Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kahr Notes

I submit this in the most exposed candid mode possible; it is an email which I received recently, and I offer it here with NO expectation about its veracity. I have neither requested, nor received, permission to quote it directly. My expectation is that it has become 'generally available' across the internet by the time it reached me. And you.

I've included as much of the source data as has been made available to me. If you have information which conflicts wit that which is here presented, I hope you will do me the courtesy of providing the information in the COMMENTS section and reserving any condemnation for the original source.

I don't know if this is true; You'll have to work that out for yourself. (Imagine, a blog which asks you to think for yourself!)

Subject: [Dtiquips] Watch These Experts!

12 Dec 11

Impossible Demand?

NYPD, after requesting of Kahr Arms that they dramatically increase the trigger pull-weight of their Kahr-9 Pistol (a nominal seven pounds to thirteen pounds!), is now ordering its officers not to carry Kahr Pistols.

This all came about as a result of a number of recent NDs (no fatalities, but some resulting in personal injury, mostly self-inflicted) on the part of NYPD officers with Kahr pistols.

The Kahr-9 is an extremely popular concealed-carry/backup pistol, because of its high quality, reliability, and compactness. For regular concealed carry, it is hard to beat. I own and habitually carry several. Like most modern pistols, Kahrs are drop-safe.

But, as with all guns, you have to keep fingers off the trigger during those times when you don't want it to discharge!

A thirteen-pound trigger on a pistol that small would make it virtually impossible to use for any serious purpose by many officers, particularly those with small hands and limited hand-strength.

In general gun-commerce, Kahr could not give away such a pistol!

Once again, personal carelessness and poor training are being excused/covered-up by shifting blame to gun manufacturers.

Once again, truth is the first casualty when embarrassing events take place within police departments!

Once again, the Second Amendment is blamed by politicians and the media for all the ills to which flesh is heir!

"Same routine- same results! Loosely translated: 'When you keep doing the same old thing, you'll keep getting the same old results!'"

Dave O'Young

Dtiquips mailing list
Copyright 2011 by DTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

With respect and appreciation to the G-Man!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Son of Bob

Stephen Hunter has got another hit with his latest 'Sniper' book, "Soft Target".

His latest action hero, Ray Cruz (son of Bob The Nailer") is trapped in a mega-mall with a group of Somali terrorists armed with AK74s. The entire complex is in lock-down, local and federal LE forces are unable to make entry to rescue the 1,000+ American Christmas shoppers. His wife and her family members are among the actual and/or potential hostages, and Ray doesn't even have a gun.

To make things worse, when Ray starts scouting the mall, FBI HRT snipers try to kill him.

The action is fast, the tension rises, and Hunter introduces a Crisis Commander who is a literary analogue of an inexperienced, irresolute American President ... named "Obobo".

Buy this book. Read it now.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Deer Season?

This is the consequence of retailers starting their Christmas Season Sales before the end of Deer Season.

For some of us, it's just all so COMPLICATED!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Forty Short & Wimpy: Still kaBOOMing, after all these years

My Friend Gary the T-Man has started out sending (with permission) quotes from a highly respected firearms training facility.

This is one of the latest (November 23, 2011) "quips":

Subject: [Dtiquips] No Free Lunch!

23 Nov 11

No free lunch! This from a Range Officer with a big department:

"We ruined one of our department's G35 pistols (40S&W) last week.

During a range exercise, one of our Deputies experienced catastrophic
splitting of the pistol's frame, along with ballistic ejection of the
magazine. No significant injury, but the pistol itself is toast!

We found the offending case. It was split its entire length.

We started reloading our own training ammunition a year ago, due to the exponentially-increasing cost of new ammunition. Since, we're had a few incidents, this being the worst.

It seems, with high-pressure cartridges like the 40S&W, expansion during the firing process weakens brass cases far more than is the case with lower-pressure cartridges, and the phenomenon is not confined to Glocks. I suspect this is one reason Glock recommends against using reloaded ammunition, for any purpose!

In any event, we've reluctantly concluded that using 40S&W reloads, even for practice, represents false economy."

Comment: My friend is right! I, along with Glock, strongly recommend
against reloading 40S&W, 357SIG, and 45GAP cases, even once. Ruined guns, and personal injury, will quickly negate any savings in ammunition cost.

Dtiquips mailing list
Copyright 2011 by DTI, Inc. All rights reserved.

I've been bad-mouthing both the .40 Short and Wimpy cartridge, and Glock pistols, for years. (Search this website for the keyword "Kaboom".) Perhaps I have been overly critical.

On the other hand, in the past 10 years most of the "KaBOOM!" events I have witnessed, either directly or immediately thereafter, have involved either a Glock or a .40 S&W cartridge .. usually both, in combination.

A couple of years ago I conceded that this destructive malfunctions, perhaps caused by this combination, have greatly diminished; most probably because Glock incorporated better barrels (Fully supported) in their .40S&W chambered barrels.

Apparently, this has not yet been entirely successful in totally eliminating the "KaBoom!" factor.


Two of the primary reasons for the alarming amount of explosions of .40S&W ammunition have been (a) competitors reloading ammunition with very fast-burning powder, which reaches a peak pressure exceeding the ammunition design, and (b) using competition-loaded ammunition in pistols without fully supported chambers.

Relatively recent design/production changes, which incorporated fully-supported chambers in GLOCK barrels, supposedly "eliminated" these problems. It now appears that it has reduced, but not entirely eliminated, that problem.

This "KaBoom!" factor is the primary reason why, when I ordered an STI Edge in 2000, I specified 10mm caliber rather than .40 S&W. The Mighty Ten has a much stronger case than the .40 S&W, especially in the region near the base ... where most "KaBOOM!" events occur because the unsupported case AND the relatively weak case design usually result in explosive detonation.

In ten years of competition, I have never experienced a "KaBOOM!" detonation using a 10mm pistol/case, with a fully supported chamber, after thousands of rounds of major-power ammunition with USED ammunition, loading Vihti Vourhi N320 powder behind 200gr Montana Gold bullets.

Glock and Reloaded Ammunition:
Glock has, as the article specifies, ALWAYS warned owners against the use of 'reloaded" ammunition. This article demonstrates why that is a prudent precaution.

Unfortunately, when one is competing with ammunition which can cost approximately $16 per box of 50 (and up!), and expecting to use 'about' 150 rounds of ammunition in a match ... the $45+ cost of ammunition (plus the match fees, travel, etc.) places the cost of competition outside the range of fiscal ability for most of us, except for perhaps one match per month.

Most pistol ammunition is reloadable for $7 to $10 per box of 50 (assuming reasonable retrieval of expended brass), which is sufficient to allow TWO club matches a month, for the same or less price of using factory ammunition. (Probably less for 9mm.)

But Glock says "Do not use reloaded ammunition" for ALL of its products, even the Glock 17.

I agree, the cost of using factory ammunition is FAR less than the cost of replacing a pistol .. or worse, the pain and expense of hospital bills in the worst cases.

Still .... why shouldn't I accept both safety AND economy, if it's available in a different pistol/caliber combination?

Christmas, already?

Do you remember when the Christmas Season started ... well, around Christmas?

Me, too.

No more ...

(H/T: Gary T-man)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

USPSA Presidential Elections Run-off

Here are two (not so) very surprising results from the 2011 USPSA Presidential election;

  1. not very many USPSA members submitted their ballots, or submitted them before the deadline; and ..
  2. therefore, so few ballots were received that it was impossible to determine a 'winner', within the definition of the UPSA constitution.
The reason why that's not very surprising is that most people in USPSA don't much care who occupies the position of President; they just want to go shoot, and not be bothered with organizational details.

Isn't it odd that so many of us volunteer to work as Range Officers, and instructors, but won't vote on a Presidential election?

Well, no. No really

According to the accounting company hired to monitor the results (Jacob Jarvis) ....
about 5,500 valid votes were received, out of the approximately 18,000 current members eligible to vote. Which means that less than one out of three of us cared enough to register an opinion.

Again, this isn't all that surprising. Most of us just want to go shoot club matches. Some of us attend Sectional matches, fewer attend Area (Level III) matches, and typically about 500 individuals compete in National Matches (that is, 500/18,000 or about 0.3%; of the 2 or more National Matches, a significant number attended more than one match --- every year). And most of those National Match attendees are those who think they have a reasonable chance to win.

