Friday, December 17, 2004

expose yourself to Practical Shooting ... and this is my new first choice for a photo for my profile, if I could just figure out the *!&@@!!! coding to put it in there!

So what do you think? Is this better than a picture of me and SWMBO, or a picture of the Marlboro Man for a profile picture?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Shoot 'em in the back!

Here's an example of what appears to be a violation of IPSC rule:

Shot in the Back!

(Updated 12/17/2004)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

More Blog Meat

The Coalition to Prevent Assault Weapon Violence

If Guns cause Violence, here's your chance to prove it. Be a volunteer!
Check out the FAQ page. You'll love it.

(Hat-tip to Dave the WIZ of The Unofficial IPSC List)


Robber Gets A Surprise From Potential Victim

(Hampton, VA, December 14th, 2004, 6:54 a.m.) On the Peninsula, it's the bad guy lying in a hospital bed, while his intended victim is unscathed.

Hampton Police say it's a case of an armed robber going after the wrong guy. Instead of a Hampton man becoming the victim of an armed robbery, Hampton Police say he turned the tables on his attacker. In the parking lot behind the "Treasure Chest" nightclub on East Pembroke Avenue, police drew circles around empty shell casings, drawing the conclusion that 22-year old Tony Kensler, Jr. Newport News pulled-out a gun to rob a man, just to be surprised that his intended victim fought back.

In case it's not obvious, this is what "Concealed Carry" is all about, folks.

(The Second Amendment is the same thing, except on a bigger scale. That's for when governments try to rob you, kill you, or otherwise attempt to deprive you of your civil liberties.)

On the day when "... it's a case of an armed robber going after the wrong guy ..." applies to ALL armed robbery attempts, armed robbery will cease to be a viable career path.

That man had a permit for a concealed weapon, and he's the one who got off the shots, hitting Kensler in the arm, leg and chest. Police say it was self defense, and those who we spoke with agree. Sarah Daniel lives nearby, "I think he had every right to do what he did. If someone came up to me, I'd use any means of self defense that I had." Charli is an employee of the club, but wasn't working the night of the shooting. Still, she has an opinion, "I think the bad guys need to have something happen to them for a change, instead of always have some innocent person die."

Dammit, Dude, you gotta get to the range more often. How many times do I have to tell you? It's two in the chest, one in the head.
Oh, okay. I guess "D-hits" are better than misses.

But you're not getting credit for a Geek Goblin count.

Kensler, listed in fair condition at Riverside Regional Medical Center, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of crack cocaine.
Guess who's going to find it difficult to smoke another next crack pipe for a while. Probably won't get a smoke until he gets to prison. Awwwwww ... poor Kensler. It's Rehab for you, Pal!

"Convicted Felon" Some people never learn. Maybe if his last victim had shot him up as thoroughly, he would have already realized it was time for him to find another line of work.


"The Curse of American Automobiles"

For some years now, I've been propounding a theory that some vehicles are just naturally more dangerous on the road than others. No, I'm not married to Ralph Nader nor am I going to drop my Republican registration in favor of The Green Party. It's just that, based on an entirely unscientific observation of "dumb stuff I've seen people do on the road", some classifications of vehicles seem to be more frequently involved than others.

Maybe I've seen CHRISTINE too many times.

Anyway, here's the way I rate cars.

  1. The most dangerous car on the road is a FORD!
  2. It's even more dangerous if it's a FORD PICKUP, or a WHITE FORD
  3. Getting into the realm of really scary is a WHITE FORD PICKUP
  4. What can be worse? How about if it's a BIG OL' TRUCK, as Dave Skinner likes to say.
  5. The fifth and most dangerous modifier is ... DIESEL POWERED!

Why am I surprised that this article involves a BIG OL' WHITE FORD PICKUP?
(Answer: I am not at all surprised, and I would be willing to guess that it drinks diesel ... when it's not drinking blood.)

Man Critical After Girlfriend Allegedly Runs Him Over In Truck

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- A Central Florida man is in critical condition Tuesday after his girlfriend allegedly ran him over in a truck, according to Local 6 News.Police said Marshall Haynes and his girlfriend Kim Glover were involved in an argument Monday night at 1565 Thorton Avenue in Titusville.Detectives said Glover apparently got into a white 1997 Ford F150 truck and ran Haynes down in a home's driveway. Haynes suffered severe injuries to his head and upper torso.

