Saturday, November 17, 2018

Curmudgeon Blogging Not Allowed!

The reason I keep writing here is because I have this really terrific "Support Group" of people who, when I get all cranky anc curmudgeonly ... they remind me  that I'm among friends and I don't have to be The Cranky Guy (at least, not all the time(*).

*(see the comments here)

Still can't find the 'missing firearms", still concerned, still searching the house in hopes that I've merely "misplaced them".  Not expecting a good outcome at all ... which feeds my curmudgeonliness.

I've got to go to the County Sheriff on Monday and admit that I've not stored my firearms completely in compliance with Oregon new laws.    You can write me in care of Birmingham Jail.

Guns Stolen (?)

Somebody got into my house while I was asleep a couple of days ago.

They found a couple of handguns (a .38 snubby & a 9mm carry gun) out in the open on a bookshelf, and waltzed away with them.

 I had brought the guns out while I reviewing my firearms inventory, intending to make sure I had the recorded serial numbers. Started with the long guns, then got sleepy and just went to bed.

I didn't notice for a day that the handguns were not where I put them. I thought I had put them back in the safe (which was the reasonable thing to do) until I checked; they weren't there. And the front door was unlocked.

I checked with my landlord and he said only he and I had keys to my house.

My guess it that it was a target of opportunity ... but is someone checking my front door every night to see if I left it unlocked? (I "always" lock my doors, even when I'm awake and in the house. Maybe this time I forgot the check? I can't believe that.)   And as far ask I know,  my neighbors don't know that I own firearms.   How could they?  I never talk to them ... they move in and out of the neighborhood (all rental townhouse duplexes in a college term) every three to nine months as they enter and exit the local college.

Since nobody else had keys, and my landlord was out of town (has been for a week), I have to conclude that I left it unlocked. It was closed and latched, I'm certain of that.

 And I keep my porch light on 24/7/365 ... that light has been burning for seven years on the same 60 watt bulb.   It was intended to make burglars think twice before attempting entry.

 Well that didn't work and locks didn't work. What's next, booby traps?

Now I have to go to the police and report the stolen guns. That will prove awkward, as I don't have serial numbers for both handguns. I have the original box for the automatic, but I don't have any record for the revolver. I missed it by THAT MUCH! (Actually, I did write down a number but I'm not certain that the tall vertical marks are "slashes" or "ones".)

They also took my money clip, with about $80 in cash and ALL my identification (drivers license, CHL) and two or three credit cards plus my bank card.

Monday I'll go around to my bank (haven't seen any withdrawals) and the police to report the robbery. I'll get with my credit company ... I have old cards, so I have my account numbers and I can also contact them online.

I don't mind the money, and the cards and drivers license are an inconvenience. Identity theft is an issue, although all the cards are password protected so they could not be used. 

But I'm concerned about a couple of loaded handguns in the possession of burglars.

I'm thinking it was kids. Teens. There were two rifles in plain sight ... I was checking their serial numbers, too ... and they weren't touched. There were guns in a nearby *temporarily unlocked* closet that I planned to record next but hadn't got around to, and they weren't touched.

There's a moral lesson out there for someone, or for everyone.  Maybe a couple of them.

(1) Make sure you have ALL your serial numbers, plus take photos of the firearms (including close-ups of the serial numbers to confirm ... which I was in the process of doing when I went to bed without properly storing my firearms).

(2) check all your doors before you go to sleep.  I do this religiously (I think) and someone still got into my house.

There's another issue:

Oregon is playing with a law which requires that all firearms be under lock and key, when they are not on your person.  There may be a civil liability ... I could go to jail ... if I report stolen guns where were not locked in an "adequate" container.  I've always said my apartment was always locked, and so my firearms were secured.  I'm in a quandary whether I should report the guns as stolen.

I WANT to report the theft *(or maybe I just "mislaid" them)* but can I ... WILL I? ... be prosecuted because I considered my locked doors adequate security.

The problem with new gun control laws is that it makes felons of innocents. However, in spite of my good intentions, I still lost guns which I considered to be secure.

All of my handguns are now in the safe, except for the one which I keep by my bedside.   And a few long guns, in my bedroom closet.  Obviously, I need the immediate availability of at least one firearm ... even in a neighborhood which for over 20 years I have considered to be "safe".

I guess I need to start wearing a gun on my person 24/7 ... which is certain to frighten my neighbors.

I don't like being  'The Bad Guy".

Monday, November 12, 2018

Oh, so now it's OUR fault!

