Sunday, September 20, 2009

SB2099 AND THE BLAIR HOLT BILL- Don't Forward These Internet Rumors

It’s called “going viral,” and it refers to what happens to information that is of interest to a large number of people when it is published on the internet.
Suddenly, with no checking whatsoever, thousands, hundreds of thousands of people forward this information to anyone they think might be interested in it.
It can be an amazing call to action, this going viral--getting people involved in a grassroots movement that can affect how politicians vote--or it can be a real pain in the neck.
Such are the shrill warnings forwarded to me daily on SB-2099, a purported bill in the United States Senate that will require listing of all your firearms on your 1040 income tax form. I have personally received hundreds of warnings by concerned readers and friends who forward the different versions of this foolishness, frequently adding their own warnings of doom unless we all get active and call our Congress-Persons.
Of course, these well-meaning individuals have done their good deed—they got involved—they sent the warning on. Surely the people they are sending will get involved, and they will contact their elected representatives, right?
A pox on whatever idiot wrote this sensationalized piece of poppycock. It takes a small grain of truth and a lot of exaggerated tales and makes it sound as if the jack-booted thugs are only a short time from standing on your porch, beating on your door to demand your guns.
According to the most widely disseminated version of this urban legend, SB-2099 will do the following:
1. It will require listing of all your firearms on your 1040 income tax form.
2. It will become public knowledge within 30 days after it is voted into law (whatever that means.)
3. It is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Act of 1986—which means the Senate Finance Committee can pass this into law without the Senate voting on it at all (didn’t he just say it would be voted into law?)
The idiot that composed this false call-to-arms even gives a link to Snopes.com as proof the bill exists—and asks you to check it out.
Obviously, no one bothers to check Snopes, or if they do, they fail to read further than the first paragraph, because Snopes points out that no such bill currently exists.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Concealed Carry on Campus--No More Victim Disarmament Zones

The Honorable Clif Richardson
Louisiana House of Representatives
State Capitol
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Dear Clif,

Thanks for your phone call today asking for my opinion and background on concealed carry of handguns on college campuses. Representative Ernest Wooton’s bill to allow such recently passed out of committee, and is due to be considered soon by the full Louisiana House.

I appreciate your trying to find out more about the subject, and I appreciate your calling me. As the senior instructor of state-certified concealed handgun courses in Louisiana, the author of numerous articles and one book (“The Great New Orleans Gun Grab”) on firearms ownership, I have some definite opinions on allowing concealed carry on college campuses.

You will likely hear from dozens of administrators and some law enforcement that it would be a mistake to allow concealed carry on college campuses. I disagree with them for a number of reasons, but first, let me tell you a couple of stories and quote some statistics.

The media trumpets to the heavens every time a youth uses a gun to kill another person in one of our schools. Unfortunately, the opposite is not true.

Have you ever heard what happened on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at the Appalachian School of Law at Grundy, Virginia?

It’s a small, private, and highly respected school of law that has gained quite a bit of notoriety because of the actions of a foreign student.

His name was Peter Odighizuwa, a Nigerian and naturalized U.S. Citizen who had flunked out of the school in 2001, but had been allowed to come back in and change his academic course. On the day in question, the 42-year-old Odighizuwa was due to speak with L. Anthony Sutin, Dean of the school about his grades—Odighizuwa had just been dismissed a second time for poor grades.

Odighizuwa had a history of mental instability that was disclosed in a report by the Newport News (VA.) Daily Press.

Odighizuwa spoke first with Professor Dale Rubin when he arrived at campus that morning. Upon leaving Rubin's office, he asked him to pray for him. He then went to the offices of Dean Sutin, and Professor Thomas Blackwell.

Upon arriving at their offices, Odighizuwa drew a .380 caliber pistol and shot both these respected college educators to death.

He then went downstairs and opened fire in a common area, hitting a student, Angela Denice Dales, killing her.

He fired three more shots, wounding students Stacy Beans, 22, of Berea, Kentucky; Rebecca Brown, 38, of Roanoke, and Martha Madeline Short, 37, of Grundy.

He then stopped shooting and went outside as students were diving out of windows and running for cover.

Two students, Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, ran to their parked cars and retrieved handguns from them. They then ran back and pointed their guns at Odighizuwa, who quickly dropped his pistol. Another student, Ted Besen, ran up to Odighizuwa who hit him in the face, and then there was a pile on...one of the students with a gun was an off-duty police officer, and Odighizuwa was quickly in handcuffs.

You may not have heard of the incident at the Appalachian School of Law—it was not heavily reported, and there was practically NO mention in the media that students with guns stopped what would have surely been more bloodshed. Most media reports stated that Odighizuwa was “tackled” by a group of students. According to researcher (and college economics professor) Dr. John R. Lott, there were 280 separate news stories (from a computerized Nexis-Lexis search) in the week after the event—and just four stories mentioned the fact that the students that stopped the attack used guns to end it.

Of course. Certainly the national media is not going to publicize a positive intercession by citizens with guns.

But I’ll bet you remember the incident on Wednesday, October 1, 1997 in Pearl, Mississippi. That’s where 16-year-old Luke Woodham murdered his mother the night before by cutting her throat, then showed up at Pearl High School with a .30-30 caliber rifle.

He opened fire on his former girlfriend, Christina Menefee and her friend Lydia Dew, killing them instantly. He then swung the rifle around and fired it into a group of students. He ran to the parking lot and climbed into his dead mother’s car—he later stated he intended to drive to a nearby junior high school and kill more students.

Assistant Principal Joel Myrick, a shooter, and a member of the National Guard, ran to his car and retrieved his .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, loaded it, and rushed to intercept Woodham who was by that time behind the wheel of his car. When Myrick pointed his handgun at Woodham, the student tried to drive around another vehicle and crashed into a tree. Myrick ran up and pointed his gun at Woodham, ordered him out of the car, and held him on the ground at gunpoint until the police arrived.

There was little media reporting of the fact that Myrick stopped what was sure to be further carnage with the use of his own handgun—I guess we are to assume he ran up to Woodham, pointed his finger at him, ordered him to stop, and Woodham meekly complied.

Finally, I know you remember the horrible incident which occurred on Monday, April 16, 2007 at Virginian Tech University at Blacksburg, Virginia.

Korean-born Seung-Hui Cho took a 9mm Glock pistol and a .22 caliber Walther pistol and went on a murderous rampage —the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, murdering 32 students and instructors before taking his own life.

There was legislation introduced into the Virginia legislature in 2006 which would have allowed concealed carry on campus, but it was derailed, and no such freedom existed on the campus—it was a “Gun-Free Zone.” These have now become more accurately described as “Victim Disarmament Zones.”

The first thing Cho did was shoot two students to death in a dormitory. He then showed up at Norris Hall, a classroom building, where he chained the doors shut, walked up to the second floor, and began rushing from room to room, shooting at will. In all, he wounded 60 people, killing 30 of them. Police believe he fired more than 170 rounds in this attack. He had two 32-round replacement magazines for the Glock, and a large number of spare magazines.

Among the victims were five college professors, including Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who blocked the door of his classroom to give his students time to escape through the windows. Cho shot him five times, killing him.

There were 11 dead students in Room 211—this is where Cho eventually took his own life. There were nine dead in Room 206. There were four killed in Room 2007, and another died in Room 204. More died later.

Enough. You get the picture. Possible mass slayings are averted or lessened because someone produced a handgun and stopped the killing. Where none are present in these “Victim Disarmament Zones,” dozens die needlessly.

No amount of law, statutes, or regulations are going to keep a madman from going where guns are least likely to be used against them and killing people. Yet, administrators seem to feel that allowing a small number of well-trained adults who have undergone extensive criminal and mental background checks to carry concealed on campus will result in some sort of Armageddon, where students will go crazy and start shooting everyone.

Need I point out that if such a person is going to submit to such violent tendencies, the fact he is breaking the law by having a gun on campus is going to do little to deter him.

But I ask if only ONE student had been able to produce a handgun and engage Cho on Monday, April 16, 2007 inside Norris Hall, how many innocent lives might have been saved?

“According to an estimate by the National Shooting Sports Foundation—a Connecticut-based firearms industry group—there are more than 290 million privately-owned firearms in the United States today. The number of American households with at least one firearm has risen to an estimated 47.8 million.”

That quote comes from “America Fights Back—Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age,” an excellent book by Alan Gottlieb, Director of the Second Amendment Foundation, and Dave Workman, Editor of “The New Gun Week,” a weekly newsmagazine on firearms, sport shooting, and politics. I count both of these gentlemen as personal friends, and much of the information stated here has been gleaned from their book, writings by Professor Lott, and by Dr. Gary Kleck, a criminology professor at Florida State University.

Now that I have thrown all the facts and figures at you, let’s look at some of the histrionics you will be likely to face when listening to opposition to this bill to allow concealed carry on campus:

1. Allowing students to carry guns will only result in shootings and bloodshed on campuses.
This is the same argument that has been produced in every state (now about 40) where shall-issue concealed carry laws have been proposed. This is a fallacy that has been proven wrong over and over again—Professor Lott has found that mass public shootings declined by 85%, and injuries fell 82 per cent in the 14 states that adopted shall-issue carry laws between 1977 and 1995.

Professor Gary Kleck, in his book “Point Blank—Guns and Violence In America,” found that guns are used over 2.5 MILLION times a year to stop crimes from occurring—and only in a miniscule number of those cases is the gun actually discharged. Incidentally, Dr. Kleck’s methodology has never been disproved in this study—it is generally accepted as a watershed study in the use of guns and violence in the United States.

2. The students will more likely shoot each other, than a gunman.
As I have told you before, my daughter is currently a college student. If a crazed shooter opened up in her dorm, classroom, or a campus building she was in, I would take that chance, and prefer someone in the building had taken a Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit Course, was licensed by the state to carry, and had a gun which which to stop the killings. I’ll take the chance he/she might accidentally shoot my beloved daughter. Rather that chance, than her more certain death by an assassin in a gun-free zone.