He was transported to Holmes Regional Medical Center in critical condition.Glover was taken into custody but had not been formally charged early Tuesday, according to a police statement.
So you think I'm making this stuff up. But ... why do you think the reporter found it necessary to mention that it was a Ford, and it was white?

Could have been worse. Could have been an F-350 with tandem wheels.
Around here, we call tandem wheels "bone crunchers".

Okay, we didn't call them "bone crunchers" before. But we will now.
It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
In the words of Dan Ackroyd: "Want to see something REALLY scarey?"

Why are these types of vehicles so dangerous? Is it something to do with the manufacturer ... can you say SATAN?

Or is it that the people who are dangerous buy Fords? If that's the case, note that the operator in this little drama wasn't the person who bought the truck.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

WORD from the Author of IPSC rule 1.2.1

I've ... uh ... been talking off-line with "some folks" about the genesis of changes to the IPSC/USPSA Rule Book, which controls the way competition is defined in both the International and American Practical Pistol 'communities'.

I had mentioned that there were recent discussions on the Brian Enos forums, and they seemed typical of the confusion caused by the current verbiage of the 1.2.1 set of rules. However, I was unable to find those threads, although I did describe them in general terms.

One of these correspondants did his own search, and found them.

I offer them here for your own personal evaluation.

I went back to the BE Forum and did find a post ... outlining the and "official" rules interpretation (actually more of a rule change) the Rules Committee made in Bali.

First match under the Geen Book, rules and 1.21..3 (page 2 of 3)

Basically, the change to both and is "nor allow a competitor to eliminate a location or view in the course of fire by shooting all available targets at an earlier location or view shoot at all targets in the course of fire from any single location or view."
This is consistent with JA's "interpretation" provided to the both of us. I agree with you that, however we got there, we've got a rule we can live with.
I believe the rules discussion you referenced is:

Green Book Head Scratchers ,, how many rounds and from where?

It is interesting to follow the evolution of the interpretation of that rule!
Without sounding smug, I believe these dialogues demonstrate that the people who wrote the rules, and who are responsible for maintaining them, realized when it was brought to their attention by OUTSIDE SOURCES that they didn't have the perspective within their own group to see that the rules could have seriously negative effects upon the Freestyle approach to IPSC.

Over the past 14 months, I have repeatedly railed against the unilateral imposition of major rules changes. Part of the reason I objected so vociferously was because I didn't believe that the rules were adequately reviewed; the way these changes affected competition wasn't usually identified, because the folks who were reviewing the changes had a "this will work!" mindset instead of looking for ways that the rules could cause problems during competition.

Another part of the reason why I have been so critical is that the IPSC and, specifically, the USPSA membership was not given adequate notification before the rules were enacted, which means there was insufficient time to find these little 'bloopers' and take care of them before the new rules were 'carved in stone'.

I present this evidence of ex post facto discussion to illustrate the folly of arbitrarily and unilaterally presenting ANY changes to competitive rules without establishing an effective review process. More, I submit that the organizational membership must necessarily be allowe to assume the responsibility for reviewing these changes, if only to avoid the embarassing situation in which we now find ourselves. Some of the rules which have been enacted are plainly not applicable to the USPSA competitive milieu.

In the actual event, so many changes were made in the current edition of the rule book that we (the membership) would possibly not have been able to discern that some of the most low-profile changes can have a major effect upon competition. This section of the rules is the most blatant of this type, although I fear it is perhaps not the ONLY set of rules which could undermine the way we run IPSC matches tomorrow.

My comments are admittedly vague. Please go to the referenced URLs, follow the discussions, and see for yourself whether the cited rules contain verbiage which clarify an existing problem, or add new problems which we have never before had to deal with.

And ask yourself whether you are satisfied with the way new competitive rules are evolved and reviewed.

For myself, the answer is a resounding NO WAY, DUDE!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Blog Meat

Surfing the news sites on the internet can be detrimental to a healthy mental condition. With increasing frequency, I find stories (more often links to stories) that just cry out for someone to say out loud WHAT A BUNCH OF MAROONS!

