Thursday, January 31, 2013

Take an Anti Shooting

I’ve found, just in general, that most people who hold staunch anti-gun opinions don’t have any experience with guns beyond what they’ve seen come out of Hollywood.  You can try to explain to them that what they see in Hollywood is entirely unrealistic and has no basis in the real world, and they won’t understand because they don’t have any real world experience to develop a basis for that understanding.  They exhibit a sort of strange amnesia effect, where they watch the movie and see things happen in the movie about which they DO have some sort of experience and think “my this is entertaining and all, but has no basis in reality,” but then forget all about that when guns are depicted because they don’t have the basis in the reality of guns to compare the depiction against.  So you get anti-gunners thinking that it is possible for a man with a gun to wreak impossible havoc with endless magazines and fully-automatic fire when no such thing is really possible in the real world.

The best way to combat this is to give them some real world experience.  Take an anti-gunner shooting.  I’ve talked three anti-gun people into going shooting with me in my lifetime, and all three of them are now gun owners and avid shooting enthusiasts. 

You have to be careful here, as you do with any newbie to shooting sports, because they don’t understand the rules of safe handling, proper stances, grip, trigger control, or any of that stuff.  You have to watch them like a hawk.  But once they get it in their blood, my guess is that you’ll have a pretty good chance of ridding them of their ignorance and making a convert out of them, and in the process enriching their lives by bringing shooting sports into their realm of reality.

You don’t have to violent backwoods hillbilly to enjoy guns.  I’ve enjoyed shooting since I was a little boy and because of that, I’ve never fully understood the demonization of guns until I realized that most of these people have never been around them and so are approaching the entire topic out of ignorance rather than understanding.  

The little things…

There is nothing more satisfying than hearing that gong at 986 yards ring for the first time in an outing, even if it is on your 8th shot. 

There is nothing more odd than the length of time you have to wait for your bullet to get to the target, see it hit, and then wait for even longer for the sound of the gong to make it back to your position.  Perhaps a little over a second for the bullet to get there, and another second and a half to two seconds for the sound

The Rifle is the Weapon of Democracy

Often times I hear or read the opinion of some anti-gunner, who claims that gun control is justified because private citizens aren’t allowed to own grenades and bombs and tanks, and so other military hardware can and should be controlled.  They claim that the founding fathers were talking about muzzle-loading rifles and muskets when they wrote the 2nd Amendment, not “automatic” AR-15s with “high capacity clips.”  They use fighter jets as an example of items that the government can own that citizens cannot own, and use that as precedent to counter claims that citizens were intended to be as well armed as the military by the spirit of the 2nd Amendment.

“The military has fighter jets and thermonuclear warheads!” they claim, “your logic is flawed because if you accept that the founding fathers wanted us to be as well armed as the government, then you must accept that they wanted nuclear weapons in the hands of citizens!  Common sense restrictions are all we are asking for!” 

I can counter their claim no better than Edward Abby just did – I’ve linked over to Borepatch since he is the one that brought this to my attention.  Go.  Link.  Read.  Discuss. 

Done?  Read the whole thing?  Good. 

I agree 100% with one exception:

The rifle is not the weapon of democracy – it is the weapon of a free man. 

A free man doesn’t need thermonuclear warheads or fighter jets or long range bombers to remain a free man.  Those are offensive weapons that lash out at others and take the fight to them; the weapons of the aggressor and the tyrant.  He doesn’t even need hand grenades or mortars.  All he needs is a rifle. 

The reason that I believe this is simple –as long as a man has a rifle, he can never be subjugated by another.  He can never be forced to do something which he doesn’t choose to do on his own free will.  The only thing that will keep tyranny from winning in the long run is for the free men of the world to remain individuals and demand their self-determination from the Other.  That Other can take a free man’s life through violence if he has the stomach for it, but he can never force the free man to bend to his will as long as that rifle is in that free man’s hands. 

A rifle in the hands of a man is a defensive weapon that defends the free will and self-determination of that man.  As long as he holds it, he is free. 

If you take away the rifle, you’ve forever destroyed freedom in this country. 

