Saturday, December 24, 2016

Xmas Marks the Spot

I'm just parking some Christmas songs here that I always got a kick out of. Y'all might enjoy them too so feel free (or at least minimally charged) to check them out. Hope y'all have a happy Hanukah and/or a merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Don't Worry

For some reason I've gotten about half a dozen queries from ex lovers the last month or so. The preponderance have been in text form, but a few actually were upset enough to call. I've replied to them first with the qualifier that while I'm fairly confident of my assessment I could very well be wrong, then going on to give an abridged version (my texting thumb ain't as spry as it used to be ya know) of the answer to this most pressing enigma they woke up to find staring them in the face. So I figured I'd park a post giving a bit more detail as to what my conclusion is (as my reply of, "They tried to screw us, but the condom broke and now they're trying to victim blame/slut shame everybody to avoid paying child support and hoping they wife don't find out" probably requires some expansion). That way instead of texting around the bush I could just point any stragglers here.

The question they've all been asking is some variant of,

"Publicola? Hi, it's [insert name here]. Listen, I'm really upset and so confused and I just don't understand this at all. I've been trying to figure it out and then, well,  I remembered that you're a redneck, so can you please tell me how the [multiple expletives and a vow to Tyr deleted]  Trump won????"

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Of course I'm running late, but hopefully my tardiness won't keep it from being a very happy & fun time of year. :)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Gonna Need A Fresh Whetstone

I have to admit, I think it's just sooo cute that some people think we can vote our way out of this.

For old times sake I'll ask you to indulge my musings on this election coming up.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Autumn Leaves

The college I attended was just starting to incorporate jazz into its music program, which was focused on classical music as most music programs were and presumably still are. One of the courses I took was a jazz ensemble. In it a very full band learned various standards from a fake book (actually it was a Real Book). One of them was Autumn Leaves, chosen for its ii-V-I progression, as well as its opportunities for the horn section to harmonize. I couldn't stand it. Well I could stand it, but I didn't like it very much.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

About Elections And Gunowners

In the 1980's when a Republican senator or congressman was confronted about voting for some gunowner control law, the reply was typically, "Yeah, I voted for it. So what? My opponent in this election would have voted for it and a whole lot worse. So if you don't want what the Democrats will vote for you'll shut your pie hole and pull the lever with an "R" beside it this November. Besides, the NRA was fine with it and I've got a good rating from them. Now go away."

With the 1990's came a change in attitude. In a surprise move, gunwoners got kinda tired of being told to sit down, shut up and vote for republican anti-gunners cause the democrat anti-gunners were worse anyway.

In 1992 George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton. This was partly because of his "no new taxes" betrayal, but also in large part because he ordered the "assault weapons" import ban into existence through administrative action (urged along by that petulant slug Bill Bennet, lest we forget).

In 1996 Bob Dole lost to Bill Clinton. Dole allowed the Brady bill to go through. He voted for the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act which contained the 1994 federal "assault weapons" ban (although he voted against it in its final form). He then, less than four months before the election, changed his mind about making a repeal of the 'assault weapons" ban a primary focus of his presidency, and implied he'd veto a repeal if it his his desk.

In 2000 George W. Bush won against Al Gore. Bush (indeed his entire family from the looks of it) is not pro-gunowner. He supports a lot of gunowner control laws. But one gunowner control law is seen as a plus by a lot of gun owners, and that's Shall-Issue concealed carry permit laws. Bush signed such a bill into law in 1995, after having made such a law a campaign promise. This was seen as at least pragmatically pro-gunowner and helped Bush win the election. Gore was of course no pal of gun owners.

In 2004 George W. Bush won against John Kerry. This was because the 1994 Federal "assault weapons" ban expired on Bush's watch. Bush had mouthed support for renewing the ban, but a lot of gun owners gave him credit, some even saying he was a "stealth pro-gun" politician, having to publicly support renewal whilst working behind the scenes to make sure it expired.

In 2008 Barack Obama won against John McCain. McCain was good on "assault weapons" but he supported a bill that would have eradicated almost every gun show in the country (by making the sponsors of any show criminally liable for non-compliance of their employees).