I call these stories Blog Meat.

Here's a small selection of today's menu (most links courtesy of WorldNetDaily):

The Opinion of a Total Goose!

Monday, December 13, 2004 (SF Gate)
Deserters Are Heroes/VIEW FROM THE LEFT
Harley Sorensen, Special to SF Gate

Today let us take the sad, sordid case of one George W. Bush. Our president. Love him or hate him, it was he and he alone who decided that our mighty armies should travel to Iraq and kill tens of thousands of people, most of whom were guilty of nothing more than being there.
Well ... okay. Among those who are "being there" are:
* Saddam, Uday and Qsay Hussein, internationally reknown rapists, torturers and mass murderers;
* Terrorists, torturers and head-clippers from Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, etc. whose techniques (bombing, assasination, destruction of public works including pipelines ... the primary source of funding for a new democratic country) are designed to undermine the establishment of a democratic civilian government. These yahoos have no goal greater than to prevent every Iraqi civilian from having a voice in the conduct of his or her own government.
It turned out the Iraqis didn't have those terrible weapons. But, the Iraqis are evil, Mr. Bush asserted. Well, at least their leader was, so, by extension, they all were. And, by gosh and by golly, they might have harbored terrorists at one time or another.

Quickly now, name a country that harbored the Sept. 11 terrorists! Ah, that was too easy. You got it right away. The answer: the United States of America. That's who sheltered the 19 terrorists before their attacks on Manhattan and Washington. That's where those terrorists worked and played, ate and slept, plotted and rehearsed right up to that tragic day. The U.S. of A.
Oh my, where do we start?

How about ... The U.S. of A. 'harbored terrorists' by accepting (naively, perhaps) their assertion that they were in the country as "students". The logical assumption was that these people had come to this country to study, to learn skills which they could take home and better the lives of their fellow countrymen. America, in its innocence, had no idea that they were terrorists.

Iraq, however, under the leadership of Saddam Hussein 'harbored terrorists' from other countries because they were avowed terrorists. They came to Iraq to learn terrorist techniques: shooting people, blowing people up, undermining the economy and peaceful life of a third country by sabotage and intimidation
It's an old, old story, dating back to the first war out of the cave. Young people, eager to do what's right, end up being pawns moved around the board by older men with secret ambitions.
You gotta ask yourself, is this bozo talking about the U.S. Military, or about the Palestinian Suicide Bombers? It's a little difficult to tell, but my guess is that at best Mr. Sorensen doesn't see any difference except, perhaps, American Soldiers who combat aggressors are more naive and more evil than suicide bombers who target unsuspecting and unarmed civilians.
If you still think Mr. Bush's war isn't corrupt, then you didn't see a different "60 Minutes" report, this one on Dec. 5. In that report, it was revealed that our government is ordering retired servicemen and servicewomen to return to duty, years and years after the end of their terms of enlistment.
Actually, what is happening is that retired servicemen with special skills are being ASKED by their government to VOLUNTEER for active duty. I read an article (URL not immediately available, sorry) about a 70-year old ex-military surgeon who, when asked, volunteered for active duty and is now in Iraq leading a surgical team who restore the the faces of both soldiers and civilians who have been disfigured by IEBs, mortars and gunshot.


Here's another one, fromthe Sacramento Bee

Obituary: Gary Webb, prize-winning investigative reporter

Gary Webb, a prize-winning investigative journalist whose star-crossed career was capped with a controversial newspaper series linking the CIA to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, died Friday of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, officials said.
Mr. Webb, 49, was found dead in his Carmichael home Friday morning of gunshot wounds to the head, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office said Saturday.

"WoundS"? As in ... PLURAL?
Not too much comment available here. Except ... how many shots does it take to kill a California Investigative Journalist?
There's an apocryphal story going around my home-town of Pendleton, Oregon, about the real estate developer who had some serious business reversals. He decided to drive out into the country and commit suicide by shotting himself in the head with a shotgun. He was home in time for breakfast; he ran out of ammunition.