So we’ll give up hand grenades and fighter jets if that makes you feel safer, but the rifle is the first item that you’ve tried to ban that will affect our ability to defend ourselves, and our ability to be free men.  We are drawing a line in the sand this time.  You’ve gone as far as you’re going to go.  Thus far, and no further. 

33rd Birthday Today

Celebrating the completion of my 32nd complete trip around the sun today. Here’s hoping that the 33rd is as much fun, but a little less stressful.   

To make this a little more interesting and little less self-centered, here is a list of notable people that were also born on January 31st and my reaction to sharing a birthday with them: 

First – Celebrities

·        Justin Timberlake – Couldn’t give less of a fuck if I tried
·        Zane Grey – Pretty damn cool.  If you’ve never read any of Grey’s stuff, and you like westerns, give him a shot. 
·        Jackie Robinson – Also pretty damned cool.  This guy single-handedly broke down the race barrier in professional baseball by being so damn good at it that the powers that be looked beyond his race.
·        Johnnie Rotten from the Sex Pistols – Mildly cool.  Their music is mostly crap.  Revolutionary, genre changing crap, granted.  But that was kind of the point, wasn’t it? 
·        Minnie Driver – Don’t know much about her, but I recognize the name.
·        Nolan Ryan – Badass pitcher.  More or less the guy who’s picture they put next to “badass pitcher” when you look that term up in the Dictionary.
·        Jason Cooper – Drummer for the Cure.  They made more crap than they did good, but when they did good, they did really good.

Then – Historical figures

·        1734 – Robert Morris: Signatory to the Declaration of Independence.  Not as famous as some signers, but would have hung just the same as the rest if the revolution hadn’t worked out to his favor.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Updates Jan 13

I bought a new boat in September.  I traded up both of our old boats for one new one, and boy oh boy is it a sweet unit.  21’ northwest jet lightning, 400 horsepower 6 liter Marine Power V-8, with a Hamilton 212 jet pump.  It is a do-all boat.  Skiing, whitewater, fishing, and playing on the water.  I’m really happy with it.  I’ve run it up Hell’s Canyon now twice past Imnaha and once more to the base of Imnaha without running through.  Here’s some pics of her beached at Bear Bar on one of the trips.  That’s the lovely Mrs. Goober posing for the camera.  The whole canyon was on fire that day, so it was really smokey, but the run was really fun and challenging because the river was at summertime lows.  Super shallow, and super spiny.  There were rocks sticking out everywhere, and at one point in time the depth finder was reading 0.8 feet deep below the keel as I ripped through at 30 miles per hour.  For the maths-challenged, that’s about 10 inches. 

Also, the helicopters and water bombers were running in and out all day, which was kind of cool.  Cheers to the brave men that do that stuff for a living, because none of what they were doing looked safe. 

I caught an 8 pound walleye a few weekends ago on Potholes Reservoir in central Washington.  Those things eat real nice.  It looks small in comparison to me, but remember – I’m 6’-4” tall and 320 pounds.  This is a big fish.

Did a bunch of bird hunting this year.  I got my buddy his first pheasant and took my other buddy out to my secret spot with his new bird dog.  We got a lot of birds that day. 

Token pic of bird dog since I can't find the picture of the bird hunt...  huh... 

The steelhead runs have been pretty bad this year.  I’m 0 for 2 on trips down to the canyon.  Haven’t been skunked in quite a while, so that hurt.  Missed a good one on my last trip – spit the hook at the net.  So no pics.  Sorry. 

Wabbit Stew!

As you can maybe see in the previous post, we nailed us a rabbit on the last bird hunt.  I hadn’t eaten a rabbit in a lot of years, so it brought to mind an old recipe that I hadn’t thought of for a lot of years.  Wild game stew…  best with rabbit or venison…  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  Borepatch posted up a discussion of how he learned to cut up a rabbit, which cued me to write up my recipe for all to use.  I’m a very giving person. 