In 2012 Barack Obama won against Mitt Romney. The GoP offered us a choice between someone who wanted to sign an "assault weapons" ban and someone who already had. The "already had" was their guy and unsurprisingly he lost.

Gunowner control has been viewed as a losing platform for democrat candidates. And rightly so. In fact, it cost the dems in Colorado control of the state senate in 2014. But currently the democrats are pushing a very anti-gunowner platform. This is due to two things, which are connected.

The first is that the progressives took effective control of the democrat party in 2008. They drove off all the blue dog dems and asserted control of the party apparatus.

The second is that a nasty little fascist from NYC (to narrow it down I'm referring to Bloomberg) started throwing money to anti-gunners. There's a theory going around that the gunowner control movement would be non-existent if it weren't for Bloomie the Hut's cash propping it up. I think that notion has merit.

However progressives have also taken control of the republican party. Not ideological progressives, but those that are culturally progressive. Usually they're simply labeled as "establishment" (or rino's) but from what I gather they're simply folks of the progressive culture that didn't go down the left wing path that others did.

(It really requires much more elaboration, which I'll hopefully get around to soon, but the progressive culture and the progressive ideology share the same two base tenants; a belief that society should be structured from the top down, and that the collective [or collectives] are the most important aspect of society. This is in marked contrast with the Scots-Irish culture, which is built on a bottom up structure with a focus on the individual.)

I don't think there's hope of the progressive dems seeing reason. But hopefully there's enough pressure within the GoP to remind the progressives currently running things there that without gunowner support they won't win much. Granted, I'm mainly referencing presidential elections over a relatively short period, but unless things change moreso than I think they have then the following holds true:

Republicans may lose with gunowner support, but they simply cannot win without it.

Make sure to remind whatever politician you favor of that.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Its Not A Conspiracy Theory If They Actually Conspire

 If it seems like the MSM is working for the other side, then you've reached a plausible conclusion. It's also as likely that they aren't working for the other side, they are the other side.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Meeting In The Ladies Room

I'm happy to see that Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam and others have decided to not play in NC due to NC's unconscionable law concerning  permits to purchase handguns.

Oh wait - that's not the law they were bitching about?

Here's a FAQ concerning NC's bathroom law. And here is the text of NC's Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act in .pdf form if you care to read the thing.

In a nutshell, the city of Charlotte passed a law that would have required government and businesses to allow folks who claimed they identified with the opposite sex to use the bathroom of their choice. The state passed this law in reaction to that, in order to clarify that for the purposes of bathrooms, lockers, showers, etc, biology trumped feelings, and that non-government entities could do as they wished.

Then a bunch of folks cried "Oppression!" and launched a boycott of NC. Let us look at those pinnacles of moralism, shall we?

Friday, May 06, 2016

Be Vewy Vewy Kwiet

Garands can be loud. Someone did something about that.

In this vid you can better hear the difference twixt suppressed and unsuppressed Garands

Fitting a suppressor to any semi-auto can be tricky. In this case there's a lot of blowback (hence wearing ski goggles when firing) and an adjustable gas cylinder lock screw to get the right amount of pressure in the gas system. In a thread on this build it's mentioned that the point of impact was about 27 MOA lower with the suppressor on. Details of how this was built can be found here

That Does Not Meme What You Thought

You've probably already heard about the school district in Colorado that bought some AR's for its security personnel. I was scanning through AM radio some weeks back and stumbled on the Joe Pags show, where they were discussing this event. A caller was hitting some familiar talking points, but I hadn't heard them in this context before.

The caller questioned buying AR's for the security staff, saying that it seemed the money could be better spent on training with the handguns they already had than buying rifles. When it was brought up that rifles were generally more effective and accurate than handguns, the caller retorted that a modern 9mm would be just as effective as an AR's projectile and claimed he was an avid handgun shooter.

This takes two trendy meme's and applies them to their logical and ridiculous ends.

The Firearms Blog has this post which does a decent job of explaining the thinking behind the "9mm is better" argument in relation to other handgun cartridges. Here and here are articles emphasizing the importance of training over cartridge selection for handguns. (Here is a more lengthy discussion of terminal ballistics, and Wikipedia has pages on both terminal ballistics and stopping power respectively. No discussion of this would be complete with The Anarchangel's Lies, Damn Lies and Ballistics post.)

