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

(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 "" 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.


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 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.