Rabbit is best stewed in the crockpot.  Like most wild critters that have to earn their living the hard way, they are very lean and very tough (but much healthier than farm-raised beef and totally organic, so there’s that), so the crockpot is the bomb for cooking them.  Try this:

Don’t worry about de-boning the rabbit.  Cut the legs off, cut out the backstraps, and discard the ribs and backbone.  Throw the legs with bones in and backstrap aside for a little bit.  Cut up a big onion, a bunch of green onions, stems and all, about 3 to 5 sticks of celery, and if you like a little kick, a bell pepper (you can leave this part out if you like a more traditional stew, but with the bell pepper, this dish meets the requirements of the Cajun “trinity” and can technically be considered a Cajun dish, especially if you add a bunch of red pepper to spice it up).  Heat 1 cup of cooking oil (peanut, canola) in a 5 quart stockpot until it is good and hot, over high to medium high heat.  Whisk in 1 cup of flour to the hot oil to create a roux.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Stir the roux constantly until it is about the color of dark chocolate (about 5 to 10 minutes).  Throw in the onions and celery and peppers and cook them in the roux until they get all translucent and release their aromas.  You may have to turn the heat back up once you put in the veggies.  I also add a couple cloves of chopped garlic at this point (forgot to mention that earlier).  Throw in the rabbit pieces, a palm full (1 to 1.5 tbs) of crushed rosemary, and the same amount of dried oregano.  Stir around to coat all the pieces in the roux, then put about 6 cups of water into the mess (or more if needed to completely submerge everything).  Add ½ to one tablesppon of salt (start low and add once it’s cooked and you can taste it).  About 7 or 8 turns on your black pepper mill.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, to reduce the water or alternatively, take it off the heat, refrigerate overnight, then dump it in the crock pot the next morning on the 8 hour setting so it’s ready to eat once you get home.  Either way, right prior to eating, pull the rabbit pieces out one at a time, and strip the meat off back into the stew and discard the bones. 

My wife likes to add a pouch of onion soup mix to the water before she adds it, too.  I’ve also added cut up potatoes to the stew about one hour before it’ done cooking.  Don’t add them too soon or you’ll end up with potato mash instead of potato chunks. I’ve also added richness to the mix by substituting some of the water with cans of undrained diced tomatoes and/or tomato sauce.  If you added the bell pepper earlier, once you’ve added the tomatoes, there’s no going back; you’re officially a true Cajun cook because you’ve very officially made an official Cajun Sauce Piquant now.  Officially.  And rabbit as the meat couldn’t be more authentic Cajun (except maybe for alligator).  Mais, ami you might as well throw in a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and finish it off right at this point…    

If you do it right, you’ll have a thick, meaty stew to eat that will make you wish you’d never ever run out of rabbit ever again.  I make this on the weekend and reheat it during the week for quick after-work heartiness.  You can also use any other kind of meat you can imagine, too.  Beef, chicken (add the chicken in the last hour – overcooked chicken is awful), other wild game (this recipe is absolutely amazing with venison).  Anyway, you get the point.  Happy eating.  

Not so Fun When They Do it to You, Eh?

So this newspaper back east decides that they want all the folks in their state disarmed, and decide that intimidation is the route that they want to take to achieve their goal.  So they get their hands on the gun registration list for that state, and post the names, addresses, and personal information for every gun owner in the state to an interactive map on their website. 

Gun rights folks then turn around and post the names of the employees of that newspaper to the internet in retaliation, to see how they like it. 

The newspaper people get all hot and bothered about their personal information being posted for all to see (sucks, don’t it?) and hire armed guards to protect them because they now fear for their lives.  Poor babies. 

So they would like to work to deny us the very protection that they want to use for themselves – a gun.  It doesn’t change anything that they hire a man to do it instead of doing it themselves.  We can’t afford armed guards, assholes.  We buy guns for the same reason that you now have them – to protect ourselves from the irrational and violent among us.  You don’t get to take that right away from us while protecting it for yourselves, hypocrites. 

It occurs to me that there are probably several women on that list that you posted who bought a gun to protect themselves from a violent ex, who they are trying to hide from – quite unsuccessfully now that you’ve posted their information online.  So when the inevitable happens, and a woman gets hurt, beaten, raped, or killed, or, best case scenario, she shoots the ex before he can hurt her, is that blood on your hands? 

You’re goddamned right it is.  Own it, you mental midgets.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

AR-15 - Unfair Scapegoat Due to Ignorance

I’ve written this here as a tool, so that I can link to it instead of re-writing it every time that someone posts something stupid about the AR-15 online.

