Thursday, June 28, 2007

Die Hard Four - The Video

Considering the "Yippie Ki Yah" lines, this is NSFW (Not Safe For Work).

Don't know what the movie looks like, I may go see it this weekend. Couldn't be better than this video, though.

"We don't know but we're pretty sure ...
John McClane Kicks Ass!"

Dave Kopel: Supreme Court Gun Cases

Supreme Court Descriptive Index

In May of 2006, Dave Kopel published a book titled "Supreme Court Gun Cases". (See the link above.)

(Co-authers: Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D. and Alan Korwin)

This book is described by Kopel:
"All 92 Supreme Court gun cases are listed here alphabetically, as answered questions, to help you find specific proceedings, and quickly grasp the gun-related elements of the case. Only the questions related to firearms or self defense are listed even if, as is often the case, the decision itself has a different focal point. Many other questions are indeed typically addressed in the cases and, because of the terseness of the questions below, you should rely on the full actual cases for an understanding of the significance of each one. Think of this index as a navigation tool, a memory jogger, and a good read."
That describes the content and utility of the book, certainly, but it also describes the content of the link. The webpage lists all 92 Supreme Court cases alphabetically, by Name, Date and Citation. It also describes the legal questions addressed and a brief one-word (yes or no) answer to the question.

For example, here are the first half-dozen cases cited:

• Indicates the 44 cases presented in their entirety in Supreme Court Gun Cases.
Ð Indicates the 14 self-defense cases.

Key: Name; Date; Citation; Page in Supreme Court Gun Cases

Acers v. United States • Ð; 1896; 164 U.S. 388; 238
Is fear of a deadly attack, without reasonable demonstrated grounds for the fear, sufficient to support a claim of self defense [NO]; Must the danger be immediate [YES]; Can any object be considered as a deadly weapon depending on how it was used [YES].

Adams v. Williams; 1972; 407 U.S. 143; 363
Can a peace officer conduct a limited protective search for concealed weapons, if there is reason to believe a suspect is armed and dangerous [YES]; Are 4th Amendment guarantees violated by such a stop and frisk [NO].

Adamson v. California; 1947; 332 U.S. 46; 310
[The dissenting opinion in a 5th Amendment case argues that the 14th Amendment was intended to incorporate the Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment, against the states].

Alberty v. United States • Ð; 1896; 162 U.S. 499; 231
If a husband sees another man trying to get into his wife’s room window at night is it natural for him to investigate further [YES]; Is the husband under a duty to retreat when attacked with a knife under such circumstances [NO]; May the husband use only as much force as is necessary to repel the assault [YES]; If in an ensuing confrontation the husband shoots and kills the other man, then flees, must his flight in and of itself be seen as evidence of his guilt [NO].

Albright v. Oliver; 1994; 510 U.S. 266; 481
[The dissenting opinion in a case involving freedom from malicious prosecution cites the right to keep and bear arms as among fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution].

Allen v. United States • Ð; 1896; 164 U.S. 492; 241
Are words alone sufficient provocation to justify an assault [NO]; Are words alone sufficient to reduce murder to manslaughter [NO]; Can premeditation and intent to kill be determined from your actions [YES]; Although flight after a possibly criminal event may suggest guilt, does it prove it conclusively [NO].
You can order this book directly from or from Barnes&Nobel. The price is the same, but one assumes (perhaps incorrectly) that the first vendor returns a greater percentage to the authors, because the Gunlaws website is directly associated with Alan Korwin's "Bloomfield Press".

I haven't yet decided to buy the book, but I have included the link to the summary on my sidebar, under "Reference Sources". This is one of Dave Kopel's "Second Amendment Project" offerings, as is "Dave Kopel 2nd Amendment", linked on the sidebar under the heading of "Other RKBA Websites".

If you have an evening free to do nothing more than expand your understanding of Second Amendment issues, I encourage you to start at Kopel's website. There's a cornucopia of fascinating reading to be found there.

