Thursday, April 03, 2008

Greensburg, Kansas: firearms confiscations in 2007


On May 4, 2007, Greensburg was devastated by an EF5 tornado that traveled rapidly though the area, destroying more than 95 percent of the city and killing 11 people.

As was the case in New Orleans during the predations of Hurricane Katrina, residents were forcibly evacuated. And was the case in Katrina, many firearms were confiscated.

The difference is that the confiscations occurred when there was essentially nobody home. There is no justification proposed for these confiscations. And most telling, the rarest and most valuable of the firearms confiscated have just ... disappeared.

Xavier has more information about these mysterious disappearances of personal property, and the article discusses the circumstances under which the city was evacuated and how residents were neither notified that their personal property had been removed, by whom, or for what purpose.

Go thou, and read the whole thing.

Air Travel with Firerms is ... confusing

I know you're looking at that title and, if you've every tried to "Fly the Friendly Skies" with a firearm, you're thinking: "Duh!"

My personal experiences are 4 or 5 years old, but I know that the Belts & Suspenders method is best if you really must fly an American airline on your way to a shooting match.

Lessons learned include:
  1. Make reservations as early as possible.
  2. Get an 'electronic ticket'; that assures that your reservations are in the system and WILL be called up on the computer at check-in.
  3. Before the flight (probably before making reservations), go to the airline's website and find their corporate regulations for carrying a firearm and ammunition in Checked Luggage.
  4. At the same time, go to the TSA website and get their regulations. You would be surprised at how widely these two sets of rules can vary, especially in regards to how much ammunition you can carry. No, I don't know why this matters to the airlines ... weight in lead is the same as the weight in toiletries, varying only in quantity. (Keep track of that link ... you'll see it again.)
  5. Print ALL of the regulations, and keep them with you when you check in for your flight.
  6. Call the airline, with the confirming code, and talk to a shift supervisor. You want to talk to her (it's never a 'him') to explain that you will be carrying a firearm in checked baggage, and that you want to ensure that your packing is consistent with their rules.
  7. During the conversation, the supervisor will be adding notes and comments to your reservation. This is important, perhaps crucial, because often the clerks at check-in are not familiar with these regulations.
  8. When you check in to your flight, have the printed rules handy, as well as the name of the corporate supervisor you spoke with. As you explain that you are carrying one or more firearms as well as ammunition, you may notice a growing expression of non-comprehension on the face of the counter clerk. With a smile and a lot of patience, you can walk the employee through the process. They will be reassured when you can point them to their own reservation notes and see where the Corporate-level supervisor has all the necessary information on file for their review.
  9. It is not required by TSA that you demonstrate that the firearms are unloaded; you may affirm that either verbally or by written document. However, the individual airline may (still) require that you demonstrate that the firearms is unloaded. It will help if you carry the firearm sufficiently disassembled that you don't have to rack the slide, or otherwise open the chamber (with accompanying threatening noise) after you have unlocked and opened the case. Remember, you're probably going through this process at the check-in counter with unaware passengers in line behind you, and on either side of you. Discretion is advised to avoid frightening people who have never seen a real, life gun.
Now, some or most of that advice may be dated. I'm hoping that people who have flown with firearms under the more current regulations will chime in here to help provide a better comprehension of the process.

Recently, TSA has changed their regulations.


Geek With A .45 has a summary of those changes, which include an 'advisory' (not a 'regulation') that seems to be significant ... if subtle.

I suggest that you go read his article for a full appreciation of the change.

Skeptical? Remember the link provided in point (4.) above? Click on it and read the original TSA stuff 'in situ'. It won't reassure you, but at least you will be more likely to accept that the Schizophrenics at TSA are working hard to make Air Travel with Firearms [more] ... confusing.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

How Not to Use a Mortar

Scott (via Higbie) sent me this video on Monday.

I'm not quite sure what it represents, or where it originally came from, but it does seem to provide reassuring evidence of the incompetence of the "Allah Ackbar" crowd.

(If you don't like the teeny-screenie version, you can download the full-size version of the 3.3MB video here.)


video\\

Front Sight Range

Sometimes I get email from folks I've never heard of before.

This is the case here, when I received a note from "Rory".

Rory is obviously associated with the "Front Sight" range in Arizona. We've all see the advertisements ("First Lesson Free") over the past few years, and I presume you're as curious as I am about the quality of mass-firearms training as I am.

