Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fallacy? I'm not so sure...

(This has been in an open tab waiting on me to turn it into a post of my own I've forgotten where it came from.  Whoever you are that pointed it out to me, you have my thanks, anonymous though they are.)

Since long before I got my concealed carry permit, I've been a prepper.  Before that, I was one of those evil survivalists.  (Yeah, I've been walking this path in one direction or another for a while.)  As I became more and more ready for "come what may", I noticed an interesting thing happening.

Nothing much was happening.

Now, it's not that nothing bad ever happened in my life.  Stuff happens to me like it happens to most people.  But when it happens to someone who is prepared for it, it isn't a big deal.  You handle it and move on.  A good example is my family's run in with Old Man Winter earlier this year.  Sure, it wasn't fun (Mrs. Freeholder was quite put out), but at the end of the thing, it really wasn't a huge disaster.  But imagine if there had been no wood stove, no generator, no insurance--oh yes, it would have been a disaster indeed.

I've distilled the whole thing down into a saying:  "Trouble seeks the unprepared."

I'm not the only one to have made the observation.  John Johnston at Ballistic Radio has noticed the same thing when it comes to self defense training.  While he notes that you don't need training to defend yourself, the training not only enhances the likelihood that you can do so successfully, but that it also reduces the chances that you will have to.

Yep.  As one trainer told me, "This stuff changes the way you live."  He was right, it does.  You look at people and situation differently, and you look at yourself and the decisions you make differently.  You keep you temper.  You don't return the favor to the driver to flips you off in traffic.  You don't take the shortcut through the sketchy neighborhood.  You go to this store rather than that store.  Dozens of things subtly change when you carry a gun and when you've trained in self defense.

In essence, you become a part of Heinlein's polite society.  Not a bad thing at all if you ask  me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How about that gun show?

Yes, your intrepid reporter has once again ventured into the very jaws of evil and wickedness, the gun show.  This one was the Concord, NC, Gun Show featuring the NC Gun Collectors Association.  I always try to get to shows where the NCGCA is going to put in an appearance, because they have such cool stuff to look at.  I'd never seen harpoon guns before.  Amazing things, harpoon guns.

And I made it out alive, and with encouraging words of ammo availability and lower prices (on some items, you mileage may vary, void where prohibited by statist bastards).  Oh, and I did buy a gun, as if that is a surprise.

The good news is that AR prices, along with the prices for the parts to roll  your own.  Ammo, in what I think of as "the standard calibers" of 9 mm, .40, .45 ACP, 5.56/.223 and 7.62 x 51/.308 were in very good supply from various manufacturers at prices approaching pre-panic levels.  That's not bad when you consider how much the dollar has inflated since then.  Even .22 LR was available, although not in great quantity and at pain-inducing prices.

Components were also present, although powder was still somewhat hit or miss.  It was there, but not in large quantity.  Prices were reasonable for the most part, with bullets being the most expensive items I bought.

The bad news is that in the less popular calibers, such as .380, .38 Special, .357 and .44 magnum, 8mm and so on are still hovering around nose bleed territory for reasons indeterminate.  .44 magnum, which I was especially interested in, was difficult to find and when found was $35-40/box.  I took a pass and bought components instead.  I've got powder and primers, it was brass and bullets I was lacking.  And time, always time.

Oh, and the gun (and the reason for the .44 magnum search in the first place).  For some reason I've been on a bit of a magnum kick for some while.  You may remember that back in February I bought a S & W Model 69 Combat in .44 Mag.  I have a habit of wanting some sort of long gun in each pistol caliber I'm serious about, and I've been looking for one for a while.  I finally found one of the ones I considered acceptable, a Henry Big Boy chambered in .44 magnum.  Nice gun and the price only hurt when I counted out the money.  If we get a non-rainy evening, I want to get it to the range and see if it performs as nicely as it's built.  It hasn't rained in nearly a month and what happens when I get a new gun?  It monsoons!

The story of my life.  lol

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Sharp objects

Usually, when one gets a gunny talking about sharp objects, the subject will be knives.  However, we aren't talking about knives, we're talking about razors.  Yep, as in shaving.  And yes, you are on the right blog.  Bear with me a bit.

As I'm getting older, I find myself going back to a number of old values and old ways.  I think I'm doing this partly because it's a way for me to flip the bird at a lot of change for the sake of change and partly because it gives me a touchstone to a time when things were (allegedly) slower and simpler.  A place where I find level, steady ground on which to stand, if only in a mental way.

When you work in high tech, this can be pretty important.  My business is change and driving change.  At my level, you look for ways to introduce change to benefit your employer.  Change is your friend and companion.  You do change or you do unemployment.