Note: I've attended a few National Matches, but never expected to win. I have never been disappointed; I never won.

This supports my original thesis; most of us just want to shoot. It's not that we are victims of ennui. As long as a national organization exists in any form, and club matches are still held regularly within a reasonable driving distance, and a working classification system is maintained regularly, we don't much care who is driving the bus.

Unfortunately, this is not characteristic of a healthy, thriving, viable organization. It does not provide a sense of confidence that this sporting organization can continue for the foreseeable future.

Let's look a the the run-off for President: Michael Voigt (the incumbent) garnered 2,639 votes, for 48% of the valid received ballots. Phil Strader (the challenger) received 1,890 votes for 34.4% of the valid received ballots. The three 'other' listed challengers received less than half of the votes, all together, that Phil Strader received. Total votes received: 30.2% of the ballots sent out.

Why Should We Care?
Actually, if all you want to do is to shoot club matches once a month, should you care who is the President of USPSA?

No, of course you shouldn't. After USPSA collapses, you can still get together with your friends every now and then and go shoot IPSC-like matches. It just requires a lot more organizational effort on the few people who are still willing to put on a match.

Of course, if USPSA falls, then there is no classification system. Then you won't be able to provide a viable "relative scoring" of one competitor to all others.

Is this likely to happen? No, probably not. At least, not for a while. If you are wondering why you really NEED a USPSA (or an IPSC) organization, it's ultimately all for the classification system. Most of us couldn't care less who is the President of the USPSA; after all, the incumbent is always intrinsically interested in the continuation of the organization, because this is where they earn their living.

Professional Shooters
Let's look at the two top contenders for the office: Michael Voigt and Phil Strader. These two gentlemen can reasonably be described as Professional Shooters. They make their living from competition and from training. Until Michael Voigt was elected in way-back-when (1998?), all of the USPSA presidents were more 'administrators' than 'professional shooters'.

They may have competed in International matches, but it wasn't because their primary qualification was name-recognition, because they were "professional shooters". They may have attended, and competed in, International matches; but it wasn't because they expected to win. They just wanted to shoot. Like you, and me.

Mission Statements of the President(s) of USPSA

And we have reaped the benefits of the vision of the current USPSA President, Michael Voigt. After all, he headed the effort for USPSA to semi-divorce itself from IPSC, as far as the American competition rules are allowed to differ from the International competition rules.

Or did he? Wasn't it the members of the Board of Directors who actually spear-headed the effort for USPSA to continue with a rule book which actually reflected the unique second-amendment friendly environment of the United States?

Many of the regions of IPSC could not legally compete because of the legal requirements of their national governments. I don't know how many IPSC Regions cannot use the "Metric Target", for example (because it is contrary to National Law to shoot at 'human-form' targets), but it is a significant number.

In fact, during the compilation of the USPSA rules of competition, Michael Voigt found himself voting against some motions of the USPSA Board of Directors, because Voigt was the only member who regularly competed in Level IV "International" competition.

But most of us in USPSA ... surely over 95% of us .... haven't ever competed internationally. We don't much care what IPSC thinks is an appropriate limitation on target shape or presentation. We just want to shoot at club matches, and the limitations that IPSC had enacted were anathema to many of us. The USPSA Board of Directors, in fact, led the way in deciding that, for example, a rule which disallowed targets to be displayed when rotated more than 90 degrees from vertical made no sense to us.

And we don't really like the IPSC Division definitions of Standard and Modified. IPSC doesn't recognize Limited, Limited-10, Single-Stack, etc. divisions.

European and other Regions are often restricted in the definition of acceptable competitive rules, because they have "local" (National) laws which regulate what they can and cannot do. For example, some nations (eg: England and Tokyo) will not allow their citizens to own pistols; they have to shoot with 'airsoft' guns, at best, and can only shoot 'real' guns by travelling outside their own country of origin. Consequently, they can't write a rule book which allows the same freedoms as we enjoy in America; they are obliged to bow to the dictates of their political masters.

USPSA Autonomy
And so, there is a decided NEED for USPSA to maintain its autonomy outside of the global anti-gun, anti-freedom agenda with which so many of our international friends must contend ... and we can ignore. It's not the American Way. It's the United Nations "Let's Make All Civilian Firearms Ownership Illegal" way.

I don't want some foreign government to decide what firearms I can and cannot own, nor how I can use them, nor what target shape (isn't that bizarre?) I can shoot them at. And neither do you.

What we need is a USPSA President who can stand up for 'inalienable rights' against intrusive governmental interference. That's asking a lot of the leader of a relatively minor sporting organization, although that is exactly what we would prefer ... if it was only possible.

We can't free our international friends from these intrusive laws, but we can stand up for our own rights and serve as a shining example of a nation where the government can't apply arbitrary restrictions on our Second Amendment Rights. Can other nations learn from us? Probably not; they have been so brainwashed by socialist agendas, they are willing to abrogate the competitive rules of their own sports, just to allow themselves their primary consideration ....

... they just want to go shooting on the weekends. Just like you, and me. We don't HAVE to go shooting every weekend, to remain active. It's enough to know that we can, and when we go to a match we know that there's not some interfering "Suit" telling us we're bad just because we want to poke holes in cardboard and make that steel target go

Whaddy gonna do?
So sometime in the next month, a majority of us 18, 197 eligible voting members need to send in our ballot and take a stand. The right to vote is essential to American citizenship, even if it's just to choose the leader of our sporting organization for the next few years.

What am I going to do? I'm going to vote for Phil Strader, instead of Michael Voight. Nothing against Mr. Voigt; he's an honorable man, and he's done his best during the past several years to keep USPSA on track and consistent with the priorities we hold dear.

My personal opinion is that it's time to bring a new man onto the scene, and see what he can do with the office. My hope is that he will be a leader. The BOD has been blessed with leaders during the past several years, but many of them have 'retired', and I miss their leadership qualities (even though I have offended a few of them with my criticisms on specific occasions.)

I don't personally know most of the current BOD members, so I'm hoping for a strong leader who will take our best interests to heart. My feeling is that (a) Mr. Voigt has done what he can in the past, and we need a new leader ... perhaps he has a new vision, and I'd like to see what he can do with the office; and (b) although this is not intended as a criticism of Mr. Strader, who is a good man and a great competitor AND a good firearms/competition instructor, I would very much have been able to elect someone who does not make (or augment) his living from his shooting career.

But if we must have a "Professional Shooter" as the next USPSA President, I would rather let the 'new blood' take his best shot at it.

I'm hoping for an A-zone double tap.

You can vote for whom ever you choose; but --- choose someone. Don't let my vote constitute too much of the valid votes, if you don't agree with me. Or even if you do. we're looking for at least a 50% return on the votes, this time.

Run, shoot, or get out of the way!

Jerry the (My "Honor Scholar" can kick your "Honor Scholar's" ass!) Geek

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


What Holder and administration apologists expect us to believe about Gunwalker - National gun rights | Examiner.com:

This from David Codrea, "Gun Rights Examiner", October 17, 2011:

If we are to believe Attorney General Eric Holder, he knew nothing about “Project Gunwalker” while it was being implemented, and did not first hear of it until a few weeks before Darrell Issa asked him about it in a May House Committee on Oversight and Government reform hearing.

If we are to believe him, any briefings he received did not discuss gunwalking. Plus he never read reports from senior staff.

If we are to believe administration apologists, not only is this so, but gunwalking was confined to the Phoenix office and the operations were conducted from the bottom, while senior ATF and DOJ managers were blissfully kept in the dark.

And Issa is on “a witch hunt.” So there.

If I understand this correctly, this is in reference to the BATF program which we have previously known as "Operation Fast And Furious" ... the federal policy which (a) required Arizona firearms dealers to sell guns to people who were obviously "straw purchasers"; and (b) attempted (but failed) to track the transfers of those guns to drug cartels in Mexico.

... and need we add (c) this program not only failed miserably in all of its vaguely defined goals, but ultimately led to the deaths of U.S. Border Patrol Agents, who were murdered by these same uncontrolled guns?

If you are not already outraged by the ill-defined and poorly executed policy, perhaps you will join me in being outraged by the all-too-obvious cover-up which the U.S. Justice Department has chosen as the 'best use' of the funding which we so generously provide them by our tax dollars.

