the SWAT team showed up at the Utah shopping mall on February 13, 2007, that the Conventional Wisdom began to wonder whether it really WAS a good idea for Malls to have "No Weapons Allowed" signs posted at every entrance.

This was very much emphasized in the Von Maur Mall shooting in Omaha, just under a year ago today. (December 5, 2008.)

And the Pennsylvania soccer mom? She has filed suit (for over $1,000,000) in Federal court against Lebanon County Sheriff Michael DeLeo, (who maintained she showed poor judgment wearing her gun to her daughter's soccer game), his office, and Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. She claims "... the sheriff's action violated her First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendment rights. "

Since she was stopped for Open Carry, and the Sheriff responded by jerking her Concealed Carry License (Open Carry is legal in Pennsylvania), there's a good chance she'll win the suit.

This does not, of course, contradict Kim's assertion that she must be "... [a] f**king idiot"'. To the extent that she could have carried concealed and thus avoided upsetting her fellow (?) soccer moms, her motivation is far from transparent.

Which only illustrates that even when I disagreed with Kim in the details, even when he was 'mistaken' (in my opinion), he was usually also 'right', at least in part.

Remember, Kim posted over two thousand PAGES of posts (several posts per page) and counted more than fifteen million visitors. And this was in just the past three or four years since he changed from his "A Nation of Riflemen" format to the "Other Side of Kim" ... because he lost an employment opportunity due to the strong opinions he had stated on the earlier blog.

The Blog world will not soon see a more controversial, outspoken, endearing and overwhelmingly popular gun-blogger. I salute the man who live up to every boast and assertion, worried himself sick and dumped himself and his family in the poor-house (so to speak) in defense of his right to hold strong opinions and to publically state them.

Kim du Toit, we who have been your faithful readers salute you.

We'll miss you, Man.
(Say, are you going to finish that beer? Can I have it?)

Monday, December 01, 2008

New Shooter Chronicles!

Two weeks ago I wrote about a local news organization which decided to 'out' (as in "publish the names and addresses") of CHL (Concealed Handgun License) holders in Benton County, Oregon.

In the strangest of coincidences, a couple of days later I had an unusual (and very private ... Politically Incorrect, y'know?) conversation with a Co-Worker who told me that he had qualified for a CHL five years before, and that he recently (for reasons entirely unconnected with the election of Barack Hussein Obama, for whom he had voted) decided that he would not only renew his CHL but planned to actually BUY A GUN!

That's right.

He had the license, but didn't own a gun. No, I do not know the background story. It would, I'm sure, be interesting; but it it is not germane to the point.

Anyway, this friend and co-worker (I'll call him "Harley") decided that since he had the license, he was seriously thinking about buying a gun to go with it. He asked me if there was a gunshop in town. I told him that the last two gunshops in this town had gone out of business due to lack of interest, but there was a gunshop in a close town where he might find what he needed. In fact, I had bought my last two pistols from them, at a gun show. Unfortunately, although we can often find the best deals at gunshows, the last local one was in September and the next one wasn't scheduled until March. So, he might wander over there and see what they have to offer.

I also mentioned the CHL Expose planned by a local news source (via a local law firm), and suggested that he protect his privacy by going to the links which I would email to him and submit an amended CHL application.

Which I did.

Today, "Harley" and I were (as usual) the last two people to leave the office, and as I walked the office to make sure the lights were off and the doors were locked, I found Harley at his desk, working diligently on esoterice Geek-stuff. After I told him that he was 'in charge', I asked about his progress in upgrading his CHL to 'Private Mode', and he informed me that the links that I had sent him allowed him to establish his CHL application as "a private Self-Defense issue" and therefore not part of Public Records.

When I asked him if he had found a handgun, he told me that he had found a "357 revolver ... you know, a short-barreled revolver that shot a .357 Magnum load, and boy oh boy if it didn't kick like a mule!"

We talked a bit about practicing with the .38 Special load to become accustomed to the way the revolver works, and then about using the Magnum load for familiarization, and to keep as the "standard load" because if he bought the Magnum version for defense, he should keep it in that mode.

