Saturday, December 01, 2007

What the RO seminar is like ...

As could be predictably expected, our first day of Chief Range Officer (USPSA Level II) training was both more and less than expected.

Let's deal with the "Less" part first, just to get it out of the way.

"Less" is because of my own personal expectations. I really wanted someone to go through the 2008 USPSA rule book and compare & contrast the rules with the previous (2004) USPSA rule book. While NROI Instructer Carl Schmidt spent a significant portion of his time pointing out the new rules (as they came up in conversation, so to speak) that was his primary purpose for the seminar.

"Less" is also because, as you may recall from my comments yesterday, the original CRO course was primarily invested in Stage Design and Match Administration. I'm probably not so much surprised as disappointed (and, I admit, irrationally) that Mr. Schmidt did not discard the lesson plan in favor of teaching all his students about the new rules.

In fact, he mentioned at the morning break that he had read yesterday's post, and informed me quite firmly that yes, we were going to spend a lot of time on Stage Design.

And he was right, but we did kind of sidle up to it ... sidewise, like.


To present a 'coda' between "Less than expected" and "More than expected", it's significant to note that this is the first time Mr. Schmidt had used his Power Point presentation, which moved from the old (2004) USPSA Rule Book [including all the bridges between USPSA and IPSC] to the new (2008) USPSA Rule book [which deliberately includes zero references to IPSC.]

The thing is, the presentation, and the three tests in the CRO handbook, were based on the 2004 rule book which is in effect until January 1, 2008. Only THEN will these new rules be in effect.

What does that mean to those of us taking the class today and tomorrow?

The answers are wrong.

First, the presentation refers to IPSC rather than USPSA. That's a major BOO!

Second, the course book provides the questions and the presentation guide which is made available to the instructor provides the answers, but those answers are most often applicable to the 2004 rules version.

Here's where we began to really learn about the 2008 rules.

We had 3 tests today: the "Basic Test", the "General Test" and the "Rules of Course Design Test". In every test, we took the same questions as the 'last' class, but our answer source (the last two were open-book tests) was the 2008 version (the Blue Book); the previous class Mr. Schmidt had taught using this material was using the 2004 version (the Green Book).

As it turned out, many of the questions were confusing because they were designed to test the student's knowledge of rules which had been obsoleted. We (the class) would give our answers, we would discuss the reasons why our answers varied from the Course Guide, and Mr. Schmidt would dutifully note the parts of the questions which were causing confusion.

This is A Good Thing for the student, because it effectively provided a comparison between the two rule versions ... which was what I had hoped for.

It also rates as A Good Thing because hopefully, the next seminar Mr. Schmidt leads will be guided by an updated Course Guide; one which is based on the new rules.

It's not exactly as if the December 1, 2007, Seminar Attendees are throwing themselves on their rhetorical swords for the future benefit of their brethern, but this class is definately, absolutely providing feedback which will be used by USPSA to improve and update the course syllabis.

That makes me feel just hush-puppy warm, y'know?

At the end of the class today, I had hoped to discuss Arbitatration. Instead, we talked more about Stage Design, quick-coded some stages for discussion, and were treated to The Mystery Stage!

The Mystery Stage was included in the 2007 Area 1 tournament, and bears discussion.

Mr. Schmidt presented it as a lesson, providing the original stage diagram for our evaluation. We couldn't figure out what was wrong with it although Mr. Schmidt affirmed that the Area Director corrected the stage before the Area 1 Tournament actually began.

The key was in the stage procedures, which essentially stated:
At the start signal, draw and engage all targets through Barrel "A".

