Saturday, February 16, 2013

TCGC Sniper Match; Feb. 2013

In the midst of all the hoo-rah about TCGC (Tri-County Gun Club) policy changes, I have to give credit to their "Tactical Rifle" program.

I've never competed in one of their matches.  I'm too wimpy.  Well, and it's not an inexpensive sport.  Seeing that I'm a much better rifle shot than I am a pistol shooter, I'm sure I would get hooked.  And who wants to spend his Saturdays squirming in the mud, lining up at 4" plates at over 500 yards distance?

Humph!

Apparently, on the 2nd Saturday of February, 2013, there were 53 hardy souls (not all of them guys) who were willing to do just that.

I won't name names  (in accordance with my own blogsite policy) without permission expressed or implied by the individuals, but I've been subscribed to their results email list for years.  So I DO have the results, and will NOT publish them here.  If you shot the match, you know who you are; if you didn't, it's none of your business who were the four bold shooters in the Annual Sniper Match who "took the bait ... and made the shot!"  Apparently, the Match Director deliberately included an optional shooting challenge which he knew was too challenging, and even he was impressed by the results.

Maybe I'm not that good a rifle shot, after all.  I know I can make that shot at 400 yards (or could 20 years ago ... perhaps ... by accident), but 500 yards is an entirely different kettle of fish and I am SO envious at snipers who can take that shot ... and make it!

If it's not obvious, I'm pretty jazzed up about long-gun shooters who meet and exceed that level of competition.   If you think it doesn't take discipline, experience, practice, technical expertise and a lot of sheer guts to do what they do every month, then you're not at all qualified to judge them.

And I wasn't kidding about wallowing in the mud; I've been to their range, I've watched them shoot.  That was when I decided that this Tactical Rifle thingie was "Not For Me!"

For those who don't know what we're talking about here is a video of really GOOD snipers who hit a pepsi can at over a half a mile (895 yards, to be exact)!




Another "New Policy" from Tri-County Gun Club

Another "New Policy" from Tri-County Gun Club:

From another email, not from Columbia Cascade but as a courtesy from a TRI-CO member:

HEADS UP. For those of you that are shooting Tri-county Sunday, AND ARE NOT MEMBERS, you will NOT be able to get in using the old 6 digit code.
These codes are no longer being used, so they can keep non-members that are not with members from entering. Soooooooo, if a club member has NOT made arrangemnets [sic]to have the EXIT gate OPEN so you can drive in, you will want to pull to the LEFT and wait until you can TAILGATE someone inside. This goes for both gates. Once inside you will be OK to shoot the match. Members can only get in using their cards now, no more 6 digit codes. This goes for the police as well. The intent is to issue a match director a one day code that can be used for that match only, as codes will change daily. The club coordinator will then issue that code to all particapants in advance. HOW THIS WILL WORK has not been determined yet. GOOD LUCK, see you Sunday,
"How This Will Work" .. .sounds like a total disaster.

Frankly, I don't understand how a gun club can expect to stay in business if it deliberately makes it difficult for non-members to participate in 'public' matches.

Well ... okay, so they can become a strictly private club, which means that they don't actively encourage non-members to attend their matches.  Which, given their current ruling on the "Over The Berm" rule, is beginning to sound suspiciously like a hidden agenda.

Of course, much of their income currently derives from non-member fees at 'public' matches.  That seems likely to change, though.

The alternatives are either that their match participation will decline drastically and immediately (leaving them a long-term shortfall in their funding), or they can increase their annual dues.   Since these dues are already pretty darned hefty ($225 initiation fee, $170 annual dues) and an NRA membership is mandatory,  they may have to work hard to maintain their current membership let alone attract new members.

On the other hand, perhaps they're expecting that non-members will be strongly encouraged to join, given their new policy on gate-admission.

On the "Third Hand", given their new policy on 'over the berm rules' (which just resulted in their de-certification from USPSA, including the Columbia Cascade Section of USPSA),  they have cut themselves off from a program which results in tens of thousands of dollars in match fees alone, annually,  from both club matches and Level II and Level III USPSA matches.

Can anybody who still has a Tri-County Gun Club membership please explain this to me?  Just WHO is responsible for this Train Wreck at which was once the premium gun club in the state of Oregon?

Columbia Cascade Section announcement

This from an email: from the Competition Director of the Section, dated February 15, 2013:

Attention Columbia Cascade Section shooters,

It is with great sadness I am writing this message to you all. A program that I have supported for 13 years is now gone. The Board at Tri-County is now going to require the Match Directors to disqualify shooters who violate the muzzle over the berm rule. This recent change to the enforcement is new, and was voted on and approved this week without any input or consulting with the various discipline directors.

This move by Tri-County is resulting in the suspension of the USPSA affiliation.  With this recent change, Tri-County has violated their agreement with USPSA by enforcing local rules at a USPSA match.

As of Monday the 18th, I will also be resigning as a discipline director at Tri-County, and any matches moving forward will not be USPSA activities. Thank you to all those that have helped this club produce great matches for a lot of years.  It is very much appreciated and I ask you to please continue to put your energies into one of the other Section clubs.

