Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, small defenseless woodland creatures, gather 'round! The time has come for the Premiere Episode of The Carnival of Cordite!
That's how it all began, way back with Carnival of Cordite #1. How much has happened since then! Before we get to this week's (and last week's) contributions, I am taking the occasion of our 52nd issue to look back over the year (actually, with Christmas break and a few other weeks off, a little more than a year).
Carnival of Cordite #2 was the first to feature not just excerpts from submissions, but also pictures, like this:
That got people's attention (thank you, Wadcutter) and helped bring in many new readers and submitters.
In our fourth issue, AnarchAngel had the honor of being the first guest host. Carnival of Cordite #4 also introduced our readers to the concept of "gun pr0n" combining beautiful women and mighty weaponry, like this:
Thanks to Heartless Libertarian (and Mrs. Heartless Libertarian) for being good sports!
Also, by this time the Carnival of Cordite started to (sometimes) get links from Instapundit. For the first time as a blogger, I exceeded my allotted bandwidth, and all because of that infernal Puppy Blending law professor and his links!
Carnival of Cordite #8 was a skimpy one - because of tragedy. Before producing that issue, I had spent most of the day watching the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Almost a year has passed since his death, and the world still feels the void - and I say that not even as a Catholic.
April 15, the day most of us think of as tax day, was also the day of Carnival of Cordite #9, and Buy a Gun Day!
Speaking of which, we are less than a month away from the next Buy a Gun Day, so start thinking about what you want now. I am interested in one of these.
Issue 9 was also good because the Oleg Volk artwork featured got the attention of someone who has since become one of our most important contributors (and who has, no doubt, been responsible for many, many readers becoming regular readers). I am, of course, referring to she-who-debuted in Carnival of Cordite #10:
Yes, I am talking about Kit!
Making a little joke about buildings that skip the 13th floor (and to make up for a week missed due to technical problems), we skipped issue #12 and went right to Carnival of Cordite #13. Being issue 13, and by coincidence landing on a Friday the 13th, we built on the zombie theme. I particularly got a kick out of the many "Jason" subsection dividers...
Issue 13 also marked a turning point of a different sort: the first time I came out of the shadows of anonymity and allowed the rest of me (apart from the feet) to be seen!
Do not anger me, or Betsy will bite your ankles off!
Another week, and another great guest host: Les Jones brought us Carnival of Cordite #14. Les introduced the idea of a discussion question, to help invite comments.
You've probably heard the expression "the only thing better than a boat is a friend with a boat." Which gun would you like to be able to shoot that you probably wouldn't buy for yourself? It might be a gun that's very expensive, or it might be a gun that you just don't have any practical use for. To go back to the boat analogy, if your best friend asked you to go shoot his new gun, what would you most hope that gun would be?
While we haven't done it every week since, I estimate that a few dozen subsequent carnivals ended with a question. Thanks, Les, for adding some tradition.
Carnival of Cordite #15 came on Memorial Day Weekend. Guest host Countertop led things off with a stirring tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice:
He also took gun pr0n to a whole new level for us...
Carnival of Cordite #16 reminded us of the events at Tiananmen Square:
Our 16th episode also welcomed the first contribution from one of our most important contributors ever since, Mr. Completely. Demonstrating what would become a habit, Mr. Completely immediately got behind my efforts to keep the Carnival of Cordite looking good:
Another week, another great guest host: Carnival of Cordite #17 was brought to us with the help of Eric's Grumbles Before the Grave. Eric went on shortly after this to produce the Life, Liberty, and Property Community and helped get the Carnival of Liberty going!
More on this later...
Carnival of Cordite #19 welcomed another guest host, the Revolutionary War Veterans Association. It also was the first Carnival of Cordite after the Supreme Court took a big chunk out of our private property rights in Kelo. This was one of the major factors that led Eric to create that Carnival of Liberty I mentioned above.
This picture has been all over the internet and is the source of popular urban legend. Surprisingly to me, periodic review of my blog referral stats shows that, after Veronika Zeminova, I get more hits from people checking their facts about this bear than anything else. Strange how things work sometimes...
Oh, alright, here's Veronika Zeminova:
Just one week later, tragedy struck again: cowardly terrorists struck against our best ally in the war on terror, killing dozens of innocent civilians in London. Carnival of Cordite #21 was dedicated to the victims of 7/7.
Another week, another guest host: But That's Just My Opinion brought us Carnival of Cordite #23 with a focus on the war on terror. Remember above when I said there would be more about Team Infidel? Well...
One of my internet friends, Chris the AnarchAngel, a regular contributor to my Carnival of Cordite, has learned that a fatwah has been issued against him by islamofacist terrorists. Why? Because he has had the guts to post the truth about our enemies.
I'm a little worried for Chris, but not overly so. Chris is a veteran and a security specialist. He knows his stuff. He can, and will, take care of himself. I'm more worried about his friends and family. He may be a 300 pound gorilla martial-arts expert with a huge personal arsenal -- but he can't be around everyone he knows all the time to protect them. The cravenly coward terrorists who issued this fatwah have no qualms about killing the innocent.