Here's where the Learning comes in, and I caution you all to pay close attention to the next half-dozen sentences:
  1. The new USPSA rule book states in the GENERAL PRINCIPLES: (1.1.5) - USPSA matches are freestyle. Competitors must be permitted to solve the challenge presented in a freestyle manner, and to shoot targets on an "as and when visible" basis. Courses of fire must not require mandatory reloads nor dictate a shooting position, location or stance, except as specified below. ( not included; see your current rule book)
  2. The stage design presented "... essentially stated:
    At the start signal, draw and engage all targets through Barrel "A"."
  3. That statement contradicts the 'Freestyle' stated above.
  4. The difference is, USPSA takes the Principles seriously. No stage which ignores this principle is USPSA legal.
  5. There are some exceptions for Level I matches, but they are carefully defined in much less 'broad terms' than previous Rule Book versions have used ... to the confusion of the readers.
  6. The thrust of the "Stage Design" training made available through this seminar seems to be to emphasize the importance of adhering to the General Principles, now as traditionally found in Rule 1.1 of the USPSA rule book.
This is Major Culture Shock to this Geekish competitor, and when sufficient time has passed (and a sufficient number of objections to stage designs have been registered) I suspect that the Culture Shock will be transferred to other members of at least the Columbia Cascade Section.

UPDATE: 02-DEC-2007
Uh ... no, I hadn't noticed that I spelled 'seminar' incorrectly when I posted this. Yes, I realize that "siminar" is only similar. I have corrected the spelling in the title, but unfortunately the title is used to form the unique URL for this article. That means "siminar" stays part of the URL, and my bad typing will haunt me forever.

Just as do my run-on sentences, pedantic sentence structure, excessive use of parenthetical comments, semi-colons and ellipses, and annoyingly arrogant assumptions that I am always right (nothing can be done about the last; I am ... always right.)

USPSA CRO Seminar - Day 1

Lucy, we have a whole lot of 'splaining to do here.

USPSA competitors have been so controlled by IPSC politics for so long, we've almost been brainwashed. It will probably take a while for us to rise up and sing Hallelujah! to the New Rules demanding "Shoot 'em as you See 'em" stage designs. And it will certainly take even longer for stage designers to become accustomed to providing FREESTYLE stages for us to shoot.

In case you have been reading this article half asleep, please allow me to make this point a bit more emphatically:

Rule 1.1.5: Freestyle -- USPSA matches are freestyle. Competitors must be permitted to solve the challenge presented in a freestyle manner, and to shoot targets on an "as and when visible" basis. Courses of fire must not require mandatory reloads nor dictate a shooting position, location or stance, except as specified below. However, conditions may be created, and barriers or other physical limitations may be constructed, to compell a competitor into shooting positions, locations or stances. Level I matches may use shooting boxes and specify where or when specific targtets may be engaged, and may specify mandatory reloads in short and medium courses only (not in a long course).
The changes are marked in red.

Other changes from the 2004 rule book: - verbiage beginning with the word "however" has been deleted. - entire paragraph deleted. - entire paragraph deleted.

The editing differences are significant, but the real difference is this; this rule-set is no longer included to pay lip service to the concept of 'freestyle'. Instead this is USPSA POLICY. Stage designs for Level II and Level III competition will still require USPSA approval, and those will be evaluated to determine their adherence to this policy. Stage designs which do not follow the concept of FREESTYLE will be returned for revision, and will not be approved until the required changes are acceptable.

This is a major, major, major, major change in stage design and it will drive (at least) changes in the expectations of USPSA competitors. With any luck it will filter down to stage designers, who will eventually reject any concept which does not include the words ... or at least the implication ... that the competitor may "Shoot 'em as you see 'em".

Devil take the hindmost.

Friday, November 30, 2007


There are no Practical Pistol Matches scheduled locally this weekend, but I've found something almost as good.

The Albany Rifle and Pistol Club has, at great expense, imported USPSA instructor Carl Schmidt to present the first seminar ever (in Oregon) for Chief Range Officers (CRO's) using .... the very newest and first ever Entirely USPSA (All USPSA, All the Time!) Rule Book, 2008.

SWMBO and I are very excited about spending all day Saturday, and much of Sunday, sitting in an overheated range clubhouse with 30-some other winter-pelted bodies, listening in sheer unbridled awe to the pearls of wisdom as intoned by Mr. Schmidt.