 First off, a disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN AN AR-15. I’ve never had the urge to buy one, because that particular rifle is not one that would be useful to me in what I do. I suppose I could use it for coyote hunting, and in fact, it would be an excellent choice for just exactly that, but I can’t make myself part with my little Ruger .243. So I don’t really have a personal dog in this hunt. I’m just concerned about incrementalism and guns, and the reason is that taking away a certain brand or type of rifle won’t solve the underlying issues that are causing people to go nuts and kill other people.

Take away AR-15s, and accomplish nothing but making the next most popular brand of rifle the one that is used by the mass murderers. Take that one away, and the next most popular rifle will be used. Take all guns away, and they’ll start using gasoline bombs and fire. Take those away (really?) and they’ll use pitchforks and swords. The problem isn’t a certain type of rifle or weapon being available, it’s the willingness of people to use them on other people that is the problem.

 Now that that’s done, here is my top-ten list of reasons that banning the AR-15 is a shitty idea:

1.) It is just a regular, every day rifle that looks scary. Quick, can you tell me the difference between the two rifles shown in the pictures below?
If you said that one is a military style assault weapon, and the other is a hunting rifle, then you need to understand that you have a limited understanding of the situation because you’ve been fed a bunch of useless BS by the media about rifles. That being said, you really need to back out of this debate and get educated before you continue being a part of it, because you’re spreading lies and misinformation every time you open your mouth. I mean to offense in saying this, truly. I just want you to know the truth.

Here is a list of the real differences between these rifles:
• They look different from each other;
• One of them fires much more powerful ammunition than the other;
• One of them is on the list of rifles that would be banned by a new Assault Weapons Bill, and one of them isn’t.

Oh, and one more thing, that hunting rifle above is the one with more powerful ammunition, not the scary looking black rifle, which shoots a much less powerful round. But more on that later.

Essentially, for the sake of this bullet point, the only difference between these rifles is that one of them looks scary, and has the potential to be banned, while the other one, the one that is more powerful and more accurate, is not. The reason for this is pure, unadulterated ignorance pushed forth by a media complex that wants to disarm the populace because of their political leanings.

2.) It is not an automatic. You’ve probably heard a lot of technical terms being bandied about in the news recently. Things like “rate of fire” and “high capacity” and “high powered” and “automatic” and so forth. I will address the first and last items in this bullet, and the middle two in subsequent bullets. When you hear news people discussing things like “rate of fire” and calling the AR-15 “automatic” you need to stop listening to them immediately, because they are lying to you.

The AR-15 is not an automatic rifle, or a machine gun, as they are more commonly referred to as.
The term “automatic” means that if you pull the trigger on a rifle and hold it down, that the rifle will continue firing until it has expended all of its ammunition. Automatic fire is seen in the movies and in the military only nowadays, and the reason for this is that there are already laws on the books making it illegal for any civilian to own an automatic firearm of any type (with a few notable exceptions for people who like to do paperwork for a living, but I won’t go into that). So you can’t have an automatic already, so no new law is needed here.

 The AR-15 is not an automatic. The action (the mechanism for cocking and loading the rifle) is similar to that of an automatic, but it is not the same, for one huge reason – if you pull the trigger on an AR-15 and hold it down, it will fire one round, and one round only. You have to pull the trigger once for every single shot you fire, just like every single other rifle on the civilian market. It is not a machine gun, or an automatic. For your reference, what the AR-15 is called is an “autoloading” rifle or more colloquially a “semi-automatic.” All this means is that when you fire the rifle, the energy from the expanding gasses in the barrel of the rifle is used to cycle the action to load the next bullet into the chamber, instead of having to manually cock it between shots, like with a bolt action of lever-action gun. The hunting rifle pictured above in bullet number one is also an autoloading or semi-automatic rifle, meaning that it functions identically to the AR-15.