For example, I found a review of Joyce Malcolm's book "Guns and Violence: The English Experience" which Kopel refers to as "The Gold Standard of Gun Control". Here's one paragraph from the review:
Malcolm describes the patterns of gun possession and violence, as well as changes in British culture due to war, food shortages, politics, and crime policy. She pays particular attention to changes in the culture of self-defense, both from the viewpoint of the Crown and of the subjects, and to how crime victims are treated by the government. Formerly, Britons happily contrasted their own permissive gun laws with the repressive laws on the Continent, and considered liberal British laws to exemplify the superior and free character of the British nation. But today, British gun controls are the most severe in the western world.
(Emphasis added)

We've all read the frightening, frustrating news stories about the consequences of severe gun-control laws in England during the past decade, and wondered how the Brits can have so lost their soul. This may help us to understand. Warning: if you assume that the increasingly burdonsome gun-control laws in Great Britain serve only to demonstrate the proclivity of British Government to place its erstwhile citizens under the dominion of an autocratic state, this book may serve only to confirm your convictions.

As I write this, I realize that I have updated this article a half-dozen times as I find ever more fascinating information at this source. It's difficult to resist the temptation to point you to other interesting articles, but for the sake of brevity (long lost in my whirlwind of enthusiasm, I know) I'll leave the rest of the research as an exercise for the reader.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

That Pesky Second Amendment

Remember that old joke about "Hi! I'm from The Government and I'm here to help!"

The BATFE-men are living up to their reputation, according to a recent article on World-Net Daily.

WND, along with Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, accuse the BATMen of using minor irregularities in filling out governmental forms as an excuse to revoke the licenses of gun shops all across the country.

We're not talking about 'willful' acts, such as neglecting to fill out the forms. Instead, the irregularities cited include using "N" instead of "NO" when answering a "yes or no" question on the BATFE forms. Another example: writing "Bltmo" instead of "Baltimore" when naming the city in which the transaction occurs (the forms are notoriously skimpy when trying to cram the required information into the tiny spaces provided ... you have probably noticed this).

According to WND, Pratt notes that "The inspectors have no handbook under which to operate, and the absence of such written procedures allows them to be arbitrary and capricious."

When a shop owner appeals the ruling of BATFE which shuts down the business, it goes directly to BATFE. Not some neutral third party, or a court, but directly to the governmental agency which ruled against the business in the first place. It would be disingenuous to suggest that BATFE could be impartial in this process of 'mediation', since it is one of the original parties.

Pratt told WND, "the power that has enabled ATF to take away people's licenses to do business" continues unabated.
The agency holds, he said, a "continuing animas against gun owners and dealers."

80mph 'Mad Max' monster

The 80mph 'Mad Max' monster targeting the Taliban

The Brits have a new not-so-secret weapon ... something of a cross between "The Rat Patrol" and "Mad Max" (Part II).

Trouble is, it's long on offense and very shy on armor.

With a crew of "3 to 4", presumably depending on whether the optional "grenade machine gun" is mounted along with the two 30-cal machine gun (one in a turret-ring) and the rear-facing .50 cal MG, that's four gunners and a driver for ... five crew?

Painted an attractive Caterpillar Yellow, this high-speed vehicle lacks only fork lift prongs and, regrettably, armor plating to defend the crew against those pesky IEDs.

Obviously, this is destined for deployment only for Afghanistan. It would never work in the IED-infested Iraqi theater.

If the American forces tried to field a vehicle like this, they would be laughed (or blasted) Out Of Country in a week.

The best thing the Brits could do is reserve this boondoggle-machine for perimeter security, behind a ten-foot cyclone fence.

Well behind the fence. Say, in the machine shop?

Image Hosted by

Hard to tell what the Brits were thinking of when they decided to field this anachronism. The African Theater in WWII, perhaps?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Painting To The Oldies

This is a dramatic divergence from the usual fare found here, but I assure you it's worth the 5:41 minutes to see the finale.

The artiste is perhaps a bit weak on "stagecraft" but his artistry is beyond dispute.

I bet he's done this before.

Yeah, I re-viewed this several times, and you'll probably find that it runs faster every time you see it.

You can see more here.

Arrogant Critic of IPSC Rules?

