Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I Love Winter

Another three days of freezing rain and snow coming, starting tonight. It took me four hours last Sunday to get everything dug out, thanks to all the ice. Hope we at least don't lose power.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Done For The Season

Finished Smallbore 4-position on Monday night. Finally met my goal of scoring 350 out of 400 possible for the first time with my scoped Winchester 52B. This has been my first season using a scope, and I found out the hard way that a rifle built in the late 1930's wasn't engineered with optical sights in mind (I'm the only one in my competition group that seems to have a thing for playing with curious and relics). I suspect that with it's heavy bull barrel, wide forearm, and six position screw-in sling swivel placement at the far end of the stock, my particular rifle was intended for 100 yard prone shooting that I've seen in vintage advertising in E-Bay. It now has a standard handstop, courtesy of a member of my local gunclub who is also a talented machinest. The channel for the handstop was ordered from Champion Shooters Supply, with the inletting and fitting done by this gentleman. Looks like it came from the Winchester factory except for a lack of wear. Had to rework the the right hand grip, as it had been customized by filing away the wood for finger recesses of a previous shooter. While well done, the gentleman had hands of a different size than mine. Since the stock had already been altered, I've worked it to fit my hand better, as the collector value of the stock is shot. It is now uglier, but better fitting for me. So, my score has increased as I've fitted the rifle to my ample frame over the season. Sadly, holding a 12 pound single-shot steady in the standing position without having purchased a shooting coat yet is singulary difficult. It's next on the list, if I can find one that allows for a beer gut. Ah well, spring is around the corner; let the Garand Match training begin!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

Krylonphilia strikes again. No longer must this individual feel the pain of having a rifle that looks like a museum piece. Thanks to the aftermarket uber-tactical stock, custom paintjob, and handcrafted scope mount holes(drilled with a Black & Decker hand drill- well, one hole, 'til that dang bit busted on the forward receiver), Joe Bob can finally go to deer camp and impress his friends.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

C'mon. That's Super Lame. Really.

"Captain Euro"

Captain Euro has taken a difficult vow: "To use, wherever possible, intellect, culture and logic - not violence - to take control of difficult criminal situations." Captain Euro is a diplomatic hero - the symbol of European unity and values.

They forgot "Turning a blind eye or running away as the situation demands!"

The "Logical" Progression Of Gun Control

Prime Minister Tony Blair will host the high-level session at Number 10, following the fatal shootings of three teenagers in the space of two weeks in south London.

One pressure group attending the meeting will criticise the police's decision to deploy more armed officers on the streets.

Mothers Against Murder and Aggression (MAMAA) claimed it will simply encourage more criminals to carry a gun.

Spokeswoman Lyn Costello said: "We will be asking that the streets are not flooded with armed police - we want guns off the street not more of them being used.

I see this as "These criminals wouldn't be so dangerous if they didn't feel the need to protect themselves from you police". Jackassery in the first degree.

PM hosts crisis gun crime summit

Someone's Career Is In The Toilet

Camp Dodge reports 'serious' security breach

While this isn't as bad as having some of the weapons missing, it's plenty bad for whoever screwed up on this one. I used to operate on a constant high paranoia basis when I was responsible for my old arms room. One weapon unaccounted for was grounds for an unpleasant interview with the First Sergeant, IF you fixed the problem immediately, and the officers didn't get wind of it. Pity the poor SOB who stepped on it at Camp Dodge.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It’s better than the M4, but you can’t have one

Wish I'd had one of these when I was in.

I had an M16A2 when I was deployed in Iraq, and had carried or maintained it or the A1 as a unit armorer for over a decade before. I came to the opinion that the M-16 series is wonderfully easy to shoot, reasonably light to carry, has sights highly useful to a skilled shooter/highly confusing to the average soldier, horribly sensitive to fouling, and a true bitch to clean to military standards. I've used more cans of carburetor cleaner than I can count to clean them once I figured out that it took hours of scrubbing and scraping to get enough carbon off the bolt and bolt carrier to get the armorer to accept it (when I wasn't the one doing the accepting). I've seen soldiers who are ardent hunters or have never handled a gun outside the military try to overcome fouling and jamming by saturating everything that moved in CLP, not using any lube at all, and lubing just the friction points. And I've experienced that joy of tweaking that damn gas tube back and forth for an hour or two trying to get the bolt carrier to close on the gravity tilt test listed in the armorer's manual when someone would complain about their malfunctioning rifle.

