Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gun Control Debate

I have to post this, as it will be the only time I will ever get link love from an liberal, professor's blog.

I actually watch bloggingheads.tv sometimes. I know no one else does, because it is just pundits swapping spit. Last Friday I tripped over this interchange between John Horgan and George Johnson commenting on the VTech massacre. Obviously, they don't agree with most concealed-carry laws.

I looked up Mr. Horgan's email address and followed up on the issue. We had a very civil discussion, via email, and as he has seen fit to post the interchange on his blog, I will reciprocate. He did clear the post with me before throwing it up.

Here's the exchange that was cross-posted at his site. He edited certain things but the he only deleted maybe 1%:

Mr. Horgan,Of course, you must live on the east side of the Mississippi.
It’s always a wonder to me that it is only liberal, “gun-control” people like
you that will use phrases like “blow them away” (in reference to Kaus’s
commentary.) Every pistol course I have ever taken stresses the de-escalation
angle in any given situation. Your argument that a concealed-carry holder would
have resulted in a “gunfight” or something, is just as adolescent as your
accusation of the pubescent obsession with firearms. A trained, licensed firearm
owner could have ended that hell a lot quicker than the police were able to do.
In fact, if you look at it objectively: Did the police prevent anyone from being
killed? Did they actually stop the perpetrator? No and no. He killed at will and
killed himself when he decided he was done. The police merely held the doors for
the EMTs who were getting the wounded off-scene before the police performed an
all but unnecessary investigation, which is ongoing. Ben Hopkins, Albuquerque,

Ben,I teach at a college, and Kauss’s suggestion that maybe we should put
more guns in the hands of these hormonal, stressed-out kids going through sexual
and career identity crises and coupling and breaking up and consuming buckets of
booze every weekend–well, it’s beyond stupid. Also I’ve known some very
experienced gun people who’ve suffered from horrible gun accidents through bad
luck, or because someone in a fit of rage grabbed a gun, and incidents in which
good gun folks get bad guns folks breaking into their homes or whatever are
vanishingly rare and in no way counterbalance the harm guns do. But hell, I’m
just a pansy east coast bleeding heart liberal dove, so I’m not gonna sway
someone like you. John

Mr. Horgan,Touche on the point about college kids being armed. I failed to
consider that these are exactly the kind of people who can take a normal event
(i.e. sexual rejection, social slights, etc.) in an extremely exaggerated way.
Hell, we were all that age once and I, for one, did not hold a concealed carry
license until I was into my 30’s. I’m not sure the same argument would apply to
professors, though. As an example, Israel has encouraged if not required certain
teachers to carry concealed since the ’70s. Previously, Arafat’s thugs loved
nothing more than terrorizing a school full of Israeli children. One never hears
about these things taking place in Israel anymore. I’m not saying arm
second-graders, but a teacher/professor who shows the willingness and skill to
responsibly carry may well deter future events. Best regards, Ben

Ben,Academics, who are among the most neurotic, embittered people on the
planet, especially when they’re up for tenure, packing heat? Maybe it makes
sense in Israel, but I sure wouldn’t want to be at a school where profs carry
concealed weapons.John

John,Empirically, I would have to agree with you when it comes to
professors. The only professor I actually know is retired professor Richard
Berthold. If you recall, he was the UNM professor who said after 9/11 that “I’d
vote for anyone who could fly a plane into the Pentagon.” I still think that if
the education community would take appropriate steps, they would be able to find
responsible adults to be armed. Thank you again for the exchange. It is rare
nowadays to have an intelligent difference of opinion that is argued civilly
without degenerating into the normal internet flame-war, or insult-fest that
seems to be the staple on both the left and the right.Ben

It was an interesting conversation and I'm not
sure that either one of us conviced each other. Nonetheless, it was
interesting to talk civilly with a person who disagrees with me so fundamentally
on an issue we both felt strongly about.

Maybe there is hope.

First, Last and Only Words on Vtech

There were no heroes, only victims.
The Old Man

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Delusional Blue States

Recently I've found that, whether conservative or liberal, it depends on the area of the country you are from whether you even have a view of guns that couldn't be considered completely ignorant. Case in point, I don't live in New York City or Seattle, so my opinion on a Mass Transit Authority isn't as authentic as a consevative or liberal who lives in that context.

Some conservative asshole from New York probably couldn't drive my pick-up truck and wouldn't understand why I would want a gun in said truck.

Case in point is this bloggingheads.tv interchange between Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus. I respect both men but they have no idea what the hell they are talking about. Watch the first 3 minutes of the video and you will understand that certain people, based on culture and geography, are just not qualified to comment on this sort of thing.

Range Report (Model 29)

Thursday was range day. I initially seemed like a quiet affair that would only involve the Old Man and me, and maybe my brother. As it ended up, a soon-to-be private citizen army guy we know showed up at the office. After loading up and hitting the range we found that my brother was shooting with two friends as well, bringing the party's total to six.

Needless to say, we started by sighting in the Model 29. The factory sights were pretty close but took some adjusting to get a solid zero. Damn near everybody out there shot this gun (it's easier on the hand than the Ruger .44 Redhawk) and the reports even drew witnesses from another nearby range.