Now I'm not in 100% agreement with those two points (a 9mm is just as good as any other, and training makes cartridge selection irrelevant) but I can understand their appeal when applied to handguns (though I still believe in 10mm magic). Rifle cartridges, even relatively weak rifle cartridges are another ball of wax entirely.

I'm not a fan of the .223 Remington or 5.56x45mm NATO. But I'd take either of those over any 5" barreled handgun in any chambering any day of the week*. If I had a set budget, and could train twice as much with a 9mm handgun or half as much with a .223 rifle (and let us pray to a deity of choice it never comes to that) I'd pick the rifle (or carbine**) every time. It's harder to tuck a long gun under your photographers vest, sure, but for around the house or serious social interactions a rifle (or carbine) is simply more advantageous, in terms of ease of use, effectiveness and range.

I'll grant it was just one caller on an AM radio talk show, but I'd be concerned that he's not the only one that takes an arguable idea or two and applies it all wrong.

Personally I'd have preferred that the school district had purchased AK-47's (simply because it's too much to hope for that they'd plunk down the cash for Garands or M1A's). But damn near any long gun will be an improvement over damn near any handgun for stopping humans with evil intent.

Perhaps meme's should come with warning labels - or at least disclaimers...

* When dealing with humans. Colorado has bears though, and I'd have more faith in a hot loaded, nigh nuclear 10mm to reach a bruin's vitals than a .223. Ditto for .41 or .44 magnums or the hotter .45 offerings.

** I simply can't bring myself to consider anything with less than a 20" barrel a rifle. To my thinking they're more properly carbines. So most AR's and most AK's, for example, are carbines, not rifles.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Prince Lived

Prince definitely wasn't a member of the gun culture. He was a progressive whenever anything remotely political came up. So most readers here may not have liked him that much.

I was a musician. I played a lot of Prince's stuff over the years, from his more popular tunes like Purple Rain or When Doves Cry to more obscure pieces, such as Starfish and Coffee to Sometimes It Snows In April (generally regarded by many as the saddest song in the world). In my professional opinion he was one of the most talented songwriters to date. Genius in fact would not be an exaggeration of his ability. Not all of his songs were likeable; some were better than others, but his ability to craft sounds into emotions was incredible.

I usually try to keep the writing here PG-13'ish, but there's simply no way to talk about Prince without some cussing, so you've been warned.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Remembering Things Right

Freddie Gray died a year ago today. All last night on the radio I kept hearing an interview which made me think the interviewee just didn't know the meaning of the word he was using, or was deliberately misusing it. Just to double check I did some searching and found the same word being used to describe the same event in multiple sources, sometimes by the reporters themselves.

That word is uprising.

For example, from this article (which isn't a bad summation of what's occurred in Baltimore since last year):

"Alston, of Kids Safe Zone, said the unrest galvanized organizations to do more for their communities instead of waiting for the city to help. 'What the uprising did? I wouldn't be in a position to offer the services that I do had that not happened,' she said." (emphasis mine)

There are several other places, in both professional and social media where I see that word used to describe the reaction by some in Baltimore to Gray's death.

From Merriam-Webster:  
Uprising: an act or instance of rising up; especially :  a usually localized act of popular violence in defiance usually of an established government

Again, from Merriam-Webster
Riot:  2 a :  public violence, tumult, or disorder b :  a violent public disorder; specifically :  a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent

The Seventeen was an uprising. The Forty-Five was an uprising.
What started on this day in 1943 in the Warsaw Ghetto was an uprising.
What happened in Baltimore after Freddie Gray's death was a riot.

When the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto started killing the Nazi's that were seeking to murder them, that seems to me to fall under the category of uprising. 

When a mob burns down a CVS store I'm just straining to see a connection with government, unless they're really ticked about the FDA (and we all should be) and think that CVS is in cahoots with them. 

Here's the Wikipedia page on the 2015 Baltimore protests (their title) which will give you an overview of what all happened and when.

