Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tri County Gun Club Cancels Sunday Match!

The last time TCGC (in Sherwood, Oregon) canceled a match 'at the last minute' was in winter of 2004. Heavy snow, partial thaw, then freezing overnight. The access to the range is a steep uphill climb, and that morning the Stats-Mistress couldn't get her aging Tempo up the hill. So SHE canceled the match.

Tonite I received a forwarded email from the Match Director via the Section Secretary:

Tri-County had the action range resurfaced and it looks great, however there is no cover available, no safety tables and everything is out of the bays. It is going to rain heavy tomorrow and as a result I'm going to cancel the match. We'll resume normal festivities next month.

Can you forward this to the distribution list and ask folks to pass it along? We won't get to everyone but we'll do the best we can.

Obviously, this is a time-sensitive message and I doubt anyone will read it here tonite and change plans for tomorrow.

But this is the oldest "IPSC" club in Oregon, and as far as I know the oldest club in a 3-state area. It's where I got my first competition training, shot my first year or two exclusively (until other clubs started a program) and it's one of the premier clubs of the Pacific NorthWet. It will always be important to me.

PS: Norm, Mark ... I passed it along. I did my part.

Shooting Times News 1/15/10

As usual, most of the 'really good information' on firearms issues comes from my tri-weekly Shooting Times email subscription. (See here to subscribe ... you've seen this before.)

The editors have made some format changes lately, which not only provide a link to individual items but also the long-awaited permalink to the editorial.

Both to reinforce the suggestion that you get your own subscription, and to highlight the items that I found the most interesting, I'm providing an overview with links.

Aimpoint Launches New Website
(That would be, for those who can't bother to read the short article. It takes you here.)

Why is that interesting?
"WARE, MA - ISSC-Austria, exclusive importer and distributor of the M22 range pistol and MK22 range rifle, has partnered with GEMTECH, the leader in high- performance suppressors, to offer products that fit and function seamlessly together."

Please don't get me started on the reasons why I think that suppressors should be legal in America!

New Bullet for Existing Handguns and Hand-held Firearm
Okay, I see another "why is this interesting" moment. The leading paragraph:
Denver, CO - Recognizing that more than 90 percent of shots fired by handguns and hand-held firearms miss their targets, Advanced Ballistics Concepts, LLC (ABC), a ballistics research and development company, today announced the company has invented the first multi-part bullet that immediately unlocks and expands to a predetermined diameter and pattern of spread upon leaving the tip of a rifled barrel. This new wide envelopment bullet - enhanced with ABC's patent-pending Triple Threat™ Technology (T3™) - significantly improves a shooter's hit probability in ultra-close and mid-range engagements because the bullet produces a "spider web"-like effect prior to impact.
While I'm insulted by the "90 percent" statistic on misses (unless someone has been submitting my shooting videos to YouTube, in which case I am without defense), it makes me wonder just how expensive these bullets are, and can I get me some. If they were 'too cheap', IPSC might have a problem. Look for a new rule in the 2012 Rule Book. No, they probably would be good on Virginia Count stages.

Progress on South Korea Rifles?
This editorial informs us that "... the United States Department of State is reconsidering last year's decision to block the importation of World War II rifles from the Republic of Korea."

Which would be A Good Thing, no matter how it works out, because so far we get Bumpkes from the Diplomatic Service. To nobody's real surprise, one of the problems has been that the ATF doesn't like it; another has been that someone figures the US will buy all these M1 carbines to Mexico. I don't know why they would worry about that .. the carbine is nothing more than a poodle-shooter, more like a 2-handed pistol than a rifle. And yes, I expect to hear about that from someone who owns one.

There's still meat left on this journalistic bone, and the item/editorial is not all that long, so you should go read it now.

What, you have something better to do?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Unintentional Felons

"Crooks and Liars" (obviously not a foe of Gun Control) has posted a very nice blog article titled" Has Rep. Peter King actually come up with a decent idea on gun control?
(Hat Tip to Random Nuclear Strikes!)

Our answer is --- NOT!

The Huffington Post article describes King's proposal as:

Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official [emphasis added], according to a person familiar with the congressman's intentions.

King is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. The proposed law follows the Saturday shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and a federal judge that left six dead, including the judge, and 14 wounded.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the nation's most outspoken gun-control advocates, is backing King's measure and is expected to put the weight of his pro-gun-control organization behind it.

The Gun-control folks are all over this ... they apparently think this is a good idea on toast, with gravy on it.


