Friday, July 11, 2003

An Arizona man is being prosecuted for attempting to protect his property from thieves.

The Arizona man owns a ranch. On that ranch he has a pond that he uses for irrigation & to water his cattle. Last year the feds took water from the pond to fight wildfires. The man sent them a bill for the water they took. The Feds have not paid it.

So when a U.S. Forest Service helicopter descended over the same pond to take more water, the Arizona man shot at the water bucket the helicopter was attempting to use to steal his water.

He's being charged with "interfering with the performance of federal officers or contractors".

He could receive up to a year in jail for protecting his property.

No, i don't think the man over reated. He sought compensation for water previously taken & when reimbursement was refused he informed them that they could not take any more water from him. They were no different than non-government affiliated agents who attempt to take property without prior consent or any compensation.

Yes, there was a wildfire. Yes there was a need for water. But the Feds should have thought about that when they threw his bill into the trash can.

But "an attack upon the Kings' soldiers is an attack upon the King" so I suspect that this man will be punished. Wrongly so, but unless he gets a jury who understands the concept of jury nullification then things won't be looking good for him.
Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias at Yahoo is up with new & Improved Graphics (July 9th edition).

& he does a nice job on a UN story that I missed. It's about an 'alarming' UN report that says the US has almost 1 gun for every person.

I do find that alarming: almost 1 gun? We, as Americans obviously need to go out & buy more guns. Conservatively each & every American needs at least 3 - a rifle, shotgun & pistol.

Let's see what we can do about that before we become an embarrassment to the fine folks at the UN who are trying to inform us of our shortcomings.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Now this is a UN story I like. Would any of ya'll care to participate in the UN Shoot-Off?

The Rules?

Rules of the Tournament

A summary for those who don't want to click the link just yet:

You either make your own target or download one of theirs. You find a safe place to shoot. Shoot said target. Show people your target & explain why you choose to put holes in either the UN flag or a UN helmet. There's talk of having a shoot off next year between those with the smallest group on target.

Now it doesn't specify a caliber or a distance, but I would suggest - just to be sporting - that any centerfire longarm would call for 100 yards minimum. a pistol caliber carbine or .22 rimfire would call for 50 yards. A handgun would call for 25, but if you want to make the stretch to 50 I won't argue with you. For those of you with .223 caliber rifles I would give 'er a go at 150 yards. The .30 caliber enthusiasts should consider at least 200. Yeah it makes the target small & not particularly easy to hit, but enough practice & you'll feel better about hitting at that distance & farther.

That is all. Carry on.

I knew the EU was gonna be much more entertaining with the Italian PM in charge of things.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder cancelled his vacation to Italy because of " Italian under secretary responsible for tourism, Stefano Stefani, who characterized the eight million German tourists who visit each year as beer-swilling, chauvinistic boors who, come summer, 'invaded the beaches of Italy'."

It gets better.

"This latest fracas began on Friday when Mr. Stefani, who is a member of the small nationalist Northern League, wrote in a letter to his party's newspaper, La Padania, 'We know the Germans well, those stereotyped blonds with a hyper-nationalist pride who have always been indoctrinated to be first in the class at any cost'."

& better still.

"...Mr. Stefani called Germany a "country intoxicated with arrogant certainties." While they like to vacation in Italy, he said, the Germans also like to deal in anti-Italian stereotypes. The newspaper Bild, Mr. Stefani continued, referring to Bild Zeitung, Germany's largest mass-circulation tabloid, 'doesn't forget to lie about the number of car thefts in Rimini, or even the last statistics from Mafia killings in Sicily'."

But since these are politicians there must be retractions & the offending party be disciplined you say?

"Mr. Stefani refused to take back anything he had said, and Mr. Berlusconi, who did not follow the advice of at least two German cabinet ministers to fire Mr. Stefani, also showed no particular regret over the latest incident. Asked by Italian reporters for his reaction to Mr. Schr?der's cancellation, Mr. Berlusconi replied, 'I'm sorry for him'."

