Friday, June 17, 2005

IPSC Rules Question: How Many Penalties?

Last weekend I attended an IPSC match.

Nothing new in that; I compete in IPSC matches at least three times a month, year-round.

However, I've been paying more attention to the way individual stages are designed lately. I've observed that the current rules aren't always clear about what a competitor can and cannot do while shooting a stage. I've paid particular attention to the penalties which accrue for infractions of the stage procedures.

Specifically, I'm concerned about infractions which incur a "Per-Shot" penalty, as opposed to those which incur a "Per Occurrence" penalty.

During the match last weekend, competitors were required to engage targets through a low port, which essentially required them to assume a prone position. A shooting box was placed behind the port, and they were admonished in the published stage procedures to remain within the shooting box while engaging the targets visible through the port.

Here's how it should have looked, from the perspective of a bystander:

Free Image Hosting at

A few of the competitors, for whatever reason, lost track of the (fully legal) fault lines which comprise the shooting box, and had a foot OUTSIDE the shooting box.

A controversy arose as to whether they should be penalized for "per occurrence" violation of the stage procedures (one 10-point penalty) or "per shot". This last ruling would have exacted 8 procedural penalties, for shooting two scoring hits per each of the four IPSC targets visible from that port. The difference in the ruling would be ten points penalized or eighty points penalized, so you can imagine that the discussion was vehement.

The rule book states:
10.2.1 A competitor who fires shots while any part of their body is touching the ground beyond a Fault or Charge Line will receive 1 procedural penalty. However, if the competitor has gained a significant advantage while faulting, the competitor will be assessed 1 procedural penalty for each shot fired while faulting, instead of a single penalty. No penalty is assessed if a competitor does not fire any shots while faulting a line.
I won't confuse the issue by revealing how the Match Director ruled on this question. Instead, I will pass it on to you.

How many penalties should have been applied in this situation?

(NOTE: this is not a test. Until the National Range Officer Institution [NROI], in the person of the Chairman of the NROI, has ruled, there IS not right answer. I'm just interested in what YOUR decision would have been. Please quote applicable rules.)

(NOTE 2: Okay, so maybe this IS a test!)

PNW Bloggers

Adding a regional element to this Blog, I've decided to begin adding "Bloggers in the Pacific North West" (PNW) to my sidebar.

If you are a blogger in the PNW, or if you know a blog which promotes RKBA & the shooting sports, and whose host lives in the PNW (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana ... any other suggestions?), please email me at jerrydgeekblogs at aol dot com and I'll take a look.

I'm especially interested, of course, in Oregon bloggers. I've not included range-related websites as they aren't blogs, and besides I've already included most of those of which I am aware, either directly or as links to links I've included.

Blogs which provide a link to Cogito Ergo Geek, of course, are already linked in the sidebar. However, if you find a website which links to me I would appreciate notification so I can include them, regardless of their regional origin.

In case you haven't noticed, I've returned to weekly archival. I had originally archived monthly, but it was FAR too long for convenient loading via modem. I couldn't, in good conscience, provide much large-file content (such as photos and action-GIFs) because they took so LONG to load.

There was a period last month, when BlogSpot had hardware problems, when I went back to monthly archiving in an attempt to help alleviate bandwidth overloading. (It seems odd to me, that I am becoming increasingly concerned about bandwidths. Members of the Unofficial IPSC List may recall that I have offered sarcastic comments in the past about 'bandwidth' in regards to mailing lists. Believe me, the concern is much more immediate in a Web Log.)

However, now that the BlogSpot problem seems to have been resolved, I am implementing all measures available to make access much more convenient for those of us who connect via modem.

... I am looking at BroadBand access for my home computer. The 56KB modem I'm currently using is adequate for many purposes, but it is inconvenient when I am researching an article. Recently I have received some criticism for having performed inadequate research to support an article. This spurs me to place a higher priority on access speed.

I don't have cable, so Comcast (the dominant cable provider in Oregon) which seems a logical first choice) is not attractive. I not only have to pay for broadband internet access, but also for TV cable subscription as well.

I have QWEST as my landline provider (used almost exclusively for AOL dial-up ... I have Verizon Wireless for my most commonly used telephone access), but their broadband access is not attractive. PEAK.COM has some attractive support, but QWEST already takes too much of my monthly bill-paying time and my preference is not to support a vendor which has proven to provide less than stellar performance.

I've been advised to use WIFI, because many people in my immedicate geographic neighborhood are using WIFI and it has been suggested that I 'piggy-back' on this immediate availability. However, my research shows that they may not be sufficiently secure, and 24/7 access depends largely on whether a transient bunch of college students are reliable providers.