During my tenure here, and earlier on The Unofficial IPSC List, I have spent a lot of time and 'bandwidth' commenting on the Rules of Competition for IPSC.

Scroll down, you've seen it before and you'll see it again.

This "commentary" has been coached in at least one of several modes, including but not limited to:
  • Evaluation of proposed IPSC (or USPSA) Rule Book Updates
  • Evaluation of established rules in regards to specific scenarios
  • Requests for other opinions when a Range Officer Question occurred to me (usually when a club match presented a stage which seemed to challenge a rule)
  • Comments and request for clarification when non-match circumstances caused me to go read the book, and I wondered what events had suggested that a given rule was necessary
When you think about it, some of the rules seem almost ... arbitrary.

In the process of questioning the justification for some rules, I have alienated many people, some of them friends. Some of them are no longer friends, and I heartily regret the times when my enthusiasm exceeded the bounds of polite discussion.

It has always seemed to me that the periodic re-evaluation of Competition Rules should be driven by situations which clearly provide a justification for changes. It has not always been my experience that new rules are event-driven. Or, if the changes were necessitated by events, no explanation of the need for a change has been offered by those who were delegated the responsibility for changing the rules.

Example: going back two versions of the Rule Book, a new rule was enacted to the effect that "Disappearing targets which appear and disappear multiple times shall incur miss penalties". This was a dramatic divergence from the previous interpretation ("Disappearing targets shall be deemed to represent targets which have retreated and thus no longer constitute a threat", or words to that effect.) This single rule caused so much upset in IPSC Competition that it was changed back to the original concept in the subsequent rule book.

Example: in the 2005 rule book, rule 9.4.2 newly allowed no more than two penalty hits to be scored on a "no-shoot" target. Surprisingly, justification was offered for this rule. Disappointingly, the justification was that "new shooters may be discouraged by excessive penalties" despite the fact that they had hit the no-shoot more than two times. This had not demonstrably proven to be an issue in the past, but it was changed arbitrarily none the less.

Example: in the 2005 rule book, rule newly stated that "Static paper targets must not be presented at an angle greater than 90 degrees from the vertical." This was famously touted as the "Hanging Ninja" rule, and was added because the "Classic" target is symmetrical, so that competitors could not readily discern the orientation of the "Classic" target and thus could not readily discern the location of the A-Zone. This was absolutely justifiable for this target design, but the "Metric" target is not symmetrical. Still, no provision was established for differentiation of this target shape. The rule was held to be applicable to ANY "static paper target" even though it was clearly without justification for the "Metric" target -- that which is overwhelmingly most typically presented in USPSA matches. Still, USPSA was obliged to recognize this rule.

I felt almost alone in my protests against this arbitrary kind of rule changes, except for a select few (who subsequently formed the core of the recently infamous "Hostility to IPSC" hit-list.)

But during a recent change of opinions on the Unofficial IPSC List, I found myself engaged in an ("Off-List") exchange of opinions with a respected IPSC member. He was the first who actually accused me of 'arrogance' in my efforts to raise the question of applicability of specific IPSC rules when I suggested that the venerable "3-belt loops" rule may not be justifiable. (Note that I am not yet certain whether the rule is not needed; I only raised the question -- which has not yet been answered to my satisfaction.)

During the course of the dialogue, I received an email which included the following comments. I have requested and received permission from the author to post his comments with only minor editing for grammatical reasons:

.............. I also feel some kind of double measuring within IPSC sometimes.

One time someone claims that IPSC is a sport, and therefore eg. the Classic is introduced as a "not-that-humanoid shaped target", or PC target if you wish. At the same time, he announces that he has asked several Law Enforcement organizations, and they agreed that the "Classic" fits better for their needs (by being smaller, i.e. more challenging, and by more or less forming the shape of the chest of a man, too).

Then at another time the very same person (or another official of IPSC) claims that IPSC is a practical sport, and therefore the mere "fun targets" should be exiled, only the practical ones should remain.