I am far too furious about this situation to comment with any degree of civility, but somehow I am reminded of the December 7,l 1941, cover-up of the U.S. Navy's failure to perceive the threat of a Japanese Sneak Attack ... which (you may recall) led to the American entry into World War II.

The lack of leadership is similar, and I predict that the lack of accountability will also be similar. A couple of high-level administrators will be dismissed from government service, but the house-clearing will not reach the appropriate levels of accountability: in WWII, the Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox; and today, to the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder.

Heads should roll on this. But although Holder should suffer the same punishment as the innocents in the U.S. Border Patrol, he will not.

AND FOR THIS ONE ...accountability should go all the way to the President.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Soft Target

Well, he has done it again.

That intrepid Sniper-Novel-Writer Stephen Hunter has written another "Bob the Nailer" book, except it apparently stars the new hero, Ray Cruz.

Having read all of Robert B. Parker's "Spenser" books, I often wondered how he could keep a Korean War Veteran believable 40 years after the prime of his protagonist. Parker solved it by adding a couple of new primary characters ... including Jesse Stone (all of which video rights, incidentally, were quickly purchased by the TV star, Tom Selleck).

Hunter hasn't yet found a purchaser for his Bob the Nailer movie rights (with the possible, but failed, exception of his 2007 movie "Shooter", staring Mark Wahlberg).

Still, Hunter has committed to at least 3 new books since the completion of his last BTN trilogy, and the second seems to be "Soft Target":

The new book is due to be released December 6, 2011, and of course I've already pre-purchased it from Amazon.dom. I get a good price by pre-purchasing books by my favorite authors (I also, at the same time, pre-purchased Vince Flynn's newest book, due out in February of 2012).)

Hunter hasn't written a 'bad" book in the current century. I didn't like a few of his earlier efforts, although I changed my mind about one of his early books upon rereading it 20 years after publication. But since he hit upon the "Sniper" theme, he has done a fairly consistent job of writing; I only disliked one of his "Bob The Nairler" books, and that one featured his (Bob's) father's adventures in Cuba.

Many (most?) of Hunter's Sniper books are .. pretty far out there. But it's like watching movie cartoons; if you are not willing to suspend disbelief, you have no business watching the cartoons, or reading the books, because you are doomed to dissatisfaction. If Goofy can fly when he winds up to pitch a baseball, then Bob the Nailer can (for example) ride a motorcycle like nobody's business and hit what he aims at no matter how near or far the target is.

When Bob misses a crucial shot, the frnachise will fail. Hence (to complete the circle) the introduction of Ray Cruz.

Here's the pre-review from Down Range TV.

Soft Target a new thriller by Stephen Hunter coming in December | Outdoor Channel: Posted October 14, 2011

From Down Range TV

Stephen Hunter, the “father” of Bob Lee Swagger and a regular on our shows Shooting Gallery and Gun Stories, is back with another book. In Dead Zero, we were introduced to Marine Sergeant Ray Cruz. The now retired Marine returns in Soft Target which will be released in early December.

The following is the book description posted on the publisher’s web site:

Black Friday America’s largest shopping mall Suburban Minneapolis 3:00 P.M.

Ten thousand people jam the aisles, the corridors, the elevators, and the escalators of America, the Mall—a giant Rubik’s Cube of a structure with its own amusement park located in the spacious center atrium. Of those people, nine thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight have come to shop. The other twelve have come to kill.

Stephen Hunter’s hyper-drive, eighth-gear new thriller, Soft Target, chronicles the day when the unthinkable happens: twelve gunmen open fire in the mall corridors, driving the pack before them. Those on the upper floors take cover or get out any way they can; but within a few minutes the gunmen have herded more than a thousand hostages into the amusement park.

Go ahead and buy it. Sure, you may be disappointed; but what if you aren't?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The 9/11 Revolver - Katie Pavlich

The 9/11 Revolver - Katie Pavlich

B-b-b-Bye ATF? Part 2: Obama Disclaims

Document Dump: White House in Heavy Communication About Operation Fast and Furious

(Click on the title above to view the original Townhall commentary)

"What did he know, and when did he know it?"

This question has often been asked of Republican administrations, and now it is being asked of this specific Democratic administration.

President Obama has denied any knowledge of "Operation Fast and Furious":

"First of all, I did not authorize it [Operation Fast and Furious]. Eric Holder, the attorney General did not authorize it."

"This is a pretty big government, the United States Government, I've got a lot of moving parts."

Barack Obama June 2011:

"As you know my Attorney General has made clear he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico."

"The investigation is still pending and I'm not going to comment on a pending investigation"

"It wouldn't be appropriate for me to comment on the investigation if it is not completed."

But Townhall correspondent Katie Pavlich, in an October 2, 2011 article, suggests that Our President, Commander in Chief and Leader of the Free World might perhaps be less than transparent on this specific issue:

New documents from the White House show extensive communications between for Special Agent in Charge William Newell, who has since been promoted to a cushy position within the Obama Justice Department in Washington D.C., and White House national security team staff about Operation Fast and Furious. In the video above, Obama claims it is his administration's policy to "catch gunrunners and put them into jail," when in fact ATF and DOJ policy under Obama has been exactly the opposite. ATF agents were told by senior officials to allow gunrunners to put high powered weapons into the hands of ruthless cartels, not to arrest them and to allow them to go back into Mexico.

From CBS News:

The documents show extensive communications between then-ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office Bill Newell - who led Fast and Furious - and then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin O'Reilly. Emails indicate the two also spoke on the phone. Such detailed, direct communications between a local ATF manager in Phoenix and a White House national security staffer has raised interest among Congressional investigators looking into Fast and Furious. Newell has said he and O'Reilly are long time friends.

William Newell admitted during testimony on Capitol Hill in July that the White House had in fact been in contact with him about Operation Fast and Furious. Newell even referred to Kevin O'Reilly as, "a good friend." Previous to Newell's admission, the White House denied any knowledge or authorization of Operation Fast and Furious. Once Newell said he was in contact with O'Reilly, the White House then claimed O'Reilly and two other White House national security staffers knew about the program but didn't know "details."

Now, we know that White House National Security Staffer Kevin O'Reilly was heavily briefed about the details of the operation through emails and phone calls.

I guess it all comes down to whether or not you believe that President Obama has always and ever been entirely candid ... or truthful ... with the American Public.

Perhaps it may be helpful to put the question this way:

Do you recall ANY American President, from FDR (who was the President when I was born) on, who has always been entirely candid ... or truthful ... with the American Public?

hmmmm ...


Geez, they're all politicians! All they want is to get re-elected, and eventually to be remembered reverently so they can set up their Presidential Libraries and gets lots of speaking engagements which will pay them big bucks.

Like Bill Clinton.

Remember him? Mister "I did not have sexual relations with That Woman .... Monica Lewinski"?

Yeah. I thought so.



... there are corresponding "fallout" issues which have may have been generally overlooked by Media and Federal Administration authorities:

According to testimony, it has become common practice for retaliation to occur against ATF Agents who spoke out against their supervisor's corruption, even when operations had no logical backing.

[ATF Special Agent Peter] Forcelli [in his testimony] also added that while the ATF was ordering gun dealers to sell to straw buyers under surveillance, gun dealers were taking the heat for it, and being held responsible for violence in Mexico. He stressed gun dealers were not the problem. In fact gun dealers were helpful in pursuing cases against cartel members, making it blatantly clear law abiding gun owners are not at fault, but the government is.

[emphasis added]

It's never the government, it's never the leaders ... it's always The Little Guy who takes the heat.

It's a Wonderful World, isn't it, where the expression "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you" is automatically interpreted to be an exercise in irony.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

B-b-b-Bye ATF?

I received an email from "Llago" (not necessarily a frequent reader of this blog) which provided the (undated) text of a Townhall.com correspondent Katie Pavlich column, suggesting that the Department of Justice agency "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives" *(BATF, frequently referenced here as "ATF")* might possibly be deactivated:

Bombshell: DOJ Considering Elimination of ATF

Multiple sources, including sources from ATF, DOJ and Congressional offices have said there is a white paper circulating within the Department of Justice, outlining the essential elimination of ATF. According to sources, the paper outlines the firing of at least 450 ATF agents in an effort to conduct damage control as Operation Fast and Furious gets uglier and as election day 2012 gets closer. ATF agents wouldn’t be reassigned to other positions, just simply let go. Current duties of ATF, including the enforcement of explosives and gun laws, would be transferred to other agencies, possibly the FBI and the DEA. According to a congressional source, there have been rumblings about the elimination of ATF for quite sometime, but the move would require major political capital to actually happen.

