Saturday, September 15, 2007

3 on 1

The Last Stage (ARPC September, 2007)

This match will remain in my memory for a while.

I had a clean match going up to the end, when I became over-focused because I haven't shot a stage with no misses or penalties since God Knows When.

But I allowed myself to get distracted, and ended up with three misses on The Last Stage.

On this stage, the goal was to get 3 hits on each paper target. I only got 2 hits on 3 of the targets. Not that I didn't shoot at them all 3 times, I just managed to pull the sights off the target. The really embarrassing thing is, I didn't call any of the misses; I thought I had hit everything, to the point where I actually asked for an overlay on a target. At a club match? Come on, how anal can one Geek get?

Fairly anal, I guess.

The number 3 is suppose to be lucky, because it's the first prime number after 1. For me, it's just another opportunity to prove I can't stand prosperity.

Here's the video from the stage, on YouTube.

It's also available as a 15mb download from The Video Shooting Gallery (and yes, I used the name before Michael did.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

3 pianos 3!

The Hobo Brasser sent me the link to this excellent video, a performance by Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino in The Netherlands: September 15, 2006. (7:24 minutes duration)

The music is hot, the audience gets right into it, and where else are you going to see three such talented showmen?

Backup is provided by Ron Woods of The Rolling Stones, and Carl Pickens. The band is lead by ... I think ... the conductor on the Tonite Show.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Guns in Schools: Okay or Not Okay?

ABC News: Mich. Lawmaker Wants to Arm Educators

As a companion piece to a news story discussed here a couple of days ago, a NEW news story (click the above link) suggests that this concept of allowing school faculty and staff to carry concealed weapons may NOT be simply the warped product of a single individual.
Michigan Representative (R) David Agema ...
... has filed a controversial bill that would allow gun-owning faculty and staff with proper training and permits to pack concealed pistols inside a school or on school property.

Agema, a Republican from outside Grand Rapids, introduced the bill this month with the support of 15 Republican sponsors.

"What motivated me to do this is a form of disaster preparedness," Agema told ABC News. "To me, it's about safety for kids first. I just think we have to have something like this if something starts happening with al Qaeda."

Under Michigan House Bill No. 5162, teachers, administrators and staff could carry a concealed pistol on school grounds if approved by a principal. The principal at an individual school could require interested educators to take additional training, perhaps with a police department.

The proposed legislation would also allow parents and legal guardians who already possess proper gun permits to carry concealed pistols on school property while picking up or dropping off a child.

The state 'educators' seem, in this article, to be repulsed by the very idea of teachers carrying guns on a school campus:

Doug Pratt, a spokesman for the Michigan Education Association, the state's biggest educator union, said his organization has always come out against concealed weapons. Still, he also described Agema's proposal as having "no logic."

"You talk to the average person on the street and this just doesn't fly," Pratt said. "Why would we take the chance of something tragic happening by simply introducing guns into the environment. Nothing about this makes sense."

Grand Rapids Superintendent Bernard Taylor, for example, told the local newspaper the proposed bill left him "speechless," before saying, "If that's what we've come to, I need to find a new line of work."

I've known some excellent teachers in my time, but far to often I've noticed that the politics of many of their colleagues interferes with their effectiveness as educators. On this subject, however, the ramifications of arming teachers and 'staff' seems to be a topic doomed to provoke controversy, and little else.

Agema states:
In Utah and Oregon, he added, educators are already allowed to carry concealed weapons because those states do not have "gun-free zones" around schools.
This may be misleading. I'm 'staff' on the campus of an Oregon school, and while the law doesn't invoke the 'thousand-yard gun free zone', the actual possession of a concealed, loaded firearm may be considered cause for termination at many schools. Certainly, educators are not commonly "allowed to carry concealed weapons" on these campuses, despite Agema's misleading statements.

On a campus which is the center of a small town, though, any law which prevents possession of a firearm within 1000 yards is doomed to make felons of honest citizens, if only because so many residences lie within this artificial boundary.

In fact, in some states, it may be illegal for a citizen to drive directly from their residence to a shooting range with a firearm in their car, due to the '1000 yard' law.

