Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weak.

Things like this make "America" nothing more than a ghostly apparition of it's former self.

Justice calls for this ticket to be dismissed and the 'law' to be changed. Personally, I find 'laws' like this to be unjust, and therefore no law at all. This situation is just another example of government monopoly on violence. If the 'police' did not have guns and other weapons, we'd all just laugh at them, poke them in the eye, and send them away.

Government has some re-learning to do. The sad thing is, I'm not sure what kind of pupil they'll be.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Out on the streets.

I wonder if the guy will actually do any time.

I suppose it's not ATF's fault that this guy can't follow the rules. Ultimately the police/ATF are the ones that investigate and arrest people, they don't ultimately set the punishment. So I guess this is really a case where the courts fall down.

But it does raise an interesting issue. In Heller, Scalia left untouched the notion that we can restrict 2nd Amendment rights of certain persons, like the mentally ill and felons. Many crimes are created during each state and Federal legislative session, a good number of those are felonies. There was a time when the class of crimes called felonies was rather small and included things like murder, rape, mayhem and so forth.

So, are there just too many felonies that should really be treated as lesser offenses? Are the courts falling down in not enacting the harsher sentences that Congress seemed to want, i.e. the felon-in-possession statute? I come out on the side of us tending to over-criminalize illegal, but not felonious, behavior. The only logical reason for this is to "Send a message" to other criminals. The problem is that the message is "Don't worry, you'll likely just get probation, and probably 2 or 3 bites at the apple first before we really make it sting." Not exactly the best way to design or run a justice system.

The next step is to look at felonies which are malum in se (inherent wrongs, like murder) versus malum prohibitum (wrongs we prohibit, but which are not necessarily wrong in their nature, like prostitution and gambling). You can further divide that into things which are malum in se and violent or destructive and those which are malum in se and not violent or destructive. By "not violent or destructive", I do not mean to engage in the "victimless crime" argument that some people propose. Rather, I mean those acts which do not involve violent behavior towards persons or property, i.e. larceny or grand theft auto, absent attendant violence.

If you stole a car when you were 19, took the felony rap, did your due to the State, cleaned up, went right, got your education, a job, have a family and maintain a good career, are you a massive risk (or any risk) to society, at age 40, if you want to purchase a handgun to keep at home? Are you any more or less a risk if you want to buy a shotgun so you can go bird hunting? In my opinion, no. Now, if between 19 and 40 you had a bunch more run-ins with the law, more convictions (even lesser ones) and a general pattern of disrespect for the laws of society, then yes, I'd say you are a danger. But for a 21-year old transgression, no, you're not. If you were, your behavior between age 19 and age 40 would have born that out.

On the flip side, lets say at 18 you burglarize a house some dark night, rape a lone female occupant, try (but fail) to kill her, flee, and get caught. Do I want you to ever have access to a firearm? No. Disrespect for human life is vastly different than disrespect for someone else's shiny car in my book.

Unfortunately, society is not willing or able to have this discussion and engage in this introspection. I suspect we'd rather go all "law n' order!" with more major crimes created day in and day out than actually think critically about what we are doing, why we are doing it, and where we want to arrive (compared to where are actually are) with the whole process.

Monday, February 21, 2011

TulAmmo

Lucky Gunner has a fascinating article about TulAmmo. Highly recommended read.

BTW, buy some ammo from them. They are good folks and one of the few vendors that was willing to work with California gun owners when there was uncertainty about whether AB962 would be overturned. I had some personal contacts with them, and they were genuinely interested in pushing the envelope of that stupid law, while still remaining legal. They didn't take the cop out like Cheaper Than Dirt and Sportsman's Guide did.

And no, they don't pay me or endorse me. I am just a happy customer.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Islamofacism.

Here.

I was wondering when this piece of work would pop his head up again.

Tool.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Well, I already knew Modesto was kind of a hole...

Residents wanting to hire private, armed security does not surprise me in this age of municipal budget cuts (read: fewer police on the streets.)

As some of the comments suggest, why don't residents buy their own firearms and protect their own neighborhood? Why is it that the "solution" is to hire someone else to provide protection? Is it because people are generally brainwashed into compliant little sheep who believe that only some Mystical Magical Force is capable of providing security? Are they lazy? Stupid? Something else I'm missing here?