3.) A rifle with a detachable box magazine does not have a “capacity,” so the AR-15 cannot be labeled as being “high capacity.” To call a rifle with a detachable box magazine “high capacity” is to have a fundamental misunderstanding of how that rifle works. The rifle does not have an inherent “capacity.” The magazine does. You may hear of magazines being referred to as “clips” in the news. Although this is technically incorrect, since a clip is different from a magazine, the point still stands. When you are talking about the capacity of many different kinds of rifles, pistols, and so forth, you aren't actually referring to the capacity of the gun, itself, but of the magazine that feeds it. The AR-15 does not have a capacity. The Remington 7400 hunting rifle shown above does not have a capacity, either. The magazines feeding them do, and that is what dictates that capacity of the rifle at any given point in time. So if you take your AR-15 to the range and load it up with a 30 round capacity magazine, it has a capacity of 30 rounds. If you then switch over to your 5 round magazine, it has 5 rounds.

4.) Capacity of the magazine has very little to do with the ability of a shooter to do massive amounts of harm. Switching magazines is not a big deal. Rifles were designed so that you could reload them by switching magazines and saving yourself the trouble of fumbling about with a mess of loose bullets, so even if you restrict magazine capacity with a new law, it won’t change the ability of the rifle in any meaningful way. Magazines are cheap pieces of stamped sheet metal. If you want to shoot thirty rounds into a target, you can do so with three ten round magazines just as easily as you can with one thirty round magazine. Here is a link to a guy changing magazines in his rifle. Does that look to you like a major impediment to him putting rounds downrange? Furthermore, I’ll add that the rifle used in the Columbine Massacre was fed by 10 round magazines, not 30 round magazines, so it does not appear that magazine capacity has any real effect on the effectiveness of a rifle.

5.) The AR-15 is not “high powered.” The AR-15 shoots a 55 grain, 5.56 millimeter bullet at velocities of 3,000 ish feet per second, resulting in 1,318 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. I know, impressive numbers, right?

 Actually, no, not really.

 The Remington 7400 up there comes in a bunch of different calibers, but I’ll take a guess at which one is the most popular and use the 30-06 (spoken as “thirty aught six”). It throws a 150 grain, 7.62 millimeter bullet at velocities of 3,000 feet per second resulting in about 3,000 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. That equates to a bullet that is three times heavier, 37% larger, and with over twice the energy. How about the Remington 7400 in 300 winchester magnum? It throws a 190 grain, 7.62 millimeter bullet at velocities of 3,000 feet per second and with energies approaching 4,000 foot pounds.

To put it in more simple terms, most states will not allow a hunter to use the AR-15 to hunt deer because the bullet that it fires is too weak to humanely kill a deer. I’m not kidding. And no, I’m not making that up.

6.) The AR-15 is not unique among rifles in its abilities, in any way, whatsoever. In fact, in accuracy, the 7400 has it beat, as well as a myriad of different offerings from many companies, all of whom develop non-scary looking hunting rifles that will put the AR-15 to shame.

7.) The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. The Toyota Camry is the most popular car in America. Want to guess which car is in more accidents than any other car in America? The AR-15 was used in the Beltway sniper attacks, Columbine, the Clackamas Mall shooting, the Aurora theater mass killing, and in the Sandyhook massacre, and so it is catching the brunt of this fervor for gun control, but no one has really analyzed why that is.

The AR-15 is by far the most popular, best selling rifle in America, for a lot of reasons. It’s a good rifle. A reliable varmint hunter, and a good personal defense weapon (mainly, in both cases, to its intermediate, low-powered ammunition making it easy for smaller people to handle, as described above). Could it possibly be that the AR-15 gets used more than other rifles simply because there are so many of them out there due to popularity? Sort of like how Toyota Camrys get in more accidents than other cars, not because they are inherently unsafe, but rather just because there are more of them out there than any other type of car? If we take away the Toyota Camry’s, another car will rise to the top as the car in the most accidents. The same is true of the AR-15. If you take it away, another type of rifle will take its place. Which leads me to my next point:

8.) The ship has sailed. You’re too late. The ship has sailed. There are millions and millions of them in circulation right now. What’s your plan for rounding them all up? Do you think that AR-15 sales are at all-time record highs right now because people are planning to turn them in once they are made illegal? The best you can do is to make illegal the manufacture of high-capacity magazines, but there are already millions, perhaps even billions, of those running around, so again, what’s your plan? Anything you do at this point will e meaningless in your lifetime and for the next 3 generations – there’ll be plenty of supply running about for bad men to get their hands on and use to foul purpose.