Phone, Cable TV, unregulated and quasi-anonymous WIFI time ... all present drawbacks.

Has anyone a suggestion to an alternative provider of broadband access? I don't much like the idea of spending over $100 per month for Internet access convenience, and of course it must be secure ....

Carnival of Cordite is UP!


What is this? Is it the 14th or the 15th Carnival of Cordite?

Never mind. Read this.

Excellent links to bloggers involved in both RKBA and shooting sports are included. Gullyborg has special content for Oregon readers regarding the latest bill from Ginny Burdick.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Weapons Retention

As an ostensibly IPSC Competition-related website, its necessary from time to time for me to host firearms-related context.

Join with me now as we examine the consequences of failure to demonstrate basic firearms-handling skills in a real-world scenario.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

June Cooper-isms

Jeff Cooper's Commentaries for June, 2005, are ...

I'm delighted to report that this month The Colonel discusses the current state of IPSC competition.

It seems that the practical element in Practical Marksmanship has suffered drastically due to the lack of variation in the types of courses used in competition, both here and abroad. When the program was started back in California in the 60s, we insisted on each course of fire being radically different from that held during the previous month or session. This called for distinct variation in ranges, firing positions, conditions of readiness and all such matters. However when the movement took off abroad, it turned out that too many jurisdictions called for artificial consistency in course type or course design. In certain places this meant that ranges would always be about the same, the condition of readiness would be the same, and scoring systems would be the same. Note that in Europe today, most major contests require the shooter to start with his weapon resting on a table just within reach, and that spare magazines be presented in specific fashion for each firing string. This means, of course, that speed on the draw has ceased to be a significant element in performance. It is possible that draw speed was overemphasized in the early days, but that does not mean that the idea should be abandoned.

The matter of power, of course, has been lost completely, largely due to the fact that pistol power is very difficult to measure. The Europeans insist that the 9mm Parabellum cartridge of 1908 has all the power which may be called for, whereas time has proved that this cartridge is distinctly inferior as a means of stopping fights.

The upshot is that practical pistol shooting in the competitive sense has pretty much lost sight of the element of practicality. If a given course of fire did not replicate the conditions of an actual pistol confrontation, it was not a measure of practical skill. Over here and abroad, however, practicality is now viewed askance by a lot of people who really ought to know better. If the show gets too close to an actual street fight, it becomes sort of "antisocial" and thus should be disallowed in polite competition.

All is not lost, however. Competitive practical pistol shooting may not be everything that it should be, but it is immensely better than it was half a century ago. By better I mean more useful. The service handgun is a fight-stopping device, and its practice should reflect its fight-stopping capacity. A serious pistolero must commence with the proper attitude, and build both his equipment and his annual skill upon that. There are those who might ask what need there is for a serious pistolero, and I cannot answer that question. If one does not know why anyone should be able to defend his life and family and property against felonious aggression, he should move to Britain where self-defense is now illegal.

After 85 years, he may not be able to hunt but he has lost none of his Vinegar.

The Case for Curling Iron Control

Armed robber gets extreme makeover

The old adage about the First Rule of a Gunfight use to be: "Bring A Gun".

That's old school.

Today, if you're in Shreveport LA, be sure you have a curling iron handy.

An armed robber brandishing a revolver and some tough talk entered Blalock's Beauty College demanding money Tuesday afternoon.

He left crying, bleeding and under arrest, after Dianne Mitchell, her students and employees attacked the suspect, beating him into submission.
They didn't resist when he cursed them, threatened them, made them lay down on the floor, or when he stole their money. But when he started to take one of them into the back room, they decided they had had enough.

The owner of the beauty shop tripped him, causing him to lose his gun. When she yelled "Get That Sucker!" they attacked him with curling irons, chairs, a table leg ... anything can be a weapon when you're determined to defend yourself.

Blood and urine splattered from the victim; stains adorned the white paints worn by many of the beauty school students.

Crying in pain, the robber tried to crawl away from the students, Mitchell said.

"I grabbed his legs and wouldn't let him go. I pulled him back. He wasn't going to get up out of here and tell everyone he robbed us. When he came in here, he knocked down a beehive and sent the bees flying all over."
Sharon Blalock, owner of the school, said she couldn't be prouder of her students and employees. "They just whooped the hell out of him."
"It's like we were saying in class, we have to stay together as a team," Mitchell said. "You can tell any prospective students, Blalock's Beauty College has got your back."
(Geek Note:
Rumors that I plan to move to Louisiana and start a new career as a hairdresser have been exagerated.)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Massachusetts Eighth-Graders Told Science Project Involving BB Gun Too Dangerous

Massachusetts Eighth-Graders Told Science Project Involving BB Gun Too Dangerous

What IS it with these liberal air-head PC-based 'educators' today?

