Saturday, September 24, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #31

The Carnival of Cordite #31 is up once again at Resistance is Futile!. Again, there is lots of New Orleans "stuff", divided between the gun seizures and preparedness posts. There is also plenty of the more usual gun-related posts as well.

A first for me, I have 2 entries in the Carnival. Woo-hoo!

OK, so I was optimistic

Well, it looks like even an abbreviated visit to Camp Freehold is not going to happen. That said, I'll be indulging in a bit of blogging throughout the weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Can't leave without this note

Received via email from the Second Amendment Foundation:

FEDERAL JUDGE HALTS NEW ORLEANS GUN SEIZURES

BELLEVUE, WA – The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana this afternoon issued a temporary restraining order on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and National Rifle Association (NRA), bringing an end to firearm seizures from citizens living in and around New Orleans.

District Judge Jay Zaney issued the restraining order against all parties named in a lawsuit filed Thursday by SAF and NRA. Defendants in the lawsuit include New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Chief Edwin Compass III.

“This is a great victory, not just for the NRA and SAF, but primarily for law-abiding gun owners everywhere,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “We are proud to have joined forces with the NRA to put an end to what has amounted to a warrantless gun grab by authorities in New Orleans and surrounding jurisdictions.

“Over the past three weeks,” he continued, “residents who had lost virtually everything in the devastation following Hurricane Katrina had also essentially been stripped of something even more precious, their civil rights, and their right of self-defense, because of these gun seizures.

“SAF and NRA had no alternative but to take action,” Gottlieb added. “If these gun confiscations had been allowed to continue without challenge, it would have set a dangerous precedent that would have encouraged authorities in other jurisdictions to believe they also could suspend the civil rights of citizens in the event of some other emergency.

“What must happen now, and quickly,” said Gottlieb, “is for authorities in the New Orleans area to explain how they will return all of those firearms to their rightful owners, and do it promptly. What this ruling affirms is that even in the face of great natural disasters, governments cannot arbitrarily deprive citizens of their rights. Thanks to some great teamwork between SAF and the NRA, this sort of thing will hopefully never happen again.”

PS Click here to make a contribution to help fund this lawsuit.

Take that, gungrabbers.

The party's over

At least for this week. I'm wrapping up and heading out--to the football game. It's homecoming at my daughter's high school, so this will be a big night for her and all the kids. I'll be there for the game, but ol' Daddy will take a pass on the dance--I'll let the younguns have some fun without us old folks cramping their style.

Saturday, we'll be off to Camp Freehold for an abbreviated stay. Keep the folks on the Gulf Coast in your thoughts and prayers.

Bush's Spending Spree

Listening to the President's speech in New Orleans last week , my first reaction was "Where the hell does he plan on getting all that money?" $200,000,000,000? Even for the United States of Deficit Spending, that is some major cash.

With the appearance on the scene of Hurricane Rita, you know that number is going to swell rather dramatically. The combined bill is going to be gargantuan--and there's still 2 months of hurricane season yet. Who knows how much higher it will go.

I'm not the only person who's worried about this. Folks I talk with are all in "hang onto your wallet" mode. We know what's coming, and we don't like it. However, our Compassionate Conservative in Chief has said "We'll do what ever it takes" and he means it. Fall in and be a good Republican.

Peggy Noonan has a very interesting view of this situation. To me, the nugget is this:

Money is power. More money for the federal government and used by the federal government is more power for the federal government. Is this good? Is this what energy in the executive is--"Here's a check"? Are the philosophical differences between the two major parties coming down, in terms of spending, to "Who's your daddy? He's not your daddy, I'm your daddy." Do we want this? Do our kids? Is it safe? Is it, in its own way, a national security issue?

The answer, dear Peggy, is yes, it's a national security issue. When we're so far in debt that the majority of the Federal budget is soaked up in debt service, we're going to find out the hard way that the creditors call the shots. At that point, we'll face the decision to either pay up or simply renounce the debt. Neither of these will be easy for us to survive as a country.

I won't even go into the dangers of the growing power of the Federal government. We've seen our freedoms curtailed more since 9/11 than in the entire preceding century. This trend shows no sign of slowing down.

If I were an investment advisor, I'd be advising my clients to stock up on food, firearms and precious metals. The collapse of the United States will be an epic moment in history, and you want to live to see what happens after.

Texas may not dodge the bullet...