This is the same Mr. Schmidt who once pontificated: "If I ain't missing, I ain't shooting fast enough!"

This is the same Mr. Schmidt who sat on an Arbitration Committee with me at Area 1 in Bend, looking for the kindest way to tell the competitor that his logic just wasn't convincing.
(Competitor: "Yes, I did drop my gun when I burst through the saloon doors, but you can't DQ me because it came to rest with the muzzle pointing down-range, and I was always within arms-reach of it." No, I'm not clever enough to make this stuff up.)

Mr. Schmidt is obviously a superior competitor and Range Official, and I would go just to hear him talk.

But wait, there's more!

The 2008 USPSA Rule Book has been the point of much discussion on this venue. Many Cogito Ergo Geek readers were instrumental in evolving these rules. I point specifically to Area 1 Board Member, Mr. B. Gary, who is an occasional friendly critic of these writings, and I think we should all just take a moment of appreciation here and point to Mr. Gary.


There. I feel better now.

Having looked at the "Final, but not Final Final" copy of the 2008 USPSA Rule Book I do appreciate its major contributing editors (and authors). It should be interesting to, if nothing else, get an early look at the 2008 USPSA Rule Book in what must be, by now, at least a Galley Proof. (The book went to the printers on October 27, 2007 -- it should be appearing soon at a Mail Box near you ... say, around January 2, 2008.)

The Level II CRO course, when I originally took it in 1997, was primarily intended as a training session for stage designers, with more attention on the duties and obligations of match officials such as range Masters and Match Directors. The Level I Range Officer class (a couple years earlier) was all about the rule book, and how to apply the rules to real-life range scenarios.

That may all have changed by now. In the first place, we probably don't need as much time spent on Stage Design as we do the New Rules.

... [blink] ...

Okay, I know what you're thinking.

I don't REALLY forget myself. Yes, this blog has presented the occasional article which may have seemed mildly critical of stages I have seen at local matches. Maybe a couple of the stages were a run-through of stages designed for National Championships, and perhaps some readers might have considered my commentary a bit -- harsh. I admit all of that.

But still I insist that stage design concepts (as much as SOME people might benefit from professional instruction) are not as important at this point in time as training a 'cadre' in the new rules.

Oh, did I mention that Norm the Ungrateful and Mac were going to attend? Now if we could just get Paul M. and Evil Bill in the room, I would have nothing to say during match walk-throughs. (Note to self: wear Nomex vest to class tomorrow.)

Where was I?

Oh, yes: training a 'cadre' in the new rules.

Here in the Columbia Cascade Section, we have a history of trying to get up to speed on new rules even before the latest version is released. We were going around practicing saying "IF CLEAR, hammer down, holster" before it even became cool to say "IF CLEAR". I'm just saying this demonstrates a section-wide determination on the part of Range Officers to be aware and be current.

Your section is probably much the same. And I'll bet the same people do most of the RO work at club matches, and all the newer shooters learn from watching and listening to those same people. Those are the 'cadre' I spoke of, and I am very impressed that not only some 35 people volunteered to spend their weekend learning the new stuff, and are paying their own money for the privilege ... but some most of these folks are taking their first CRO class. They're not all retreads, like me, who go to classes out of habit.

In the coming months ... it will be Winter. From the feel of the air, a darned cold one, too. (Snow is a possibility as early as Monday in the Willamette Valley.) That means club match attendence will be thin for a while, which gives the newly trained CRO cadre a chance to work together in a few small squads where it's easy to reinforce the new things we expect to learn.

By Spring, we'll all be very comfortable with concepts like "Forbidden Actions" (this time next week I expect to know what that really means) and we can spread outselves thinner among the bigger squads, perhaps only one or two of us per squad, and we'll begin teaching other competitors how the New USPSA will look.

For at least the next two years, we'll be trying out new ways of designing and running stages. We'll train more Range Officers, we'll have new war stories about how this rule or that doesn't really translate as well in real life as it does in the book.

