Saturday, June 25, 2016

Best Selfie Ever

This has to be the best selfie ever taken.

No attribution, I found it surfing around the interwebs.

Is there enough there to tell what kind of aircraft that is?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Old NFO?

For Me, But Not For Thee!

The ethically challenged, hypocritical, probably criminal congressman from New York, Charlie Rangel, once again displays the arrogance and entitlement that runs rampant in our political class.
The veteran congressman denied knowing about the scandal involving bribes for concealed carry permits in New York City. However, when he heard how difficult it is for a New York City resident to acquire a concealed carry permit, Rangel responded, “If it is difficult to get a concealed weapon permit, I’m glad to hear that.”
 Pressed on the right of people living in his district to get a carry permit, Rangel reacted by stating, “I wouldn’t want them to have it,” adding, “Law-abiding citizens just shouldn’t have to carry a gun.”
 The reporter pointed out the armed U.S. Capitol Police inside the building, just a few feet away from the congressman, Rangel laughed and responded, “Well that’s a little different. I think we deserve — I think we need to be protected down here.”
Rangel deserves and needs armed protection, but the people of his district don't need armed protection.   That statement along shows the disdain that Rangel holds for his constituents.

Hat tip, Joe Huffman.

Silencers, Again

It seems that a local man was arrested for NFA violations and pled guilty recently to making and selling unregistered silencers.  It's a cautionary tale for all you garage machinists.
Durham was recorded setting up a sale of silencers with an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, authorities said. They met on May 10, 2016, in Winnfield, and the undercover agent purchased three silencers.
A silencer, (more correctly, a suppressor) is a simple device used to quieten the report of a firearm.  They can be built by any home hobbyist.  We've talked about this before. Suppressors were banned in the United States when Congress enacted the National Firearms Act of 1934 in the wake of gangland violence.  In those days, suppressors were considered nefarious devices used solely by criminals who wanted to keep their illicit activities secret.

Nowadays, of course, suppressors are considered safety devices that preserve hearing.  The don't silence a firearm, but they suppress the report to a level that doesn't pose a medical threat to your ears.  Suppressors are legally bought and sold in the US today, but you have to pay a $200 tax and register the device with the government.

I detest the suppressor law.  It places a tax on possessing a simple little mechanical device that can be manufactured by almost anyone.  But, it is the law, and we disregard it at our hazard, as illustrated in this cautionary tale.  An unregistered suppressor can cause you to spend up to 10 years in jail.

We need to change the law.  But, before that is accomplished, it's still a felony to possess an unregistered silencer.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Trey Gowdy on the Sit-In.

I like Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC).  Evidently, he had questions to his fellow reps when they insisted on the temper tantrum we're calling a sit-in.
Democrat members are certainly free to stage a sit-in and shut down House floor activities as they have done. What would be infinitely more productive would be asking this Administration and the Department of Justice in particular why prosecutions of current gun law violations have decreased under their watch. There are already broad categories of persons prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition and those lists go largely without prosecution. Now House Democrats are asking for yet another list of persons - this time without any due process rights - so this Administration can fail to enforce that list of laws too. How does that make us safer?
Great question, Rep Gowdy!

Remington's R51

I see that Remington is re-issuing their ill-fated R51 pistol.  Many sites, including The Firearm Blog are trumpeting the news:

I had high hopes for this little gun when it was rolled out prior to the 2014 SHOT show, but subsequent problems with it lead to Remington cancelling production and recalling the pistols.  I understand that they believe that they've fixed the problems now, and the first batch coming out is slated to replace the pistols that were recalled.

I wish Remington the best with this, but a lot has happened since early 2014, and it's not hard to find a single stack .380 pocket pistol these days.  Still, I wish them the best of luck with the little gun.

Now, if Remington would re-introduce their 1858 revolver in a .45 Colt conversion, that might be something to get excited about.

It Doesn't Matter

It doesn't matter that gun sales are through the roof.  It doesn't matter that violent crime is falling, it doesn't matter that the 2nd Amendment says what it says.  It doesn't matter that due process is in danger of being abrogated.   The facts don't matter.  All that matters is the narrative. Joe Huffmaan calls it GunCog, the cognitive dissonance that drives the anti-gunners.  He shares a graphic.

