Saturday, April 30, 2011

Michelle Malkin � Baseball’s Greatest Play, 35 Years Later

Michelle Malkin � Baseball’s Greatest Play, 35 Years Later

I don't know how many people who are reading obscure blogs this week/month/year would be interested in this, but I'm pretty sure that everyone who is reading this obscure blog will appreciate the "Save The Flag" moment brought to us via Michelle Malkin, courtesy of Rick Monday.

H/T "The Hobo Brasser"

Friday, April 29, 2011

NRA/Lou Dobbs appalled about ATF "Fast and Furious" program

NRA 2011 Annual Meetings & Exhibits - Contact Us
Wayne LaPierre discusses the BATF scandal on Lou Dobb's Tonight

Shocking Evidence Revealed: Obama Administration Stonewalls Congress By Covering Up BATFE'S "Fast and Furious" Gunrunning Scheme That Sent Thousands Of Guns To Mexican Cartels ... Watch here, Watch Now!

This was the text of an email from the NRA which I received on April 25, 2011.

It seems that Wayne and Lou are reacting (slowly, if surely) in the context of the 2011 "NRA Annual Meeting" (link provided by the 4/25 email, replying in the context of the 4/29-5/01 2011 annual meeting ... which began 4 days AFTER the email) to the ATF "Fast and Furious" program.

As if this was "New news".

The "scandal" isn't new; it has been discussed to the point of ennui in so many contexts. I'm wondering why this release from the NRA is being sent to NRA members now, since Project Gunrunner has been also the subject of many earlier NRA announcements.

And the YOU TUBE video (see below) was first loaded on April 21, 2011.

These guys post as irregularly as *_I_* do!

Still, I wonder why Lou Dobbs continues to talk about "Assault Weapons", and the NRA publishes his comments as if they are the official position of the NRA.

My understanding has been that the weapons in question are NOT "Assault Weapons" (eg: full-automatic) but instead semi-automatic versions of military weapons. (For example: AR15 rather than M16, etc.) None of the weapons required special licenses to purchase or transfer.

At least, that was true of the "Project Gun Runner" weapons which have been reported in the Popular Press (MSM). There were no announcements in the accompanying video which suggest that true "Assault Weapons" were involved in these exchanges.

The National Rifle Association, and Wayne LaPierre in particular, continue to disappoint me. This is exactly why I continue to "Join the NRA" (in hopes that they will someday provide true, sane representation of American Gun-owners) and then invariably fail to renew my membership when they let me down.

I was not impressed by Harlon Carter, and and I have not been impressed by Wayne LaPierre. Even when Charlton Heston was 'honorary' President of the NRA, he went on record stating that he saw no reason why any American would need an M16 or even an AR15.

This goes far beyond the failure of the ATF to screw up the program to entrap gun dealers. It goes directly to the failure of NRA to adequately serve as sane, reasonable representatives of the American Firearms owner.

These people are a blight on the Second Amendment movement. I am not a current member of the NRA (even though these idiots continue to send me their email, after I let my membership lapse last year) because I am embarrassed to admit to my friends and family that they represent me. That implies that they way they present my case for legal firearms ownership is the way that I would present it.

Yes, my friends have been arguing for decades that the NRA is the only consistent force which argues in favor of the Second Amendment.

And I remain embarrassed by our leadership.

It's like being a member of the Republican Party; I'm still disappointed that there are no sane, reasonable, candidates for the 2011 Presidential Election.

I can defend myself against my enemies; can no one save me from my "Friends"?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Professional Shooting Websites

I've just added a new section to my Sidebar ... it's called "Professional Shooting Websites".

While I was struggling (unsuccessfully) to define "Professional Shooters" in the context of Practical (Action) shooting competition, it occurred to me that everyone in USPSA --- and, to a certain extent, IPSC --- intuitively "knows" who is a 'professional shooter', it's difficult to do more than select sufficient identifiers to differentiate between a "professional" and someone who has less lucrative, but still significant, connection with the Firearms Industry and also with Internet resources.

One major factor may be that the "Professional Shooter" often makes a significant portion of his or her annual income by training. They may be training amateurs, they may be training other professionals (eg: military, LEO), but they have established a business on the basis that their training is recognized as a benefit to people who want to shoot.

