Friday, April 28, 2017

Saturday Night Specials

"Most of the firearms involved in crime are cheap Saturday Night Specials, for which no legitimate use or need exists."

I recently ran across this talking-point while following an extended pro-gun/antigun dialogue.

It's an old meme, and so moth-eaten that a lot of people seem to toss it out as if it makes a significant talking-point ... especially from anti-gunners, but sometimes it is entered by people who should know better.

I'm privileged fortunate: I worked steadily for 50+ years, I have my pension and Social Security, and while I enjoyed a steady (if not impressive) income I was able to acquire firearms which are of hi-quality, reliable, and work all the time; every time.

Not everyone is as fortunate privileged.

Some people need to choose between paying the rent, and buying a home-defense firearm.

Buy a gun?  Or pay the rent?

Which is more important?   Should your kids be well fed and have a home where being kicked out is not a constant worry?  Or should you be able to defend yourself, your family and your home?

For those  whose economic situation makes these choices of "questionable" priorities, the answer is often a life-or-death decision.

Enter the "Saturday Night Special".

Suppose you live in a high-crime neighborhood; one where hoodlums might consider breaking down the door to your apartment as not much of a challenge ... and that prospect is a constant threat.   You're alone, you have no resources except what you can hold in your hand to fend off an intruder.

Enter the "Saturday Night Special".

What's a Saturday Night Special?

Gunbloggers Beyond Excellence

There are a number of (gun) blogs which I try to keep track of, and visit frequently.  One of the best of which (and one which I have not mentioned, nor even visited for too long is The Smallest Minority.

He was here long before I started this blog in 2008, and this Arizona blogger continues to provide interesting commentary and helpful philosophy on a near-daily basis.  (I say "near-daily" because, as I said, I have not visited for several weeks ... I may have missed something.)

Always interesting, and when he finds himself in a dialogue with someone who disagrees with his opinions, he not only takes them on head-to-head; he publishes the exchange for every one to watch.


Here's a LINK to recent (April 11, 2017) article, interrupted in an ongoing dialogue with someone who doesn't necessarily agree with his opinions on "proportional” response" (to a home invasion)..
A sample is provided:
(note: comments in italics are from the British interlocutor)

"... Get that gun from those who shouldn't have it"

Why do police need a CHL to justify carrying concealed carry?

If they find someone "who shouldn't have" (a firearm), don't they have means to determine whether that person "shouldn't have" it?   If it was legal to carry a concealed firearm without a license, couldn't the police do a background check in the field.

It seems that the police facing this policy change are upset because it means they will do more work to check whether that person would qualify for a CHL, if it was required.     (And that would be a valid reason to oppose the CHL movement .... if it had been cited!)

Police flood Alabama Capitol, ask lawmakers to keep concealed carry permit requirement | WBMA:
 A debate at the Alabama State House centers on this question: Should people be required to have a concealed carry permit in order to carry concealed firearms? Law enforcement from across the state filled the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee meeting in Montgomery Wednesday. Most were there in opposition to Senate Bill 24

(The bill would make it legal to carry a concealed firearms without the requirement of buying a CHL: a"Concealed Handgun License")
"I think it's a vote against the safety of our citizens," Mountain Brook Police Chief Ted Cook told the committee.  Cook spoke on behalf of the Police Chief's Association, where he serves as vice president."We can't measure the lives we've saved using this law to get in there and get that gun from those who shouldn't have it," Cook said.
The benefit of a CHL is that the carrier has already been vetted to carry.   That means the person is not a felon, not wanted, not insane, not an 'alien' and is of legal age.