I could go on and on, but there is really no positives that would come out of it. Please continue to come out and enjoy the best USPSA has to offer at one of the other clubs in the Columbia Cascade Section.

xxxxxxx  xxxxxxx

Columbia Cascade Section Coordinator 

I have been hearing about this 'recent change' to Tri-County Gun Club (Sherwood, Oregon) range rules for some months.  I was appalled by the concept, but the information I received from people who have recently competed at Tri-Co Matches is that pre-match shooter meetings have included careful enumeration of their new Range Rule, and it has not been a major issue  to date.

Apparently (and I'm guessing here), the Tri-Co BOD meeting has changed the situation from an 'advisory' to a mandatory ruling.

As I understand it, the "muzzle over the berm" rule is that if a competitor's gun muzzle is perceived by the Range Safety Officer to point over the berm, than that is grounds for what is in effect a Match Disqualification.

There is a lot of information which I do not have and cannot even guess at.   I don't know if this rule applies only to competition on the club's "Action Range", for example.  What happens if someone on the Muzzle Loader range points a loaded rifle muzzle over 90 degrees from the horizontal?  How can they load their rifles without infringing on this rule?  Or does it only apply after they have seated their percussion cap?  And what if they are shooting a flintlock, which does NOT require a percussion cap and is conceivably "live" as soon as a powder charge is loaded?

There's more than a little of the facetious in the preceding paragraph.  I will let it stand, if only to illustrate that I believe the decision of the B.O.D. at Tri-County Gun Club is ill-advised, arbitrary, and short-sighted.

A little background:
I received my initial Certification Training at Tri-Co in 1983.  They were the first club in the state to host USPSA/IPSC matches,  and the small cadre there sparked establishment of IPSC-style 'action shooting' at other ranges in the state, including Dundee, Albany, Eugene and Bend (where the 2003 and 2004 USPSA National Matches were hosted).  Tri-County Gun Club members arranged, organized and hosted both RO and CRO classes, both of which I attended and by dint of both I and my Significant Other .. Sandie .. were certified so that we could contribute our support as Range Officers to several Level III USPSA matches around the country.

I owe a lot to Tri-County Gun Club,  and it has hurt me to watch over the past few years as their "Action Shooting" programs have lost ground to the Old School (primarily shotgun sports) in the past few years.  That club has successfully battled land developers who tried to curtail the club activities as the small town of Sherwood expanded toward the range.  Since the club has been in place for over 50 years (I was a member for several years, while I lived nearby), and many of their members are lawyers who donated their services to battle many legal actions, it has survived against Political Correctness in many forms, successfully.

My best guess is that their membership support has finally failed to prevail against continuing outside legal onslaughts.  I have no factual basis for this assumption.

Although I have generally declined to participate in their club matches since 2008, it has not been because  I doubted their continuing commitment to provide safe, challenging matches including IPSC, Speed Steel and other action sports.  I know how they have struggled to continue their policy of actively supporting all the shooting sports, and I am saddened that they have finally been forced to accede to their opposition.

If you're not part of the solution ...

We're back where we were in 2008, when Barack Obama was first elected and we genuinely feared that he would enact draconian anti-firearms legislation.  This is the reason why we're having trouble finding ammunition, firearms and reloading components today ... as we did then..

I received an email lately from a local friend who had written to an ammunition supplier bemoaning the lack of availability.  The following is cut from the response which he received;  I have not edited the text at all:


Thank you for the question and do we understand it is difficult to obtain ammunition at the moment. 
Our company sells ammunition products to hundreds of distributors, retailers, and shooting ranges in the United States and these customers have placed giant orders with every manufacturer to try and keep product in their inventory.  We believe that the fear of the American people towards President Obama's administration in their attempt to destroy the 2nd Amendment Rights of Americans is driving sales of firearms and ammunition at such a high level that the manufacturers cannot keep up, even though most companies are operating 24 hours a day and 7 days per week.  Please trust us when we say all of the ammunition companies that we know of are working day and night to build as much ammunition as possible.  The best way to describe the situation is to understand that every single customer that we sell to has placed orders that combined would exceed 2-3 years of production.  This was similar to the sales trend in 2009 after President Obama was initially elected in 2008. Most people feared that the administration would come after gun regulation in his first term, but that didn't happen because the democrats feared that he might not get re-elected in 2012.  Now that he is in his 2nd term, the gun legislation is very heated and pressing forward at the Federal and State level, which is causing the increased demand at the consumer level. 

Here is a letter that was written in one of the industry publications on 2-12-13 by Alan Gottlieb, who is the founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation.  This will give you some perspective on the situation:

Editor's Note: Today's Op-Ed feature was written by Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Following the hysteria generated by gun prohibitionists in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, a nationwide rush on gun stores began as citizens bought semiautomatic modern sporting rifles, handguns and ammunition, in effect "making a political statement" about proposals to ban such firearms. Making political statements is what the First Amendment is all about. The so-called "assault rifle" has become a symbol of freedom and the right of the people to speak out for the entire Bill of Rights. Banning such firearms, which are in common use today, can no longer be viewed exclusively as an infringement on the Second Amendment, but must also be considered an attack on the First Amendment. Many people now feel that owning a so-called "assault rifle" without fear of government confiscation defines what it means to be an American citizen. Their backlash against knee-jerk extremism is a natural reaction to overreaching government. What should one expect in response to this heightened rhetoric and legislative hysteria? Citizens in other countries react differently to government intrusion into their lives, but Americans are uniquely independent. Among firearms owners, talk of gun bans and attempts to limit one's ability to defend himself or herself against multiple attackers by limiting the number of rounds they can have in a pistol or rifle magazine turns gun owners into political activists. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) did not intend her gun ban proposal to cause skyrocketing sales of semiautomatic rifles and pistols, but that's what happened. She must live with the consequences of her shameless political exploitation of the Sandy Hook tragedy. President Barack Obama never envisioned the rush to purchase rifle and pistol magazines, but telling American citizens they shouldn't have something is like sending a signal they need to acquire those things immediately. Vice President Joe Biden never imagined his efforts would result in a tidal wave of new members and contributions to gun rights organizations, making the firearms community stronger and more united in opposition to any assault on the Second Amendment. 
Freedom of association is also protected by the First Amendment. Perhaps they should take a day off and visit the monuments at Lexington and Concord, and reflect on what prompted those colonists to stand their ground. It was the first time in American history that the government moved to seize arms and ammunition from its citizens, and it went rather badly for the British. Beneath the surface many Americans are convinced that we may be approaching a point when the true purpose of the Second Amendment is realized. Underscoring this is a new Pew Research Center poll that, for the first time, shows a majority (53 percent) of Americans believe the government is a threat to their rights and freedoms. Exacerbating the situation is a perceived indifference from the administration toward the rights of firearms owners who have committed no crime, but are being penalized for the acts of a few crazy people. 
It is time to lower the rhetoric and allow cooler heads to prevail. The demonization of millions of loyal, law-abiding Americans and the firearms they legally own must cease. If we are to have a rational dialogue about firearms and violent crime, we must recognize that the very people who could be most affected have a First Amendment right to be heard. Recall the words of Abraham Lincoln, who cautioned us more than 150 years ago that "A house divided against itself cannot stand." A half-century before him, Benjamin Franklin taught us that "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Their spirits are calling to us now. 

--Alan Gottlieb, Gottlieb is founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation.

We hope this helps paint a picture of the massive increased demand for guns and ammunition at the consumer level.  Everyone wants to get product before the administration passes new restrictive laws. We will continue to work extremely hard 24/7 to manufacture ammunition to meet the needs of our customers.  We will never sacrifice quality or safety to improve overall output, but we will try our best to increase shipments wherever possible.  Thank you once again for your email and we trust that our reply is sufficient.

Best Regards,
That's the end of the text which I received.  I don't have links to any of the comments I've just published, so I cannot confirm their authenticity.   I have no other information to provide at this time, and I will not publish the source of the above text.  As far as I am concerned, this is a "Guest Commentary".  Everything I publish here is copyright as of the date in which it is published (here; February 16, 2013).  This does not negate the copyrights of the original authors.

Removing my publisher hat, and donning again my blogger hat .... still copyright.  But I think that a lot of people are NOT looking at the way the current administration has succeeded beyond their wild dreams at undermining the confidence of the Public and the businesses of the Republic.  This has been accomplishing by our President's continuing reluctance (or inability) to reassure his constituents that America will no undermine the stability of the national business environment, and will not fall into the status of a Police State, where arbitrary edicts become a fact of life and The Rule Of Law has been more-or-less abrogated.

We cannot 'insure domestic tranquility' by arbitrary governmental edicts, nor by the intransigence of our leadership.  Is it any wonder that the market is in turmoil, and our citizens are increasingly looking to providing for their own 'common defense' rather than relying on our government?

This is the moment when our Constitution (and our Declaration of Independence) becomes our own best defense.

The Second Amendment was established for the times when we cannot reasonably expect our Federal government to protect and defend us.   Now, more than ever, we find ourselves ever more thankful that our Founding Fathers have acknowledged our private rights to look out for ourselves, when our government will not do so.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Meteorite’s spectacular fall in Russia

Meteorite’s spectacular fall captured on video | Watch XFINITY Videos Online | News | Comcast

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UPDATE:  In case you didn't notice: IT MISSED US!

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Trashing a stage 101

Trashing a stage.

You know how it happens.

You've looked over the stage, you know where you're going to do your reloads.  You know how many targets there are, and of what type, and .. oh hell, you have got this staged KNOCKED!.

Then  the first shot goes all golly-whampus, and the game plan goes out the window.  You don't know what to do next, you don't even remember the game plan, because .. you had not expected this!

It don't matter what your plan was, or what the stage looks like.  All that matters is that you hear someone screaming "DO-OVER" ... and you realize, it is you.

I'm going to show you a video of that exact same scenario.  The shooter is experienced and competent, and when I saw it happen, I thought "Oh gee, tough break; but he'll do just fine as soon as he gets his "Do-Over" strategy.

But it didn't happen.   And that's a misery.

