Newtown, CT

The details are still coming out on this horrible event. It looks as though the perpetrator had a murderous beef with his parents and let that spill over to innocent children. I believe there’s a special place in hell. My thoughts and prayers are with the survivors, and with the victims for that matter. I wish that something could have been done to avert this tragedy.

The bodies had not cooled to room temperature before the antis started sounding the call for gun control legislation. Although I’m largely preaching to the choir, I resent that very much. Firstly, the predictable blood-dancing is sickening. Additionally, I am of a group of innocent people that they would seek to punish for these crimes by deprivation of property.

It is human nature to want to do something about it. They make certain places ‘gun free’ in an attempt at making them safe. These ‘gun free’ locations are where the shootings happen. So, they want to do something about it and get rid of all the guns. My guns haven’t killed anyone – certainly not since I’ve owned them anyway. Besides, making guns illegal won’t make them go away.

Should we arm teachers? I think so. Should I be able to wear my gun any place I feel like it? Again, yes. Mass shootings never happen at gun shops. I am not in the minority of legal gun owners who can shoot straighter than a NYC cop, and practice more self-restraint than the typical YouTube portrayal of police behavior. And yet, the police are trusted to take their gun everywhere we are not. This is still one of the safest countries in the world, and certainly safer than any number of countries with outright gun bans. These are interesting times we live in. God help us all.

Blood Dancing

I don’t usually blog about news or current events and there’s a good reason for that. I don’t keep up with them very well. I don’t find the news uplifting to me as a person, and so I just don’t pay attention. I try to keep half an ear to the ground in politics and legislation, but not so much that I could take a test on the subject matter that included dates. Even so, I couldn’t stay quiet on this one.

By now, we’ve all heard about the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The most infuriating mention of this incident that I’ve seen is in the Chicago Tribune, (H/T to Texas Fish and Game) where they attempt to use the altercation as evidence that the mere possession of a firearm puts a person on the defensive on a psychological level and makes them more likely to see others as aggressors, even when they are not. Specifically, they mention a ‘scientific’ study in which they determined that someone is more likely to see a gun in a picture where no gun is present when they are holding a gun themselves. They determined this by placing a gun in the hand of the test subject and showed them a series of pictures depicting objects, most of which were innocuous, and the subjects were substantially more likely to misidentify the pictures as a gun.

Please humor me for a moment and allow me to point out the fatal flaw in this test and its conclusion. Nearly half the people out there do not have guns in their homes. Among those people, there tends to be a stigma that has been created over decades of work by politicians and the media. Even among people who are not specifically against guns, they cause an emotional reaction because of this manufactured stigma. I remember standing at the range counter, having the guy at the rental hand me a S&W M629 and a box of ammo, and tell me which areas of the gun to stay away from. I remember him pointing me to the bay in which I’d be shooting and I remember my heart pounding in my ears. I didn’t think the gun was going to hurt me, and I wasn’t anywhere close to an anti. It’s just that life had taught me that guns are frightening scary things that And I remember going home that evening with a little more understanding of the world, which would grow into my new way of life. Little did I know that I would become a part of the industry.

Considering this information, if a quarter to half of the subjects in the test have a reaction anything similar to what I described, even in the slightest way, then of course the results would turn out the way they did! To take this as conclusive evidence is like putting someone’s hand in a dark box full of something warm, wet, and chunky and showing them a surgery film. There’s no way they’ll now identify the content of the box as clam chowder. And then, they go and start jumping to conclusions.

“It’s all about intention,” Witt said. “If you can feel the weapon on your hip and intend to use it, my prediction is that the perceptual bias would be just as great. Based on our other research, the anticipation of using an object is just as powerful an influence on perception.”

The language in this statement shows that Witt doesn’t know the first thing about gun culture.

“The perception system and the motor system evolved together,” Witt said. “They share circuitry, so it makes sense that one would affect the other.”

And it’s no secret that people see what they are looking for. Heck, I’ve heard that argument of psychology used to explain away bigfoot sightings!

But the proliferation of right-to-carry and concealed-carry gun laws makes that mistake more likely, say scientists.

…contrary to all the historical evidence available. And these people call themselves ‘scientists.’ What they are trying to say here is that the gun made the shooter act in violence. These ‘scientists’ say it whispered into his head like the One Ring whispered to Frodo. It’s a tired old argument that our guns, these inanimate objects have mind control powers, but with an even sillier spin. Did you know that someone with a gun is more likely to shoot it than someone without a gun? Scientists have also found that if your parents never had children, chances are you won’t either. People who own shoes are more likely to not go barefoot than those who don’t. Yeah well, you know how many people I’ve ever shot? Exactly none. I’ve never even almost accidentally shot anyone. You know how often I carry a gun? Every day. Throw that wrench in your hypothesis.