Chief Cook is obviously worried about using his officers to check backgrounds of people found with a firearm.   His statement makes it sound as if there is no other way to vet these folks.   
(Perhaps he should encourage this measure.)
It's easy to sympathize with Chief Cook; he doesn't want his officers to spend 10 minutes (or hours!) running a background check on a citizen when they find a concealed weapon.  Unfortunately, the Constitution acknowledges the right of citizens to "... keep and bear arms ..." 
If he had simply stated: "It will impose an intolerable burden on my officers to require them to run a background check in the field on everyone we found with a concealed firearm",  that would be understandable.  Instead, he implied that the lack of a CHL would make it virtually impossible to determine if the person in question is one of "... those who shouldn't have it".  That's disingenuous, and misleading.
I actually agree with Chief Cook.   It would be civil to require a CHL to carry concealed. I just don't like the manner in which he stated his case.)

A policeman's lot is not a happy one.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Carry a gun? You're a Paranoid!

Quote of the day—Vivek Murthy | The View From North Central Idaho:
I got into some trouble for saying gun violence is a public health issue. A little bit of trouble. But you know, I was stating what I think is the obvious, and I think most people in the country understand, which is that far too many people die from gun violence. And in my book, every single death from gun violence is a tragedy because it was preventable. It’s unacceptable.

-- "Surgeon General", via Joe at joehuffman

well, yeah.

You must understand, there are various gradations of "Public Health", mostly determined by the actions of the the victim!

Minor example: if you don't brush your teeth for years, you're a skuzz and you get a lot of dental issues.

If you don't go for an annual check-up from your doctor, minor infections can become major illness.

And if you don't prepare to defend yourself against violent criminals, you are a a possible victim of homicide.

Oh, Wow!   That's a HUGE step beyond Halitosis and Skin disease!

Strangely, many of us are more concerned with relatively 'minor' infections, and completely oblivious to violent attacks.   You got to ask yourself ... if the risks of all three threats are roughly similar possibilities, why don't more of us go for semi-annual checkups, brush daily, and carry daily?

The answer is that brushing your teeth is easy to do and socially acceptable; annual medical check-ups are just "a reasonable thing to do: because we're all subject to communicable diseases;

But being attacked by a violent predator?

Gee ... you must be PARANOID!

  • Here are some highlights from Crime in the United States, 2014:
  • There were an estimated 1,165,383 violent crimes (murder and non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults) reported by law enforcement.
  • Aggravated assaults accounted for 63.6 percent of the violent crimes reported, while robberies accounted for 28.0 percent, rape 7.2 percent, and murders 1.2 percent.
I'm kind of hoping that someone will compare the rate of Gingivitis annually, vs violent assault.

Considering the consequences of each, I'm still willing to bet Big Money that more Americans brush daily, compared to those who regularly carry means of physical defense against assault.

So, what's it going to be?

Brush every day?

Carry every day?

Why can't you do both?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Howard Dean doubles down on support for UC Berkeley excluding Ann Coulter - The Washington Post

Howard Dean doubles down on support for UC Berkeley excluding Ann Coulter - The Washington Post: Former Vermont governor, presidential primary contender and Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean has been arguing that Ann Coulter’s speech at the University of California at Berkeley could be canceled because it’s “hate speech.”

Point One:  Howard Dean is an idiot.
Point Two: Howard dean has no idea what Ann Coulter (or any other speaker) might have to say ... to arbitrarily suppose that another speaker would use "Hate Speech" is ludicrous.   He just doesn't want to hear anything said by anyone who doesn't agree with him.  THAT is 'Hate Speech"!
Point Three:  Democrats tend to define "hate speech" as anything they don't want to hear.   Yes, it is repeating point Two.
Point Four: Howard dean is an idiot, an ignoramus, and he doesn't have anything to contribute to a political dialogue..
Point Five: Howard the Coward attempts to suppress 'free speech' because he is intellectually incapable of presenting a cogent, logical argument in opposition.
Point Six: Nobody want's to hear what Howard has to say because he is an idiot and he can't even express himself clearly without screaming.

Well, that didn't work out so well, did it?

"Combative" Jaywalker?

I'm not a lawyer, but this doesn't seem ISN'T right!