Now let me remind y'all of something which I think gets overlooked too often: Gray was arrested ostensibly because he carried a switchblade (though it's been said that Gray's knife was not actually a switchblade, but an assisted opening knife.) Here's a CNN piece discussing whether the knife was legal or not. The difference is semantic because the city of Baltimore declares it a crime to possess either. But even trying to figure out what type of knife (that to my knowledge no one has seen since the Baltimore PD took custody of it) is unnecessary.

Let me quote y'all a lil' sum'fin sum'fin with which you should all be familiar by now:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  (emphasis mine)

That good ol' 2nd Amendment. It doesn't say "guns". It doesn't say "hand cannons". It doesn't say "hoglegs" It doesn't even say "firearms". It just says "arms". I would argue, and in fact I am arguing, that "arms" would include knives of all sorts and sizes, including that Ken Onion that some of y'all reading this may have in your pocket right now. That little palm sized tool you might own and possess is the reason a man was arrested and as a consequence killed by the police in his own city. Not for threatening them with it, just for having it.

Freddie Gray was chased down because he ran when some cops saw him. After they detained him they saw a clip outside his pocket, searched him and charged him with illegal possession of a knife. If we assume that it's hunky dory for the cops to run a person down with no other suspicion than "he must've done something cause he ran from us" we still have the very damn sticky wicket of him being arrested for enjoying a constitutionally enumerated Right. 

His treatment and ultimately his death were tragic and criminal on the part of the Baltimore PD. If there would have been an uprising last year because of that - a man dying from at best criminally negligent treatment after being arrested for exercising a basic, fundamental Right - then I would have been proud of them. That's not what happened. 

What happened is that some of the people in Baltimore took the Underwear Gnome approach to redress their grievances:

1: Loot, damage and burn privately owned businesses
2: ?
3: Governmental reform

That's so not uprising. 

It's important to remember Gray's death and the circumstances leading up to it. It's important to remember the evil that was done to him and to reflect on why it was done to him. But the riots that took place allegedly in his name shouldn't be recalled with any sort of reverence or sentiment, and upgrading them to the status of uprising diminishes not only the victims of those riots, but the participants in actual uprisings, such as those folks in Warsaw 73 years ago today.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Putting The J In SW

If you haven't seen The Force Awakens yet there will be spoilers in this post.

I mentioned previously that I was concerned about how Disney would handle Star Wars. I finally watched it last week and I'm not thrilled with it at all. I'll explore why below the fold, and part of it does have to do with the culture war. It'll be lengthy and there will be hard core geekery involved, so you've been warned. With any luck I'll get back to my irregularly scheduled posting on more familiar topics, but for now here are my thoughts on this new Star Wars:

Friday, April 01, 2016

Mea Maxima Culpa Peccavi

Brothers and sisters, it vexes me, pains me - nay; it wounds me to admit this shortcoming, this failure, this iniquity, for I hath not found it amongst the papers of today, or amidst the tales of scandal so oft told of the heathens against whom we struggle to convert. It comes from my own bosom, and I cannot hide it from you, my companions in, but not of, this dark world full of misery and blight.

I have sinned.

Arrogance was mine, so much that I thought, not that I was perfect, but that I had immunity from this manner of error; I thought it could not happen to me, yet I am guilty of it, as sure as grits are groceries. I cannot expect your forgiveness, though I am compelled to explain my error in the hopes that I am the last lead astray in such a manner, that I will be the last ensnared by such a trap.

For years I opined - nay, preached - against the Gospel of Stoner, deriding it as an apocrypha, an heresy, at best a trifle to be indulged no more than occasionally, at worst a disease that must be eradicated. I shouted from the rooftops that direct impingement was not the answer - that only a long stroke (or at least a short stroke) could deliver us to the promise land. I testified that a .22 bullet was not seemly to use agin anything more than 70 pounds, that it was not a cartridge fit for warriors, nor adequate for the protection of their families. And the sproing - verily, the sproing did I mock, comparing it in an unfavorable light with a gun meant for BB's.

But I have seen the sign in the sky, the writing on the wall, and now my wits have returned and the most righteous message Brother Stoner (may peace be upon him) tried to bring to us all, for our betterment.

It is only now, after wasting all those years with claims of heresy that I now know to be false, have I seen the light at the end of the two tenths of an inch diameter tunnel. The .223 Remington is a superb cartridge for battle and beast alike, readily felling with a mere graze the most zealous warrior as well as stopping the charges of Cape Buffaloes mid-stride, and the AR-15 platform is surely the most divine manner of delivering them.