“It’s a serious white paper being circulated, how far they’d get with it I don’t know,” a confidential source said.

After a town hall meeting about Operation Fast and Furious in Tucson, Ariz. On Monday, ATF Whistleblower Vince Cefalu, who has been key in exposing details about Operation Fast and Furious, confirmed the elimination of ATF has been circulating as a serious idea for sometime now and that a white paper outlining the plan does exist.

Sounds great right? Eliminating ATF? But there is more to this story. Remember, low level ATF field agents, like ATF whistleblower John Dodson, were uncomfortable conducting Operation Fast and Furious from the beginning, but were told by high level officials within ATF that if they had a problem with the operation, they could find a job elsewhere.

“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated,” ATF Whistleblower John Dodson said in testimony on Capitol Hill on June 15, 2011

In fact, not only were the ATF agents forced to carry out the operation, they were told to go against what they had been taught in training.

“This operation, which in my opinion endangered the American public, was orchestrated in conjunction with Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley. [Emory Hurley is the same Assistant U.S. Attorney who previously prevented agents from using some of the common and accepted law enforcement techniques that are employed elsewhere in the United States to investigate and prosecute gun crimes.] I have read documents that indicate that his boss, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, also agreed with the direction of the case,” Special Agent Peter Forcelli said in testimony on Capitol hill on June 15, 2011.

(Look for the name "Dennis L. Burke" near the end of this essay .... you may not be entirely displeased by the context.)

In the interest of "full disclosure", I checked the TOWNHALL website, and researched their archives for the correspondent, with no luck. I looked back for three weeks and didn't find the article cited. It's certainly possible that if I had taken my research farther back, I would have found it. [see update at the bottom of this article]

I did, however, find several current and/or recent (as of October 1, 2011) ATF-related articles by Pavlich, which suggests that she is pursuing the ATF-related theme assiduously.

Good on you, Cobber.

[In passing, I note that as of this date (October 1, 2011) the ATF website mentions neither the transition of the ATF director, nor the controversy of the "Fast and Furious" program. However, on August 17, 2o11 it does refute the "... Inacurate news report regarding 'Fast and Furious' personnel' ". The disgrace of the temporary, transitional and FIRED! acting temporary Director has yet to be addressed. Typical.]

You may not find the above-quoted material convincing; since I was unable to find the original article, and the submitted material did not include a publication date, I have no way of convincing either you or myself that it is legitimate. However, I am personally acquainted with "Llago". My own private conclusion is that the correspondent did write the article, and my inability to find it reflects upon my own lapses, rather than the correspondent or the website or the person who sent me the full text (the full text is available to you upon request, as email).

So, is the ATF dead in the water? I don't know.

I do know that, since Prohibition, ATF has been responsible for a LOT of "governmental intervention" in the realm of private activity. Were they more of a help than a hindrance during prohibition, when they prevented a lot of "bathtub gin" from being sold to private citizens? Perhaps ... but if the federal government (in it's wisdom) had not prohibited the legal production of SAFE gin, it might never have been a problem.

In the area of firearms manufacture and sale, what positive influence have they been?

In the 1992 "Ruby Ridge" fiasco, ATF agents entrapped Randy Weaver into cutting the barrel of a shotgun shorter than the ATF found acceptable, and then while trying to arrest Weaver an FBI
"Hostage Rescue Team" sniper (was there ever a more ironic acronym?) shot and killed Weaver's wife "accidentally". Was this an "Accidental Discharge"? No such thing; it's a "Negligent Discharge", to give it it's proper nomenclature.

And in the 1993 "Branch Dividian" massacre, ATF was instrumental in the assault on the Waco compound of David Koresh resulting in the death of over eighty American citizens ... including many children who can never be describe other than as "innocents". As the "Serendipity" website describes the situation:

After the February raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) of David Koresh's dissident religious community at Waco, Texas, the FBI and the U.S. Army took over, mounting a 51-day siege. This included such psy-war tactics as sleep deprivation of the inhabitants of the community by means of all-night broadcasts of recordings of the screams of rabbits being slaughtered.
(emphasis added by the editor)

Now we see "Operation Fast and Furious", where the ATF deliberately allowed the (questionable) sale, transfer and transportation of American firearms to "straw purchasers" ... which would ordinarily be rejected by the governmentally. audited retailer ... with the final disposition of those firearms to violent Mexican drug traffickers. The ATF has jumped through every hoop it could find to defend it's OFFICIAL "hands off" policy, based upon the concept that allowing such purchases would allow them (the ATF) to track the movement of arms to its ultimate receiver.

The tracking effort usually failed (not least because the "tracking devices" sometimes embedded in the illegal firearms were powered by "Radio Shack" batteries, which had a very limited life ... someone didn't think that through) and the basic fallacy of the policy became tragically (an embarrassingly ... for the ATF) obvious when a U.S. Border Patrollman was killed by one of those same "Fast and Furious" guns. The consequence: the egrigious and controversial "temporary" ATF chief, Kenneth E. Melson ... and his accomplice (the U.S. Attorney in Phoenix, AZ --Dennis L. Burke) were "replaced".

You know the old joke: "What do you call 600 attorneys drowning at the bottom of the ocean? 'A Good Start' "?

Well, this was another "Good Start".

It's not enough, but it's A Good Start.

Neither Burke nor Melson will lose their lives in as a consequence of their horrendous lack of judgement.

Unfortunately, we can't say as much for the innocent-but-dedicated (and now deceased) Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry.

Surely, Brian Terry wasn't the only victim of this ill-conceived and poorly-executed, failed Federal policy. But he is the sacrificial lamb who will inevitably be overlooked by history.

The ATF may be eliminated? Can you say "Goodbye and Good Riddance?" children.

I knew you could.

This morning I found the original article link on the front page of TOWNHALL. You may read the entire article here. I could not find a date on the original article, but the first of the (over 300) comments was dated September 30, 2011.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Oregon appeals court throws out university gun ban

Oregon appeals court throws out university gun ban:

Now they tell me:

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon University System cannot ban guns on college campuses, the state Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in a decision that overturns a decades-old prohibition.

I worked on the OSU campus for 15 years, and while I always had a firearm on-campus (if not on my person), the policy was that if I was CAUGHT with a firearms ... even though I had a legitimate CCH (Carry Concealed Handgun) license, the university was allowed to fire me if they found me in possession of a firearm on campus.

Now, I have been retired for about FIVE months, and the Oregon judicial system has only just decided that my determination to protect my private person is legally justified.

Why didn't they do this 15 years ago, when I first started working for them?

Fifteen years of bringing a concealed handgun on campus every day, worrying every day that I would be discovered; and all this time I never fired a gun .... never assaulted anyone ... never caused my co-workers to fear that I would attack them because of the rage which they KNEW was generated from the mere fact that I had a gun and might "go postal" at any given moment~

Gee, Folks. Had I only been able to testify that I had a gun on campus for fifteen years and my co-workers were still safe from me, I would have felt that my presence was justified. Maybe if I had felt that my job and my co-workers were still safe even though I carried (or perhaps they were 'more safe'), this dorky "administrative" rule would have been abrogated years ago.

Thank you Oregon State Court Court of Appeals, for finally noticing that University Workers were not the threat you should be worried about.

I will not even link to the Virginia Tech issues, or the comments I have already made defending the Oregon University System student who was busted a couple of years ago for having a weapon on campus.

I can't even say "It's About Time".

All I can say is ... "Thank God" that the courts have made this small step, which brings University Policy in line with State Law.

As for the Oregon State universities?

What a bunch of maroons, that it took a judicial ruling to make them wake up!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Felons BUSTED in Kansas for illegal firearms ownership

Shooting Wire

The folks in Kansas (and also the ATF) are SERIOUS about enforcing the law(s) which prevent convicted felons from possession of firearms .... and I'm glad!

WICHITA, KAN. - Sixty-seven defendants have been charged with federal and state crimes as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wraps up an 11-month operation aimed at taking guns out of the hands of convicted felons, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced today. Leaders of ATF, the Wichita Police Department, the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office, the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office and the Wichita Area Gun Task Force joined Grissom for a news conference to announce the indictments.

