Thursday, February 22, 2018

More Fake News

It seems that CNN had a public forum, a town hall type meeting that is big in the news this morning.

Ostensibly set up as a place for survivors of the latest outrage to vent, they invited local politicos to attend.  Senator Marco Rubio was one who showed up.   Of course, CNN scripted the whole thing, to provide coverage to their preferred narrative that guns are bad and Republicans are evil.  Kudos to Rubio for showing up to be the scapegoat.  Those people needed to vent, and he provided the target.

These folks are grieving.  I get it.  They're hurting and they aren't getting the answers they need.  The horrible truth is that they won't get the answers they seek.  Those answers don't exist.  The sick, tormented person who conducted the atrocity (no, I won't use his name), probably doesn't have the answers.  Those answers won't exist until we as a society get over the idea that Government is the answer.  It's not, it's often the problem.

Government allowed the offender to stay in the school system, long after it was apparent that he was a continuing problem.  Government failed to heed warnings that he was dangerous.  Government failed to protect the innocent children that were slain.  Government failed.

I was in a meeting the other night, talking exactly about these things.  Someone mentioned that "this is the world we live in", and I've been thinking about that phrase, and the implications of that mindset. When I hear that, I seem to hear that we, as a society, are willing to live in a less free society because sometimes bad people do bad things. 

In related news, I see that Broward County deputies will carry rifles on school campuses.I admit to mixed feelings about that.  We all know that I'm a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and I've carried rifles as part of my duty when I was in other assignments and working for my Uncle. 

But, if this is the world we live in, perhaps the bad guys have won.  Of course we have a mandate to protect the children, but at what price?  I admit that I'll have to ponder this a bit longer.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Metal Work

Working for a few hours on the portable range for Louisiana State, my son made dramatic progress on the welding this evening.

He is a whole lot better welder than I am, and I'm glad he was able to come play for a couple of hours.

Now, It's Umpatriotic

First, Nancy Pelosi hated the new tax scheme, saying that it only gave crumbs to the working class.

I don't know about you,  but the crumbs I've gotten are pretty tasty.

Nancy is such a dumbass.  She probably doesn't recall from her high-school history that the American Revolution was predicated in part by a single tax on tea.  Low taxes and small government is very patriotic.  

Thanks, Billy. Rest in Peace

I learn this morning that Billy Graham has died.  He was 99 years old.

For the latter half of the 20th century, Billy was our nation's pastor.  He led millions to Christ and his message of peace, hope, and salvation was inspiring. 

Rest in Peace, pastor.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Damn, I"m Golden

The research, led by University of California neurologist Claudia Kawas, tracked 1,700 nonagenarians enrolled in the 90+ Study that began in 2003 to explore impacts of daily habits on longevity.
Researchers discovered that subjects who drank about two glasses of beer or wine a day were 18% less likely to experience a premature death, the Independent reports.
Meanwhile, participants who exercised 15 to 45 minutes a day, cut the same risk by 11%.
And, whiskey is better than red wine.
 Wine’s not the only beverage with antioxidants: Whiskey also contains polyphenols and offers up heart-healthy benefits similar to wine, research shows. And while it won’t prevent or cure a cold, a hot whiskey drink can give you some symptom relief, one doc says.
It's been a long day.  I think I'll have one more bourbon before I lay down.

Not This Again

I see that the gun control meme has raised its ugly head again.  Liberal talking heads are gushing about the idea that maybe they can finally do something about those horrible guns.  They figure that if they make enough noise, someone will start to pay attention to them.  The anti-gunners are in full throated  roar and they think that they have the initiative.

It's like arguing with three-year olds.  What they don't understand is that any serious attempt to harm the Second Amendment will have serious repercussions.  More serious than they might want to contemplate.  And, if they think that the police or military will d their dirty work, they really should think again.

I'm hearing (and reading) all the nonsense spewing from the antis and at this point, it's simply tiresome.  We've had this discussion before  Every time some socially challenged, mentally ill, self-loathing misfit decides to shoot up something, whether it be a school, or a nightclub, or a convention center, the antis immediately start harping on the gun.  And you've lost the argument EVERY SINGLE TIME.

It's not going to work this time either.  Because your argument is a straw-man, and ignores the real problem.  The problem is that murder, violence, and mental illness are endemic to the human condition and until you address those issues, the problem own't go away.  You're not going to do an Australian-type buy-back(which really didn't work that well), you're not going to get the police to go door-to-door, you are probably not even going to get a new Assault Weapons Ban.  It just ain't happening, folks.

The fact that they keep bringing it up shows that they're not willing to identify the problem, they're certainly not willing to work to solve the problem, and they keep dredging up the same, tired old canard.

Frankly, they're not going to change any minds, and it's getting a bit tiresome.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What I See

What I see when I see these signs.