Black man arrested for jaywalking was beaten in jail, stripped naked and mocked, lawsuit says - The Washington Post:

(See link for video)
When Nandi Cain Jr. was seen on video getting slammed to the ground and pummeled repeatedly by a police officer, that was not the end of his ordeal, according to his attorney. A new federal lawsuit states that the 24-year-old was also placed on psychiatric hold and taken to an isolation cell of a county jail, where the officer and other employees beat him repeatedly, stripped his clothes off and made obscene comments. Cain was then left in the cell, where he spent hours without food, medical attention or a chance to make a phone call, the lawsuit says. 

The lawyer is filing a civil suit.
In their statement, Sacramento police officials said they have reviewed the video and “determined the officer’s actions appeared to be outside of policy.”
Sacramento (California) police shouldn't expect a pay raise in the foreseeable future.

Personal:  I'm generally supportive of Law Enforcement Officers.

These, though, seem to be acting more like animals that Officers of The Law.
I'm sure there's more to the story than has been presented here, but it's difficult to justify denial of rights of a prisoner, no matter what the circumstances of his arrest.


Resisting Arrest?   Perhaps physical force might be appropriate.

Deliberate shaming? Depriving the accused of civil rights?

Not in the story, at all.

Not "officers of the law", but animals with a bloated sense of Judicial Privilege.

I'm resisting the temptation to use the word "Disgusting" until more information is made available; but based purely on initial reporting, I doubt that will happen.

It's difficult to excuse this kind of abuse of a prisoner; even one who is resisting arrest; especially when the punishment exceeds accepted treatment of a prisoner who has been incarcerated and not, apparently, offering further resistance.

How to become your own worst nightmare

Getting the Gun | The Huffington Post:
Following the Newtown massacre in December the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, told the country, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” I wondered what would it be like to be that good guy with a gun? What would it be like to get that gun, live with that gun, be out and about with that gun and finally, what happens when you don’t want that gun any more? I decided to find out.
The author of this article, Heidi Newman, goes on to describe how EASY it was to "get a gun", despite the facts that she had never had a gun, had no idea how to use it, and it scared the pee-wadding out of herself to even hold it in her hand.

She had become a gun owner, she was eminently unqualified to own one,  and apparently wrote the article to illustrate how easy it was for an ignorant (not stupid, just not knowledgeable) person to "Get A Gun".

This is what I love about the Huff 'n Puff Post; there is no limit to the extremes to which their contributors will go, to prove their political point.  In this case that guns are evil and unqualified people shouldn't own one.

Or two.  Or heck, why stop there?

Actually, I agree with Heidi.   If you aren't trained, if you are afraid of guns, you probably shouldn't own one .... unless, of course, you make the basic minimum of finding a qualified trainer who will help you decide if  'having a gun' is right for you.

In much of America, it's not difficult to find training.
My local club (Albany Rifle and Pistol Club) provides regular classes for new gun owners.  And some classes for experience gun owners, as well; I teach one of them.  

In Oregon, gun laws are what Heidi and her Friends would call "Lax".  I would call them "Constitutional".  
If you're not a convicted felon, or an alien, or legally insane, or under the age of your majority --- you're assumed to be a legal  ADULT citizen.  Yes, the second Amendment applies to you!

So the experience that Heidi describes is something of her own making.

She hadn't purchased a firearm because she wished to exercise her Constitutional Right to be armed; her goal wasn't hunting, home/self defense, or competition.  

She was making a political statement, which the Leftists among us typically describe as: "I have a right not to be frightened because people around me might be carrying guns, and I don't trust them to have the sense to not be a jackass while they are armed!"

Given the details of Heidi's private experiment in exercising her civil rights, there's some justification to that attitude.

Heidi, you're a jackass.

You were sold a gun without training (although I'm quite certain that you had to pass an FBI Background Check proving that you're not legally insane or a felon or an alien) and you frightened yourself.  And you did so deliberately, for the SHOCK VALUE of creating a "publishable article".
 (Read: you could sell it to the Huffington Post)

You frightened me, too; you were irresponsible and inexperienced,  Those were not what frightened me; you put yourself in that situation deliberately, to provide material for a "Scare Article" in order to undermine the freedoms guaranteed to you by a bunch of privileged white men hundreds of years ago.

