Guns & Shooting Archive

Civil Rights Victory

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It appears that the Supreme Court has incorporated the Second Amendment against the states.

This is a major civil rights victory, as well as a "win" for reading comprehension. Naturally, the Left side of the Court voted en bloc against it.

I'm looking forward to reading the majority opinion when the decision is published.


UPDATE: OK, that was quick... via Ace o' Spades HQ: the 214 page decision in PDF format.

Quote of the Day

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Tyranny should never be easy.

Doc Zero, To Keep and Bear Arms

Fetish

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For some reason, my referrer logs are chock full of people searching the web for pictures of "naked chicks with guns."

Said searches, of course, lead them to this post from 2005.

In case you needed to know...

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Spree for thee, not for me

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There is much chatter the past week or so about the run on gun stores — people buying up weapons and ammunition which is thought likely to be banned or made prohibitively expensive under an Obama administration.

The website for Classic Arms — one of my favorite purveyors of fine shootin' iron — tells the tale (I've cleaned up the HTML for readability) :

Let me give you some perspective. In the third quarter of this year, (July thru October) we sold the following:
7.62x39 ammo361 cases
AK 30 rd mags783
AK rifles (all types )243

By comparison, in the 10 days since the election we have sold

7.62x39 ammo1218 cases
AK 30 rd mags3855
AK rifles (all types )572

That is in addition to the AR rifles, Golani rifles, Tantals, and other firearms that have also sold like wildfire. Some of our larger dealer customers have been attempting to place orders for hundreds of firearms with us when we only had dozens in stock.

The traffic on the one and only "shooters" email list to which I am subscribed — a list populated by extremely intelligent/competent technical guys — is all about people stocking up while they can.

I happen to believe that the fears of these people are correct, that the incoming administration will in fact do everything in their power to make firearm ownership as burdensome as possible, and will restrict as much commerce in firearms as they can.

So here I am with a seemingly perfect reason to acquire more shootin' iron... but I have no need.

I'm maxed out. I'm over my limit of what, for health reasons, I can now put to use regularly at the range.

I already own ugly black plastic firearms that, for purely cosmetic reasons, are likely to be banned by this Congress and the new administration.*

Indeed, I've been considering selling off some of my small collection, simply because I can't make use of it any longer.

Sure, I could try stocking up on ammunition and high-capacity magazines before they're made either illegal or prohibitively expensive... but I already have plenty, and again, because of my new disability, I won't likely use it all in the foreseeable future.

I have a bad feeling that what more of us should really be stocking up on is cash.

And maybe canned food and bottled water.


* I have absolutely no confidence in the ability of the GOP portion of the Senate to maintain a filibuster. Not with useless tools like Snow or Specter there. I even doubt the willingness of the leadership to attempt a filibuster; a bunch of spineless weasels, most of them.

Of boom sticks and banjos

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I've owned and/or fired one version or another of every rifle that has been standard issue for the US Army since the 1870s. Of all this wide variety of rifles, without a doubt my favorite has been the M1A, the civilian version of the Army's venerable M14 which, as you may already know, was replaced in service by the M16.

In nearly every measure of performance, the M14 was the superior weapon; for accuracy and terminal ballistics, the raisons d'être of a combat rifle, the M14 far outstripped the M16. The only disadvantages commonly cited were that it was heavier and required a heavier ammunition load, chambered as it was in NATO-standard 7.62mm.

The M16, on the other hand, was lighter and allowed the soldier to carry more ammunition — a cynic might say that the higher number of rounds almost made up for their lack of effectiveness — and was favored by the "top-down" weapon procurement policies of the 1960s Department of Defense under McNamera.

"The M16 is to a rifle as the banjo is to a guitar" - Jeff Cooper

The M16 was adopted over the objections of US servicemen and our allies alike; when the Pentagon told our NATO allies that our forces would standardize on the M16's 5.56mm round rather than the 7.62mm, they were decidedly unhappy, having already invested a tidy sum in standardization.

The M16 with its 5.56mm round was sadly lacking in performance (earning it nicknames like "Mattel rifle" and "poodle shooter") and though it had sent a variety of our enemies to Hell over the years, it wasn't really until the introduction of the M16A2 (and a more powerful round, the M855) in the 1980s that the M16 became a reliably effective weapon under most circumstances.