Sure, we can accept that some people may attempt suicide and fail due to various factors which would otherwise be typified as being Darwinian, but how many times can you shoot yourself in the head, without help?

The article doesn't mention whether an investigation is 'ongoing'.


Got time for one more?

Port St. Lucie woman strangles neighbor's Rottweiler, police say

December 10, 2004, 9:57 AM EST

PORT ST. LUCIE -- Police are investigating a woman who strangled a neighbor's Rottweiler after it attacked her Yorkshire terrier.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday, the 130-pound Rottweiler, named Rox, bolted past owner Rebecca Hartley and grabbed Candy, a Yorkie owned by Robin Bush, in her mouth in the 2900 block of Southwest Ventura Street.

Bush said she was in the kitchen talking on the phone while her son, Jacob, 10, took Candy, who weighs about eight pounds, and her Chihuahua outside.

"I heard my son screaming and heard a cry from my Yorkie," she said. "It was a God-awful screech."

According to Hartley's statement to police, Bush threw a beer bottle at Rox and chased and kicked the dog. Bush's son then took the Yorkie inside.

"Bush then allegedly grabbed the Rottweiler's collar and began choking the animal, screaming she 'would have it killed,' " the report states. "Bush continued to choke the animal, then began slamming the dog's head against the side of her house."
I was wondering how a woman manages to choke a Rottweiler to death. If I had thought about it, using the 'choke collar' to choke a dog makes perfect sense. I wonder if I would have had the presence of mind to use leverage on the collar. Probably not, which makes me much less of Good Mother than Mrs. Bush.
Hartley, 20, said she was trying to calm 1-year-old Rox, but Bush twisted the dog's collar with one hand and had her other on Rox's snout, repeatedly striking the dog.

"I told her, 'You're killing my dog, you're killing my dog, someone please dial 911,'" Hartley said. "I could not get her to let go of the dog, and within two minutes or less Rox had suffocated."

Bush, who said she weighs about the same as Rox, said her actions were justified.

"The dog was as big as me, it seemed," Bush said. "I was afraid to let go of this dog because I thought it was going to hurt me. ... Nobody was helping me. I was trying to defend my animal, my child and myself," she said. "I didn't intentionally kill this dog."

Now, let me see if I understand the situation.
The big dog had grabbed the little dog (who was being 'taken inside' by her 10-year old son), and the mother was concerned that if the big dog would grab a mouthful of Yorkie, there's no reason to assume that it wouldn't find a boy or a mom equally as appetizing.

Yup. Sounds reasonable to me.

So is this a Hero-type thing to do?


This is A Bad Thing. Picking on a poor defenseless Rottweiler:

Prosecutors are reviewing an animal cruelty warrant application to determine whether to issue a warrant for Bush's arrest, said Officer Robert Vega, police spokesman.

"There's always two sides to every story. The officer felt ... this should be written up and forwarded to the State Attorney's Office to make a final decision," Vega said.
Well, sure. See previous reference to the "poor defenseless Rottweiler".

Hartley said Rottweilers get a "bad rap" as being "ferocious," describing her dogs as "very friendly."

"You would think that out of instinct if someone were choking you, you would resist," said Hartley, a lifelong Port St. Lucie resident. "Rox did not resist at all, she just sat there calmly and felt the woman was playing with her."
Okay, so now we've established that this is not only an aggressive Rottweiler, it is a stupid, aggressive Rottweiler. I don't know about you, but I'm not much comforted by the idea that this idiotic dog not only doesn't know any better than to attack another dog one tenths its size, but doesn't understand that this is A Bad Thing.

So what happens next?
Well, sure, we put the victim on the defensive.

Bush denied slamming the dog's head against the wall.

"I'm not a cruel person," Bush said, noting she tried to revive Rox. "I feel wholeheartedly my dog and myself were the victims."

Hartley said Bush had a "severe overreaction," and a witness told police Bush was "flipping out."
That's right, it's The Mom's Fault.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't help feeling that a domestic pet who can't control himself, who hasn't been trained to obedience (remember that the owner, Hartley, was entirely incompetent in preventing the attack or stopping it once it had started), and who is demonstrably aggressive in a social setting ... has no right to live. Sorry, my apologies to dog lovers everywhere. If you have a big dog in an open society, you have a responsibility to control it utterly at all times. The first time you lose control of your dog ... you lose the dog. And society is better off for it.

