Friday, March 25, 2011

Bane & Obama: Common Sense Gun Laws We Can All Get Behind

DRTV Weekly: Obama’s Op-Ed | Down Range TV

Michael Bane puts on his Goofy Hat to talk about "Common Sense Gun Laws" which President Obama last week suggested that we can "all get behind".

Here is ONE comment from The Prez:
But I have more faith in the American people than that. Most gun-control advocates know that most gun owners are responsible citizens. Most gun owners know that the word "commonsense" isn't a code word for "confiscation." And none of us should be willing to remain passive in the face of violence or resigned to watching helplessly as another rampage unfolds on television.

This sounds good .. VERY good.

Except that OUR experience is that the concept he emphasizes (see italicized sentence) just hasn't worked out all that well for us.


See Tanya Metaska's article on "First Registration, Then Confiscation" on Front Sight Magazine, which provides only the very simplest exposition of the sequence of events which occurred in California in 1998 - 2001.


The story from California is convoluted, but believable according to Front Sight Magazine. and Gun Owners of America. California Attorney General Dan Lundgren essentially required that owners of "assault weapons" (including the SKS rifle, which was not capable of "full-automatic" fire), register their firearms. The understanding was that this was only a cautionary act.

When Democrat Bill Lockyear, an avowed (Democratic) gun prohibitionist, became Attorney General in 1999, he decided unilaterally ... with perhaps some no small encouragement from Handguns, Incorporated (HCI) [see BRADY, relating to OBAMA] ... that this kind of firearm might be considered an "assault weapon" similar to that which was used in the Stockton School-yard Massacre. The SKS was immediately defined as such by Lockyear, and this new AG decided that all SKS rifles should be confiscated.

Fortunately (for Lockyear and HCI), the Great State of California already had a list of SKS rifles, which you may recall had be registered as required by the former Attorney General.

Thus all SKS rifles in California were perforce confiscated. Again, easy to do: they had already been registered, by legitimate law-abiding citizens who believed the original assurance by then-AG Lundgren that "Registration Does Not Equate To Confiscation".

The lesson here is that any drive for "no-fault Registration" will not survive a change in administration. There are no 'administrative' rulings (such as "Registration does not equal Confiscation") which are guaranteed ... nay promised [you know what a Politician's promise is worth; take that amount, and divide it by any number you wish] to survive longer than it takes to print up a set of governmental rules.

Let me say this again, in more clear language:
The legislation must pass laws to change the status of ... anything. It can do that, but there are some delays built in, and the changes must pass a vote of elected officials.

The bureaucracy, on the other hand, does not live by laws; it lives by "codes". They are not necessarily elected officials, nor are they necessarily bound by laws, except by strict interpretation.

If they can re-interpret laws to suit their own personal prejudices, the bureaucracy can require ANYTHING ... including the translation from "registration" to "confiscation".

So the next time we are reassured by Legislators that whatever law they pass in reference to collection and maintenance of firearms ownership (and especially if they specifically say "Registration doesn't mean Confiscation") ... we shouldn't necissarily accept this on face value.

Instead, we should instantly reject this.

You can tell when bureaucrats are lying; if their lips are moving, they're lying.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Top Shot Videos

Top Shot — TV; Video

I've been hearing about the "Top Shot" competitions on the History Channel for the past year and a half, and I've been really curious about it. Unfortunately, I don't have a Cable hookup, so I haven't seen ANY of it. (I've been waiting for it to come out on DVD from RedBox.)

As Iian Harrison might say: "No Worries".

(Well, he's English not Australian, so he probably wouldn't say that exactly, but he might.)

I found this link (same as the link at the top, BTW) to the Top Shot competition, which provides both "full episode" and a couple of other views ... summaries, if you will.

I watched the "Anatomy Of A Shot" series, and it gave me a much better appreciation of how difficult this competition really is.

My understanding was that there was a series of competitions between teams, using weapons with which the team members had absolutely no experience. After watching just a few videos (especially the Archery and the Tomahawk-throwing series) I decided that they must have had at least some basic instruction ... well, call it familiarization. They knew the basics about how to use the equipment, but not necessarily any real opportunity to acquire skill sets for each weapon.

I am, of course, impressed with the competitors. But I'm at least as impressed by the design of the competition elements (stages?) which the History Channel provided.

It's not easy to design a stage. But to design a stage for a "different" weapon, make it look like a "game" that anyone can intuitively understand after watching it for a few minutes, and then gear it toward a "team exercise" ... now, that's hard to do!

I've been competing in IPSC/USPSA for a long time, and I know it's really boring to watch, if you're just an observer. These courses of fire are far from boring. In fact, they look like something that would be really exciting to do at a club level.

Oh, not all of them, of course. But some of them lend themselves fairly well to a design which could be presented at a club level.

_________________ Off Topic Thought ____________________

I seem to recall a "shoot-off" presented at the 1994 Oregon Section match at Tri-County Gun Club. It was an optional stage, and it was essentially a "Man Of Steel" shoot-off with US Poppers and Pepper Poppers, where there was one mandatory reload and the winner of each "challenge" was determined by overlapping 'finish' poppers. (You know how that works, if you've ever been to a Major Match in the 1990's when they were very popular ... and even into the 21st Century in USPSA.)

This team shoot-off required one Grand Master, one Master, one A, B, C and D-class shooter on each team. I'm not sure that there were six shooters per team, there may have been only five: they may have allowed either a conceivably GM or M shooter ... it wasn't that big of a match, so there weren't that many GM's competing.

At the time, there were only two divisions: Open and Limited (Previously "Stock"); it was a long time ago, so I'm not sure that each team must have match-competed in the same division. But whatever the arrangements were --- they seemed equitable to me.

I did get involved in that shoot-off, as a D-shooter using a S&W 659 (9mm) shooting Limited/Stock.

Each class of shooter on each team competed directly against the same class of shooter on the opposing team.

The nice part of this competition, for me, is that there was as much interest in signing up a decent D-class shooter as there was signing up a GM/M shooter. So I got to play.

As I recall, my team didn't win. but it was such a rush for a relatively unskilled shooter to find himself on the same team with some of the best shooters in the state (and outlying states) that it encouraged me to playing ... if only for the Glory.


The competition has changed in USPSA since then, and there are usually no more "team" events available, whether or not it counts on the final match scores.

I think the Top Shooter competition concept might conceivably make matches more interesting to shooters at all skill levels. We have lost the opportunity to consider ourselves part of a team, but perhaps we are ready to go full-circle and bring back the "optional shoot-off" options.

"OLD" may be the New "NEW" again.