So I will give up my sinful ways that I thought for so long were wise. The '06 shall I speak of no more. Its .30 pill, both heavy & slow compared to the .223, shall darken my ammo shelves no longer. It is tempting to beat my clips into magazines, and turneth mine gas cylinders into windchimes, as the prophets of old saw visions of. Yet atonement must be made.

I have been shown the light, and guided to the edge of the promised land where I may look over its valleys. But I have too much sin on me, and I cannot cross over. I am not worthy of an AR, or its .223 cartridge.

But I have seen the truth now; to quote the prophet (may his parking ever more be validated), "Whenst thou picketh a projectile, let its weight be light and its speed be fast..." Though I am not deserving to possess the mighty .223 Remington (or its nearest equivalent the blessed 5.56x45mm NATO) I shall not stray from the path again.

My Garands shall be reworked, with the laborers of metal installing new tubes, ones which may be judged as near to the perfection preached by the prophet as a lowly sinner such as myself is allowed. As was the M1E10 so too shall mine be converted to an impingement that is direct! And verily, I will have them rechambered for the mighty .17-06! Surely, 17 grains of blessed boattail exceeding 5,300 fps will prove that I have mostly humbly repented of my apostasy. And maybe, after I have done sufficient penance for my depraved ways, I can step just a bit closer to the light and have them rebarreled in .17-06 Ackley Improved! Though I dare not look too far forward, lest I stumble and resume my haughty ways that lead only to ruin.

Thus let my folly instruct you, lest your path becomes as crooked and your steps as backward as mine hath been. Revere the AR-15 (was it not described as the greatest battle implement ever devised? Wise was he whose words offered such just praise!), adore the .223 Remington (as another elder proffered from his trove of wisdom, "there's nothin' a man can't fix with 700 dollars and a .223 Remington!"), and give thanks for the prophet Stoner (may Haagen-Dazs create a flavor in his honor). Wasteth not thine time and precious coin on battle rifles and cartridges capable of taking down game larger than coyotes - it is surely vanity! Buy an AR and thousands of rounds of .223 Remington that your days may be long and your nights in bear country no longer filled with dread!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

A Tangled Weber

A Better Way to Tackle America's Gun Problem

The linked piece is another call for more gunowner control, this time in the form of mandating certain tools and accouterments be kept only at licensed ranges. But there's something important nestled in the paragraphs of justification leading to this proposal:

"The state has been defined as whatever authority possesses a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. It is this monopoly on violence that fosters social order and permits civil society to flourish and thrive. When a mass shooter opens fire on a crowd, he is also taking aim at civil society and striking a blow for chaos and barbarism. But when citizens respond to this act of anarchism not by empowering the state to make it more difficult for the next mass shooter to carry out his murderous plans but by putting even more guns in circulation, they further degrade public authority by refusing to grant the state the authority it needs to preserve order and keep us safe.
Down that road lies the dissolution of politics, and a return to a pre-political state of nature in which every individual acts as his own highest authority, using violence to defend himself against violence found all around him." (emphasis mine, link in original)

The piece concludes thusly:

"Let's make it just a little bit harder for the barbarians to wreak their havoc — and a little bit easier for the rest of us to take a stand for civilization."

This notion, that the state is responsible for societal growth through a monopoly on legitimate use of force, is antithetical to the concept of Natural Rights.  It's one of the chief demarcations betwixt the Progressive Culture and the Scots-Irish Culture (which is arguably synonymous with the Gun Culture, or Gun Culture 2.0).

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Prescribed Burns

David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh respectively have been on top of the situation near Burns, Oregon.

The Hammond Family Does Not Want An Armed Standoff

Respecting Wishes

Oregon Standoff Report

Perfect Timing for the Regime...

The Collectivists Have Begun to exploit It

3% of Oregon Official Press Release

Oregon Situation on the Web

The MSM has been taking notice as well...

Militants Continue Occupation of Oregon Refuge, Police Keep Low Profile

WTF is Happening in the Oregon Militia Standoff, Explained

David and Mike are the best places to go to for updates on the events in Oregon. Mike points out that the twitter feed of Les Zaitz (a reporter for TheOregonian/OregonLive) is also a good source for keeping up with things.