Here's the information I have been made privy to. I won't make value judgments, that's your job.
Hey Jerry,

Over here at VBS.tv we just had the chance to head out to Pahrump, Nevada to attend the gun training mecca Front Sight, it was like Christmas all over again.

Jesse Pearson pulled the short straw and got to head out for a long weekend on the ins and outs of self defense, gun maintenance, and valuable lessons such as the way to put someone down, really, is to place two shots in their thoracic cavity and then, if they are still coming, send one coup de grace to a little box on the human face that's framed by the eyebrows and the upper lip. We had a blast and think that given the current strife over the 2nd Amendment, the timing of this piece could not be better.

After all, when the meth head kicks down your door looking for cash, do you want a Glock or an egg beater? That's what I thought.

4 Part Series on Front Sight on VBS.tv

Tactical firearms training in the middle of the Nevada desert.
Jesse's shooting partner is terse, but supportive.
A not too surprising consensus on the importance of the second amendment.
When someone's at your door, screaming "Where's my drugs?" you should be on the ready.

I thought the content would be perfect for fans of the site, hope you agree.

Stay locked and loaded,

Rory


Rory Ahearn
VICE/VBS.tv
97 North 10th St
Suite 204
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718-233-3684
AIM - roedood

California AB2062: Permit to buy ammunition

HT: NRA
On February 19, 2008, California Assemblyman de Leon introduced a new bill (AB2062) which would require ammunition purchasers to obtain a permit to buy ammunition, at a one-time cost of $35, before any ammunition purchases could be made from retailers. There is a 30-day waiting period before the permit would be issued.

The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to incorporate the permit information into a permittee's California driver's license, as specified.
It would ("... commencing July 1, 2009 ...") prohibit anyone from transferring more than 50 rounds of ammunition per month to another person without buying an Ammunition Vendor License. (Special provisions include " ... a background clearance for any employees who would handle ammunition ...").

Ammunition vendors would be prohibited from displaying ammunition where a customer could access it.

This is, of course, entirely apart from Ammunition Serialization, Ammunition Encoding, and Microcoding of Ammunition bills and/or laws which are already either extant in law or proposed.


You can contact Assemblyman de Leon at:
Capitol Office:
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0045
Tel: (916) 319-2045
Fax: (916) 319-2145

District Office:
360 West Avenue 26, Suite 121
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Tel: (323) 225-4545
Fax: (323)225-4500



Let's review:

Current law requires that firearms 'microstamp' identification on the cartridge. Proposed laws would, if enacted, require that ammunition be encoded (serial numbers on the base of the bullet or projectile, and a matching serial number on the interior of the cartridge case). And of course, the purchaser of any ammunition must, by current law, be identified by name, Driver's License Number, Date of Birth etc.

Now the purchaser must be registered ("buy a license") and observe a waiting period before purchasing said encoded ammunition to shoot in a microstamping firearm, and would be prohibited from providing said registered ammunition in quantities exceeding fifty (50) rounds per month to anyone ... including immediate family members.

There are no definitions of what ammunition is covered by this bill, so we can safely assume that all ammunition is subject to these restrictions. Read: one box of .22 rimfire, or two boxes of shotgun shells, are the most you could provide for your child or spouse.

If there was ever any doubt that the State of California is determined to put as many obstacles as possible in the path of an honest citizen who chooses to own and use a legal firearm, let this put an end to this delusion.

It's obvious that this and similar bills serve no legitimate purpose (legitimate in the context of "use of firearms for nefarious purposes" ... as far as the California State Assembly is concerned, any use of a firearm is 'nefarious'.) The only purpose of this kind of legislation is to inconvenience legitimate owners of legal firearms owners, with the intention of rendering their firearms economically infeasible and administratively cumbersome.

Lip Service reference is made in the text of the bill to "... persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms ..." as well as a new concept: "... persons prohibited from possessing ammunition." I submit that the latter encumbrance is superfluous, gratuitous and insulting.

What about the Registration of Ammunition Purchasers?

Strangely, the 'registration' portion of this bill refers directly to Section 11106 of the Penal Code, Paragraph d, sub-paragraph a in the phrase: "...or information reported to the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 12062 as to the brand, type, and amount of ammunition transferred
...".

This would seem to imply that much more stringent identification requirements must be met, to the degree cited for Firearms Registration.

