Saturday, February 26, 2005

Why carry?

Not 'why own guns?', that's a question I'll go to later. Specifically, why carry?

Oklahoma specifically forbade concealed carry up until a few years ago. There were the usual hysterical denunciations("bodies in the streets, blood in the gutters", etc.), but it was passed. I didn't get a carry permit right off. Partly inertia, partly because I had become much more protective of the 2nd Amendment and it pissed me off that I had to be 'approved' by the state to carry.

I had carried in my vehicle for years; every trip I made a revolver was under the seat. I had decided my fathers' attitude was the right one, better to possibly face trouble if caught with it than to be in a bad situation and not have it. However, I did not carry on my motorcycle, and that's where my decision came in. At the time we were having a lot of the noise about gang problems, with some of the big-name coastal gangs moving into the city, and I had to drive through the area of town they were most active in. And I liked the idea of having arms legally handy, just in case. So I took the course.

The class I attended was taught by two local police officers, who did a good job of it. The range test was straightforward, and I passed it and the classroom both. So I got two pictures taken, and went to the Sheriff's office to have my prints taken, paid the fees and sent it all in. In due time I was notified to pick up my permit, and did so. It was exciting to have it, and I began carrying wherever I legally could.

No, I wasn't just jiggly-happy, and I didn't flash it or take it lightly. What it did to my attitude was reinforce what I'd already learned. My dad was a law officer, and when teaching me to handle handguns had been unsparing as to the responsibility arms carried. When I'd decided to keep a gun handy at home, and to carry in the car on trips, the thought of "what happens if I pull the trigger?" had gone through my mind. A lot. And this simply made it more locked into my mind that I was responsible here.

Face it, in some ways it's a pain to carry. In hot weather it can be difficult. In any season you have to make sure you don't take it somewhere you shouldn't. Some friends will think you're a nut, and some people will treat you like a mass-murderer in waiting just for speaking about it- they find out you actually carry a deadly weapon on your person! well, what is wrong with you? that's the job of the police to protect you, etc. And the responsibility is always there, and the weight that you come to not consciously notice reminds you of it. Think about that last; it reminds you of your responsibility. And that responsibility is a big reason why I carry.

One of the facts of life has always been that you are responsible for your own safety and protection, and the police came in to clean up. If you were able to call them in in time to help protect you, all to the good, but you were the one there, you were the one next door to your neighbor when they screamed for help. It became more and more the attitude that the cops will take care of everything, and we started hearing directions about how to behave when you were robbed or raped, including all too many officials telling you how you should submit to pretty much anything so as 'not to make the situation worse'. And NEVER should you 'take the law into your own hands', which was how so many of these beaurocrats with badges saw self-defense; YOU weren't qualified, YOU were not properly able to act, wait for the PROFESSIONALS from the government to show up.

There were problems, of course. You had to actually call the cops before they could do anything, or someone seeing or hearing you being attacked had to call them, and they had to find an officer free to come over. And something else happened. There were a couple of cases where people who did call were harmed or killed, and they or their family sued the cops. And the courts ruled you couldn't do that, because the cops had no responsibility to you; their responsibility was only to 'society' in general, and if they fell down and you died or were crippled, too bad, now stop making noise and annoying us. So we don't have to do anything to protect you, but we sure don't want you doing it yourself!

The fact is that you are the primary one responsible for your/your familys' safety. You can try to farm it out, but that's always the fact. That doesn't mean everyone should go out and buy a gun; it does mean you have to think about it. If getting an alarm system for the house and some pepper spray for pocket or purse makes you feel better, fine. It makes me feel better too, because you have actually thought about your safety and how to safeguard it. My thoughts for safety include firearms. I have no desire to get into a fight, because at best people get hurt and I'm allergic to pain. If it comes to it, I want the best tool for the job, and that's a gun. Don't lecture me about batons or whatever; if I or my familys' safety is in danger, damned if I'm going to choose something that means I have to get within reach of some orc with a knife or chain, let alone trying to play disarm games against somebody with a gun.

I took a friend to the range for the first time a couple of months ago, first time she'd ever fired a handgun, and she did quite well. She wanted to get one to keep in the house due to some problems in the neighborhood, and we did some talking about what to do if you actually have to grab it. She commented a couple of times about how big a thing this was, and I made sure she kept thinking about it. Taking up any weapon means lethal force, and it is not to be taken lightly. Ever. Every time I put that sidearm on my belt and walk out the door I know the responsibility I carry, literally, for my actions. And that's a good thing.

Note: someone had the usual question of a friend, do you carry a pistol because you want a fight? In one of David Drakes' books a character was carrying a .38 revolver, and noted that it was just in case; if he knew he was heading into trouble, he'd have an automatic rifle. True enough.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Book sale!

Every year the local library system has a Friends of the Library book sale. Books they have too many of, damaged, replaced old copies, donations, all up for sale. I think hardbacks are $1 this year, paperbacks $.50. And of some things there'll be a whole sackfull for $5 or something.

The weather is supposed to be decent, so while I'll have to park in Outer Mongolia, it shouldn't be a problem.