This operation was planned for one purpose - to make Wichita safer, Grissom said. I believe that every weapon taken out of the hands of a convicted felon represents lives saved and violent crimes prevented.Dozens of law enforcement officers and agents executed arrest warrants this week. Prior to the execution of arrest warrants, the operation recovered 200 firearms, including guns that had been reported stolen and sawed off shotguns, as well as cocaine, crack cocaine, Ecstasy, marijuana, methamphetamine, PCP and prescription drugs.

We focused resources on offenders who use and provide guns for the commission of violent crimes, Grissom said.

Federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from possessing firearms or ammunition. It also prohibits drug traffickers and users of controlled substances from possessing firearms.

I believe that this kind of action is a direct response to the constant complaint from responsible gun owners (including the NRA), which has for decades complained of Federal, State and Local administrations that " ...they want to impose new firearms restrictions on honest people; why don't they take guns away from the criminals, and --- oh, yes --- how about enforcing the 20,000 existing gun laws?"

Now they are. A lot of people are in a world of grief, because they are being prosecuted for making responsible gun owners look bad.

(Well, and also because they are violating laws which do NOT apply to responsible gun owners.)

The National Rifle Association has been true to the mantra for years; criminals should and MUST be prosecuted for violation of gun laws, in addition to their other felonies. While the NRA has not always had the same priorities as I do, at least this time SOMEONE in Kansas and ATF have listened to me, even if they haven't heard me. And I'm fully willing to credit the NRA for their continued drive to require enforcement agencies where the most egregious violations occur: the criminal element in our society.

Now we only need to other communities and states to follow the excellent example of Sedgwick County and the city of Wichita, Kansas.

"Dances With Wolves" would be proud of them.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Fellow Americans ....

We get letters.

Being a blog, we get letters from special interest groups asking us to please use our private forum to espouse their private interests. Sometimes I reply, usually I ignore them.

In fact, one of the reasons why I have been shamefully reticent about blogging for so long is that my "Irish" is up, not the least because of the 9/11 anniversary which I dreaded because I feared

Recently (shortly before the 9/11 tenth anniversary), one special interest group has been particularly adamant for me to post their plea for support of the cause of Islamic Acceptance. Finally, I declined, with reason.

Here is the original email, asking me to "sponsor" (by presenting their message) a group which wishes to portray Islamic Americans as just more "Americans". I like the idea, but not the manner in which their video proposes their message.

My Fellow American is a film project in the United States devoted to recognizing that Muslims are our neighbors. I am reaching out to you because you addressed the recent events in Oslo, Norway, on Cogito Ergo Geek and I am hoping you will share this message of tolerance with your readers. We’ve put together a 2 minute film that I believe you will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:


I would love it if you could post or tweet about this and share the video. If you can, please let me know. I am here if you have any questions. Thank you so much.
Incidentally, I do not ascribe to the philosophy of many radio talk-show host, especially Micheal Savage (who was extensively quoted in the video), because their format tends to demonize groups rather than the actions of individuals. On the other hand, some groups tend to have too many members who are just as fanatic as (for example) Savage ... except sometimes members of these groups use physical violence to further their aims. I don't like Savage, but I fear Jihadists who believe that the world should become a Caliphate, even by the Sword. To put it in simplistic terms: Savage is a nut; islamicists are a danger to innocents.

And I am reminded of President Theodore Roosevelt's speech regarding "HyphenatedAmericans" ... which includes Islamic Americans:
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all... The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic... There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.
I will discuss the subject of "Islamic-Americans" later in this post. Briefly, I think that's the crux of the problem. And no, the term "Islamic-Americans" is not mentioned in the video.

Just so it's clear, I think that our allegiance should be to our country, rather than to the unique religious choices we make. On the other hand, I realize that many people of every religion would disagree with me. For many people, their religion-of-choice is their primary guideline, and that's fine ... as long as they abide by the existing laws of their espoused country. For me, the deciding factor is whether our political or religious beliefs allow the slaughter of innocents.

The slaughter of innocents. That's a powerful term. And either our political or religious beliefs may take precedence, depending on our national culture. Still, we should not support any belief system which encourages us to murder our fellow man because he doesn't believe the same things as we do .... as long as his beliefs are similarly accepting of the right to exist.

In the U.S., we went through a terrible period of "Racism", where 'innocence' was often defined by race. We've pretty much got through that, even though we're still struggling with residual hatred. But it is not a national policy, and it is not supported by federal law (more on that later). We're making progress, even if it's slow.
Getting back to the video, it shows friendly, cheerful and productive Islamic American citizens who are free to practice their religion in public. If you are not an Islamic , you cannot practice your religion in ... for example .. Saudi Arabia. Do you know that you cannot bring a bible into Saudi Arabia? And they are a friendly country to the United States. How multi-cultural is that? Are they working to get past that? No, they are not; it is national policy, and national law.

Here's how "Multi-Culturalism" is working out in Europe:

(From "Mark Steyn Online: The Department of Sharia /September 20, 2011 and also published in National Review Online)

And in Egypt, also a Friendly State to America and generally considered one of the most 'liberal' of Islamic States (actually, not generally considered an "Islamic State", even though they are becoming more Islamic daily), if an Egyptian citizen held up a sign stating "Christianity Will Dominate The World: Islamic Statism Can Go To Hell" --- that person would be lucky to be arrested before the mobs murdered him (as was Egyptian Presidant Anwar Sadat after he had ratified a peace with Israel in 1981) ... or sexually assaulted her.

No, I do NOT believe that every Islamic is a terrorist. However, in the past ten years, every Terrorist has been an Islamic.

And before you say it, I am quite aware that this particular catch-phrase has been used so often that it has become associated with anti-islamic hysteria for the past ten years. As in; since September 11, 2011.

Name me one terroristic act in the past ten years which has NOT been perpetrated by an Islamic?

It use to be that we could point our fingers at the Irish. Sinn Fein seems dormant. The IRA hasn't made a lot of headlines lately, although it still active ... 22 terrorist acts in 2009, 39 in 2010.

But that is small change, and generally restricted to Ireland and GB. Islamist terrorism is ... may we say it? ... worldwide, and almost indiscriminate.

So why not accept Islamic terrorism with the same seeming equanimity as Irish Terrorism?

The difference is, many Irish are outraged by Irish Terrorism. We heard a lot of that in the Bad Old Days, but now the terrorist acts are so few and so relatively minor (when's the last time the Irish attacked America, or blew up skyscrapers, or tried to blow up airplanes filled with anonymous innocents?) that they pale to insignificance when compared to Islamic terrorists.

But I'm still not a supporter of the brand of terrorism that a few Irish support, even though they didn't demolish buildings and innocents on a grand scale ten years ago. Or ... ever.

And ... getting back to that video that we linked to earlier, with the smiling Islamics in America? Where in that video did anyone refer to, let alone OBJECT to, the terrorist acts repeatedly committed by their coreligionists?

No where.

Another reference to Mark Steyn, who recently (September 18, 2011) posted an essay called "MOLLIFYING MUSLIMS, AND MUSLIFYING MOLLIES", where he mentioned, in part:

Take this no-name pastor from an obscure church who was threatening to burn the Koran. He didn't burn any buildings or women and children. He didn't even burn a book. He hadn't actually laid a finger on a Koran, and yet the mere suggestion that he might do so prompted the President of the United States to denounce him, and the Secretary of State, and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, various G7 leaders, and golly, even Angelina Jolie. President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in.

Aside from all that, this obscure church's website has been shut down, its insurance policy has been canceled, its mortgage has been called in by its bankers. Why? As Diana West wrote, why was it necessary or even seemly to make this pastor a non-person? Another one of Obama's famous "teaching moments"? In this case teaching us that Islamic law now applies to all? Only a couple of weeks ago, the President, at his most condescendingly ineffectual, presumed to lecture his moronic subjects about the First Amendment rights of Imam Rauf. Where's the condescending lecture on Pastor Jones' First Amendment rights?

The President of the United States publically denounced this irrelevant clergyman for speaking his mind

And that, friends in INSTITUTIONAL terrorism, committed by our own Federal Government. It is a matter of national policy that nothing which can remotely be described as detrimental or insulting to Islam will be tolerated in The Land Of The Free and The Home Of The Brave.

Why is that so?