Meanwhile, my privately owned cheapo Chinese SKS and Century Arms L1A1 would just keep chugging along round after round.

I think a lot of that came down to two features: direct impingement gas vs. piston driven systems, and seven bolt lugs rather than two (or mechanical tolerances relative to fouling).

While changing bolts and receivers essentially requires replacing the entire rifle due to costs, I think the M-16 series could be upgraded with new upper receivers or receiver mods to make it financially viable in the long term.

Ick Ick Ick Ick

Not a job I would want. And remember, these children are the future!!

Garfield Ridge

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Heh. Beastmaster is on SciFi as I sit here. This came out when I was in high school, and has (I believe) been continuously shown on schlocky cable shows non-stop ever since. Rip Torn (great porn name) with skull festooned dreads. A heroine with fullblown 80's hair. Super-cheesy soundtrack. Super-evil warlord nemesis with giant batwing/moose antler decorated helmet. Trained killer ferrets. What's not to love?

The Anti-Fudd

I think this sums it up rather well for those of us who own guns for purposes beyond hunting.

Calling All Fudds: The Zumboing of Zumbo and the RKBA

By Phil Elmore

Anyone at all aware of the discussions among the online gun culture on the Internet had little choice in mid-February, 2007, but to be aware, however dimly, of the controversy surrounding Jim Zumbo. The amusingly named Zumbo, a "sportsman" and hunting writer of some years' experience, wrote a column in his "blog" at Outdoor Life Magazine's website in which he characterized those rifles inaccurately termed semi-automatic "assault rifles" (so named for their magazine capacities and cosmetic similarities to select-fire military rifles) as the tools of terrorists, "terrifying" weapons for which he sees no use and which he would like to shun, Amish-style, not to mention ban by force of law. In making these comments, Zumbo draws a line between wholesome hunters like himself, and owners of guns that, quite frankly, scare him. How any hunter conversant in firearms can be 'terrified' of weapons whose cartridges are far less powerful than the hunting rifles -- excuse me, "sporting firearms" Zumbo himself carries in the woods when he's shooting animals defies reason, but then, I'll let him tell you in his own words:

I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tackdrivers."

Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms."

This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let's divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the praries and woods.
The gun culture online turned apoplectic when word spread of Zumbo's ill-considered editorial. Angry calls and e-mails began flooding in to Zumbo's various sponsors, including Remington, Gerber Legendary Blades, Cabelas, and the host of the blog itself, Outdoor Life Magazine. Most demanded that Zumbo immediately be dropped by sponsors, threatening a boycott -- which, among gun owners, is no small thing. Second Amendment zealots (of which I am proudly one) have long memories and they hold grudges. The firearms community nationwide, while large, is relatively small. A gun company, or any commercial endeavor related even indirectly to firearms, cannot survive if it gets a reputation for less than solid support of the Second Amendment. A few of the larger companies have weathered storms created by ill-considered business decisions or public comments on the Second Amendment, but they are the exceptions that prove the rule. The fact is that the threat of a boycott from supporters of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) is no empty threat.

Fearing the ramifications of this, and perhaps pressured by Outdoor Life (if not simply afraid of the impact such widespread outrage would have on his commercial sponsors), Zumbo went back to his keyboard. With a sincerity matched only by former President Bill Clinton's lower-lip-chewing, finger-wagging denials "of sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky," he typed the following "apology," in which he even invoked one of Bill Clinton's more famous excuses for ramming his own foot down his digestive tract -- that of being "tired." I'm not sure how a lack of sleep turns you into an ignorantly pontificating traitor to the United States Constitution, exactly, but the description is certainly applicable in both cases:

Someone once said that to err is human. I just erred, and made without question, the biggest blunder in my 42 years of writing hunting articles...

...Let me explain the circumstances surrounding that blog. I was hunting coyotes, and after the hunt was over and being beat up by 60 mph winds all day, I was discussing hunting with one of the young guides. I was tired and exhausted, and I should have gone to bed early. When the guide told me that there was a "huge" following of hunters who use AR 15's and similar weapons to hunt prairies dogs, I was amazed. At that point I wrote the blog, and never thought it through.

Now then, you might not believe what I have to say, but I hope you do. How is it that Zumbo, who has been hunting for more than 50 years, is totally ignorant about these types of guns. I don't know. I shot one once at a target last year, and thought it was cool, but I never considered using one for hunting. I had absolutely no idea how vast the numbers of folks are who use them.

I never intended to be divisive...