The grand old M14, though, lives on. Though it's not new news, I'm nonetheless pleased to see this article (which prompted me to write today) at Military.com, New Lease on Life for the Beloved M-14.

There's a time and place to say "out with the old and in with the new," but I'm glad to see that our newest generation of warriors has a fondness for the classics.


It's Ammo Day today, by the way.

Range day: the aftermath

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I really understand why the biathlon is an Olympic event. Racing from point A to point B, and then shooting accurately is hard. Of course, I wasn't really racing downrange with my targets and back to the firing line — plodding is more like it — but it certainly was laborious. I really could have used a breather between walking and shooting, but taking too long a rest would have cut into my shooting time.

After yesterday's thoroughly exhausting trip to the range, I had another PT session today.

I woke up today after one of the worst night's sleep I've had in a while, and still felt completely drained by yesterday's activities. It felt like I could barely move... because I really could barely move. I didn't need to be making extra trips up and down the stairs; my legs and hips were sore enough that I decided the cats could wait an hour or so for their breakfast until I was downstairs on my way out the door to PT.

My shoulder is lightly bruised, as well, from the rifles. But that's a good kind of hurt.

Eventually I did manage to get myself dressed and shod, and descended the stairs — quite shakily — fed the furballs, and headed out.

PT was the usual round of exercises — bridges, straight-leg raises, hamstring curls, and so on — followed by the caneless walking routine. This week, though, the therapist had me do something different. Instead of walking as far as I could before taking a rest, he had me do one lap at a time around the facility, with a one-minute rest between laps. Perhaps not surprisingly, on every lap my speed and form were much better than they had been in the past. I think he had me do it that way to let me get used to actually walking quickly; it certainly worked. It also seems to have loosened me up; by the time PT was done, I was moving a lot better than I had been before I left the house.

Of course, I was pretty well pooped by the time PT was done. I'm getting used to that. I barely had it in me to get myself up the stairs when I got home... so I fed the cats again before I came up. No extra trips down and up the stairs for this guy today... but I still will have to go down and feed them their dinner later. They had better appreciate it.

I'll bet anyone a dollar that I'll be barely mobile tomorrow.

Range day

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I finally made it to the range.

It had only been, what, two years? since I've been able to go, so the trip was mostly a refresher for me, as well as a chance to break in a couple of acquisitions that I had not as yet had the opportunity to shoot.

Tonight it was the Schmidt-Rubin K.31 and the Brno VZ.24, both of which were terrific bargains when I purchased them, and both of which were fun to shoot this evening.

I ran into a few problems. 1) I used the wrong type of target (red, not black) for my set with the K.31, so 2) I couldn't see the bullseye, 3) which I stupidly put out at 100 yards. That isn't a terribly long way for me to walk, but 200 yards — down and back — is, if I plan to do any shooting after the stroll. Even though the temperature was mild, I was sweating at the end of my stroll downrange to place my target. So, 4) my safety glasses kept fogging up on me. I still managed to put 80-90% of my rounds within the diameter of a paper plate, but high off the bull.

For the VZ.24, I switched to a black bullseye, still at 100 yards. After another hike down and back, my group was high and to the right of the bull and marginally tighter, but nothing to write home about.

The main point of the expedition wasn't to shoot 3" groups over iron sights (which I've actually done with my M1A, once upon a time) but to get back into the swing of things, getting refamiliarized with everything that a trip to the range entails, such as making sure I have everything I need. Little things that I used to take for granted are hard now... like getting my rifles downstairs and out to the truck, or getting rifles and gear into the range in something resembling an orderly fashion.

Still and all, it was a good night out.

Clingy elitist

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Via Hot Air: Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, decided to reach out to clingy gun owners in Virginia.

In an out-of-nowhere attempt to reassure a southwestern Virginia labor crowd about gun owners' rights, Biden — who regularly scores "F" ratings from the National Rifle Association — warned Obama that if "he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem."

"I guarantee you Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey," Biden said Saturday at the United Mine Workers of America's annual fish fry in Castlewood, Virginia. "Don't buy that malarkey. They're going to start peddling that to you."