This, I presume, is the reason why (if Agema is correct) that law is not in force in a couple of states. It's not intended to allow concealed carry of loaded firearms on schoolyards; it's only to avoid 'unintended consequences' during innocent transport or possession OFF campus -- but in the 'near vicinity' of a school.

Personally, I hope that both the anonymous lady in Oregon and Agema manage to make a change in the laws which currently deny permission for trained, skilled and honest citizens to carry loaded, concealed firearms on school property.

The people who pack a gun to school without legal standing will do so, because their intent is not to carry for legitimate reasons.

The question remains whether the faculty and staff of a school should be vetted and given explicit permission by the school administrators would probably be as controversial as the original issue. I doubt that any law, which allow non-LEO people to possess a firearm at a school, will ever be passed without this stipulation. I suspect that it would usually be used as a method for faint-hearted Liberal administrations (and there is no other variety in schools) to avoid the question entirely.

Whether that stipulation should be included in any such law, is a legitimate subject for discussion.

However, although ABC News has made a valiant attempt to appear neutral on this subject, the visual addition to their article makes it clear what their opinion is.

As of this writing, there are 112 comments relating to this ABC News article. They are interesting to read, but some of the comments suggest that the commenters are often 'too eager' to pack a gun on the schoolyard. Some of the rest seem to fall into the category of 'knee-jerk reactionaries' as exemplified by this writer:

it is not right to let a teacher have a wepon in school it is putting alot of people ask risk if the student got a hold of the firearme while the teacher left the room and left the gun in the room no fireamres!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! why you think the cops get paid for and plus why are we having this about teachers having fireamres our state has no problems about people breaking rule's or having a gun pointed to them so just let this go becuase if this happins the other students will bring gun's because they will thank its okay then they will start having gang's and the students would be at risk i attend hillsdale highschool im 18 and this is my last year im thinking about going to college [sic]
(This is one young person, with hopes for a college education, who should have started with determination to achieve a grade-school education.)

Or, on the other hand, this writer as an example of "People with an Ineptly Hidden Agenda":
The Univerisity of Michigan employes people carrying concealed weapons to threaten citizens who fall asleep in the library, students who report rapes, etc. It is a self-stylized Vigilante Justice.Take away these bad apples and the crime rate in Southeastern Michigan will go down. The worst offender in the State of Michigan is Richard Zavala; he rivals Sadam Hussein for terroristic threats. Even the Washtenaw County Sherrif's Srgt David Archer is afraid of him (ie., wold prefer to see no evil, hear no evil, arrest no evil). His accomplice is a person referred to as "Jerry's Cadet" according to award winning journalist L.K. Truscott IV [NB: geek translated into a short URL to fit in this format]as well as Dave Masson, Donica Varner-Thomas, Dave Masson, Gloria Hage, Brian E. Gilchrist, Peter. D. Washabaugh, Nilton Renno, Tony England (a former U.S. Astronaut), Richard D. Gonzalez and Stella Pang. These people have compromised the education system along with Marvin Krislov, who is now the President of Oberlin. This story is not a personal attack: it is well documented. They are known to fabricate, alter, omit pertinent facts from anyone who attempts to file a police report. Were it not for these bad role models, Ann Arbor would not be a source of funds for drug money. Conversion of taxpayer funds for weapons is the problem; not the solution. If an ABCNEWS investagions were performed today, it should start at the Department of Public Safety page: . [sic]
(See above comments.)

The problem with Gun Control is that it encourages inane, incompetent and irrational commentary. This includes, but is not limited to, the politicians.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


9:11 am, on 9/11.

It's a memorable day in our history, but one which we can best observe by going to work and doing our jobs. Otherwise, the terrorists will have accomplished their task of six years ago. And I am determined to deny them a victory.

This is what I was telling myself this morning, as I forced myself out of bed and through the shower. It was a hard sell, but I did get to the office and I am doing my work.

The truth is, I am still heart-sick at the memory of the attacks, and on the anniversary it somehow seems even fresher in memory. With the threat that there will be more attacks, perhaps deliberately targeted for this date, there’s an element of fear as well.

