Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Camoflage and Pearls

Cowboy Blob has an excellent example of why we're winning - The Debutante Hunters, a 12 minute short-subject from the Sundance Film Festival.  Go.  Watch.  Make Sarah Brady cry.

I Bet There's an Interesting Pucker Mark in His Seat

Just... wow.




From my brother.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Central AZ Blog Shoot AAR

Well, I think everyone who showed had a good time.  I think there were about nine of us all told, unless I didn't meet some people.  Lots of lead went downrange.  I shot the half-inch rebar support for the 100 yard steel swingers.  Twice.  My AR-15 Olofsoned on me because the hammer pin walked loose.  (It is disconcerting when your semi-automatic AR-15 rips off a three-round burst.)  I guess a loose hammer pin qualifies as a machinegun these days.  (Hey, if a shoestring can...)  I discovered that my 180 grain .40S&W loads don't group, they pattern.  But my 155 grain handloads work pretty damned well.  That's good, because I was prepared to sell the Witness until I managed to whack the 50 yard plate six times out of ten with the 155s.  (I could barely frighten the plate with the 180's.)  I learned that a front-stuffer charcoal-burner actually doesn't make that much smoke if you load it with Blackhorn 209 powder.  I learned that the action on a Swiss K-31 really is very, very smooth.

I've got some pictures up for you to peruse.

Got to do this again next year.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Last Call for the Central AZ Blogger Shoot

If you're going, it's tomorrow at the Elsy Pearson Public Shooting Range just outside Casa Grande.  Take I-10 to I-8W, exit at Trekkel Road.  Turn South on Trekkel to W. Arica Rd., left on Arica to Isom, right on Isom at the Casa Grande Trap Club, and you'll see the range on your left in about a half mile.  The first range you come to is the police range (not open to the public), but right next to it are the five bays of the Public Range.  We'll be on the long one, which is 300 yards.








Range opens at 0700. Bring eye & ear protection, and something to sit on - the range has benches, but no chairs. The shooting line is covered, but sunscreen is still advised. Bring target stands if you have 'em. You won't be shoving anything into the ground out there, it's like concrete. If you want to shoot up cans or other junk, be prepared to clean up after yourself. I'll be bringing steel AR500 plates that anyone can shoot.

We'll be tailgating it for lunch. Bring (non-alcoholic) beverages, and something to eat. I'll have a small gas grill. I'm bringing six rifles: my M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Ted Brown M14, my target AR-15, 1917 Enfield and my Remington 700 5R. I should have at least 100 rounds for each of them.  I haven't decided which handguns I'll be bringing.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 27, 2012

5 Most Wanted

Robb Allen asks,
What 5 firearms would I purchase, should price nor practicality be an issue?
Well, I'm a practical kinda guy, but here's my list:

1) Single-shot falling-block type rifle. For me, this is a tossup between a Ruger No. 1 in a varmint caliber, or a Shiloh Sharps .45-110 Quigley. (Or, in AR15.com tradition, BOTH!)

2) A semi-auto combat-style shotgun. I'm not a shotgunner and I don't follow 3-gun so I'm not really sure what's hot right now, but I have only one scattergun in my safe at the moment - a Mossberg 590 pump. I'm open to suggestions on this one.

3) A 4" barreled Colt Python in Royal Blue with the roller-bearing action job. (Did anybody ever make a 5" version of this revolver?)

4) A really nice full-custom Browning Hi-Power, like this Cylinder & Slide Peerless Grade. After all, price is no object, right?

5) Uncle wants a full-tilt G.E. Minigun. OK, I can see that. But I think I'd really like something similar, but not as big. Lakeside Guns makes firing miniature replicas of 1917, 1919 and M2 Browning belt-fed machine guns that fire the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. I'd like a six-barreled 6,000 round-per-minute mini-minigun that shoots the .22 - complete with backpack power supply/ammo hopper so it's man-portable. I want to carry it and to be able to shoot it like Jesse Ventura in Predator.

Damned Hughes Amendment....

Bill Whittle States it Plainly

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Know it's Fiction, But . . .

...sometimes there's truth in there.

One of the few television shows I watch with any regularity is ABC's Castle.  I started watching it because the title character is played by Nathan Fillion, Firefly's Malcolm Reynolds.  I like the guy.  Turns out, it's an entertaining show - and I still like the guy.

Anyway, for whatever reason - solar storm, falling stock market, Newt winning South Carolina, my DVR screwed up and didn't record part of the latest episode, so I went to the ABC website to watch it there.

Where I discovered that one of the characters - Det. Ryan - has his own blog.

Oh how cute.

Except the latest post on that blog caught my attention: Ryan on his Glock. Let me excerpt:
It's 22.04 ounces unloaded, add another 9.87 when it's got all the rounds in there. It's got a synthetic polymer frame to cut down on wear and tear - still sets off a metal detector though, don't worry. 17 round capacity, 7.32 inches long, 5.43 inches high and with 5.5 pounds of pressure to the trigger it can change from a symbol of authority, to the last thing someone sees in this life.
Straighforward, technical. Interesting. Next paragraph:
Now imagine that strapped to your hip. It’s not comfortable. I see people on the subway shifting around, trying to keep their keys from digging into their leg and I think they have no idea how bad it can be. Of course, I wouldn't have it any other way. Every time my Glock digs into my side, every time my hand bumps into it, heck, every time it makes my pants sag, I'm reminded of what it means. Its weight on my hip is a reminder of the weight I have on my shoulders. The city of New York has entrusted me with the right to take the life of another.
My emphasis.

No. No it hasn't. But honestly, that attitude I think explains a lot of things. It explains why places like New York refuse to allow their citizens to exercise their right to arms. It explains why individual members of police departments all across the country, and some full departments do the things that Radley Balko writes about on a daily basis.

They think that by carrying a firearm they've been given a right to kill.

No, they've been entrusted with the power to kill only in the defense of self or others. But if they believe they have the right to kill, well...

Chained dog lunges at you? Kill it. You have the right.

Want to beat up an old man? Hey, you have the right to kill him! Why not?

There has been story after story of individual officers, SWAT teams, and groups of cops dealing out violence, often lethal, without sufficient cause. Part of it, I think, is the belief that the gun, the badge and the uniform confer upon them the right to kill. If you've got that, anything less than lethal must be OK too, right?

Read the rest of the piece. When the author starts talking about bullying, I just stopped reading. Today the bullies wear uniforms, badges and guns.

Update: Like these Connecticut cops.

Here's another, via Uncle.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love and Self-Worth

Back when I wrote What We Got Here is ...Failure to Communicate, I quoted Thomas Sowell extensively from his magnum opus A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggle. One of the excerpts dealt with the differences in the way his two defined ideological groups deal with "new knowledge" and its effect on past decisions:
All social processes -- whether economic, religious, political or other -- involve costs. These costs are seen very differently by those with the constrained and the unconstrained visions, just as they see differently the kinds of attitudes needed in these processes -- sincerity versus fidelity, for example. These costs may be due to time or to violence, among other sources, their corresponding benefits may be apportioned justly or unjustly, and their recipients may be free or unfree. All these aspects are assessed differently in the constrained and the unconstrained visions.