But at home, in my life, I'm getting a bit tired of change.  Sure, I'll buy a new whatever when I need it, but I find myself getting a bit amazed at all the new features that have been added in the decade or so since I bought the last dishwasher.  Buying a new car is about like watching the hillbillies go to the big city, since that happens every 13 years or so.  About the only things that don't throw me are electronic gadgets, and that's a spill-over from work.

I'm also pretty much over our love of disposable this and disposable that.  A bit over a week ago, I needed a new razor--the old disposable was dull.  Being thrifty and a prepper, I buy the things in quantity.  However, there are 4 of us in the house now who use them, and with two of them female (which means they only seem to get 2-3 uses from one), I got a bit of a shock--that last 36 pack was down to 3.  I got more of a shock when I jumped on Amazon and saw how much the things had went up.

Being thrifty and a prepper who is over our disposable culture, I have previously considered ditching disposable razors, but always gave in to the convenience.  This time, something in me was pissed off enough to say "No".  I had inherited my father's and grandfather's Gillette butterfly double edge razors, but honestly, those razors had seen many mornings and were fairly well worn.  I decided that thriftiness aside, I liked my skin in one piece and a new razor might be the best choice.  Some research later I wound up with an Edwin Jagger DE89Lbl Lined Detail Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor (say that fast three times) and an inventory of blades suitable for a novice with a double edge razor. So for about 1.5x the price of 6 months of razors for the family, I have a year's worth for me.

OK, maybe it doesn't completely satisfy the thrifty thing.  It satisfies the rest of it.  And I've found out something else--it's a better shave in many ways.  I remember back to when I was a kid and I'd sit on the laundry hamper and watch my Dad shave in the mornings when he was home from traveling.  I can think a bit about the day that's starting--but just a bit, because you better pay attention to that sharp steel sliding across that tender skin.  I reconnect to generations of men who performed the same ritual in the same way with the same tools (well, they used a mug and a brush--those are my next moves, once I'm more confident in my ability) every morning of their adult lives.

In some small, almost weird way, I feel a bit better about things.  Yep, things are still going sideways, but it seems a little more manageable with a good, close, clean shave.  The ritual grounds you in place and time while reaching back through time to your ancestors.

Yeah, this is a plus.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Not bloody likely

A Charlotte, NC man is partially paralyzed after being struck in the head with a bullet on the 4th of July.

Family members won’t know how much permanent damage there is until after the swelling has gone down, she added. “The police are saying it’s an accident. It came from somewhere outside the temple,” Wilson said. “It’s just unfortunate that it happened. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

With all due respect to the Char-Meck PD and the Yam family, I disagree.  It wasn't an accident.  He wasn't in the wrong place at the wrong time.

An idiot violated all of Col Cooper's 4 Rules.  Every freaking one of them, and now a man is fighting for his life.  We, as responsible gun owners, not only have a duty to obey these rules ourselves, but to do our best to see to it that others within our sphere of influence do so as well.

Do your part to see to it that anyone you teach to shoot learn the 4 rules and applies them consistently.  Promote them to those who don't know them.  Yeah, it's kinda the boring drudge work of advocating for the Second, but it's damn important anyway.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Walther Volkspistole

(OK, I don't want to tread on Forgotten Weapons turf, and don't get used to me posting every day again, because I don't know if this will keep up.  But I got this via email from the NSSF's "Pull the Trigger" newsletter, and it's too interesting to not pass on.)

During a war, no matter which side you're on, the push to produce more war material faster and cheaper is inevitable.  Things get used up, blown up, lost and otherwise destroyed.  The Germans during World War II were no exceptions to this, and near the end of the war, when the push was on to arm more and more men for the defense of the Reich, they turned to Walther with the request for production of a "volkspistole".  While few remain and probably none of us will ever see one, it makes for some interesting reading.

It's also interesting to note that so many of the things commissioned by the Nazis were "volks" this and "volks" that.  Translating to "people's", it sounds distinctly socialistic to me.  Maybe that has something to do with their full name:  the National Socialist German Workers' Party.  Amazing how so many these days accuse those of conservative and libertarian bents of being "Nazis".  But those who don't read their history are doomed to repeat it--and drag the rest of us along for the ride.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Stay in touch

One of the topics any prepper will run into is that of communications.  While there are differing schools of thought on the necessity of maintaining radio silence lest the mutant cannibal zombie bikers hunt you down and steal your stuff, I don't care to go into that just now.

For now, let's assume that you need to talk to someone who is at some short remove from you.  Further than one of the ubiquitous FRS radios will reach, but not so far as to need a full-on ham radio rig.  You don't want any of those big, goofy CB hand-held radios, either.  Every yahoo in 3 counties has one, and they'll all be jabbering on them come The End.  And it needs to be inexpensive.

Don't ask for much, do you?

