Sunday, January 3, 2010

Shamelessly stolen from Kevin at the Smallest Minority

I love the strategic placement of the 0bama posters. It just completes the whole package.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blog update

I guess the only thing I can say about updating is that at least I haven't waited three months to update or write something.

I have written a few posts, but due to an incomplete thought or not having complete information on a variety of topics I have started to write about, I just haven't finished up several smaller posts sitting in my draft box.
I managed to contract a real sumbitch of a bug, the jury is still out as to whether it fell under the category of cold, flu, or just a bug. It has made the rounds around everyone I know, and it takes a week or two to really get through it. Of course, I managed to come down with this particular illness right prior to finals week. Despite being so sick I had to take enough medicine to allow me to see through time, I managed to study enough to pass my final exams.
Christmas was standard fare for someone who works in the industry that I am in. I spend a few hours with my family, then it's off to work to serve my community.

However, I did have an interesting experience prior to Christmas.
Well, two, really.

First off, I have some relatives that live down in Southwest Texas, and I go down to pick up different odds and ends from time to time, or just to see how they're doing. Well, in the small town they live in, there is an Ace Hardware store, locally known as Morrisons. To say it is just an Ace hardware store is being a bit disingenuous. It is the local:
1. Radio Shack
2. AT&T store
3. CAT and John Deere rental house
4. Home appliance store
5. Firearms shop

I love going in there, because you never know what you are going to find. There is a standard glass display counter that has literally dozens and dozens of handguns stacked on top of each other, then they have a glass cabinet stuffed to the gills with rifles and shotguns. You will see AR pattern rifles, AK knockoffs, Dragunovs, Remington 700's, you name it.
The best part is, no one seems to think this is unusual. Firearms are literally that prevalent in the local society that this doesn't raise an eyebrow. Nor does the fact that there are shelves that have cases upon cases of ammo, and next to the ammo is dishware.
Do I love small town Texas? You bet.
Where else can you go and join in conversations over ballistics, stopping power of different calibers, or even politics with not only local gun nuts, but with the local sheriffs deputies, game wardens, and state police?
Anyway, I was heading into Morrisons Ace Hardware, hoping to pick up some rifle and pistol primers and peruse their selection of firearms, when I was accosted by Santa Clause.

No, not really accosted. Let me put that another way.
Santa tried to sell me a gun.

Yes, friends and neighbors, Santa Clause handed a couple thousand primers over the counter, and let me put my hands on a couple of 1911's I have been drooling over, as well as a Saiga 12 they had on the rack.
I did not know that Santa was so knowledgeable about guns, nor that he worked in an Ace Hardware in southwest Texas in his spare time. I wouldn't have figured the climate would agree with him, but I guess he gets tired of the north pole from time to time.
Or something.
I know it's useless without pics, but believe me, in no way can imagination trump reality on this one. "HOHOHO, LOCK AND LOAD!"

The next item up was that I finally started filling out the paperwork to get my C&R license from the ATF, and I also started filling out the paperwork to do some NFA transfers/construction.
I have been waiting for a while to do this, as I have not been looking forward to bothering my local chief of police or Sheriff.
Apparently, I was not wrong to be concerned about such things.

I spent a little time doing some research on building a suppressor as opposed to buying one, and finally decided that was the avenue I wanted to take. I have quite a bit of machinist and welding experience, and since the average suppressor for a .22 only consists of about 50 bucks (or less) of raw material, I imagine that building one was well within my reach.

A while back, during the Great Obama bum gun rush of late 2oo8, I happened across a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 receiver at one of my local Merchants of Death. I decided to buy it, as AR's were getting pretty tough to find, and I knew it to be a decent investment. Well, after some deliberation, I decided to sell it to a friend of mine who had been wanting to build an AR. He amassed a lower parts kit from the good fellows at Model 1 Sales and brought it to me for assembly.
Unfortunately, said friend moved off to Nevada in search of bluer skies, and left his finished lower receiver with me for storage. Contact was later made as this friend needed money for various reasons, and a decision was made to sell the completed lower back to me. Not because I really need another AR, but because a friend needed money and does not like to borrow.

So, a really nice AR receiver. What to do with it?
Ah. I know. A chance to register it as a Short Barreled Rifle with the ATF and procure a 7 or 10 inch barreled upper for it?

