Thursday, May 31, 2007

Holsters

I find myself becoming more and more of a multi-holster guy. At one point in my life, I had wanted to have a holster that would be appropriate for almost any situation, and rely on only that holster. Dumb idea. I have a fantastic concealed carry holster, the QwikClip (Crossbreed), which can be adjusted for crossdraw, FBI cant, or something very close to most SoB (Small of Back, not the other SOB) holsters. I use it in FBI cant. I have an Uncle Mike's nylon IWB that I use when I feel I'll need to take the gun off too often. I have an Uncle Mike's belt holster that I had hoped to use for both strong side and crossdraw. It doesn't actually work for crossdraw and it feels kind of cheap (because it is). I use it for open carry strong side at an FBI cant. And I'll get a decent crossdraw holster one of these days. And, quite possibly, a good OC strong side holster.
And I'll use them all.

What I really need, though, is a nice 1911 with a good leather holster to keep her in. It could be my dress gun. No offense to my XD, but she looks very "service." While I am generally pragmatic, I want an excuse to get a good 1911.

Script Frenzy

I hate to take time away from blogging, but June is Script Frenzy month. I'll still come here to do some writing (after all, a screenplay is a far different sort of writing than a blog, so I can take a break by blogging). I can't promise even the somewhat sparse posting you may be used to. This is my first attempt at a screenplay, but I love NaNoWriMo, and I figured I should give this a shot.
Feel free to start a pool on how long it takes me to swear off scripts altogether. I'm stubborn, though, so it may not be as soon as one would think (though I don't expect to start writing a lot of scripts).

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sheep dances with wolves?

Kevin Costner apparently feels that an old hand-me-down shotgun makes him an expert on gun laws. He says that we need more gun laws. Y'know, since the ones we have lower crime so well. Of course, his heirloom seems like a safe one, and he can probably afford to be protected, anyway.
Last I checked, England, Australia, and Canada are all accepting immigrants if you want to live somewhere that outlaws self-defense.
I do have to agree with him on one point, though: "But, even though with the connection that I have to my gun, can I look at the Nra (National Rifle Association) and say, `I think you're out of line?' I can say that."
I can say it, too. They are far too willing to sell out gun rights. Of course, I don't think that's what Mr. Costner was getting at.
(Hat tip to War on Guns for pointing me to this one.)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Yet another willing sheep...

It's sometimes funny to talk to some of the folks who don't really like guns. I was in a wedding this weekend and one of the other groomsmen was very interested in my guns.
"How many guns do you have now?" "You carry?! Have you ever needed to use it? Yeah, I didn't think so." "Hey, look at that bird--go get a gun, Drew." "You don't have a rifle in your car today?" "Look, no weapons allowed in the hall." There were a lot of other statements and questions like this, right up until he said it was creepy how much I talked about my guns (of course, all my talk of guns was in response to things he said, but he wasn't going to let facts stand in the way).
I wasn't carrying for the bachelor party, rehearsal dinner, or wedding. This was mostly because both the bride and groom fear guns. Also, the bachelor party was at a bar, and I thought we might hit some bars after the rehearsal dinner. One thing I noted from this other groomsman was that he seemed almost jealous that I could remain so calm and non-homicidal with access to weapons. Of course, he wasn't even comfortable with the 3" lockback knife I carry.
He was really amazed that a lot of people don't even notice or care when I open carry. He assumed that anyone who saw me with a gun would be as alarmed as he was. I didn't tell him that the tux shop folks were so used to folks carrying that they simply sigh and ask people to take the gear off when they take their measurements (of course, they pretty much assume that it's the military guys or LEOs that carry, but they don't care who it is, just that it gets in the way of accurate measurements).
It's always amazing how scared the sheep can be when confronted by the fact that some people will provide for their own defense.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Unconsionable"

The House, as you may have heard, decided to okay penalties for "price-gouging." These penalties (up to $150 mil for corporations or $2 mil for individuals) kick in when prices are "unconscionably excessive."

Not only is this wrong in theory, the law is unenforceable at best, subject to the whims of the enforcers at worst. If it passes, I'd like to see an attempt to charge state and federal governments with "price-gouging," considering how their unconscionable taxes and laws on varying fuel blends drive up the prices. Of course, that would never happen.