...What really bothers me are some of the unpatriotic comments leveled at me. I fly the flag 365 days a year in my front yard. Last year, through an essay contest, I hosted a soldier wounded in Iraq to a free hunt in Botswana. This year, through another essay contest, I'm taking two more soldiers on a free moose and elk hunt.

...Believe it or not, I'm your best friend if you're a hunter or shooter, though it might not seem that way. I simply screwed up...
So you see, Zumbo's your best friend if you support the Second Amendment. He was tired. It wasn't his fault. He took a a few of those people he called "terrorists" -- oh, excuse me, American soldiers -- on free hunts, so he must support the Second Amendment. Why, the man has a flag that he flies all year 'round; how could you dare question his patriotism?

At what point do ridiculous, backpedaling excuses like these start to sound like an anti-Semite squealing that he's not anti-Semitic, because he's got Jewish friends, or a Klan member protesting that he's not racist, because he goes out drinking with his black coworkers? Now, Zumbo is not a racist (I could no more assert that than I could claim he was a Martian, a Republican, or a dentist -- I don't know anything about the man's personal life or credentials other than what he wrote in his blog). What I can say with certainty and conviction, based on the same two blog post excerpted here, is that Zumbo is a hunting snob who sneers at other gun owners whose guns don't match his definition of a "sporting firearm."

Zumbo is, in short, a Fudd.

A Fudd is an ignorant hunter who sees no connection between his "sporting firearms" -- his hunting tools -- and his firearms rights. He is not a Second Amendment supporter; he may even be a Democrat. He loves to hunt, for whatever reason, but he has no respect and no use for "non-traditional" shooters. He can't imagine a rifle stock made of plastic being good for anything; he can't see a need or a "legitimate sporting purpose" for any weapon cosmetically similar to a military arm. He is, in short, an elitist who doesn't wish to associate with those gun owners he considers beneath him.

As the outrage over Zumbo's column spread, consequences started to be felt. The overwhelming grassroots pressure prompted posters in at least one Internet forum to declare "Zumbo" a verb, a good working definition of which might be "to inundate with grassroots support or opposition, as in the advocacy of a political issue." For my own part, I e-mailed all the sponsors I could think of, including Zumbo himself. I e-mailed Outdoor Life demanding he be let go. I even sent a snailmail letter with my business card to Jim Zumbo's Post Office box, because if I'm going to demand a man be fired, I'm damned well not going to do it anonymously.

The firestorm took its toll. Sponsor Remington severed all ties with the man in no uncertain terms. Cabelas, another sponsor, issued a statement saying that it was analyzing its contractual obligations -- the implication being, I think, that it was trying to determine if it could legally drop support for Zumbo. Yet another sponsor, Hi Mountain Jerky, sent e-mail saying explicitly that it did not support Mr. Zumbo's statements and that it "would not have supported [his hunting show on the Outdoor Channel] or had his endorsement on our packaging in the past had we known [his opinion]."

Outdoor Life Magazine finally deleted the Zumbo columns completely, dropping them down the Memory Hole while bleating in protest that it really wasn't anti-gun, not really. "Due to the controversy surrounding Jim Zumbo’s recent postings," the official announcement read, "Outdoor Life has decided to discontinue the 'Hunting With Zumbo' blog for the time being. Outdoor Life has always been, and will always be, a steadfast supporter of our Second Amendment rights, which do not make distinctions based on the looks of the firearms we choose to own, shoot and take hunting."

Outdoor Life's protestations notwithstanding, various friends of Zumbo were quick to leap to his defense, activating the Good Ol' Boy network of Fudds and other less than solidly Second Amendment-supporting hunters (and those others who are nominally shooters, but hardly defenders of the Second Amendment) who were only too willing to act as apologists for one of their own. It didn't matter that Zumbo's strident and self-righteous editorial was made from ignorance by his own admission in his "apology." No, all that mattered was another flannel-clad man with a wood-stocked rifle was being taken to task for his ignorance by owners of, and sympathizers to, the "terrorist rifles" Zumbo had so bravely decried. It was therefore necessary to start bitching and whining about how terribly unfair it was that Zumbo be held accountable for his statements.

Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wire commented on the controversy, saying in part that the Zumboing of Zumbo was the "shouting down" of "voices calling for reason and tolerance." This characterization does not emphasize harshly enough the fact that it is Zumbo who is responsible for creating, through his inflammatory and ignorant rhetoric, what Shepherd characterized as a "schism" -- the "ill-considered" creation of "good-gun, bad-gun categories" even now being used in Congress as "further evidence of the 'need' to regulate firearms -- all firearms -- more stringently."