Here's how it looked:
video
Here's the breakdown on the stage performance:
  1. GOT A JAM ON HIS FIRST ROUND.  Doesn't matter whether it was a high-primer, round loaded too long or too-short ... the shooter didn't have good ammunition (couldn't be a magazine malfunction) and he had to drop the magazine to make it go away.  Good choice.  but ..
  2. FORGOT HIS GAME PLAN.    We can only assume  that the reason why he left the first shooting position was because he forgot that he had to engage three, not just two, targets from there.   He probably had walked it through carefully before he shot the stage, but was so distracted from the near-disasterous MALF (Malfunction) that when he rebooted his gun, he rebooted his brain.
  3. FUMBLED HIS RELOAD.  This is something which he has probably practiced at home, and it's so thoroughly a part of 'muscle memory' that he doesn't even have to think about it.  But .. if he did "think about it", it completely trashed his stage.  If you have to 'think', or 'concentrate', you're not competing at 100% of your competence.
  4. STOPPED TO PICK UP, AND LOADED, A DIRTY MAGAZINE.   If your magazine hits the ground, you are best off just forgetting about it and loading a new magazine.  Chances are that it will pick up dirt and grit (as it obviously did in the demo video), and it won't feed ammunition reliable.  And the grit will remain, even if you drop that magazine and grab a new, clean one.  The damage has been done, and until you clean your gun you can only expect more jams.  (WHY did he pick up his dirty magazine?  Probably because he only brought two magazines to the stage, and he had no choice but to risk it.   We can be pretty sure that he owned more than two magazines, but he was 'certain' that he wouldn't need more.   That decision certainly played a part in Trashing The Stage.  Can you say "HUBRIS", childeren?  I knew you could.)
  5. QUIT, AND GO HOME MAD.   When your chamber is fouled, the best you can do is to quit.  Don't try to get more POINTS, because the TIME between each shot is going to trash your stage points anyway.  Use the time between now and the next stage to clean your gun, your magazines, and your ammunition.

Lessons Learned:
  1. Carry more ammunition than you expect to need.
  2. Carry more magazines  than you expect to need.
  3. When you have a jam, just drop your magazine and grab another.  You have extra mags, right?
  4. Never pick up a dropped magazine:  it costs time, you run the risk of sweeping yourself, and the magazine and/or ammunition may be dirty.  That will foul your gun until you can clean it, your magazine, and your ammunition.
  5. When you've trashed your stage, perhaps the best thing you can do is to quit.  It's like the old adage:  When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
You may think that the answer is to go to OPEN Division, where you can carry 25-round magazines and you'll likely not have to reload that often.  SO ... when you're walking through the stage, you don't need to worry about Ammunition Management.

Wrong!

Ammunition Management is all about not having to make a "Standing Reload", except that it's also about not having to make more reloads than necessary .. if you can't make a reload 'on the move'.

If you are shooting in a class which requires a very low magazine capacity (eg: Production, Single-Stack, Revolver or Limited-10), the basic rule is:
If you're moving, you should be reloading!

Avoiding "Standing Reloads" is much more important .. and it should be the basis of your Game Plan no matter what division you're competing in.  Granted, in Limited or OPEN Divisions your magazine capacity may be from ten to thirty rounds (LIMITED Division has a maximum magazine length of 140mm in USPSA/IPSC competition, while OPEN Division allows magazines as long as 170mm).  For example, in my Limited gun, I can load either 17 or 18 rounds of 10mm (same diameter as .40 SW) in my 140mm magazines.  But in my open guns, I can usually load 25 rounds in my .38 Super (same diameter as 9mm Luger) in my 170mm magazines.  Some Open shooters can load more rounds in their Open Gun magazines.

The problem with shooting in Open Division is that one tends to become complacent.  You know that you have 'many' rounds in your magazine, and so you tend to equate that with  "I have ALL THE ROUNDS I'LL EVER NEED"  in your magazine.

The thing is, if you have a 23 round stage (for example) and you're sure you can complete it in 25 rounds or less, you may forget to manage your ammunition.  So, if you take an extra shot or two to make up a miss or a weak hit ... you lose the wisdom you had learned while you were shooting in divisions where you had less ammunition in your magazine.   Essentially, you forget that you really do NOT have "all the ammunition in the world!"

Here's how it looks In Real Life:
video


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dead Zone

I live in a "Dead Zone".

I don't know why it is, but I can't get radio stations ... even local ones .. as clearly in my home as I can from my car after I've driven a few blocks.

When I decided to discontinue my telephone "land line" service and instead use a cell phone,  I couldn't use AOL Online as my IP; so I looked into the ability to use a 'wi-fi' connection.  No good; there are towers in my town, but their range extends to within 2 blocks of my home, but no closer; I couldn't use wi-fi connections.   I had to go to COMCAST CABLE to get a high-speed internet connection. 

And my Cell Phone is similarly problematic:  sometimes I hear from friends or family, and they say: "I tried to call you the other day, and you never picked up.  Are you mad at me or something?  Why are you avoiding my calls?"   I have to say ... "gee, the phone was turned on, the ringer was on HIGH, and I had it right in front of me on my desk.  It never rang, I have no record of your call.  I am not avoiding you!"

(Most of my friends have agreed to believe that I never got the call, if I agree to believe that they tried to call me.  That's what friends do.)

I go through washers and dryers every few years; they wear out faster than "Street Slick" tires on a Mopar Racing car.

I've installed LAN setups, twice,  to allow internet access from  my laptop computer via my my desktop.  They failed after a few months.  A few times I was able to re-activate them.  Eventually, they failed so frequently that I quit trying; now I have a 'gizmo' from Verizon which gives me (anywhere there's a cell tower) phone access to the Internet for my laptop ... which is quite expensive, but it works.  So far.

The Electrical Utility in my neighborhood has brown-outs "often" .. during the Winter (I don't know why in Winter, but there it is) it happens on almost a weekly basis.  During the rest of the year ... it still occurs about once a month.  The power company has replaced the local .. whatchamacallet, the power distribution thingie ... several times. It still happens. My computer dies even though I have an expensive UPS unit inline.  My VCR/DVD has to be reset, my clocks have to be reset  (which is why I have a LOT of battery powered clocks in my house).   I've only had total electrical failure a half-dozen times I've lived here.