How does one gouge consumers with "unconscionably" high prices? Are there gas stations that use force or the threat of such to pull in customers? Nope, but the government uses those things to demand that those stations pay taxes while keeping prices "reasonable." Does one fuel company monopolize the industry? Nope, but the feds have a monopoly on being the government. Sure, they let the states into the racket, too, but the House passed this bill because the states weren't performing as well as the feds demanded.

Makes you wonder who is doing the gouging, doesn't it?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The people

One of the favorite arguments of the antigunners is that the right to bear arms is inextricably linked to the need for a militia. Ignoring for a minute the structure of the unorganized militia, the speeches and letters of the founders, and the grammatical structure of the Second Amendment, let's look at their statement (I know we're ignoring a lot here, but bear with me).

If the Second Amendment is supposed to be taken as only applying to those who actively participate in the militia, we are left with the argument that the amendment only gives the militia the right to bear arms. If we consolidate portions of other amendments, what do we get? Well, the First Amendment starts with religion. Is it saying that churches, not individuals, get to excercise freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peacably assemble, and the right to petition for redress of greivances? No one would ever make that argument. What about Amendment V? A person who chooses not to self-incriminate may not be tried twice for the same offense, nor can that person's property be taken for public use without just compensation?

Of course, no one would ever make those arguments. How about the idea that "the people" are the militia in the Second Amendment? We'd have to assume that "the people" would be the militia throughout the Bill of Rights, then, right? So the militia may peacably assemble or petition for redress of grievances? The militia has the right to be secure from unwarranted searches? Or the Ninth and Tenth Amendment mentions of "the people," in which the militia would then be assured rights not mentioned?

Okay, maybe it is the states, as so many antigunners like to say. States can't be searched without a warrant, they can peacably assemble, and they may petition for redress of grievances. And "any rights not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are delegated to the States respectively, or to [the states]." Whoops, it looks like somebody may have meant for "the people" to mean something different than "the States."

The antis aren't just confused about the meaning of the Bill of Rights, they are actively perverting it. It's dishonesty, not ignorance, that drives the movement. And the sooner we recognize that, the better. Too many gun folks have said that it's just confusion; they mean well, but they just don't know. That's the sort of manure that keeps us from pressing the issue as well as we could.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Suspension of disbelief

The more contemporary fiction I read, watch, or hear, the less I want to. In movies, television, and novels, the people with guns are almost invariably the cops or the bad guys. Sometimes a cop is a bad guy, but he is taken down by the heroic cops he works with. And the guns, no matter how accurately they may be portrayed, fall into one of four categories: pistol, shotgun, assault rifle (usually portrayed as automatic, even when the gun is a semi-auto), or sniper rifle (any hunting rifle, anything with a scope...it never matters whether the scope is a 2x or a 10x, it's a sniper rifle). Even the folks who get everything right, even matching the correct calibers to various guns, seem to have trouble putting those guns into the hands of private individuals.
I may just be reading the wrong authors, of course, or just highlighting the wrong ones in my memory. It just bothers me how easily we accept the media portrayal of guns being just for cops and bad guys. The suspension of disbelief is broken in my mind, since I wonder why there's no good guy with a concealed pistol (or an openly carried one, for that matter).

Single issue voting.

Blogonomicon led me to a well-reasoned essay about being a "single-issue voter."
I've denied being single-issue many times, citing my demands for fiscal responsibility and such. Of course, when it comes down to it, I prefer to vote for the guy who respects me enough not to disarm me, preferably one who respects me enough to fight the current restrictions. There aren't enough of that sort these days. Anyway, read the essay. It's worth your time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sorry about the lack of posts.

Sorry I haven't posted for a few days. It'll be a couple more before I get back into the swing of things. The office put out a survey and I was chosen to tally the answers. It makes me want to avoid a computer and eats at my time, but I'm nearly done.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Permitted to carry?

A generally pro-gun friend of mine recently told me that he doesn't feel there is a problem with concealed carry permits being necessary to carry a gun. We argued for awhile, and his main arguments were that some people shouldn't carry, the world of the founders was different, people don't educate themselves enough, and that he didn't feel there is a constitutional right to carry a handgun.
Well, since those are all common arguments, I should probably address them here.