Incidentally, she is over 21 years of age, has her own permit, knows how to shoot, and when to shoot. And if you were ever someplace where someone opened up with a gun, killing people indiscriminately, you would be most glad she had her revolver...she won’t shoot anyone else accidentally, and she won’t be afraid to stop someone from shooting others. She is trained, competent, and cool-headed.

3. The police, upon arriving, won’t know the difference between the shooters and the students—and might shoot a student.
Give me a break. I worked for 25 years as a reserve law enforcement officer. I came on scenes where citizens had guns and were holding other people—lawbreakers—at bay. It happened to me once—dressed in plain clothes, I stopped a crime from occurring in another jurisdiction. Holding a lawbreaker on the ground, pointing a .38 Special revolver at his back, I had the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office roll up on the scene, and they leveled their guns at me until I put mine down, and convinced them which of us was the bad guy. I never shot anyone in such a case, and never knew another law enforcement officer that did, either. It might be unnerving at first, we might have pointed guns at them until they put them down, but we worked it out quickly. I think this is a red herring here.

Finally (here, we hear the breathy sound of a sigh of relief), I would like to point out a couple of things:

From 1987 to 1995, the state of Florida issued almost 315,000 concealed carry permits. In that eight-year time frame, the state of Florida rescinded a sum total of 54 permits from permit holders for illegal activities with a gun.

Louisiana now has almost 40,000 concealed carry permit holders—a far cry from the approximately half-million over in Texas—mainly because we have always considered the vehicle an extension of the home, and allowed citizens to carry their guns in their cars.

I think you can call the Louisiana State Police Concealed Permit Section and they can give you the same statistics for our state. You will find the numbers of permits rescinded to be correspondingly low. Statistically across the nation, concealed carry permit holders are the most law-abiding subsection of our citizenry you can find—folks that undergo the training and get the permits don’t commit the crimes.

Should we allow concealed carry on campus?

Absolutely. I don’t understand the reasoning against it. By denying it, you are saying that reasoned, thinking adults, which the state has determined can legally carry, cannot do so on campus—but they can practically everywhere else, where nothing has occurred. The people arguing against this are saying adult college students are likely to go berserk and start shooting one another.

I would point out here that the Louisiana State Police conduct an extensive and thorough background check on every applicant—mental, criminal, every aspect of a person’s background is evaluated before the permit is issued. And the training is equally thorough and extensive, requiring hours of shooting time, lectures on safe use of handguns, use of deadly force, and child-access prevention.

Allow concealed carry on campuses? Why has it ever been denied in the first place?

Thanks for taking the time to inquire about this upcoming legislation. I hope I haven’t dragged it out too long for you—but you said you wanted to gain some facts and figures on the subject, to be able to make up your mind on the subject. I appreciate your keeping your promise to call me for background when the legislation came up. You are a man of your word, and I appreciate that.

Best wishes,

Gordon Hutchinson
Author, “The Great New Orleans Gun Grab”
Www.neworleansgungrab.com
Www.theshootist.net





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Friday, May 15, 2009

A Memorial Weekend

Across the green hills, cobbled with white gravestones, a rolling thunder reaches into our souls.

Nineteen times the cannon speaks, a hollow boom hidden in the solemn recesses of Arlington.

The sign posted at the entrance as you enter the nation's cemetary for its war dead says it eloquently, its message poignant, stating there must be no bike riding, no children playing, no picknicking. "Please respect the sanctity of any funeral you see occurring...This is Hallowed Ground."

We are on a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C. We have toured all the memorials: Jefferson, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korea, Iwo Jima. We have ended up, Memorial Day morning, on the steps of the amphitheater, overlooking the Tomb of the Unknowns. My wife Ti Lou, Greg and Peggy Vidrine, and most importantly my 15-year-old daughter, Jessica, have come to the nation's Capitol on this most sacred of weekends to see all the tourist things. But more than that, I want Jessica to understand the meaning of being American, and what hundreds of thousands of men and women have given up that she might live the life she lives--blonde, carefree, imbued with Britney and Backstreet fever, gabbing on the phone with girlfriends, talking always about boys.

She must understand what it means to be American, that people die across this world envying one simple thing about her--that she lives in and is a citizen of this country.

Every person that has "done" Washington has told us "If you do nothing else, you must see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns..."

Unwittingly, we are here at the most solemn of the Nation's rites--the Laying of the Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. A full military contingent, representing every branch of the services, and the U.S. Army Band conduct the ceremony. I see tears in my daughter's eyes--it is strange that I can see them through the wetness of my own.

Back in Baton Rouge, I am describing the trip to a friend, Lynn Burgett, who spent some time as a young woman working for the Navy in Washington, D.C.

Lynn was very excited about our trip, even going to her congressman's office and picking up maps and tour guides for us before we left, drawing us an itinerary.

Our conversation wanders across the history of the Capitol, Arlington, what people have done to be buried there...

You know, she says, Daddy got the Distinguished Service Cross in World War II.

C'mon Lynn, I say, ever the cynic. Are you sure of this? The DSC is the second-highest award for valor given by the armed services. The only thing higher is the Medal of Honor. Lots of folks get all that confused...the ranking of awards is Bronze Star, Silver Star, DSC, Medal of Honor...



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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Remington 700 VTR—The Tacti-Coolest Yet!


Many riflemen will tell you if there is one company that knows how to get it right, it is Remington. The frequent comment heard is “Remington shoots straight, right out of the box.”

And that has been my experience, both with personal guns, and the numerous rifles I end up tuning for friends each year.

Sometimes, it might take a little experimenting to find the right bullet, but Remington almost always performs better than adequate, right out of the carton.

When the unusually-configured barrel of the new Remington Model 700 VTR caught my eye, I decided my usual practice of signing for a test gun from the manufacturer wasn’t necessary. Experience proved the gun would shoot. And the features Remington built into this bolt gun intrigued me.

First off was that barrel. Talk about stand out on a gun rack--who ever saw a triangular-shaped barrel before? And it was the right length, too—just 22 inches.

The VTR stands for “Varmint Tactical Rifle” which falls into the ever-growing category of “tacti-cool” rifles with standard applications made to look like tactical guns with law enforcement or military uses. Of course, tactical rifles are no-nonsense, utilitarian rifles, spare to the point of Spartan with no unnecessary parts, everything designed for a purpose with no frilly cosmetics.


The new VTR is the long-proven Model 700 action with a patented triangular barrel, a design that offers more rigidity and less weight than a round barrel of equal diameter. With the larger surface area, greater heat dissipation is also claimed. An integral muzzle brake also acts as a protective crown for the rifling, extending past the crown for two inches.

The camo green composite stock has black grips overmolded into the forearm and pistol-grip—and it has two sling swivels on the front end—one for the sling, the other to attach a bipod for the varmint fields.

The gray, almost rough finish on the barrel and receiver is reminiscent of the old military “Parkerized” finish—a handsome, no-nonsense finish that seems to soak up oil, and sheds moisture with equal aplomb.

Since I’ve been planning a varmint hunt for prairie dogs this summer, I intended to build a rifle to take with me—in either .223 Remington, or .22-250 Remington. Once I spotted the VTR, knowing from experience it would shoot, the decision was made, and I ordered one.

After a lot of discussion with friends, some of whom have actually made prairie dog hunts, I settled on one of the icons in the long-range varmint fraternity, the classic .22-250, standardized by Remington in 1965.

Long considered one of the most accurate, easily adapted cartridges around, the .22-250 is known by old-time shooters by the nickname “.22 Varminter”—which gives you an idea of the status the cartridge holds in those ranks. I had never owned one, but the history of the cartridge, that it was developed by necking down the old .250 Savage centerfire deer cartridge, and its proven ability as a super long-range, accurate round all intrigued me, and I started buying different weight bullets in anticipation of its arrival.

Remington has installed a new trigger mechanism on the 700 which they call the X-Mark Pro Adjustable--which means they want it adjusted by a factory-trained gunsmith. I couldn’t stand the approximately 4.5 lb pull that came from the factory, so I took it to Reynerson’s Gunsmith Services (http://www.reynersons.com) for a trigger job. When I asked them to bring the trigger down to my preferred two pounds or so, I was informed the factory would allow them to set the triggers no lower than three pounds—

Lord, save me from lawyers, litigious societies, and heavy rifle triggers. I took what was offered.

I have to say, the gunsmith did an excellent job—we put a trigger-pull gauge on it after it came back, and found little creep and a crisp break right at the specified weight—I’ll live with it.

At the same time, I had them mount a nice 4-16X50 Alpen scope (http://www.alpenoptics.com) with an adjustable objective on high mounts, and I was in business. I could hardly wait to start testing loads and seasoning the barrel.

My normal practice with a new rifle is to buy an array of factory rounds and shoot them, scrubbing the barrel with Butch’s Bore Shine, or other copper solvent after each two or three shots for about 20 rounds. Then I go to cleaning after 5-6 rounds for another 20 or so, then after every 10 rounds for another 20.

Besides gaining brass to work up loads, I am breaking in the barrel and at the same time determining if the rifle has an inherent accuracy that can be enhanced by reloading and finding the perfect combination.

At first, the rifle frustrated me. It would shoot slightly above minute-of-angle (one inch) in a three or five-shot group, then climb out to almost two inches—which was rapidly determined to be cleaning-related. If I let it go past five or six shots without a good scrubbing, the groups widened considerably. This didn’t make sense as friends familiar with the caliber assured me their guns didn’t require excessive cleaning to maintain accuracy.

I also suspected I wasn’t reaching the full potential of the barrel because of bullet weight. Most of the rounds I could find were in the 55 grain or larger sizes—these would require a faster rifling twist for optimum accuracy. So I called the factory, and asked to speak to an engineer or someone in the sales department.