It happens because our national leadership has decided to meddle in the 'national conscience', to determine what is and is not acceptable for us to think about religion, tolerance and acceptance in America. The Constitution of the United States be damned; Obama didn't like it, and so he sent the attack-dog lackeys of the American Press to vilify this private individual.

(Yes, the parson is a jerk. The First Amendment of the Constitution was codified to protect the rights of Free Speech for unpopular opinions. If we liked what he had to say, we wouldn't need a First Amendment.)

It's not enough that the president has infringed on the First Amendment Rights of a private American citizen, but our current culture has gone totally ape-shit in its surge to back the president .... in an attack on a private citizen who had broken no laws. And it is, the press at the same time supported an attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. So much for the white coat-tails of the Fifth Estate.


So, when I get emails asking me to "sponsor" a video which presents Islamics in America as totally joyful and non-aggressive, I have to ask: "Where's the beef?"

What happened to showing both faces of the culture which is not assimilating itself into the American culture? Instead of becoming more American, and speaking out against terrorism ... adherents of this religion expect us to accept it without acknowledging that many of its members have as its basic priority that we should be forced to abandon our culture in favor if its religious fanaticism?

I don't think so.

When I see that the News Of The Day features Americans (who just happen to be Islamics) speaking out against terrorism, I will consider supporting that concept.

But that won't happen until Islamics (who just happen to be Americans), have made it a priority that they don't want to change the American culture.

Today, Islam is not just Another Pretty Face. If they want to be accepted, Islamics must conform to American culture; not we to theirs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How You Tube Really sucks ....

How not to change a mag. - YouTube

Here is a video of an IPSC shooter who does a mag-change, with an Open Gun, and rocks with the next 18 (+/-) rounds to finish a stage on what appears to be in indoor range.

The shooter is shown without any reference to the target, so it's difficult to see the shooting problem which he is addressing.

But look at the comments on the video ... almost everyone who contributes to the discussion is critical, but they're not clear on why they denigrate the shooter.

Some of the critics mention the high-capacity (?) magazine, but even they are not clear on why they seem to think this is 'a bad thing'. Could it be because they are not permitted to have a magazine with 19 rounds capacity in their home country?

Okay, I'm not really sure why the commenters are so critical about this shooter. Sure, he bobbles the mag change .... but most people who care enough to contribute comments don't seem to care much about that, although those who DO mention it seem either to hot have mucked up a reload, or they have no idea what it's like to reload a 170mm magazine.

My personal evaluation is a combination of the above. Specifically:
(a) they don't like that he has a big magazine;
(b) they don't really understand what IPSC competition is about;
(c) they are envious that he has "better" equipment than he has;
(d) they are entirely ignorant about the nuances of IPSC competition
(e) they are a bunch of people who are so dominated by their country's political limitations on their persona freedoms that they can't understand that a man DOES have superior competitive equipment, because he CAN buy anything he can afford.

I think it's sad that this guy is denigrated by people who should be his "peers". The comments reveal their "Sour Grapes" attitude. Because they can't legally own equipment which is competitive, they feel the need to criticize him because he lives in a country which is constitutionally forbidden to deny his right to buy reliable pistols without restricting magazine capacity.

I'm going to keep an eye on that YouTube Video. Reading the criticisms there helps me to remind myself that a LOT of people do not have access to normal equipment ... and they are so pissed off about it, they are ready to criticize a man who has full rights to buy and use whatever equipment he can afford.

What a bunch of maroons!

The First Priority

Sue's DQ - YouTube

The YouTube Video is not clear, but it seems that the lady brought loaded magazines to the Safety Table in her hand. This is a clear violation of rule 10.5.12:

10.5.12 Handling live or dummy ammunition (including practice or training rounds, snap caps and empty cases), loaded magazines or loaded speed loading devices in a Safety Area, or failing to comply with (http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif Rule 2.4.1. )
The word “handling” does not preclude competitors from entering a Safety Area with ammunition in magazines or speed loading devices on their belt, in their pockets or in their range bag, provided the competitor does not physically remove the loaded magazines or loaded speed loading devices from their retaining or storage device while within the Safety Area.

If the shooter brought loaded magazines in her hand to the safety table, the rule is appropriately applied.

This is a rare and difficult enforcement of the rule; it requires that the competitor violate safety rules in the presence of a Range Officer, or someone wh is qualified to act in that capacity.

IF the supposition is true (the competitor did 'handle live ammunition' at the safety table) then the DQ is legitimate. No question about it.

This has always been one of the more difficult Safety Rules to monitor. Again, it presupposes that the infraction occurred in the presence of a Range Officer.

At the same time, it's one of the easiest Safety Rules to break. You see in the video that the competitor was paying more attention to her conversation, than to the safety rule.

It may happen that the purpose of this competitor's live is to provide a good example of a bad practice.

Competitors may handle ammunition ANY WHERE on the range .... except at the Safety Table. Until she actually laid the loaded magazines (?) on the table, she was deemed "safe".

During my "Introduction to USPSA" classes, I try to emphasize that all safety infractions are similarly penalized by a Match DQ. This rule is difficult to illustrate, because I have never seen a violation. Now I have seen one, and while the Match DQ seems "friendly", it had the same necessary consequence; the competitor seems to be insufficiently aware of safety considerations, and is disqualified from further competition.

I think this DQ Judgement, while unusual and perhaps a little bizarre (given the circumstances) may well serve as a valuable example to both new and old shooters, for a variety of reason:

  • ALL Safety rules are equally applicable, and must be imposed upon EVERY incidence;
  • Participants in USPSA/IPSC competition are perceived in a common practice; running around with loaded gun (not at all times ... supposedly). We are all subject to the most stringent safety rules, and a violation of ANY rule necessitates a Match DQ, because it illustrates that the offender is not in the right mental state to be trusted with his/her loaded gun;
  • This incident was clearly a situation where the 'offender' has been distracted, and yet the most powerful consequence (being disallowed to continue in competition) has arbitrarily been imposed upon her. This is entirely appropriate. The existing rules serve to identify an "un-aware competitor", and remove her from the competitive. The rules work to support the primary goal of "SAFETY", above all other considerations.
  • If the safety rules sometimes seem to be too harsh, they still impose the SAFETY priority; even in marginal circumstances, they identify and remove unsafe shooters from the competitive environment. This serves the sport, and guarantees the safety of other competitors wh share the range with the unsafe violator.
The last two discussion points obviously overlap. This is entirely within the philosophy of competitive Safety Ruless, which apply a "Belt AND Suspenders" method of stopping unsafe shooters before they can violate even more drastic Safety Rules.

We want everyone to go home from the match without injury, or fear of injury. If one competitor is forbidden to compete (for reasons of safety), that is MUCH better than that this or another competitor be injured.

We will NOT accept an unsafe shooter into our ranks. If a competitor cannot understand, accept and practice the safety rules 100% of the time, it's better to penalize that shooter than to ask other competitors to accept the risk of allowing unsafe conditions to exist.

We are safe.

That is the first priority.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Judge Judy on TSM: Entitlement?

The Smallest Minority: The Entitlement Mentality

"You know what I'm sayin'?"

I get SO tired of hearing that from clueless persons.

Kevin BAKER zeroes in on "What's Wrong With America Today!" *

*(Freeloaders who think they're 'entitled' to the money they get for 'free'.)*

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Wil and Grace

Actually, their names are William ("Call me Wil") and Betsy. Betsy is Wil's sister, and they magically appeared at the August "Introduction to USPSA" class at the Albany Rifle and Pistol Club.

Will and Betsy are brother and sister, and I was privileged to provide instruction to them about IPSC Competition. Yes, I've spoken of this "Introduction to USPSA" class before, and invariably in positive tones. I love teaching the class, because it provides me with the opportunity to meet some of the very nicest people in the state with the goal of introducing them to the principles and policies of IPSC competition in Oregon.

Of course, we're trying to acquaint them with the culture and practices of competition, but we're also trying to help them understand the Safety Rules which keeps us all safe while we're running & gunning with pistols ... "designed to shoot people", as the gun-grabbers contend, but actually the most fun target practice to come our way since Pub Darts.

Wil and Betsy are gregarious, nice people who have no desire to shoot other people. They're just tired at shooting at [ho-hum, BORING] bullseye targets, and thought that a more complex shooting sport would add vinegar to their sports shooting. (Not to mention that it would confirm the three rules of shooting safety, and help them feel more comfortable during their first few matches -- because it will teach them what to expect, how a pistol match is conducted, and how their fellow shooters will expect them to act.)