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Two eighth-graders who spent months working on a science project to prove how dangerous BB guns can be were disqualified from the state middle school science fair. The reason for the dismissal: BB guns are too dangerous.
Uh .... well, that was sort of the point of the project.

Nathan C. Woodard and Nathaniel A. Gorlin-Crenshaw spent seven months researching and testing their hypothesis that BB guns can be deadly and should not be used by children.
It's not as if their project was a simple matter of putting a couple of BB guns on a board for people to view. They actually tested the penetrating power of BBs as a means of demonstrating that they COULD cause harm. And they ponied up the money so they could perform scientific testing under controlled conditions to prove the point of their thesis.

The students spent about $200 on ballistics gelatin, which has the same density and consistency as human flesh, to use during their tests.

How can a display of tests results be dangerous?

Nancy G. Degon, vice president of Massachusetts State Science Fair Inc. and co-chair of the middle-school fair, said fair rules prohibit hazardous substances and devices.

"The scientific review committee does not consider science projects involving firearms to be safe for middle school students," Degon said.

Excuse me ... "firearms"? A BB gun isn't a firearm. Where's the fire? Don't these pedantic pedagogues understand the English Language?


These are firearms:

This is a BB gun:

Or is it that they are so desperate to cleave to the letter of the law that they are willing to ignore the spirit of the event, which is to give young people the opportunity to learn by performing their own scientific research?

The boys were invited to present their findings to some judges and receive a certificate of accomplishment, but they rejected the offer because they were not allowed to compete.

"I was really disappointed," Woodard said. "We had a good point to prove.
I think they did, too. This is especially surprising in that the point is entirely in line with the political bias of the silly-putty education system.

I'm not the only one who was outraged by this news story.
Our friend Jeff sent me a copy of the letter which he sent to the Science Fair board and the editor of the largest paper in Massachusetts ... The Boston Globe. I'm not sure they'll recognize satire when they read it, but I thought Jeff made his point clear.

Massachusetts State Science Fair Folk:

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for disqualifying those
two young miscreants, Nathan C. Woodard and Nathaniel A.
Gorlin-Crenshaw from the Massachusetts Middle School State
Science Fair!

As you know, in the 1960s (when I grew up), only 58% of
all elementary students and 31% of all Junior High
School students survived the dangerously permissive
official education policies of the day.

Several of my fellow students were killed daily from
shooting BB guns, carrying pocket knives, having photographs
of firearms in school, taking aspirins brought from home
without the supervision of a Board-certified Registered
Nurse, unsupervised play in woodlands, listening to radios
that plugged into the dangerous AC mains, and wearing
T-shirts expressing controversial ideas. The bodies
littered the gym floor. It's a miracle that any of us
lived to reproduce!

Thank God that today there are people like you to protect
the children from parent- and police-supervised study of
BB guns!

By the way, I see an oversight in your official rules.
While you state that the Middle Schoolers may not do a
project that involves "Nonhuman vertebrate animals", the
rules do not prohibit projects involving "Human (presumably
vertebrate) animals". I can see a project involving Human
Sexuality, in which two Middle-schoolers have sex in
alternate weeks and determine the exact moment of conception,
with video documentation. (A second pair of students will
use condoms, perhaps, as a control). This doesn't seem to
violate your published rules: perhaps a "no sex" rule is
called-for? Of course, you'll need to define what "sex" is,
in very explicit terms, so that the children will know what
you are prohibiting.

Please enhance your protection of the children, and keep
up the good work!

(By the way, please tell Nancy G. Degon that a BB gun is *not*
a firearm. She sounds stupid when she says that.)

Jeff M. [last name deleted by the Geek]
Powell OH

If you aren't convinced, you can read the Massachusetts State Science Fair rules.

The only mention of "firearms" is included in this section:

Controlled Substances

Controlled substances, including DEA-classed substances, prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco, must be acquired and used according to existing local, state and federal laws. Student researchers must adhere to all regulations governing controlled substances. Production of alcohol is federally regulated and students must contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for regulations and permission. Students under 21 years of age are prohibited by federal laws from purchasing and or handling smokeless powder or black powder for science projects.

This obviously does not apply.

Why was this project rejected?

Could it be that the Ms Degon had her own political agenda?

We can only wonder what 'the children' learned from this, other than that people who have authority often abuse their authority.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Kalifornia Bullet-Coding Scheme IV: Citizens Revolt!

In response to bills which were introduced this year to both the California Assembly and the California Senate, which would impose unworkable and unreasonable restrictions on both firearms and ammunition, a California gun club has banned use of their range facilities for training purposes to staff of the California Department of Justice which support these proposed laws.