The passage of time, and its irreversibility, create special decision-making difficulties, social processes, and moral principles -- all of which are seen quite differently by those with the constrained and the unconstrained visions. Both recognize that decisions made at one point in time have consequences at other points in time. But the ways of coping with this fact depend upon the capabilities of human beings and especially of human knowledge and foresight.

Accretions of knowledge over time mean that individual and social decisions made under conditions of lesser knowledge have consequences under conditions of greater knowledge. To those with the unconstrained vision, this means that being bound by past decisions represents a loss of benefits made possible by later knowledge. Being bound by past decisions, whether in constitutional law cases or in marriage for life, is seen as costly and irrational.

In the unconstrained vision, there are moral as well as practical consequences to intertemporal commitments. Gratitude, as well as loyalty and patriotism, for example, are all essentially commitments to behave differently in the future, toward individuals or societies, than one would behave on an impartial assessment of circumstances as they might exist at some future time, if those individuals and societies were encountered for the first time. Where two lives are jeopardized and only one can be saved, to save the one who is your father may be an act of loyalty but not an act of justice. Thus, in behavioral terms, gratitude and loyalty are interteporal commitments not to be impartial -- not to use future knowledge and future moral assessments to produce that result which you would otherwise consider best, if confronting the same individuals for the first time. From this perspective, loyalty, promises, patriotism, gratitude, precedents, oaths of fealty, constitutions, marriage, social traditions, and international treaties are all constrictions imposed earlier, when knowledge is less, on options to be exercised later, when knowledge will be greater.

--

All of those things ... loyalty, constitutions, marriage, etc. ... have been lauded and revered by those with a constrained vision. The process costs entailed by intertemporal commitments depend on (1) how much more knowledge, rationality, and impartiality human beings are capable of bringing to bear as a result of the passage of time and (2) on the cost of accepting the disadvantages of moment-to-moment decision-making.
Got that?

Now, go read THIS.  (h/t Vanderleun)

There are other rewards for loyalty, promises, constitutions, marriage etc. that are honored that sometime aren't factored in to the calculations. And costs when they are not.

Quote of the Day - Astrology Edition

From (who else) Tam:
I do share a birthday with Hadrianus Augustus, Frederick the Great, Edith Wharton, Ernst Heinkel, Generalfeldmarschall Model, Oral Roberts, Warren Zevon, John Belushi, and Natassja Kinski. (Oral Bob and Bluto Blutarsky on the same day? That should tell you everything you need to know about the predictive power of astrology.)

D'OH! Forgot to add: Happy Birthday, Tam!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

OK, The Date is Set - BUMPED ONE LAST TIME

The Central Arizona Blogshoot will be Sunday, January 29 at the Elsy Pearson public shooting range just off Trekell Road and I-8, just West of I-10. The range opens at 7:00AM. There are no rangenazis rangemasters. There are no chairs - bring something to sit on. The firing line is covered and there are concrete shooting benches, however.



And the city has porta-potties out there on a permanent basis now, so we don't have to rent our own (but bring your own TP just in case.)

The rules are pretty simple:



No explosives, no .50BMG rifles, clean up after yourself, don't be a dick.

ETA: In comments, ExurbanKevin advises:
A coupla item of note: The ground there is reinforced concrete disguised as sun-baked clay/ Fugetabout any target stand that needs to stuck into the ground, it ain't happenin'. Steel and targets that don't need taping are best. And the benches are funky-shaped. Regular camping chairs are marginal, stools are better.
Yup. I bring folding chairs, I have a 2" PVC target stand, and a half-dozen steel swinger targets. End edit.

I plan on being there when the range opens. We'll shoot until noon or 1 o'clock, then pack up and have lunch. I can't remember the name of the place we went last year, but there's a fairly well-ranked restaurant just up the road called the Creative Café, or we can bring grills and meat and bread and chips and tailgate it right there at the range, or others can suggest someplace else to eat in the comments. I'm open.

BUMPED: OK, looks like about 13 of us say we're going, and the vote is 10-4 in favor of tailgating it at the range for lunch. I can live with that.  Anybody else?  The more the merrier!

Final bump.  I recommend you bring:  water or other non-alcoholic beverages (no alcohol on the range), sunscreen, ear & eye protection, (ladies, don't wear anything low-cut or open-necked.  Yes, I'm sure it looks lovely, but you don't want to catch hot brass down in there), something to SIT ON (folding chairs recommended, but a 5 gallon bucket upended will work in a pinch), something to eat (enough to share would be nice, but not necessary), a roll of TP just in case the porta-potties are low.  OPTIONAL:  Something to shoot with, and something to shoot AT.  I imagine most of us will be bringing multiple firearms and lots of ammo, but if you don't, well, I'm willing to let people shoot my stuff (with my ammo), and I'm willing to let them shoot at my targets.  We gunnies are generous that way.

If you're a reader or a non-gun blogger interested in coming to a off-the-cuff funshoot, please come on down!  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Giffords Steps Down



Thank you, Ms. Giffords.  You have my respect, and my best wishes.

Quote of the Day

For years, cellphone makers had avoided using glass because it required precision in cutting and grinding that was extremely difficult to achieve. Apple had already selected an American company, Corning Inc., to manufacture large panes of strengthened glass. But figuring out how to cut those panes into millions of iPhone screens required finding an empty cutting plant, hundreds of pieces of glass to use in experiments and an army of midlevel engineers. It would cost a fortune simply to prepare.

Then a bid for the work arrived from a Chinese factory.

When an Apple team visited, the Chinese plant's owners were already constructing a new wing. "This is in case you give us the contract," the manager said, according to a former Apple executive. The Chinese government had agreed to underwrite costs for numerous industries, and those subsidies had trickled down to the glass-cutting factory. It had a warehouse filled with glass samples available to Apple, free of charge. The owners made engineers available at almost no cost. They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day.

The Chinese plant got the job.

"The entire supply chain is in China now," said another former high-ranking Apple executive.

"You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That's the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours."

An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

That's because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn's work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. "The scale is unimaginable," he said.

That's not QotD, though I strongly recommend you RTWT. I quoted that so I could quote you this, from an AR15.com thread, "What's the stupidest thing you've ever heard a professor say?":
Yesterday, I had a professor who was born and raised in China try to give a lecture about how offshoring hurts China. Yeah, you read that right, American offshoring hurts China.

He went through a power point presentation showing environmental problems (dead fish in streams, sand storms, etc.), and I just sat there. He held up a dry-erasable marker and said "Chinese workers only make 100-200 dollars per month making things like these." He kept emphasizing how little they made and how hard they worked.

I couldn't take it any longer. I respectfully raised my hand and asked "how much were these workers making before offshoring was prominent?"
You want your iPhone, iPad, Macbook AirJordans and $7 quilted winter coats? Offshoring is the cost.

Discuss.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

But I Want a PHASER!

Via email from my brother, it looks like the predictions of the Star Trek series keep coming true:




Yup, transparent aluminum. Well, an aluminum-based ceramic anyway - aluminium oxynitride. It's been in development for a while, but now they've figured out how to produce it in significant quantity.

And, since this IS a gun blog, ballistic transparent aluminum:


My Feelings Exactly



Stolen shamelessly from Mostly Cajun.