I was given the number of John Fink, who turned out to be the project manager on the VTR. I couldn’t have done better if I tried.

John told me the twist rate was 1-in-14. This is the recommended rate for the .22-250 as specified by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers, Inc. (SAAMI). Thus, he told me, the early weights originally designed for the cartridge were probably going to give me better performance. I should begin experimenting with weights in the 45 and 50 grain range, he said.

Talking to John Fink reminded me of the time we took a fisheries biologist down in the brackish Louisiana marsh, fishing for bass, redfish (red drum), and specks (speckled sea trout). We nearly wore the poor guy out asking him questions about the terrain, marsh loss, damage from nutria (a large South American rodent that adapted to our marsh, and is eating it away), and everything else we had been questioning for years. An expert is a great thing to have along when you are practising your favorite hobbies.

I had the project manager for the Model 700 VTR Bolt on the phone--I wasn't going to let him off without asking the question that has been gnawing at me for years: Just why does Remington insist on putting those two small protusions insided every forearm, supporting the barrel, and ruining what would be a perfectly free-floated barrel?

"We've tried it both ways," he said. "Free-floating the barrel, and using pressure points. We've found in the test results the pressure points actually have an effect on the harmonics of the barrels, and stabilize them. When we remove the pressure points the accuracy actually deteriorates--so we build them into most forearms."

"I've tried it both ways," I said. "I have a Model 7 in 7MM-O8 that I couldn't get past minute-of-angle with any ammo I bought, so I ground the pressure points out, and polished them down. I completely free-floated the barrel."

"Did it do any good," he asked?

"Not much," I admitted. "But the rifle shoots a little under 1 inch at 100 yards with 140 grain Remington Core-Lokt, and I've never bothered to work a load up for it."

My daughter uses it every season, and she doesn't need any better than that anyway. Until I get the Buck Fever out of her, it won't matter if she can drill one-hole groups, or shoot one inch. If it's a doe, she slays them, even out to 200 yards.

But a buck can walk out at 75 yards broadside, and Jessica will shake herself until her fillings fall out.

After talking to John Fink, I decided maybe the factory guys actually do apply some science to manufacturing these rifles, and decided to leave the pressure points in the injection-molded stock. I had found the same features in the laminated stock on my Remington Guide Rifle in .300 SAUM, and it shoots 150 grain factory loads in under an inch. I guess I need to quit second-guessing the experts.

I don’t know if the 80 rounds or so of factory ammo had finally done its job, polishing the bore and filling the microscopic imperfections with copper shavings, thus making a perfectly smooth tube, but suddenly, the rifle came alive for me.

Hornady V-Max ammo in 50 grains with a ballistic tip claimed 3800 fps, and gave up a five-shot group that measured 1 1/8” at 100 yards. But that was one flyer. Four of the five were touching, and printed inside of 5/8”!

I’ve always found you can go buy the most expensive ammunition on the market, and a Remington rifle seems to have a natural affinity for Remington ammo—don’t ask me why. This rifle proved no exception, and bulk-purchase 40 round boxes of 50-grain Jacketed Hollow Points (JHP) consistently fired 5-shot groups that grouped inside 7/8”.

An early 3-shot group of Winchester 45 grain JHP gave an exciting 5/8” group, but a later group fired around the time of the Hornady and Remington light-weights was very disappointing. I suspect either wind, or barrel fouling.

After over 120 rounds fired through the barrel, I’ve reached the point my friends told me about. Now, a quick swab with a dry patch is all the barrel seems to need when the groups seem to be growing. They tighten right back up, if I do my job.

I’m most pleased with my new “tacti-cool” rifle and caliber—it should prove to be an affordable and really accurate sniper rifle on prairie dogs out past 300 yards.

Now I’m hitting the reloading bench to tighten those groups into the proverbial “one-hole” for which this caliber is famous.

Then, on to the varmint fields for the ultimate test—I’m sure I’ll be telling you about that hunt before the summer’s over.





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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Let's Give Everyone A Gun...

The Second Amendment Foundation, and their publication, "The New Gun Week," are the most informative and timely sources of information on gun issues I have found, and I highly recommend both.

Recently they released the news that 65 Democrats--members of Congress--sent a joint letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that they would not support any form of assault weapon legislation the new administration proposed to push.

Perhaps that is why Queen Nancy instantly denied and disavowed Holder's statement that the administration wanted to do something about the problem of "assault" weapons.

Perhaps that mindset has had something to do with the less than noisy outcry over the spate of multiple shootings in the last few weeks. Criminals have killed cops, family members, and innocent citizens, using all different kinds of firearms to do it, and the normal media furor over gun use has been noticeably lacking...

Certainly nothing has been made of the fact that Richard Poplawski, 23, a misfit who killed three police in Pittsburgh, came from a broken family, was dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps, and couldn't hold a job.

Ann Coulter, in one of her biting columns, pointed out the following information about the recent crop of murderers--most of this has already been reported in bits and pieces in the news--but Ms. Coulter, as usual, brought it all together with acerbic wit. I have added what I gleaned from news reports:

--Jiverly Wong was a former crack addict who told co-workers "American Sucks." He was bitter over not being offered a job as a speechwriter for Barack Obama. Wong is the one who blockaded the people studying for their American citizenship in a civic center and shot as many as he could before committing suicide.

--Robert Stewart was a 45-year-old three-time loser at marriage, with "violent tendencies" according to one ex-wife. I noticed in one news report she stated she hated to say it, but it didn't surprise her when it was reported he shot up the nursing home in Carthage, N.C. where his present, and newly estranged wife worked. Guess all those elderly Alzheimer's victims were the cause of his marriage breaking up.

--Lovelle Mixon--this sweetheart was a 26 year-old paroled felon who got out shooting at a traffic stop, killing two police officers. He executed one--shooting him on the ground according to Coulter. He then killed two more cops in a shootout after he ran from the scene of the first killings.

--Michael McLendon--you remember him--he's the one that went across miles of Alabama, hunting down and killing members of his own family. Of course, he took potshots at innocent bystanders while driving from one killing field to the next. Coulter reports he was 28 years of age, and boycotted family funerals because he hated his relatives. Thus he killed 10 of them and their neighbors when he decided to ride the mad steed into oblivion.



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Friday, March 27, 2009

Paranoia is Good...

Back on December 1, 2008, I posted a piece entitled "We Gun Owners Aren't Doing a Very Good Job..." It can be found under "Older Posts."

I commented on how many questions I get every week on how to go about "registering" a gun--or if a gun someone wanted to buy had to be "registered." Or if a gun someone had inherited had to have the "registration" transferred to their name.

In every case I apoplectically explained to the people that while they are obviously not firearms enthusiasts, they should be outraged at the mere thought they would have to register their guns.

Most react with a sheepish "Oh. I guess you're right. I didn't think about that."



Most folks have heard of gun registration, and being non-gun enthusiasts, they don't stop to think about the effects of having their guns listed with a central governmental authority. Once the results of such an occurrence are explained to them, they are far more defiant in their attitudes concerning registration.

In the course of the posting, I described the background check (Called a "NICS" check by gun dealers) run on gun purchases, and stated the information obtained by the FBI during such a check cannot be retained by the Feebies--but must be fleeting and transitory. In short, they can check your criminal history, but they can't keep the information.

For a while after this process was instituted, it was discovered that the FBI was actually retaining the information on gun purchasers in direct contravention of the program as ordered by Congress.

When Congress got wind of this method of thwarting its order, it raised itself in great wrath, and smote the FBI, ordering that organization to cease and desist all record keeping of gun purchasers. They rapidly ended the practice--or at least, the Feebies have managed to hide any further transgressions from Congress.

Of course, there are those amongst us that will always doubt, and I myself am a great believer in paranoia.

Paranoia keeps you safe. Paranoia will make you constantly check your rear, to be sure something isn't creeping up on you.

So Mr. Anonymous, with his healthy dose of paranoia, asked "If they only use it to verify that I have not committed a felony etc. than why do they call out the serial number of the brand new firearm that I am purchasing? What do they need the serial number for?"

Which struck me as an excellent question, one of which I had never thought before.

Why Indeed?

If they are NOT keeping records, why do they need the serial number and type of gun you are buying?

Thus I showed my own lack of observation, since I do buy my fair share of guns.

I really never paid much attention when a dealer called in my pertinents. I've never been delayed even once, so I've never listened very closely to what was being said, other than the facts stating I didn't have three eyes, or a background dallying in arson.

I contacted a couple of dealers who call in NICS checks daily--I was assured no information about the particular gun was relayed to the FBI. No serial number, no gun description is offered in a NICS check--except whether it is a long gun or handgun. Even then, I take offense...why do they have to know even that? But considering the state of the Union, I can live with the way it is done.

It's a lot better here than anywhere else in the world, folks. And that is not to be construed as caving in to the machine.

No, we need to be ever-vigilant, and scream loud and long anytime our gun ownership rights are abrogated in any manner.

Only when we make them realize we are here, we are loud, we are vocal, and we vote, will we assure they approach any firearms ownership limitations with great fear.

We need to squeal like the proverbial pig at the slightest affront. We need to make them hear us and be put on notice that to tread on our rights will bring consequences--dire results that could remove their snouts from the trough.

Be paranoid. Be quick. Be loud.

It works.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Plowshares Beaten Back into Bullets

SHOCK and AWE...

The tentacles of the internet reached out and pulled the Brotherhood of the Gun together, launching a massive strike.

An electronic impulse that may have mirrored a sunspot hit Washington, DC as gun people everywhere called and e-mailed their congressonal delegations.

Larry Haynie is owner of Georgia Arms (http://www.georgia-arms.com/) and one of the largest manufacturers of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition in the country, producing 1.2 million rounds of reloaded .223 ammunition a month, mainly from expended military cases.