The underlying chart is here:

Good Job, Joe, and thanks for your efforts.

Your Risk Profile

Joe Mamma, a blogger who went silent on the internet last year, sent me a link to this article.  Written by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, it attempts to explain the dissonance in the gun control debates today.  Adams posits that your stance on gun control is based in your personal risk profile. (Bear with me), and that influence likely carries over to your political leanings.

For example, if you live in the inner city, you're likely to understand poverty and crime from a unique perspective. You are also more likely to be a Democrat.  If you are lucky enough to be fairly affluent and live in one of the afore-referenced mega-cities, (I'm thinking places like Chicago, Los Angeles, or Louisiana's own Mogadishu-on-the-River New Orleans)) you're more likely to be a Democrat.  So, your risk profile is such that if you run into a gun-toting, opportunistic entrepreneur, he's also likely to be a Democrat.  Under those circumstances, it's easy to understand your aversion to guns.

I'd note, simply from the record, that the last two Aloha-Snackbar Mohametans that shot up large crowds were also Democrats, shooting into crowds of likewise Democrats.  I use these two data points simply for reference, without attempting to draw any statistically valid conclusion.

On the other hand, if you live in fly-over country, you're more likely to own guns and use them for sport shooting, or hunting, or recreation, or any number of safe, law abiding, constitutionally based activities.  As a matter of culture, we teach our kids to handle guns safely, to shoot safely, and to respect other folks safety and property.  Our guns don't hurt anybody, unless a Democrat comes through the window of our home.

Adams sums it up concisely:
So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”
Thankfully, we have the Constitution on our side, as we've discussed before in these pages.  And, while it's easy to understand why Democrats are trying to abrogate my rights, it's also easy to understand why I intend to fight them tooth and nail.  We have different risk profiles and view the argument from singular perspectives.  It's an interesting argument.

I know why I intend to keep my guns, and the Democrats had better consider that I don't intend to surrender a single one of them.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have guns to clean and ammo to load.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The End of LIberal Thinking

Like many of you, I've been reading about the sit-in that some Democrats have staged in the House chamber for the past two days.  I understand that they ended it today, after a recess until July 5th.  Like petulant children, the Democrats are acting like spoiled brats, unable to make a substantial argument, they're willing to throw away due process to get their way.

I find it ironic that they're staging a sit-in in the People's House, a place where they have a full right to debate and legislate.  However, unable to make the argument, they act like spoiled children, demanding that due process be denied to US citizens so that they can have their way.

The erstwhile leader of this little demagoguery, John Lewis, was once a staunch advocate of civil rights.  He himself has been on secret government lists, and has fervently defended the rights of all Americans.  In this last act, he has squandered the good reputation he took so long to build.  He is now simply being petulant at not having his own way.  He's openly mocked across social media, and he's shown that he's willing to discard due process for transient political advantage.

As a minor student of historical liberal thought, I am reminded of the words of that great legal thinker, Frederick Douglass, who said that "the liberties of the American people were dependent upon the ballot-box, the jury-box, and the cartridge-box; that without these no class of people could live and flourish in this country..."  It is well that we remember these words.

We have the ballot box to select our representatives, the jury box to ensure justice, and the cartridge box to ensure freedom.  The government should be reminded that We The People are the government.  Our representatives serve at our pleasure and our prerogative.  The Congress is supposed to defend the liberties of all Americans, and is sworn to uphold the Constitution, which places limits on government.  It seems that the Democrats in the House have forgotten their oaths and their duty.

Today, Kevin D. Willaimson pens a wonderful piece over at National Review, and finishes with this paragraph:

The Democratic party in 2016 is not a liberal party. It is a party that is working diligently to rescind free-speech rights on one front and to undermine due-process protections on another. It has abandoned the notion of procedural justice in pursuit of substantive outcomes demanded by its supporters, the rule of law be damned. There is a term for the armed pursuit of justice, real or perceived, outside the rule of law, and that term is “lynching.” The Democrats have lynching in their political DNA, and they seem to be unable to evolve past it. Ironically, their abandonment of due process and their flirtation with tyranny are reminders of one of the reasons why the Founders believed it necessary to have an armed citizenry.
Go, as they say and read the whole thing.