The assumption is that the update to existing laws are borrowing from a section already restricting firearms ownership, but inappropriately. You will have to reference Section 1106, Paragraph C, in order to put it in context. But who cares to do this, as this bill is not only ill-advised, but poorly constructed, and is (hopefully) destined for oblivion if only because the new Californian Assemblyman Kevin DeLeon is so incompetent that he and his staff cannot write a consistent change to existing law.

If it's any consolation, here's the current status of the bill as of the 2/19/07 reading:\
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.


I only hope that I have correctly interpreted this bill as having roundly been Stuck In Committee for all eternity.
_________________________________________________


Purely for your convenience, here is the introductory text and official summary of the bill:
AB 2062, as introduced, De Leon. Ammunition.
Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain records pertaining to firearms transactions.

This bill would require the department to maintain additional information relating to ammunition transfers, handgun ammunition permittees, and licensed handgun ammunition vendors, as specified.

Existing law establishes the Prohibited Armed Persons File, which lists persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms, as specified.

This bill would expand those provisions to include persons prohibited from possessing ammunition.

Existing law generally regulates the sale of ammunition.

This bill would establish a program administered by the Department of Justice for licensing handgun ammunition vendors, as specified. The bill would also authorize the issuance of a handgun ammunition permit, to be used by purchasers of handgun ammunition, as specified.

The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to incorporate the permit information into a permittee's California driver's license, as specified.

The bill would establish a database maintained by the department to serve as a registry of handgun ammunition vendors. The bill would also establish a database of handgun ammunition permittees.

This bill would require that commencing July 1, 2009, unless specifically excluded, no person shall sell or transfer more than 50 rounds of handgun ammunition in any month unless they are registered as a handgun ammunition vendor, as defined. The bill would also require these vendors to obtain a background clearance for those employees who would handle ammunition in the course and scope of their employment. The bill would require the Department of Justice to maintain a registry of registered handgun ammunition vendors, as specified. Violation of these provisions, as specified, would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

The bill would also provide that no retail seller of ammunition shall sell, offer for sale, or display for sale, any handgun ammunition in a manner that allows that ammunition to be accessible to a purchaser without the assistance of the retailer or employee thereof. Violation of these provisions would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

The bill would further provide that handgun ammunition may only be purchased in a face-to-face transaction and only if certain conditions exist.
Existing law generally regulates what information is required to be obtained in connection with the transfer of ammunition.

This bill would, subject to exceptions, require certain ammunition vendors to obtain a thumbprint and other information from ammunition purchasers, and would require submission of that information to the Department of Justice, as specified. A violation of these provisions would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

snip-snip, bang bang?

This was brought to our attention by Conservative Scalawag, who offers no assurance that it is not an April Fools joke.

Personally, I think it's for real. I think not, but I sure hope that the Indians are NOT trading firearms licenses for vasectomies.

That would be just too cruel.

"The number of vasectomies in the district had not even crossed the double digit figure in the past eight years. Last year, there were only eight cases of vasectomy and, surprisingly, a year before that (2006) it was only one," Shivpuri District Collector Manish Shrivastava told IANS on phone.

"I then put on my thinking cap and tried to find out the reason behind such a poor response to vasectomy. I soon came to know that the people in this region have a penchant for their macho image and they find going for sterilisation beneath their dignity.

"Since people in this dacoit infested district also have a penchant for guns, I thought of providing them a bigger symbol of masculinity (a gun) and told them to come forward for vasectomy," Shrivastava said.

"Guns in dacoit infested Chambal region, of which Shivpuri is a part, are not only considered a status symbol but are also a sign of manliness."

This has obviously worked better than the Rs.1,100 given to the man undergoing vasectomy and Rs.200 to the person who motivated him - the earlier incentive schemes.

"This year, however, over 150 men have got themselves sterilised since we have offered gun licences. I expect another 100 by the end of this month," Shrivastava said.

Brrrrrrr!

"New Constitutional Right"?

Kevin, over at The Smallest Minority, posted a brilliant argument in favor of the Second Amendment as an Individual Right.

This was over a week ago, and I am chagrined that I didn't actually read it earlier. I've obviously been too busy Having A Life, which is Death For A Blogger.