But it does seem that the bullet is slowing down. Hurricane Rita has been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane , and that's good news. Of course, it's still like being asked whether you'd rather be hit by a pickup truck or an economy car--you're still going to get ran over.

Good luck to the Gulf Coast.

Gabriel Suarez's Lessons from new Orleans

Gabriel Suarez runs (what I'm told) is an excellent shooting school. He also publishes a newsletter, Warrior News, that's free to all comers. Here's his take on the New Orleans situation.

Interesting--they have classes in South Carolina. Hm-m-m....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Don't get stuck on stupid

(Via the Indepundit, Lt. Smash)

It would seem Gen. Honore is my kind of fellow.

"Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters."

Heh.

Take 2

Well, by now everyone has heard about Lovely Rita. It seems that we are about to have an instant replay of Katrina. Or are we? Permit me some semi-random observations:
  • It seems like the folks in Texas have their act together for Rita far more than the folks in Louisiana did for Katrina. They're evacuating earlier, they're using their busses, they're making sure that the people who can't get themselves out are gotten out, they've already called in the Feds and other outside help, the National Guard is mobilized, etc.. In other words, it seems they're following their emergency plans.
  • Resources are already mobilized and in the area. This gives Texas a big head start.
  • New Orleans, if not Louisiana, apparently has learned something--they've called in busses and are trying to get people to leave.
  • Texas evacuees are being allowed to take their pets, which came out as a big reason a lot of people didn't evacuate for Katrina.
Those are all good things. The bad, as I see it, are:
  • For the first time in history (so I've heard) we're looking at a Category 5 hurricane actually making landfall. Predications are for it to move inland, and still be a Category 1 storm after being over land for 24 hours. I'm not sure if this has ever happened before. This is going to be ugly--very ugly. A lot of very expensive Texas real estate will simply be wiped off the map.
  • We have troops (including a lot of the National Guard) in Afghanistan, Iraq and several other war zones. We're going to be hard pressed to deal with 2 major disasters at once.
  • Gas prices are going to rocket up again. All the other prices, such as for building materials, are going to get way worse than I predicted right after Katrina's extraordinary damage became obvious.
  • We're going to be dealing with millions of storm refugees for a long time.
  • The issue of where the money comes from to pay for all this is going to become pressing. The Feds turned the money faucet wide open for Katrina; they won't be able to do less for Rita. Hang onto you wallet. One of 3 things must happen--the deficit will go up dramatically, taxes will go up dramatically, or spending will be cut dramatically. Or some combination of the three. Something, however, will have to be done.
I suggest making your plans now for an economically difficult fall, winter and spring. I suspect it will last longer than that, but plan on at least 3 quarters of problems. Stock up on any and everything, and don't take on debt of any kind.

I don't even want to think about another big storm, and the Pacific Rim is getting awfully seismically active. This could be the stuff of nightmares.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Today's good news

There is a move on to recall "Governor" Kathleen Blanco. I wonder if she'll cry about that, too?

Oh God, my sides hurt!

(Via Jerry Pournelle)

A Piratese translator, fer yer, matey! We be a day late an' a doubloon short, but here it be!

And for fun, here's The Word From Camp Freehold, translated.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Almost forgot!

Today is National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Ar-r-r-r! Hoist a mug o' grog in celebration, matey!

Carnival of Cordite #30

The Carnival of Cordite is at it again, and is again hosted at Resistance is Futile!. Much, much, MUCH ado about New Orleans and the hijinks there, as well as the usual gun goodness.

The Word from Camp Freehold

The word is once again...guns!

This summer at Camp Freehold (The Freeholder's weekend RV away from home) has been a merry-go-round of guns, guns and more guns. It seems that just about everyone has had their inner gunny awakened this summer, and I'm proud to have played a small part in that.

This weekend, it was back to the 100/200 yard range (known at my range as the "high power" range) with a large assortment of long guns. Attendees were numerous, and were enough to literally take over every shooting bench in the place. Four of them were impressionable young children--take that Feinstein and Schumer!

The assortment of guns was simply incredible. We had the inevitable .22s in several flavors, a .270 bolt action, a 30-06 bolt action, a pair of .243 bolties, a custom-built 22-250 originally built by one of the participants great grandfather, my evil green Springfield SAR-8 (a HK-91 clone) and the favorite of the day, my M1 Carbine on its maiden trip to the range.