The Second Amendment is about overthrowing tyranny, and the Democratic party had best remember that.  It's not about deer hunting, or even about sport shooting.  I still have the ballot box, and I pray that I won't have to resort to the cartridge box, but I have several of those too.

The Curious Case of the Quiet Guineas.

This case occurred in northwest Louisiana during the early '80s.  I was working for another agency and working my own cases, but small jurisdictions are notorious for word getting around.  It went something like this:

It was murder, there was no doubt about it.  A Sheriff's deputy, on routine patrol happened to see a car  all the back parking lot of a nightclub.  The club had been closed for several hours, so our intrepid deputy rolled over to check on it.  When he approached the car, shortly before daylight, he saw a body slumped in the driver's seat.  Thinking that it was probably someone sleeping off a night of too-much-fun, he tapped on the glass, then opened the driver's door.

The body was behind the steering wheel and was slumped over the console.  The driver's window was up, and the door had been closed when he approached.  He noticed that the body had two gunshot wounds in the left side.  One in the neck, one just behind the ear.  The body appeared to be a twenty-something female.  She was cold to the touch, but her clothing was all in place.

The deputy stepped back, looked around, then turned and threw up on the ground.  After he composed himself, he called it in.  The dispatcher told him to stand by, preserve the scene, and start collecting information.   Help was on the way.

A few minutes later, a supervisor arrived, and a half hour later, the on-call detective arrived.  Within the next hour, the coroner's representative was on scene.  As the day progressed, she was identified, and family was notified.  Detectives learned that she was married, with no children, and that she and her husband had been going through a nasty separation.  He was known to be volatile, and carried a pistol.  She had thrown hubby out of the house, and he was living with his father out in the rural area of the parish.

Detectives went to the father and talked to him.  Hubby had left for work early that morning, after having been in the house all night.  Of course, the old man had been sleeping, but he was pretty sure that hubby never left the house, from 800 pm until daylight. Detectives went to his work site, interviewed hubby and asked specifically about the handgun he was known to have kept in his vehicle.  He had sold it to pay some bills.  No, he didn't know the guy he sold it to. Very convenient.

Detectives continued to run down leads,   The coroner reported that either one of the two shots would have killed her, and that a slug recovered from her head seemed to be a .38 caliber bullet.  The handgun that hubby was known to have carried was a .38 Special.

Detectives got a warrant and arrested hubby for the murder of his wife.  He, of course, proclaimed his innocence and a lawyer was appointed.

Thirty days later, a preliminary hearing was scheduled.  The state laid out its evidence.  The bitter separation, the threats hubby made against the wife.  The slugs in wife's head.  The handgun that was conveniently missing.  The lack of a viable alibi.   The state rested.

The defense put on the old man, the father of hubby.  Father testified that they lived in the family home place, way out in the country.  They were pretty much alone, but had one neighbor with whom he had had words.  In addition to the normal couple of hound dogs, he also had a large flock of guineas that roosted in a tree over the gravel driveway.

The guineas were the source of the friction between he and his neighbor.  Any time anything disturbed the night-time quiet, the guineas would awaken and commence to raising holy hell. The rest of the father's testimony was fairly straightforward.  His son had come in from owrk about 6:00 pm.  They ate supper, then watched television.  Father went to bed about 8:00 pm and slept soundly through the night.  When father awoke at about 6:00 am, the son was in the kitchen making coffee.

The DA has a follow-up question, "Are you sure that your son never left the house all evening?"

Father testified simply, "The guineas were quiet all night.  No one left the house, not even the dogs.  If you don't believe me", he pointed to the back of the courtroom, "ask my neighbors.  They're sitting right back there."

The neighbor was sworn to testify.  She and her husband had been complaining about the guineas for several years.  Every time a dog, a coyote, or a pickup truck crossed that driveway, they were shaken from their sleep by that damned flock of guineas.  They had complained over, and over, about those birds.  But, on the night in question, they had seen hubby come in from work and park his truck.  They also want to bed later, and slept soundly through the night.  On that particular night, the guineas were silent.  Nothing had moved on that land, that night.