I wonder if readers will get the impression from Shepherd's column (The Blog Heard 'Round The Industry: Jim Zumbo angers firearm enthusiasts, posted 20 February, 2007) that the "schism" is created by the implied 'intolerance' of those "firearms enthusiasts" angrily calling for Zumbo's metaphorical head on a virtual platter. If only those of us eager to protect the Second Amendment would be more 'reasonable,' one might conclude, there would be no "schism" and the gun-grabbers wouldn't be using our own divisive politics against us. The problem with this tempting conclusion is that it relieves of responsibility for his actions the man who created the problem, who indeed sought to create "good-gun, bad-gun" categories -- Zumbo himself, whose mind-numbing ignorance in writing the editorial in the first place is matched only by the insincerity of his subsequent apology for it.

"Gun Talk" host Tom Gresham, in a column titled "Tipping Point -- Suicide on the Web," concluded that Jim Zumbo "basically committed career suicide." He went on to explain that Zumbo "made a mistake from which there was no recovery. He wrote his blog while on a hunting trip. Just before going on the air, I checked the internet forums (fora?) and found a firestorm. People were livid, and with good reason. Some of the comments were clearly over the top, but most of them conveyed the rage that comes from a feeling of being betrayed by someone you thought of as one of your own."

Gresham, it seems, now regrets initial comments he made in an interview with Zumbo about the online controversy, comments in which he decried firearms owners' "willingness to eat our own." He was wrong to say that, Gresham now says, because such cannibal mistreatment of Zumbo was "not what was going on here, as I discovered when I got off the air...The outrage by gun owners is completely understandable. To put it in context, Zumbo's comments came only days after we saw the introduction of a bill in Congress to bring back the Clinton Gun Ban (the so-called 'assault weapons' ban). The final nail in the coffin was when-- Sunday afternoon -- the Brady Campaign (the leading group working to restrict gun rights) posted Zumbo's comments to several places on the net, saying, in effect, 'See, even the top hunting writer says these rifles have no legitimate use.' At that point, it was all over for Jim Zumbo."

Gresham correctly points out that the real problem here is not Zumbo's statements in and of themselves, ignorant as they were. No, the problem is that Zumbo's comments were almost immediately picked up by various anti-gun groups as evidence of support for their noble cause within the firearms community. Such gun-banning groups are always trolling for pet "experts," those Second Amendment quislings supposedly knowledgable of firearms whom they can trot out for media soundbites condemning certain kinds of "bad" firearms. This is a common tactic in the incremental push among such groups for total gun bans. First they go after "junk guns" and "Saturday Night Specials." Then they attack "assault weapons." Then they decry the proliferation of "sniper rifles." It doesn't matter that in all cases, these vilifying terms are lies and distortions meant to justify banning perfectly legitimate firearms. All that matters is that the gun banners can claim a victory and further their agendas. If they can do so while pimping a "firearms expert" who's happy to oblige them with fuel for their propaganda machine, they'll do so. It confers on them the veneer of legitimacy while disguising their true intentions, cloaking as "reasonable gun control measures" their long-term goal of banning all firearms.

The problem is, you see, that gun owners are a persecuted minority. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects the inalienable and natural right of American citizens to keep and bear arms, has been under attack for years, incrementally chipped away, suppressed, infringed, and circumvented by activist judges and left-wing pressure groups almost since its inception. Some of the earliest infringements on the RKBA had to do with restrictions on bowie knives, Arkansas toothpicks, and other tools of dueling, a tradition seen as barbaric by more "civilized" governing Americans. Some time later, "Jim Crow" laws included restrictions on firearms ownership, such as requiring permits issued by local law enforcement, in an attempt to disarm black Americans. The 1930s and the 1960s saw restrictions on firearms that were politically motivated by attempts (ill-conceived and ineffective attempts, I might add) to prevent gun violence, born of national horror at crime and political assassinations.

This issue is so serious because it quite literally concerns life and death -- specifically, the lives and deaths of American citizens trying to protect their families and themselves from crime. Any attack on your firearms rights reduces or eliminates by force of law your right, your opportunity, and your ability to own and employ a firearm, the most useful tool for personal defense yet invented. Any statements that facilitate these attacks -- any lies, arguments, or quotes used by the firearms prohibitionists to attack your gun rights -- are therefore no less than an indirect attempt to decrease the value of your life. A man who presumes to tell you that you cannot own a firearm is not just pissing on the United States Constitution and the Second Amendment; he is presuming to tell you how much your life is worth. He is saying he sees no reason to make it easier for you to defend that life, or the lives of your family. He is declaring his supremacy over you by presuming to judge your life and its value. If there is a more tyrannical worldview, I don't know what it might be.