So, I finally sack up enough to contact my local chief LEO and request a few moments of his time and some signatures on some NFA paperwork.
His secretary was friendly enough on the phone as to the whole matter, but I could tell that the term NFA or Title II paperwork mean exactly NADA to this person.
I set up my appointment to speak to the Chief of Police, and headed downtown to get all this baloney out of the way.

The Chief was pleasant, but firm.
He has never, nor will he ever, sign off on an individual owning a suppressor. He seemed less troubled by my request to manufacture a short barreled rifle than he did anything else, but the kicker was when I inquired about me owning a machinegun. Would he sign off on such a transfer?

"No civilian has the right nor need to own a machinegun. I will not allow anyone not currently law enforcement or military to own such an item. I will refuse to sign on any transfer of one, and I stand by that. Machineguns are not to be owned or used by any civilian at any time."

Apparently, this guy needs a lesson in understanding the Constitution. Need? We don' need no stinkin' need!

Frustrated, I gathered my paperwork and headed home. A trip to the range was in order, to get some r&r before my next venture.

Upon leaving my local bullet hose club, I gave the local sheriff a call. I got in touch with the man immediately, and set up an appointment to discuss the matters of NFA transfers with him. He seemed a bit cautious over the phone, but not completely close-minded about it.

I met with the Sheriff the next day, and was very impressed with his mindset on the whole thing. He was cautious in his dealings with me, but seemed open to the idea that ownership of NFA items was not only legal, but perfectly okay for many people to do. He asked me what my reason for owning a suppressor and short barreled rifle were, and proceeded to ask me why I 'needeed' a machine gun. I informed him that I was extremely grateful to live in a state wherein need did not legislate ownership of anything, and that if we were all living by need alone, we would both be riding bicycles to work and would have never heard of things like big screen TV's, SUV's, sports cars, nor would we have ever even gone out to a restaurant to eat.
The Sheriff nodded, and said he agreed. Need should not dictate ownership. That is never what our country (nor my state) has been about.

We spoke at length about some things pertinent to my ownership of such items, and I informed him that no one of sane mind would jump through all these hoops, spend thousands of dollars, try to get permission from their local law enforcement for ownership, be registered by the ATF, and have background checks done on a local and federal level, all to let their weaponry fall into the wrong hands or use it to kill a bunch of cops or a school bus full of kids.
I informed the Sheriff that I have lived my life according to the rule of law, even if it meant following laws I found unconstitutional or that I plain didn't like. I have gone out of my way to abide by the law in every way. I go out of my way to be a responsible gun owner and keep my weaponry out of the hands of those who would misuse it. I work hard at training new shooters, both young and old, as to the proper handling, storage, and usage of a firearm.

In closing, he informed me that pending a local background check proved me legally fit to own such an item, he had absolutely no problem with my transfers or manufacture of these politically incorrect items and would grant signature pending the background check. He then wished me and my family a Merry Christmas, and walked me out.

The sheriff may not be crazy about the idea (mainly, it seems, because I haven't lived out here too long and he really doesn't know me), but he knows that I have a right to own such items, and he is willing and able to aid me in acquiring them.

Fair enough.

Many times over, I have looked at rulings handed down by judges and courts, and I have longed to see either one say, "You know, I may not like this ruling, and I may disagree strongly with it on a personal level, but this is what the Constitution says, and I will not stand in the way."
Instead, we get rulings like the Heller case, where it is nothing more than a half decent interpretation of the law, instead of the law itself.

However, I think my experience with the local sheriff is a good example of an upstanding peace officer giving way to the rule of the constitution instead of forcing his own emotions into law, like my chief of police.

So, my paperwork is still pending at the Sheriffs office, but that is the best Christmas gift I have gotten this year.
Well, except for my family and friends and stuff. Those are kinda nice too.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Man. I 'm like, famous or something.

Every now and then, I get a case of insomnia. I work nights and go to school during the day, so this sleep issue is fairly infrequent.
Last night, I was wandering around Kevin's site and was having a bit of a chuckle to myself as the Usual Suspects were giving Marka-tannerite-delphia a good bit of hell about, well, everything.

There was a bit of a sticking point wherein I decided the internet needed my input in order to continue in a state of being, so I rambled and ranted my way into the culminations of 1000 drunk monkeys with keyboards.
Apparently, I got something right for once.
Even a blind pig finds a truffle once in a while.

The only problem with my ranting is that the response I got from the site's token liberal.......didn't come close to making a bit of sense. Ever.

I enjoy reading Kevin's blog, as well as commenters therein (i.e. U-J, et al). I suppose I will have to make more of a habit of doing so in the ensuing days.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A comparison of idiocy.