"We're right up there behind Hornady," he told me.

Haynie first alerted us to the move by the Department of Defense to stop selling whole fired brass cases to the remanufacturing market, requiring instead that all expended brass be "mutilated" ("Shredded..." as Haynie put it) before it was sold as brass scrap.

On Sunday, March 15, he was interviewed by Tom Gresham on his nationally syndicated show "Gun Talk" (http://www.guntalk.com/) where he informed us he had two months worth of whole cases left, and then he would have to lay off half of his 60-person work force.

We discussed it on this blog, and alerted other gun bloggers who joined in warning the firearms community that here was a serious threat against their sport--one that could push the cost of ammunition well beyond the means of the average shooter.

The shooters responded--in droves. E-mails were sent. Letters were written that will probably continue arriving for days, and outrage was expressed.

Not only did the gun folks contact their congressmen, they contacted DOD too...even to verify the action had been taken, and Government Liquidators, LLC, the corporation that auctions government surplus, had been told to cease the auctions of whole expended brass.

Something worked.

On Tuesday, March 17, Georgia Arms posted this message on their website:

Dear Loyal Customers,
Thanks to your voice, DOD has rescinded the order to mutilate all spent cases as of 4:30 pm on 3/17/09. We appreciate the time and effort that you expended, together we all made a difference. We will be posting the email we received from DOD as well as any additional information within the next 12-16 hours. Thanks so much and lets get to work!!! Georgia Arms

Perhaps the most poignant message received of the many dozens that were posted here was from the wife of a long time employee of Georgia Arms:

"My husband has worked for Ga Arms for about 20 years...We have two kids in college..My husband is 50 years old, I am sitting here trying to come up with ways to reduce our spending and thinking about who would hire a 50 year old man! Please pray for our family! I guess we could sell off all his guns!!"

Thanks to you out there, this lady and many other long-time employees of Georgia Arms and all the other remanufacturers of expended military brass will now continue to be gainfully employed--a part of a productive American work force rather than forced onto the government dole.

There are too many people to thank for helping this occur--everyone pulled together.

But of special note are Larry Haynie, and Tom Gresham, who sent a link to his radio program: http://www.guntalk.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=443576

Caleb of Call Me Ahab alerted us to corroboration by www.AR15.com which has been on this since the beginning, and special thanks to the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (http://www.jpfo.org/), who also broke the news early on with a letter from Gary Marbut,the president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association. He described what was going down, and asked everyone to write Senators Max Baucus and John Tester to demand the DOD rescind this outrageous action against the shooting community--which they did.

David Codrea of The War On Guns leaped into the fray early on with his highly read Gun Rights Examiner columns http://www.examiner.com/x-1417-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m3d18-Military-ammunition-policy-rescinded

But mainly, it was YOU--the Brotherhood of the Gun--who responded so quickly with cogent, lucid complaints to your political representatives--putting them on notice we would not take such attacks against our sport, avocation, and livelihoods lying down.

It was a quick, massive response. The comments on this blog alone were outraged and rancorous, but never vile--and they worked.

You are the Minutemen of today.

I am proud of you all.



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Sunday, March 15, 2009

DOD Ends Sale of Expended Military Brass to Remanufacturers


AND SO IT BEGINS...

Notice: Thanks to the hundreds of people who have responded to this posting, and the thousands of gun owners who e-mailed DOD and their representatives in Congress...

This situation has been resolved.

DOD rescinded the order after a firestorm of criticism--which began almost immediately when they issued a directive to mutilate all expended military brass before it could be sold to the civilian reloading market.

For a complete explanation of this decision by DOD, go to the main address for this blog (www.theshootist.net) and scroll down to the next posting after this one: "Plowshares Beaten Back Into Bullets."

Thank you for your concern and participation.

You proved we can all make a difference in defending our rights to own and use firearms.


(The following is the original posting which was instrumental--along with other bloggers, and national firearms organizations--in alerting the nation's gun owners of what was seen by many as a back-door attempt to cripple the ammunition supply and its availability to shooters...)

We all wondered when it was going to start--when the new administration would make their move against us as gun owners.

Oh, everyone got upset about HR45--I'll bet I got over 100 e-mails warning me about this draconian gun registration bill that had been introduced in Congress.

I was really glad to see Tom Gresham, host of "Gun Talk Radio," an editor, writer, television host on "Self-Defense TV," and one of the foremost gun spokespersons, come out and tell everyone to stop worrying about legislation so absolutely over-the-top--it would never get out of committee.

Tom said save your energy for when we really need it--don't expend it trying to warn everyone in your e-mail list about legislation that would go nowhere.

Now, Tom just interviewed me, and Larry Haynie, owner of Georgia Arms (http://www.georgia-arms.com/), on Gun Talk (http://www.guntalk.com/)--and Tom agrees, now is the time to "...unleash the hounds..." by which he means start e-mailing and writing your senators and congressmen.

Now it has come clear...now we know what they intend to do.

It is an end-run around Congress. They don't need to try to ban guns--they don't need to fight a massive battle to attempt gun registration, or limit "assault" weapon sales.

Nope. All they have to do is limit the amount of ammunition available to the civilian market, and when bullets dry up, guns will be useless.

Think we jest?

Here are copies of two letters sent to Georgia Arms just Thursday evening--effectively cancelling a contract he had to purchase 30,000 pounds of expended military brass in .223, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber:


Dear Valued Customer:

Please take a moment to note important changes set forth by the Defense Logistics Agency:

Recently it has been determined that fired munitions of all calibers, shapes and sizes have been designated to be Demil code B. As a result and in conjunction with DLA's current Demil code B policy, this notice will serve as official notification which requires Scrap Venture (SV) to implement mutilation as a condition of sale for all sales of fired munitions effective immediately. This notice also requires SV to immediately cease delivery of any fired munitions that have been recently sold or on active term contracts, unless the material has been mutilated prior to sale or SV personnel can attest to the mutilation after delivery. A certificate of destruction is required in either case.

Thank you,

DOD Surplus
15051 N Kierland Blvd # 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85254



March 12, 2009

Larry Haynie
Georgia Arms
PO Box 238
Villa Rica, GA 30180

Re: Event 7084-6200:

Dear Larry Haynie,

Effective immediately DOD Surplus, LLC, will be implementing new requirements for mutilation of fired shell casings. The new DRMS requirement calls for DOD Surplus personnel to witness the mutilation of the property and sign the Certificate of Destruction. Mutilation of the property can be done at the DRMO, if permitted by the Government, or it may be mutilated at a site chosen by the buyer. Mutilation means that the property will be destroyed to the extent prevents its reuse or reconstruction. DOD Surplus personnel will determine when property has been sufficiently mutilated to meet the requirements of the Government.

If you do not agree with the new conditions of your spot sale, please sign the appropriate box provided below stating that you do not agree to the new terms and would like to cancel your purchase effective immediately. If you do agree to the new terms please sign in the appropriate box provided below to acknowledge your understanding and agreement with the new requirements relating to your purchase. Fax the signed document back to (480) 367-1450, emailed responses are not acceptable.

Please respond to this request no later than close of business Monday, March 16th, 2009.

Sincerely,

Government Liquidation.



Got that? From now on, remanufacturers of military brass will not be able to buy surplus brass from DOD--actually from Government Liquidators, llc.--the corporation that sells surplus materials for the U.S. government. At least, not in any form recognizable as once-fired brass ammunition.

Now all brass ammunition will have to be shredded, and sold as scrap.

Georgia Arms, who brought this to our attention, is the 5th largest ammunition manufacturer of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition in the U.S.

"We're right up there behind Hornady," Larry Haynie told me.

He also told me with the cancellation of his contract to purchase this brass, and the ending of his ability to purchase any more expended military ammunition, he will have to severely curtail his operation--laying off approximately half his 60-person work force.

Haynie further pointed out this move is a stupendous waste of taxpayer money--reducing the worth of the brass some 80%--from casings, to shredded bulk brass.

He stated most of this will now go to foundries where it will be melted down, cast in shippable forms, and likely be sold to China, one of the largest purchasers of U.S. metals on the open market.

Haynie was manufacturing over 1 million rounds of .223 ammunition every month, which he sold on the civilian market to resellers, and to law enforcement agencies across the country.

He will start tomorrow sending cancellations of orders for .223 to law enforcement agencies all over the country.

You can expect this to affect every bullet you purchase in the future--with no reloaded ammunition available, the already strained new manufacturers will be unable to meet demand. They are already turning out everything they can build for the military market. The civilian market is stressed to the point even reloading components have become hard to find.

Now, with this hit, ammunition prices will go through the roof in the next year.

Your quality piece, sitting in your gun rack, will become a very expensive wood and steel, or plastic and steel club.

What can you do?

Google "contact members of Congress" or simply type in http://www.congress.org/.
When you reach that site, type in your zip code--it will give you all your representatives, senators, and their web pages.

Or you can find the addresses and e-mails of your own senators and congressmen by going to http://www.senate.gov/ and http://www.house.gov/. Both pages have locator aids at the top of the page.



Here is a letter I just sent to Representative Bill Cassidy, Congressman from the 6th District of Louisiana, and Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. I will be sending it to every member of our congressional delegation. Feel free to copy it and paste in your own e-mail, sending it to your legislators.

We have to stop this now!


The Honorable Bill Cassidy
Member of Congress from Louisiana

Dear Congressman Cassidy:

It has come to my attention that the Department of Defense has issued a directive that all expended military brass (fired cases) will now be shredded and sold for scrap material, rather than resold by Government Liquidators LLC to the civilian market for remanufacture.

You may not be aware of it, but there is a severe shortage of ammunition available for sale to the public across the country, causing problems for shooters, hunters, and reloaders everywhere.

Now, apparently the Obama administration, realizing they cannot move against private firearms ownership since the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Washington D.C./Heller case, has made their move in another way.