Oh, it sounds good. But then he gave the game away:

Biden told the crowd that he himself is a gun owner. "I got two," Biden said, "if he tries to fool with my Beretta, he's got a problem. I like that little over and under, you know? I'm not bad with it. So give me a break. Give me a break."

Emphasis mine.

Knowledgeable gun owners know that a Beretta over/under shotgun can cost upwards of $7,000. Not exactly the firearm of your average gun-and-religion-clinging working stiff. Heck, I'm now doing a fair amount better than average, and I can't afford one of those. I'll stick with my $450 Remington.

Beretta shotguns are very nice firearms indeed, but way out of the reach of the average shooter. You have to be either a competitive shotgunner (skeet, trap, etc.) or a very dedicated enthusiast to lay out the kind of money it takes to have one. I wouldn't pay $1500 for a shotgun... and that's the extreme low end of the price range for a new Beretta over/under.

So what Biden is saying here is that yes, he owns a shotgun. An expensive top-of-the-line shotgun. Useful for a narrow set of hunting situations and certain types of competition.

But the record shows that what he and his ilk don't have is any desire for you or me to have our affordable semiautomatic rifles with politically incorrect cosmetic features like pistol grips or bayonet lugs. Or useful features like high-capacity magazines.

For some reason, this reminds me of a quick bit of South Park, in which a wealthy celeb advises the pleb on how to live his life:

Man: Look man, I work fourteen hours a day at the saw mill. I just got off work and I need to relax.
Rob Reiner: Well when I relax I just go to my vacation house in Hawaii!
Man: I ain't got a vacation house in Hawaii!
Rob Reiner: Your vacation house in Mexico, then, whatever it is!

All of my adult life, I've been more than able to physically defend myself. I've never, fortunately, had to throw a punch, but I've broken up a tussle or two. And I've never been the victim of a crime against my person. More than once, I've seen that look on a person's face that said "no way am I messing with that guy."

Now, though, being reliant on a cane and permanently shaky on my feet, I'm in a position of relative helplessness — I can neither rely on my size and strength to keep a potential assailant at bay, nor can I retreat if the situation warrants. If someone wants to take me on, I'm basically a victim waiting to happen. Kick my cane out from under me, and I'm likely to hit the ground in very short order. Not exactly an ideal position from which to defend one's self.

Well, there's an old saying, "God created Men. Sam Colt made them equal."

I'm going to get a concealed carry permit. And while I don't own a Colt, I do have a few other items that would do the job.

I'd been considering it for more than a little while, but never got around to it. Well, I was trading e-mail with Steve H. this week, and mentioned the possibility — he replied, "The permit sounds like a great idea. But how could it NOT be?"

He's right.

Budget buster

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At the link, a demonstration of how to burn through my annual ammunition budget in about 10 seconds: the Dillon M134 gatling gun.

Gratification delayed

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Great day at PT today. I didn't keep track of how far or how fast I walked. I was faster and more stable, but I didn't go as far as usual, due in large part to a new exercise I got to try today, the dreaded getting up off the floor without assistance exercise.

The lesson learned: get assistance, or plan on staying on the floor.

And so... another trip to the rifle range, blown. Dang. I really want to give the K.31 and VZ.24 thorough workouts.

Note to self: don't count on being able to do anything after a physical therapy session.

Best of both worlds

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Range report

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Um... there is no range report. Not today, at least.

The temperature was in the 90s, and if there's one thing I've learned about shooting, it's that I don't do it well with sweat running into my eyes.

Maybe next week, then.

Monday miscellany

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Mondays. Ugh.

Most people dislike Mondays because that's when they return to their humdrum jobs.

I dislike them because Mondays are the days I do all my chores — take out the trash, vacuum the house, do laundry, and so on. I try to get groceries on Mondays, as well, but it doesn't always work out that way. So, for the rest of the day, I'll be puttering around the house.

On the whole, though, I'm glad to be able to do as much as I can. Not too long ago, of course, I was incapable of all but the easiest household task. They aren't easy for me now, but they're getting to be less difficult. I can't believe how much better I am than I ever expected, and I'm grateful for it.