Whenever your firearms rights are attacked, therefore, you have no choice but to see that attack, ideologically, as an attempt to devalue your life. You are fully within your rights to speak out, loudly and persistently, in opposition to such presumption. You are also correct to be outraged that anyone would presume to tell you what your life is worth. There are varying degrees of outrage, however.

When irrational, fearful, ignorant people like the gun-banners at the Brady Campaign or the Violence Policy Institute or (whatever it's called) spit on your life and the lives of your family, empowering violent criminals by attempting to disarm you, it's not much of a surprise. Some people simply have this worldview and, motivated by a fear of guns and an ignorance of firearms technology, they lash out in all their impotent fury, a screaming mob made powerful by pandering lawmakers with no respect for the United States Constitution. Gun owners have pretty much come to expect this behavior. Those gun owners alive and active today have been coping with truly serious and deleterious infringements on their gun rights since the 1960s.

When an irrational furtherance of firearms prohibition is made from within the ranks of your fellow shooters, however, it is only just and it is perfectly understandable that one's outrage would be that much greater. That is what occurred. Jim Zumbo attacked the firearms rights of the very people with whom he hunts and socializes, the Fudds within their numbers notwithstanding. He betrayed the people he should have been working to support, the people whose rights are protected by the very Constitution one would hope Zumbo is lauding when he flies his precious flag 365 days a year. I would think such a patriotic American would understand why you can't then call for the banning of certain kinds of firearms without infuriating thousands of Second Amendment supporters and armed citizens, who see such statements as a betrayal of their rights and an attack on the values of their lives. But, no, Zumbo and his Fudd supporters don't grasp this. Instead they mewl and shriek that the First Amendment protects their right to further the destruction of the Second without consequence.

The First Amendment guarantees you the right to speak your mind without fear of legal repercussion. It is not, however, a shield behind which to hide in an attempt to avoid the unpopularity incurred when one voices unpopular opinions. It is not an all-purpose aegis from whose shelter you may demand license to offend anyone, anywhere, for any reason, unless you are willing to live with the consequences of having given offense. This is why having the courage of one's convictions requires courage. Stand up and say what is unpopular, by all means -- but don't then complain that you have become unpopular. In a free market, you are free to piss on your customers -- but don't complain when they take their business elsewhere.

Zumbo and the Fudds don't, won't, or can't understand that the Second Amendment is not about hunting, no matter how many times this is repeated vehemently by RKBA supporters. When Zumbo's hunting rifles are banned as "sniper rifles" (a tactic even now being employed by the gun banners to mischracterize any rifle with some glass mounted to it), perhaps he'll come to regret his comments -- but then again, he's already admitted to advocating the banning of firearms about which he is, in his own words and by his own admission, "totally ignorant." Ignorance is a tool of the firearms prohibitionists, the gun banners, the gun-grabbers, the antis. By any name, they are fighting to destroy the United States Constitution and the rights of all American citizens as protected by the Second Amendment. When the Fudds employ these tactics, they are every bit as guilty as the Brady Campaign and their ilk.

You Fudds have a choice. You can understand that by furthering the cause of the gun-grabbers, you are cutting your own throats. You can make the connection between your precious hunting trips and the firearms you take on them. Or you can continue to shoot your deer and your bears and whatever else, all the while working to make certain that, eventually, you'll no more be able to gun down an elk than you'll be able to shoot the rapist who is coming for your wife.

It's your choice. Make it now.

I'm Old

Turned 40 today. Celebrating with some Flying Dog Pale Ale, pepperoni, sausage, and green pepper pizza (not green sausage, as I requested after two bottles on an empty stomach), and the 7th season of Southpark DVD courtesy of my 14 year old. Eh, I've had worse birthdays.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Iranian Idol

Swiped from :Grouchy Old Cripple

How To Get Your Very Own Fatwa

Post this on the web. Thanks to Gates of Vienna.

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

So you've finally got your new scope mount in production, and it's time to advertise. Market research ( "I asked cousin Buford what he thought of it") shows potential customers are interested in the rifle or the scope. What can you do? Buy a can of Krylon to cover up that distracting walnut and steel! Those customers can't help but look at your mount now.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Luddites & Fuddites

Luddites smashing looms in a factory during the riots of 1811–16.