By cutting off the resale of expended military ammunition to remanufacturers, they have put a stranglehold on the nation's ammunition supply.

Further, they have reduced the return to the government on expended brass by 80%. What was sold for remanufacturer at a fair return to the government, will now cost the taxpayers untold sums of money as the cost of scrap brass is far below the price per pound for expended military ammunition.

In addition, the use of remanufactured ammunition is a huge asset to law enforcement agencies across the country who buy millions of rounds of reloaded ammunition a year from these manufacturers for practice rounds.

With this market gone, law enforcement will no longer be able to purchase inexpensive reloaded ammunition, and with the continuing combat status of military forces across the Middle East, original manufacturers of new ammunition are turning out everything they can make to the government, thus exacerbating the shortage of new ammunition in both the civilian and law enforcement market.

Lastly, in these harsh economic times, does it not strike you as cold and calculating that the Obama administration has no compunction against ruining an industry that employs thousands of American citizens in the remanufacturing of sporting and military ammunition. One major resupplier, Georgia Arms, the fifth largest manufacturer of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition has informed me he will have to quickly lay off half his 60-person workforce, as he has had to cancel contracts with dozens of police agencies who had contracted with him to supply them with remanufactured .223 ammunition.

Georgia Arms has been practically put out of business by this directive that all expended military brass must be shredded. His current contracts have been canceled, and he is notifying his customers across the country he can no longer supply their ammunition needs.

Please look into this immediately. This move by the Obama administration is nothing but a back-door strike against firearms ownership in this country--if shooters can't buy ammunition, the guns are little better than steel clubs--and this is obviously the intent.

Thank you for your time and efforts in this serious attack against the Second Amendment rights of the American citizenry.

Sincerely,

Gordon Hutchinson

Author "The Great New Orleans Gun Grab"

Firearms Columnist for Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi Sportsman magazines.





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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Incident at the Bank

In their best-selling book, "America Fights Back," Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman make one of the truest statements ever spoken about living in today's society:

"Violence does not erupt on schedule, and criminals do not make appointments in advance."

Let this become our mantra...


You can frequently tell from the tone of voice, or the hesitation in the speech patterns. Over the years I've had enough conversations with victims of violence to recognize the indicators in their voice patterns.

She called yesterday, inquiring about my self-defense and concealed carry courses.

When I asked what brought her to me, she said, "I was attacked yesterday."

She had driven to the bank in the small city where she lives, and in attempting to drive into the parking lot, found the entrance blocked by a couple in a car. They weren't in the exit lane, they were in the middle of the entrance. She sat there a reasonable period, waiting for them to leave, and finally tapped her horn.

"Did you wait a bit, and did you just tap it, or did you blow the horn at them?"

"I gave them a bit of time, then simply tapped the horn. They pulled out, and I pulled in, coming around the building to the drive-up lanes. I rolled down my window and was messing in my purse, trying to get my deposit out when I looked up and the girl was standing by my car. They had driven back into the bank parking lot, and came up behind me. She called me a 'white bitch" and started grabbing at me and hitting me through the window."


"She got the door open, and was ripping at me, cursing the whole time, screaming at me. She tore my blouse, and ripped my bra off. I was fighting her, trying to keep away from her, but she was long-armed."

"She pulled me out of the driver's side of my car, and was hitting me--I was trying to hit her back, keep her from ripping my clothes off, when HE grabbed me from the rear, pulling me down and pinning my arms while she beat me, kicked me, and pounded my head in the pavement."

By this time, I was outraged--for a number of reasons.

"No one came to help you?"



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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another Class, Another New Group of Shooters

Dave and I figured it up--we trained hundreds of people last year in the shooting sports--introducing them to the fun of shooting handguns, and schooling them in the legal aspects of carrying concealed, and the rules of deadly force.

Something has happened to the entire gun community since the election--not only has the demand for AR15-style rifles gone sky-high, but ammunition is in short supply, gun retailers have a hard time keeping concealable handguns such as the S&W 642, 442, and 638 in stock--and we can't teach concealed carry classes fast enough to meet the demand.

Last weekend, I had six people show up that weren't registered. This threw the whole class out of kilter, and ran us an hour longer in length. This is starting to be the rule, rather than the exception.

Today, Dave couldn't make it, and I taught the whole class to 26 people...this time about a third of them were renewals--I love teaching these classes, but it is tiring. I had to bring in extra instructors to help on the range since he was tied up with sheriff's office range duties today.

I'm not sure what's pushing this, other than people are afraid the new administation will do something to limit their access to CCW permits, and they are trying to get them while they are still offered, but it has been crazy down here. We are running 25-35 people a class, nearly every weekend. They come out enthused, ready to get their permits, and tell their friends, who call and load us up again.

As long as people want to do this, we will keep teaching--yes, it's a business--but it's also our own act of defiance against the gun grabbers and their politicos.

I take heart in the fact we are adding many new soldiers to the ranks--every new shooter is a vote in our favor.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Who Will Watch the Watchers?

Lt. Col. Robert K. (Bob) Brown called and asked my support for his friend Steve Schreiner in Steve's reelection bid to the NRA Board of Directors.

He also sent along this editorial which is the cover story for the April, 2009 issue of his magazine, Soldier of Fortune.

It's an interesting charge--that the people of ATFE, who are dedicated to insuring we comply with gun rules and regulations, won't even police their own ranks.

But then, who among us is surprised?

SOF EXPOSES BATF CORRUPTION IN IRAQ:

"NEED A DEFINITION FOR OBAMA’S CALL FOR 'RESPONSIBILITY'
Amid the orderly transfer of power, our new Chief Executive has issued a call for responsibility. As is the case with most of his public statements, his meaning is not clear. However, if he means holding government officials accountable for their actions, a novel and great idea, it is something that we can all embrace. It is particularly true of those officials within agencies with a long and well documented history of abuses of entrusted powers. Somehow, ATFE comes to mind as the poster boy for irresponsibility and unaccountability.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Justice recently (December 2008) reported on “An Investigation of Overtime Payments to FBI and Other Department of Justice Employees Deployed to Iraq” during the period 2003 through 2008. The “other” employees in the title of the report included ATFE Special Agents as well as DEA Special Agents and Deputy U.S. Marshals.



ATFE Special Agents were deployed in Iraq on 90-day TDY assignments between 2003 and 2008. During that time, they were paid $4,175,731.00 in unauthorized and unlawful overtime pay. They filed fraudulent claims for the overtime and ATFE senior officials did nothing to monitor the claims or review them for conformity with federal law and regulations. In other words, the ATFE Special Agents, law enforcement officers who are sworn to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, filed false time and attendance reports claiming pay for overtime which was not worked and for which payment was not authorized under federal law.

ATFE senior officials are paid to ensure that compensation for work performed by ATFE employees conforms with federal law. Throughout the five-year period, nothing was done to monitor the claims for overtime pay and no internal reviews were undertaken. If nothing else, the OIG Report gives rise to the question, whether ATFE, a large federal organization with law enforcement powers, can be held accountable to the people for waste, fraud and abuse. If so, where do we start? The OIG Report is a good starting place.

LET’S DEFINE GOVERNMENT WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE
The most difficult part of any attempt to correct government waste, fraud and abuse is in identifying the acts and the actors. It usually comes to light from an insider or a victim. The OIG investigation originated from inside information. An FBI employee, who asked to remain anonymous, disclosed that FBI agents were paid for working 16 hours per day, 7 days per week while they were stationed in Iraq, irrespective of the number of hours actually worked. The OIG investigation expanded when it became known that ATFE Special Agents working in Iraq uniformly claimed pay for 15.5 hours per day, 7 days per week. The time claimed as “work” included such activities as commuting to and from work, exercise, standby time and such activities as recreation and socializing.

The OIG Report concluded that few, if any, employees worked 15.5 or 16 hours a day every day for 90 days straight. Moreover, even if they did work such hours, employees in the Special Agent classification series are not legally authorized overtime pay because all Special Agents must qualify for and are paid a “premium” for administratively uncontrollable work in excess of 8 hours per day. Every Special Agent knows the rules for pay from his first day on the job and also knows that payment of overtime is prohibited under federal law unless scheduled in advance of the work week; that it can only be scheduled after a methodical analyses by the approving official confirming that compensation for overtime is necessary; and then, overtime pay can be claimed only if the employee actually works the hours scheduled.

ATFE Special Agents were deployed in Iraq for 90-day assignments (13 weeks) and in the period covered by the OIG audit there were 145 such deployments. ATFE’s own estimate to OIG is that it paid $4,175,731.00 in overtime to Special Agents in Iraq between 2003 and July 2008. Special Agents fall within a special classification series for all purposes. They differ from government bureaucrats in that they are held to much higher moral standards. They are required to be exposed to danger in the course of performing their duties. They are caused to work long hours in the investigation of crimes and due to the nature of the work, the hours of work are incapable of being administratively controllable.

Special Agents also receive pay and benefits which are extraordinarily generous. The average base salary for a Special Agent, such as those who were deployed to Iraq, is $108,576.00. That figure is derived from the fact that the average agent deployed was a Step 5 of Grade 13 in the Civil Service pay scale, the base pay for which is $94,025.00. To that is added a premium pay of 25 percent of a Grade 11, or $14,551.00, for which all agents must qualify. In addition to the $108.576.00 base salary, while on assignment in Iraq each ATFE Special Agent was eligible for and received the following extra compensations authorized by federal law:

1. A night differential of 10 percent for hours worked between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am (5 U.S.C. 5545 (a); 5 C.F.R. 550.121);

2. A Sunday differential (25 percent for up to 8 hours of non-overtime work on Sundays (5 U.S.C. 5546(a); 5 C.F.R. 550.171);

3. A post differential of up to 25 percent extra for the first 40 hours per week in locations that differ substantially from conditions in the continental United States (5 U.S.C. 5926) (this percentage increased in Iraq from 25 percent to 35 percent in 2006);

4. A danger pay of 25 percent extra for the first 40 hours per week for work on the basis of wartime conditions (5 U.S.C. 5928);

5. And holiday pay, twice the employee’s salary for up to 8 hours of work on holidays (5 U.S.C 5546(b); 5 C.F.R. 550.103; 5 C.F.R. 550.131(a).