And I'll get to talk about every single new thing we discover, right here, until you feel blood coming out of your eyes and just wish I would get bored and post some blogmeat links or something.

New rules. A whole book full of them.

Talk about a target-rich environment.

I can't wait.

PS: To the Hobo Brasser ... you are going to be so owned when you get back from Snow-Birding.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

China: Navy Spat Not a Misunderstanding -

China: Navy Spat Not a Misunderstanding -

China is pissy about American recognition of The Dalai Lama, and Taiwan.

Read the whole thing, and the next time you go shopping you might consider the Chinese Attitude when you are thinking about buying a toaster "made in China".

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Criminals Have More Assault Weapons

ABC News: Officer Down: Criminals Have More Assault Weapons, Police Departments Say

H/T: The War On Guns

ABC News is beginning a new 'series' they call "Officer Down".

The supposed theme of this initial article is that the 'bad guys' have "Assault Weapons", and are essentially out-gunning the police.

According to one of the (embedded in the story) videos, one LEO says: "All I know is that we should have the same firepower as the bad guys".

I have no problem with that. I think they should.

I think that you and I, honest citizens, should also have the same guns as the bad guys, and for the same reasons that the Police want these guns: firearms parity is A Good Thing.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department is building up an arsenal of bigger weapons. Handguns and shotguns are no longer enough, and officers are being equipped with semiautomatic assault rifles instead.
You and I know that there is no such thing as a "semiautomatic assault rifle". By definition, a "semiautomatic assault rifle" is a selective-fire, non-pistol-caliber rifle. A "semiautomatic rifle" is not selective-fire (able to engage targets in both semiautomatic and full-automatic modes.) What we're talking about is a rifle which fires one round every time you pull the trigger ... which is entirely legal to own by most adult, non-felon, sane Americans.

But let's not quibble.

The article states:
Police departments from Danbury, Conn., to Dallas to Portland report that they are encountering more assault weapons and are arming their officers accordingly.
Fair enough, although the purposely shallow TV news article fails to quote an authoritative source for this statement.

But the next statement is a distortion of fact:
This surge of deaths stemming from semiautomatic assault weapons seems unnecessary. In 1994, President Clinton signed a law banning the sale of these weapons. But in 2004, President Bush and Congress allowed that ban to expire. Since then, Congress has made it illegal to keep nationwide statistics data on crimes committed with assault weapons.
Sunset Clause:
The fact is, the Clinton Congress pushed for a gun-control law based on Junk Science. No justification for the ban (eg: crime statistics showing that this type of firearm is a primary, or common, or even occasional firearm-of-choice in crime) had been established. The republican members held out for a time limit on the bill, which would expire and require a new vote in ten years. This is referred to as a "Sunset Clause".

(PBS had a typically Liberal, typically extremist discussion the day before the ban was due to expire. Diane Feinstein famously asserted that "gun owners" supported the ban.)

President Bush and Congress allowed that bill to expire!
The fact is that Bush promised to sign the bill making the Assault Weapon Ban (AWB) a permanent law if Congress sent such a bill to him. Congress defeated such a bill, (which was misrepresented by ("gun control advocates") because it had been shown not to make a difference in crime statistics. NPR tried a "Hail Mary" play to reacquire the Moral High Ground, but it didn't work.

This was perhaps due, in part, because a 2003 study by CDC (which, for years previous, actively opposed private possession of firearms) failed to prove the effectiveness of such gun-control laws.

"Congress has made it illegal to keep nationwide statistics data on crimes committed with assault weapons."
Actually, this is among the more egregiously misleading statements in this report.

The "Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act" is a complex law, and includes provisions which were specifically designed to prevent the certification process from become a 'registration' process.

Chief among these provisions is Section 102 (s) (6):
(6)(A) Any transferor who sells, delivers, or otherwise transfers a handgun to a transferee shall retain the copy of the statement of the transferee with respect to the handgun transaction, and shall retain evidence that the transferor has complied with subclauses (III) and (IV) of paragraph (1)(A)(i) with respect to the statement.