When I replace a light bulb in my house, I always use a magic marker to record ON THE BULB when I last replaced it.  During the winter ... again ... I replace bulbs every two months "sometimes" because they blow out.  Not burn out .but blow out with a flash of white light when I turn them on.  I have very few bulbs which last more than a year; the exception is my porch light, which is a flourescent 'spriral' bulb.  I leave my porch light turned on 24/7/365 because it's cheaper than replacing it so often.  All the rest?  Sometimes, a light bulb lasts for six months.

I know I've talked about all this before, but not for a couple of years (I don't care to research the last time .. afraid it will kill my computer!) but sometimes I feel like "Joe Bftznicxkt" ... (sp) ... the little guy in the old Superman comic books who always has a dark cloud hanging over his head; if he didn't have bad luck, he wouldn't have "no luck at all".

And lately (in the last 4 or 5 years), I have been suffering from insomnia and some kind of exzema or psoriasis on my hands ... not serious, either; just irritating.  I'm still working on that.

The latest thing?

I am writing this article in "normal" (12-point) type-font, but as I compose it looks like 16-point.  I have no idea what it's going to look like when I actually publish it, but my preview makes it look like bold type and a different font than I usually use.  Oh, yes, and my spell-checker?  It's high-lighting words that I know are spelled right; 4 of them in them in this paragraph alone.

So when I tell you that I live in a "Dark Zone"?  It's not really whining.  It's just a way of saying that ... if I someday just disappear?

Don't be surprised if you hear the faint notes from "The Twilight Zone" when you try to access this blog.  

Comcast Sux: A Retraction

This morning I wrote an irate blog article about Comcast Mail.

Sometimes when I rant, it helps me to let off steam.  Then I can start thinking rationally again.

I know, it's just me.  Nobody else has such a warped personality.

After I vented,  I spent the next couple of hours comparing response time with two different browsers: Firefox 11 and Explorer 8.  I found that it took about 6 minutes to actually read an email, on Explorer; on Firefox, I still wasn't even getting the entire page-load when I wanted to look at my in-basket ... so after 7 minutes I gave up.

I also checked thoroughly on both browsers for the two emails which had been lost; they didn't appear.

And Comcast has a thing with its cable modem.  Sometimes, response time on internet access in general becomes untenably long.  I first ran into this several years ago, and called my local Comcast office.  They suggested that I follow the following procedure:
  1. turn off the cable modem
  2. UNPLUG the modem!
  3. Let it stand for at least 2 minutes (a more recent suggestion on the Comcast "HELP" pages suggested at least 3 minutes)
  4. Plug it back in, turn it back on, push the start button, and wait until all the little indicator lights come on.
I had done this a few times, including last week when THAT was bugging me.  I tried that again today, and I found that my internet access times were as fast as I had come to expect except from any URL with the word "Comcast" or XFINITY in it  ... recently.

But the email access was still hosed.

Then I found a link to a Comcast "HELP" resource which allows you to "chat with a technician".

I connected, and Priscilla came on the line.  She had me 'release' my Explorer session after I had reset it, and then I had to reboot my browser session.   When I asked how I would get back to my chat session, she said she would email me the URL but since my problem was that I couldn't reliably get email  she asked me for a non-Comcast email address.   I replied in a very snide manner that I had foolishly failed to provide myself with any other email resources than Comcast.  She agreed to send it to my Comcast email address, and hoped that I could read it.

She did, and I did read the email; so far, so good.

When I rebooted my browser and used the URL to re-initiate the HELP CHAT session, I wasn't talking to Priscilla any more, I was talking to Baby Jane (I swear I'm not making this up!)

Baby Jane worked with me for a while longer, and then suggested that I try sending an email to test the response.

So I sent an email to myself, and it worked.  And I was able to read the email.  Also the page-list of my inbasket loaded immediately.

Problem solved!

I was so elated, that I even agreed to complete their survey form.  I rated "HIGHLY SATISFIED" except for the question about whether I was overall satisfied with COMCAST performance;   I churlishly gave it only a "satisfied" rating;  I was still fuming over lost emails.  (If you've read this blog for long, and especially if I've ever sent an email to you, you're probably aware that I tend to ramble on whether I really have anything to say or not!   So I wasn't about to try to recreate the brilliance of those two lost lambs.)

Then I went about my business, and didn't get back online until this evening.  Checking my blog comments (via COMCAST EMAIL), I found a comment from a person purporting to be:
Mark Casem
Comcast Corp.
National Customer Operations
We_can_help@cable.comcast.com

I'm not revealing any personal information here; he left his message and contact information in the public COMMENTS section of my blog; you can still see it here.

Well, now I'm feeling a little embarassed.  As well I should be.

These people were really nice to me.   And helpful, and polite, and professional ... and technically competent.  They turned this Grumpy Old Man into Bert Lahr ("The Cowardly Lion" in 'Wizard of Oz') with grace and patience.   They never ONCE suggested that it might be my fault, or that I had to update my Explorer from V-8 to V-9.    Which was what I had expected.

And I never had the grace to go back and delete the extremely intemperate statements I made in my original post.

And I'm not going to delete the post, either.  I intend to leave it up both to underline my chagrin, and to provide the context which just might make THIS post understandable.