We talked also about Practical Pistol ("IPSC"/"USPSA"), Race Guns, Dot Sights ("C-MORE"), point-of-aim vs point-of impact, Defensive Carry vs Competition, and various other arcana having to do with pistol shooting vis-a-vis the need to tailor the pistol to the designated purpose of buying a handgun.

And we finally got down to the nitty gritty:

"When you find the time" I said, "Let me know. I'll take you out to the range and let you get in some practice time with your new pistol. It's important that you know how to shoot it under various conditions, and you need to build confidence in how to handle your new gun safely, and efficiently."

And I left it at that.

Harley may never take me up on the offer, but I suspect that he will. He's a responsible guy, and I don't doubt his determination to master Safe Gun-Handling Skills just as he has mastered many Computer Skills. He is, after all, an Alpha Geek.

I've already told him about a co-worker who spent a couple of Saturday Hours at the range with me "Les and the New Gun"). Some time in the next couple of weeks, or months, we'll stop in the hall of the office, or say goodnight after everyone else has gone home at the end of the day, and we'll make an appointment to spend a Saturday Morning at the range. He'll bring his new Revolver, and I'll bring a few 'other' pistols, and we'll both bring fewer rounds of ammunition than we discover we want to shoot. We'll play with guns, he'll learn a few things and I'll learn a few things, and he will go home with the new-penny bright idea that shooting is fun.

That end of the office space has always been a Liberal Bastion. It will be interesting to watch the burgeoning interest of a man who has just realized that there IS a reason why a rational man would want to own a firearm.

One at a time. That's all we need to defend the Second Amendment.

And Harley has a son. Watch this space; in a year, we'll have two new shooters who not only decide to spend their disposable income on ammunition, but the line to the check-out counter at our local gun shop will be longer by two new shooters.

I love this job.

.

IPSC Stage Idea: Zombies!

Geek with a .45 has a great idea for a 'themed' match, or at least a stage or two.

Zombies!


I know that IPSC ... or at least USPSA, has gotten away from 'scenarios' in their stages.

My personal opinion is that this was a move toward the "Politically Correct" position which has never worked for IPSC and will never work for USPSA, either.

The original theory of "Scenarios" was that each stage of an IPSC match would represent a 'practical' exercise to justify the stage design.

This theory went astray, about the time stages described engaging a horde of marauding sharks through the screen door of a submarine. Well, perhaps that was a little unrealistic.

But the 800-pound Gorilla of Reality was that observers put the 'humanoid' looking targets together with the scenario, and decided that "IPSC IS TEACHING PEOPLE HOW TO KILL PEOPLE!"

Uh, well, IPSC ("The International Organization") rushed to the battlefront and declared that human-shaped targets don't REALLY depict humans, and anyone who thinks so is reading something into the competitive venue which just wasn't there.

That didn't work too well, because the IPSC "Metric" target is obviously designed to designate the shape and size of a human being, and the highest-scoring zones in a target depict the approximate "kill-zones" of the human body. (Don't forget, you heard it first here, folks.)

[IPSC and USPSA won't tell you this, but I will because I know and you know that IPSC was originally conceived as "Combat" Pistol and was intended to encourage the exercise of skills which will teach us how to defend ourselves against armed aggressors. That is, of course, not Politically Correct, but that is a theme for later ... and several earlier ... articles.]

But I digress.

The Link to GWA45 includes a friendly video of a match which pits well-armed mortal humans against a group of attacking Zombies ... The Undead. It allows scenarios where a single person (mortal) opposes aggressors (immortal Zombies) and hopefully prevails against The Bad Guys.

What can be badder than a Zombie? I don't know, but for people who don't believe in Zombies this should represent the epitome of Personal Protection scenarios without "teaching people to shoot people".

Are Zombies "people"? I don't think so Jose'.


As a bonus, there is also a link to a video which shows the Ultimate Zombie Killer": an electric chain-saw, mounted as a 'bayonet' on the lugs of an Evil Attack Rifle.

The video doesn't make a good case for the modification, nor does it demonstrate good Gun-Handling Techniques.

Still, it looks like fun.

Whaddya Mean, "Thanksgiving's Over"?

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging for the past WEEK!