Friday, January 20, 2012

SOPA - Too Little, Too Late

In the fine TSM tradition of using Other People's Words when they say it better than I can, I quote Larry Correia quoting co-author Mike Kupari on the recent legislative setback of the SOPA bill by an uprising of netizens:
You didn't care when the government decided it could spy on you without a warrant. You didn't care when they started telling you what you could eat. You didn't care when your kids' education was turned into indoctrination. You didn't care when they were more worried about military veterans than Islamic terrorists. You didn't care when they spent so much money that our entire economic system may collapse. You didn't care when they gave billions of your money to unions and corporations that were their political contributors. You didn't care when inert cosmetic features on guns were felonies. You didn't care when they made it a fucking crime to not have government approved health insurance.

All of these things were done in your name. On your behalf. To help you, protect you, take care of you. Each time you gave them more power and gave away more of your freedom. Each time you believed them when they said they were protecting you, or helping the less fortunate, or sticking it to "the rich" who "aren't paying their fair share".

Each time you applauded their efforts. Mocked those that were concerned. Called them uncaring or racist or alarmist or stupid. Each time you asked for more. You begged them to take care of you, protect you, right wrongs, enforce equality.

But now that your Internet porn and bit torrents are threatened, NOW you care?

It's too late for all that, kids. Turning off Wikipedia for a couple days isn't going to win back the freedoms we've pissed away. It isn't going to undo decades of expanding government power. They've already decided there's nothing they can't do, no law they can't pass.

We watched it happen. We let it happen. We have the country we deserve.

So go ahead, post a rant about SOPA on your blog. Link to Ron Paul's web page. Pretend you're doing something. It'll make you feel better. Then you will go back to business as usual and so will they.

Democracy in action. Isn't it beautiful?
Can I get an "AMEN!"?

Edited to add this found at Tam's:


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Another Non Sequitur Strip

Looks like the Commandments of the Church of JAPete to me...





Non Sequitur from Sept. 8, 2011.

The Philosophy CANNOT BE WRONG!

Do it again, ONLY HARDER!

Reader Eric G. sent me a link to this cartoon. It's from the strip Non Sequitur, Sept. 1, 2011. I think I'll post it every time I write about cognitive dissonance:




Yup, that's it.

Quote of the Day - Don't Confuse 'Em With Facts Edition

So let me get this right. The Canadian Oil is supposedly worse for the environment, so stopping this pipeline will help the planet.

So instead of moving the oil in a safe way and be processed in US refineries operating under EPA regulations, the oil will now be transported across the Canadian Rockies where it will be loaded onto giant tankers and shipped across the Pacific where it will be refined in Chinese operations that have far fewer, if any, regulations in place.

Please let me know how the Chinese alternative is better for the Earth. Because no matter what, this Canadian oil is going to be sold.


Paul Strasser

The Killer Must've Been a Tea-Partier Opposed to Obamacare

ABC reports:
Iranian Student Activist Shot to Death in Texas

A Texas medical student well-known in her community as an Iranian activist was mysteriously shot and killed in her car, just yards from her home

Gelareh Bagherzadeh, 30, was driving through her Houston townhouse complex around midnight on Monday when she was shot dead through her car window.

"When officers arrived, they found a vehicle had run into a garage door at that location with the engine running and tires spinning on the pavement. Ms. Bagherzadeh was found slumped over in the driver's seat," the Houston Police Department said in a statement.

Authorities said nothing appeared to have been stolen from her car. Her cell phone and purse were found inside.

"Homicide investigators responded to the scene and were told by witnesses that several gunshots were heard, a crash and then tires squealing," the statement said.

Police told ABC News' Houston affiliate KTRK that the last person to speak to Bagherzadeh was her close friend and ex-boyfriend who was on the phone with her when she was shot.

"[The boyfriend] heard a loud thud. He doesn't recall hearing any gunshots, but a loud thud and then a screeching noise," Richard Bolton of the Houston Police Department Homicide unit told KTRK.

Bagherzadeh was of Iranian descent and was outspoken in promoting Iranian women's rights and criticizing the Iranian government, according to interviews she had done with the Houston Chronicle.
I'm sure the police are looking for a middle-aged white guy as the prime suspect.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Damn, You DO Like Recoil!

The post about the .950JDJ is well on its way to becoming has become my most popular post (by linkage and traffic) ever.

SayUncle linked it.  And Weer'd. Then lgstarr. (New to me.)

But in the last few days, it hit the message boards. Hard:

Accurate Reloading

Texas Riders (a motorcycle board.)

Valkyrie Riders Cruiser Club (another motorcycle board, membership required to view.)

Aprilla Forum (ANOTHER motorcycle board that requires membership)

Forum.Saiga-12.com

MarlinOwners.com

TexasKayakFisherman.com (?!?!)

AR15.com

Kel-Tec Owner's Group (That one I can kinda understand.)

Texas Predator Posse 

Pennock's Fiero Forum

Sportsmansnews.com

Forums.GunsandAmmo.com

tngunowners.com

texasgunforum.com

AirgunBBS.com (members only)

UK Varminting

WoodworkingTalk.com

GlockForum

Damn Locals 4X4 Club

PAFOA Forums

Taxidermy.net Forum (members only.)

New England Hunter's Network

Freedom Sledder Forum

NoslerReloading.com

The Stalking Directory

Delaware Open Carry

And about 200 600 hits from emails and Facebook.

I think there's a couple more I've missed that came from across the pond. I'll keep updating this as new ones show up in the referrer logs.

That one post has had (as I write this) 2,577 4,630 8,019 12,087 hits since it went up, according to Google Analytics; viewed by 2,367 4,232 7,354 11,066 unique IP addresses.

This is just amazing. Who knew?

Ameritopia

I'm going to have to get a copy of Levin's latest book, Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America.

Go watch an interview with Levin on the book.

I Am TJIC

And Borepatch has a damned fine idea to commemorate the first anniversary of his violation by the Democratic People's Republic of Massachussetts. (Motto: "Live Free or Here.")

Go. Read.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Holy Go Se!

Barron Barnett emails with an interesting link. It seems like Adam Baldwin has read (and approved) of my überpost What We Got Here is...Failure to Communicate. (I wondered where all those Twitter hits were coming from!) He especially liked the Serenity quote at the end.

Yes, that Adam Baldwin - Jayne from Firefly.

Hey U.S. Citizen! Seems like Summer Glau is going to pass on the offer, how about we invite Adam Baldwin to the next Gun Blogger Rendezvous? I mean, how can you not like a man who has this picture on his Twitter feed?



Hell, that made my day, and it's not even 7:00AM yet!

UPDATE: And he did it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Guffaw,

...now Joe Huffman?

Apparently Joe's blog is not available.  The Boomershoot site is still up, as is Joehuffman.org, but not The View from North Central Idaho. WTF?

UPDATE:  Aaaand now it's back.  Weird.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quote of the Week - Detroit Edition

Detroit is North Korea … with the Unions holding the same pride of place as the North Korean Army—keep them happy and they keep the kleptocracy in power. No matter who else starves. -- Tom Jones in a quote at Via Meadia

I Had No Idea

Worth the time to watch:


(h/t Jim Burnett, fellow pin-shooter)

Now That I Know That I Share His Opinion

...I may have to reconsider.