Because it would make it impossible for anyone with a legally carried firearm to know if/when he or she is breaking the law.

It's not like the laws which once made it illegal to possess a firearm within 1000' of a school ... in my small town, it's really, really difficult to NOT be within that distance of a school. But it's theoretically possible for me to find a route from my home to the the range, or to any exit from town, without 'encroaching' upon that limit.

"Government Officials", though, are a different beast. I'm not sure what constitutes a "Government Official". Is it my congressman? Is it the mayor? A City Councilman? (Mine lives within a few blocks of my home ... I couldn't leave my house without breaking the law.) And how do you know if you break the limit? These are people, they move around.

This proposed law would be impossible to enforce, impossible to avoid becoming an Unintentional Felon. If stopped, searched and arrested, I might be charged and convicted of this 'crime' without even knowing that I had broken the law. Hmm ... somehow, this doesn't seem fair to me, let alone reasonable. Heck, I actually like my congressman. Don't agree with his politics, of course, but I certainly wish him no ill.

The otherwise sane, reasonable people (okay, I'm giving them all the credit I can) don't think about that stuff. They don't own firearms, they don't care to consider the petty details. They think it's a good idea, so they are all for it.

If that law was in effect last Saturday when Gabrielle Giffords was holding a "meet and greet" at the local Safeway Store, any firearms owner on his way to the range who drove into the parking lot to pick up snacks and a bag of ice not knowing she was there ... would have been in violation. No intent to do harm would be necessary.


In the interest of brevity, I encourage you to go to the "Crooks and Liars" post and read what is there.

Most emphatically, watch the 8 minute interview between PS_MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell ("The Last Word"; "Tucson Tragedy and Gun Control") where he interviews Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy.

O'Donnell's rhetoric is far removed from "Journalism". It is an opinion piece, blatantly illustrating his anti-gun bias. During his interview with Congresswoman McCarthy (who lost her husband during a 1993 assault on the Long Island RailRoad) he asks her, for example, whether " ... we are going to lose focus on what killed these people; a gun legally sold to a manman in a country that is intent on preserving the madman's right to obtain firearms and shoot people ...".

This question is actually, of course, a statement. Entered into the conversation for shock effect, and entirely without justification.

He also mentioned that the lunatic went to a store to buy ammunition, and was turned away. Actually, according to the store (a WalMart) he was not turned away. He merely "failed to complete the transaction". He later went to another WalMart and obtained ammunition there.

McCarthy plans to introduce (on January 18, 2011) a bill which is eerily similar to measures found in the failed Assault Weapons Ban:

On Tuesday, January 18, I will introduce legislation to restore the prohibition on large capacity ammunition feeding devices in the United States.

The United States Constitution guarantees to our citizens the right to keep and bear arms. At the same time that we can all acknowledge this basic right, I believe that we should also be able to come together to develop reasonable laws designed to ensure that the right to bear arms is exercised safely and responsibly. Just as we all celebrate and defend the first amendment but also understand that practical limits must be in place, such as not shouting, “Fire” in a crowded theater, so too should we be able to respect the second amendment while at thesame time supporting commonsense regulations.

Her statement fails to define the term "large capacity" although according to the Arizona Daily Star this is assumed to define magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

The failed 1994 Assault Weapons ban was part of HR3355, which was an omnibus bill addressing so many issues that the "Assault Weapons Ban" (Section 110101) was only a very minor part.

But at the very beginning of the bill (probably not a 'good link') was a very clear notice that the bill would be repealed after ten years:


    This subtitle and the amendments made by this subtitle--

      (1) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act; and

      (2) are repealed effective as of the date that is 10 years after that date.

    When you read all of the pMS_NBC rhetoric, especially the parts where "it's all George W. Bush's Fault" (because he didn't take steps to "repeal the repeal") ... remember that this was the law. Bush merely declined to complicate the already failed issue. The crime statistics after ten years of onerous imposition on the rights of honest citizens to possess, for example, "magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition" resulted in NO positive effects on crime rates. It was essentially all smoke and mirrors. You and I went for ten years abiding by laws (which were surely not observed by criminals) and these laws failed to serve the stated purpose of reducing crime, violence, gun violence or any other goal for which this bill was purportedly established.

    Why? How?