Go read the article here (it's not Geek Length) and tell me you don't find his thesis convincing.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Encoded Ammunition: Alabama SB541

SB541

SYNOPSIS:
Under existing law, there is no requirement that ammunition manufactured or sold in this state be coded.
This bill would require, commencing January 1, 2009, that handgun ammunition be coded. This bill would require by January 1, 2011, the disposal of all non-coded ammunition owned by private citizens or retail outlets.
This bill would require the Department of Public Safety to establish and maintain an ammunition coding database. This bill would require ammunition vendors and manufacturers to register with the Department of Public Safety.
This bill would require certain information in connection with handgun ammunition transactions be recorded, transmitted to the Department of Public Safety, and maintained by the vendor and manufacturer.
This bill would provide for a fee not to exceed 0.005 cent per bullet or round of ammunition to establish and maintain the ammunition code database.
This bill would provide penalties for violations.
Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, prohibits a general law whose purpose or effect would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds from becoming effective with regard to a local governmental entity without enactment by a 2/3 vote unless: it comes within one of a number of specified exceptions; it is approved by the affected entity; or the Legislature appropriates funds, or provides a local source of revenue, to the entity for the purpose.
The purpose or effect of this bill would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of the amendment. However, the bill does not require approval of a local governmental entity or enactment by a 2/3 vote to become effective because it comes within one of the specified exceptions contained in the amendment.
Yadda yadda yadda ... this is SO like all the other bills we've seen here recently.

Go there read the whole thing, you know the drill.

This makes ... what ... 13 states whose whores senators-for-hire statesmen have introduced the non-starter gun control bill?

Why don't y'all Alabama folks just lynch this idiot NOW, and save yourselves a whole lot of write your senator and express to him your displeasure at the advent of another unworkable Gun Control bill.

If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody

NRA & Katrina
There are so many titles I could have put on this article.

These are the stories of New Orleans Firearms confiscations, and while I am disinclined generally to tout the NRA ... sometimes, you need a national organization to help fight for your civil rights.

In the enduring aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we are still seeing the reciprocations of illegal firearms confiscations in New Orleans ... years ago.

Although some legislation has resulted from the illegal firearms confiscations in New Orleans, we are left with the images and New Orleans.

Never again.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Encoded Ammunition: ACS vs NRA Part I

While researching this subject, I've found that I'm not the only blogger searching for more information.

Call Me Ahab has found a series of YouTube which (as far as I can tell) document the NRA's online logger interviews with Russ Ford, from Ammunition Coding Systems, discussing their 'sole source' technology.

This appears to be a five-part interview, and I admit that I haven't viewed any except the first part at this time. However, it occurred to me that there exist no transcripts to this interview.

Therefore, I present links to the Call Me Ahab original links to the five part interview, the You Tube link to the first (9:49 minute) segment of the interview, and the transcript of that segment which I have compiled.

ACS Transcript 1 of 5. (A 40KB DOWNLOAD)

If you experience problems downloading this file, or if you require a different format other than MS-WORD v-2003, Please let me know so that I can provide the information in a different formatn.

Also, please note that my transcription skills are admittedly less than perfect, and the sound on the original video is imperfect. Thus, there are some short segments which I found to be unintelligible; these are noted in the transcript as some variation of "(******)", and you can interpret them as you will.

These unintelligible passages are not common, but they do occur. You will have to translate them as seems most likely to your own ear.

Considering that it has required about two hours to transcribe the first 10-minute video, you can expect that it will take me five working days to transcribe the entire5-part interview.

Also, make no assumptions about the accuracy of the quotes provided; this is the best effort I can honestly make, but it's possible that there are errors. If you care to send corrections, I will note them in a future update but also note that your interpretation is "dubious". No reflection on you, but if I can't understand the verbiage I can't warrant that your interpretation of a flawed source is accurate.

We're all just trying to understand the situation, which is confusing at best.

(Note also that I don't guarantee that I'll manage to transcribe all 5 videos. I'm not getting paid for this stuff, and it's too much like work for me to willingly accept it as a duty.)

Bulltwaddle

My last post, an encouragement for a prospective New Shooter's intention to go through a USPSA Certification Course and join us in USPSA competition, has apparently been misinterpreted. My fault, and I apologize if I've been unclear.

This evening I found the following comment:
If you folk can't have fun with nothing BUT encouragement for new members, it's no wonder that some of those leagues are falling on hard times.
In general, I agree with this statement.