"(B) Unless the chief law enforcement officer to whom a statement is transmitted under paragraph (1)(A)(i)(IV) determines that a transaction would violate Federal, State, or local law--
"(i) the officer shall, within 20 business days after the date the transferee made the statement on the basis of which the notice was provided, destroy the statement, any record containing information derived from the statement, and any record created as a result of the notice required by paragraph (1)(A)(i)(III);
"(ii) the information contained in the statement shall not be conveyed to any person except a person who has a need to know in order to carry out this subsection; and
"(iii) the information contained in the statement shall not be used for any purpose other than to carry out this subsection.

(ED: Emphasis Added)

In later years, there was increasing pressure on the system to maintain these records for more than 20 days. At first it was evidenced as a need to 'back up system records' ... a data-processing archiving need.

Later, Law Enforcement Agencies (which shall not be named here) requested that these records be made available for "tracking" purposes. That is, serial numbers of "Crime Scene" firearms were to be compared to these records to determine the original purchaser.

These requests were initially met, and a large number of firearms purchase records were made available to some agencies.

Eventually, this became a 'registrations system' in fact, and Congress was requested and required to address the issue. In an evaluation of law, it became apparent that the unofficial accommodation of these requests was in fact not permissible under the law (the "Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act"), and consequently the administrators of the system enacted to enforce this law were directed to discontinue this 'courtesy'.

The implication of the ABC article is that Congress somehow acted to deliberately subvert the original intention of The Brady Bill.

The truth is that Congress required the administrative agency to conform to the law, as it was written and as it was enacted.

In the plainest language possible, The Brady Bill specifically stated that it was illegal to keep nationwide statistics on firearms ownership. This has nothing to do with keeping "nationwide statistics data on crimes committed with assault weapons" ... as long as these statistics do not include responses to Brady Bill record-keeping requirements.

The ABC statement is not only disingenuous, not only misleading; it is a blatant lie.

Here's an example of the 'true' information presented in the ABC article:

But the city of Miami has its own data, which shows that last year, the police department seized 10 assault rifles. So far this year, it has seized 50.

No problems with collecting this kind of information ... which ABC suggests that congress has suppressed. Except, of course, with the definition of the term "assault rifles".

And finally:

Miami police Chief John Timoney said, "There's a need for Congress to step in here and pass some reasonable legislation that reduces the availability of these weapons in the hands of people who shouldn't have them."

Until that happens, the arms race between the criminals and the police will continue.

Such laws are already on the books. And such an 'arms race' will always be a factor in Law Enforcement.

The difference is that LEO's are legally authorized to possess semi-automatic rifles.

In most jurisdictions, 'honest citizens' are already legally authorized to possess semi-automatic rifles.

And in most jurisdictions, criminals (ie: convicted felons) are already legally forbidden to possess semi-automatic rifles.

ABC, predictably, declines to address the issue of 'legal possession'.

It doesn't sell newspapers, or air time.

American Roulette

Knife Block for Knife Sadists or Circus Fans � Coolest Gadgets

You may want this.

I don't.
But that's only because I don't have room on my Kitchen Counter, and that's not where I spend much time.

It's a bachelor thing, you wouldn't understand.

Nyle Leatham

Shooting Wire: "One of the best-known and liked figures in competitive shooting, Nyle Leatham died last Friday after a short bout with pancreatic cancer. In addition to being the father of Rob 'The Great One' Leatham, twenty-one time national USPSA Champion, Nyle is widely recognized as the innovator in using remote photography to document the sport of practical shooting. It was Nyle's innovation that in the 1980s and 1990s first allowed readers of shooting magazines to actually see the faces of shooters in action. " [Ed: Emphasis Added.]
From The Shooting Wire (and also from so many other sources, such as the Michael Bane Blog), we learn of the passing of one of The Greats of Competition Shooting.