As for Candy, an animal control supervisor said the dog had three small marks on her belly that didn't puncture the skin. Bush said Candy is "traumatized" and "not moving well."

"You can't hardly pick her up; she just lets out a terrible cry," Bush said.

Eric Bush, 34, Robin's husband, said Candy was bitten more than once and will remain under a veterinarian's observation for possible internal injuries.

"They said it could be fatal," he said.
Uh huh. So the Yorkie wasn't ripped limb from limb, and devoured slowly and with great relish (a pickle relish, no doubt) by the Rotty. I suppose the fact that Ms. Bush immediately defended her property and, by extention, her son has nothing to do with the non-fatal outcome?

And the denoument?

Hartley said the incident left her "kind of numb."

"On the one hand I want retribution, but you can't bring the dog back," she said.
Well, Thank Gawd for that.
If the Rotty was human, Kim du Toit would be writing another Goblin Report. Except that Ms Bush was apparently interrupted before she could finish what would otherwise have been A Good Day's Work

I'm no Kim du Toit, but let's just consider this the Geek Goblin Count #1.

I'm happy that "you can't bring the dog back". We don't need it.
Pity, though, that the Rotty didn't actually die as an immediate and direct consequence of its actions.

Considering this story in respect to, for example, lawsuits which hold a firearms manufacturer responsible for the actions of people who buy their firearms, wouldn't it be reasonable for the owner of the dog to suffer some punitive action besides loss of her dog?

I'm not talking strangulation at a post, mind you ...
... well, maybe I am.

What do you think?


But finally, here's a Good News contribution to take a little gloom off your day:

It had to happen.

Somebody finally wrote a thorough, reasonable article which compares and contrasts IPSC and IDPA competition, without trashing either one.

SportShooter.Com has the article, and I'm not going to 'fisk' it because ... well, I just wish I had been able to write such an informative and unbiased piece of work

The author is Scott Craig. No, I've never heard of him, either, but he does write nice clean descriptive prose; and the article includes a link to his website, which is worth visiting.

It's a medium-size article, and doesn't even take long to download.
You can read it at:

Sunday, December 12, 2004

More on USPSA rule 1.2.1

Last Thursday I included the text of an email that I had sent to John Amidon, Vice President of USPSA, asking for clarification of the rules regarding Medium and Long Courses of fire.

Earlier today, I updated that post with the details of Mr. Amidon's reply.

Later today, I received an email from someone who commented that he wished "... the rule had been written more clearly."

Here is my reply to him:

I'll tell you a secret.

I think Amidon's "interpretation" is just that, and a darned creative one at that. It doesn't really say what the rules say.

There was a discussion about this rule last month on one of the forums (I think it was the BE forum, but may have been the USPSA forum) which included Vince Pinto. Vince is the one who actually authored this clause of and During the discussion, Vince gave the impression that he intended competitors to shoot through every port, and from every shooting box, which was included in the stage design. After some discussion, he suggested that instead of the verbiage being "... nor allow a competitor to eliminate a location ..." to "... nor encourage a competitor to eliminate a location ...". And after that had been discussed for a while, he finally decided that the whole thing had been a bad idea, and suggested removing the "eliminate a location ..." clause completely from those two rules.

(Sorry, I can't direct you to either the forum or the thread. When I went back to look up this discussion last week, I couldn't find it. Apparently, my search was insufficiently dilligent, or I just wasn't looking in the right places. I've since initiated the practice of archiving forum discussions which seem significant to me.)

Be that as it may, we have the rules NOW in place and it's unrealistic to start sending out 'corrections' to remove or replace problems that weren't really noticed until after the rules were published.

Mr. Amidon's 'interpretation' provides the minimal justification for the inclusion of this rule, without either admitting that a blooper was included when the rules were rewritten OR forcing us into an unacceptable situation where free-style competition was outlawed.

If my paranoid, baseless and entirely reactionary suspicions are true, this was a masterful way to sidestep the whole problem. Nobody gets hurt, the game isn't ruined, and no reputations suffer.

I can live with that.