Saturday, March 03, 2007

What hath the GFWs wrought?

A buttload of people buying guns and ammo

Gun show this weekend, and my Dad was able to get up here for it. Small show(I'll get into that later), but busy as hell. We got there a little after it opened at 9, not too many people: by 11 when we left for lunch it was packed. Young, old, men & women, etc., and lots of buying going on; guns and ammo being carried out in large numbers.

You always have to be careful at shows, there's always some people pricing things for more than they're worth. Noticed two things on this line: more people doing this, and their prices were higher. Which, unless you have something someone is just dying for, means people buy from someone else. Some guy was selling 500-packs of 7.62x39 for $120(gack!) or $5/box. Don't think he sold much of it. Someone else was selling Mosin Nagant M44 rifles for $125.

On the other hand...

Place called Big Boy's Toys here in town had a bunch of stuff, including DPMS AR15 rifles in various configurations, including a 16 or 18" barrel carbine with collapsing stock, 2 magazines, cleaning kit and a hard case for $695; if I were in the market for one and had the cash I'd have checked that out. Some other people had good prices on things, too. Higher than in the past overall, but realistic-level higher, not "I'm gonna gouge people while they're worried" higher. Lots of used stuff, including a guy who had both a 9mm and a .45acp Marlin Camp Carbine in very nice condition for a very good price.

Overall, it proved something someone said a few years back: the GFW politicians are a businessman's best friend in one way: every time they open their mouth and start making threats and demands, business goes up.

On the small size, you've got three groups that have been doing shows in town. One of them does two shows a year, spring and fall- sometimes one or two more during the year- and they're always good sized with lots of dealers. The other two seem to alternate doing a show every 2-3 weeks, and because of that they're almost always small. Guy that did this weeks show for example: every so often one of his is big and busy, but most are like today, not too many vendors. I really wish they'd start just doing one a month or something.

In any case, this one was a: small like I'd feared(when Dad has a chance to come up for one, I hope it'll be a good one), but b: busy as hell because of the political climate. Overall, had a good visit. And ran him to Sportsman's Warehouse to get some reloading stuff he needed since there wasn't any at the show.

Oh, and the only things I saw for .30 Carbine were three magazines(two 30's and a 15), two bayonets and some ammo.

I got the 30's.

New book out

Hogboy got it done, it's actually published and everything.

Now if he'll get the damn second cookbook done...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Just bloody freakin' wonderful

I’m not doing justice to the story, but, if not an attempt on the cockpit, this was a serious probe.

I get the money and time together to go to Britain/Europe or Australia, I think I'm going to take some close-combat training before I go. I didn't doubt it, this just points out that the bastards are still working at it.

Found thanks to Sondra

I gave up on TV news too, Jeff

Jeff notes his reasons(some of them) here. Mine... Didn't have a particular one incident, but there was a trigger to saying "Screw you!" and flipping the bird to the major media.

After my '2x4 to the head' moment of realizing there were a bunch of people who'd never let me go shooting or hunting with my Dad again, I got more and more sick of the news: I concentrated on the bullcrap they always threw out about firearms, but that also led to being far more critical about what they put out about anything. Then came the day...

This was during the O.J. Simpson trial. At the time, as I recall, the media was playing up everything possible(so it seemed to me) to justify us jumping into the Balkans. On this day, the first time in about two weeks that people in one city had been able to go to market, somebody dropped a couple of mortar shells into the marketplace. Lots of bodies and blood. And 'The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather' started: "Horror in the Balkans as a marketplace is bombed, many dead and more wounded;" and at that point his voice shifted and became almost a touch, cheery, "but first, in the O.J. Simpson trial"-

Which was as far as I got. Happily there were no heavy objects handy to throw or I'd have had to get money together for a new tv. As it was, I was on my feet screaming at the screen and that jackass Rather just exactly what I thought of him and his network and his 'news' reporting. And I don't think I've paid attention to their broadcasts(or trusted 60 Minutes after the Alar bullshit) since. Or much else of the major media. Local news, in particular for weather, but the rest from reading and from this here innernet.