Army, Oh, My Army

I've seen this several places, but it appears that the US Army is ditching grenade training at the BCT level because recruits can't throw a grenade 25 meters.
On Friday, the Army revealed that it is nixing the grenade throwing requirement, where recruits had to show that they could hurl the explosive a minimum of 25 meters, because “a large number of trainees” can’t meet the distance, even lacking the physical ability “to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters.”
Wow!  I've never really been a ran of the standard issue hand grenade.  But, I've been trained on them, and I never had any problem throwing one.  Looking back on my high school recreation, I recall that it's 90 feet from the plate to fist base, which is 27.4 meters, Well within the standards.

I guess kids are playing more soccer, less baseball.

Seven Things

There is a great article over at PJMedia, Seven Things We Can Do To Prevent Another School Massacre...  The article makes sense.  Let's excerpt, shall we?

1.  Train Teachers.  This makes sense to me from a practical perspective.  If I am the school cop, and I know that some of the teachers have volunteered to go through training to conceal, carry, and protect students, then I know who the good guys are.  The old law about gun-fighting:  "Bring a gun and all your friends who have guns."  If I'm the only cop in the school, I"m almost certainly outnumbered in any gun-fight.  That won't stop me from doing my job, but additional help is always welcome.

2.  Get Cops In The Schools.  This is so self-evident that I am amazed that not every school district in the nation has employed this policy.

3.  Get Rid Of Gun Free Zones.  Yeah, those signs really help, don't they?  Gun Free Zones are problematic on so many levels.

4.  Stop Coddling Lawbreakers.  It's always amazed me that kids can get away with things in the schools that, if done in Wal-Mart, would immediately result in the police being called.  I'm not saying that the police should get involved for every minor infraction, but I've run into some administrators who don't want anyone arrested at their schools. 

5.  Home Educate.  This is always an option.  It may not be the best option, but it is something to consider.  There is a wealth of online assistance to help someone get through high school. 

6.  Start Parenting.  Wow!  What a remarkable idea.  This might not have helped with the recent shooting (both is parents died recently), but in the long run, parenting is a great idea.

7.  Repent.  Yeah, no kidding.  A return to faith is a singular blessing and is always a good idea.  I saw a thing recently on FaceBook where someone asked God why there was so many school massacres.  God replied that He wasn't allowed in schools.

It's a great article, and I'll link it here again.  Go read the whole thing for more insight, but what struck me about these recommendations, is that not one of them violates the 2nd Amendment.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Red Beans and RIce

We know that spring is on the way, but winter ain't over yet.  Yesterday, Belle decided to put on a pot of red beans.  She uses a method that has absolutely no work at all.

Red Beans and Sausage

2 lbs dry red kidney beans
2 lbs sausage (any kind.  Take your pick)

Rinse beans and sort.  Beans are a raw agricultural product and occasionally you'll find a puce of gravel.  In a large slow-cooker, add beans, water to cover them, salt, pepper to taste.  Cut sausage into rounds and add to the pot.  Cook on low for 12-14 hours.  The beans will get creamy and the sausage will add a little fat to the mix, blending the flavors.    That is an 8-quart slow cooker.  Adjust your proportions to match your cooker.  One pound of beans and one pound of sausage work just fine in a smaller cooker.

We put these on last night before bedtime and let them cook all night.    In another hour, we'll put on a pot of rice and Belle will make cornbread.

Red Beans and Rice fits good on a cloudy, cool February morning.

Two Mallards

Stepped out on the carport this morning, and saw movement in the ditch.  Two mallards, exploring around.

The drake is easy to spot, the hen is well camouflaged, directly behind the drake.  They probably came up from the pond on the other side of the property.  We normally have some geese who winter over, but I haven't seen mallards in a couple of years.

Where Is Dad?

School shootings or not, last week before the carnage, I was having a conversation with a very smart educator about the challenges we face with the preponderance of single-parent homes that find all across the nation.  Single-parent and in some cases no-parent conditions (kids being raised by grandma) affect the way that teachers do their jobs, and cause havoc in society in the larger sense.

 Susan L. Goldberg discusses this at PJMedia and talks about the effect that the lack of parenting has on society.  She links to some studies that show:
72 percent of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers; the same for 60 percent of all rapists.
70 percent of juveniles in state institutions grew up in single- or no-parent situations
The number of single-parent households is a good predictor of violent crime in a community, while poverty rate is not.
Now, there are millions of kids who grow up in single-parent households who turn out just fine. But, as long as we are talking about what is different now and the apparent rise of problems in our schools (sometimes lethal problems), it might be useful to talk about the number of kids growing up in single-parent households.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Elegant Sulutions

I spent the day working in the shop with my elder son, my son-in-law, and a church member.  We were welding steel together to make a portable six-lane range for Louisiana State.  This thing has to be lightweight, yet sturdy enough to handle the rigors of wax-bullet shooting, mainly to hold the backdrops.