I feel a lot better now that I am about my day’s business. The cold funk is all in my mind, and I try to be the master of it.

Instead, I will celebrate by completing and closing at least one, perhaps two projects today.

That'll show the blackguards.

2007 Croc Match - The Revolver Squad

It takes a special kind of person to shoot a six-round wheel gun at a self-professed "High Round Count" match.

When every stage requires fifty to sixty rounds to complete, and you're limited to six rounds in a slow-to-load revolver, this verges upon masochism.

Here, I have a 7+ minute video of seven revolver shooters, and even I have to admit that watching revolvers is about as exciting as watching grass grow.

Except ...

... I replanted some bald spots in my lawn last week, and every morning as I leave for work I look to see how tall the new sprouts have risen. Every evening, I spent at least a half-hour watering the lawn farthest from the sprinkler, and feeling proud that I have nurtured new life ... albeit slow growing life ... were before there was nothing but bald, dead dirt.

So maybe watching the grass grow has a special fascination for those who are of a nurturing nature.

Perhaps (although this is admittedly an extreme case), even watching revolver shooters do ten reloads in a minute or less will prove interesting to a few benighted folk.

It is, then, in this interest that I present:

The Revolver Squad!

Note: this video is available as an 18MB download from Jerry the Geek's Video Shooting Gallery. See the album, choose your preference -- the Revolver squad shooting Stage 3, or the 'Super Squad' shooting Stage 4.

If you're that much of a masochist ....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Wouldn't you feel safer with a gun?

The title of this article is evocative of the recent dialogue between the "ASBO-Monger" in England and myself. Unfortunately, I had not the wit nor the wisdom to put the question so succinctly.

Fortunately, someone else did. And surprisingly, that person was a British contributer to the Times Online, in an article by the same name.

Author Richard Munday, in making his case that "British Attitudes are Supercilious and Misguided", writes:

Despite the recent spate of shootings on our streets, we pride ourselves on our strict gun laws. Every time an American gunman goes on a killing spree, we shake our heads in righteous disbelief at our poor benighted colonial cousins. Why is it, even after the Virginia Tech massacre, that Americans still resist calls for more gun controls?

The short answer is that “gun controls” do not work: they are indeed generally perverse in their effects. Virginia Tech, where 32 students were shot in April, had a strict gun ban policy and only last year successfully resisted a legal challenge that would have allowed the carrying of licensed defensive weapons on campus. It is with a measure of bitter irony that we recall Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia, recording the words of Cesare Beccaria: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

After a rousing condemnation of British confiscatory gun laws, backed by both statistics and anecdotal evidence, he concludes:

As late as 1951, self-defence was the justification of three quarters of all applications for pistol licences. And in the years 1946-51 armed robbery, the most significant measure of gun crime, ran at less than two dozen incidents a year in London; today, in our disarmed society, we suffer as many every week.

Gun controls disarm only the law-abiding, and leave predators with a freer hand. Nearly two and a half million people now fall victim to crimes of violence in Britain every year, more than four every minute: crimes that may devastate lives. It is perhaps a privilege of those who have never had to confront violence to disparage the power to resist.

I know, you're thinking "Hey, we're in America -- home of the Second Amendment. We are SOOOOoooo superior to those Socialist Wimps in Britain.

Not so.

Remember, Virginia Tech was recent history.

At least one Lady in Oregon is taking on the Gun Control Crowd with all the verve and energy of a Hollywood Action film ... but with the discretion of a hothouse flower:

High School Teacher Acquires Lawyer to Challenge Gun Policy

(Medford, Oregon - September 10, 2007 on

MEDFORD -- A high school teacher in southern Oregon plans to challenge a school district policy that prevents her from carrying a gun on school grounds.

Portland lawyer Jim Leuenberger said in an e-mail message to the Mail Tribune newspaper that he will ask a Jackson County judge to declare the Medford School District's policy "illegal and void" for holders of concealed handgun licenses.

"There is a state statute that prohibits local governments -- including school boards -- from restricting possession of firearms by concealed firearm permit holders," Leuenberger said.