The annual salary of Special Agents does not include benefits provided, which include:
1. 13 days annual leave (26 days for those with 15 years of service);

2. 13 days of sick leave;

3. 10 paid holidays;

4. Retirement at age 50 with 20 years of service (It is worth noting that premium pay is included in calculating retirement benefits);

5. Health insurance;

6. Life insurance.

Remarkable for its absence from the OIG Report is any recommendation for accountability. It does not recommend any attempt to recoup excess payments for overtime which was unlawful. It does not recommend any sanctions against individuals for filing false time and attendance reports or sanctions for mismanaging the administration of federal laws and regulations regarding compensation of federal employees.

With this as prologue, there is a starting point. Who will be looking out for those gun owners whose rights have been abused or are ripe for abuse; for small businesses such as Red’s Trading Post and other law abiding individuals whose businesses will be destroyed; for those who will face criminal prosecution for inadvertent, technical mistakes on federal forms?

HERE’S A DEFINITION OF “RESPONSIBILITY”
Below are some suggestions to give accountability a start. Hold ATFE accountable for the mismanagement of your tax money as reported in the OIG Report:

1. The ATFE budget for the next budget cycle should be reduced by $4,175,731.00, the amount of the fraud on taxpayer funds detailed in the OIG Report;

2. The ATFE Special Agents who made false claims on official time and attendance reports for personal benefit should be appropriately sanctioned and made to reimburse the Government. At a minimum, an official letter should be placed in their personnel files noting the number of false statements made in official reports. Those gun owners who will be charged criminally and those FFL holders who will face license revocations are entitled to know that their accusers have a record of falsifying official reports. This will contribute to fair trials for defendants in future cases in which such agents will be called to testify;

3. Those officials within ATFE responsible for establishing policy and procedures relating to the administration of federal law and regulations of ATFE pay should be identified. Their official performance reviews for the years 2003 through 2008 should be reviewed and amended if their evaluations were satisfactory or above. Sanctions, such as letters of reprimand appropriate to fit the unsatisfactory performance, should be made a part of their official personnel file. It should be noted that Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan, the ultimate official during the years 2007 and 2008, will not be held accountable because he has announced his resignation effective 20 January, 2009."

---
SOF Endorsements for NRA Board
Once again, it is time to elect 26 of the NRA’s Board of Directors. SOF is endorsing, of course, long time lobbyist and Second Amendment activist for the board, Steve Schreiner. He is now on the board and really deserves to be elected. We know of no other director that is anymore committed to working for and defending the Second Amendment. And we all are going to have a lot of “working” and “defending” in the next four years to keep the Obama machine from gobbling up our gun rights. SOF is also pleased to endorse Joseph DeBergalis, who is running for the BOD for the first time. There are many qualified individuals running for the board. However, we feel we especially need to re-elect John Sigler, Robert Sanders, Manuel Fernandez, David Keene, Owen Mills, Edie Fleeman, Wayne Anthony Ross, Don Saba, Ronald Schmeits and Robert Viden.



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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gunnuts Radio and GNOGG


Many thanks to Caleb http://www.nrahab.com/ and Breda http://thebredafallacy.blogspot.com/
for hosting me on Gunnuts Radio last night. We talked about New Orleans and the gun confiscations that occurred after Hurricane Katrina as I and Todd Masson documented in "The Great New Orleans Gun Grab."

This is such a hot topic with gun folks, we frequently get carried away with outrage at what happened, and I neglect to point out the good that came from this travesty--how obvious it became to the world that the only way to survive in the aftermath of great disaster is to have a gun. In case after case, we heard of frightened people flocking to the protective cover offered by armed citizens.

One story that did not make the book, because I could never find the guy again, was a resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast who came over to New Orleans to speak at the NRA Town Hall Meeting on April 18, 2006. It was this meeting which led to the idea of the book to publicize what happened in the hell after the hurricane.

Since we only repeated stories we could document, I couldn't use it. But the guy told it on himself at the meeting, and I will repeat it here for you.



He stated a friend who suffered through the bad hurricane that struck South Carolina a few years ago (Hugo?) warned him that within a couple of days after the hurricane, the great underclass one never sees would be in ascendancy--the homeless, the addicted, the criminals who plied their trade selling drugs--they would be roaming the streets, unable to make their connections, looking for any relief they could find, and stealing as they saw fit.

As an armed citizen, he stayed in his home and rode the storm out. He must have lived some blocks from the coast, because Katrina wiped out the first several blocks off the beach, and pushed storm surge in a mile or more.

Gulf Shores, Biloxi, Ocean Springs, all the beautiful old beachfront towns along Highway 90 saw their homes and businesses wiped away as cleanly as a man strokes off his beard with a straight razor. To this day, driving down the coast highway, most of what you see are slabs and empty lots, as the beach towns try to rebuild nearly four years later.

This armed citizen stated his friend was right, the looters and thugs came out after the storm, and there was much misery as emergency services did not exist--no power, no water, no...nothing. But he had emergency supplies, and he had something else--he had guns.

And as the word made its way among the devastated survivors, he had a small tent city grow around his home--single mothers with children who came to him for protection from the dregs that roamed the streets. They slept in his yard in makeshift shelters under his umbrella of protection. He fed them and watched over them all until one family at a time, they were taken in by the burgeoning emergency services.

His story drew great applause, even considering the receptive audience he had. I made an effort to try to catch him before he disappeared in the crowd, but to chase him would have meant missing other stories equally riveting about surviving the storm, looters, and thuggish cops.

I wish I could have talked to him privately--it would have been a hell of an addition to the book. Even if it didn't occur in New Orleans, it would have reinforced the premise of the entire book--that to survive, you not only need basics like shelter, food, and water--you also absolutely need a way to protect those precious things from the vicious predators who take advantage of such tragedies, and prey on the weak.

Obviously as the book showed, when you are armed, you are not weak.



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Friday, January 30, 2009

A Great Friend Passed...

Joker died Saturday morning, January 24, 2009.

As near as we can pinpoint her age, she was 36 years old--ancient in horse terms, and I am sure we kept her alive with extraordinary care for long past her time.

I have not been able to write this up to this time, and it is hard to do so now.

If you have ever in your life loved an animal, you will have some understanding of what I am experiencing right now--maybe. But a piece of our family left with her.

I buried her in her favorite spot, under the trees behind the house. She was placed with her legs under her, her head looking towards the home of the folks with whom she shared her life for 28 years.

If you wish to read more about the best-riding horse God ever blessed upon any undeserving individual, go to "Older Posts" at the bottom of these postings.

I promise not to get so maudlin on any subject again.

REQUIEM

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter, home from the hill.

Robert Louis Stevenson, 1884


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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Alpen Scopes Produce Big Results at Reasonable Price


If you shoot and hunt with one of the new compact magnum cartridges, smaller, lower-powered scopes may match your rifle better.

That’s because the compact magnums were designed to be utilized in smaller packages. In other words, the short-fat concept was conceived to get magnum performance out of shorter barrels.

Thus, you get the velocity and ballistic performance of a 7MM Remington Magnum, or a .300 Winchester Magnum without the longer, unwieldy barrels these require to gain maximum effect from the powder.

These older calibers are "overbore." In other words, because of their large powder capacity, they require longer barrels. The powder is still burning, producing propellant gases as the bullet is pushed down the barrel. Cut the barrel down to a more wieldy length, and you may drop velocities as unburned powder follows the bullet from the muzzle.

As the short magnums became the ballistic equivalent of the taste of the day, everyone began offering (and consumers started buying) standard-sized rifles with longer barrels.

They were getting the same performance of the older cartridges, with none of the benefits of the new designs—why get a cartridge that does exactly the same thing, and not get the shorter barrel? I could never understand the headlong rush to new cartridges, replacing older designs with exactly the same results.

I wanted a short magnum, but I didn’t want another cartridge that fired from a 26-inch barrel—I wanted accuracy and power from a shorter barrel, and a more easily carried rifle.

I found this in the Model 673 Remington Guide Rifle. Barreled with a 22-inch barrel, and sporting a laminated stock with alternating patterns of gold and honey-brown, it is a warm, gorgeous stock on a rifle that shoots 1-inch groups or better in Remington .300 SAUM (Short Action Ultra Mag.)

But being a compact and shorter rifle, I found the only scopes that really looked good were the smaller 3 X 9 compact variables. If I wanted to go to higher magnification, the scopes cosmetically overpowered the rifle and made it unwieldy and top-heavy.





I started running across ALPEN Optics riflescopes at various outdoor writers’ conferences a couple of years ago. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but noticed it attached to different rifles displayed for the writers.

At the most recent SEOPA (Southeast Outdoor Press Association) conference in Gatlinburg in October, CVA had an ALPEN mounted on one of their muzzleloaders.

Connecticut Valley Arms is one of the largest manufacturers of primitive firearms in the country. If they had a scope on a rifle that was fired many dozens of times in a day at many events, obviously it had to hold up.

In addition, if the scope didn’t maintain its zero, the bad groups would reflect poorly on the rifle, no matter how well it might shoot. The company representatives confirmed this. “We’ve had that scope on that rifle for over a year now, and it has given great service,” I was told.

I noticed the same brand on other rifles by other manufacturers and became interested. These display rifles frequently are fired more in a year than most hunters shoot their own in 20.

When Vicki Gardner, wife of the founder and marketing V-P/guru of ALPEN Optics, asked me to test and review some of their riflescopes, I was ready to do so, intrigued by this new product line.