By way of history, the M1 Carbine was developed to provide more firepower than the M1911 pistol, and was issued to second line troops such as artillery and military police units. Small, light and very handy, this rifle was produced from 1942 to 1945, and has seen service in WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Firing the .30 carbine cartridge, a standard military loading provides a muzzle velocity of 1975 fps and a muzzle energy of 955 ft lbs. This would make it pretty anemic for a rifle, but far more powerful than any "normal" pistol cartridge.

I acquired this piece of history from a co-worker who was settling a family estate. From what I can tell, it seems to have been a later production piece, and as such has all the improvements that combat showed necessary.

We loaded several magazines with some old Winchester soft nose ammo that I acquired at a different estate sale. We experienced some feeding issues with ammo, which I attribute to the age of the ammo as well as the soft lead nose. Being a military gun, I expect it was designed to be reliable with FMJ ammo, and everything else is at your own risk.

Being the proud owner, I took the privilege of firing the first magazine. Of course, the sights were off--way off. Working slowly, I was able to get the windage right, but had continual problems with elevation--the gun simply shoots low at 100 yards. Not seeing any way to set the elevation for the entire sight, I just shot using Kentucky (North Carolina?) elevation for the rest of the session. I want to solve this problem, since I'd like the rear sight to be accurate when using the 100 and 200 yard settings. (I think the 250 and 300 yard settings are a bit optimistic with this cartridge.)

Recoil is very mild--anyone, no matter how recoil sensitive, could shoot this gun. It really reminds me of the average pistol-caliber carbine, not only in terms of recoil, but in size as well. The gun points very well for anyone with a ordinary size frame. I can see why so many men liked this gun for combat use. The light weight and small frame make it just the right size for use in close quarters, but it has enough (OK, just enough) punch to reach out 100-150 yards if needed.

Everyone present (save one party pooper who was all PO'd that her new .243 actually had recoil) had to shoot this gun, and everyone, save my Daughter, simply loved it. Between the group of us, we went through over 400 rounds of ammo.

Once I get some reloading dies (.30 Carbine ammo is sort of expensive to my cheapskate taste), I think this gun will be a frequent companion to the range.

I'm also happy to report that the FTE problems I've previously experienced with my SAR-8 seem to have been solved. It seems to be a primarily magazine-related problem (don't ask me, I don't know how that works), but I suspect there is also some measure of "new gun" syndrome--it was tight, and just needed to be broken in.

Out here.

Selling guns illegally or selling illegal guns--an important difference

This article from the Auburn (AL) Plainsman really gripes my gun-owning soul.

Now, I shall stipulate that the arrested, Ben M. Shadrick, was selling guns illegally. If you sell guns as a business, you have to have an 01 FFL. I don't agree with it, but it's the law and I won't ever change that.

However, at that point, the article veers into Neverland and never returns.

Shadrick, 58, of Georgetown, Ga., was arrested at Highway 280/431 Smiths at about 10 a.m. by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives Agency (ATF).“This is a big bust, and it highlights the danger of selling illegal weapons,” said Captain Van Jackson of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division.

Judging by the picture accompanying the article, there is nothing illegal about the guns themselves. Shotguns, rifles and pistols. No illegal Class III guns, no Destructive Devices, just plain old guns. Of course, I guess the locals could be accused wanting to look good for the ATF and/or the media.

"This arrest is part of the Alabama ICE (Isolate the Criminal Element) and Project Safe Neighborhood..."

Project Safe Neighborhood--wasn't that one also present at the Richmond Showmasters Gun Show?

But there couldn't be any connection, could there?

I thought they were looking for survivors and dead bodies

Apparently, the ATF and National Guard are looking for whatever they can find in New Orleans. I suppose that the 4th Amendment as well as the 2nd doesn't apply in hurricanes any longer. I should be more upset, but right now I don't have the energy for it.

I wonder if the sale of large safes will increase in the coming months?

The roller coaster rolls on

My mom's biopsy is back, and the news isn't good. She has breast cancer. We're heading off to the oncologist this afternoon for a confab, but the outcome really isn't in any doubt. Her health isn't such that she can stand a long surgery or chemotherapy.

My Dad and I have discussed the situation, and we both think that the best we can do for her is to keep her comfortable in the time she has left. With her compromised mental state, pain would be a torture, since she doesn't understand why she hurts.

This sucks, and there's nothing to be done about it except deal with it.