I am, however, going to leave the comments section in place, and I'll add an UPDATE link to the original post so that anyone who reads it and takes it out of context ... will be able to see that COMCAST may have the occasional technical problem .. but they will not allow it to stand uncorrected.if their customers only use the resources which they HAVE provided.

Thanks, Comcast.  You're a better provider than I am a customer.

But I'm still going to create an alternate non-COMCAST email address.  Just in case, you understand.

Comcast Sux

Well, I've been  having problems with my IP ... COMCAST.NET ... recently.   It takes 'a long time' to send an email.  Like ... NEVER!

I composed an email today, which I had to send to DRAFT because Comcast Infinity "SmartMail" won't send it.  No reason why, except there's a message popping up which says "the server may be down".  It's not the first time I've received that message.

Funny thing, every website that isn't COMCAST works just fine.  And so, since it IS my Internet Provider, there's apparently something up.

And I haven't been able to send email off and on for several days.   Sometimes it works, sometimes if I just leave the room and go do something else (cook and eat a meal ... you know, something that doesn't take more than an hour or two), when I come back the email has been sent.

A couple of days ago I tried to send an email, and it took so long that I just gave up and went to sleep.  When I got up the next morning, the email was gone.   I hadn't even been able to send it to the DRAFT file, so it was just lost.

I'm getting pretty sick of this.  The ultimate problem is that even if I change my IP from Comcast to ... oh, I don't know ... ANYBODY ELSE!  ....  all of my online accounts are tied to my Comcast email addresses.  Banking, Billing, Amazon, utilities, social websites, games, sports (like USPSA) ... everyone that I contact online knows me by my current IP.

They've got me by the short and curlies, and I don't like feeling so powerless.

Oh, I tried to run a speed test this morning?   It failed.   I did the 'reboot' procedure, where I not only turn off my cable modem but physically disconnect it for at least 3 minutes.  (This is the second time this week that I did it.)  Didn't make a bit of difference.

The really funny thing is that ... gee, all of the other websites that I visit) such as Blogger, as you can plainly see) work just fine.  There isn't anything wrong with the Internet Connection ... it's just Comcast, itself?

I know there are a lot of people out there who have Comcast for their IP.  I'm wondering, is there anyone else who is having trouble with the COMCAST FEATURES, or is it just me?

Just because I'm paranoid, that doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

UPDATE:
Since I wrote this, I contacted COMCAST Technical Support, and they resolved the problem to my satisfaction.  Details available here, and I regret that I made public my dissatisfaction BEFORE I gave them a chance to fix it .. online, real time, and with a very professional "problem solving" approach.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Seventy Percent of NRA Members support "Reasonable" Gun Controls!

It depends on what your definition of "Is", is.

Let's take this question of two levels:

First, what is your definition of "Reasonable" Gun Controls.
Second, what is the political agenda behind that definition?

Taking the second question firsts, there are a LOT of people who think that the word "REASONABLE" means "Highly Restrictive".  These are those folks who think that, for example "reasonable" includes Firearms Registration.

Most folks in the NRA are convinced that "Registration equals Confiscation".  And yes, there is some history which supports this belief.

The "Keep And Bear Arms" website contains an article which testifies to the 1999 California Confiscation of SKS rifles:

Gun owners in California and Connecticut have discovered that it really CAN happen here. Advertising has been strong here in San Diego recently, urging all owners of the SKS "Sporter" to turn them in for a $230 reimbursement before January 1, 2000. "If you own an SKS Sporter, you can’t sell it and you can’t shoot it. You MUST turn it in before January 1 or face criminal charges and confiscation" goes the ad which has been run on local radio stations.
This particular problem started with passage of the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act in 1989. At that time there were two available models of the SKS rifle - one with a fixed magazine, and one designed to accept a detachable magazine, the "Sporter" model.
The Roberti-Roos law banned sales of the SKS Sporter rifle, but owners of the gun were able to keep them so long as they complied with a background check and had the gun registered. Apparently, most records of long gun sales were not retained, but the Sporter was treated differently. Ownership was actually registered, and the records kept.
There was additional confusion over the SKS since there were after-market kits available to convert the unregistered fixed-magazine model to accept a detachable magazine. In response to the confusion, California passed AB48 which granted immunity to SKS owners, but also established a buyback program. As an aside, the buyback pays a higher price than that for which the rifles were originally sold!

So, the folks that don't believe that "Registration equals Confiscation" ... be warned!

In America, that not only CAN happen, but it HAS happened.  Learn from it.

We have learned from that lesson, and so it's difficult to believe that "seventy percent of NRA members support 'Reasonable Gun Controls'.  

Essentially, for political or 'other' (is there an 'other' reason besides political?) reason, the politicians in your state ... or in your country ... WILL confiscate your firearms.  

"Pay no attention to what they say, but look closely as what they do!"
This is the political wisdom which was imparted to me by a Vietnamese "Boat Person" in the early 1990's.  He was speaking about the Communists in Viet Nam at the time, but is there really that much difference?