No-knock progress in Georgia

Too bad it took an old lady being killed to do it.

ATLANTA (AP) -- A group of lawmakers wants to make it harder for police to use "no-knock" warrants in the wake of a shootout that left an elderly woman dead after plainclothes officers stormed her home unannounced in a search for drugs.

The measure would allow judges to grant the warrants only if officers can prove a "significant and imminent danger to human life."

and near the end:
"Every citizen ought to be safe and secure in their homes," Fort said. "A no-knock warrant should be a special warrant, not a standard. And that's what it's evolved into."

This last is the key: these warrants are only supposed to be used in cases of actual need: not because someone likes them, or likes breaking in doors, or whatever. They're like tactical teams, a very useful tool that's been overused, and too often for crap where a hammer is not called for.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

From The Englishman,

we get a link to this article, well worth reading: Gun law and common sense:

More rubbish is written about 'gun control' than about almost any other subject. Allegedly 'tough' gun and knife laws are the liberal substitute for the death penalty, the left's way of trying to stop criminals from killing.

Like most 'liberal' solutions, they don't work against their intended target, and they attack freedom. It helps a great deal to be liberal about this if you a) don't think about it and b) know no history at all. Until 1920, Britain's gun laws made Texas look effeminate. There was no effective restriction at all on owning a firearm. Yet there was virtually no gun crime. Now we have some of the most restrictive anti-gun laws in the world, and gun crime is a serious and growing problem. Interestingly, the laws came first, the problem afterwards, and the recent ban on handguns was a completely logic-free response to the Dunblane mass-murder which preceded it.

On the subject of owning one himself, we get a touch of the 'I don't want the responsibility' attitude:
Actually, I don't want us to become a gun-carrying, gun-owning society at all. I have absolutely no desire to own a gun or have one in my house. They are even more dangerous (which is saying something) than motor cars, which I - likewise - don’t much like using because of the heavy responsibility of being in control of such powerfully lethal machinery. And any burglar who arrives at my house will be given a cup of tea (choice of Indian, China or herbal) and a biscuit, and asked to sign a release form stating that he has not been harmed, intimidated or upset in any way. I understand the liberal criminal law well enough to know that this is the only sensible approach for a British burglary victim, who doesn't want to be handcuffed and put in the cells.

Note that he does NOT say "I don't like them! Ban everything!", just that he doesn't want one. Which would be a fine thing, if he actually had the choice; but the government has made the 'choice' for him. And he full well understands that as things sit now, defending himself from a burglar could get him more time in jail than the burglar will get. Which is absolutely insane. And he'd better hope the burglar will settle for tea, cookies, and walking out with anything valuable.

And I also think that strict gun laws are wholly ineffective against their targets. The guns used in crime are hardly ever legally obtained. The people who use them almost invariably have criminal convictions, which would disqualify them from legal gun ownership anyway. So you can pass as many laws against gun ownership as you like. It will have precisely no effect on the level of gun crime. In which case, why do it?

Well, partly to keep the dim liberals happy, of course, which is important these days. But could there be another reason? If the state and the people broadly agree, about most matters, then the state can license the people to do such things as defend themselves, make citizen's arrests, thump burglars, even keep weapons. (Every Swiss home contains arms and ammunition, and the Swiss crime problem is minor, to put it mildly).

But if the state believes that criminals are to be pitied and treated, while the people believe that criminals need to be punished, then the state cannot trust the people any longer.

And there you get it: the state cannot trust the people. Which, of course, means the people need to be restricted in every way possible, and their lives controlled in every way possible. Like deciding that they need to be licensed to defend themselves, make citizen's arrests, thump burglars, even keep weapons. Mr. Hitchens seems to hold to the view that, even if things were loosened up, you should still have to get a license from the government to own arms, which- especially with a government like that which the British state has become- is too much; it allows the government to deny you for whatever reason they choose, or jerk your license 'just because we want to'. Like Bloomberg in NYFC* ordered the police to cut the number of licenses, just because he said so because he doesn't like them. And you have no recourse. In any case:

And the people, likewise, cannot trust the state, which is becoming - increasingly - a tyranny which watches, dockets, snoops and generally pries into our lives, and grants us smaller and smaller limits within which we may live if we wish to avoid being interfered with by its agencies.