Some rule suggestions, although would increase the fun of the game, are discarded because the are "not practical". At the same time, some other rules are introduced "to emphasize that IPSC is a sport". I guess it's not just me who sense some disturbance here.

This Texas Star, for example, is not a practical target in the sense that no Bad Guy, or a bunch of Bad Guys behave as that target does.

However, as far as I see, IPSC should be "practical" in the sense that it should teach us to control the gun under pressure, and to use it effectively against both static and moving targets. Partially for political reasons, IPSC should avoid using realistic scenarios for that.

And why should it be realistic? As long as it reaches its main goal, and teaches us to effectively neutralize both static and moving targets by using our handguns under pressure, what does it matter whether we shoot at humanoid robots or funny-shaped UFO imitations?

I can't rid of the feeling that most everybody uses the word "practical" as his own interest at the moment dictates. Including many of this very list, and many of the officials or representatives of IPSC.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Home Run At The Nats - The RO's Life Is Not A Happy One

Our friend, The Hobo Brasser, sent me some range reports from the 2007 Open/Limited 10 Nationals. He worked the match as a Range Officer.

Here are his primary observations:

Tuesday: Report at 8AM RO meeting-the usual. Then setup your stage (put up targets look it over, etc.). PM RO match 6 stages. Used the ones that had activators so they would be tested. Stage 10 Shoot Out –“*&^$#@&”

Wednesday: AM shooters allowed on the range (they were not allowed on the range Tuesday) PM run six squads finished about 6:30. Went out to dinner with George and Brian Jones and Aldo Gonzalez. Nice visit. Brian was 3rd Master for the match and George was 5th Super Senior.

Thursday: Ran 12 squads-had to eat at stage-ran about an hour behind schedule by end of day. Two Big Macs and 3 beers for dinner then to bed.

Friday: Ran 12 squads-had to eat at stage again-ran about 20-30 minutes by end of day. Friday night staff appreciation (2 knives this year).

Saturday: Ran 6 squads finished about 30 min late. Lunch, vendor tent (small this year) go to hotel, drink beer go to bed early.

Sunday: woke up early left at 5:45 Missoula time 9 hour drive home.

We had two stages in our bay and we ran them in tandem. After Wednesday we had a system that worked well. Two stages to a bay may be the reason for getting behind each day. We were the first stage in the bay so we would pass a squad on to the next stage and they would often start before we had the squad from the stage before us. The stage next to us would then pause when our shooters arrived so we could do our walk thru. After that we would work in tandem again. This seemed to slow down the whole process.

The range is great, the scenery is beautiful and the match was the best run major I have ever worked at. I had two RO’s who were fantastic-Bruce Bethell from Arkansas and Julie Williams from Wisconsin.It was my second as a CRO and I feel like it was a great Nationals from my perspective.

Other notes:
No word yet on whether the "Go Sit In The Corner" stage actually started with the competitor sitting downrange of the gun. At least, at the Nats, it was (probably) unloaded.

In the Home Run stage, HB reports that "they put a 15# weight 15' lead on the bat to keep people from throwing it." (I'm not sure why, since the original stage instructions were clear about initiating the targets by STEPPING on the foot trap. I suppose this just made it easier for gamers to remember.)

UPDATE: June 27, 2007
Read the comments. I quoted "15# weight" when a more accurate quote would have been "15'lead" in the penultimate paragraph. Judging by the comments, rather than depending on a heavy weight attached to the bat, the Match Administrators tied the bat to the ground with a fifteen foot cable. I apologize for the misunderstanding

2007 USPSA Open/Limited 10 Results

The first USPSA Nationals of the 2007 Competitive Season are over, and the results are posted here.

USPSA, in its respect for the privacy of competitors, omits last names from the public results. However, if you are a USPSA member you can see the full names on the Member's Page of the USPSA website.