Definition of: Luddite

An individual who is against technological change. Luddite comes from Englishman Ned Lud, who rose up against his employer in the late 1700s. Subsequently, "Luddites" emerged in other companies to protest and even destroy new machinery that would put them out of a job. A neo-Luddite is a Luddite in the Internet age. (

Cruising the web, I ran across a blog referencing Jim Zumbo. He's been a well-known outdoors/hunting writer for decades, and currently has a column online at Outdoor Life. Apparently, he's swallowed the Brady line on "assault rifles", and is decrying their use in hunting. Lines such as
I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tackdrivers."
serve to further divide the gun owning community, making us easier prey for the freedom-phobes.

Living in Iowa, the great majority of hunting uses shotguns,followed by .22 rimfire, and a smattering of centerfires used in varmint hunting. Of those varmint rifles, .223 chamberings are probably the most common, as it's widely available and easily customized during handloading for optimal accuracy. There's two reasons why I don't use an AR platform for the varmint hunting I do here. First, I never manage to save up enough money for a quality one before I find some 60 to 100 year old relic that I MUST HAVE when I see it. Secondly, I'm a cheap bastard who can't stand the thought of my hunting rifle throwing perfectly good brass somewhere never to be found again. Other than that, I see absolutely no reason to get pissy about a rifle lacking the requisite amount of walnut and blued steel, or the fact that it has a military heritage, as long as the rifle is safe to operate, and the cartridge of sufficient power to humanely take the pursued game. Keep in mind, these are civilian versions of their military forbears, and DO NOT have the capability to fire more than one shot per pull of the trigger. If the citizens of a particular state don't like the idea of someone using a magazine capable of holding 30 rounds, requiring the use of a limited capacity (10,5,3, hell, one round capacity) magazines are either available or capable of being made when demand is present. A rifle is a rifle, which is basically a high-velocity, high-accuracy sling shot. It's appearance and aesthetic value have no effect on it's function, and should be left out of the argument of what is appropriate to carry in the field.

Some of the problem comes from individuals who have aged, and dislike change. I consider people who prefer to do things the old way, but don't need to disparage someone doing it a new way, traditionalists. These people, to me, have great value as keepers of institutional memory. They provide continuity and an appreciation of historical methods and values. There are also those who prefer to do things the old way, hate it when others do it a newer way, and want to make those others do it their way. In the shooting world, many know these people as Fudds.

It's clear to me that Jim Zumbo is proud to proclaim himself a full-fledged Fuddite.

Friday, February 16, 2007

From A Former Troop.....Thanks For Nothing

To Whom It May Concern:

A big thanks for what is essentially a vote of no confidence in the current administration during wartime. When the chickens come home to roost on this one, I'm confident not one of you will stand up and say "I was wrong". Abraham Lincoln had the right idea.

Day Off

Spent most of yesterday evening working on a cold toe, with a recheck starting early this morning. Doesn't sound that bad, but if it's not addressed, this can progress to

Thanks to the amount of callback that gives me, I was told to take the rest of the day off. I'd like to go crow hunting, but the negative two degree temp takes some of the enthusiasm away. Fifteen years ago I wouldn't have cared; now sitting in some snow for a couple of hours doesn't have the attraction it used to. Maybe if it gets above ten.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

London, Gun Free Zone

As guns are virtually impossible for the common citizen to legally own, how's this happening?

LONDON (Reuters) - A 15-year-old boy was shot dead in south London on Wednesday, becoming the third teenage boy to be gunned down in the area this month, police said.

You can legislate all you want, but it won't get rid of humanity's embedded capacity for violence. That said, I line up with Col. Jeff Cooper:

--"One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that 'violence begets violence.' I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure -- and in some cases I have -- that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Please God, Let This Be Photoshopped

Oh dude, that's just wrong....which makes it that much funnier.

Steve's Nude Memphis Blog


Found out last night that the CMP is out of field grade greek return M1 Garands, less than two weeks after I mailed in my order. I have a bad feeling about this.

Coincidence Or Culture War?

The shooting in Utah by Sulejman Talovic should be interesting to follow. So far, the possibility of a religious motivation has not been brought up in the MSM that I've seen, but has been mentioned in a numbers of blogs. I'm hoping that his religious history is researched as a possible cause, but I think it won't officially be mentioned for fear of giving offense. Which is a damn poor reason to limit an investigation. Maybe he was a nice All-American boy who finally listened to one too many Marilyn Mason tracks, but these days, I doubt it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Way Better Than Traffic Camera's

This should be implemented across the U.S. as soon as possible (NSFW).