If I started a business training people to shoot, I probably wouldn't make much money at it, if any. I know a lot of what NOT to do, and even some of what a shooter SHOULD do. But my competitive success (or lack of it) demonstrates clearly that people who have much success in competition would probably not benefit from my instruction.

In short, I'm just not 'good enough' to support myself through training.

On the other hand, we can name a long list of people who can win matches, can benefit a sponsor who is willing to at least pay his or her expenses, and can probably attract a lot of people to attend any training session which they may choose to offer.

This is my attempt to identify those people who can considered professional in that they provide training, and they are able to attract enough 'students' so that their income probably exceeds their expenses.

This last is not an Iron-clad guarantee, but they at least have sufficient standing in the shooting community that they think they can make a profit.

I'll be working on this concept during the ensuing weeks, but my first connection is "Ron Avery - PSA".

Ron Avery is President, and Director of Training at the "Practical Shooting Academy". He is a contributor to POLICEONE.COM

PSA is apparently homed at the NRA Whittington Center (near Raton, NM) and is centered at Ouray, CO, judging from the website's "About" information. It offers training in Tactical, Practical and NRA courses. It also offers "Online" training courses. (Most of these seem to be used to discover the skill-level of prospective students, in one context or another.)

Ron Avery has historically been one of the "Greats" in IPSC/USPSA competition. Several years ago I purchased Ron Avery's 3-volume video series on Practical Pistol competition. I found it sufficiently helpful that I subsequently loaned the tapes out to a series of friends and new shooters. Unfortunately, that practice seems to have back-fired on me, as I cannot now find the tapes.

However, the website does contain a number of videos which the student may find informative, perhaps elucidative, and always impressive.

I've included a 10-minute video of Ron Avery appearing as an "Adjunct Instructor: at the Sig Sauer Academy in Exeter, NH. This video is (curiously, to me) titled "American Guardian". I understand that this is cut down from the original 12-minute version, to meet the then-limits imposed by you tube.

Watching this video, I found several very useful tips on shooting a pistol in a situation which involves multiple shots fired from a position oriented in the same general direction. Watching new shooters (and more, watching videos of myself shooting) I see a lot that I can learn from this single video about grip, body stance, adjustment of weight and tension .... it's all the same old stuff that I've read (for example) in the Brian Enos book "Practical Shooting, Beyond Fundamentals". But I was unable to get such a clear understanding, without the video experience.

Ron's earlier videos were not as helpful to the inexperienced shooter, actually, as was this single video. At that time (ten years ago?), Ron wasn't as good a trainer. I suspect that the information in this single ten-minute video would be extremely helpful to the student who was willing to watch it several times, and make note of the points presented ... and then practice them.

If course, it's difficult to be your own trainer. That's why professional trainers can charge hundreds of dollars for a single day of personal training ... and why it's often worth it to the student.

BONUS MATERIAL: published an article by Ron Avery on July 26, 2010, titled "Dealing with Citizens Carrying a Concealed Weapon". While this may be a useful bit of information for LEOs, it may also prove helpful to honest citizens who are lawfully carrying concealed. The emphasis here is that LEO and CCW citizen can become aware of the kind of activities and other 'indicators' which may help to LEO to understand the difference between a (potential) felon and an honest CCW citizen. I found it helpful; you may, too.

Summer Flu, Summer Colds

I'm told that the worst colds (or flu) are those you catch in the Summer.

I think that this flu, the one I've been fighting for two weeks, must be a Summer Flu. It just came early this year.

I haven't posted anything for a week, mostly because I've not felt like doing anything more than lying around and drinking Alka-Seltzer Cold medicine. And reading, watching old movies. Usually try to east something once a day ... if I can stay awake long enough to nuke a can of soup.

Yesterday I did go to the store, bought a small steak, came home and cooked it. Mashed potatoes, brown grave, ate it all and boy was it good!

Then I slept until about 1:30 this afternoon. Went to the bathroom, came back and slept for another 3 hours.

This is the first time I've felt like posting for a week, and I think I've just about worn myself out.

Tomorrow I'm going to do what I PLANNED to do last .... clear up the last details on disposition of my pension funds, and insure that the Social Security payments are set to start on schedule.

Some of this stuff just can't be done over the phone. Especially when you keep nodding off.