Here's what 'those people' mean when they speak of 'reasonable gun controls' (From "ThinkProgress.ORG": the folks who provided the terrific quote that started this rant)

 In fact, new research released in July by Republican pollster Frank Luntz for Mayors against Illegal Guns, finds that gun advocates overwhelmingly support common-sense measures typically described as “gun control.” These include:

1. Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop employees. 82 percent of non-NRA gun-owners and 74 percent of NRA gun owners support the former, and 80 percent and 79 percent, respectively, endorse the latter.
2. Prohibiting terrorist watch list members from acquiring guns. Support ranges from 80 percent among non-NRA gun-owners to 71 percent among NRA members.
3. Mandating that gun-owners tell the police when their gun is stolen. 71 percent non-NRA gun-owners support this measure, as do 64 percent of NRA members.
4. Concealed carry permits should only be restricted to individuals who have completed a safety training course and are 21 and older. 84 percent of non-NRA and 74 percent of NRA member gun-owners support the safety training restriction, and the numbers are 74 percent and 63 percent for the age restriction.
5.Concealed carry permits shouldn’t be given to perpetrators of violent misdemeanors or individuals arrested for domestic violence. The NRA/non-NRA gun-owner split on these issues is 81 percent and 75 percent in favor of the violent misdemeanors provision and 78 percent/68 percent in favor of the domestic violence restriction.


  
I'm deliberately not going to 'fisk' this, because on the surface they DO sound "reasonable".


 Okay, so maybe I will fisk this just a little bit:

5.Concealed carry permits shouldn’t be given to perpetrators of violent misdemeanors or individuals arrested for domestic violence. 
 
Frankly I'm not sure that this isn't subject to abuse.   Having been "arrested" for an "domestic violence" is often nothing more than a disgruntled spouse wishing to make trouble for the partner. An actual  accusation is not required; if provided, it need not be supported by evidence or testimony.  The obvious assumption is that some man is beating up on his wife, Girlfriend, or "Domestic Partner"

What is NOT obvious is that the alleged incident may prevent someone from free exercise of his civil rights, based on hearsay testimony.

The iimplications of the arrest may be that any firearms owned by the arrested spouse may be confiscated, and perhaps never returned .. depending upon the local laws applicable in such cases, which may vary between jurisdictions.

We need not go into the details of the other four fundaments of the assertion that "NRA Members" agree with the  "Violent misdemeanors" clause, because we don't know how that question was  posed to the "NRA Members" polled.  All we DO know is that words may be misleading.  And we also understand that although we as honest citizens may need to be very careful about how we respond to questions from a putatively neutral source, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are feeding us null-value questions.

And we have no input into the manner in which our responses may be evaluated.

Let's look at the OTHER four out of five questions which seem to support this assertion:


1. Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop employees. 82 percent of non-NRA gun-owners and 74 percent of NRA gun owners support the former, and 80 percent and 79 percent, respectively, endorse the latter.
2. Prohibiting terrorist watch list members from acquiring guns. Support ranges from 80 percent among non-NRA gun-owners to 71 percent among NRA members.
3. Mandating that gun-owners tell the police when their gun is stolen. 71 percent non-NRA gun-owners support this measure, as do 64 percent of NRA members.
4. Concealed carry permits should only be restricted to individuals who have completed a safety training course and are 21 and older. 84 percent of non-NRA and 74 percent of NRA member gun-owners support the safety training restriction, and the numbers are 74 percent and 63 percent for the age restriction.


 Answers/responses are 

(1) and (2)  We're Conservatives; of COURSE we're leary of "terrorists" .. depending on your definition.
(3) That's a no-brainer: yes, we want people to report it when their guns are stolen.  The problem is, we don't always notice that a gun is missing.  How often do YOU inventory your firearms collection?  And if there is a penalty involved if you don't report it in x-number of days .. are you going to report it LATE?  And risk a penalty because you "did the right thing" but your acknowledgement didn't fit their arbitrary time frame?


 (4)  I think that ANYONE who owns a gun should be encouraged to learn safe gun-handling skills.  I do this kind of training all the time. To oppose this concept would be to deny my goal of wanting to train EVERYBODY!  On the other hand, this sounds as if failure to meet this too-specific goal might result in punitive measures against people who just want to learn to shoot.  I teach people as young as 10 years old, and this would deny them the right to learn safe gun-handling skills during the period when they are most likely to best benefit from the teaching.  I have been beaten in competition by young persons too often to accept this limitation without protest.  Some people just don't understand that teaching kids to shoot is A Good Thing!

I'm pretty sure that the folks who arbitrarily settled on the "21-year-old" rule had their best interests in heart. But they ignore the fact that some 10-year old kids are more mature than some 21-year-old kids.  Not all of them, for sure, but enough of them that we're looking at the potential insertion of round pegs in square holes.

When "The Government" gets involved, they feel constrained to establish arbitrary criterea.  That doesn't always match reality.

My take on this is that when we allow The Government to establish standards,  they usually except the exceptional people who do not meet their standards by the mere fact of age, gender, or other, criteria.  This is a valid "Bureaucratic" standard, but if it did not meet the critera that it be adjusted to fit the circumstances, it's flawed.

 So .. speaking only for myself, I do NOT accept the principle that "xx% of NRA members support 'Reasonable Gun Control' Measures".  I only accept the principle that a significant percent of NRA members MAY have mis-interpreted the questions, and that the results of the "survey" have been deliberately skewed  (mus-interpreted) to meet the pre-determined conclusions which the survey takers have established as the private agenda of the survey takers.


Frankly, I doubt the veracity or interpretation of ANY "survey" which may be conducted by "These People".  Their  motivation is always suspect, their  honor is extremely suspect, and I think that any time they open their mouth you can determine their veracity because they lips are moving.  They are notorious congenital liars, and anyone who believes a single word they say is a damned fool!