Remember When They Just Wanted You To Work?

Why has it become so popular to psychologically evaluate employees? We've had to take several different "personality index" evals the last few years. Just finished another one today, where you answer about sixty questions, only it's really just ten questions rephrased six times each. Supposedly the goal is to "facilitate greater understanding" of individual strengths and how you can contribute to the team. I'm pretty sure my results will show a cranky, cynical individual wants to be left alone so he can actually do his job. I look forward to our next group meeting where an evaluator will tell us who we really are.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Get'em Young

Saudi television showcasing it's cultural diversity appreciation program.

I can't think of words to describe how depressing this is to watch.

Comments Not Usually Heard On The News

Sitting on the couch having some coffee, looking around on the internet. The wife has Fox News on, watching them discuss Iraq and Iran. I don't pay much attention until the phrase "Iran has been a huge pain in the ass" filters into my conciousness. Not my wife's voice, but the guy on the TV. I find that I really like Col.(Ret) David Hunt.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

Sometimes, I just wonder "why?". This stock belongs on an M1 Garand like a thong and halter top belongs on George Patton.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Funniest Blog Post Ever

Iowa Hawk has some incredible writing skills, but this is some of the finest writing I've seen since reading National Lampoon back in the '80s.

I guess that's what happens when people with Tourette's dabble in political blogs.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Personally, I Prefer "Cooter"

No, I'm not talking about Ben Jones. Came across this (ahem) over at Garfield Ridge.

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- A modified marquee in Atlantic Beach has been drawing some attention. "Hoohaa" replaced a word in the title of a play after a driver complained about finding the previous wording offensive.

The marquis for Atlantic Theaters advertises a number of plays including, the Masquerade Ball, Band Jam, and now The Hoohaa Monologues.

Some said hoohaa is a strange word and that its definition depends on its context, while others said it sounds like a country band.

However, it's not a band at all. In fact, most people know hoohah by a different name -- vagina.

"We got a complaint about this play The Vagina Monologues," said Bryce Pfanenstiel, of the Atlantic Theater.

The Hoohah Monologues is a replacement title for The Vagina Monologues -- a well-known play about that part of the female body.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Serious Stones

As both a (former) medic and rad tech, a salute to these docs, medics, and rad techs for putting themselves on the line.

FORT HOOD, Texas (Army News Service, Feb. 1, 2007) - It was a busier day than normal at the Camp Aned Battalion Aid Station on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border when Maj. John Oh, a general surgeon attached to the 10th Mountain Division, found himself wondering if he would live to see another day.

It was March 2006 and Oh, only four months into his deployment, had just realized the shrapnel sticking out of a wounded Soldier's stomach was actually an unexploded Rocket Propelled Grenade.

"The medics had just started cutting the clothes and dressings off the Soldier when I saw the metal bar with fins protruding from his belly," Oh, now chief of general surgery at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood wrote in an e-mail. "I ordered everyone out of the (Battalion Aid Station) and put on my ballistic helmet and body armor."

Oh received the Soldier's Medal at a Jan. 25 ceremony honoring CRDAMC staffers for risking their lives to save others. Lt. Col. William Brock received an Army Commendation Medal with "V" device for assisting Oh. And, Sgt. Troy Galvan was awarded the Soldier's Medal for his saving the life of a women trapped in a burning vehicle.

"This is something we do every day - taking care of patients," said Oh, 35, of Beltsville, Md., then assigned to the 759th Medical Detachment, Forward Surgical Team, Task Force Med. "Our primary focus was to just take care of the patient. Everything else was secondary."

Once the Soldier was intubated - allowing necessary fluids to replenish the patient's body - explosive ordnance personnel examined X-rays to determine if the warhead was still attached to the rocket propelled grenade. Although the potential for explosion was less without the warhead, the fuel rod and detonator still carried the potential to blow-up at any point during the grenade removal surgery, Oh said. Despite the remaining risk, the battalion aid station operating room was prepared for an emergency surgery to remove the grenade.

Oh, along with a team of six, conducted the surgery wearing their usual surgical scrubs beneath Kevlar vests and ballistic helmets.

As Soldiers around the aid station and in the operating room uttered quiet prayers for success, Oh gently removed the grenade without detonation under the watchful eyes of the two explosive ordnance personnel.

Later in June, Oh said he visited the Soldier at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., who recently witnessed the birth of his second child.

