Monday, September 26, 2011

"Only criminals, dictators and democrats fear armed citizens." - Jeff Cooper

It would appear that the Gunwalker program of the ATF is looking worse all the time. The Federal government has been maintaining that it was merely a sting operation that has suffered miscommunication. Now we find out that not only was the ATF knowingly selling to illegal buyers, but they were actually buying firearms illegally themselves, and delivering them to the Mexican cartels. That is not a sting operation; it is the deliberate arming of criminals, and the only explanation I can see is to give credence to their complaints that the cartels were arming themselves from American dealers, all so that they could whine for more gun laws and more funds.
Sort of like an unethical fireman starting fires so he could get more work and a raise. And these sales were under the aegis of the Department of Justice, though they claim they didn't know about it. The ATF would have had to inform the FBI for the NICS checks, so the DoJ would seem to be lying. The information was also being relayed to the White House, so when the POTUS says he had no knowledge, I don't believe it. Most of the information media has been completely ignoring the situation, with the exception of the NY Times and the Washington Post, who have both been trying to make excuses, so we know who's pulling their strings.
It's a sad day when the federal government is working with foreign criminal gangs for the purpose of curtailing civil liberties of American citizens.


The last time I posted I mentioned that I had received a copy of a book for a review; the book was Glock: The Rise of the American Gun, by Paul Barrett.
I found the book quite fascinating.  In it, Paul tells the story of Gaston Glock, from his humble beginnings repairing car radiators and making cast items such as curtain rods, to becoming a multimillionaire.  I can't say that Glock comes off well; he changed along the way, and not for the better.  A quite common story of someone with humble beginnings catapulted into wealth and power, and losing part of themselves in the process. 
Alongside his story, we are shown how the Glock pistol spread ripples into modern culture, including politics, movies, TV, law enforcement, and music.  Something that I found interesting was that the more anti-gun groups attacked him, the more successful he became; he had people working for him who were smart,  knew how to spin things successfully, and used their own attacks against them.  He also had amazing luck; things would happen at just the right time and to just the right people for him to use to his own advantage.
We are told the story mainly through the people who were involved; his sales people, legal people, and those from other parts of society; the other firearm companies, politicians, police, and more.  If I were making a documentary of the book, I could advertise that it would feature "politics, intrigue, treachery, sex, violence, and courtroom drama!". 
For the most part the book is quite objective; the author does believe in some gun laws that I do not, but reserves those for the last part of the last chapter of the book, and doesn't let them affect his telling of the story. He actually corrects a lot of misconceptions that people have about firearms and gun violence statistics, including a lot of false facts spread by the anti-gun groups, so I feel that he is doing his best to tell the story in an unbiased manner.
Whether you are a firearm owner or not, pro-gun or anti-gun, I can recommend it to anyone interested in modern culture and its influences.


If anyone is curious about the type of people who go to a Gunblogger Rendezvous, Sam has put together a slide show just under five minutes long of some of us who attended.  If anyone is interested, I'm the fat guy with the shaved head and photographer's vest at 2:41.   SandyG (my wife) is holding a Cabela's hat at 3:47.


Anyone familiar with these oldies?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trying to blog more often

Back again.
Had a meeting with the doctor about my x-rays and MRI scan to see if they could do anything about my back problems.
As I was already aware, I have several disks in the lumbar area that are somewhat displaced and are also arthritic; these are what is causing my spasms and bouts with sciatica.
The doctor also was curious when I had fractured my spine.
Evidently I have fractured one of the higher vertebrae at some time, but luckily it healed without adding to my problem. I have a feeling that it may have happened when I injured my shoulder, and the pain may have been masked by the pain I already have in my back.
They have decided to try a treatment that has done fairly well in the past in which they do some injections into the bad area, and then do it again a month later. This has been successful in most cases like mine, though on occasion a third set of injections has been necessary. Hopefully it will work, otherwise I may be looking a a surgical approach, which I would rather not do, unless absolutely necessary.  I am currently waiting for them to schedule the treatments.

During the Gunblogger Meet a few days ago, one of the people we met there was author,journalist, and editor Paul Barrett, who has written a soon-to-be-published book entitled Glock: The Rise of the American Gun. I sat across from him at dinner the first night, and talked with him later that evening and the next day about such things as gun control, gun rights, violent crime, and similar topics. He told us about his book, and offered to send interested bloggers galley copies if they would read it and give it a fair and critical review. I got my copy today, and will be reading it over the next few days. According to the author, the book is about the invention and marketing of the firearm,and examines its impact on modern literature, media, and our culture in general. I think this shall be some interesting reading, and I would like to thank him for this opportunity.


A meme going around the gun blogs, started by Og, is to show which knife you carry normally.

The bottom one is always clipped to my pocket, it is a  S & W SWAT with 3.75" blade.  I like it because it is one of the few folders that fits my hand and feels comfortable.
The Swiss Army knife and the Leatherman Wave are usually in my vest pocket, but sometimes I carry the Leatherman on my belt. 


Any favorites in this bunch?