Occupy OKC… I Guess.

You can see pics from News OK here, and from KOCO here. From the KOCO website:

Hundreds Dozens gathered at Kerr Park in Oklahoma City to protest whine about corporate greed something they can’t really even define and social inequality having to face the consequences of their own stupid decisions like a grown-up. Eyewitness News 5’s Carla Wade was there and snapped these photos because the news has been particularly slow recently.

And from News OK:

A view of a general assembly meeting the complete population of deadbeat hippies in the State of Oklahoma during Occupy OKC at Kerr Park in downtown Oklahoma City, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, taken with his iPhone, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

All corrections mine. šŸ˜›

Lucky Gunner Blog Shoot 2011

For a brief background to the story, Jennifer told me about this blog shoot that Lucky Gunner was hosting in TN over Memorial Day weekend. Apparently, we’d register to go. Upon our acceptance, we needed to figure out a way to get there and a place to stay. They were going to provide guns, targets, and ammunition and we were asked to blog about the experience. It sounded like fun, so we jumped aboard. I was looking for blog fodder and a good time, and Lucky Gunner was looking for bloggers to generate more customers for them. Holy expletive. It is quite possible that I’m going to have to buy all of my ammo from them for the rest of my life in addition to giving them extensive and frequent blog time for the same duration in order to repay their investment this weekend. I knew we would have fun. I can go out to a field with a .22 and a few targets and have fun for hours. I would have never imagined what we actually got could even be possible.

On Saturday morning, we met up with the Lucky Gunner people and the other bloggers for breakfast. Angela from Lucky Gunner passed out paperwork and explained the scope of the day. She said that they gathered guns from Multiple sources including manufacturers, local collectors, and reenactors. She said that the reenactors had actually come with fully functional tanks. She pointed to three cute little girls and explained that they were our ‘ammo waitresses’ and would take orders and deliver ammunition and drinking water throughout the weekend. Wait. What? So, not only do we get to shoot other people’s weapons including historical pieces, full-autos, and artillery; not only do we get free ammo for the event to shoot the aforementioned to our hearts’ content from a store of 200,000 rounds; but said ammunition is going to be delivered to us by these lovely young ladies at our beck and call? Un-freaking-believable. I was starting to believe that the rapture had actually taken place and I just woke up in heaven. Yes, in my version of heaven there are cute girls that bring me ammo so I can shoot machine guns. Except in my version of heaven, they also bring beer. Quite understandably, this was not part of the deal. That was my biggest clue that I had not actually entered into the Great Beyond.

When we drove into the range, we were surrounded by old military vehicles, tents, and men and women in uniform. The reenactors had done a remarkable job of creating the atmosphere. For the first ten to twenty minutes after we arrived, Jennifer and I simply stood there, trying to soak it all in. It was just that amazing. Several of the Lucky Gunners and RSOs approached us and told us not to be shy but to get up there and ask if we could shoot some guns. Which we did. And it was awesome. There are pics and videos that I will share, as well as specific reviews on weapons and experiences, but for now I want to get this much down and keep this post to a readable length. On Saturday we shot ourselves stupid and poured into bed. On Sunday, we took a pistol class from Tom Givens of Range Master. As I had been previously warned of his teaching, I learned a lot in just a little bit of time. I realize now that I need a whole lot more pistol training. Anyway, the people were amazing – those of Lucky Gunner and my fellow gun nerds. Many thanks go out to Lucky Gunner, Angela and the other lovely employees who were so very accommodating. Thanks to Magtech and Sellier & Bellot for sponsoring with their ammunition. Thanks to Tom & Lynn Givens and the RSOs for the fantastic pistol class.

What Is a Snooki?

Alright. I’ve completely had it up to here reading references to this ‘Snooki’ character. Who the eff is ‘Snooki’ and why should I care anything about him? Finally, I had to Google the name yesterday. It’s not that I actually had any interest in knowing so much as I was annoyed at seeing and hearing references with absolutely no background info. So, I decided that it was about time to find out who Snooki is once and for all so maybe I could get the jokes at least.