It may be a diminution of Nyle Leatham's Legacy to emphasize that he was the father of The Great One ... Rob "TGO" Leatham. But I doubt Nyle would object to this. I'm sure he was immensely proud of his "over-achiever" son.

Instead, we might take a minute to focus on Nyle's contribution to Competition Shooting, as is mentioned in Jim Scouten's "The Shooting Wire" eulogy.

Leathem was indeed the innovator who introduced the "Remote Camera", and provided us with fascinating photos of the faces of competitors during the actual target engagement and moving-toward-targets which added such excitement to (for example) cover photos for "Front Sight" magazine.

As a wanna-be photographer on a limited budged, I was never able to invest in the expensive equipment which safely allowed me to place a camera down-range. But I always sought the vantage point which would provide me with even a monentary glimpse of the face of The Shooter.

I was ever dissatisfied with "Butt-Shots", no matter how interesting they may be due to unusual circumstances.

Why? Because Nyle Leatham showed me that a frontal view of the shooter (or even a profile) was a much more interesting shot, and while I never expected to be able to provide, the sharp, exciting views which he provided as a normal state of affairs, I knew that there were always opportunities for a better view.

The quest for close, personal and identifiable Moments in Shooting Competition led me to situations which were momentarily hairy, but afforded me some of the best film footage (emphasizing videos, rather than static photos) of my career to day. I've been 'swept', I've been terrified ... but I have always chased the standard of competition photography which has been established, and exemplified, by Nyle Leatham.

Angle, lighting, close-action and context are EVERYTHING in Action Photography. These things I have learned from Nyle Leatham.

Nyle, this shot's for you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

November Blogmeat: Part Something-or-other

I've tried to limit the "Blogmeat" posts, because I prefer to provide original content. But I've been blogging much less lately because of the holidays, and most of the following wouldn't usually ordinarily generate a separate article.

But as I follow links from the websites listed on my sidebar, I continue to find links to sites which offer "something you should know". So I'll put aside my 'creative preferences' and give you a look at the sources and articles which I find interesting.

You'll probably find something of value to you, too.

From Syd's Snubnose:
Concealed Carry Laws in the United States: See

"Walk into a gun show, and you find yourself in a "Weapons SuperStore." demonstrates the perfidy of Television News Reporters who invite a RKBA blogger to an interview, then chop a 30-minute interview to a few Bowdlerized quotes which misconstrue his statements. (See the embedded link to see the video this reporter produced ... offering the "Brady Bunch" concept of the "Gun Show Loophole".)

Remember Shirley Katz? (Previous Geek Link here.)
Conservative Scalawag includes a link to "The Rest of The Story" from "Editor and Publisher."
NEW YORK The Mail Tribune in Medford, Ore., filed suit Oct. 12 against Sheriff Mike Winters to obtain a list of Jackson County's approximately 6,500 holders of concealed handgun licenses. The paper is trying to learn how many teachers hold such licenses.
We've argued against this in 2005, and again in 2006. Now it's 2007, and it doesn't seem as if the Media has learned to be responsible about preserving the privacy of firearms owners.

Carpetbloggers includes a link to a follow-up of the Rush Limbaugh/U.S. Congress "Phony Soldiers" kerfluffle.

We took exception to our own Senator Ron Weyden (D-OR) having signed the Reid Letter From Heck, and demanded an explanation of his willing distraction from his Real Job of leading the Nation. Weyden took his time replying with a self-serving justification, which failed completely to explain why he didn't bother to learn the facts before affixing his John Hancock to the perfidious publication.

We could have accused Weyden of being "Two Faced", but that would have opened the door for him to retreat behind the "Lincoln Defense".

Lincoln, when accused of being "Two Faced", famously said:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I leave it to the audience. If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?"

From the Annals of Sondra K, a gorgeous photo of a highly engraved 'machine pistol' (and link to the H&K description of the
MP5K) which I cannot view without wondering ... where can I find a holster which would allow me to use this in IPSC competition. Perhaps a Ghost Holster? Nawwww ...