I'm pretty sure the Founding Fathers had weak-sister women (and men) in their community, and their fair share of idiots and crack-pots.   I'm not sure they had so many as to combine all three in-admirable character flaws in one pamphleteer;  on the other hand, in the 18th century it generally required that a pamphleteer pay printing costs, and publishing this article cost you no more than your monthly internet access ... which suggests that you took advantage of both the 2nd Amendment and the 1st Amendment to publish your screed.


It doesn't matter.  I happen to support your Second Amendment Right to own a firearm.
I also support your First Amendment right to write and publish an article intended to undermine the Second Amendment under the protection of the First Amendment
"I do not agree with [or "I disapprove  of ... "] what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!"
That statement is commonly ascribed to Voltaire, but it was probably penned by Evelyn Beatrice Hall; and the gender of the author is unimportant but noticed.

I think, Heidi (may I call you Heidi?  You may call me Geek!) that you have demonstrated bad judgement in your constitutional experimentation.   The fact that you voice discomfort is not proof that American Constitution Law is not sufficiently cognizant of the fact that some people are frightened by Too Much Freedom.

It's proof  that you have exceeded your natural good judgement in order to write a publishable article.

That you couldn't get it published in a more responsible venue than The Huffington Post suggests that you either couldn't get adequate readership through your own blog, or that you deliberately chose a venue which you knew would agree with, and publish, your article because it supports their anti-constitutional opinions.

Heidi ... you're such a rebel.  I like that.
I don't agree with you, I don't support your political views.

So, you want to go out for a cup of coffee some time?

(You won't have to 'carry'.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Yes, you were right to vote against her; no, you were not wrong to oppose her!; yes, she was a bitch who would have destroyed America! and yes, you should have voted against her!

New Poll: If Hillary Faced Trump Again Today, She Would Still Lose | Fox News Insider:

" ... many Clinton voters did not feel strongly about her candidacy ... "

Hillary would have destroyed America.

Nothing more should, or needs to be said.

Obama Speaks in Chicago: 'There's a Gap Between Who's Governing Us and What We Believe' | Fox News Insider

Obama Speaks in Chicago: 'There's a Gap Between Who's Governing Us and What We Believe' | Fox News Insider:

Former President Barack Obama made his first public remarks since leaving office, speaking to young people at the University of Chicago.

He has nothing important to say, but he relishes the opportunity to get some face time on television.

Nothing has changed. He's still irrelevant.

I'm sure glad for term limits!

Intrusive websites

I've noticed that some of my favorite websites have new features; they want to know more about me than I care to share when I comment on their webpages.

I'm certain that these "updates" are not enforced at the option of the authors; they're something that the  software they use has implemented to track readership and provide marketting tools to them ... the software managers.

I'm not aware if BLOGGER (my website server) has imposed these new requirements on this website, but please be aware that ... if so, it hasn't been done with my consideration, let alone with my agreement.

Frankly, if I have to provide a lot of personal data just to comment on a blog post, I'll reserve my comments and choose not to provide opinions which I think will be more helpful to readers.  It's not my blog, so screw them.

Okay, that's a bit more radical than I want to sound.

I enjoy reading a lot of different blogs, and when I noticed that their software was requiring personal information from commenters, I was appalled.   The worst thing is, I don't know if the bloggers are aware that their readers must provide "tracking" information when they attempt to provide textual comments to their articles.

It astonished me when the guy in the desert ( won't provide a URL ) website accepts comments only when intrusive personal information is provided.

  Come on .... a guy in a desert probably isn't a great fan of Big Dot Com!

(Assume "F-word inserted here) me once, your shame; twice?   my shame!

I will NOT be commenting on any website which requires that my (verified)  website link is autofilled.

And if you have to give up your drivers license number (as at least one social website now requires( in order to comment on anything I have to say here ... I wouldn't encourage you to make comments.