Seriously? So, Snooki is some obnoxious Chilean girl playing an Italian girl on a game show? Is she noteworthy because she is obnoxious, or because she was on a game show? I don’t watch much on TeeVee, but I certainly don’t make it a practice to sit around and watch vapid, melodramatic ‘reality’ shows. I did watch the first season of Top Shot, and largely regretted it. I put a little too much faith in it breaking the mold, but it went the same soap-opera-ish, melodramatic direction as every other one of these game shows.

The Real World may have originally been as close to a ‘reality show’ as any of them, and ‘reality’ it was not. For classification on these shows, one has to look no further than American Gladiator or possibly as far as Japanese game shows. Yes, ‘reality’ TeeVee is no more than warmed-over Japanese game shows where the contestants are kept in quarters together as a side act. And, when I say ‘warmed-over,’ I mean that they didn’t even include the charming wackiness that has been typical in the Japanese shows. They kept the banal absurdity and somehow left out the appeal. Only American producers could manage such a feat.

But wait, it gets even worse! Do they even play games or have ‘challenges’ on Jersey Shore? Not that I can tell. Apparently, it’s all the charm of obnoxious twenty-somethings being dramatic and acting poorly without the charm of the unimaginative games? As in, it’s a bunch of New York brats pretending like they are from New Jersey? Why is this entertainment? Seriously, what’s the appeal? Is it like watching a train wreck or someone falling down a flight of stairs? Painful to watch, but you just can’t turn away for some reason?

So, please refrain from asking me if I saw the last episode of Big House or Survival. I didn’t. I’m telling you right now. It’s no secret that Jennifer and I are not sports fans, but I am about a thousand times more likely to have watched the last college game than any of that drivel. After reading the Wiki on Snooki (which was the most helpful ‘document’ I could find), I don’t understand why she is even worth mention. I just don’t get it. I should have known that it was a lost cause when Wiki was more informative than anything else on the interwebtron. My mistake, I guess. You know what? The more I write about this, the more my head hurts so I better wrap it up. I repeat myself and yet, I just don’t get it. So, to you millions of people that willingly subject yourselves to this brain-draining faux-tainment, my thoughts and prayers are with you. God help us all!

Shooting in Tucson

There is mourning and there are accusations of guilt. But, I’m not going to focus on those things. I’m not here to write about the tragedy, the losses, the crime, the cause, or any of those things. I want to take a moment to write about the heroes and their enormous victory on January 8, 2011. I don’t at all want to minimize the victims in this situation, but our heroes deserve some serious recognition.

The fact is that Joe Zamudio, one of the citizens who tackled the shooter, who was armed at the time more than likely limited the victim count to 20 instead of the capacity of all the ammo the deranged lunatic had on him. He didn’t run away from the gunfire like a sensible person would, he ran into it to try to help.

Col. Bill Badger, 74 years old, was another one. He was actually shot in the head prior to tackling the shooter. Dude has big old brass ones swinging back and forth. When I’m 74 I can only dream I’ll be tough enough to get shot in the head and then take down a 22 year old.

I have a feeling that Daniel Hernandez will get a promotion if Giffords can recover and resume work. If he was my intern and did something like that, I’d make sure to make him a nice job offer.

And 61-year-old Patricia Maisch focused through her own panic to wrestle the ammunition out of the hands of the killer. Getting knocked down, watching people all around shot dead, most people in her place would have just gone into shock. But not her. She stared death in the face and said, ‘not today.’

This story is not a failure, it is a success. Yes, the lives lost and affected are tragic, but this is so far removed from the worst case scenario. I haven’t seen any reports on how much ammo he had on him, but if he had two 15-rounders that came with the gun in addition to the two 33-round mags reported, we’re talking about nearly a hundred shots that he could have fired if good people had done nothing. Even Christina Green’s dad made the statement that he’s thankful for our freedoms, even if this is the risk. Wow!

As a side note:

Police have said the gunman did manage to put another magazine into his firearm, but its spring failed.

We can learn from the mistakes of the BG. Make sure all your equipment works!

Quit With the Political Labels Already!

Not to spoil the best quotes, Larry Correia wrote up this beautiful rant which contained jewels such as these:

Because I am sick and tired, because Iā€™m a gun owner, for being blamed every single time a nut job goes on a rampage.

Only in la-la land can you stretch that far and still sound credible. The rest of us just scratch our heads and feel kind of sorry for you.

It’s kind of stupid that I’m trying to point both my readers at Larry’s blog though, as my readers probably read his before they even get here… Anyway, you should go read the whole thing. He says it way better than I could.

HT to Mike W.