I'll reckon that bad guys will be more hesitant to mess with the neighborhood if they know each and every resident is armed, trained, and ready to defend life and property with the requisite and legitimate force necessary. That does not mean you have to form armed patrols to walk the streets day and night. What it does mean is that the bad guys will go looking for softer targets or might even eventually reconsider their present means of employment and move on to something more legitimate.

Good people must take a stand. Paying an armed guard service is not taking a stand.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Some people in Wisconsin, USA are stupid

So let me get this straight. The Wisconsin Senate was set to debate a measure to remove certain (but not all) collective bargaining powers for public employees in an effort to reduce a budget deficit.

1. Trying to reduce debt. OK.
2. Open debate on the issue and the means. Good.

So, what do some WI legislators do? Flee the state to block numbers 1 and 2. Meanwhile, union members/organizers/activists protest at the state capitol, claiming that the measure to be debated is anti-democratic.

1. Legislators fleeing the state to avoid a debate is democracy-in-action? No.
2. Union members helping to force a standstill in the state government is
democracy in action? No.

This isn't "power to the people" as one lawmaker tried to claim. This is usurpation of the democratic process enshrined in our republic. And all these public "employees" should be ashamed.

The 'Progressives' are here, they are dangerous, and if you look behind the curtain, you'll see the likes of Alinsky and Ayers calling the plays, posthumously or otherwise. I'm just waiting for them to declare a "Day of Rage" to really seal the deal.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Uhm. Dumbass?

Who the hell is this James Brown guy, and what on the face of this green Earth do his comments have to do with the pending legislation in Nevada?

For the record, "automatic" weapons are already highly regulated at the Federal level (as well as in some less-sane States), so I'll assume Captain Dumbass is talking about semi-automatic weapons, like a trusty old M1911A1 or a new-fangled Glock $NUMBER Gen4. It makes my head hurt to try and wrap my brain around what he might be getting at, so I think I'll stop hurting myself and instead enjoy a nice hot cup of tea.

Update on Traveller's Insurance gun policies

Well this is an interesting non-response. I can't say I'm surprised - insurance companies generally like to avoid bad press. On the other hand, what difference does it make if the named insured owns a sporting rifle, a pistol or grandad's old M1 Carbine? Do crooks generally target their home burglaries based on something as specific as a firearm type? If so, perhaps the homeowner already failed in letting that information out of the bag (assuming it's not an inside job). That doesn't excuse the theft or the criminal, mind you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Like shooting holes in cheese?

OK, so the post title is a weak attempt to combine shooting humor and cheese humor. But it seems the Swiss have voted to remain free, at least for now.

Interesting how the proponents of gun control are urban regions and

"...a broad coalition of NGOs, trade unions, churches, pacifists and centre-left parties."


Sound familiar? The Socialists, the Socialists, the Socialists, and, oh yes, the Socialists. The same people that think They Know Better than you. Government is the solution, 'people' are the problem. What they should do is just be honest - "freedom" is the problem, in their eyes. Self-determination, initiative, desire and a willingness to work harder than the next guy to get ahead - these are all dirty concepts.

They'll solve the problem by stripping freedoms, one at a time, creating absolute dependency and then dictating the terms by which you'll live your life. The goal is obvious, but the method and execution are insidious. It starts with your guns, your carbon emissions, your liquor, your cigarettes or your food supply. These are all things that 'regular' people can somehow agree are bad and should be controlled. Then it moves on to speech and ideas and expression (the Germans, their national history aside, are a prime example here with their anti-Nazi laws). This country has a shameful past in the history of slavery. To this day, we don't ban the KKK or prevent them from marching. No, we're generally intelligent enough to let them do their thing and then regard them with disdain and contempt. Their ideas and expression of those ideas are protected. Our freedom and open society inform us that those ideas are wrong and they lose in the end.

It's a screed here, I'll admit. As I said, though, it starts with 'guns' or 'booze' or 'carbon' and just marches on. Stop them. Now. Everywhere.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Go, Joe.

I like Joe's blog. It's pretty much devoid of bullshit. Actually, as far as I can tell, it is totally devoid of bullshit. He pokes an eye in the Brady folks over their clamoring for magazine capacity limits with a good video.