Leuenberger said the teacher wishes to remain anonymous, and he will list her name as "Jane Doe" in the complaint. When contacted by the Mail Tribune, the teacher said she wants anonymity because she fears for her and her daughter's safety.

Leuenberger said the woman has divorced her husband and obtained a restraining order against him.

What's the difference between the Brit who postulates that gun control leads to more, not fewer victims as a result of causing the average citizen to protect himself with a firearm, and an Oregon woman who demands the right to carry a gun for self-protection even on the school grounds?

There is effectively no difference. Both recognize that an unarmed citizen is a victim, when the society in which they live is violent.

Both recognize that the right to self-protection is not an issue which can legitimately be restricted by the government ... local, regional or national.

But there is one significant difference.

In Britain, nobody is legally allowed to carry a firearm anywhere, at any time, for any reason.

In America, any law-abiding, sane adult is allowed to carry a firearm almost anywhere at almost anytime, except .... sometimes.

The 'sometimes' clause is the kernel of the difference, and we have only recently seen a national disaster in the case of the Virginia Tech massacre.

This tragic event may yet prove to be the touchstone which defines the consequences of "gun-free zones" in America. We saw it in 1999, at the Columbine school shooting, but we effectively dismissed it as an aberration rather than as a trend. As the years passed, we saw more similar situations characterized by "Gun Free Zone" schools where many innocents were murdered in a shooting spree by a "deranged person". Yet we still declined to address the problem.

We either rid our society of "Gun Free Zones", or we learned to identify and control madmen.

Both solutions were either unappealing or impossible, so we chose a third alternative: rid ourselves of guns. Britain did this to a greater degree, but our American politicians (see: California) took whatever surreptitious measures they could to accomplish the same effect.

The result: no protection to the huge pool of victims, because it is STILL illegal to carry a defensive firearm in an American schoolyard, no matter who you are or how thoroughly you have been vetted.

And children are still being murdered in schoolyards by madmen.

This dreadful trend will continue until our political leaders recognize and acknowledge that armed, responsible individuals are the only means of defense in this kind of situation.

Given the overwhelming evidence that our political leaders are loath to accept this solution, we will continue to lose our "best and brightest" to random violent acts by madmen, and we will continue to blame inanimate objects.

How stupid can we be?

California AB1471 has passed another hurdle

California Assembly Bill 1471 has been approved by the California Senate, and now goes back to the Assembly ... where it has already been approved. When the California Assembly rubber-stamps its own initiative, it will be passed to RINO Governor Arnold. No word yet on what he is likely to do.

Why should you care?

Because AB1471 is the "Microstamping of Ammunition" bill, which we have discussed here so many times that I'm not going to bother listing all of the links on this site alone.

The measure was MOST RECENTLY defeated a year ago, when it was known as AB352. It was newly released on 2/23/07 as AB1471, amended 3 times, and it was the July 11, 2007 version which was passed by the Senate.

Here is the California Assembly website containing all official documents related to this bill. The history (as of September 07, 2007) is here, and the September 6, 2007 Senate vote is here. (It passed the Senate with a 21-17 vote, with three absent, abstaining or not voting.)

Note: The High Road had this subject as a thread. Contributors seem dejected. I know I am.

Here's the introduction to the "Legislative Counsel's Digest" of this bill:
Existing law defines unsafe handguns as failing to pass certain tests, or lacking certain features, as specified.

This bill, the Crime Gun Identification Act of 2007, would, commencing January 1, 2010, expand the definition of "unsafe handgun" to include semiautomatic pistols that are not designed and equipped with a microscopic array of characters that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol, etched in 2 or more places on the interior surface or internal working parts of the pistol, and that are transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the firearm is fired. Those provisions would be subject to specified certification procedures by the Department of Justice regarding the use of that technology.

By expanding the definition of "unsafe handgun," the manufacture, sale, and other specified transfer of which is a crime, this bill would expand the scope of an existing crime, and thereby impose a state-mandated local program.
As you can see, this was passed as an extension of the pre-existing "unsafe gun" laws which have been , for the past several years, a transparent mechanism by which the liberal/socialist California legislature has managed to de facto outlaw perfectly functional firearms - mostly handguns.