Think it's over?

"Demonstrating that one insult leads to another, Mr. Stefani attacked Der Spiegel, the newsmagazine, for putting an unflattering portrait of Mr. Berlusconi on its cover last week (before the incident in the European Parliament) with the caption, "The Godfather."
The message was 'self-evident,' Mr. Stefani said. It was that 'Berlusconi is a mob boss, and thus Mafia Italy is composed of Mafia electors who have accepted living with the Mafia. The Mafia is synonymous with death and suffering'."

Last but certainly not least, we have the following.

"Mr. Stefani had these choice words about Martin Schulz, the German deputy who had criticized Mr. Berlusconi and was then excoriated by him. 'This Schulz,' Mr. Stefani wrote, 'probably grew up taking part in noisy burping contests, after drinking gigantic amounts of beer and gorging himself on fried potatoes'."

Think of it as a parting shot across the bow.
The NY Times editorial reports all this with a tone that implies disapproval of the non-diplomatic turn of events. Personally I would have gotten a kick out of someone quoting someone as saying, " I knew nothing. No-thing!" but alas the NY Times seems to be more sensitive than I am.

Again I am not a fan of the EU but you have to admit this is humorous. Too bad none of the verbal combatants have the eloquence of Churchill. Now that would be entertainment.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

The Smallest Minority has an offer for anyone in the Tucson, Arizona area: if you're unfamiliar with firearms, he'll take you to the range, provide the guns & ammo & teach you the basics.

Kim duToit & the Mrs. have a similar offer for those in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas.

Who am I to buck blogging convention?

So if you're in or around Denver Colorado & have no experience with a firearm or would just like to learn more, then e-mail me at . I'll supply the arms & ammo & what knowledge I have. I will qualify this offer though: I am adequate with a pistol but not exceptional. So do not be surprised if you're shooting better than I am in a short amount of time. I like pistol shooting - don't get me wrong - but my real love is riflery.

I will also tell you that much to my shame I do not currently possess a .22 LR pistol or rifle. So if you wish to use a firearm so chambered you'll have to supply your own.

I'll also show you what I can with any firearm you have, but if my inventory lacks something you desire & yours does as well I do know of a few indoor ranges that rent pistols. That I'm afraid will be a cost that you incur, but I'll still pick up the range fees & the ammo as well as the eye & ear protection.

& on a more limited basis I will extend this offer to anyone in the Pueblo or Colorado Springs area as am in & around those places every now & then.

Finally I will start posting a series of tips for the novice firearms enthusiast as well as what limited info I have on the finer points of marksmanship. I don't think it would take too much prodding to get other bloggers to do this as well, especially since a few of them do it now. I'll link to any I come across & store them in a seperate archive for easy access.

So hopefully in the not too distant future we'll have a good quantity of info for shooters of all skill levels.

But thanks to Kim du Toit, The Smallest Minority & a guy named Fred who sells M-14 stocks in Shotgun News ads as an excuse to use half of said ad to explain how to become riflemen as well as as explaining why they should. If ya'll ain't familiar with Fred go out & find a copy of the Shotgun News. You'll see his ad somewhere in the front half. It takes up two full pages. The first page he displays his wares. From seeing his ad you'd think he probably has all the characteristics of a small town used car salesman who loves his work. & you'd probably be right. But when you see the next page you realize this guy is spending just as much cash to try to convince people to learn how to shoot as he is in promoting his business.

Geoff Metcalf writes about the Utah school in which 5th graders held a trial to determine if guns should be allowed in schools.

Other bloggers have covered this over the week but I can't resist the urge to at least post a summary:

"After lunch Monday, June 30, 2003, Miss Erickson's 5th graders, at So. Jordan Elementary, So. Jordan, UT, held a mock trial. The issue at trial has been the classic liberal wedge issue of at least the past three decades: Gun Control. More specifically: Should guns be allowed in school?"