The range we were on was about 40 yards long, allowing you to sight while other people plinked at the same time. A mistake was made in that a frame was allowed to sit 20 yards beyond the plinking targets (plastic coffee cans, waterballs, etc.) None of us geniuses realized that the hopping bullets would rip the shit out of the target frame. By the end of the day, my brother's friend's target stand had been shot to shit.

In total, between six of us, we had an AR, a combat shotgun, 2 1911s, an XD 9mm, a CZ P-01, the aforementioned 29, Glock 21, Glock 19, and one or two other pistols that I didn't shoot.

As an aside, the P-01 is pistol I've never taken that seriously. After watching several people perform with it and trying it at longer distances myself, it is a very able sub-compact gun. It has been my office desk-drawer gun and will remain so.

Also, the Smith and Wesson SW1911PD was out. Xavier has a much better review than I can provide here. He makes me feel a lot better about the external extractor that had initially so worried me. Additionally, the light-weight canard about recoil and durability seem to be in effect. Also, the PD is extremely LH friendly.

All in all it was pretty much a good plinking day. I didn't plan on shooting with so many people I'd never shot with before, but it turned out alright. They want to do it again on Thursday at the 800 meter range and focus on AK, AR, FAL, M-14, and accurized bolts. Seeing as Boomershoot is coming up and I will not be in attendance, that may be apropos.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

As with everyone, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, and friends. I'm not going to try and make a point out of anything, as I retired from political blogging and am strictly technical.

However, most people have comported themselves in good taste throughout this event. Notable exceptions are dunces like Rosie O'Donell and the Brady Campaign. I doubt anyone is that surprised.

The most vile and tasteless opinion journal I've ever seen occurred today in the NY Daily News, by an asshole named Michael Daly. This man sickens me and I hope there is a room in hell reserved for his ass. I almost emailed the man, but then considered that a degenerate like this is probably beyond argument or redemtion.

You, however, can email him here: Michael Daly.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

BAG Day Gun

This year the BAG day gun was a bit of an impulse buy by the Old Man. Several weeks ago, he noticed that S&W was doing a limited run of Model 29 .44 Magnums, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the gun. The actual cartridge dates a few years before '57.

Several Sundays ago he showed me a couple of these for sale on GunBroker. I responded that if he had the cash, fuck it. He replied that it would take some "financial rearrangement" before he could seriously consider it. The following Monday it was ordered by 8:30 AM, we received confirmation, and received the shipping information. Actual shipping took place on Tuesday. Our kitchentop FFL (who live two blocks away from us) called on Thursday and we were in receipt of the gun by 5:00 PM the same day.

As it is the 50th anniversary edition, it came with the nice presentation box. S&W does not officially recognize the debt they owe to the Dirty Harry movies in popularizing this pistol. Indeed, this was a great motivator for the Old Man to purchase on of these. I took the position that, if you were buying this gun in homage to Harry Callahan, it would border on apostasy to purchase a model that wasn't blued. Alas, the Old Man's love of stainless won out over the purist argument.

Of course, the moment we were in posession, Mother Nature decided that winter wasn't quite
over with, and proceeded with rain, snow, and 50 mph wind gusts. To date, the gun has not been shot. This situation will be rectified at the earliest possible date.
BTW, it seems that this year, Cowboy Blob is the general host of bag day affairs. Hit the link and check out other people's scores. I would also bet that Blob would post non-blogger pics if you'd send them to him.
To all of you who didn't buy a gun: do it soon. I like BAG day in theory, but money and desire do not always align with actual dates. Any day is a good day to buy a gun, even if you have to mortgage yourself to do it as I have done on several occasions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different...

No guns. Sailor suits and bubbles. And Jagger's hips. I love this song and video.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Condition 1 Carry, Reconsidered

In the past, I've made arguments for carrying in this way and so have others. Thus far, I have run into 2 mitigating circumstances; one personal and one professional.

First, the personal. In NM, where I reside, even with a CCH, it is illegal to carry a loaded firearm if there is even the slightest tinge of alcohol in your blood. Hell, I'm so freaked out about cops, I won't drive after using mouthwash. Nonetheless, it is legal to carry an empty pistol, regardless of your condition (and when I beat my wife while I'm drunk, I usually use my fists, but they haven't regulated my hands yet.)* So if I'm walking to my parents house to have a couple of beers, I keep the 1911 cocked, but without a magazine. Being able to perform a speed-load will help in this case, because it is far easier to rack the slide when the hammer is already back.

Second, I'm an insurance adjuster by trade. I climb roofs. Sometimes, the wind blows down your ladder or people make you use a dubious method to gain access to their roof. In both cases, I tend to just jump off of the roof. Land, don't lock knees, and roll. Easy-peasy. This happened the other week and I started thinking about gravitational effects on the firing pin. I concluded that, if I want to do my "land and roll" routine, Condition 1 is not safe.

In conclusion, while I'm an advocate, it doesn't work all of the time if you drink beer or have a job.

*I'm joking. I don't have a wife and if I did I would use a bat.

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