"Some people should not be allowed to carry." - This argument often revolves around criminal records and general competency. As far as the criminal record goes, one must ask why we've released anyone we feel is a threat to public safety. If we haven't done that, why do we strip these people of the fundamental right to self-protection? Are we trying to put them through another punishment? In any case, anyone who has done the time should be considered adequately punished or rehabilitated, depending on your views.
If we use competency as our measure, we must ask what the standard is. Someone willing to carry should be willing to train without being told. Of course, I assume we're talking about competency with the weapon, since someone mentally unfit should have a caretaker. Back on topic, though, a test to be sure a person is able to use their weapon seems reasonable until you go about deciding the standard. A derringer is generally used in extremely close quarters and can be difficult to use even at standard pistol ranges, while someone with a high-end 1911 has far better odds at ranges exceeding standard self-defense range. Knowing how our government works, you can be sure that the test would eventually be something an Olympic-class shooter might do with a high-end gun, leaving people with small, concealable weapons unable to get a permit. Even if you think they'll pick something fair, you'll have some believing it is too difficult and others finding it far too easy, leaving it constantly up for debate.

"The founders didn't foresee modern firearms/situations" - They didn't foresee the internet, either. What they did do, though, is promise not to limit the people's rights. Early Americans had access to the best arms of their time. Some will quickly remind everyone that they were living in a world where wild animals were more common, and they might easily need to defend themselves from a cougar or bear. Of course, we might easily need to defend ourselves from thugs, terrorists, and the like. Should we allow these modern critters to go unchecked?
Others cite the modern police force as a reason not to carry. The police, as I am sure I have written before, cannot be expected to defend you. They respond to the crime, then try to catch the criminal. Meanwhile, you have already been victimized.

"People wouldn't educate themselves." - Some love to point out that people will often take the path of least resistance. They won't learn how to properly handle their guns and deaths will follow. Well, as long as we're forcing children to go to school, why not bring back gun safety classes? Of course, I am a bit of an optimist, and believe that anyone being trusted with a firearm can be trusted to handle it properly. I know that I am sometimes proven wrong, but it isn't as if we can truly prevent all tragedies. We work hard to educate drivers, but there are accidents every day, many of them easily preventable (look at all the attempts we make to warn people about drinking and driving). Part of liberty is responsibility. We should punish those who misuse their rights. If someone negligently discharges a firearm, they'll be punished.

"The Constitution does not give the right to [non-military weapons/military weapons/non-sporting firearms/handguns/other weapons]" - The way I've written this statement, it's true. The right is not granted by the Constitution. The Second Amendment merely acknowledges a preexisting human right and promises that it will not be infringed by the government. Of course, this is not what they are talking about.
Those who say that the government can restrict weapons that serve no military purpose have the 2A rights almost pegged. After all, the idea is that we can keep tyrants from taking the country, whether they come from within or abroad. Of course, the problem is deciding what can and cannot serve a military purpose. After all, any weapon could be useful properly deployed, and virtually any weapon could be rendered almost useless if improperly deployed. Each person should be allowed to decide which weapons serve a purpose they might need.
Those who deny us the weapons of the military deny the single most important purpose of bearing arms. These people make it sound like a service, making sure that only military and law enforcement personnel have access to these "dangerous weapons." As a herd, we accept the inability to have fully automatic weapons, silencers, and other such tools. Of course, these are the very tools we would want if it ever came down to resisting tyranny.
The very idea of a ban on all "non-sporting" firearms is absurd. There is no right to hunt in the Bill of Rights, and the idea of defining "sporting" is absurd. After all, some hunt with bows, some with black powder, others with ARs. Almost any definition of "sporting" would be sure to eliminate the very guns it would theoretically preserve.
Handguns, of course, are the best carry weapon, which scares a lot of antis. They'd prefer to disarm us and assure us we're safer. The fundamental right to self-defense, though, is the easiest way to defend handguns. They are the surest way for a 98-year-old woman to be equal to a 20-year-old thug.

There are, of course, many other arguments than these. I have written far more than enough for one post already, though.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Adjusting the curve?

Want to get rid of that guy who'll ruin the curve on your final? Just say he threatened Hillary Clinton.
Whether this guy actually threatened her or not, the cops arrested him and charged him with several crimes.
Tightening security at the event never crossed their minds, I guess. Maybe I should watch my comments about fertilizing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New York mentality is contagious?