No pictures because we were totally engaged for most of the day, but we've come up with some elegant solutions that we'll unveil at Louisiana State.  Lightweight, simple to erect, and sturdy enough to hold the backdrop.  The whole thing is made out of 3/4 inch steel tubing.

I'm stoked about the ideas we came up with today, and I'm looking forward to bringing this project to conclusion.  The Cross-BRanded Peacemakers will have a portable range that we can set up anywhere.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Royal Wax Bullets

Early this week, I called a guy that I had been meaning to call.  Casey Jordan, of Royal Wax Bullets, in Phoenix, AZ.  I had been meaning to try his bullets, because I heard that they didn't bounce like some of the others.  We shoot in an indoor range, a standard CFDA setup.

Using competitors bullets, they either shattered and left a mess of wax chips to clean up, or they were so hard they bounced back, completely to the scoring table, 35 feet away.  Belle doesn't mind score-keeping, but she doesn't lie dodging ricochets.  So, I was casting about for a bullet that would stay within the rang.e area.  Of course, everyone in the range wears eye protection.  That is an iron-clad rule in our range.

I sent Boab ad email on Sunday, and we agreed on the terms, and he shipped the bullets on Monday.  I found them on the front stoop on Thursday, after a long shift.  When I got home today, Belle and I walked out to the range, where I loaded a cylinder, and gave them a go.  They load easily into standard CFDA cases, pushed in with the thumb.  Belle worked the lights, and I stepped up to the line and ran then at the target.

We shoot from 21 feet, and none of the bullets made it back to the 15-foot line.They all fell on the concrete in front of the carpet.  They bounced, but they didn't ricochet, and they didn't shatter.  They simple fell on the ground about six feet from the target.

The picture came out a little fuzzy.  By the time I decided to make pictures, I had had a couple of drinks.
The bullets were easy to pick up, did not shatter and bounced only about six (6) feet.  Belle was impressed.  Belle was happy, and so am I.  They load easily, shoot fine, and don't ricochet all over the range.  We like these bullets and will recommend them to our club and our friends.

If you're a CFDA shooter and want to try the Royal Wax bullets, give Casey a call.  His contact information is under the link.

Security? Good Question

In the wake of the most recent school shooting, I've been asked a lot of questions about school security.  Even this morning, one of the big magillas at the school was asking me what could be done to improve the security at local schools.  That's a complicated question that does not lend itself to a simple answer.  The basic idea, though, is how much money are you willing to spend?

We live (theoretically) in a free society.  Many of our schools were built in another era, when free access and ease of movement were the primary considerations.  Many of the schools I am familiar with, especially high schools, are not monolithic structures.  They're a campus with  multiple facilities.  For example, the last high school I was assigned had a front building, a back building, two gymnasiums, a woodworking shop and an ROTC building, all connected by sidewalks.  The main classroom building had fourteen (14) entrances, all used on a daily basis.  A city street goes through the campus.  How secure is it possible to make a facility like that?

I suppose you could wrap the whole facility in a chain link fence, with one main entry point, and positive movement controls on vehicles.  Who is going to open the gate when a parent comes in to pick up a sick child?  Who is going to check delivery vehicles?   Many schools have kids coming and going all day, with the attendant movement in the student parking lots.  Who is going to man that gate?  (Trust me, been there, done that).

At some point, as you increase movement controls, with positive entrance and exit security, you realize that you are no longer in a school, but in a prison.  Even in prisons, (been there too), we have security issues.  Daily problems arising from locked doors, competing priorities, and daily necessities.  So, inn the schools, especially, we have this dichotomy between security and freedom of movement.  We have to balance those issues as we try to live in a free society with security concerns.

In 2003, our sheriff decided to put one trained, certified cop in each school in our parish.  He absorbed the full cost of the project.  I volunteered for the program and it has been very successful.  We work in the schools, but we work for the Sheriff and this has been very successful, although the program was not without its growing pains.

If there are going to be armed, trailed officers in the schools, it is important that they not work for the school district.  The officer must have freedom of movement (not be tied to a post), have full authority to arrest.  The officer is NOT there to help with classroom management or school discipline, or any of a myriad of other issues except as they affect law enforcement.  The officer's main function is to be highly visible, to deter threats, to move toward and eliminate threats, and to be a law enforcement liaison to the school.  In time, the officer will become an integral part of the school, completely integrated in the daily routine, but apart.

And yes, the officer will do a certain amount of classroom management, assist with school discipline, and many other things not normally associated with his primary function.  That's okay, as long as everyone remembers what the primary function of the officer is.  It is okay for the officer to be helpful, and every cop in the school wants to be an asset, but there are certain things that cops are not allowed to do in a school, simply because they are cops.

Put a fully certified, highly trained cop in every school.  Give them freedom of action, accountable to the local Sheriff or Police Chief, and let them be highly visible.  We've been using this model since 2003 and it seems to work very well.