9.) It will allow people to go back to feeling good again, because they've managed to “do something” but the feeling of accomplishment will be false and highly dangerous. Complacency is the biggest enemy here. After Columbine, people clamored for schools to be “gun free” zones, and once they got that, they went back to sleep, oblivious to the fact that a person bent on mass murder isn't going to wither at the site of a sign telling him he can’t bring his guns into the school. So the next catastrophe happened. Then the next. And every time, we “DID SOMETHING” that was meaningless and accomplished nothing so that we could feel good about ourselves and forget about it and move on. Let’s not do it again, at such high cost to millions of lawful, law abiding gun owners. What you’re proposing will just be another placebo. It will just serve to make you feel like you've “done something” when you've really done nothing at all.

The one thing linking all of these killings together is that a violent sociopath put out all the warning signs of losing his shit, and people did nothing to stop it because none of them had the information available to know that something needed to be done. A violent sociopath will find ways to kill people, let’s be honest here. A bucket of bleach and drain cleaner and a blocked doorway would have killed 28 at Sandyhook just as efficiently as the AR-15 did, and my guess is that you all wouldn't be clamoring for drain cleaner bans soon after, because you'd realize how silly that is. Bad guys do bad things. Lets focus on doing something about that rather than doing something that won’t accomplish a thing.

10.) I know that this one is beat into the ground, but the logic is sound as a pound – if you make guns illegal, only criminals will have guns. There are millions of AR-15s in America that have never been used to kill anyone, owned by good people that, like me, enjoy shooting as a sport, a hobby, and a way of life, who will never in their lives have any inkling to hurt anyone that isn’t actively trying to hurt them first. My guns have fired thousands and thousands of rounds, and I’ve never shot anyone. If you make the AR-15 illegal, then the only thing you’re going to accomplish is to take it out o the hands of the good citizens who would care to turn it in to the authorities. All of the criminals and bad people out there don’t give two hot shits about our laws, and will keep their AR-15s, thank you very much, so you’ll accomplish nothing to get these guns out of the hands of the people from whom you want to remove them. And any argument that it could have stopped Columbine (illegally owned gun), Sandyhook (illegally possessed gun across state lines) or any of the other shootings is silly. That would rely on a police officer just happening to stop them on their way to shoot up the school and then just happening to see probable cause to search their car, and finding the gun. Give me a break, and give up on your faith in laws to stop these things. Bad guys don’t care about laws.
Sorry for the hiatus. Back in action now once again. Long story. Baby. New Job. Burnt out. You know, the typical excuses.
So I looked into Westboro Baptist Church a bit to see if some additional research on the topic could shed some light onto why the Phelps gang are such a bunch of asshats. While it did shed some light on some things about them, it actually made their asshattery even more confusing.

 You see, they believe we’re all going to Hell.

 All of us. Including them.

 They don’t think that there is a way around it. They believe that their mission is to let us all know that we’re going to Hell. Not so that we can do something about it to right our wrongs and change our ways so that we DON’T go to Hell (because they don’t believe that is possible), but just so that we know that we are. So their god, the one that they pray to and worship in their church, is really an evil bastard that they all fear and know is going to cause them to live eternity in torture once they die.

 And knowing that simply made me more confused about why they are who they are. Wouldn’t one, knowing that they have an eternity of Hellfire in their future, live every day of life to the fullest? Try to make it as much fun and as enjoyable as possible? Hell, even splurge a bit, since god is already pissed at you and already has the ultimate punishment in store, so why not earn it? Why the slavish devotion to spread the message of a being that they know is going to torture them for eternity no matter what they do?

 If I had the information that they did, this life would be an entirely different one for me, altogether. It would be one of rebellion against such a being. It would be one of poking him in his eye as often as possible, and doing everything that he commanded me not to just to make sure I got under his skin as much as possible. If he’s going to torture me forever for being a good person, then why not be a bad person and really piss him off? Because he’ll torture me forever plus one?

 And one more thing – No kids. There is no way that I’d satisfy the bastard by making another soul for him to torture for eternity. Yet the Phelps clan seem to still be making them. It baffles me how they’ve come up with such a world view.