"God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys
"You're the One" by The Vogues
"Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin
"The Warrior" by Patty Smyth
"On the Road Again" by Bob Seger
"Back Where You Belong" by 38 Special
"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan
"The Old Man Down the Road" by John Fogerty

"Right Down the Line" by Gerry Rafferty
"Come As You Are" by Mindy Abair


Monday, September 12, 2011


Got back from the Gunblogger's Rendezvous late Sunday night/Monday morning. Still getting stuff put away, but wanted to start this post, even if I don't finish for a bit.
The post below is not all that we did, it is only hitting the highlights.  We were actually doing more than it appears. 


A pretty good time was had by all. We got there Thursday afternoon, and met up with the rest of the group at Cabela's, who was kind enough to give us a tour and a $20 certificate. We got together afterwards, and listened to some speakers, saw some new equipment and goods displayed and explained by manufacturers, and went to dinner. Afterwards we got together again and mainly visited until the wee hours of the morning.

Friday after breakfast we spent several hours at the range. Since there was quite a variety of firearms there, a lot of time was spent shooting one another's ordinance, and getting familiar with different types. For example, Rick of Traction Control had a nice little full-auto Uzi with a silencer that was a hoot. My wife got to shoot a Ruger 45 Long Colt, got to fire a Glock for the first time, and had an especially good time shooting Skip's .308; she had never shot a center-fire rifle or used a scope, and she quite enjoyed doing some precision long-range target practice with a firearm suited for game hunting and military shooting.  An amazing person to watch was Molly, a young lady in her teens who can shoot better than most grown men I've seen; she was a joy to watch.   My shoulder was acting like it belonged to someone else, so as I had thought, I couldn't shoot worth a damn.  I am basically having to learn all over again from scratch with my shoulder in its present configuration.

Pic 1: Rick with his Uzi
Pic 2: My wife doing her sniper shooting
Pic 3: Molly

More time that night listening to people who are helping to keep the Second Amendment alive in this country, and more milling and such until late.

Saturday after breakfast was steel shooting, but I was hit with sciatica bad, so wasn't able to go. Felt a little better after lying down, so we played tourist and went out to lunch and to the National Automobile Museum in Reno. I have uploaded a few pictures to my Flickr account; you can go to it from the sidebar if you would like to see them.

We had raffles and drawings for some firearms and a lot of sporting equipment that night. Visited until late.
Left after breakfast on Sunday. There was a cowboy shooting contest for those who desired to attend, but we had to start on our way home.

One of the reasons the GBR takes place (other than like-minded people getting together and having fun) is to raise money for the Project Valour-IT program to help some of our wounded soldiers. We managed to raise a fair amount ourselves, and some of our sponsors added to this also.

This was my first visit to the GBR, and I must say it was awesome to find how friendly and helpful everyone was, and how much they went out of their way to make my wife and me feel welcome and have a good time.  I hope we can make it again next year, if possible.

Pic 1 and 2:  Couple of candid shots of us milling about.
Pic 3: Caleb displaying his awesome hat-wearing skills.  He is a top competition shooter, and was in the first season of Top Shots, if you are familiar with the show.
Pic 4: The person standing is Alan Gura, whose name you may know if you are familiar with the famous Heller decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment was an individual right, rather than a collective right.


After leaving Reno, we went to Carson City, and visited the
Nevada State Railroad Museum; there are also some pictures from there at Flickr.


 Should be something of interest to someone in here; I was in sort of a disjointed mood for music here.

"Rocky Top" by Chet Atkins
"Proud Mary" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
"Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream
"Alone" by Heart
"England Swings" by Roger Miller
"Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
"Hellhound on My Trail" by Robert Johnson
"Kerosene" by Miranda Lambert
"I'd Love to Change the World" by Ten Years After
"Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sunday, September 04, 2011

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." - Rudyard Kipling

Next week my wife and I are going to Reno for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous; getting together with other bloggers in the western US for some visiting, range time, and whatever we feel like. Should help get rid of some of the cabin fever bothering us at this time. I haven't been to Reno in years, and then it was passing through at about midnight, so I'll be interesting in seeing the sights, and meeting some of the bloggers I've read over the internet for several years now.
Don't know how well I'll do at shooting; I haven't been able to work a firearm for over a year now because of my shoulder, so it should be interesting to see if I can hit a target, or end up seeing Maggie's Drawers a lot.


I got almost a full night's sleep last night; feel like my IQ went up several points.
Went in for an MRI on my back yesterday (had an X-ray last week); the doctor is supposed to look them over and get back to me on whether there is anything they can do for my sciatica and spasms; I'm trying to stay hopeful that they can help without any major surgery.


Looks like the revolt in Libya may be winding up soon; it all depends on when they can dig out Qadaffi from where he's holed up. Then will come the fight to see which faction/tribe will run the country; at that time we may see a bloody civil war take place, depending on what the military does. I just hope the POTUS doesn't get us involved in that part; what those barbarians do over there is their own business, not ours.


Some oldies; some of you out there might even remember a couple of them.

"Substitute" by The Who
"If You Don't Like Hank Williams" by Kris Kristofferson
"Sundown" by Gordon Lightfoot
"Baby, Won't You Come Out Tonight" by Buddy Holly
"Mechanical World" by Spirit
"Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac
"I Am A Rock" by Simon & Garfunkel
"Diggy Diggy Lo" by Doug Kershaw
"Runnin' Blue" by The Doors
"Can't You See" by The Marshall Tucker Band