It's amazing how easily one can slip into delusions of safety. This woman, assuming her story is true, went from armed all the time to disarmed and loving it. Of course, from the sound of it, she was among some who may have pushed it a little far. Her boyfriend, who "relished the feeling of imminent danger" and wore a tactical baton and mace at all times may not have been the best influence, especially with his reasoning for choosing the aisle seat ("in case someone busts in and attacks us"). Also, her description of an AK with a "30 round drum" and a "rapid-fire mechanism" may show a lack of knowledge, as 30 round mags aren't generally in drum form. And what sort of rapid-fire mechanism did he have on it, since she said she squeezed the trigger? (And I'll ignore the comparison of recoil between a .44 and a .45, since she just wanted to say it for effect.)

She says that guns feel dangerous and weird to her now. She mentions her acute awareness of her mortality as a reason not to carry. If she finds herself victimized, that awareness will certainly grow more acute, and it will seem a good reason to have a gun. It'll be too late, though. She sounds happy as a sheep, though. No longer worried that she may have to shoot someone...now she only has to worry about whether they shoot, stab, or rape her.
There's a well-known saying in the pro-gun world: "It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it." I understand why that makes sense — as long as it's referring to umbrellas and tampons. As for a gun, I've come to believe that not having it and not feeling like I need it is, by far, the best way to be.
What about fire extinguishers or seatbelts? Or would you rather believe that it's better to not feel like there's a risk of a fire or car accident? Of course not. Why, then, would you willingly give up another readily available safety device?


Oh, and one more note: "the entire family cleaning their guns together" is the sort of activity I wholeheartedly endorse. People don't talk over dinner much these days, so a bit of wholesome family togetherness isn't uncalled for.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A new meme from Hammer

Hammer's 500 meme
whenyouronlytoolisahammer.blogspot.com

1. What is the stupidest mistake you have ever made with money?
Paying the exorbitant prices at the college cafeteria.

2. Do you think taxes are unfair or do you think it's your civic duty?
They're definitely unfair as currently used. They keep milking the people for as much money as they can get, just so they can spend it in so many useless ways.

3. Do you take risks and possibly turn your life upside down for new opportunity?
It depends on the opportunity.

4. Are you the alpha in your household? (Include pets)
I'm a single guy with roommates. No one is really the alpha. I tend to seem that way sometimes, though.

5. Do you compromise with your significant other or does someone always get their way? Single. Sorry.

6. What curse word do you use most often?
Damn, I think.

7. Do you easily change your mind or are you dead set on most issues?
Like Hammer, I'm pretty much dead set unless someone proposes a mind blowing argument to the contrary.

8. What famous person would you like to trade places with for one week?
Could I spend a day each as several members of Congress? I'd denounce their citizenship, getting them out of office (and keeping them out).

9. If you could go back in time and tell one person off, who would it be and what would you say?
Some of my classmates in JH and HS...Basically, I'd tell them off earlier than I did. It helps shut them the hell up.

10. Were you a good student or did you do just enough to get by?
I was a good student despite doing just enough to get by. I coasted through, but still ended up valedictorian of my HS class. I kind of wish I had put in effort. It would've been good for me.

11. If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out on their own, what would you tell them?
Don't listen to advice without some research. People sometimes have no idea what's actually best.

12. Are people basically good and honest or are most people opportunistic and predatory?
Most people are only good and honest if they feel they'll gain from it at some point down the road.

13. Is there somebody you wish you could go back and apologize to?
I've already apologized to just about everyone who deserved it.

I think I'm just tagging anyone who feels like doing this. It's easier.

It's my own damned fault.

Well, I've had my first encounter with a repeated troll on this blog. I logged in today and had comments on several postings, most of them saying things that were poorly thought out. I was told I was the sort of person who shouldn't own a gun, that I could snap at any time, and that I am paranoid.
Well, I looked through the stats to see where this guy came in from, and found that I sent him here myself. You see, I use M*Sp*ce to keep in touch with friends. I sometimes use its blog feature. I included a link to this blog, which sent me my troll. Oddly enough, I think it very well may have been the guy who occasionally trolls there.