I'm ready for some actual warm weather. Especially now that I'm over the plague minor, I'd love to be able to just sit out in the yard in the sun, without a coat.

But I should have some new books to hold me over.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ok, Britain is not only being run by GFW's,

they've lost their damn sense of humor, as well.

Kim posts on this ad, which is stirring up a fuss. I like it, but over there even the shooting groups are bitching about it.

Stick that fork a little deeper.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Someday, I'd like to go to Africa and hunt

Not really interested in elephant; they've got enough problems without me annoying them, and I've got no place to put the tusks. Lion? Maybe, would make a nice rug. Leopard? Oh, yeah. And antelope and Cape Buffalo.

The antelope and buffalo have the most good points on their side: not only can you hunt them, you can eat them. Ok, you could eat the lion and leopard, but I've read that lion is really gamy tasting, and I'd think leopard would be about the same. Warthogs could be had as bait for the leopard, and for their tusks; from what I've read they tend to be infested with enough parasites that you wouldn't want one for dinner unless you had NO other choice.

Having somehow, er, 'obtained' enough cash for this venture, I would also need to draft Steve into the trip. I'd bring in the meat, and he could cook the beasts and make beer to wash them down with. Maybe talk Kim into going along; he's got some familiarity with that part of the world-some parts of it anyway- and might be handy to keep something from having me as an entree. Or something venomous from sinking fangs into me. All things to be avoided, I'm sure. Since I've heard that a lot of government agencies over there operate largely as kleptocracies, he could probably give pointers on who to brib- er, encourage to assist us and with how large a gratuity.

My son, if along, would probably spend some time hunting, and some figuring out how to lift and blow the pro hunters vehicle(mechanically, dammit; shut up). Daughter would, along with shooting tasty things for dinner, be talking to the local citazens and finding out what was poisonous, how to use it, etc.(she's interested in poisons, and has a number of references on the subject; her bookshelf used to make dinner guests nervous)

This would be an interesting trip in many ways("Kim, where's the brandy? " "Steve, go ahead, stuff the whole damn thing! The crew can dig a firepit and they'll help eat it, too." "Son, he doesn't want the drivers seat as high as the platform on top of the other one. However after that elephant chased us yesterday, he will let you give the engine and tranny a kick up." "Jasmine, would you please be sure and store that stuff well away from the spice rack? And how are you gonna get it through customs, anyway?") We could name the local livestock, for instance call a drunk elephant 'Ted' or 'Senator'. Though it might be better to use that for a hippo, since they run into the river a lot.

This would be fun.

This kind of thing happens so often there,

I'm getting tired of posting about it.

"Police arrest father who fought off two strangers and was threatened with a gun".

Over at Alphecca, check it out.

Is your property yours? Maybe not.

Professor Bainbridge and Kevin both take a look at a case before the Supreme Court that has BIG implications for all of us. It's about the way cities are using their power to take your property, pay you what they decide is a fair price, and then sell or give it to someone else. Kevin's got a very good breakdown of what's been happening with this, and why it appears that the SCOTUS may lack the integrity/balls to rule as they should, so I won't try to repeat or compress it.

This boils down to, if SCOTUS rules(literally, in this case) with the government, we're screwed. It means your city or county can literally steal your home or business so they can sell or give it to someone else who they think can 'better' use it; and their idea of 'better use' could be anything from apartments, to a condo complex, to some business they think will pay more money in taxes(i.e., pay us off and we'll rob the citazens for you).

This is profoundly depressing. The highest court in the land appears to care not for the document it is supposed to protect and defend, caring only for the way the words can be twisted and warped to serve what they've decided is a 'good idea'. If you disagree, tough shit, because the all-high court knows better than you peasants!

And the question becomes, what do we do about it?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Nobody in black with a scythe riding past......yet

I was right, I do NOT have the real plague; only a undistinguished relation.

The flu is fairly consistent when I get it. Somewhere between one and two weeks of misery during which I have to keep putting lotion on and around my nose to keep it from turning into scenery from a Martian landscape. This is a pain, but not nearly the bad relation.

It's weird how this stuff happens at times. Real flu fades in over a couple of days, settles in and makes itself at home for a while. With this, Thursday night I was a little ratty, but I thought that was from tired and from the ventilator draft at the range blowing on the back of my head & neck. Then I woke up Friday morning and could hardly talk, and felt halfway like someone had whacked me with sticks while I wasn't looking. Now my throat and the aches are both a lot better. Still tired, the way this crap does to you, but not too bad; though I'm not heading back to the gym for a few days, and I'll stay out of the wind.

Found out today that some other people at work got the same thing. It's some type of virus, confirmed not the flu that all the news people are screaming about(Is the epidemic due to the vaccine shortage? More at ten!).

It rained a bit last night, and it's supposed to tomorrow night & Wednesday. And the grass in back gets higher, and higher... By the time it's dry enough and I'm healthy enough to mow, I may need the hooded guys' scythe to take it down to lawn mower height.

But it sure is green out there.