The TL;DC version (Too Lazy; Didn't Click) is that on Saturday, January 2nd, a group of people occupied a previously unoccupied (it was closed for the holiday weekend) federal building on a remote wildlife refuge about 30 miles outside of Burns, Oregon. Estimates of the number of occupiers range from 15 to 150. These folks split off from various patriot groups who were in nearby Burns to protest the treatment of the Hammond family. Those patriot groups have disavowed the occupiers' actions, stating the purpose of coming to Burns was to peacefully protest the Hammonds plight, not entice an armed stand-off. The occupiers are being represented by Ammon Bundy, whose father Cliven Bundy was the centerpiece of a dispute and stand off with the feds.The occupiers have stated they in addition to the Hammonds release, they want the federal government to return land to the loggers and ranchers of Harney County, and they're prepared to use the occupied building as a staging area for years if necessary.

The Hammonds patriarch Dwight and his son Steve were convicted of arson for burning land the feds owned (which was next to the Hammonds land) without permission. The conviction was under a 1996 anti-terrorism act which carried a mandatory 5 year sentence. The trial judge thought 5 years was absurd and sentenced them to less than a year respectively. The feds appealed and the 9th circuit court of appeals upheld the mandatory 5 year sentence, but graciously allowed them to delay reporting for prison after the holidays. A fairly good write-up of their plight can be found here.

The Hammonds were not asking anyone to do anything, saying they'd report to prison as ordered to serve their remaining sentence. The residents aren't happy about this situation, though they seemed at least tolerant if not supportive of the original protests earlier.

David, and especially Mike are speculating that the feds not only have people inside with the occupiers, but they instigated this situation to begin with, via agent provocateurs

The big wild card is the feds. For now they're hanging back, but I don't expect that to last much longer than it takes for Obama's team to plan out how to spin this situation.

Let us not forget, that in the Oval Office sits the most politically minded president ever to set foot in D.C. - which is saying something. No situation, crisis or opportunity to pass the salt is not sifted threw his "how can I make this work for me politically?" filter. Anyone thinking Obama will let this crisis go to waste hasn't been paying attention. It's just a matter of what angle he'll play.

He could not do much and point to this as an example of "domestic terrorism", urging congress to pass legislation that he wants passed to deal with this situation. Or use it as justification for executive action. He could also clamp down and put on a show of force to bolster his base. Doing the latter wouldn't negate the previous options. It's merely a question of what Obama think would be the approach most advantageous to him politically.

Obama wants more gunowner control laws, and he's planning on using executive action to get as much as he can. It's not debatable if he'll use this situation to that end, but how.

That the cops aren't doing much doesn't surprise me; the feds are in charge, which means the FBI. I have no doubt their inaction up to this point is because they're waiting for Obama's team to give them instructions. I'd assume explicit instructions, of the micromanaging variety. I doubt Obama's team wants this to get away from them as did the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

The Hammond family plight is worth protesting, as is the amount of land in the west controlled by the feds and their treatment of the locals. Occupying a remote building on federal land, trying to provoke a confrontation isn't how I'd go about things, based upon what I know of the situation currently. Politically this plays directly into Obama's hands and I'm a firm believer in it being unwise to attempt to out-democrat a democrat. I won't rule out the notion that government infiltrators had some part, small or large, in orchestrating this event. It is entirely possible I'm missing some information that would change my mind, but as it stands I think this occupation is a mistake that our enemies will use against all of us.

I don't plan on going to Oregon, but I fear Oregon may soon come to us.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Odds and Ends

Criterion is going to have Garand barrels in .35 Whelen available this spring. I assume they'll only be in the u.s.g.i. contour, though they do make tanker as well as gas trap barrels. You can also opt for one of their barrels in .308 Winchester as well as .270 Winchester, but .35 Whelen definitely has more punch than anything else offered (at least since McCann passed away and his .338 Winchester Magnum and .458 Winchester Magnum Garands went out of production).

Speaking of non standard cartridges for Garands,  Lothar Walther has Garand barrels in diverse chamberings. In addition to .30-06, .308 Winchester and .270 Winchester they have tubes in 7x64, 8x57IS, and 9.3x62.