Assisting Oh was Brock, 53, of Dallas, Texas, also assigned to the 759th Forward Surgical Team, Task Force Med. Brock intubated the Soldier. The 19-year veteran received the Army Commendation Medal for Valor for his actions.

While caring for the patient under these circumstances was difficult to do, "...anyone else would've done the same thing," Brock said.

Brock has been at Fort Hood since 2000 and has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I felt the seriousness from the moment I saw the RPG hanging out," Brock said. "So at that very moment I knew what we were up against."

Galvan, 38, of San Antonio, Texas, was also awarded the Soldier's Medal for pulling a Fort Hood Soldier out of her burning vehicle before it exploded on U.S. Highway 190 near Nolanville - close to Fort Hood - in February 2006.

Driving home after a shift in the CRDAMC Mother-Baby Unit, Sgt. Troy Galvan had no idea what awaited him. Little did he imagine that Feb. 13 afternoon that he was about to lay his life on the line for another Soldier.

"I thought I was coming up on a dead person. And thank God she had a pulse," Galvan said. "We got her out. That was my main concern. The fire is there - get her out."

Galvan's medic and vehicle extraction training kicked in.

The woman awoke and started pleading with Galvan and two other men who stopped to help, saying, "Please don't let me burn." Luckily, one man had a fire extinguisher which temporarily lessened the fire, he said.

"So I jumped back in. I got the seat to recline, unbuckled her safety belt and started pulling her out. Then another guy jumped in the seat and helped me pull her out through the back. Another guy came up underneath, so there were three of us taking her up the embankment."

Less than one minute later, the car exploded in flames, Galvan said.

"As a medic, we train for this day-in and day-out. We're here to sustain life," Galvan said.

The rescued Soldier has since recovered and is serving in Iraq with the 1st Cavalry Division.

"I really don't have words to tell you how proud I am," said Col. Loree Sutton, CRDAMC commander.

"As a commander, it's a very rare honor to be able to bestow this level of award" on our Soldiers, Sutton said after the ceremony. "As they said, they were just doing their job. They were doing their duty. A very sacred duty."

The Soldier's Medal is America's highest decoration for heroism not involving actual combat with an enemy force.

The "V" device denotes awards of a particular medal for heroism.

(Jon Connor, Phillip Washburn and Mollie Miller contributed to this article.)

For an idea of the size of an RPG, here's a photo for reference purposes.

Taken from here.

Environmental Activism

"Most of the environmental movement is composed of white, upper-middle class people who are, I think incorrectly, telling people in the rest of the world what to do, where people don't live in nice houses and don't have good drinking water and good health standards. I think the environmental movement is basically elitist."

An interesting post at The Smallest Minority.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Journalism and Society

Blatantly copied from

Small Dead Animals

Journalism blithely builds bridges for others to use to transport troops into the heartland. It has lost the skill to differentiate behavior that is antithetical to any society. As a surrogate for readers, it chases what it claims to be objectivity so hard it can no longer identify and label misbehavior. It does so because journalism -- and the programs that teach journalists -- can't see what they can't see. When they can't see what they are missing no traction exists to convince them what must be done to recover their purpose.

Journalism does not see a society at risk. Thucydides, wrote "The History of the Peloponnesian War" 2,400 years ago about the war between Athens and Sparta. Thucydides warning to readers is that just as Athens' weaknesses became its strengths and her strengths became her weaknesses, so do those lessons apply for all nations even today. The great strengths of America have been the roots of her foundation, her liberty, her wealth and her isolation, her unfettered press, her education, and her political processes. These strengths are the weapons turned back against us so long as we fail to recognize our strengths can be double-edged.

Two hundred years of stability have left America believing the freedom citizens enjoy is more permanent than it is. Her liberty is presumed to exist by nature rather then the product of constant vigilance. Her wealth and her isolation have let citizens become complacent. Her education has turned into schooling of easily-tested clich├ęs that supplant honing skills to think. Her unfettered press allows propaganda to be injected unchallenged into every corner of the country into minds unprepared to defend themselves against it. Her political processes have become adversarial, tuned more towards winning power than serving principle. She is, as Athens was, at war with herself as much as with any external enemy, yet does not anticipate the consequences.

We've been starting to pay for this attitude, and I think there's worse to come.

End Profiling?

In the name of Political Correctness, we must not differentiate between anyone, anywhere, anytime, for any reason. So at the airport, this:

will be equally suspicious as this:

See the summary with link to the full text: S2132

It's been a long time since I've bothered to write my senators; looks like a good time to start up again.