Even though I am may be full of shit, it's just not worth it.

Fuck them, and the white horse they rode in on!

Please don't let the screen door hit you out your way out!

President Trump Just Fired Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy. The NRA And Gun Owners Thank Him. – InvestmentWatch:

Bumping a surgeon general (highest ranking physician in the country) was needful because America doesn't need the Medical Profession declaring that firearms are "a medical problem".

Firearms aren't the problem; they're the solution.

From the article:
 We do not want to lose our Second Amendment Rights, because there are those who actually think guns are the problem.  
But even more troubling is the fact that the same (Obama) Administration has been said to have participated in the crime known as gun running. 

Extreme political solutions to Constitutional Issues have no place in America.   

When the personal opinion of public employees seem to be supported by the President, the issue becomes more important.  Unlike the author of the original article, I do not assume that the Surgeon General had the well-being of citizens as his highest priority.  

I believe that his personal agenda was pursued without consideration for the Constitution, and when a federal employee makes decisions based on his personal bias rather than the virtues of the constitution, he has lost legitimacy.

Also, he has lost his job; which is the best outcome for a Maverick Magistrar!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lethargy is Lethal

One of my two best friends in the world died last week.

I wasn't there to ease him though his pain.  I didn't even know that he was in danger.

Worse, I was not there to talk him out of the unhealthy habits which lead to his death.\

Ed, I have known for 40 years, passed away quietly in his sleep.  He had no noticeable chronic illness, other than that (according to his/my/our children) he "just sat on the sofa and watched television".

I guess it would be reasonable to say that he died from a sedentary life style.

I wasn't aware that he was in ill-health, unto six weeks ago when his family informed me that he was deathly ill, and in the hospital.  I drove down to California to check on him, in the hospital.  He seemed ... old. He was 'Infirm" in the sense that he found it difficult to  walk.

But I accompanied him during one of the (man?) exercise regimines prescribed by his doctors.

He shuffled,and was transported by a wheel-chair .. but he was able to walk, as long as he had a set of parallel bars to hang onto; I got the impression that the served to help him maintain his balance, rather than to carry his weight.     He actually seemed stronger than his family and his doctors gave him credit for.

However, he had little energy (then this was in August/September .. it's April now),  It was difficult the to determine whether his muscles had atrophied through some sort of disability, or through willful disuse.

He was released from the hospital, and I went home.

Two days ago, I was informed that he had died in his home.


Well, I guess that's one of the best ways to die.  Peacefully.

I remember my paternal grandfather, who  died at age 95, in an "old folks home" section of a hospital,, and the last note recorded on his medical chart was that they had to take away his cane because he was beating the crap out of his room-mate.

Nobody knows why he was so aggressive, or why he so detested his 'room-mate' that he deemed it appropriate that he beat the crap out of him.

I didn't know Grampa (He was DECADES older than me!) that well, but I always kind of suspected that his room mate disagreed with Grampa on fine points of politics.  Further comments would be opinion only.

The thing is .. I kind of admired my Grampa for maintaining his curmudgeion persona to the last day of his life.  I might not agree that he was right to assault a (probably perfectly innocent) room mate

(I won't even try to guess the politics of his room-mate!)

,, but the point is, Grampa went out fighting.  I mean ... within minutes of whatever disagreement!

As For Myself:  
I spent a year fighting against people who had ... generally ... never done an unkind act toward me, or any of my friends.  I didn't like the, or dislike them; they were just target (as were we).

I did some minor harm  to a few of them; they did some minor harm to a few of my friends, too.

It never occurred to me that I would ever "go down" in any mode other than fighting..

Hell, I went there not expecting to come back ... other than in a box.
(Most of us had the sane expectation; it apparently was a significant survival factor.)

So, when U came home with no damage other than a major case of Bamboo Poisoning (which took over a year to cure), I figured that my Tour Of Duty was over.

My friend, who had never been outside of the Continental United Sates (CONUS) ...
.. died of  lethargy.

I know you're thinking that U;n dissing my friend.  Nothing can be further from the truth.