Bill Maher says:
"If they were real Taliban, if they were people who burn down girls' schools you know, and do honor rapes, threw acid in people's faces, I'm not that upset about pissing on them, dead or alive."
No, that's about right.  But I'm sure he said some other stuff I disagree wildly with.

Friday, January 13, 2012

So You Like RECOIL, Do You?

The posts about the .700WTF and the .950JDJ drew a LOT of hits, so apparently this is a popular topic. On that last post, one commenter said:
Can we get a 1.000 OMG? Going once… going twice…
Which was followed by:
Screw round numbers.

Make it the 1.001 OMG just to break the barrier firmly.
Already been done, boys, in a rifle you actually fire from the shoulder, not off a bench. The 4-Bore double-rifle:


According to Wikipedia:
The name derives out of an old English practice of bore measurements in gunmaking, meaning a perfectly round pure lead ball that exactly fits the bore of the weapon would weigh 1/4 lb -- that is, 0.25 lb (0.11 kg) (see gauge). The 4 bore was made to fire roundballs of 1/4 pound lead, or approximately 1750 grains (1750 gr.) and approximately 1-inch (25 mm) calibre (more precisely, 1.053-inch (26.7 mm), when shooting pure lead bullets). This varied greatly as in muzzle loader days shotgun gauges were custom made and often differed from the actual bore measurements. Commonly, 4 gauges were closer to .935-.955 calibre, pertaining to a 1400 gr. alloyed lead ball and closer to 5 gauge.
So it's hard to say without actually examining a 4-bore, but it could indeed be 1" or greater. Continuing:
The cartridge brass case was around 4 inches (100 mm) long, and contained three types of loads: light at 12 drams, 14 drams at regular, and 16 drams of powder at heavy load. (Note: 1 dram = 27.34375 grains in the avoirdupois system, since 256 drams = 7000 grains = 1 pound of powder. Shotgun shells are still rated in terms of the same archaic dram measurements, relative to their equivalence of smokeless powder load to a blackpowder load weighed in drams.) John "Pondoro" Taylor mentioned in his book African Rifles and Cartridges that the 12 drams (328 gr., 3/4 oz.) charge would propel the projectile at around 1,330 ft/s (410 m/s). A double barreled rifle that would fire such a calibre would weight around 22-24 lb bare, while the single-barreled version would be around 17-18 lb.
John Ross, the author of Unintended Consequences has one of these beasts. Here's a sample ballistics table:

With a "heavy" load of 440 grains of black powder under a 1743 grain projectile, the free recoil energy of 262ft-lbs. is very much in the same class as the .950JDJ, only the JDJ rifles weigh between 50 and 110 pounds and are fired off a bench. The 4-bore doubles weigh about 25 pounds and are fired standing, from the shoulder.

OUCH.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Guess this Proves We Don't Teach Civics

Seen at Curmudgeonly & Skeptical, the Independence Day Quiz, a test of knowledge about American history and government. Rodger's site says:
Supposedly 96% of all High School Seniors FAILED this test ... AND if that's not bad enough, 50+% of all individuals over 50 did too!!
I missed one.

Quote of the Day - Sean Sorrentino

I like to watch the Bravo series Inside the Actor's Studio. Near the end of each show, host James Lipton asks his guests a list of 10 questions, the last of which is always "If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?"

Sean Sorrentino just gave me the perfect answer:
When I reach the Pearly Gates, I want the first thing I will hear to be "Unload and show clear."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quote of the Day - Vanderleun Edition

...I went and signed up for gun training. After the training I felt I would be qualified to get a gun.  I would get it because it was my right to get it. I would get it because I could. I would get it because Washington, no matter how deeply mired in denial and dementia Seattle may become, Washington itself is still a "must issue" state. And how long that would last in the demented rush to disarm and make all citizens effective wards of the state for their "protection" was anybody's guess.

Tracking the killings of over 30 unarmed, effectively disarmed and therefore helpless students, at Virginia Tech [in 2007] confirmed me in my decision. It took many bullets for this tragedy to unfold. It would have taken just one going the other way to stop it. That and the training to know what the situation was and how to react.

Unless you are morally, spiritually, and politically blind to human reality, you know that this is the truth. -- American Digest, The Gun School
As the saying goes, RTWT™. It's from 2007, but still fresh as a daisy!

Just Lay Back and Think of England

The fallout of Weer'd's "Do More Than Just Light a Candle" counterprotest is still pattering down all around. One piece I ran across today comes from the Florida Progressive Coalition Blog, Gun Free Zone Blog Celebrates Gun Violence.

No, I don't think so.

I left a comment there, but it hasn't been approved, nor do I expect it to be, but I do want to comment publicly on one point made by the author, Kenneth Quinnell. He is attempting to fisk the post I Lit My Candle For... from the blog Gun Free Zone. Here's the particular portion I want to highlight from the whole thing:
Quote of the Day by Brigid: "but tomorrow is the day the Brady Bunch plan a light a candle to stop gun violence (that’s what I'm going to pull out when some potential gangbanger rapist confronts me in a parking lot, a f'ing candle.")
First off, the chances of a "gangbanger rapist" attacking Brigid are almost nonexistent. Second off, pulling out the gun might help her, but statistically it's more likely to increase her chances of dying.
Now the comment I attempted to leave was along the lines of '...pulling out the gun might help her, but statistically it's more likely to increase her chances of dying." Really? Got a citation to back that up? With a URL? Because I do and it disagrees with your assertion.

But the point I want to make here is a bit stronger.

Mr. Qusling, er, Quinnell blithely asserts that Brigid - and by extension, any woman - is statistically more likely to die if she attempts to defend herself from a rapist with a firearm.

The inference being that she should instead "lay back and think of England," and she might not get killed.

A more textbook example of 
"Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her own panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound."
could not be found.

Let's let Oleg Volk have a say:









And finally:


To quote AGirlandHerGun from Monday:
You, you who hate guns, you gave me nothing.

No hope.

No tools.

All that was offered me was a life of fear, of resentment, of bitterness, of dependance...

The gun community has offered me hope and strength, and courage.

They have taught me to have belief in myself.
Lie back and think of England?

Fuck THAT!

Let the Howling, Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth Commence!

I've covered the Tucson Unified School District's "Ethnic Studies" program here before, in Balkanization, from May of 2008, Balkanization Pushback the following June, Why I Keep Marxadelphia Around in February of 2010, THAT'S RACIST in May of that year, More Balkanization in January of last year, A Failure of Critical Pedagogy in May, and An Example of Critical Pedagogy just a couple of days later.

Well, now the excrement has well and truly hit the rotating air-movement device:
TUSD board shuts down Mex. American Studies

The TUSD Governing Board voted to dismantle the contentious Mexican American Studies program in an effort to avoid losing millions in state funding.

Tuesday's 4-1 vote came amid name calling in the boardroom and an angry overflow crowd chanting outside TUSD headquarters, "We will not comply!"

Board President Mark Stegeman, board Clerk Michael Hicks and members Alexandre Sugiyama and Miguel Cuevas voted to drop the program.

All supported revamping either the program or some classes so they are more comprehensive and include the contributions of all ethnicities.

Member Adelita Grijalva voted against the decision, calling instead for the district to continue to defend the program through a court appeal and to challenge the constitutionality of the law, which she called racist.