That's right. I took and un-announced week off. Between work, home, play, SWMBO and Family, I was exhausted. So, without even as much as an excuse from my doctor, I ... just ... quit ... writing.

I wish I could say that I'm refreshed and full of new ideas for exciting new articles, but I'm not. However, I am beginning to feel guilty about not writing, so the Blogging Hiatus is officially over.

Look for more articles in the near future, even though they may not be IPSC-related because I haven't competed in an IPSC match for quite a while.


SWMBO STATUS CHECK:

SWMBO completed her seventh of twelve weekly chemotherapy treatments, so she is over the hump and looking forward to being done done DONE with Chemo.

We spent Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, porking out on a traditional dinner of ... Spaghetti! That's right, the Geek Industrial Strength Spaghetti, which is less spicy than Nuclear Spaghetti and decidedly less fiery than Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Spaghetti.

Out of defference to SWMBO's three-month regimen of cancer-starving diet (no red meat, no starches, no wheat products, no sugars, no anything that tastes good) we indulged in ALL of the Forbidden Foods, including Haagen-Daaz Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Meaty Spaghetti, Roast Beef and Potatoes, and Pumpkin Pie with Real Whippped Cream ($4.95 at the neighborhood Safeway store, which SWMBO pronounced as "The WORST Pumpking Pie, ever!".)

We spent four deliriously exciting days ... watching old movies on DVD, including westerns with Joel McCrea and John Wayne; Ben Hur; Adam and Ever with Tracey and Hepburn; and Man's Favorite Sport with Rock Hudson and Paula Prentis. (We had forgotten that Hudson was such a consumate actor that we never realized, back then, that he didn't actually like gurlz.)

We stayed up late, slept in late, and worked a lot of crossword puzzles, which only proves that two half-wits working together can emulate A Full Wit.

On Friday I took SWMBO to the Neville Center on Pill Hill, for her weekly infusion of heavy-metal poisons. This was the odd-numbered week, in which they added the chemical which takes her down from her chemically induced high fast. She was feeling great on Friday afternoon, and her voice was almost normal. Saturday she felt good, but not good enough to get out of the house. Sunday her voice began to climb octaves and the lung-cough came back, and she started to get nose-bleeds again. Today, Monday, her voice is again squeaky and thin, and she has already run out of the $45/bottle Cough Medicine which allows her to sleep without coughing. (She get's what is supposed to be a week's prescription, but the 250ml doesn't really last that long.)

So in a microcosm of five days, she has run the gamot of reactions from Z to A and back to M again ... so to speak. But she is discovering new signs of progress every week. Her Blood Oxygen count has dipped as low as 50%, but after her Friday infusion it was running at 97%, indicating that her lungs are working almost to full capacity.

And her blood pressure remains 'normal', and she can still sleep on her right side, which puts pressure on the lung that contains the tumor; another sterling indication that the treatment, however uncomfortable, is working.

Five more weeks of chemotherapy. Then her Oncologists will be able to tell whether she needs more treatment or can be considered a Cancer Survivor.

I vote for the second alternative. SWMBO is a strong, determined lady in the best of health except for the Cancer thing. I know she'll make it, and then we can start going to IPSC matches again because, darn it, she really misses our friends.

They're the best medicine.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Seattle Mayor Moves to Prohibit Gun Carry

A November 21, 2008 article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer announces that "Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels expects to introduce a city rule change in December that would ban all guns from city buildings and parks, despite objections from state officials and gun-rights advocates."

The article explains:

The administrative change, which would not come to a City Council vote, would ban concealed weapons from city-owned property. Roads, sidewalks and most parking areas would not be included.

In October, the state Attorney General's Office issued an opinion asserting the mayor's proposed restrictions would violate state law blocking cities from enacting gun rules. The move also caught the attention of gun-rights advocates, who see it as an attempt by Nickels to pave the way for additional prohibitions.

Regina LaBelle, legal counsel to the mayor, said the city believes it already has the legal authority to enforce the restriction, which could result in criminal trespass citations for those who repeatedly violate the rule. Still, she said, the city will be asking the Legislature to "clarify" state law during the next legislative session.