The Republican Party can't find electable candidates to retain control of Congress, and now it's the fault of "gun owners".
Incumbent House Losses Not a National Rebuke of ‘Trumpism’: U.S.A. – -( With the turnover of the House of Representatives to the Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm elections, those who predicted a “Blue Wave” are ecstatic and pointing to a national “thumbs down” for the Donald Trump administration and its policies. While a surface “analysis,” (meaning no real effort besides parroting “progressive” talking points) may look like that’s what happened, a closer look suggests Democrat “wins” owe plenty to gun owner apathy over turning out to reelect “RINO” squishes. That and changing demographics.
emphasis added

The fact is,  the Republican Party hasn't been able to find an 'electable' candidate for years.  President Trump was only elected because he "wasn't Hillary" and many of us had to hold our nose in order to vote for him (regardless of his vow to support the Second Amendment;  a sucker bet for Constitutionals ... which most gun owners are).

I'm personally insulted by the insinuation that a small, but significant, minority of Republican voters who happen to be firearms owners are accused of failing the Republican party's candidacy.  Perhaps it would have attracted more votes if they had been more attuned to the tenor of the party members. 

I'm half-way convinced that Trey Gowdey could have been a much stronger candidate than Trump, if he had been selected and supported by the GOP in the last election.

For that matter, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R, UT-3) who retired recently, may have been a viable Presidential Candidate; he had as much respect as Gowdy has.

Ammoland, rather than parrot accusations from political fault-finders, would better serve their customers by noting that gun owners are overwhelmingly the strongest constituency for the GOP.

And the GOP needs to grow a pair, if they want to remain the party of the Constitution.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Paul Phillips

RIP Paul Philips ... 1923 -1944

My mother's "little brother" (Paul) was killed in Italy, during WWII.  He was an infantryman, he was in a unit that had landed in Italy and was working their way inland.  He was walking through a farmyard when a sniper's bullet cut his young life short.

I'm short of details.  I once asked my mother about "Uncle Paul" (who died years before I was born) and she teared up, could not talk.  This was 50 years after his death.  Paul was her  "Little Brother", and she never got over her loss.  I had to ask other relatives to learn even this much.

I had asked her about Uncle Paul a couple of years after I got back from Viet Nam.    And it wasn't until that moment that I realized how difficult it was for her to say goodbye to me, the day I shipped out to Viet Nam (on an airplane, an overnight trip ... not the weeks long ship voyage that Uncle Paul must have endured).   She couldn't even talk about him; she grieved for him all over again.

I understand now that she suffered more fear for me than I did for myself.   But she wrote me warm letters about the family and little incidents while I was gone.  And I tried to write back a couple of times a month, but it was not always possible; rain, pencil, wet paper ... I always had an excuse.

She saved my letters, and years later she gave them to me, wrapped in a red ribbon.  I was surprised about how few there were ...  the stack was only an inch thick, and this represented a year's correspondence to my parents?   It was inexcusable, if I had understood A Mother's Fears.  I can only imagine her concern for my safety.

I began to understand when my son ... "The Squid Kid" ... joined the Navy as a career.

Good news: he's in the Navy.  What "Bad Things" could happen to him?

Bad news: he chose "Master at Arms" as his MOS.

This isn't like "Shore Patrol" when they just go after drunken sailors who don't report on time after shore leave; this is like a Navy Cop, who deal with crimes and criminals in the Navy.

But he is strong, intelligent, well trained.  Much of the time he is based on Whidbey Island Navel Air Station in the Puget Sound where his family lives; most nights he gets to go home to his wife and his many children ... when he's not TDS deployed (for a year at a time) in some place I don't know how to spell.

He never writes, he rarely calls .. but when he does phone me, we talk for hours about things that don't really matter.    It just matters that we can talk to each other; I think he does it because he knows I worry about him, although I try not to show it.

He's a lot better about keeping in touch than I was.

I've become "My Mother"; worrying about my beloved soldier/sailor/airman, grateful when I hear he's still okay.

I don't want to become "My Mother", fearing the loss / weeping for decades over the loss of my beloved family member.   And I'm determined not to take counsel of my fears.

On this Veterans Day (previously "Armistice Day", celebrating the end of WWI),  I'm thinking of The Squid Kid, and his family (and many of my grandchildren), and how proud I am of my son who made it his life work to defend his country.

And I know I won't be like my mother, spending the better part of her life mourning for the beloved relative she lost during "The War To End Wars To End Wars".

So ... Ben, remember this: it's a sin for a child to die before his parents.  Be careful out there.