    A report from the National Institute of Criminal Justice (U.S. Department of Justice / Office of Justice Programs) reviewed the results of the AWB, and among their results were the following statements:

    • The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot victims.
    • Target audience: Congressional representatives and staff; State and local legislators; Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials; criminal justice practitioners and researchers; advocacy groups; State and local government officials.
    Rep. McCarthy's urge to revisit this failed attempt to control large-scale murder by reducing the legal capacity of "large capacity" magazines is understandable, and absent the egregious imposition on LEGAL and LAW ABIDING citizens, we are emotionally inclined to support any effort, no matter how futile and ineffective, to reach this goal.

    However, we have already spent ten years valiantly attempting to determine whether her "new" efforts might have the effect she so obviously desires; the numbers just do not support her thesis.

    We are so sorry, Representative McCarthy, but your proposal affects only those of us who are law-abiding citizens. Madmen, terrorists and criminals are not at ALL affected. You have proposed a bill which is a disservice not only to your constituents, but to those of us across thsi nation who would otherwise wish to accept any workable legislation.

    A workable defense against Madness is not something that cannot be legislated, further than we have already done. At this point, our only proven solution is to arm our law-abiding citizens for the defense of themselves, and others.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Dairy of a Madman

    I heard about the "Tucson Massacre" on Saturday afternoon, but I didn't try to write anything about it because ... well, we just didn't know anything yet, did we? At the time, there was no information on who was hurt, how bad, let alone by whom or why.

    Now we know "who", without any doubt at all. Described by people who knew him as a loner, frightening, mentally unstable ... this was definitively a "nutter" without any of the political slant (not a "right-wing nut" or a "left-wing nut").

    Our country is still reeling from shock. We are experiencing forms of PTSD: Fear, anger, loss, grief ... denial.

    Some people have written on the Internet to express their feelings. Some have declined to even identify the terrorist (because that is what the attack is, by definition ... no apparent purpose except to to sew terror among innocents) and instead only write of their cold, implacable anger.

    I, too, am angry. Angry because of the senseless loss of innocent life. In a very real way, except for the magnitude of damage done this is very similar to the 9/11 Massacre of Innocents. It is an arrow in the heart of a nation.

    In 2007, when a nutter named Cho shot up the Virginia Tech campus, I cursed the nutter with a vehemence I have not often felt. Later, I thought I had over-stated my feelings. Now I feel the same sense of violation, and I discover that what I said then is exactly applicable now, also:

    "You sociopathic sick fuck. I don't want to feel your pain. I just want you to be dead Dead DEAD for all eternity and may you rot in hell. I don't want to feel this angry toward another human being again."

    But now I do. Perhaps you do, also. In a way, these terrible, predatory attacks bring out the worst in us.

    The thing is, the "worst in us" all too often includes taking advantage for political gain.

    Since that terrible day, we've seen that a lot of people have taken political advantage of the situation to tout their own personal political kant.

    "DAIRY of a Madman"? Not "Diary of a Madman"? That's right. In the current political milieu, the Left is milking it.

    They're taken on two talking points.

    First Amendment Infringement: There should be a law forbidding people to say naughty things about politicians. This isn't "hate crimes" (with which I already have a problem ... it's so subjective). It's chilling free speech.

    Second Amendment Infringement: there should be a law forbidding people to have magazines that hold more bullets than they could possible need. Again, subjective.

    Leave it to the Nanny Statists to "protect" us from ourselves. As Pogo use to say: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

    I still feel bad about my own vehemence, but I feel even worse that there are people in this world who will gleefully twist a tragedy into an opportunity.

    Yes, it's too bad that people often use intemperate language, and will apply invective ... I've just done that myself.

    And it's too bad that people go mad, are so sick that they will shoot total strangers for no apparent reason except to indulge in their own vainglorious fantasy.

    We're probably not going to be able to rid our society of either societal illness.

    But it seems to me that we're losing sight of what's really important.

    Here is an interview of the father of the little nine year old girl who was shot in the back. Can there be any worse thing to do to kill a child? A little girl .. .aren't we suppose to protect our children? And what can be worse than to lose your own child; that's not the way it's suppose to work. They should be mourning us, not the other way around.

    This is heartbreaking. It's ten minutes of heartbreaking. It's almost unendurable, but if you have ever felt disgust at the expression "I Feel Your Pain", this may change your mind.

    We see a father who is holding himself together with an inner strength that I doubt many of us would have the depths to call upon.

    And in his grief, he still found one more iota of strength to say: This shouldn't happen in this country, or anywhere else, but in a free society we're going to be subject to people like this. I prefer this to the alternative.

    I would have preferred to present a much better organized .. expression. But this is the best I can do, right now.