Tuesday, though, I am going to try to have a little fun — I'm going to do my utmost to make a trip to the rifle range. It's been about two years since I've been able to go, and I have some much-neglected hardware that needs to be given a workout. I'm confident I can schlep my wheeled hard-shell rifle case from the parking lot into the range, and once there I ought to be able to handle the usual walking up- and down-range target placement and marking activities.

My only concerns are the temperature — the range, indoors, has fans but no A/C — and the smoothness/slickness of the concrete floor. Too smooth and/or slick, and my cane will be slipping around. That would be a Bad Thing, indeed.


I may have to postpone, though; Mycah's not being her usual self. She seemed to be a bit off her feed at breakfast time today, she hadn't used the litterbox since last night, she's not been so stand-offish with Kismet and Packet, and she's moving a bit slower than normal. I had to call her repeatedly to come down for breakfast; usually, she's there ahead of me meowing with anticipation. I need to keep an eye on her today and make sure she's just having a bad day, as opposed to actually being unwell.

She had her 13th birthday just a month ago, but that doesn't necessarily make her an elderly cat quite yet. I'm more concerned about the diabetes and, to a lesser degree, her hyperthyroidism. Kidneys are a cat's weak spot, I think, so I really need to keep an eye on her potty behaviour. I hope the old girl has a few more years left in her. Kismet and Packet need to be swatted from time to time, and she's just the girl to do it.

Coincidentally, she has a vet appointment for tomorrow for her 6-month checkup. We'll see what the vet says.

Mycah's Potty Update: She used the litterbox while I was off doing my chores. She didn't just whiz, she whi-i-i-izzed. No poo yet, though. And she refused to come downstairs for her evening feeding. Not good.

Wednesday is my Monday

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Today is the first day of my work week, and, boy, has it started poorly.

Sometime yesterday evening, my upstairs A/C ceased to blow cold air. I didn't really notice it until I had to go downstairs... the temperaturre differential was immediately apparent. So, I left a message for my HVAC guys requesting service ASAP.

They called me at about 9 this morning. I was, of course, pretty groggy after only a few hours's sleep, but I got the message loud and clear: they are booked solid today and tomorrow.

Outstanding. It's supposed to get up to 95° today.

And I couldn't get back to sleep. Superb.

So, I headed over to SCOTUSblog to see if the Heller 2nd Amendment decision was published today. Nope. They're really drawing out the drama on this one.

Signs seem to indicate that Heller will be a win for those of us who support 2nd Amendment rights. The question, it seems to me, is how far the Court will go in our direction. I'm hoping to hear the words "strict scrutiny" somewhere in the decision.

I'm considering celebrating by acquiring another firearm. Maybe a nice (and inexpensive) Yugoslavian SKS from Classic Arms. Good place to do business with, if they have what you're looking for. Over the past few years, I got my Swiss K.31, Czech VZ.24, as well as some accessories there. Good outfit, yep.

And though it seems unlikely at this point, if the Heller decision goes the wrong way, I'll get two. And a bucketfull of ammo.

"Qualified," indeed

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In theory — not my theory, but that of the gun control crowd — firearms are best left in the hands of the professionals.

Oh, really?

Tax Day

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I hope everyone is enjoying their April 15th.

I talked to my Mom last night, and told her I'd mail some packages to her today. Then I remembered the date, and called her back. There's no way I'm going anywhere near a Post Office today. Except perhaps with a camera to record the annual day of carnage.

Having done my taxes early this year, I've noticed feeling a great sense of relief at not having to struggle with a deadline.

For those of you so inclined, those who are as un-thrilled as I of having to hand over large percentages of income to the most wasteful money-handling institution on the planet, I recommend "celebrating" Tax Day by also making it Buy a Gun Day. It's empowering.

Reminder

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Having filed my taxes and received my refunds two months ago, I had completely forgotten that April 15th is Buy A Gun Day.

This year, it's one of these for me, via Classic Arms.

(Though I'd give up my first-born for one of these.)

(If I had a first-born, that is.)

Now that I can walk — not well, mind you, but a cane is usually sufficient to my needs — I haven't had a fall in almost a month, now — I'm really hankering to do something I haven't been able to do in well over a year: go to the rifle range and make holes in paper.