The judge took a brief recess to consider the testimony.  When he returned, he said that the testimony of the neighbor was compelling.  He knew about guineas, and their habit of waking everything within the sound of their screeching when the flock was disturbed.  He told the DA that based on the guineas, he had no choice.  The guineas were silent, so the husband could not have left the house during the hours of darkness.  The judge released the husband from the bond obligation pending further investigation.

I don't recall if that case was ever solved.  I was working other cases, and lost track of that particular investigation.  But, I was in the courtroom that day, and heard the testimony set forth in the Curious Case of the Quiet Guineas.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Due Process

I covered this yesterday, but it's worth considering again.  The Democrats in the Senate came out on Monday against due process in chilling a constitutional right.  Allahpundit explains it better than I did.
The capper was Democrats voting en masse yesterday against John Cornyn’s bill that would have allowed the DOJ to block gun sales to someone on a terror watch list temporarily, with the feds able to make the ban permanent by going to court and proving that that person’s a threat. That was a compromise by the GOP; for all of the left’s rhetoric about Republican obstruction on guns, conservatives conceded that watch-listers should have their rights infringed despite not having been convicted of a crime. All they asked from Democrats was some due process. Democrats voted against the bill en masse.
Due Process is an idea enshrined in our Constitution, and Democrats voted en mass against it.  Representative Trey Gowdy lays out the hypocrisy of the administration, and Senate Democrats in this YouTube clip.

It's worth watching this government functionary sit speechless, clueless, when Gowdy asks her about due process.  This is a defining moment of the Obama administration.

Staggering Stupidity

I see that Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has revealed her staggering stupidity about the US Constitution. According to BuzzFeed:
“The fact is, the AR-15, the gun that (Omar) Mateen used, that’s a weapon of war; it’s advertised as being able do technologically advances in killing people that previous weapons have been unable to do and somebody who is buying that kind of a weapon isn’t buying it for target shooting,” she said. “They’re not buying it to go out and hunt deer. You don’t need an AK-47 or an AR-15 to hunt deer. They’re buying it to do bad things and we need to recognize that and address it.
Staggeringly stupid, equating hunting with the 2nd Amendment.

I would ask the good Senator what other constitutional right has to be defended from stupidity, over and over and over again.  The people of New Hampshire deserve better.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Weapons Retention

If you've got a gun, you've got to keep it with you.  That's one of the drawbacks of open carry; everybody knows you've got a gun, and they might try to snatch it.  Police holsters have improved dramatically over the last 20 years.  We don't want anyone to snatch our gun, and we take steps to defeat a gun snatch.  The best defense is the defense that's built into your holster and the holster companies have gotten very good at defeating a snatch, yet making the gun very easy to draw if you're wearing the holster.

The lesson about a gun snatch is evident in this story about a fellow who wanted to assassinate Donald Trump.   His plan was simple.  Go to a rally, get close, and snatch a cop's gun.
Police say Sandford started chatting with one of their officers at the event and claimed that he wanted to get Trump's autograph. But instead, Sandford tried to take the officer's gun, and officers quickly took him into custody.
 Sandford allegedly told investigators he practiced shooting at a nearby gun range the day before the rally. When officials asked Sandford why he tried to take the officer's gun, he allegedly said, "To shoot and kill Trump."
The 19-year-old was transferred into the custody of the U.S. Secret Service
Luckily, just about every police agency these days uses a Level III holster, usually made by Safariland.  I've carried one for the past dozen years, and my holster today is the Model 6365, and that's fairly standard today. The holster requires three separate motions with the thumb before you can draw the pistol, but Safariland has designed the holster so that it is very ergonomic and natural if you're the person wearing the holster.

If you're not the person wearing the holster, your hand won't be in position to release the pistol.  Forget it.  All that's going to happen is that you're going to feel blows rain down upon you and you'll be arrested and jailed.  There's no faster way to jail than to try to snatch a cop's gun.

And, no, I'm not going to tell you how it works.  It works fine, and I'm sure that there are YouTube videos out there to help you with the mechanics of the holster.

Those Gun Control Amendments

Interesting votes yesterday on the various amendments to legislation following the Orlando shooting.