“Tim,” (her husband), “was a vice-president of Bausch & Lomb in product development. He knows optics, and he knows how to make quality optics. When we decided to start our own line, he knew what he wanted. Our products are manufactured in China, which keeps the cost down, but Tim knew where to go to get quality optics built.”


The Model 4035 ALPEN APEX 3.5-10 X 50 seemed just the ticket. When it arrived, I mounted it on the rifle, and found its compact 12.5-inch length matched the rifle nearly perfectly.


It also performed a heck of a lot better than a similarly priced scope would be expected to perform.

With a suggested retail of only $363.00, this puts it priced above some of the common and popular low-end names—but with a stronger magnification, and a lot of the features of the pricier scopes.






I shot the rifle extensively while sighting in the new scope, and came away with some very favorable impressions.

It was cosmetically attractive, but I also found it to be extremely sharp. Edge-to-edge distortion was non-existent. While this model did not have an adjustable objective feature to compensate for parallax (it is factory pre-set for parallax at 100 yards), it has a generous amount of adjustment on the rear focusing ring—as much adjustment as any scope I have found.

The scope lenses, as with all ALPEN APEX scopes, were fully multicoated. This means all lenses in the scope tube have multiple coatings which reduce reflection. Reflections degrade light transmissions. We don’t have to get into all the different ratings and descriptions here—suffice it to say fully multi-coated is a feature found only in higher-end product. It is one of the features that greatly increases the cost of a riflescope, and to find it in this price range indicates high attention to detail.

One of the frustrating gremlins that can raise its ugly little head on the rifle range is adjustment consistency. The springs that move the crosshairs in the sight picture can frequently take a “set” and not move instantly when the adjustment knobs are turned. This leads to banging on scopes with plastic screwdrivers, empty brass, or other makeshift hammers to get the crosshairs to move after adjustment. Sometimes, a riflescope will “jump” into adjustment after the first shot jars it—a wasteful and aggravating experience--and one I have experienced on some very high-end scopes at times.

Many reviewers “shoot the square” with a scope to see if it moves according to the adjustment knobs. A group is shot at point of aim. The knobs are turned enough to move the next group several inches to the right. The next adjustment is made “down,” and the group should drop. The next adjustment is “left” and the new group should be directly under the first group.

The final adjustment is “up” and the last group should print over the original group. This test shows the scope adjusts properly to turns of the knobs without a “set” in the springs.

I didn’t “shoot the square” with this scope, but after a couple of boxes of ammunition, testing accuracy of various bullet weights in the rifle, I can say it adjusts promptly and precisely to any movement of the knobs. Move the knob four clicks right and the bullet group moves 1” to the right.

My last test of the ALPEN APEX was low light. An evening hunt found me staying on the stand and looking into the dark woods and through the shadows. This decidedly unscientific appraisal allowed me to see and identify shapes in the scope long after my naked eye could not identify anything but blurry blobs. It allows you those precious extra minutes of low light, when the deer move.

ALPEN offers a full line of binoculars and spotting scopes which have won six different “Great Buy” awards in Outdoor Life Magazine’s Gear Test. They offer four different riflescopes from 3-9X42 to 6-24X50 in the upper-end APEX series. They have an even more diversified selection in their lesser-priced series of scopes named KODIAK—slightly lesser priced, the product line jumps from 4 to 8 models.

ALPEN was founded in 1997, and introduced riflescopes to their line in 2004. If you are looking for quality optics that will perform as well as many models priced, the ALPEN models should be given a look-see—I was impressed with the scopes I have tried. A 4-16X50/AO will soon reside on a new varmint .223, and will get a wringing out on a West Texas prairie dog hunt. I expect it to give the same exceptional service, and will cover it here.

I now want to try one of those “Great Buy” sets of binoculars. Find out more about ALPEN products, and locate a dealer by going to www.alpenoutdoor.com.



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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tales from the Camp--The Rifleman


Fervent Rainwater shifted his cud as I walked up to the camp porch, and spit a long stream of Days Work between the paws of Ol’ Blue, the Redbone hound lying at his feet.

Ol’ Blue’s name matched his physical description about as well as calling him a deer hound described his breed. Which was the reason Fervent named him such.

“Sorry!” He had been heard to complain.

“Thet hound’s sorry. If’n he would stay on the trail of a deer longer’n the first piddlin’ ditch he had to cross, I’d a named him better. Wouldn’t waste the feed on ‘im each year if’n the old lady and kids ain’t took such a shine to ‘im.”

Fervent eyed the new piece slung over my shoulder, and allowed as to how he figured I must be going out to the range to sight it in.

“Never seen a feller so dead set on beatin’ hisself to death with a rifle. How much ammo you figger to burn today?”

Between sighting in and testing loads, between thirty and forty rounds, I replied.

“Shoot,” he snorted, “most fellers around here set up a five-gallon bucket and shoot off-hand at it. If’n they hit it more than twice, it’s sighted in.”

Right, I replied. Most of them don’t shoot their rifles at all between seasons, and miss more deer than they hit.

Ol’ Blue, finally tiring of the odor of the brown puddle growing around his paws, groaned and heaved himself to the end of the porch, seeking a dry spot. Several blue-bottle flies landed in the most liquid pool, kicked their tails skyward, and began to imbibe.

“Reminds me of ol’ Joe Bob Cupit,” Fervent began, as I shifted the rifle in a show of discomfort. Any display to ease my escape before the tale became too involved.

“Joe Bob brung his cousin up here from Baton Rouge a couple years ago. ‘Nother real rifleman, thet one. You never seen such fancy equipment. Looked like he’d been shopping in thet fancy New York sportin’ goods store—what you call it?”

Abercrombie & Fitch? I hazarded a guess.

“Right. Thet one. Anyway, you never seen such a dude. Had his shootin’ breeches on, a padded vest with all them piddlin’ little shell loops, a snappy cap, the whole works. Looked like he was right out of one of them outdoors catalogues.”

Could he shoot, I asked?

Blue groaned again, as if criticizing my encouragement. One of the blue-bottles staggered backwards from the brown puddle, and attempted a takeoff, falling from view off the side of the porch.

“Oh, right well enough, I suppose.” Another stream of Days Work broke the surface tension of the largest puddle, knocking two more flies from its edge. Both wandered drunkenly around the porch, finally following each other down a convenient knothole

“He had some ol’ big rifle, and new high-falutin’ scope. Burned ammunition out there ‘til the cows quit givin’ milk the next mornin’. Brought out all these fancy sandbags, spotting scope, and all thet damn stuff. Joe Bob allowed as to how this feller shot in all them fancy matches all over the state. Real marksman, he said—trophies an’ all thet.”

Well, I started, most hunters think if they sight their rifle in a couple of times at 25 yards, it’ll hit in the same place at 100 yards. The thought of the range was pulling me, but I found myself being drawn into the tale of this cityslicker.

“Shoot, most fellers look at 100 yards, and think it’s 200. They’s been more deer killed at 500 yards ‘round this country than rabbits at twenty. An’ most of them fellers would die if’n someone had them actually try to shoot a deer at 200 yards!”

Right, I said. Not too many people can accurately judge distance. So what happened with the new guy?

“Well, as I said, he near shot his shoulder blue that afternoon.
Sighted it in real well, he said. Joe Bob took ‘im out the next mornin’ and set ‘im up on the Outer Limits.”

I was familiar with this stand. Backed by a hardwood bottom, it looked out over miles of soybean fields on one side, and a vast cutover on the other. Nice place for a rifleman, I said.

“Right,” he snorted again. One of the blue-bottles crawled out of the knothole, to be greeted by a glob of brown spittle traveling at jetstream velocity. The fly bounced back into the hole, stunned.

“This feller, can’t remember his name right now, set up there all mornin’—‘bout midday, we heard him shoot. Joe Bob was all excited. Just knew he’d tagged a buck. ‘Just wait,’ he said. ‘He’ll have one drilled dead center.’ We loaded Ol’ Blue, just in case he had crippled one, and maybe we could get thet worthless dog to trail the blood."

"Rode on out to the stand and found him standin’ by it. Pleased as punch, he was.”

Had he killed, I asked?

“Oh yeah. He killed all right. Nice shot, too. Near ‘bout an honest 200 yards. He was some proud. Only, he tole us it weren’t no deer. Biggest damn lynx he ever seen, he said. Come slinkin’ out of the cutover, and easin’ around in the brush at the edge of the field. Said he was goin’ to get it mounted, and put it in his den.”

How big was it?

“Well, it were right big, I guess. Biggest damn house cat I ever saw. Will say this, though—he drilled thet sucker dead through the center. Weren’t too much left but some ears an’ a paw. Kinda’ looked like road-kill, to tell the truth.”

Did all of you ride him much?

“Hell, no. If’n anyone’s thet dumb to shoot an’ ol’ house cat, an’ be proud of it, we was just gonna’ play ‘long with it. Made a big to-do ‘bout him, and how them lynxes is a curse on the wildlife ‘round here. Thanked him for savin’ all the turkeys an’ young deer, an’ all. Then, we even tried to hang it up, an’ skin it out for ‘im. Kinda’ difficult, to tell the truth, what with there weren’t too much left of it. Joe Bob an’ the rest near cut theirselves with the skinnin’ knives, they was workin’ so hard to keep from laughin’.”

What happened then?

“Well, we told ‘im everbody always got hung with a nickname ‘round here, and we was gonna’ dream up somepin’ real special for ‘im. He swole up some proud at thet. Told us he was gonna’ send us pictures when he got it stuffed. Then we packed him off to Baton Rouge with the carcass on ice. Packed it up real good, we did.”

Did he ever come back?