Well, your first step is to get a Technician Class Amateur Radio License.  It isn't hard--do a little studying, mostly on the rules and proper operating procedures, pass a 35 question test and you will shortly be an anointed Tech.  If you need to buy a study book, you're going to be into this about $50 including your testing fee and a bit for gas to drive to the test site.

Then you need a radio, what is know in amateur parlance as a handy-talky or "HT".  It's possible to pay as much as $600 for one of the better known name brands, and they are Cadillacs.  I have a Kenwood TH-D72, and it will do most everything including diapering the baby.  But it's a spendy item.  We were looking for inexpensive, remember?

Well, love 'em or hate 'em, here come the Chinese to the rescue.  There are several brands ranging from inexpensive to cheap.  Which one to buy?  The Signal Corps has some words of wisdom.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Nope. still here

Just busy with work, family and life.  Plus still too burnt out to get overly wound up about any of the continuing idiocy in the world.  As far as I'm concerned, our trajectory is nominal, and we are still on course for a hard landing in Deep Shitistan.  It's still possible that we could change course, but each passing day makes it less and less likely that we can do so successfully.  Prep like your lives depend on it, folks.

That said, I read something on Teh Facebooks today that I thought was very profound.  I've said something similar here, but not nearly so well.  The writer is a crime victim (rape, I believe).  The context is in a long-running and highly entertaining argument between several conservative/libertarian science fiction writers and any number of liberal/progressives (known in that circle as "libprogs") who have, in essence, taken over a lot of the sci-fi world.

I'm quoting it in its entirety, as it was quoted on Larry Correia's Monster Hunter Nation blog.  (If you haven't read any of his work, do yourself a favor and start with Monster Hunter International.  Don't blame me if you miss out on sleep and/or meals.)

But do rape victims, or, indeed, any other victim of a tragedy or any other trauma, suddenly become sainted, that they become unquestionable? Are they suddenly elevated beyond the rest of us, that their words – especially if they’re incredibly harmful ideas -can no longer be tested or confronted in the arena of ideas? Do people who have been traumatized in some way gain a special knowledge that makes them unimpeachable and beyond criticism if they espouse a point of view that is not only hypocritical, but one that actively will create more victims, encourage social if not actual vigilantism, and remove the protection of innocent until guilty?
No, they’re not. They’re still people, and being a victim of a tragedy and a person who espouses harmful ideas are two separate things, even if they reside in the same person. They are just as capable of having lethally bad ideas as the rest of the population. They are still capable of being hypocrites. And their ideas are just as eligible for testing on the arena of ideas, not automatically segregated from it, nor are these ideas entitled to being given smacked with wifflebats of sympathy instead of swords of reason and scrutiny.
If pointing that out makes me bully, that is no worse than being an enabler who allows the spread of the idea by refusing to confront it simply because the person spreading that idea is put in a special class of social perception of Saint Victimhood.

Powerful words.  While the author, who goes by the name Shadowdancer, is specifically speaking on the subject of something called "rape culture" (feel free to Google it, just remove the breakables from you immediate vicinity first), it is directly applicable to those of us who fight for our Second Amendment rights.  Each time a spree killer plies his deadly trade, we get a parade of weepy-eyed relatives and friends of the dead on the Boob Tube, all of whom are using this exact ploy in their attempts to con the weak-minded into "doing something".  The Million Moms Demanding Illegal Mayors Against Everytown astroturfettes trot it out in industrial strength to gain air time in which to spew their lies (72 School Shootings since Sandy Hook my ass).

Remember--these people do not gain special knowledge because a loved one was killed by a nutjob with a gun.  Their loved one's death does not make them an unimpeachable witness, nor are they above our criticism.  Sure, we'll be derided as heartless and cruel, but let me clue you in on something--they'll say that about us anyway.  Didn't you know that we hate babies and old folks, and want nothing more than to cut down the last tree so we can burn it (contributing to global warming) so we use the fire to roast the last known example of the California Condor?  And tell racist jokes while we lick the grease from our fingers and wipe our mouths on our sleeves?

Oh, the horror of it all.

I'm done fighting these fools by "the rules".  Fighting them by the rules got us where we are.  It got us $17 trillion in debt, Obamacare, wars without end, 13% (or 23%, depending on who you believe) unemployment and all the rest of the baggage that's dragging us down.  I'm going to fight on my own terms.  I'll use Saul Alinsky's methods when it suits me.  I'll use low blows.  Hell, I'll kick them in the balls if I can find them.  Bite, kick, gouge--whatever it takes.  I'm an old guy (well, relatively), and I'm in no mood to spend my "golden years" trying to scrape by in some bullshit post-modern nightmare world.

Think about it.  Do you want to live in that kind of world?  Raise kids in that kind of world?  Grow old in that kind of world?  No?

Then it's damn well time to start doing something about it.