"I feel like this community has faced such a battle over the last year and a half, it's almost exhausting," Grijalva said. "You see it in the tears and pleas from the students. … I feel that this board doesn't understand the impact beyond our TUSD community.

"This is an issue that is not going to go away by this vote. When bad laws are written, they are usually picked up by other states. This is an opportunity to fight a bad law," she said.
The comments, 284 at the time of this posting, are running overwhelmingly in favor of the vote.

Adelita Grijalva is the daughter of Rep. Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

I've just begun reading Paul Kengor's Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century. In the preface, he hammers the point that Marx and Lenin both understood and stated repeatedly that Communism and Capitalism could not co-exist, that one must inevitably defeat the other, and for Communism to win it would be necessary to actively pursue the destruction of Capitalist governments by any means possible. The preferred method was destruction from the inside by infiltration and subversion. His book is a detailed examination of that subversion.

The battle isn't over just because the Soviet Union fell. The True Believers and their dupes are still out there working away. They fooled the American public into electing Obama, after all...

That's not Recoil, THIS is RECOIL

I thought the .700WTF was the biggest shoulder-fired rifle out there short of a 20mm, but no! Apparently the .950JDJ is:


2400 gr bullet @ 2100fps! 277fp of free recoil. The average 30-06 has around 28-30fp of recoil. 
The .577 T-Rex? Pfffft. Please. (*Owwww!!!!*)

Oh, and BTW - .950" is 24mm.

ETA: For the literally tens hundreds of thousands of you visiting from various bulletin boards and email pointers, don't miss you've missed the opportunity to get yourself or your significant other a Kalashnikitty T-shirt!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Looks Like Someone Else has a Spunky Parent

Scott Kurtz, the creator of the web cartoon Player vs. Player (one of my daily reads) relates this story:
In case anyone was worried Dad’s stroke had affected his sense of humor…

We’re sitting in his den, and I’m showing him how Siri works on my iPhone. To demonstrate I composed a text to my wife, pronouncing the punctuation.

Me: Send Angela a text.

Siri: Okay, what would you like to say to Angela Kurtz?

Me: Love you. Period. Miss you a lot. Period. Can’t wait to see you tonight. Period.

Dad: I hope your not on your period. Period.

I Wonder if PayPal Will Pull the Plug on THIS Raffle

Remember back in 2009 when I donated a brand-spanking new Para USA GI Expert to the Gun Blogger Rendezvous for a raffle to help raise money for Soldiers' Angel's Project Valour IT?  The ticket sales were through the Soldiers' Angels website, and they used PayPal for online payment.  Until Paypal shut down all contributions to their site until they yanked the icky gun raffle.  Now the organization InterFace is holding a similar raffle: 
InterFACE is a volunteer group of plastic and other reconstructive surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, pediatricians, and psychosocial workers, as well as other devoted volunteers, who give their time and expertise to offer reconstructive surgery to children in Mexico.  We currently travel to 5 different sites for periods of 2 to 5 days, visiting some sites twice a year.  The number of surgeries performed ranges from 10 to 75 per trip.  Our primary focus is cleft lip an palate repair, but we also perform correction of hand and ear deformities, burn reconstruction, and other congenital and acquired deformities.

In each of our locations where we work, we are sponsored by the Secretary of Health for that state and work with the local plastic surgeon or pediatric surgeon.  Our team members vary each trip, as we have a devoted talent bank of over 200 volunteers who travel with us at various times.
The prize is a custom-built 1911, and the cost for a chance at it is a mere $20.

Why a raffle?
InterFACE recently lost one of their key sponsors, and their program is in danger of being cut drastically.  We offered to donate magazine space to a raffle of a custom 1911 to help out, and renowned custom pistolsmith Terry Tussy of Tussey Custom quickly jumped on board, volunteering to build a gun.  Springfield Armory graciously supplied a stainless steel 1911, several makers supplied parts, and Terry supplied many parts from his own inventory.

All proceeds of this amazing raffle opportunity will go to directly support the doctors and nurses who travel on their own time to perform the healing surgery on these children.  Tickets will only be sold for a limited time (through March 30, 2012) so act quickly to benefit this great cause -- and for the opportunity to win this stunning 1911!
Here's the kicker:
You can enter by going to www.interfacekids.org/raffleThey'll accept PayPal, and most charge cards.  You may also send a check, and make sure to include a phone number and e-mail address if you have one.
(My emphasis.)  Well, we know that PayPal hates firearms more than they care for wounded soldiers.  I wonder if they hate them more than Mexican children?

Quote of the Day - Thomas Sowell Edition

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. - Thomas Sowell

Monday, January 09, 2012

Guffaw in AZ is Offline - UPDATE

Guffaw's site shows that Blogger has deleted it.  Via email tonight:
I'm told one of my ads may have generated spam.
If that's the reason, it'll probably be restored in a couple days.
Will advise as I know more.
gfa
Let's hope they fix this soon.  Don't you think it would be a good idea to contact the site owner BEFORE you yank the plug on him?

UPDATE:  He's back.

Guns and the "Alternative Media," Part II

The local alt.weekly's latest edition was dedicated to memorializing the first anniversary of the January 8 rampage shooting here in Tucson that left six dead and thirteen wounded, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the primary target of the attack. Surprisingly, there wasn't a whole lot said about gun control other than in the context of keeping guns out of the hands of nutcases, but they couldn't let the entire issue go out without at least one philippic on the topic.

It's been a while.  Let us fisk:
Guns Galore: After Jan. 8, the firearms race didn't miss a beat - by Tim Vanderpool

Scott Zike makes black holsters for pistols, assault rifles and any other manner of weapon in between. And he's selling them with a vengeance on this gray December morning, his inventory dangling overhead like so many dead crows.
Someone makes holsters for assault rifles? Wouldn't they be difficult on the draw?
His decidedly niche market became even more specialized over the past year. "One thing that happened was that people wanted my large magazine pouches because they wanted to use the 33-round mags," he says. "So I was making the large pouches to fit over those extreme mags."
Wow. How many people did Vanderpool have to interview before he came up with one who would call the 33-round Glock magazine "extreme"? Or did he? (I keep picturing exploding GM gas tanks and typeset Air National Guard memos....)
He links this blossoming demand directly to the Jan. 8 shootings. That mass carnage was due in no small part to the fact that alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner fitted his Glock pistol with a high-capacity, 33-round magazine.
Yes, Loughner couldn't possibly have killed and injured so many people with two seventeen round magazines. Or four ten round magazines.

Or a Ryder truck loaded with fertilizer and diesel fuel.
Rather than dampening gun sales, the Safeway shootings have apparently heightened paranoia that new gun restrictions would soon follow. For gun enthusiasts, the logical impulse is to buy what you can, while you can.

That perspective is not baseless. For instance, the oversized magazines that expedited Jared Loughner's rampage and plumped up Scott Zike's bottom line were outlawed as part of federal assault-weapons ban in 1994—although that prohibition was allowed to expire in 2004 under the watch of then-President George W. Bush.
Let's examine this one, disregarding the fact that the law prohibited the manufacture of new magazines of more than 10-round capacity and had no effect (except in price) on existing stock.