The Folsom Shooting Club (FSC), owners/operators of the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center (SVSC), on June 5, 2005, sent a letter to Bill Lockyer (Attorney General of the state of California) stating that ...

"... the Department of Justice staff, while acting in their official capacity, are suspended from using the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center. The (Board of Directors of the Folsom Shooting Club) is concerned that your staff will further your efforts regarding AB352 and SB357 while using our facility...."
As has mentioned earlier in this Blog, SB357 would require that every bullet sold in the state of California, whether sold as an individual reloading component as part of a complete pistol ammunition cartridge, would be engraved with a serial number which is consistent within every other bullet or cartridge within the 50-round package in which the component is purchased.

We previously reported (June 8) on the AG's endorsement of the bill, and before that (on June 5) on the California Senate's approval, and before that (on April 27) on the bill's preliminary discussion and advancement through the Senate. In fact, the bill was originally introduced in early February of 2005.

Another bill, AB352 (not previously mentioned here), would require that new firearms sold in California after a certain date would automatically stamp each cartridge case with the serial number unique to this firearm. Parenthetically, we should note that this constitutes ipso facto registration of every new pistol sold in California, because the purported purpose of this measure is to aid in criminal investigations whenever a firearm is used in the commission of a crime.

In order for '... (automatic stamping of) ... each cartridge case with the serial number unique to this firearm..." to be effective, ALL applicable firearms must be registered.

So much for the 2nd amendment.


In response, and in protest to these bills, FSC has retaliated in the only meaningful manner they could enforce: they refused access to their private property for the AG office agents.

Here's how it looks in the press, as interpreted by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:

U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Gun Enthusiasts Get Ugly in California Legislative..."

To: National Desk

Contact: Amanda Wilcox of the Million Mom March, 530-432-2171, Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign, 202-898-0792

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 8 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A shooting range here has announced a ban on use of its shooting facilities by employees of the California Department of Justice because the Department is supporting two bills in the State legislature that the club opposes.

The bills represent groundbreaking new ballistic identification systems which would give police new crime solving tools. Each would set up systems for markings on gun ammunition in California that would help law enforcement investigators track down the perpetrators of shootings that might otherwise remain unsolved. One bill (AB 352) would require handguns to include a device that stamps a specific number on bullets that are fired by that handgun, while the other (SB 357) would require that ammunition manufacturers mark ammunition with a serial number for potential tracking.

The bills have the support of the California DOJ. No California law enforcement organizations oppose the measures. In a letter to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Thomas S. Hause, President of the Folsom Shooting Club, which operates the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center outside Sacramento, wrote "The Board of Directors of the Folsom Shooting Club (FSC) has directed me to advise you, in writing, that Department of Justice staff, while acting in their official capacity, are suspended from using the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center (SVSC). The FSC is concerned that your staff will further your efforts regarding AB 352 and SB 357 while using our facility."

("Gun Enthusiasts Get Ugly" ????)

And The Brady Campaign thinks this is A Bad Thing ... why?

Leaders of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Million Mom March are urging the club to drop the policy immediately. "It is offensive that the owners of this shooting range would rather side with criminals than with law enforcement and victims, not to mention that they are discriminating against people simply because they have a different view on legislation," said Amanda Wilcox, State Council Leader of the Million Mom March. "It is also very troubling when it is law enforcement agents who are using the facility for training purposes."

"What's next - should police who support sensible gun laws have their firearms taken away? This is un-American, and these guys ought to have their heads examined," said Jim Brady, chair of the Brady Campaign.

The Brady Bunch wouldn't want a bunch of ignorant private citizens to protest against governmental intrusion into their Second Amendment Rights because it may offend a government agency. They consider the action to be "(siding) with criminals", and apparently think that the private club should accomodate governmental agencies rather than to exercise their right to protest publically, and to refuse governmental agencies to occupy their property whether or not the owners wish to host them.

There go the First and the Third amendments.

Brady has no respect for the constitution. They have their own agenda, and it is NOT about the rights of private citizens.

They characterize the actions of private citizens as "ugly", but probably would not accept that their own propaganda is "ugly" in the eyes of the same private citizens.

They publically question the sanity of anyone who does not agree with their agenda.

Those of us who respect the constitution, and view it as our protection against intrusive Federal govenmental actions, consider such intrusions as are suggested by the Brady Campaign to be repugnant and anti-constitutional.

If you would like to protest the Brady Campaign's attempted infringements of our private rights, and their vile censorship of reasonable and legitimate protests, you can contact them directly via their website.

Further news and comments on this intrusion upon American rights are available across the Internet, including:
The Keep and Bear Arms Gun Owners page