Say it, brother!

Yet the one thing that will bring a rapid and powerful police response to a phone call is a claim that guns are being used by private citizens. And the one offence the courts will always punish severely is the one they call 'taking the law into your own hands'. Why? Because they are much more worried about their monopoly of force than they are about protecting us. Is that a good sign?

Actually, I object strongly to the expression 'taking the law into your own hands'. The law is ours and we made it for ourselves, to protect us and govern us, as a free people. Our freedom to defend ourselves against criminal violence is part of our general freedom to live our lives lawfully. We hire the police to help us enforce the law, not to tell us that we cannot do so. Sadly, the modern British law is not our law, but an elite law, based on ideas which most of us do not share. And the modern police are the elite's police, not ours, which is one of the reasons why they have vanished from the streets, where we want them to be. The disarming of the people, and the cancellation of all their rights to defend themselves, are bad signs.

I do have my disagreements with him, like here:
I don't want my neighbours to own guns, either. It shouldn't be necessary in a properly law-governed country.

Our small, easily-policed and largely urban society is deeply unlike the USA, where many people live hours from the nearest police station and can expect no immediate help if they are in dire trouble

"...shouldn't be necessary..." should have NOTHING to do with whether a citizen owns arms or not. It is a Right of free men, period. And he's noted a problem that is the same here or there: it doesn't matter if you live next door to the police station or miles away, if the police cannot or will not be there when you are in danger, you are on your own. And as has been pointed out by many, the best single method of self-defense, especially if you have any kind of physical handicap, is a gun. Like it or not.

Overall, a very good piece of thinking by Mr. Hitchens. Which will- predictably- cause the nanny-staters to scream and hold their breath.

*NYFC: New York Effin' City, per Kim
Speaking of which, The other day on Glenn Beck's radio show he had the former NYFC police chief on, interviewing him about- among other things- Rudy Giuliani, and asked about ownership of guns, specifically how difficult(as in 'damn near impossible') it is in NYFC for someone to get a permit. And he got the same song and dance that Giuliani has given: NYFC is 'special', like places like LA, Rudy was actually 'very friendly' to gun owners, and that- the real kicker- you had to make sure that only the 'right people' could own guns. Which in NYFC has meant, especially for carry permits, people with lots of money/fame/influence, and screw everybody else. As Beck put it, "I don't remember reading anything in the Constitution about only the 'right people' getting to have guns".

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

As Esmay, having gone over the edge, proves gravity

by continuing downhill.

I haven't read his stuff since the basically unhinged mess I wrote about last year. Finding the stuff linked above makes me glad I haven't gone back. That he either ignores or refuses to acknowledge that there are a bunch of muslims out there, in this country and out, who really ARE the enemy precisely because they do believe in islam as written in the Koran and hadiths...


If momma-to-be ain't happy,

ain't nobody gonna be happy

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The dangers of the 'hunting vs. other' guns arguments

well illustrated in this from the Geek. I'm going to qoute a passage from his piece:

From THR member Daniel of Australia:
I've been following this entire incident with interest, because what has happened closely mirrors something that happened here. In the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, when there was intense debate about proposals for tightening gun laws, a spokesperson for a group called the Professional Hunters Association said words to the effect of "Anyone who needed a semi-automatic to kill animals was a 'City Boy', who shouldn't be out there with a gun in the first place!"

This was extremely damaging to arguments against wholesale bans on semi-automatic firearms, and was trumpeted loudly in the media: here were professional hunters, giving the lie to any legitimate reason or need to own these evil weapons, and it came up repeatedly in the media and in parliamentary debates on the proposed legislation. How could our position be maintained in light of this comment from within, from professionals?

Rebecca Peters is still using this quote too, eleven years later, as she tries to sell the same story internationally. The huge irony is that in fact professional shooters always did use semi-automatic longarms, particularly in control shooting of ferals (pigs, buffalo etc) from choppers - and they ended up being one of the few groups who still can own them

Personally I think the damage done by this sort of thing, from within the firearms community - in fact from people in the role of spokesmen - is incalculable.