"There are a lot of other cities around the state that have demonstrated a desire for their safety in parks and buildings," LaBelle said. The rule, added, "is about trying to reduce the number of guns in circulation."

That seems clear enough.

The mayor's office is a gun-grabber organization, and damn the costs. He doesn't want to reduce crime, the mayor wants to "reduce the number of guns in circulation".

While the newspaper report pays a passing homage to "... a nonfatal shooting at the Northwest Folklife Festival in May", there is nothing in article to suggest that either the Mayor nor the notoriously liberal Seattle P.I. expect that this new local legislation will have a positive effect on the oft-quoted goal of 'reducing crime'.

The P.I. notes the Mayor's record on gun control:
Nickels has become something of a rising star in the gun-control movement, having joined in several initiatives through the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition and organized a 2007 statewide summit on gun violence. In May, he was recognized as Washington Ceasefire's civic leader of the year.
(Washington Ceasefire is a state-based anti-gun organization.)

CCRKBA (Citizen's Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a pro-gun organization led by Alan Gottleib) has issued a press release stating that "[The] draft proposal issued Friday by Mayor Greg Nickels outlining his scheme to ignore state statute and state legislative authority over firearms regulation amounts to a slap in the face against more than 250,000 Washington state residents."

Unfortunately the mayor's Friday announcement may have been given some momentum in the eyes of Gun Control organizations by Sunday's double-shooting at the SouthCenter Mall in Tukwila, " ... leaving a 16-year-old boy dead and another teen wounded as shoppers scrambled for cover."

In what appears to have been an argument between two or three teenage boys ([t]he suspect is described as a black male in his late teens or early 20's ...") which escalated to violence, Tukwila police who responded to the call stated that "the shooting didn't appear to be random."

Even though this was a targeted shooting which did not occur on public property, it is likely that Mayor Nickles' office will use this fatal, if isolated, incident to obfuscate the issues.

The issue is, in fact, that Washington State Law, as Gottlieb said, "... clearly prohibits cities from pre-empting state gun law. Allowing cities to do so, [he said], would create a morass of confusing regulations."

Will this become an issue controlled by Nickles, who will likely use the unrelated incident to pump up his anti-gun venue? Or will it serve as an illustrative example of the toothless 'Gun-Free Zones' (as most shopping malls have historically been designated) which only keep law-abiding citizens from possessing the means to defend themselves in the event of otherwise-unstoppable violence?

At this point, it's impossible to tell which way this complex story will spin, or whether indeed the public opinion will shift toward the the monomaniacle extremes of an acknowledged "Gun Control" fanatic or a measured evaluation by a populace which is unaccustomed to unslanted news reporting.

The only sure thing is that emotions will be running high, and reason will be overshadowed by the authority of the Mayoral office and its support by one of the most Liberal, Anti-gun publications in the country.

Let's hope that the CCRKBA message will be heard by at least a few free citizens.

H/T: Stan

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Xavier Thoughts: When Seconds Count

One of my favorite (and daily "must read") blogs is Xavier Thoughts ... the link will always be available on my sidebar under "Websites That I Read Every Day".

Today (yesterday, now ... it's very late) he presented a video link to a newscast which discussed "Gun Free Zones". Incredibally, WCPO Television in Ohio (not to be confused with WCRP in Cincinatti, which was a very funny late-1970's television show) seems to understand that the "Gun Free Zones" sign is the same as posting a sign saying: "I don't have a gun; please come kill me".

The WCPO piece (transcript available here, along with a link to the article on "Active Shooters") emphasizes that
"While it use to be considered 'suicide' for a lone officer to take on an Active Shooter, it's now considered 'statistical homicide' not to, because the longer officers wait for backup, the more people die".
This may be considered only common sense by some of you, but it has taken a long time for the Main Stream Media (MSM) to catch up with this "Common Sense Solution to Gun Violence".

(Another approach to the same topic may be found here., as defined by Roger Fulton - a retired New York State Police Captain, )

I watched the video the samy way many of you may; it was final acknowledgement that the difference between Gunman and Unarmed Citizen in a Gun-Free Zone is the same as the difference between Wolf and Sheep.