Interesting so far, no?

"Each legal team consisted of five very bright 5th graders. Each side presented charts and facts to the jury, which was comprised of twelve 5th graders, half boys, and half girls. An "expert witness" on each side testified. The principal was subpoenaed for the "no guns in school" side, but he didn't show up for trial.

In the wake of about 45 minutes of intense debate, the jury left the classroom and deliberated behind closed doors for five minutes. The verdict: 12-0 in FAVOR of guns in schools."

So a bunch of 5th graders can argue effectively that civilian disarmament is bad policy. Another bunch of 5th graders can reason that the aforementioned 5th graders arguments were sound.

So why do we have an NRA who is afraid to take a second amendment case to court & a judiciary who constantly rules in favor of gun control laws?

They must have quit school in 4th grade.

But go read the whole thing. It's interesting.
Colorado passed a law closing the gun show loophole some time back. About 7 months ago the two major papers - the Denver Post & the Rocky Mountain News - stopped accepting ads for firearms.

What's a Coloradan to do when he/she wants a firearm but doesn't like the idea of begging for governmental permission?

Colorado Gun

Thanks to the good folks over at Rocky Mountain Gun Owners for bringing this idea to fruition.

For more info on why this was neccessary & how it works, here's the direct link to the RMGO page that explains all.
Join Together Online has a press release stating that the UN small arms agreement has been poorly implemented.

I would submit to them that it was poorly conceived as well.

but on to a brief fisking:

"Small arms, including handguns, rifles and long guns, cause 500,000 deaths a year - taking one life every minute."

Actually my calculator verifies that as being correct - provided there are only 347.222 days each year. It also works out that there is actually only 0.951 deaths a minute, or roughly 1.04 deaths every 64 seconds.

But that does not take into account the source for their numbers, nor the criteria used to qualify a death by a firearm. I doubt that it would serve theri purpose to announce that 20% of those deaths were the result of a person defending his/her life from a criminal, or that 40% of those deaths were the result of a government that decided to kill off part of its population. So without knowing what constituted a death by a firearm for the purposes of this study then the numbers are suspect.

"Rebecca Peters, Director of IANSA [International Action Network on Small Arms] said: 'While governments meet in New York this week, over 7,000 people, mostly civilians, will be killed by small arms. Nearly all those deaths are preventable and will serve no national security purpose. It's time for government and civil society to work together to stop the killing."

Again I question the source of the numbers as well as the methodolgy used to arrive at them. But perhaps Ms. peters would accomplish more if she focused on preventing governments from killing their own people than in trying to help them be safer while killing their own unarmed people.

From my understanding, & please correct me if I'm wrong, the majority of the murders in the 20th century were attributable to governments killing off their own citizens. I would imagine wars would rank next as a cause of death, followed by suicide, criminals & accidents. If we disregard suicides (as firearms are a convenience but are by no means neccessary) & accidental shootings (which I assume are statistically very low) we are left with two types of government action & criminal actions as the cause of the majority of firearms death (I know, listing government & criminals are redundant).

Now what is the UN? An organization comprised of governments. So the organization who wants to disarm civilians is composed of the same type of entities that account for roughly two-thirds (by my unscientific guessing) of the deaths caused by firearms?

Kinda like asking a crack head to guard the cocaine factory isn't it?

In Colorado when a citizen excercises his Rights, it's newsworthy.

"A man took a shotgun into Colorado Springs city hall this morning. His actions were completely legal...The man with the shotgun sat quietly in the back of city council chambers during a meeting...Extra police officers arrived to ensure public safety, but there were no incidents."

I wonder what the request for extra security was like? "Dispatch, we have a man excercising his Rights. We need backup now!"

It's sad though, that they make a big deal out of this. It's sadder still that governmental permission is required to carry a weapon in such a manner that you don't mkae the headlines.