Henning has made a "cone fit" guide rod for the Tanfoglio (EAA Witness) pistols for years. The shape of the rod reduces frame distortion that can occur with the factory guide rod and heavy loads, especially in 10mm and .45 ACP. Well now he has a variation on that, called "Last Defense". The muzzle end of the guide rod is sharpened into a spear point.

Being a firm believer in bayonets for long guns I of course wholeheartedly approve of this product. Henning notes that on long slide Tanfoglio's (such as the Limited, Stock III and Match) the spike will only protrude when the slide is locked back, which means you won't have to alter your holster.

Clement Custom Guns is doing a cool little conversion. If you send him your GP-100 in .357 magnum (along with some money) he'll send you back your GP-100 in 10mm. I'm tempted.

Course a 10mm is okay, but I do ponder getting a decent size pistol, say in .64 caliber. Not only would it be .14" better than a 10mm, but in that 1733 configuration it'll be great for non-permissive environments! Though even a flintlock pistol will still get you a felony indictment in New Jersey, but who'd want to go there anyway? Unless of course to liberate the place.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Movie Watching

I'm not crazy about the way Hollywood treats certain stories. For example, the Harry Potter flicks diverged too much from the books for me to really approve. (Actually the first two weren't bad interpretations, but after Harris passed things went downhill fairly quickly.) After the 6th, someone pointed out that they were successful at the box office, and I answered that they could have a movie comprised of stick figures and it'd still sell well - and lo and behold, in the last movie they did feature a segment with stick figures. But the story, as relayed by the books, was compelling enough that people would go see the movies no matter what. That provides a false metric for movie makers to go by, and reinforces their tampering with, and in some cases completely screwing up a story.

The usual justification is that some changes had to be made to transfer a tale from pages to film. My usual response is "bullshit!". While some changes are necessary for the switch in mediums, most are simply a director wanting to tell his story, not the story.  The omission of The Scouring of the Shire from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Ring films, and the Burning of the Burrow which was inserted into Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince are two examples of a director's whims adversely affecting the tale they claim to be telling. Of course Starship Troopers, Noah, and Exodus: Gods and Kings are atrociously different from the source materially, to the point that only the names give a clue as to what story they're claiming to tell.

With that in mind I'm real damn skittish about Disney's handling of Star Wars. I've been a Star Wars fan since about 1977, and in fact it could be argued that John Williams (the composer, not to be confused with the other John Williams, who's a helluva guitarist) score pushed me in the direction of a musical career. So I want to like it, I really do. But I know how Hollywood has a way of screwing up stories - hell, Lucas did a fair job of screwing up the story that was his! (I of course refer to the prequels that must not be named).

In short, I don't really want to know what color Pinocchio's nose saber is gonna be, or find out that there is, indeed, a Darth Jiminy.

Le sigh.

(I did watch the first season of Star Wars: Rebels and thought it was decent, but I don't want to get my hopes up too high.)

So I reluctantly did some looking online. It's been about a decade since I went to a theater to watch a movie and wanted to see what theater options were available. Turns out none. The theaters within my town all have no weapons policies. Of course I could just keep my coat on & no one would be the wiser, but that would mean I was giving money to folks that want me to be disarmed. I'll pass on that.

My personal boycott won't cripple any of the theaters around here, and I doubt if all the gun owners in the area called them and reported their disdain for the no weapons policy that the theaters would change their tune. But I just don't want to do business with those that would prefer I was defenseless. I don't want any part in sustaining their distasteful practices.

I still may look around for a theater in a neighboring town (other than Denver proper of course) or I may just wait til it comes out on DVD. Should be around May or so, which everyone but the execs at Disney know is the proper time to first view a new Star Wars film. (The heathens!) Besides, I can smoke while watching DVD's, and not have to go through a credit check and establish collateral for an extra large bag of popcorn that may or may not be fresh. Plus, should anyone bust in and try to shoot up the place I'll have better options than a hogleg with which to quell the miscreants.

For now I'll make do with an in depth review of the BlasTech DL-44 from Jerry Miculek, which can be found here.