And finally, just to maintain the IPSC and VIDEO related content of this blog, "Henning Shoots Guns" has a nice page on the USPSA Area 2 match at the 20th Annual Rio Salado Desert Classic featuring (among other exciting videos) this film of Local Hero (in Oregon/Washington especially) Yong Lee on Stage 7.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Effectiveness of D.C. gun ban still a mystery

Effectiveness of D.C. gun ban still a mystery - The Boston Globe ... RTWT (Read The Whole Thing)

The dramatic effect of this article is not that it questions the effectiveness of the DC Gun Ban, but that it has been published in one of the most Liberal newspapers in America ... The Boston Globe.

More important, it is republished from another of the most Liberal newspapers in America, the Washington Post!

Effectiveness of D.C. gun ban still a mystery

By Paul Duggan
The Washington Post / November 18, 2007
WASHINGTON - Three decades ago, at the dawn of municipal self-government in the District of Columbia, the city's first elected mayor and council enacted one of the country's toughest gun-control measures, a ban on handgun ownership that opponents have long said violates the Second Amendment.

All these years later, with the constitutionality of the ban now probably headed for a US Supreme Court review, a much-debated practical question remains unsettled: Has a law aimed at reducing the number of handguns in the District made city streets safer?

Although studies through the decades have reached conflicting conclusions, this much is clear: The ban, passed with strong public support in 1976, has not accomplished everything the mayor and council of that era wanted it to.

Over the years, gun violence has continued to plague the city, reaching staggering levels at times.

In making by far their boldest public policy decision, Washington's first elected officials wanted other jurisdictions, especially neighboring states, to follow the lead of the nation's capital by enacting similar gun restrictions, cutting the flow of firearms into the city from surrounding areas.

"We were trying to send out a message," recalled Sterling Tucker, the council chairman at the time.

Nadine Winters, also a council member then, said, "My expectation was that this being Washington, it would kind of spread to other places, because these guns, there were so many of them coming from Virginia and Maryland."

It didn't happen. Guns kept coming. And bodies kept falling.

There are many facets to this story. Not the least is that the Main Stream Media, at this late date, seems to be shifting its viewpoint from "If it saves one child, it is worth the effort" to "it isn't saving any children, why do they (D.C. politicians) continue to push this failed effort?"

No, not direct quotes ... but the implication is clear: the rats are deserting a sinking ship.

The 'sinking ship' is the failed anti-gun policy of Washington, D.C. And 'the rats' are the Liberal Main-Stream Media outlets which are desperate to divorce themselves from what the perceive to be an unsupportable political position: Gun Control at the Municipal Level.

As far back as April, 2000, The Globe was attempting to position itself as a moderate in the Gun Control debates.

On the other hand as recently as December, 2005, The Globe referred to the NRA as "... the powerful arm of the gun lobby".

At the same time, and in the same article, The Boston Globe referred to:
... gun control advocates in Congress [who] have been trying unsuccessfully to close the so-called ''gun show loophole," which allows unlicensed sellers to peddle their weapons at gun shows without having to perform background checks on buyers.
Pro-Gun = Lobby
Anti-Gun = Advocates


Boston Globe = Slanted News

And in April, 2007, Globe Columnist Derrick Z. Jackson bemoaned the "how toothless the Democrats are on guns at home."

Jackson goes on to say:
Last week's massacre at Virginia Tech that claimed 33 lives has done little to reignite the gun-control debate. One expects nothing from the Bush administration and the Republicans, who beginning with the 2000 elections have received 92 percent of the $9.1 million in campaign contributions from gun-rights organizations, according to the Center for Responsible Politics. [ED: link added]
The Democrats, not officially beholden to the National Rifle Association, have been cowards more concerned about reelection in centrist districts than the trauma to American children. The same Reid who bemoans the loss of life over a failed Iraq war said about Virginia Tech, "I hope there's not a rush to do anything. We need to take a deep breath." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ignored a question by a reporter on whether Virginia Tech would inspire Democrats to revisit gun control. All she said was, "the mood in Congress is one of mourning, sadness, and the inadequacy of our words or our actions to console the families and the children who were affected there."