So I'll ask the Brady folks again: You claim to favor only reasonable gun laws. What do you consider to be an unreasonable gun control law, Mr. Helmke?

Traveler's Insurance = FAIL.

This.

I'm not sure why Traveler's takes that position, and though the lawyer in me can make about 4 or 5 educated guesses, none of them really stand out as presenting an excessive risk. Not in a country with million and millions of firearms in homes.

The world is full of dangerous stuff. Accidents and stupidity can, and do, happen. Lots of things can kill and maim. Booze, prescription drugs, guns, kitchen knives, matches and so on. Note the items I listed. That's not fodder for a game of "One of these things is not like the other." Seriously.

Fortunately, State Farm doesn't behave so foolishly.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

GPS

I would guess at least some hunters out there rely on GPS as a backup method for finding the way home if all else fails (compass gets crunched, can't see the Sun due to clouds, XY-chromosomal, intertial guidance system fails, etc.)

So this does not strike me as a good thing. Just skimmed the article so far, but it's worth being aware of, at least.

I want accurate spray firing.

I'll let the Op-Ed piece speak for itself. Mind you, it speaks like a stammering, lost and confused drunk. But it does speak.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A better type of wealth 'redistribution'

Instead of the government taking my taxes and using them to fund wasteful, unhelpful programs and policies that end up lining the pockets of labor, lobbyists and special interests, here's a better idea.

Guns are expensive and in today's down economy (recession, depression, take your pick - it sucks) few law abiding folks can afford to drop $300-$900 on a quality self-defense firearm, be that a pistol, shotgun or rifle. Even at the low end, you've got to pick between a noisemaker and food/rent/gas/heat/electricity in the most practical and realistic of situations.

So, each year we hear about law enforcement gun 'buybacks' (really another term for theft, IMO, but that's another post.) Agencies claim these firearms are checked to see if they were used in a crime and then either held as evidence or destroyed. It is wasteful and silly to destroy perfectly good and useful firearms, though probably wise to trash ones beyond repair or service. So let's take the good ones out of the batch and give them (along with training) to people who need them. Assuming you are not a prohibited person, are trained in safe use and storage and have a need, why not? By "need", I mean general good-cause, i.e. "self-defense" is just perfectly fine with me. And you can pick and choose among what will work best for you - an AR-15, a shotgun, a revolver, a semiautomatic pistol and so forth.

I seems only reasonable.

Inspired by this story.

Monday, February 7, 2011

New addition to the family

I picked up a Rock Island Armory (Armscor) 1911A1-CS (that's the Officer model, 3.5" bull barrel) from the stupid California 10-day jail a week ago and took it to the local indoor range on Friday.

Took the pistol home and it was covered in protective grease. Not quite cosmoline, but close enough to be annoying. In the box you'll find a bunch of literature about gun safety, a warranty registration card, a couple of fire shell casings, one 7 round ACT-MAG, the pistol itself with GI-style sights and a cable lock.

Disassembled and cleaned and looked at the tolerances and finish. Overall the slide-to-frame fit was nice, the barrel lockup was good, everything felt smooth once I oiled the slide rails and cycled the slide a few dozen times and the trigger pull was OK. I estimate the pull in the 4-5lb. range, but I haven't measured yet. Not too much creep and a decent, but not great, break. The Kimber trigger is better, but it's also twice the price.

Since the frame is cast and then machined, there are some casting marks that aren't machined or polished out of the VIS, but the VIS itself seems to be properly relieved for allowing only the upper part of the lower lug to make contact on recoil. Ejector and extractor looked fine, all safeties worked, the feed ramp looked acceptable, and the first function check with dry-fire was good. Off to the range, then.

I put about 135 rounds of Federal and Winchester 230gr ball ammo through it. The factory ACT-MAG was flawless (to my surprise, I'd heard they were junk). I had 2 FTRB's on the 3rd round, once with a Chip McCormick 8 round magazine and once with a Kimber 8 round magazine. No clue why, but the slide was 1/4" out of battery. Removing the magazine and then slightly pulling the slide back showed the extractor had in fact captured the round, so I don't suspect an uncontrolled feed issue (i.e. it wasn't extractor "pushing"). Tapping the rear of the slide with my hand put the pistol in battery. Re-inserted the magazine and finished without additional issues. Odd that both FTRB's were on round 3 of generally good quality magazines, but both were 8-round units. Other magazines (2 Kimber, 2 other Chips, and a Springfield 7 round USGI) all ran fine.