A word about the "three rules of shooting safety", and how the Intro to USPSA class reinforces them:

(1) "ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction."
This is enforced by the IPSC/USPSA safety rules, which dictate that anytime your pistol wanders away from being definitively pointed 'downrange', you will be stopped by the Range Officer and you will not be permitted to continue shooting for the duration of the match. The basis for this penalty is that you have demonstrated that you are not in the "safety" mind-set today, so while you are welcome to stay and watch ... we don't trust you today. Maybe next week, eh?

(2) "ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot".
Another safety rule in IPSC/USPSA -- you must keep your finger off the trigger (a) when you are reloading, clearing a jam, or otherwise not actively engaging a target and (b) when you are moving, unless you are actively and obviously engaging a target.

(3) "ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use"
IPSC/USPSA ranges are always "cold ranges" .... the only time you can handle your pistol AND your ammunition is when you are on the line, ready to begin engaging legitimate targets, and under the direct personal supervision of a Range Officer.

(Actually, the founder of IPSC .... Colonel Jeff Cooper ... proposed a fourth rule:

"Be sure of your target and what is behind it."

Since IPSC/USPSA competition always takes place in a closed and supervised range setting, the target and background are placed and constructed to be ALWAYS safe .... so while this rule is certainly valid, it is accepted as a 'given quantity' in this milieu.)

Back to the class:

Actually, Wil's wife, Beth, would have also attended this class. Unfortunately, she was physically unable to attend because she had taken her penultimate Chemotheraphy treatment on Thursday. As we know, the day after Chemo the patient feels great; but when the drugs wear off, in about 36 hours, they feel very not-so-great and do not feel attracted to any physical activity, nor do they enjoy the heat of an August Saturday at the range.

I understand this. My personal experience with the long struggle with Cancer treatment which SWMBO endured has sensitized me to the discomfort of Chemotherapy. I had, in fact, tried to avoid the subject when Wil and Betsy were going through the course. It was only toward the end, when Wil asked my direct questions about SWMBO (I had unwisely referred to her positive experiences with IPSC/USPSA competition) that I admitted, that ... well, SWMBO didn't make it. The chemo never worked for her.


The good news is that, again, Beth is completing her treatment, and it seems to be working for her. Wil tells me that she is in fact an NRA instructor, and they are both active in the Four Corners Gun Club in Salem. Going through the certification course is something that Beth wants to do at least as much as Wil and Betsy did. I've made tentative arrangements with Wil to provide a special class next weekend, with Beth as the only student and Wil there to provide support.

Wil and Betsy are good people. They both agree that Beth is the 'pistol' (in the sense of being very competent, very goal-oriented) shooter in the family. As they talked about Beth, the things they say about her reminded me very much of the things I've always said about SWMBO: competent, strong, dedicated and a leader.

I'm looking forward to meeting Beth. Maybe she will let me talk about her experience in a week or two.

And if she won't ... I won't talk about her. She must, after all, "be obeyed".

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Are You Still Alive?"

Last week I received a phone call from my friend, The Hobo Brasser, asking if I was still alive.

Good question.

His point was that I haven't been attending IPSC matches locally, haven't been in touch with my Usual Suspect friends, and haven't posted anything on this blog since ... Whew!

Independence Day!

When I responded to the effect that I THINK I'm still alive, he responded with the emphatic suggestion that I ought to, at least .. "Write Something!"

Good Idea.

The thing is, there is SO much going on (Norway and El Presidente being two very good examples) that it's difficult for me to write without blood dripping from my well-bitten tongue.

I don't know what to write about first, given that my sense of outrage over The World's increasing propensity for outrageous can't begin to keep up!

SOooo ... forgive me if I don't try to Keep Up.

For example:Norway's modern-day pseudo Viking slaughters 6+ random strangers with a bomb and goes on to slaughter 86 (+/-) teens on an isolated island ... and NOBODY raises a hand to stop him for hours? I cannot begin to express an opinion here. I don't know whether to comment on the increasingly virulent anger of "non-socialized" sociopathic predators, or the society which denies that they exist, have ALWAYS existed, WILL always exist ... and in their liberally blindered home-made society refuses to acknowledge the continuing existence of evil; or whether to comment on an American President who seems determined to spend-and-tax the richest nation in the history of the world into bankruptcy.

God knows I'm incapable of properly addressing either phenomenon, let alone both.

I've resolved to allow other writers, who are capable of dissecting sociopathic abnormalities more eruditely than me, to address these immediate stories.

The truth is that I am so absolutely appalled that I cannot fathom either phenomena, let alone dissect either with the hope of providing some profundities for your erudition.

There was a time when the worst we could imagine was the total destruction of the world in a whirlwind of Atomic Fire.

At the time, we thought that was The Worst Thing That Could Happen.

Now we imagine that the world will end, as T.S. Eliot suggests, " ... not with a Bang, but with a Whimper".

Forgive me if I seem excessively negative, but for me; I would vote for the Big Bang Theory of TEOTWAWKI ("The End Of The World As We Know It")

Note: I also thought that the best world I could leave to my children was one in which my children would NOT have to go to war. Now my son is in the Navy, and is a Master At Arms ... essentially, a Navy Cop. As it happens, this is among the brighter hopes for tomorrow, as I see it now.

"A Penny for The Old Guy".

One of the Good Things about growing old, is how much we can learn about our changing world. I'm glad that my Gentle Ben is learning to be aggressive, skilled, reactive and proficient in the ways of personal combat .. and most recently he's gone to Armorer's School. This may be one of the most positive influences on my personal Next Generation.

Well, along with the cranky Black Irishmen that my daughter had the presence of mind to marry.

Anyone who prefers 18 year old Jameson is okay in my book.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Independence Day

The preparations for The Geek Family Independence Day are progressing well, thank you for asking.

Life is good when you're the King of the Family.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

ChronoGeek, Part 1

Today was the RO Match at the USPSA Area 1 tournament --- Albany Rifle and Pistol Club; Shedd, Oregon.

(Actually, it started yesterday but the Chronograph was not yet operational. The equipment had not yet arrived.)

A bit of explanation here. I'm claiming the title of ChronoGeek because it's my blog, and I can do that. But I'm not the CronoDude. That would be Loren (whose name I invariably mis-spell, so I'm not going to worry about it). Loren has been officiating at IPSC/USPSA matches for literally Decades, and many of those tasks he shard with his wife, Sherrie. (Loren lost Sherrie to Cancer a year ago last December, and since I have lost Sandie last November, we have a lot to talk about. He's good company, and I admire his skills.)

We decided that Loren would handle all things related to the CE Chronograph ... actually, two chronographs arrayed in tandem in a light-box ) and I would just be the shooter.

As it turned out, I'm not only doing the shooting, but I'm also pulling bullets from the 8-round "sampler pack" and weighing them so we have 1/2 of the equation for determining Power Factor.

Loren records the bullet weight before I fire the competitor's ammunition from his/her firearm, and the new-version CE chronograph hardware/software determines the power factor. This is a great improvement on previous chronograph versions, and it simplifies our task of determining whether the competitors makes Major Power, or even meets the Minimum Floor for Minor Power (especially in Production Division, where everyone is deemed to be shooting Minor Power regardless of the caliber and PF of the actual load.)

This morning we met at the range at 7am, SHARP! The two new Chronograph arrays had arrived from Competition Electronic (CE), as promised.

It took 3 hours for Loren to assemble the dual-chrono array in the light-box, and even then he couldn't get it to work. Apparently one of the sensors was not registering the 'exit' incident, so it could not compare the velocity recorded by the first chronograph.

As it turns out, Loren had a 'older' (but compatible) sensor array, so he replaced the malfunctioning sensor with a proven working sensor, and we finally ended up with a tandem array with working sensors which could be mutually verifying. It was almost noon when we could begin actually chronographing the sample loads collected the previous day, and during the Thursday shoot.

In the meantime, I was busy pulling bullets from each ammunition sample, and recording the bullet weights.

I discovered that being the "Designated Shooter" at the Chrono Stage is a dream job. I would have done this for no pay at all! (Actually, I did; although the MD bought lunch for all the RO's, we don't get paid unless we are from "out of town", in which case the Match Director pays for our housing. I live 20 minutes from the ARPC range, so I donated my time and mileage in return for a free lunch, and the opportunity to shoot the firearms of over 300 competitors, plus 50 match-staff .. using their guns and their ammunition!