There's just one small problem: while I can walk, I cannot carry things particularly well. My balance* is not yet reliable enough, and those of you who've ever been shooting know that a trip to the range always involves a fair amount of toting.

I suppose getting groceries into the house might be considered good practice. Once a week, I order groceries online and pick them up a few hours later. The goods are deposited into my vehicle curbside at the store, but when I get home I have to schlep the week's acquisitions from truck to house. Fortunately, it's a short trip, and there are what amount to handholds almost every step along the way. And of course I don't try to carry the entire load in one trip.

Going to the range would be a different matter altogether, as far as portage is concerned. It's a longer haul, with a bigger load... and if I were to fall, there'd be no easy way to get up again, short of crawling back to my truck and pulling myself up. I can't yet get up off the ground without something to use as leverage.

Since I don't have any servants on staff, what I really need if I want to go to the range is to coordinate with someone for a meetup at the range.

You know, a play-date.

* It's not actually my sense of balance that is weak, it's the ability of my legs to keep me up straight, to react in a timely manner to keep me upright if I should happen to lose my balance.

Quote of the Day

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On firearm ownership:

The next time someone asks me what I'm compensatin' for, I think I'm gonna tell 'em, "The fact that I can't throw a rock at 1400 feet per second."

The Pistolero, via Steve H.

Sleep Soundly

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I want one of these.

Target Practice

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Every guy who shoots regularly has a fantasy.

This is one of mine.


Target Practice

BAG Man

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Don't forget, today is Buy a Gun Day IV.

If I can find one of these beauties, I'll be on it like ugly on my brother.

Not Vacationing

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Sorry for the lack of posting... I've been busy this week, and too tired at night to think straight.

In lieu of original content, here's a picture of naked chicks with guns:

Self Reliance

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I live in a pretty decent neighborhood. Solidly "upper middle-class," maybe "lower upper-class"... lots of professionals live in my neighborhood. If we all banded together, we could start a high-tech company all our own.

We're somewhat out in the sticks, too — our little subdivision in the woods west of Raleigh is the last one you get to before you're in genuinely rural territory. Cows, horses, ostriches, that sort of thing. Livestock. Crime here is virtually non-existent, if not actually non-existent.

A couple nights ago, while I was lying in bed reading prior to turning out the light, I heard a noise downstairs.

It was not the usual cat-generated noise — the cat was lying on my chest getting a one-handed chin-scratch while I held my book in the other hand. Nor was it the common "wind-blown twig hitting the side of the house" noise.

This sounded like someone trying to get in the sliding glass door off my back deck. I've never actually had anyone get into my house before, but that's what it sounded like to me.

There's a phone next to my bed. A police visit would have been a mere 911 call away.

The thought of calling the police never crossed my mind.

What first crossed my mind was get a firearm.

The thought of calling the police never crossed my mind.

What first crossed my mind was get a firearm.

Not call a cop, but get a gun.

Five minutes of investigation determined that it was no mere twig that had blown up against the house, but rather a length of branch about 1" in diameter knocking up against the sliding glass door. No big deal after all.

I delight in imagining, however, the look of utter surprise a burglar might wear on his face when confronted by a giant (me: 6'8", 300+ lbs.) in jockey shorts wielding a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun. The sound of that slide racking is probably enough to cause severe and immediate bowel hyperactivity.

Epilogue: I returned upstairs to my room, to be greeted by a slightly miffed feline. He looked at me from the foot of my bed, no doubt indignant that his chin-scratch had been so rudely interrupted. I'm sure he thought I was an idiot cowboy. That's OK — I think he's French. I know which I'd rather be.

Belated Buy-A-Gun Day

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Most of us are unhappy about April 15th, it being Tax Day and all.

Rather than cry in our beer, it ought to be a day to express our liberties as Americans, and so last year Aaron the Liberal Slayer designated April the 15th as Buy A Gun Day. In 2003 it was a great success, with over 50 bloggers beginning or increasing their firearm collections, yours truly included.

This year's event was even more successful, with over 140 bloggers acquiring new weaponry.