Senator Cornyn (R-TX) proffered an amendment that would "flag" a person on the government's terror watch list.  It would impose a 72-hour period where the government could make its case or not.  After 72 hours, the sale would be allowed to proceed.  As the Dallas Morning News explains:
A test vote on Cornyn’s proposal – which would have triggered a three-day investigation into the pending buyer – failed 53-47, with Sen. Ted Cruz supporting Cornyn’s amendment. The proposed amendments to the Department of Justice spending bill needed 60 votes to proceed.
Senator Feinstein was critical of the amendment.
 In the Senate Monday, Feinstein attacked Cornyn’s amendment for using the probable cause standard in order to deny a gun purchase, noting that, under his plan, the person denied the sale must be granted a hearing within 72 hours.
“This is nearly impossible to achieve within 72 hours, and if it isn’t achieved, the terrorist gets the gun,” she said.
I don't want a terrorist to have a gun at all.  I believe that we can agree on that.  Personally, I don't want a terrorist in the US, but I realize that it happens occasionally.  What Feinstein wants is the total ban, the whole enchilada.  What Cornyn's amendment did is to cause the government to make the case, and to do it in a rational time period.

Feinstein, of course, says that 72 hours isn't long enough to complete the investigation, but in my mind, if a person is on the secret terror watch list, the government should already have completed the investigation.  That should have been done before the person's name was added to the list.

The really interesting thing is that nearly every Democrat voted against the Cornyn amendment.  According to the Senate Press Gallery:
6:37 p.m. Cloture fails on the Cornyn amendment 53-47.
Senators in favor: 51 Republicans, 2 Democrats (Donnelly, Manchin)
Senators against: 42 Democrats, 3 Republicans (Collins, Flake and Kirk) 2 Independents (King and Sanders).
That's interesting.  It seems that with the exception of two Democrat senators, the rest of that party is in favor of letting the government breach a constitutional right without having the government establish probable cause.

Every cop on every beat in every city or county of the US understand probable cause.  Probable Cause is the reasonable, articulable, belief that a crime has been, or is about to be committed.  It's really a simple standard, understood universally, and not a high bar to clear.  It seems to me that if the government has my name on a super-secret, double-probation watch list, it should already have cleared that hurdle.

Police in every locality all over the country use Probable Cause every day.  It's not too much to ask that the federal government adopt is as well.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Resume Building

We dragged in last night about 2300 hours, local, after a weekend of gunfighting, telling tales, laughing and loving with good friends and old acquaintances.  The Tejano Joe Memorial shoot and fish fry are in the books.  It's over and done.  We had a ball, and I'd like to thank the North Texas Society of Gunfighters for putting on a great shoot in the blazing hot north Texas sun.

It was a scorcher this weekend, but we had enough shade, enough liquid and enough shooting to fill the two days.  And, we had sombreros, oh, Lord, did we have sombreros.

PawPaw wore his regular, wool Cav hat this weekend.  I should have put the straw hat in the car, but I didn't think about that before we left.  My bad, and you can be sure that next time a shoot threatens to be in the upper 90s, I'll have a straw hat in the car.

There were very few youth shooters this weekend, and grandson Zach was the only male youth.  So, they threw him in with the men.  The match was a 4X, which means that you had to lose four times before you had finished your day.  Zach drew some stiff opponents, to include Lightning Jesse, Brad Quick, Okie Ed, and PawPaw hisself.  His times were fast and his accuracy was good, but in the final analysis, he drew his four Xs pretty quickly.  But, he made everybody work for the win.  He was no push-over and in his matches, it came down to a single, final shot each time.  I was proud of the boy, he bantered with his opponents, made them work for the win, and earned the respect of everyone on the line.

After we left, headed east toward Texarkana, we were looking for a place to grab a bite of supper.  What I didn't realize is that the match organizers had included in their planning, a cash prize for the top shooters, and Zach had qualified to win a cash prize.  Yep, Zach won folding money this weekend, which makes him a professional gunfighter.

How many people do you know that can put Professional Gunfighter on their resume?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day

That's my old man, right there.

We lost him in 2007, and life changed.

We'e thinking about you, Pop!