Since I'm not an official publication of USPSA, and I think winners should be publically recognized, here are the results for each division:


Top 10:

  1. Rob Latham - 100%
  2. Ted Puente - 96.19%
  3. Taran Butler - 96.16%
  4. Travis Tomasie - 95.95%
  5. David Sevigny - 95.00%
  6. Emanuel Bragg - 94.95%
  7. Michael Seeklander - 91.51%
  8. Michael Burrell - 91.30%
  9. Angus Hobdell - 90.79%
  10. Phil Strader, Jr. -88.07%

Top Foreign: (08) Micahel Burrell - 91.30%
Top Senior: (13) Ron Avery - 85.08%
Top Lady: (46) Julie Goloski - 67.08%
Top Junior: (61) Ben Thompson - 61.40%

Special Interest:
Unclassified: (15) Jerry Miculek - 84.05%

Local Interest (Columbia Cascade Section finishes):
(21) Scott Springer - 77.52%
(28) Chuck Anderson - 73.50%
(63) Chris Cardoza - 61.02% (Junior - Glock?)
(91) Stephan Kemper - 55.25% (Junior - Glock?)
(97) Barney Brooks - 53.99% (Super Senior)
(99) Michael McCarter - 52.84% (Super Senior - Glock?)

Number of Entries: 163

Number of Match DQ: 7



Top 10:
  1. Max Michel Jr - 100%
  2. JJ Racaza - 98.04%
  3. Chris Tilley - 96.55%
  4. Saul Kirsch - 96.49%
  5. Todd Jarrett - 95.17%
  6. JoJo Vidanes - 93.81%
  7. KC Eusebio - 93.81%
  8. Matt McLearn - 90.68%
  9. Shannon Smith - 90.55%
  10. Michael Voigt - 89.28%

Top Foreign: (04) Saul Kirsch - 96.49%%
Top Senior: (30) Michael Auger - 79.30%
Top Lady: (44) Athena Lee - 75.93%
Top Junior: (11) BJ Norris - 89.12%

Special Interest:
A8 Father: (104) George Jones - 65.95%
A8 Son: (21) Bryan Jones - 83.11%

Local Interest (Columbia Cascade Section finishes):
(34) Yong Lee - 78.70%
(83) Norm Bright - 68.37%
(103) Bob Lee - 66.02%
(110) Bill Marrs - 64.91% (Senior)
(111) Ryan Leonard - 64.79% (Junior)
(115) Squire Tomasie - 63.96% (Super Senior)
(117) Ramiro Rayes - 63.82%
(129) Scott Fague - 61.26%
(143) Frank Cook - 59.74% (Super senior)
(147) Everett mastrich - 58.91% (Senior)
(153) Zachary Bright - 55.49% (Senior)
(166) Michael Kennedy - 52.79% (Senior)
(167) Bill Sahlberg - 52.68% (Senior)

Number of Entries: 227

Number of Match DQ: 7

Note: If I've left anyone out who should be included here, I apologize. Please send corrections to me at the email address listed at the bottom of this page.

Congratulations to the competitors, I wish I could have joined you there.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Firearm Lubrication: warm vs Cold Weather

Although I've not been very productive in terms of blogging for the past week, in the previous month I've made much of the problems I've had with my competition pistol.

Mostly, I've accused my reloading press of creating bad ammo. Not so. My problems have been entirely due to inappropriate lubrication of the pistol.

First I didn't lubricate the pistol at all for a month. The slide failed to cycle correctly, resulting in failure of the slide to go into battery (in the very worst situation, the slide didn't even cycle far enough, fast enough, to eject the spent cartridge case.)

When I thought I was lubricating, I grabbed the wrong container in my range bag. I used a high-tech, non-aromatic gun cleaner instead of lubricant.

Finally, I used a winter-weight lubricant, similar to Sewing Machine oil, which is fine in the winter but inadequate in warm weather.
Why is a light-wieght lubricant inadequate in warm weather? Because it is much more volitile and will, essentially, evaporate in a day or two leaving your firearms dry.

Here's a tip for you:

Be sure that you lubricate your 1911 frequently, adequately and appropriately (use the heavier weight oil in hot weather, a lighter weight oil in cold weather).

What do I use in warm weather?

Motor Oil -- Synthetics. My choice? Amsoil.

I mention this to fulfill my purpose, which is apparently to serve as a bad example so that others can learn from my (repeated) mistakes.