More Maths

There have been calls by some for "mandatory buybacks" of firearms. This of course is nothing more than a misleading euphemism (how can government "buy back" what it never possessed?) for confiscation. Proponents of such measures have neglected their calculators. Luckily I'm here to help.

I'd estimate there are 150 million gun owners in America, but let's go with the more common figure of 100 million. 1/2 of 1 percent of that would be 500,000.

There are about 800,000 police officers in the u.S. That's in total, not just on duty at any given moment. Let us assume that all of those 800,000 policeman would follow orders and go about confiscating firearms.

If one half of one percent of the gun owners in this country forcibly resist attempts at confiscation, only 4/5th's of us would have to shoot twice before we went home. That would leave an entire field army of gunowners with no law enforcement agents standing twixt us and the politicians. Even if all of us were killed and we each took 1.6 of the enemy out with us, that would completely eliminate the police forces in the united States.

Keep in mind that's an extremely low estimate of how many gun owners would forcibly resist confiscation, and an unrealistically high estimate of the numbers of policemen that would try to carry out such a dictate. I'd guess that between 5% and 10% of the police force would openly switch sides in such an event, and another 10% to 30% would refuse to obey such an order, either openly or covertly, which would leave only 680,000 at most to try to round up all our guns. I'd also be disappointed if less than 1% of my original estimate of gun owners didn't participate in the resistance, which'd place the number of defenders at 1.5 million.

What I think most politicians fail to realize, is that the constitution's enumeration of the Right to arms isn't there to protect us, it's there to protect them.

But as has been said, maths r hard.

Maths R Hard

I dislike using statistics. When the methodology isn't flawed and everything is on the up and up (which is damned rare) the most they can do is point in a general direction. Correlation is not synonymous with causation after all, and often the results will lead one down a false trail. In addition it tends to negate individuality.

That being said I see a lot of talk about the number of people killed in the u.S. with firearms and clamoring for a way to reduce that number by restrictions or even outright prohibitions on firearm possession by non-government agents. There are a few numbers to keep in mind.

Around 30,000 people are killed each year with firearms in the u.S. Roughly 16,000 are suicides, a little less than 1,000 are negligent shootings (what are erroneously referred to as accidental shootings), and the rest are homicides, both justifiable and non-justifiable.

So 30,000 people a year, if constant would mean that in a decade 300,000 people die as a result of gunfire. In a century that'd be 3,000,000 people dead from gunshot wounds.

That means it'd take an entire century to equal the number of people killed during the 2 years of the Holodomor (if we go by the lowest estimates). It'd take between 2 to 4 decades to equal the number murdered during the 2 years of the Yezhovshchina. It'd take from 3 to 5 decades to match what happened in the 4 years of the Medz Yeghern. (But combined with the 6 years of the Sayfo and the 9 years of the Greek Genocide, another 2 or 3 decades could be added to equal what the Ottoman government did around World War 1.) It'd take about a decade to match the body count from the 6 weeks during the Rape of Nanking.

To match the death toll from Hitler's 4 years of murder would take 2 to 5 centuries. For 30 years of Stalin (including the above mentioned Holodomor) it'd take from 7 to 14 centuries. The 30 or so years of Mao would take a little over 2.5 millennia.

For the number of people killed with firearms in the u.S. per year to be equal to the number of people murdered by their own governments in the 20th century, it would take about 8.7 millennia.

If 30,000 people a year were killed by gunfire from the beginnings of the Copper Age til present, it'd still take another 1,200 years before the numbers equaled what governments did to their own people in the 20th century alone.

It's estimated that around 100 million Americans own firearms. I think that number is low and would assume around 150 million Americans own at least one firearm.  But going with the low figure that'd mean for every 3,300 or so gun owners, 1 person dies as a result of gunfire.

There are roughly 2.7 million people working for the u.S. government. If we use that number and apply it to other governments from the 20th century (which is most assuredly a very high estimate), then for every government worker in Nazi Germany 5.5 people were murdered. For every government worker under Stalin 16 people were murdered. For every government employee of Mao almost 30 people were murdered.

Yet because 30,000 people are killed with firearms in a given year by government and non-government actors, some folks are insisting that all firearms be turned over so that only government may posses them?

Indeed, maths r hard.