Talk about a Dream Job!

Tomorrow, we find ourselves beyond the R.O. Match and working with paying customers. Loren and I have had this one day to work up our routine, and by the end of the day we were running shooters through the Chrono stage with fair efficiency.

There were only a few incidents to blight our enjoyment.

If the first ... oh, I don't know --- about 100 competitors including the match staff .. we had to disappoint two shooters when their ammunition didn't support their declared "Major Power" status. I hate it when that happens. It's like DQ-ing a shooter, except it happens more frequently. Major bummer, for them and for us. We always want everybody to make Major Power if that's what they need; unfortunately, either because of using factory ammunition, or because of different climatic conditions between their home range and 'this' range, it doesn't always happen.

The other Major Disappointment of the day was the last shooter that we Chronographed. We had only a few shooters who hadn't had their ammunition chronographed, so we pulled them off the last stage of their day and ran them through the Chrono Stage. This shooter was still waiting to shoot the last stage of his first match day, but agreed to go through the chronography experience anyway, just so Loren and I could close down the stage and go home.

The first shot I fired through his Open gun was weird; when I tried to pull the trigger; it wouldn't move. I had to put a LOT of pressure on the trigger to get it to fire; it was extremely resistant to ANY movement of the trigger.

The second round, I tried 3 times before I could get the trigger to move. I commented to the shooter: "What's with this trigger, how can you shoot with it? It must be at least an 8 pound trigger, and I have to really work to get it to break!"

He said: "I don't have any problems with the trigger, it's not that tough".

So I pulled the trigger on the third round ... and the left-side of his ambidextrous safety fell off.

Oh, he made Major Power, okay. But his gun was broken and he still had to shoot his last stage of the first day. Plus come back the next day and shoot another half-dozen stages.

I really hope he's a very good gunsmith, AND that he has extra parts. Because the left-side of his ambidextrous safety looked well and truly broken, both to me and to Loren.

maybe he was lucky. If he had shot that gun on the last stage, he would have zeroed the stage. Nothing we did would have accounted for the breakage; it was just bad luck.

At least this way, he has the overnight opportunity to find and install replacement parts.

I hope he can manage it.

We'll let you know tomorrow how this works out ... if we can track the shooter.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pendulum Waves

YouTube - Pendulum Waves

Hat Tip: G-man

Ho Hum - Bicycles: just another Excellence in Performance video

YouTube - Danny MacAskill - "Way Back Home"

I want you to watch this video, and think about just how much Excellence in Performance is demonstrated here.

Done watching?

Pretty damn impressive, wasn't it?

Now, go watch Athena Lea's performance at the latest major USPSA match ... 2011 Double-Tap Match. Go ahead; if you haven't seen it yet, go watch it. We'll wait.

No, even if you HAVE seen it before, go watch it again.

And while you're watching that video, keep in mind the differences between the two videos.

The Danny MacAskill - "Way Back Home video showed one person, in carefully chosen milieus, performing stunts which the common person could not even imagine himself doing. It's breath-taking. It's beautiful (not in the least because of the background music) ... in a controlled, stolid and consistent setting. When we watch this, we are in awe. We can only imagine the years of practice and dedication which allows and leads one person to accept and overwhelm such challenges of balance, speed, and power.

I'm impressed. Aren't you? If you aren't, you should be.

But consider the Athena Lee video. How are the challenges SHE faces any less intimidating? How many years has she practiced her skills .... and in the effort competed against a multitude of people no less skilled, no less dedicated, no less practiced over and over again.

Or, how are her challenges MORE intimidating? Other than, of course that she is competing, rather than making a feel-good video?

Danny has a 3 minute (more or less) video, which is obviously the result of hours of filming. It's like a Jackie Chan movie ... who knows how many takes each shot required, before he got it 'right'. Sure, he may have injured himself in the filming; we don't know. What we saw here were only the very best of an unknowable number of 'takes' before everything was just right.

Now look again at Athena Lee, or ANY USPSA/IPSC competitor. They only get one run, one chance to make the perfect run on any given stage ... On EVERY Stage! If it isn't perfect every time, they don't get another go at it .... their time and score is recorded and they stand on their single best/worst/good/mediocre performance. They have to be ALWAYS at the top of their game on every stage at every match .... or nobody cares about them.

I think that when people look at videos of USPSA/IPSC matches, they tend to say "ho hum, just another day at a match".

But when they look at a bicyclist riding a child's bicycle, they say "Hey, Wow! That's rather a dicey place he's put himself into, isn't it?"

Bicycle riding is ... I don't know if I can put it in to the proper framework. I'm impressed by the amazing stunts they can do, but I'm always aware that they probably didn't do it 'right' the first time, no matter what stunts they do.

USPSA/IPSC competition, however, is ALWAYS "do it right the first time, over and over, or you're merely an "Also Ran". (And we all know how many of us fit in THAT category, don't we? Show of hands? I thought so.)

I'm not saying that the antics of grown men on kiddy-cycles isn't impressive, because it is.

And yes, I've deliberately used the most demeaning buzz-words I could imagine in describing this phenomenon, because I am trying to demonstrate the wide gap between appreciation of one "non-spectator sport" and another.

When we see a grown man on a kiddy bike jumping walls and riding rails, it's justifiable impressive.

But when you see a truly champion-class Practical Pistol shooter (Athena Lee, for example) doing everything right, on every stage of a bit match, it's all to easy to say "Ho hum, just another IPSC match." You and I could probably do a fair approximation of Ms. Lee/s performance, couldn't we?

Well, maybe so, maybe no. But the point is ... you can't get your name in the winners' circle with a "maybe". You need to perform better than everyone else, first time and every time. Or you're still a "Ho Hum" performer.

I think that the kind of competition as typified in USPSA is the finest, most point-of-the-sword kind of competition available on this planet. This is roughly equivalent to Olympic quality athletes, but looked at in a different way.

(And do NOT get me started on the stupid failed efforts of IPSC to make Practical Shooting a "Demonstration Event" in the International Olympics a decade or so ago. I'm still frosted about that; this was the most inept political effort in recent history, in ANY venue, and a child could have told the IPSC President ["He Who must Not be Named"] that it was ill timed, poorly conceived, and ineptly executed.)

Yes, Practical Shooting could and perhaps should be elevated to an Olympic level, but that's a Political Decision, and IPSC/USPSA is not a politically-correct "sport" (Quotes used advisedly, well knowing that they are included in the sardonic sense.) In a single sentence: Kiddy-Bike rail-jumping will be elevated to an Olympic level before Practical Shooting is, because Kiddy-Bike rail-jumping is not politically incorrect ... even if it's EASIER TO DO.

Scroll back:

Biking looks good, because you get a lot of tries and it's not competitive AT ALL!

Shooting doesn't look good, politically, and it's easy to lose because you have only ONE TRY and the competition here is fierce, man. Truly fierce!

No, I'm not putting down biking, whatever the venue. Some of the stunts I see in the provided video ... oh hell, ALL of them! ... are just beyond the concept of the common man to perform.

But when I look at videos of USPSA/IPSC competition, I'm even more impressed. I KNOW I can't do that, because I've tried, for over 25 years, and I know that however well my performance may look on video, there's always some one else who can do the same thing better, smoother, faster. It's like the Bionic Man:

"We can do it. We have the technology. We can make him better .. stronger ... faster."

Yeah, but can you make him "better .. stronger ... faster" than everyone else? Or can you just make him look good on Video?

Here's the point:
You can look at a lot of video events, and you can look at a lot of competitive sports. But there are very few events which are both competitive sports, and which position each competitor against every other competitor .. in a field which may include 300 or 400 other competitors ... and elevate one single person above all of his or her opponents. This kind of competition selects the best, the fastest, the smartest and the most consistently excellent person in the field.

This kind of competition is found in very few venues; these venues include ..... well, The Olympics. And all subordinate versions of competition which qualify competitors for The Olympics.

No mistakes. No awkward moments. No minor slip-ups wit the penalty of only a second or two accumulative over multiple efforts ..... and the first try you get is the ONLY try you get.

Child bike-riding looks really good on video, but when you compare it to IPSC/USPSA competition (remember, these people are shooting real guns and a moment's slip-up could result in disaster!), it's just a kid sport.

Ho hum.