One example of this movement is the "Drop Safety Requirement". Every manufacturer is required to submit (at no charge) an example of each model and variant for a "Drop Safety Test". The firearm is to be dropped (if I remember the details correctly) from a height of six feet to a concrete floor, hammer-first. If the hammer falls, the gun is declared 'unsafe'. I don't recall that there is any limit to the number of times the firearm must pass this test, but I do know that any firearm subjected to this test is rendered unmarketable if only due to the dings, dents, scratches and scrapes which are inevitable in this kind of 'destruction testing.'

Other provisions in this law: semi-automatic pistols must have both a loaded round indicator and (it if has a detachable magazine) a magazine disconnect mechanism.

The new verbiage is demonstrated in Paragraph Seven of he above-cited Legislative Counsel's Digest:

(7) Commencing January 1, 2010, for all semiautomatic pistols that are not already listed on the roster pursuant to Section 12131, it is not designed and equipped with a microscopic array of characters that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol, etched or otherwise imprinted in two or more places on the interior surface or internal working parts of the pistol, and that are transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the firearm is fired, provided that the Department of Justice certifies that the technology used to create the imprint is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions. The Attorney General may also approve a method of equal or greater reliability and effectiveness in identifying the specific serial number of a firearm from spent cartridge casings discharged by that firearm than that which is set forth in this paragraph, to be thereafter required as otherwise set forth by this paragraph where the Attorney General certifies that this new method is also unencumbered by any patent restrictions. Approval by the Attorney General shall include notice of that fact via regulations adopted by the Attorney General for purposes of implementing that method for purposes of this paragraph.

The microscopic array of characters required by this section shall not be considered the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number, or other mark of identification, including any distinguishing number or mark assigned by the Department of Justice, within the meaning of Sections 12090 and 12094.
(Italic emphasis in the original document.)

Based on purely anecdotal evidence (a September 7, 2007 article in the Southern California "Press-Enterprise", which is no longer available on the Internet ... the link is provided only to demonstrate that it was available three days before this article was written), the law is being interpreted to mean that the firing pin of the pistol would be micro-engraved to stamp identifying information on the primer of a fired cartridge.

I'll not belabor the obvious ways of circumventing this process by replacing the firing pin (considered a 'consumable part' by people who shoot a lot), or by defacing the head of the firing pin with a hone, or merely by the degradation of the micro-engraving by the natural effects of shooting during the life of the firearm. I'll only point that this is so easily negated that it has no justifiable value when considered in the context of a 'crime prevention' or even 'crime investigative' measure.

Obviously, this measure has only two goals:
  1. To impose such draconian and expensive restrictions on 'legal firearms' that manufactures will no longer sell to California residents, or;
  2. To insure that firearms which may be legally purchased in California are so expensive (as the cost of conforming to this law) that they are beyond the economic capacity of the average citizen.
As one of the more disingenuous provisions of the bill, it includes the provision that the restriction will only be effective "... provided that the Department of Justice certifies that the technology used to create the imprint is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions." You know, and I know, that if this bill becomes law, there will be a multitude of bottom-feeding 'after-market' manufacturers who will claim to be able to produce this product.

No provisions are made for proving their claims; it's sufficient that they claim to be competent to provide the technology.

Of course, each firing pin (if such is the mechanism chosen) will have to be carefully matched to the firearm, and you know that if the wrong firing pin is installed in a firearm, the manufacturer will be held accountable in any California court of law.

The California legislature will not punish the 'technology' provider; these are their friends. Instead, they will go after the deep-pockets manufacturer in hopes that they can drive him out of business.

This is such an obvious gun-grabbing measure, such a transparent attempt to get around the Second Amendment, the ruling elite of California should be ashamed of themselves.

But of course, they are not.

They're actually quite pleased with themselves. Under the guise of the 21st Century's version of a "Modest Proposal", they have managed to hoist a travesty of justice upon the citizens of California, and they didn't even have to suggest that they "do it for the children".

In fact, they didn't even offer a drink before, and a cigarette after.