I have participated in competitive shooting sports which make it difficult for a new shooter to enjoy the experience. For example, I shot .22 Caliber Gallery Rifle (indoor rifle precision marksmanship at fifty feet) during Junior High, High School and College. I did fairly well and achieved the rating of Expert when I was 18.

After I graduated, I went into the army for two years. When I came out I found a club in the town where I was then living and signed up for both club membership and participation in their 'League' competition.

Shooting as an adult, rather than as a junior or in the non-scholastic club in my home town, I discovered that not everyone was as welcoming of new shooters, nor as conscientious in observing the etiquette required in any sporting activity, as had been my previous experience.

In this context, "etiquette" consisted in such simple, obvious forms as not engaging in loud conversation just behind the firing line while other competitors (even team-mates) are shooting. I found this to be very distracting, and when I asked for silence my polite request was rewarded by indignation and hostility. The team captain was among the worst of the offenders.

Another annoying experience was that, when I was shooting for score in a postal match (on our home range), other team members seemed to think nothing of setting up next to me on the firing line by dropping their shooting match on the dusty concrete floor, kicking up billowing clouds of dust and gunpowder residue. This fine grit gets into your eyes, nose and throat causing tearing, coughing and congestion. It is impossible to ignore these distractions during precision shooting, and complaints again were, at best, ignored.

Etiquette is nothing more than respect for your fellow shooters, plus the un-written rules of the range.

Golfing etiquette, for another example, includes allowing the golfer whose ball is on the green but farthest away from the pin to go first; this permits them a smooth green, which has not been trampled by cleated shoes.

So when I speak of the etiquette of Practical Shooting, it includes being ready to shoot when it is your turn, so that the match does not suffer needless delays; doing your share of the work on a range (taping cardboard targets, resetting steel targets, etc.); not congregating in front of the safety table in BS sessions to the point where those who need to bag or unbag pistols, or perform minor immediate maintenance cannot get to the table.

For a new shooter, these points of etiquette are not intuitively obvious from reading the rule book. The certification courses usually include a 'range segment' where the instructor may mention concerns of etiquette, but they are not usually stressed because the time available is usually so limited that almost all of it is used in teaching safety and gun-handling, plus the application of competition rules.

It is often up to the experienced competitors to welcome new shooters, insure that their current and future participation is a positive, safe and fun experience, help them to understand the competitive requirements of each stage, teach them the little things which are not possible to teach during Certification, and assure them that any support they need to get through the day without problems is immediately available without criticism and without making them feel any more self-conscious than they do already.

I can't speak for other clubs, of course, but in the Columbia Cascade Section (CCS) we do these things very well because we actively recruit new shooters and we want them to keep coming back. We all enjoy the sport, we think everyone who has a pistol and wants a place to have fun using it is assured of a safe, wholesome environment.

At some clubs in CCS the person who is shooting his or her first match is assigned an experienced shooter in the squad to work with and coach the new shooter. At Tri-County Gun Club in Sherwood this is a formal process.

At the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club this is informal, consisting of the Match Director asking an experienced shooter in each squad to help the individual beginner.

And at Dundee ... they know they don't have to ask anyone person in particular to help a NuGuy because they realize that everyone in the squad is more than willing to do whatever is necessary.

(At COSSA, in Bend, nothing is said or implied; a new shooter is simply swamped with folks whose primary concern is the benefit and encouragement of anyone they don't personally know to be an experienced competitor.)

In short, in CCS, we not only actively encourage new shooters and provide them as much training as we can before they shoot their first matches, but every individual competitor on the range is willing to take time away from their own competitive preparations to support the new shooter.


We are all there to enjoy the day in CCS, and everyone who cares to join us is as welcome as a sunny day in December.

If there's a dark side to this process, it's that USPSA folks are as fun-loving as Dolphins, and you will see friends teasing friends at every opportunity. This may be off-putting for some folks, but new shooters are universally treated with respect and a growing sense of camaraderie until, sometimes, they find themselves being gently teased by others in the squad. Frankly, we are aware that running & gunning is serious business and safety is the primary and most important factor anytime anyone picks up a gun. Even though we are serious about safety, that doesn't mean we have to be solemn about it.

We often see people show up for matches about whom we know nothing; we don't know what kind of people they are, we don't know anything about their ability to handle a pistol safely, and we don't know how sensitive they are about their personal dignity. In a way, it's like the first day at a nudist colony; either you fit in, or you don't.