“Oh Hell, yes. Turned out to be a real nice feller. Came back the next year kinda’ embarrassed. Said the taxidermist feller in Baton Rouge had a real laugh when he brought in a piece of a house cat, an’ said he wanted it stuffed. He laughed about it, got drunk with us the first night, an’ we all come to like him real well. Never did live down thet nickname, though.”

And just what did you hang on him?



“Hell, what else? Everbody ‘round here calls him ‘Bobcat’.”


--END--







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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Latin Base is "Vomitus."



Here's what you're faced with, folks...sorry to ruin the day.

http://www.willwilkinson.net/flybottle/2009/01/20/i-pledge-to-be-a-servant-to-our-president/

Don't anyone say I didn't tell you so.




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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jessica's Incident



Favorite Daughter called and brightened my morning more than usual.

“Dad,” says she. “I’m really glad you gave me the gun.”

She’s in her first year of nursing school at her university, working on her Bachelor of Science, Nursing.

She lives in an apartment in the small city where she goes to college, and has a roommate--another young lady studying to be a teacher.

Shortly after Jessica turned 21 last year, the legislature began tossing around a bill to allow concealed carry on campus, and she called, filling ol’ Dad’s heart to overflowing.

“I want to take your course. I want to carry on campus if that bill passes.”

She and several pals took the course, and within a month or so, got their permits. She called me excitedly when it came in.

The next time she came home for a visit, she was sitting at the kitchen counter talking to her mother, when I walked by and placed a Model 37 S&W Airweight on the counter.

“What’s that?” She asked.



“That’s for you,” I said. “I used to carry it on patrol as a backup in my boot.”

“I’ve never seen it before, and you didn’t use it in the class.”

“Nope. Too nice a little gun, and an aluminum frame. I wasn’t going to let every student run .38’s through it. Take it and put it in your car.”

“No,” I said, “on second thought, let’s go outside and try it out a few times.”

I live in the country, but it’s semi-rural. There’s a workover rig on a petered-out gas well just a few hundred yards through the woods--and various neighbors and sundry houses within earshot of a gunshot.

Every so often, I like to let one or two off at night, just to remind everyone within walking distance that someone over in this direction has a gun. Generally, it’s at a varmint trying to get to the livestock, but I figure it serves the dual purpose of taking out one pest, and keeping bigger ones away.

After all, we live a half-mile back in the woods. I’m not sure the sheriff’s office could find the house in the daytime, let alone at night.

Not knowing who’s working at night on that rig—and knowing they can see my house lights, I consider it a cautionary act to fire one off occasionally. This was the perfect occasion.

We walked out in the back and propped a paper plate against a rotten tree stump. We made sure the horses were congregated at the barn, and the area was safe. The floodlights of the house gave a glow to the area, and my flashlight illuminated the plate enough to see the sights on the Smith’s 2” barrel.

She fired three cylinders full—and hit the plate 13 out of 15 times. The other two times, she hit the stump, next to the plate. The whanging and banging at the well stopped for a time, as if someone was listening for more gunshots in the dark of night.

“Good enough,” I said. “It’s yours. Go put it in your car, and keep track of it.”

And she has. It goes in the apartment each evening, and in the car each morning.

Unfortunately, the legislature bowed to the ignorance of various coaches, deans, and other educators who ranted and raved that allowing concealed carry on campus would result in violence, bloodshed, and death, and the legislation failed—but not by a lot, and we have hope for next year.

So last night, it’s the end of the Martin Luther King holiday, and they had no classes. We had come in from a great weekend of deer hunting. She had exhibited her usual attacks of buck fever when anything walked out with anything resembling antlers, and was tired.

She and her roommate went to bed early. Terri, a friend, stayed over on the couch because the water was out in her apartment.

She was awakened around 0300 with banging and screaming just outside her apartment window.

“MotherF#####r—I’m Going to KILL You! Get Out of the F####ing Car!”

There was banging and more screaming. “Oh My God! I’m Going to Kill You! Get Outta the F###ing Car!”

She jumped from her bed, and peeked through the window.

Right in front of her apartment, only a few feet from her window, a guy was walking erratically, screaming at her roommate’s car, and beating on it.

“Come out of the car MotherF####r! I’ll kill you!”

There was no one in the car. Her roommate was asleep in the back bedroom.

Jessica grabbed her Smith and her cell phone and slipped into the den/living area. A small two-bedroom apartment, the den opens into the kitchen area, and the front door opens into both. The door is partially glass, with cheap blinds. Jessica’s kitten had shredded the blinds, and you could see through the glass in the bottom of the door.

Terri was huddled on the couch, shaking with terror.

“Jessica. Oh my God! He came up to the door and banged on it. Then he rang the doorbell—he said he was going to kill us. I’m scared to move--I saw his legs! He might see us if we turn on the lights.” Terri was paralyzed with fear, afraid to even leave the couch and move across the room to her cell phone.

Jess sat down on the couch next to Terri, and set the .38 on the coffee table. She opened her cell phone and shined the light on the gun.

“See that?” She said. “You don’t have anything to worry about.”

“Oh,” Terri said. “I’m so glad you’ve got that gun!”

With that, Jessica turned her phone over and dialed 9-1-1.

When the operator asked her emergency, she said “Give me the city police.”

As soon as the dispatcher for the city police answered, she started reciting:

“This is 999 Oak Street, Apartment 5. There’s someone in front of our apartment, beating on our cars, he beat on our door. He sounds drunk or crazy, and he says he’s going to kill someone. You need to get a unit over here now.”

The dispatcher assured her units were on the way, and performed the tasks dispatchers perform the world over. “What race is he? What does he look like? How is he dressed?”

“Ma’am,” she said, “I have no idea what he looks like—and I’m not going to go and look. Just get a car over here now—he’s still screaming out there.”

Four or five minutes later, the dispatcher told her the unit was turning in her parking lot. 30 seconds before that message, the guy had shut up—the screaming had stopped.

“Oh great,” she thought. “He’s gone. They won’t find him. We’ll have to tell them he really was there—we’ll be embarrassed—and scared he might come back.”

She said something like this to the dispatcher, and the woman said, “No Ma’am. They’ve got him. He’s proned out beside your car. Just wait for the officer to come get you.”

“Don’t worry,” she said, laughing nervously, “we’re not going out there.”

Hannah, her roommate, who could sleep through the wail of an air raid siren, wandered in sleepily.

“What are you doing up? What’s going on”

“Oh Hannah,” Jessica said. “You sleep through all the excitement.”

Finally, after what seemed like an interminable wait, there was a knock at the door, and an officer identified himself.

“Can you ladies come out here, and see if you know this guy?”

Not very excited about seeing the cause of all the commotion, they walked outside. The subject was cuffed, standing and weaving beside the car, obviously very much under the influence.

No one had ever seen him before. He was white, and trashy-looking.

He told the cops his buddies had abandoned him, and he thought they were inside. When they wouldn’t answer, he got mad, started yelling for them to come outside, beating on the car because he was mad. No one knows where he came from, or how he ended up in the apartment complex parking lot.

The cops told Hannah he had been beating on her car, and to check it for damage. Hannah was furious—but there was no visible damage.

Finally, the cops left with the subject, his destination the local drunk tank to sleep it off. The cops told the girls he would be charged with disturbing the peace, public intoxication, and whatever else they could think of.

The girls, now fully awake, and unable to sleep, talked for an hour. Hannah had to be brought up to speed.

Both of them wanted to know what Jessica would have done if he had tried to come through the door?

“I’d have hollered I have a gun. If he kept trying to get in, I’d have shot a hole in the roof. If he came through the door, I’d have shot him.”

Hannah, who hadn’t minded Jessica bringing the gun in the house, but wondered why she needed one, now saw the need.

“Jessica, I’m so glad you’re here to protect me!”

Terri said “Jessica—I was so terrified, I couldn’t move. Thank God you had the gun, and knew what to do!”

The next day everyone was telling her how proud they were of her, and how well she conducted herself under extreme stress. All her dad’s deer hunting buddies—her “uncles” at the deer camp who had watched her grow up on a four-wheeler and a deer stand--were bursting with pride over their protégé’ and how she handled herself.

Tonight, she called me—suffering from PTSD.

“Dad—I’m so scared.”

“Why, baby? Afraid he might come back to mess with you? He probably has no idea where he was. Don’t even worry about that, just be cautious.”

“I know. But Dad, I think about it now, and what if I shot him? What if he was actually a good guy, and just drunk, and a little crazy that time?”

“Lemme’ tell you something, daughter. How many drunks have you ever known to beat someone’s car, scream at the car as if someone was in it, and beat on someone’s door, threatening to kill them?”

“No one, but…”

“Roger that. And if they do that, the alcohol—or drugs—only brought out issues that were already there. If they ever try to bust in your door, don’t waste time on a warning shot—just shoot ‘em. Dump the whole load. They aren’t good people doing bad things on alcohol or drugs—they’re bad people with issues and the alcohol just releases that. Don’t ever hesitate, and don’t ever let someone hurt you. I’m proud of you.”

After further assurances that she had done everything perfectly--preparing to defend herself, calling the police, and staying put until the police told her it was safe to come out--she hung up to study, and get some rest. She had done everything by the book.

And I have no doubt any asswipe that thinks he’s going to kick in the door of a couple of terrified girls has got a really big surprise waiting if he picks Jessica’s door.

I’m proud beyond belief of her—and a whole lot more confident now than ever that she can take care of herself.

In the great scheme of things, it was nothing but a drunk and disturbance call—every cop handles too many in his career. They are nothing more than fodder for laughter and stories back at the station--and ribald comments about the apartment just overflowing with good-looking women.

But every cop also knows just how quickly one drunk can become a maniac and killer. It’s a wonderful thing to find out the sweet, beautiful daughter--whom you have raised to be proud, strong, and independent--really listened to all that stuff, and acted quickly and coolly under stress--and her friends relied on her to take charge, and get things done.

I could almost bust.



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