The Democratic Party's 2000 National Platform included this gun control plank:
Democrats passed the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban. We increased federal, state, and local gun crime prosecution by 22 percent since 1992. Now gun crime is down by 35 percent. Now we must do even more. We need mandatory child safety locks. We should require a photo license I.D., a background check, and a gun safety test to buy a new handgun. We support more federal gun prosecutors and giving states and communities another 10,000 prosecutors to fight gun crime.
Their 2004 platform included this:
We will protect Americans’ Second Amendment right to own firearms, and we will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists by fighting gun crime, reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, and closing the gun show loophole, as President Bush proposed and failed to do.
The language was almost unchanged in the 2008 Platform.

Now from 1994 through 2005 the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, but Democrats took back the House and Senate in 2006. Bush had promised to sign a renewal of the ban if it was presented to him. President Obama has also stated a desire to reinstate the ban.

The Democrat-controlled Congress failed to present either President with such legislation.

But it's Bush's fault.

Just wanted to make that clear.
"Anyone who wants a gun for any type of purpose can go to a gun show, knowing there will not even be the semblance of a gun check," says Elliot Glicksman, a prominent Tucson attorney who specializes in representing crime victims.
Which is, of course, complete bullshit. Yes, you can do a private-party sale where there can be no background check, as individuals don't have access to the system by law, but if you buy a gun from a licensed dealer, you go through the same background check as if you were in a gun shop.  And you can do a private party sale anywhere, not just at a gun show.

And he knows this.

He should also be aware of the fact that gun shows represent a tiny portion of the source of guns used in crime. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics:
Inmates serving time in state prisons during 1997 said they obtained their guns from the following sources in percentages:

Purchased from a retail store 8.3 percent
Purchased at a pawn shop 3.8
Purchased at a flea market 1.0
Purchased in a gun show 0.7
Obtained from friends or family 39.6
Got on the street/illegal source 39.2

The percentage of inmates who bought their guns from a retail store fell from 21 percent in 1991, when the last such survey was conducted to 14 percent in 1997. At the same time the percentage who obtained their firearms from family or friends rose from 34 percent in 1991 to 40 percent in 1997.
Less than one percent. I guess that "gun show loophole" really is a big problem. And the Tucson shooter got his Glock from a the gun department of a Sportsman's Warehouse.  He underwent that background check, for all the good it did.

But facts don't matter much when you're talking about "gun control."
Glicksman's caseload is grim testimony to the extent of gun violence. "I deal with this stuff all the time," he says, "and to me, it seems unbelievable that we live in a place where people really believe there should be no limit on who gets guns and what kind of guns they get."
Yeah, we think everyone should be able to buy a belt-fed from a vending machine. In elementary school.  Hyperbole much?
Other reform advocates have personally felt the impacts of gun violence. It was 30 years ago that Susan Agrillo's sister was gunned down in Chicago during a botched mugging. Now a prosecutor with the Tucson City Attorney's Office, Agrillo spent years working toward even minimal firearms control.

She says her efforts were blocked at nearly every step by the National Rifle Association. "They have a lot of money, a lot of lobbyists, and they influence our legislators."
Good. That's what me and about four million other people pay them to do.
To Agrillo, the NRA's clout overshadows public sentiment. "Most people want reasonable gun control," she says, "and that's been the case since I started doing this 30 years ago."
Sure they do. Until you tell them what you have in mind, whereupon they respond "Not THAT!" because what you consider "reasonable" and what "most people" consider reasonable are not congruent. You'll note that, 30 years on and after all the "reasonable gun control" the anti-gunners could ask for, Chicago is still one of the most dangerous cities for gun violence in the country. How's that gun control working out for you, Ms. Agrillo?
Judging from the December Tucson gun show, that's also likely to be the case for years to come. On this day, NRA volunteers are out in full force, renewing memberships and hustling raffle tickets for a $400, .40-caliber Taurus handgun.

Among those volunteers is Jim Coniglio, a retired electrical engineer, a weapons instructor and an NRA lifer. "When you have very strict gun controls such as in Washington, D.C., and New York City," he says, "there's more crime there with criminals having guns and people being defenseless."
Chicago being a prime case.
From that perspective, growing gun sales since Jan. 8 should surprise no one. "I think on Black Friday after Thanksgiving, they even set a record with gun sales to women," Coniglio says.

To him, the logic driving that trend is a no-brainer. "Would you prefer to call 911—and wait for an hour, and maybe a cop will show up—as your wife is being attacked by some guy?"
You'll note that the author, Tim Vanderpool, didn't bother to answer that question.

Sarah McKinley answered it for him on New Year's Eve.

The massacre in the Safeway parking lot here in Tucson last year was a tragedy, no doubt about it. But the father of nine year-old victim Christina-Taylor Green was right when he said:
This shouldn't happen in this country, or anywhere else, but in a free society we're going to be subject to people like this. I prefer this to the alternative.

Guns and the "Alternative Media," Part I

Say Uncle linked today to a piece at TheAlternatePress.com, Women and Guns by one Kristen Houghton, a self-described hoplophobe:
I am afraid of guns; they scare me to death. Even in movies or on TV, the sight and sound of the gun being fired makes me tense up.
Not an auspicious place to start.

She's also self-admittedly, not too tightly tethered to reality:
Regardless of the statement put out by gun owners that "Guns don't kill people, people do", I still feel that if criminals were unable to get their hands on guns no one would get killed.
(My emphasis.) As if guns are the only way people get killed criminally. About a third of homicide victims here would object to that, if they could. And in what world could criminals not get guns? Hell, our own government has been supplying them to drug cartels in Mexico!

But she is paying some attention:
To me, guns equal damage or death but I may be one of the few women who feels that way. More women than ever are buying handguns. Sales have increased steadily, nearly doubling in the last decade. Almost five million more women now own guns than was the case less than ten years ago.
Tell that to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. They think it's propaganda.
While a whistle, a can of mace, or even a Taser are all items that are recommended by mainstream media as ways for women to protect themselves, they don't always work. Nor does acting passively when confronted by a rapist. If your attacker is bigger, stronger and playing on your fear, none of these are going to be of much help. Guns eliminate the strength difference between the attacker and the potential victim. This makes it much harder for the strong to prey upon the weak.
Perhaps she's not so disconnected from reality after all.
It doesn't take much common sense to figure out that nothing makes a criminal run away faster than seeing a determined woman holding a loaded gun pointing right at him.
She's beginning to sound like one of us.
I may not like it but society has very likely made women and guns a necessity. Even I see the reasoning behind knowing how to protect yourself with a firearm.
Here I'm going to object a bit. I've pointed this out before, but overall, violent crime is at historic lows in this country. It began declining in 1992 and has kept declining even through last year. Society hasn't "made women and guns a necessity," women have finally begun to recognize that individuals are responsible for their own safety, and this is a good thing. She needs to get together with AGirlandHerGun and compare notes.

She says she's going to take a self-protection class and learn to shoot.  I hope she does, but without a paradigm shift like AGirlandHerGun has gone through, I don't think it will help her.  She's going in with too much fear and too many prejudices.  I'd also suggest some correspondence with Abigale Kohn and Emily Yoffe.

I Love

My People.