I'm a little late to the party this year, but here's my pick: the Marlin Model 1894 Cowboy in .357 Magnum .45 Long Colt.

Next year I'll find a suitable matching revolver... if I can wait a whole year.

Idle Hands

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It occurs to me that since I have a bit of free time, I could spend some of it at the range.

I am inspired.

Hey, I can't just lay around waiting for my back to heal, you know.

Good Advice

Go see Jennifer's Rules For Gunfighting.

Better bullets

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Looks as if the Army is experimenting with upgrading the varmint rifle M-16 to accomodate a larger round, 6.8mm versus the 5.56mm round currently in use.

Kim has had a lot to say in the past about the M-16 being, alternately, a "banjo" or a "poodle shooter" (or both simultaneously), and I find it hard to disagree with his assessment. The 5.56mm NATO cartridge is simply inadequate (unless your primary concern is the number of rounds a soldier can carry.)

Up-gunning the M-16 (and the M-4 carbine) to a better round (more energy on target = more knock-down/stay-down power, e.g., more lethal) has to be an excellent idea. Let's see if the Department of Defense has learned anything about weapon systems at the low end of the scale.

And no, I don't mean this monstrosity.

Quote of the Day

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While rhetorically dismembering Pacifism as an ideology, Ironbear notes:

[T]he ownership of weapons and the responsible excercise of that right is inherent to freedom. And it's the backbone to all other freedoms. It's a nonarguable concept - that's why so many weapons control/banning enthusiasts complain that we're "unreasonable" on the subject: We are.
From "Pacifism and Personal Responsibility," at Who Tends the Fires

Patton was right

My collection of historic US military rifles is one step closer to completion -- I've finally managed to acquire something I've been after for a while:

M1 Garand rifle

This, for the few unenlightened folks who might be reading, is the historic M1 Garand rifle, called by General George Patton "the greatest battle implement ever devised." I wouldn't dare argue with him.

My collection (such as it is) consists of "shooters", not pristine hands-off bits of not-to-be-fired hardware -- this one will get plenty of range time. I'm doing the "Happy Feet" dance in my mind.

[The above image was stolen shamelessly from Kim DuToit's Gratuitous Gun Pic page. I hope he doesn't mind.]

[I don't have the bayonet yet.]

National Ammo Day

Don't forget that today is National Ammo Day.

I got mine already:

Mission accomplished.

I Need More Power Tools

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My garage is full of power tools, but they're all woodworking tools.

I have to get my hands on some metal-machining tools now, of course. Because now I can make one of these:

M-60 Machine Gun

It seems that, in a rare moment of lucidity, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the "commerce clause" of the Constitution means what it says -- that activities not considered to be interstate commerce cannot be outlawed by Congress.

Like, for instance, owning a homemade machine gun. (Article here, PDF of the court's decision here.)

[Yes, yes, I know -- decisions of the Ninth Circuit don't apply to North Carolina. Just this once, though, I wish they did. And man, oh man, I loved my M-60 -- the best firearm Uncle Sam ever issued to me.]

Via Instapundit.

Missing the Obvious

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James Taranto in today's Best of the Web makes a valid criticism of Juan Williams' verbal assault on Howard Dean. Said Williams:

Gov. Dean has suggested that states like Vermont, Montana and Wyoming, with overwhelmingly white populations, really don't need gun control, in part because of their rural character, but urban areas, such as Baltimore, Md., with large minority populations, do need gun control.
This is an unwarranted interpretation of Dean's actual position. No one believes Dean is racist.

On the other hand, Dean's actual position on gun laws - and on the Constitution, generally - is far, far worse. If summarized accurately by Taranto, it is Constitutionally insupportable. Taranto writes [emphasis mine]:

Howard Dean deviates from liberal orthodoxy on one issue: gun rights. Coming from Vermont, the state with the nation's least restrictive gun laws, Dean holds a genuinely moderate position. He opposes new federal gun-control laws, but he also believes the 10th Amendment trumps the Second and that states have the authority to pass whatever gun laws they see fit.
Surely, Dean cannot seriously believe this?

On this basis, would it then be a reasonable position to believe that the 10th Amendment trumps the First, that states should be able to pass laws restricting speech, the press, religion, and the right to assemble?