Well ... not to put too fine a point upon it.  That's what *_I_*  think!

YMMV

You can buy them books, but you can't make them read them


The problem with the liberal think-set is, that they are so locked into their mantra that they will not LISTEN to people who disagree with their message.

"Their" message is: "Guns kill people; guns are bad; we must disallow everyone from being able to keep/own/carry guns."  That's the "solution" which they have adopted in Great Britain.

"Our" message is: "It's not working out that well; criminals can still get and use guns, but honest people (in your country) cannot."

Someone should compile a series of arguments which refute this  Liberal argument.

Someone has.
Anti gun people can NOT defeat this video - YouTube

The fact is, gun control laws only keep honest citizens from being able to defend themselves.  Time and again, we see that in violent situations where criminals assault innocent victims, the police are powerless; they show up after the violence is over.  The police do not STOP violence.

Only armed "victims" can stop the violence, and we (some of us) know it.

Most of us are unwilling to put ourselves on the public pedestal and make the point vehemently.

A few .. a very few ... people who are in the public eye have made the choice to not only deny the liberal think-set but to speak their opinion so vehemently that they cannot be denied.

Gun nuts?

You can call them that.  They don't mind.  The truth which they speak is so overwhelmingly obvious based on documentary evidence that their passion makes them less nutty than they may sound to people who are not willing to examine the evidence which is freely available to everyone ... even to the folks who wish to make them appear rabid supporters of an 'unsupportable concept'.

The Brits have more non-fatal crime than do the Amis.  British Liberals think this is a valid trade-off.

The victims of violent crime in Great Britain wish they could defend themselves, their homes, and their families without subjecting themselves to civil penalties.

I won't research the many examples of Britishers who have attempted to defend themselves to their ultimate civil detriment (including imprisonment) .. over the years, I've done so and to repeat the effort would be redundant.  Search "The Brits" (or just "Brits") on this website and I'm sure you will find more than a few examples.

Yet British Television personalities such as Piers Morgan continue to insult supporters of the Second Amendment rights of American Citizens, suggesting that "you just don't care, do you?"

Not so; Americans do care about the victims.  They care so much that they are loath to watch their fellow citizens being murdered in "Gun Free Zones" across the country, because they know that just one honest citizen with a gun could have prevented the proliferation of public massacres in every case.  We have seen it happen, and still we don't 'get' the message.

We have guns because it is our right.
It is our right because we are determined to never again allow our government to impose unfair restrictions upon our civil liberties.

That right allows armed citizens to defend unarmed citizens against predators; any local rule which attempts to abrogate that right puts people in danger, because here in America we DO have a large population of crazy people to roam the streets, the malls, the schools and the churches with no effective civil defenders.

(We cannot afford to hire armed guards in every public place, and we would not want them to be there;  we just want to be allowed to arm ourselves, to defend ourselves and others; and we don't even require our government to do our civil duty.  Is that so hard to understand?)

For that simple understanding, that we would prefer to defend ourselves instead of expecting our failing government to defend ourselves in public ... we have made ourselves the object of approbation by foreign people who have no idea what it is like to be a "citizen" rather than a "subject" of the government.


These foreign people consider the concept of non-governmental citizen defenders to be an aberration.  They suppose that having armed citizens present at the site of a potential "Mass Murder" to represent the possibility that even MORE people would be killed 'when the bullets start flying'.   They ignore the simple fact that mass murderers will kill and kill again, until someone stops them.   Typically, at the first sign of violent resistance, the murderers will kill themselves and thus stop the public executions .. if the resistors don't shoot them first.  We have seen this to be true, time and again.  Yes this phenomenon is ignored by both the foreign and our own national Liberals.


The Liberal mind-set is constitutionally incapable of understanding that almost universally, public mass-murderers are dependent upon the preposition that they will meet NO resistance when they begin to shoot up the place.  The Liberals only know that THEY would not be able to murder dozens of people in a mall, a church, a school .. and so they are constitutionally incapable of 'getting inside' the mind-set of a crazy person.

Why?

Because their own disfunctionality does not match the disfunctionality of the murderers.

Perhaps inside  every CITIZEN there is a tiny portion which can understand a murder; Liberals  ("subjects") are so focused on 'congenial discourse' and 'collegiality' that they don't realize the existence of otherwise-functional people who want to kill people.

Perhaps they need to allow the proliferation of "rough men" in order to understand them.

The fact remains, Liberals are willing to insult civilized "Rough Men" to the extent that in any other society they would be required to face them on the dueling field.  They do so because they are certain that they will not be held accountable for their insults.

Perhaps we need more Dueling Fields before we can resolve this "Philosophical Discourse".




NOTE: I do not personally espouse all of the views of every person cited in this video. I do, however, believe that an attack on Americans who have been so thoroughly vetted by their local police to the extent that they are allowed to carry a concealed weapon IS an attack of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

That document was conceived and dedicated to the protection of the American Citizen against the predations of a rogue government; its purpose was to allow our citizens the right to revolt against its government, which it did in the late 18th Century (when the "government" was King George III of England), and which it may conceivable need do again in the future.

We don't want that .. most emphatically, The United States of America does NOT want another "revolution".  But that IS the reason for the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Is it any wonder that British Shock-Jocks just don't "get that"?