Ed was one of the kindest, gentlest men I've ever know.
 He didn't hit his dogs; that has to speak well of his restraint!

(His wife//my ex-wife ... well, there was a chili-pepper mutt that I would have strangled, given 2 minutes in a dark room/ I detest incontinent yappers!  And the dog was worse!)

But Ed put up with the worst that tiny hairless dogs and their owners can do to the carpet, and the sofa.

(I kind of think Ed might have considered a soft death to be an acceptable alternative to living with a walking/yapping bladder, but I digress.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I don't like BG's; detest DISCO music ... but I can't help liking the One Good Thing From Disco: Staying Alive!

This is classic.

Trump Jr.’s Montana prairie dog hunt prompts backlash

Trump Jr.’s Montana prairie dog hunt prompts backlash:

The Humane Society of the United States condemned Trump’s hunting plans, saying prairie dogs are an important species for the Great Plains because more than 100 other animals depend on the prairie dog either as food or move into the burrows they dig, said Lindsey Sterling Krank, the organization’s director for its Prairie Dog Coalition.
Let them dig their own darn holes.

And let the weepy tree-huggers cry for the cattle who break their legs in prairie dog holes, and suffer in agony until the rancher finds a lamed heifer and has to put her down .. often leaving a orphan calf ("Dogie") to die because no other heifer will adopt him.

Ranchers ... who grow the hamburgers that the Humane Society probably eats at their fund-raising BBQ's ... have two ways of minimizing the Prairie Dog Menace:  Poison, or shooting.  Trapping is not an effective means of killing of Prairie Dogs (who are the victims of Coyotes ... who will gleefully take down a calf or a nursing cow).

Poisoning either Prairie Dogs or Coyotes is not a good alternative, because the carcass will end up being eaten by scavenger, such as the Bald Eagle (our national symbol) and they die from the effects of "secondary poisoning".  

And then some other scavenger eats their body, and the strychnine moves on.

There is a good reason why Prairie Dogs are also called "Prairie Rats".

Hunting them is the most humane method of keeping the rodent population down to manageable levels.  When coyotes find a dead prairie dog, their pack feeds for a day.

 And the ecological benefit of the coyote?

They eat lamed cows.   If the rancher doesn't find the cow first, coyotes don't bother to kill the cows, they just start on the hind legs and keep eating until they get to the vital parts.    They particularly enjoy eating the intestines of cattle before they are dead.   I've seen parts of cattle spread over a half-acre when a pack of coyotes finds one that can't keep up with the herd.   The cow just drags herself along on three legs while the dogs snarl and bite and rips raw flesh from the living animal.  THAT is pitiful, and cruel.

Cattle are a lot easier to catch than Prairie Dogs, and there's enough there for a pack to feed for three days.

If you don't know the ecology of the prairie, you probably aren't qualified to opine about the poor prairie dog.

Bill would end requirement to tell police you're carrying a gun | WSYX

Bill would end requirement to tell police you're carrying a gun | WSYX:
Failure to tell a police officer you have a gun is a misdemeanor. Ohio is one of only 10 states with a law like that on the books.
I have no problems with a law like that.
I DO have a problem with a poorly written article ... such as this one, which doesn't clearly define under which circumstances you need to notify an officer.

I've already written about my practices if/when I'm pulled over for a traffic offence; even knowing that the officer is aware the owner of a car has a CHL (Concealed Handgun License), I have my drivers license, my insurance card, and my CHL in my hand when he approaches the car ... and my hands are in plain sight, on the steering wheel.   He knows I'm the person he expected to see behind the wheel.

CHL owners are the last people who should concern LEOs ... but it never hurts to demonstrate to the cop who pulled you over in the middle of the night that you ARE the owner of the car, and you ARE ... at least potentially ,,, carrying a firearm.

Keep your hands in view, have your ID ready in your hand, and BE POLITE!

I don't carry because I'm afraid of police.

I don't want them to be afraid of me, either.

I'm no threat.