If you don't fit in, you will know and we will know.

If you are unable to keep the basic rules of gun-handling safety paramount in your mind and still perform the basic competitive functions, by the end of the day you will know and we will know.

If you are a person who does not love yourself and who does not love others, by the end of the day you will know and we will know.

If you are there to learn how to kill people rather than to enjoy shooting competition, by the end of the day you will know and we will know.

But if you are there because you love shooting, and are looking for a way to measure your own skills against others who are using the same kind of equipment, then this is the purpose of IPSC/USPSA and you will know and we will know.

Fortunately, almost nobody who shows up for a match has missed being screened out by the Certification Course, so this is very rarely a problem. In 25 years of IPSC and USPSA competition, I have seen less than a half-dozen people who fit these categories, and they are self-screening. That is, nobody ever says: "we don't want you here". We're willing to work with you if you encounter problems. Those very rare individuals who have private agenda decide that they are not comfortable with the very-safe, very-friendly environment they find here.

For what it's worth, if you are a new shooter and you're self-conscious at your first match, then you are going through exactly the same thing that every one of us has experienced. We know that,

If you are terribly concerned that you will violate some safety measure, we're glad to see you because we have ALL experienced this self-doubt. The key is experience. In order to gain experience, you need to shoot some matches. You'll probably make some mistakes, but be assured that very few people make inexcusable mistakes on their first match.

The ultimate sin, if there is one, is to be unsafe. The penalty is a Match Disqualification ('DQ'); I've seen a few DQ's of new shooters, and it's discouraging. However, I've only seen one shooter DQ on his first match, and he came back to compete successfully in subsequent matches.

When you violate a safety rule, you are "DQ'd" and are not permitted to shoot any more at that match. You are determined to have been 'unable to shoot safely at this match'. That's all. Because Safety Rules are a belt and suspenders process, it is very rare that anyone has actually endangered anyone on the range. We usually stop you before it gets to that point.

In fact, I recently posted about a Range Officer who stopped a 'new shooter' who was obviously about to violate a range safety rule. We're that invested in encouraging new shooters, that we make a conscious effort to prevent you from erring.

I have personally DQ'd on three separate occasions, and I can attest that it is personally embarrassing. But it is survivable for everyone and the most healthy response is to recognize that you screwed up, understand how you screwed up, and make it your personal goal to never screw up in the same way again.

To get back to the original premise:

If you folk can't have fun with nothing BUT encouragement for new members, it's no wonder that some of those leagues are falling on hard times.
Well, yes.

But you see, in USPSA we're not a bunch of a**hats whose idea of fun is to haze the nuguy. We're responsible gun-owners who want a venue where we can safely shoot our pistols (and AR's and Shotguns) and who recognize that the best way we can insure our personal Right to Keep and Bear Arms is to grow our membership. We can best do this by enlisting new members who have the same values and priorities. We're out to prove that firearms are not just for killing, as the Gun-Grabbers would have it be assumed, but that competition is a legitimate use of even the most exotic type of firearms.

Sure, we want as many members as we can scarf up; but not at the expense of safe, responsible firearms ownership.

There's nothing more expensive to us than a member who is a crazed, irresponsible, incompetent gun-owner. We don't encourage this kind of person, and we don't think anyone should.

By the same measure, we understand that the kind of competition we do requires the highest level of competency possible. Most folks who are just beginning to shoot don't have the skills required for run-&-gun competition, so we teach these skills ... and we encourage them, we require them, we enforce them.

We're not elitist. We know that most folks have a lot to learn, but we're patient. We won't abide irresponsibility, but we also realize that new shooters have the desire to learn, the commitment to excel, and an innate integrity which will not allow them to err without a strong sense of having let themselves down, and having let their friends down.

If you consider this Bulltwaddle, then I can only suggest that my earlier comments have given the wrong impression, and for that I (again) apologize.

And if you want to learn how to shoot safely in the most balls-to-the-wall, X-sports environment available with a gun in your hand, I encourage you to give USPSA/IPSC a try.

You may not succeed, but I assure you that if you do, you will KNOW that you within the 90% of people on this earth who are caring, responsible, rational human beings.

This is a No Bulltwaddle zone.

(Can anyone create an icon for that? I would be grateful for our contribution.)