And I thought: "This could be good. It may not appeal to the authorities who declare shopping malls, schools and churches Gun Free Zones, but perhaps it will encourage our Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and their administrators to train the nation's police to more aggressively.

Then I went to read the comments by Xavier's readers, where I found this cheerful reinforcement of my faith in LEOs:
All I can ask is are any of the commentors [sic] so far LEOs. Are you? I ask because I am one. I would not place my life at unecessary [sic] extreme risk in such a situation where there are multiple shooters without back-up because I am not suicidal, nor am I an idiot. Sure I might try to stop such an incident from getting worse, but you can bet your bottom dolalr [sic] that no officer should be trained to seek out and engage multiple assailants in such a scenario without back-up. If you really think it is about time some dopey stuff like that is taught to officers, well all I can say is what has happened to all the talk about arming the students. Unbelieveable. [sic] Why not think long and hard about putting yourselves in one of the multiple attacker scenarios as described, or even in a one assailant situation when you have a 9MM pistol and the other guy has a rifle with large capacity magazines. There is such as thing as bravery, and such a thing as absolute foolishness, and another thing as absolute stupidity. I choose to avoid the later two, it keeps me alive. Mind you, I have been there and done that several times when it has come to dangerous duty, even when badly oputnumbered, [sic] and I have had the injuries and some scars to prove it - but I cannot call upon anyone to be an idiot when it comes to such things.

Remember that many of the readers of this site, and others like it, endorse arming all of the public, and endorse CCW, or open carry by anyone who wishes to do so - as do I. One of the biggest reasons has always been because of poor response time by police in bad situations. Now you suddenly want to depend upon a lone officer to save the day - ala a John Wayne type to come in shooting. Well this is no John Wayne movie, this is real life, so why not get real. When seconds count the people should be allowed to defend themselves. That way they can at least hold the bad guy at bay until the other good guys arrive. Expecting someone to go in on a suicide mission is not the right thing to do even if they, as I, would probably do.

Sincerely,
Glenn B

The good part is, he mentions "...well all I can say is what has happened to all the talk about arming the students". I presume the commenter, Glenn, is in favor of allowing student to carry firearms.

Well and good, I say, as far as it goes. That would be an excellent response to one of my personal favorite topics: allow students on College and University campuses, who have been licensed to Concealed Carry, to actually carry the firearms as they have been certified to responsibly do.

As far as it goes.

Unfortunately in the context it sounds as if Glenn is willing for College Students to defend themselves only to absolve Glenn from having to interpose his precious flesh in their defense. He offers no solution to the problems in other Gun Free Zones, such as K-12 schools, shopping malls, and other private business establishments.

Until K-12 administrators recognize their vulnerability (and there are many stories which demonstrate that vulnerability), and until Private Businesses recognize their vulnerability more stories), and other organizations and businesses follow suit to the point at which they allow their visitors to carry firearms for protective purposes ... they must necessarily rely on the police "The Protect and To Serve".

Let's go back to the responsibility of LEOs to perform their primary duties:

All quotes here taken from the Protect and Serve link just above: in chapter 6 "Protection and Prevention of Crime" (pp:170 +) [Note that the cited materials commonly are directed to discusion in the context of international conflict and civil war; however, there are individual statements which do seem to apply to internal policing of civilians, especially in the context of the responsibility of Local Police Forces to defend civilians against violations of their civil rights ... including the right NOT to be shot by some wanna-be gunslinger in a Mall in Utah.)

‘‘To catch criminals’’ is, in most cases, still the first priority for law enforcement officials and their organizations. Service to the community, protection of victims and the prevention of further victimization present challenges to law enforcement that appear to have less appeal than the traditional game of cops and robbers."
...
(pg. 171)

"It is common knowledge that the number of crimes solved through law enforcement activity stands in stark contrast to the number of crimes actually committed. Furthermore, the interests of victims of crime are — at least from their own point of view — much better served when their actual victimization can be effectively prevented."

...

"The responsibility for the prevention and detection of crime is assigned primarily to law enforcement agencies. The full discharge of that responsibility, however, requires more than law enforcement input alone.