Joe Huffman Cranks it to "11"

In response to Weerd's call for a photo with a candle and your carry piece, Joe took it a bit farther. Highly recommended viewing.

Time Waster

The How Stuff Works site Cannon Game.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

One Year Ago Today

Legal Insurrection says it better than I can.

Given the Current Crop o'Candidates

...here's an option I can almost get behind. (At Jaded Haven.)

Light a Candle,

but carry your gun.  It's a lighter burden than regret, as Breda says.

Weerd suggested the idea, and it's a fine one.  Here's my CCW piece when the weather's cool enough that I can cover it up:

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Question for My Readers

Does anybody out there shoot a .20 Practical?  I'm finding this caliber intriguing, and more interesting than the .204 Ruger.  Talk to me.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I Need to Get a Set of These

My family is Appalachian Scots-Irish from way back - redneck runs deep in our veins.  So when I ran across these redneck wine glasses, I was transported with joy:


But then I found some that are even better:
Yup, gotta get me sum a these!

Bowling Pin Match, Sunday January 8

Usual place, the Tucson Rifle Club action range.

Time: 8:00 AM sign-up, first rounds downrange about 8:20

Handguns only: .22 rimfire, centerfire revolver (.38 caliber minimum), semi-autos (9mm minimum).

You're welcome to shoot your revolver against the semi-auto crowd, but we think it's more fun to shoot wheelgun-vs.-wheelgun.

Cost: $10 for the first gun, $5 for any additional guns. Bring about 100 rounds for each. You probably won't need 'em all unless you're really good at missing fast. I fired 64 rounds to lose the revolver match last month.

Hope to see you there!

In the Spirit of the 2008 Presidential Election

I've come up with a new bumper sticker design, inspired by a post at Tam's today.  Remember 2008's "Least Repulsive Democrat Running"?



Well, here's the slogan for 2012:

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Why is it?

Why is it that when I get an Instalanche (twice for this one), it's always for someone else's work? Oh well. If you're new here, the really good stuff is on the left sidebar under "The Best of TSM." Please avail yourself!

From My Brother

It's recycled, but I like it:
The kids filed into class Monday morning. They were very excited. Their weekend assignment was to sell something, then give a talk on productive salesmanship.

Little Sally led off: "I sold girl scout cookies and I made $30" she said proudly, "My sales approach was to appeal to the customer's civil spirit and I credit that approach for my obvious success."

"Very good" said the teacher.

Little Jenny was next: "I sold magazines" she said, "I made $45 and I explained to everyone that magazines would keep them up on current events."

"Very good, Jenny," said the teacher.

Eventually, it was Little Johnny's turn. The teacher held her
breath....

Little Johnny walked to the front of the classroom and dumped a box full of cash on the teacher's desk. "$2,467" he said.

"$2,467!" cried the teacher, "What in the world were you selling?"

"Toothbrushes" said Little Johnny.

"Toothbrushes?" echoed the teacher, "How could you possibly sell enough tooth brushes to make that much money?"

"I found the busiest corner in town" said Little Johnny, "I set up a Chip and Dip stand, and I gave everybody who walked by a free sample. They all said the same thing, 'Hey, this tastes like dog crap!' Then I would say, 'It is dog crap! Wanna buy a toothbrush?' I used the President Obama method of giving you something shitty, dressing it up so it looks good, telling you it's free, and then making you pay to get the bad taste out of your mouth."

Little Johnny got five stars for his efforts, bless his heart...

Quote of the Day - Electile Dysfunction Edition

A leading Republican, who was in Congress for more than 10 years, answered my question: "Who can beat Obama?" with a casual, "a mammal". Then he added sadly: "But they are all reptiles." -- Mark Mardell, BBC North American Editor, "Are the Republican candidates all crazy?"
Pithy.

And read this associated QotD from July of 2010.

Monday, January 02, 2012

KABOOM!

Earl has video of the spontaneous disassembly of an M1 Garand.  It's almost as painful to watch as it must have been for the young lady holding it when it KABOOMed.

This is what happens when you fire a live round into an obstructed barrel.

Avoid it.

Mindset

I read this morning about a woman who shot an intruder in her home in Blanchard, Oklahoma. Apparently he'd been stalking her, and when he and an accomplice broke into her home, she killed him with a shotgun:
Sarah Dawn McKinley was home alone with her three month old son at the time.

She says she heard a knock on her door and looked through the peephole to see two men, one of whom she'd met a couple times before.

"I saw that it was the same man. He had been here Thursday night and I had a bad feeling then," said McKinley.

McKinley says she moved her couch in front of the door, grabbed her son and her shotgun, called 911 and went in a back room.

She says for an agonizing 21 minutes, she listened to the men try to break in.

"He was from door to door trying to bust in, just going from door to door," said McKinley. "I waited till he got in the door. They said I couldn't shoot him until he was inside the house. So I waited until he got in the door and then I shot him."
Those twenty-one minutes must have lasted an eternity, another example of "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away." And to paraphrase Tam, if you don't have your own gun, you may have to wait the rest of your life for the police to arrive with theirs. But here's the part that has me scratching my head:
McKinley says she made the tough decision to shoot in order to protect her son. "There's nothing more dangerous than a mother with her baby. But I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for him."
(My emphasis.)  I was reminded of a post I read recently at A Girl and Her Gun - Labels, Labels, Everywhere, But Not A Single One For Me. In that post the author talks a bit about her decision to become a gun owner. (She discusses that decision in greater depth in another post.) In "Labels-labels" however, she says something very similar to young Ms. McKinley. Discussing her recent reading of the book Boston's Gun Bible, she says:
When I read...

"Mothers defending their offspring can exhibit terrifying ferociousness, but they must be trained to become ferocious when protecting themselves."

I actually lost my breath for a minute.

That about sums it up for me.

The old me.

I wonder what would have happened if my daughter wasn't with me that day. I bought some time by doing things to distract the guy while I tried to get her to a safe place. I never one time thought about myself. In fact, for weeks, she was the only thing I thought of.

I wonder, if I had been alone, if I would have bothered to fight at all or if I would have just given up the second he approached me.

I instinctively knew she was worth every effort to protect, although I was totally unprepared, I didn't just hand her over to the creep. I didn't have to be taught that she was worth my life.

What I had to be taught was that "he" was NOT worth MINE.

I am not sure if I am a sheepdog or a warrior. I don't know if any label fit me before or if any of them fit me now.

What I do know is that I no longer have to be taught to be ferocious.
Read the whole piece, please.

But the old mindset is the one I just don't get. Being oblivious I get. But being unwilling to defend yourself?  I don't get it.  Why is it that people need to be trained to defend themselves?  I'm not talking about self-defense skills, I'm talking about self-defense mindset - as she puts it:  "I will fight and you will lose."  Honestly, I'd never even considered the question before.  It had literally not occurred to me until I read her post, and to see it twice in this short of a span makes me think that the attitude is not the exception.

Discuss.  I really want to hear what you have to say, especially those of you on the distaff side of the question.  Is it a male/female dichotomy as Boston T. Party states, or is that just a sexist papering over of something that is not uncommon regardless of plumbing?

ETA:  Is this part of it?

Edit #2: AGirlandHerGun comments below. Excerpt:
I have read story after story in my email box and on other people's sites of similar mindsets to my old one and it does not appear to be a plumbing an issue.