How about the Fifth - shall states be able to seize private property without compensation, if they see fit to do so? Or put a person on trial twice for the same crime?

Carried to the extreme, maybe the 13th Amendment? Should Vermont be able to reinstitute slavery?

This sort of "reasoning" betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The amendments are there to guarantee and protect the basic rights of the people. Anything not specifically addressed is left to the states, under the Tenth Amendment.

Such basic errors should be considered an absolute disqualification from holding an office under the federal Constitution.

Buh-bye, Howard.

The sporting life

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Tuesday was a great day.

My visiting brother and I took my 12-year-old nephew fishing on Jordan Lake - off a dock, since I have no boat. The crappie were biting, and the boy managed to land one, as well as a catfish. My brother got a crappie. I got bupkus - about ten bites, but nothing took the bait... well, the lure, actually.

Having productively spent the morning lakeside (time spent fishing is not about catching fish) it was determined that it was time to teach the boy to shoot.

Now, those of you who make Kim du Toit a daily read might be saying to yourself "12? You waited until he was 12? Are you nuts?" And you'd have a point. Heck, I first learned when I was six or seven. But two facts mitigate: 1) he's my nephew, not my son, and 2) the boy lives in the land of loons California - 'nuff said.

So Tuesday we headed to the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center. A more impressive facility I have never seen - not even (or perhaps, especially) while I was in the Army. Three of the indoor bays are available for public use (after completion of a 2-hour training class and passing a test) (I aced it, thankyouverymuch), with one bay reserved for police training. Two of the "civilian" bays are 50 meters; one is a full 100 meters.

100 meters. Indoors.

Jealous yet?

Who'd'a thunk it?

Reuters displays stupidity - someone else's, and not their own, for a change:

Man Tries to Rob Gun Shop with Toy Pistol

Most amazingly, this happened in France. In France!

Those EUropean cowboys... who knew they had gun shops?

In my last post I enumerated a number of the reasons I left California. Here are four more, info courtesy of the California NRA Members Legislative Council:

AB (Assembly Bill) 50 (Koretz) - .50 Caliber Rifle Ban - would ban the sale/possession of rifles that are chambered for the .50 BMG cartridge and the sale/possession of .50BMG cartridges.

Oh, yes, I recall all those news stories of crimes perpetrated by .50-caliber rifle-wielding maniacs. After all, what self-respecting criminal would want to appear in public with a weapon that costs less than $3,000?

AB 992 (Ridley-Thomas) - Ammo Tax - Amended to direct revenues to a "Victim Reimbursement Fund".

Since this would also put a tax on ammunition components (powder, primers, brass, bullets) this would spell the end of reloading and custom loading. And we all know what a lawless pack of felons the people who load their own ammunition are.

SB489 (Scott) - Semi-Auto Handgun bill - [requires] that all semiautomatic handguns, manufactured after a specific date - that are imported and sold in California, be equipped with a loaded chamber indicator and a magazine disconnect mechanism.

A "magazine disconnect mechanism"? I'm guessing they don't mean the magazine ejection button already built into semiautomatic handguns?

This is so bloody typical - the legislators want a technology which doesn't exist outside of Fantasyland to be made mandatory. I'll bet they never actually consulted a firearms expert - except the ones thoughtfully provided by the Brady people.

SB 601 (Perata) - .50 Caliber Handgun Ban - would ban sale/possession of .50 caliber handguns. This bill is aimed specifically at the new S&W .500 Magnum cartridge but would also ban others.

Because we all know that criminals will buy and use the most expensive weapon available - profit margin be damned. No sense buying that cheap ratty .38 when you can spend 5 times as much for this, right?


Now, I don't reload, and I don't own or plan to own a .50 caliber rifle or handgun (blackpowder smokepoles excepted). But I sure am glad I left the Peoples' Republic - half of my arsenal is already illegal there, and I don't own anything bigger than .45ACP. Well, except for my muzzleloaders....

Something Good For April 15

Buy A Gun To Spite Michael Moore Day

Since I probably can't get one of these, (dang!) I'll probably have to settle for this:


UPDATE: Got it!

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