The effective prevention and detection of crime are critically dependent upon the existing levels and quality of cooperation between a law enforcement agency and the community it serves, and are as much a private responsibility as a public one. Politicians, members of the judiciary, community groups, public and private business corporations and individuals need to join forces if the results of efforts towards the prevention and detection of crime are to be better than the inevitably unsatisfactory results of merely attempting to enforce criminal laws."
This document reads like a United Nations declaration of principles, in that it is much more concerned with the rights of citizens to be protected from the depredation of citizens from their police. However, as is illustrated above, the document is sprinkled with the occasional comments which describe the obligation of police to Protect the citizens of a state.


I think this is significant. "Glenn", however, seems not to agree. His priority is his own personal safety, and in defense of his position he calls upon several suggestions which have already been made elsewhere ... because the Citizens of the United States of America have already learned that they cannot always rely on Law Enforcement Officers "To Protect, and To Serve".

Here, taken out of context, are a few of the positions which he espouses and which I support:

  • "... what has happened to all the talk about arming the students?" [Ed: I like the concept, but what about K-12 students, Glenn? Who is going to protect them? How about shoppers in a public mall which declares itself a "Gun Free Zone?]
  • "Remember that many of the readers of this site, and others like it, endorse arming all of the public, and endorse CCW, or open carry by anyone who wishes to do so - as do I." [Ed: fine, Glenn, we can live with that. But until it happens, we are obligated to depend on LEOs like you to defend us. What happens to us when police are unwilling to do their duty? Answer: we die, sometimes by the dozens.]
  • "One of the biggest reasons has always been because of poor response time by police in bad situations." [Ed: this is one of the reasons, Glenn, why we citizens want the right to defend ourselves in all public venues.]
  • Now you suddenly want to depend upon a lone officer to save the day - ala a John Wayne type to come in shooting. Well this is no John Wayne movie, this is real life, so why not get real. When seconds count the people should be allowed to defend themselves. That way they can at least hold the bad guy at bay until the other good guys arrive. [Ed: no, Glenn, this is not what we want. This is what we have had shoved down our throats for decades, with no recourse. If the Government, as you represent, is unable or UNWILLING to protect us, we want the right to protect ourselves. ]

Here's the single most dis-enchanting thing that Glenn has to say:
Expecting someone to go in on a suicide mission is not the right thing to do even if they, as I, would probably do.
This is not encouraging. This is the statement of a man who had just spent 300+ words describing how, and why, he would not attempt to come to the aid of civilians who were threatened by a gunman. Yet here, he positively states that he WOULD do exactly the thing which he has so vociferously averred that he would not do because, in his words, "I am not an idiot." How can a man so directly contradict himself, and believe that assertion to be accepted?


You, sir, are in the wrong profession.


Your sworn duty is ...


To Protect, and To Serve.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ARPC Newsletter December 2008

Albany Rifle and Pistol Club has been putting out a monthly newsletter for several years now, and in the past year they have been making it available on-line as a large PDF. (You can see it here.)

The newsletter includes messages from the various disciplines, some commentary, a few advertisements, a "for sale" area for club members, contact information and a calendar of events.


In this issue, there was even a URL for a Microsoft "Live Search" Earth satellite picture of the range. (Click on this image for a larger image. Click on THAT for a full-size still image.) I thought that was particularly interesting, but it was a very long URL

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=44.460827~-123.055238&style=h&lvl=18&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&cam=44.442938~-122.590279&scene=-1&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1

so I loaded it into a TINYURL.COM form and shortened it to http://tinyurl.com/5wumku

Much easier to type.

One of the more interesting features this month was a series of photographs depicting recent range improvements. For example, they now have handicap-accessible bathrooms on the North Range. Also, they have improved the parking situation along the North Range access road by placing concrete parking curbs new the clubhouse. This allows the club to keep vehicles out of the equipment storage area.

There's also a free 'drawing' for "a gift certificate from Sierra Bullets for 5 boxes of bullets of your choice and a Techwell USA.com Magwell / Grip system for the 1911."

Hint for readers of this blog only: the two winning gate-card numbers are 1927* and 2609*. I won't give you the full numbers, I wouldn't want to deprive you of the fun of searching for them.