My initial guess is that this is related to several factors - magazine spring tension, release of the round from the feed lips (abrupt vs. gradual) and momentum of the slide. When you take a 5" design and chop 1.5" inches from it and fiddle around with recoil springs and guide rods, everything has to be just right. The Officer-style is, to some purists, an abomination. To me, it's tinkering with a known-good design. Do it right and you get good results. Be half-assed about it and get junk. I think Armscor did OK in this realm, but I'll have to wait and see. For the record, I don't recall what the feed lip profile is on the two magazines in question, but I'll guess at hybrid for SWC-type ammo.

Then I put 25 rounds of Remington Golden Sabre JHP through the thing. I was a little concerned here, since a pistol originally designed for ball ammo won't always feed JHP very well without some work (usually due to the flatness of the bullet nose and the bullet ogive.) Whatever Armscor did, they did right in this regard. All 25 went through the pistol nice and easy.

Accuracy at 7 yards was good for a personal defense pistol, but things did open up a bit more than I like at the 12 and 15 yard ranges. Some of that was the pistol, some of that was the so-so USGI sights and some of that was me getting used to the gun. In defense of the pistol, at 12 and 15 yards, each round by itself would have slowed a bad guy, and the follow-up shots would have likely ended the encounter.

For the price, you can't beat this little gem. I'll probably white-dot the front post (a good method is to drill out a 1/16" hole in the front sight and fill with some white appliance paint), and install an extended thumb safety when time permits. If I ever manage to add a California CCW to my CCW collection, then tritium sights will be in order. The factory wood grips are smooth, and I can see that being a problem with wet hands, in the rain and so forth. The quick fix there will be a set of Kimber rubber grips, similar to what my TLE II wears. I like them and they work well.

About the only thing I don't like is Officer vs GI magazines. I like all the magazines for a "family" of pistols to Just Work, and obviously an Officer magazine won't run in a GI-style 1911. Even more concerning is if in an emergency you grab for a GI 1911 and an Officer magazine. Not good. Solution - a bunch more 7 round magazines and a few X-grip bumpers. But then you run into a similar problem where your GI-sized magazines won't fit GI-sized guns without first removing the X-grip. But it lets me have magazines that are otherwise fully family-compatible. Imperfect, but acceptable for now.

I'll post back after I get 500-600 rounds through this critter and see how it does long-term. For now, the Kimber will be what I carry in the woods. I prefer the heft of a full-size 1911 and in the woods I really have no need to conceal a pistol. Plus the holster-magazine holder-pistol combination was set up for the Kimber and it all just works for me. If I start carrying while fishing, the RIA will likely be the go-to choice, however.
Interesting take on large capacity magazines, with a focus on the 33-round units for a Glock. Pretty well-written and thoughtful, and surprised to see it in the Post.

I do differ with the author, in part, though.

"For them, the Glock with a 33-round magazine is the weapon of maximum utility. You can load it on Sunday and shoot it all month. (Nobody wants to reload a gun while being shot at.) It's light and easy to control. You don't have to carry it or conceal it; it's under the bed or in the drawer until needed. When the question arises of who needs an extended magazine, the answer is: the most defenseless of the defenseless."
I'm not sure I totally agree here. 33 rounds of 9mm, plus the weight of the firearm (which granted, isn't much, thanks to all that nylon) isn't "light". It's not overly burdensome, but it certainly is not light. As for "easy to control", that big stick hanging out of the grip is not necessarily hard to control, but if you're not used to it, things can get a bit unwieldy.

Of course the practical solution to both my exceptions is practice, practice and more practice. Develop the necessary muscle memory and muscle strength and you'll be fine. Mind you, given a choice, the scattergun is what I'd prefer as my first line of defense. To paraphrase, the pistol just buys me some time and space for getting to it.

Shoot safe and have fun.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't just let a good crisis go to waste.

Manufacture it, at least in part.

I thought this was the sort of thing ATF was supposed to prevent. Whistle blower (Federal law offers protections for folks like this, one paper, anyway.)

Keep up the good work, guys.