Ok, ignore that. I just wanted to see if it sounded as stupid as the whole 'health care is a human right' thing. It does.
I guess I shouldn't say that too loud, the left might hear it and take it seriously.
Carry on.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Poll at the local bird cage liner

I was reading the local paper, and saw an interesting poll asking if there was any concern about the availability of guns and ammunition. My response is here:

I am indeed deeply concerned about the availability of guns and ammunition throughout our state and country. It has become increasingly harder for people to find ammunition and certain firearms are either non-existent or on back order for weeks or months to come. Seeing as how many firearms and most ammunition is in short supply in these rough political times, I suggest that the firearm and ammunition companies petition the government for either a bailout to help increase production, or perhaps nudge congress to pass a law enabling more ammunition to be manufactured and forcing producers of guns and ammunition to sufficiently arm everyone interested. Perhaps more of the "trickle-up" thinking, except with firearms and ammunition instead of taxpayer dollars?

Perhaps the article was asking if I was concerned about the rampant availability of guns and ammunition in these United States compared to other countries. Perhaps the article is trying to link the availability of guns and ammunition that honest and law abiding citizens purchase to the ownership and usage of guns by criminals. Surely no one would ever equate honest citizens to criminals based solely on their ownership of an inanimate object?

No criminal has ever been hindered in the least by any gun law on the books, nor by the "availability" of any sort of weaponry. A good example would be the hometown of our community-organizer-in-chief, Chicago, or perhaps even Washington, D.C., wherein handguns are banned and longarms are heavily regulated. Thus any crime committed with a firearm is totally unpossible and has never occurred, due to the lack of availability of firearms in those utopias of peace and understanding.
(Any report otherwise through any news media must be the result of the evil NRA gun lobby teaming up with the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to promote lies and untruths simply to push their agenda of arming everyone in these areas.)

Thomas Jefferson: "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined or determined to commit crimes. Such laws only make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assassins; they serve to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

George Washington: "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them [guns] by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference [crime]. When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." (Address to 1st session of Congress)

I'm wondering if it will ever see the light of day. Here's to hoping!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blogging? Sure. Why not?

Well, I've been meaning to update my blog for some time now and now that I got me one of them there iPhone thingys, I can post much easier and more frequently.

I had every intention of getting things running again here on Blogger, but I was absolutely swamped for time this summer, as I was taking a combined 12 hour course load at my local institute of higher edjumacation. I got done with summer classes just in time to catch my breath and then start my fall classes. In addition to school, I work at a full time job, and try to balance a family on top of that.
I would say that i've been to busy to blog, but you probably already guessed that.

I've been spending some of my spare time (what little I have, anyway) down at my local gun club. The downside to living out in this part of west Texas is that there is only one gun range within an hour or two's drive. The upside to that is that it's only 100 bucks a year to join and go as often as you want, and it is pretty much a full-featured range. There are bays for just about any kind of shooting and any kind of rifle or pistol. There is also another range owned by the same people that's a shotgun-only range for trap and skeet shooters. It's also a really nice facility with a decent pro shop and a number of other niceties.

It's odd being out in this part of Texas when I compare it to northeast Texas where I grew up. There are a lot of similarities but a number of differences too. I kinda enjoy living in a town where it is not unusual to see a coyote chasing a jackrabbit through part of a park adjacent to a college campus. That same campus is not only in town, but is minutes from my home. I enjoy the small town feel this area has, even though there is about 250k people in the surrounding area. There is a distinct lack of Obama stickers in this area as well. I enjoy that. The area of Texas I moved from was overflowing with them when I left, leading me to believe either a lot of idiots had moved in, or people from that area were increasingly buying into O's bullshit and drinking the B.O. Koolaid.
It sucks watching a small conservative town outgrow itself over the years. However, given the availability of inexpensive land out here and the large libertarian base, I am pretty sure I can get back to my own rural Texas roots with ease. Buying up a few dozen acres and building a house in the middle of nowhere should pretty much guarantee that I will be happy for some time in this area. Given how desolate it is outside the city limits and the number of rattlesnakes crawling around, I don't think the jehovahs witnesses will be knocking on my door anytime soon.
Hopefully I can start updating this more often, and get back in the circle of blogging friends I had once established.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Still working on it....

Still getting things set up, blogrolls, links, etc.

I am heading out of town for a few days on unexpected personal business, but hope to be back within a week to get things wrapped up here and get back to blogging.