Lots of men are exactly the same way. We have socialized the "aggression" right out of society.

It's a problem. To raise boys and girls to believe that everyone else's life is more valuable than theirs is stupid and it is making the bad guys job a whole lot easier.
I am reminded of another old post, Americans, Gun Controllers, and the "Aggressive Edge" about the casting of the film Aliens in the UK. Casting Agent Mary Selway spoke of the difficulties she had finding... well, let her say it:
"It was INCREDIBLY hard to do, because, um, James kept saying, 'State of the art firepower. They've got to be incredibly, sort of on the cutting edge of American military...'

"So, what often happens here when American actors come to live in England, they become a bit Anglicized, and they don't... they lose that really, sort of aggressive edge if you like, that this sort casting required."
And we've been doing that to (some) of our children for generations now.  I guess that answers the question.

Quote of the Day

More disturbing, I think, is the extent to which America has suffered not a failure of the elites, but a failure of the people. Do we measure up to the founders of this country? The fact that Americans fought a revolution against Britain in the first place continues to astonish me. When in all of history have prosperous men with property — farms and businesses — risked their lives and fortunes to establish a better political order? Only a spiritual grandeur of a depth we barely can imagine today can explain it. When in all of history has a country gone to war and sacrificed a 5% of its total population to suppress slavery? The evangelical zeal that sent the North to war, singing of the grapes of wrath in the apocalyptic vision of Isaiah 63, surpasses our understanding today. -- David P. Goldman, Has the Conservative Elite Really Failed?
A failure I blame on public education.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

TSM 2011 Year in Review

I've done this annual review post  each January 1 since 2007 - I guess that makes it a tradition. According to Blogger, I wrote 453 posts in 2011, down a bit from 2010. Down a bit more from 2009. Down a bit more from 2008, the peak year here. I kinda wonder if I'm running out of things to say. Or the urge to say them. I do find myself repeating a lot, referencing older posts. Even more, I find myself using other people's words rather than my own.  Anyway, let's do this one more time:

January started off with a tragedy - the spree shooting here in Tucson that claimed the lives of six people and left twelve others wounded, including the primary target of the shooting, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Among the dead, nine year-old Christina Taylor Green, who had been born on September 11, 2001 - a life book-ended by tragedies, as her father put it. He had some other words that should not be forgotten.

In the aftermath of the shooting, with lots of blame cast about in the media, we got an example of how exercising your First Amendment rights could cost you your Second Amendment rights.

February was a light month for posts here. After the sh!tstorm of January, I was suffering a bit of ennui. There were a lot of QotD posts, and one link to a fascinating TED talk about how computers and the internet can be used by children to learn on their own, with adults merely providing guidance and support. If you missed it, I urge you to watch.

March got an überpost, Our Economic Titanic. Actually, I worked on that one most of February, and it was the cause of that ennui.

I didn't post much in April, either, but despite our economic Titanic, I bought a 2011 Mustang. If we're going to hell, I decided, I was going to enjoy the ride. April also brought me a comment that reminded me why I do this blogging thing.

May was a banner month, with 51 posts! Just trying to keep up with events. Osama Bin Laden assumed room temperature. I quoted Christopher Hitchens for a QotD. The blog turned eight years old (that's like, 90 in human years). I went to BulletFest 2011 in Knoxville courtesy of LuckyGunner.com and plane tickets provided by U.S. Citizen. (Thanks again!) And I reminded everyone of one of the other wonderful things about the interwebs, the ability to produce truly excellent writing that otherwise no one would ever produce and no one would ever be able to read. If you missed the three-part Perspectives stories, by all means, read them now. Larry Correia isn't the only talented writer in our midst by a long shot.

I guess I suffered some burnout after May, as June was another light month for posting. I did, however, respond to Jennifer's question and cranked out a post on How I Became a Gun Nut. Then I took another hiatus. Two weeks this time.

July started off with a bang, though. July 1, I posted Lend Me Your Ears!, with apologies to The Bard. On the Fourth I put up the überpost TL;DR. I did a few other posts that month, but nothing all that exciting.

In August there were riots in (formerly) Great Britain. How far they have fallen; from the Tottenham Outrage of 1909 to the Tottenham Rampage of 2011. Suddenly many Brits found themselves in a situation where being disarmed in the face of face of violence was no longer a theoretical situation, and many decided that they didn't like the odds. Still, the traditional "stiff upper lip" and understated eloquence was in evidence. My long exchanges with Australian blogger Tim Lambert on the topic paid off; I got a post out of a comment I left at SayUncle on the legality of self-defense in the UK.

Finally, my mother underwent open-heart surgery and had two valves replaced. She still hasn't fully recovered as of yet, but she hasn't lost a bit of her fiestyness.

I started off September with a prediction: I predict that the 2012 election season will be the ugliest, dirtiest, nastiest thing anyone living has ever seen. September brought us the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and I had something to say about how we as a nation have handled that, too. Actually, Mark Steyn said it. I just quoted him. September also brought Gun Blogger Rendezvous v 6.0. Much fun was had by all. GBR VII is now scheduled. You really ought to make plans to attend.

I don't know who said this, really, but it was too good not to make QotD. And here was another.

I changed jobs in September, leaving the Consulting/Specifying Engineer role to return to the retail end of electrical engineering. At the time, it didn't look like such a smart move. While I love what I'm doing now, it still looks like it might not have been such a smart move. Of course, if when econo-geddon does come, it really won't matter much what job I have.

The week after GBR VI they held the Reno Air Races. There was a crash, and one pilot and several spectators were killed. The nannies were immediately up-in-arms over the crash. Bill Whittle responded.

Expanding on using other people's words when they say it better than I can, I have started taking excerpts from fiction when I find them particularly apropos. October brought one such selection from the Sci-Fi novel Road to Damascus.  

Operation Fast and Furious was in the news (finally), and spawned one of the best Downfall bunker-scene parodies I've ever watched.

Not exactly an überpost, but I wore out my fingers with CTRL-C and CTRL-V producing a post of 90% other people's words in True Believers and the Machinery of Freedom and Oppression. Please read that one if you missed it the first time.

I spent a lot of October driving places. It gave me time to think. One result of that thinking was a multimedia post, The Selfish Gene.

I moved into my new office space, and once again experience the reality that Dilbert isn't a cartoon strip, it's a documentary.

October ended with some sage words from Robb Allen. Too good to quote from, I just linked.

I finally purchased a firearm in 2011, a Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 revolver. One gun is well down from my normal three a year, but I'm pretty well stocked with lead delivery systems.  I spent quite a bit of money this year feeding them.  And Mustang payments.

In November I posted a QotD that echoes October's True Believers and the Machinery of Freedom and Oppression post: And This is Why the Party's Over. You might also want to read System failure on a global scale by Alan Caruba. Econo-geddon. Then again, you might not.

In December I didn't have much to say, but I strongly recommend you read The Corruption of America by Porter Stansberry.

And that concludes The Smallest Minority Year in Review. What have I learned from this exercise? I don't do a lot of deep, thoughtful posts anymore. I quote others extensively. I do a lot of linking. I'm deeply pessimistic.

Expect more (or perhaps less) of the same in 2012.

Happy friggin' New Year.