"Inadequacy of our words or our actions" was a Freudian slip. None of the home pages on the websites of Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards says anything about guns in relation to Virginia Tech.
This commentary is clearly bent toward the Liberal (eg: anti-gun) viewpoint, which is more in keeping to the Globe policy than the most recent article. The Globe-sponsored columnist, as recently as seven months ago, is clearly an anti-gun advocate in that he is not willing to consider, let alone advocate, a position which accepts the possibility that responsible individual ownership of firearms on a college campus might have played an important part in deterring a massacre.

But in November of 2007 ... just over a half-year later .... The Globe has published a column not in the "OPINION" section, but in the "NEWS" section, which seems to support the proposition that 'The D.C. Gun Ban Is Not Working.'

Given the forum, and the context, it's difficult to conceive of a statement by the Main-Stream Media which is more supportive of the concept that the 2nd Amendment is, and will be defined as, an Individual Right of the American Citizen.

It seems fair to interpret this article as the single most emphatic acceptance that, as far as the MSM is concerned, the Gun Control movement is D-E-D- Dead.

And Good Riddance.

Dangerous Book for Boys (and Girls!)

As I had promised myself I would do, I bought the Dangerous Book for Boys for my grandchildren: one for my Daughter's children, and one for my Son's children.

(Soon, I'll buy them the "Daring Book for Girls")

My daughter and her husband came to Oregon for Thanksgiving, and I got to spend two days with them. I had met my three-and-a-half year-old Granddaughter, Samantha, for the first time two years ago.

This year I met my Grandson, Jack. He is 13 months old. Both are bright, cheerful (smiling!), personable, very blond and not shy at all.

Jack - shown here with his cousin Derien, who are New Best Friends, was a little to young to appreciate books (unless he is allowed to chew on them).

But Samantha sat on my lap as I paged through the book. We looked at the pictures and she was only vaguely interested in the Seven Wonders of the World, Building a Tree-house. She liked the Dinosaurs.

Then we got to "Archery" which was illustrated by a line-drawing of an archer ... holding (as seems appropriate) a bow and arrow.

"Whoa!" she exclaimed. "Bad Guy!"


Sure enough, she identified the archer as a 'bad guy.' She was convinced he was going to hurt someone. As far as I know, she has never seen an actual bow, or arrow. But the archer was a 'Bad Guy'.

Moving right along, let's look at baseball statistics. Samantha said she wasn't very interested in
the MVPs of 1957 (sorry Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron.)

Then we turned to "Famous Battles - Part 1".

"Look, here's Thermopylae, and Cannae, and Julius Caesar's Invasions of Britain", and ..."

"Ohhhh ... Bad Guy!" she exclaimed, pointing at a picture of the Bust of Julius Caesar.

"Honey", I said, "that's just a statue."

"No, bad guy!"

"How can you tell he's a bad guy?" I asked.

"He's tall, and he's mean, and he hurts people. Like this man" she said, pointing at the emblem on my shirt.

I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt I got at the 2003 USPSA Nationals, which featured a silhouette of an Open Division competitor.

"What do you mean? He's all white ... do you think he's a ghost?"

"No" she said. "He has this ... thing in his hand, and he hurts people with it."

"What makes you think he hurts people?"

"He points this thing at people [sound effects which remind me of the day I lost First Gear in the Porsche ... ] and he hurts them."

.... pause ....

"Oooo-kay ... let's move on to another page.

Look, here's the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Isn't that interesting?"

Obviously I have a lot to learn about communicating with three year-old children.

I have the same problem explaining the same thing to Liberals. There may be a lesson here.

I hope to spend more time with my Granddaughter, even though she lives 1,000 miles away. Not only is she a charmer, but I think I can improve my communication skills.

PS: No, she did NOT learn that from her mother ... my daughter ... who had her first BB-gun at 7 and her first .22 single-shot rifle at 10.