As we've seen, not counting the bullshit between groups who shoot different firearms/styles, the Brady Gun-Ban Group and Violence Policy Center types are just waiting and looking for stuff like this to use against us. At this point, anybody who thinks 'MY guns will be fine' is a fool; the banners are after ALL of them.

Og asked what critters those were in the 'Spring' post,

Kiki the ferret and Bun-Bun the(Glock & switchblade packin') mini-lop. Of Sluggy fame.

Ever finish the backlog, Cowboy?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Medieval Fair is coming up,

and thinking about that made me think about smithing, and how I got started in this mess.

Partly I was always fascinated with the idea of actually making things. And then I found out my grandfather on Dad's side had been a smith for many years, and his father. Which brought that specific way of making things very much into my mind. No idea what to do about it, but it was a wonderful thought. Then I got a taste of doing it.

Back when, Dad was working part-time at a local salvage yard to pull in some extra money. Once day, after I'd said something about wanting to try forging, he brought home a round, bowl-shaped piece of cast iron with a smaller bowl in the bottom which had a hole in the side for grease. He thought it was some kind of cover for a shaft end on some machinery, and it ought to work for a forge bowl. So we propped it up on some bricks, took the refrigerator compressor he had from somewhere(I don't remember what he'd used it for) and ran the output line into the grease hole, broke up some charcoal briquets and lit it off. Not much air flow, but enough to get small pieces hot.

Understand, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and Dad didn't know much; by the time he was born Grandpa had started working at a different job and didn't do much forging anymore. No books, either. So I just fooled around with it, burning up more charcoal than was really affordable, with the only real product I remember being a small javelin head I made out of a screwdriver shaft.

A little while after that we moved, and it was years before I had the chance or inclination to try it again. By that time I was grown(physically, at least), married and had- if anything- even less money free for crap like that. Then-wife and I were playing around in the SCA(had been when we met, so that was nothing new) and a guy we knew was interested in smithing, too. And he had the money and time to collect tools and had put a forge together. So when opportunity allowed I'd go over to his girlfriend's house(his stuff was in the yard) and we'd hammer on things. And by that time there were actually some books out on the subject, and from looking at objects in history and craft books we figured out some things, and it went from there.

I wound up with my own forge, made of some steel framing holding a cast iron sink; I cut a hole in the bottom and set in a brake drum for a firepot, and rigged up a squirrel-cage blower to that. And I actually started getting good at it.

The feeling of figuring out how to make something correctly, and then creating it... it's wonderful. And amazing. The first time of making something, or figuring out a way to make something better(in both senses), it's just indescribable. The first time I hardened and tempered a blade, and it WORKED! The first time I actually forge-welded two pieced together and they didn't fall apart under stress!

Another part of that is taking some rusty scrap you picked up off the street, or from a salvage yard, and making something. Then you wire-brush it, and oil it or polish it or however you finished it off. And you display it and people say "Oh my God, that's wonderful! How can you do that?!?" It's actually kind of addictive.

My favorite thing to make is blades. Knives, chisels, axes, swords. Taking some spring steel and making a chef's knife that holds an edge better than anything the owner had ever had before. Making a chandelier for either candles or oil lamps that you find out has the place of honor in someone's home. It makes you want to make more, and better. I started making pattern-welded blades- also called 'damascus'- because I just had to do it myself. And then you can manipulate the pattern in the blade.

And tools. Need an oddball wrench? A punch? Odd-shaped or sized screwdriver? Light the fire and make it. Need a specially-shaped hammer? You can make it. A spring you can't find a replacement for? Tricky at times, but you can create it.

There is just no other feeling like it.

That's one reason- other than the general- that I bitch about my hands and elbow and shoulder. I flat cannot work like I used to, and I miss it.

But, to quote somebody, "I'm not dead yet!" So I still fire the forge and hammer when I can work it..

Damn, I wish there were blacksmith groupies.