They are already targeting innocents. They killed 3,000 Americans for the crime of being American. They blew up buses and trains in London to punish Londoners for being British. What's to stop them from targeting me?
Well, Chris, I want you to know that even though you live far away, even though we've never met in person, I stand with you. A threat against one of my fellow Americans is a threat against us all. A threat against one of my fellow bloggers is a threat against us all. If islamofacist terrorists want to target me, want to issue a fatwah against me, for this show of solidarity, then so be it. I am an American, a Patriot, and a sworn enemy of terror; I believe that every islamofacist terrorist out there already wants me dead, anyway.
So if I am already a target, I may as well hold my head high. When I took the Oath of Office in joining the United States Air Force, I swore an Oath to God that I would support and defend my nation against all enemies. An oath like that doesn't end with an honorable discharge.
Chris, you have thousands of fellow bloggers out there watching your back. Let us know if we can be of any help.
Since then, the United States military has wiped out a few thousand more terrorists. Chris remains unharmed. USA! USA!
Carnival of Cordite #24 came from yet another guest host, Boxing Alcibiades. This was the last guest host for some time, as the Carnival took on a semi-permanent home at my own blog, starting with special milestone issue Carnival of Cordite #25.
I had originally planned to just start the Carnival going, then let it pass from guest to guest. But it turned out I had so much fun doing it that I wanted to keep it here as much as possible.
OK. I'm a greedy bastard. What can I say?
Carnival of Cordite #26 allowed me to be an early advocate for a very special project that has since grown by leaps and bounds:
Our right to keep and bear arms, like all of our rights, is protected not just by our own actions, but also by the sacrifice of so many of our brave young men and women in uniform. Sometimes, others die so that we remain free. And sometimes, others leave the battlefields and the training grounds injured, broken beyond repair, so that we may remain safe and healthy.
Project Valour IT, which stands for Voice Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops, is working hard to help those who have done so much to help us all.
Please take a moment to learn more about Project Valour IT.
Go check it out. They still need your help!
It also resulted in what is, after Veronika Zeminova and the giant bear, my third biggest Google hit: a nice Jewish girl...
(with thanks to Countertop...)
Carnival of Cordite #27 was the first to offer up a large section dedicated to gun safety. This time, it dealt with Glocks:
And now, my two cents: Glocks are excellent guns, but, perhaps more so than others, truly belong only in the hands of trained professionals who will practice, practice, and practice some more. I would happily issue Glocks to S.W.A.T., H.R.T., and military special forces. But I wouldn't put one in the hands of a beat cop, unless my department had a lot of mandatory training.
That's no attack on beat cops, mind you. It's just recognition of the fact that too many police departments place little value on marksmanship and firearms safety training, and without a healthy department budget for ammunition and paid range time, it's hard for most beat cops to put in a whole lot of practice. That needs to change!
But, as demonstrated in Kit's photo up above, the most important rule of Glock safety (actually of all gun safety) is KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT!
The following week, Carnival of Cordite #28 featured the first guest e-mail from a relative:
I got this in the mail from the old man:
US Marine Corp Rules for Gunfighting
1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a "4."
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral & diagonal preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.
Navy SEAL Rules for Gunfighting
1. Look very cool in sunglasses.
2. Kill every living thing within view.
3. Adjust Speedo.
4. Check hair in mirror.
US Army Rules For Gunfighting
1. Select a new beret to wear.
2. Sew combat patch on right shoulder.
3. Change the color of beret you decide to wear.
4. Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
5. Locate individuals requiring killing.
6. Request permission via radio from "Higher" to perform killing.
7. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
8. Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving.
US Air Force Rules For Gunfighting
1. Have a cocktail.
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what's on HBO.
4. Ask "what is a gunfight?"
5. Request more funding from Congress with a "killer" PowerPoint presentation.
6. Wine & dine key Congressmen, invite DOD & defense industry executives.
7. Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
8. Declare the assets "strategic" and never deploy them operationally.
9. Hurry to make 1345 tee-time.
US Navy Rules For Gunfighting
1. Go to sea.
2. Drink coffee.
3. Watch porn.
4. Land the Marines.
And in the interest of full disclosure: the old man spent 30 years in the Navy, and I spent 6 in the Air Farce, I mean, Force.
The fun and games ground to halt the week after that: Hurricane Katrina hit. We put off the Carnival of Cordite for a week to focus on disaster relief, then returned with a double issue a week later.
Unfortunately, the opening theme of Carnival of Cordite #29 was our worst fears come true: forced gun confiscations by the government in a time of emergency:
The BIG BREAKING NEWS in shooting circles has come up in the last 24 hours: there is talk of gun confiscation beginning in New Orleans. Worse, it appears to be an elitist action, as bodyguards for the wealthy are exempted.
THIS IS OUR NIGHTMARE SCENARIO!
Some early commentators:
Libercontrarian: "We don't have to worry about the 2nd Amendment anymore..."
Of Arms and the Law: "Same old-same old in New Orleans."
It's too soon to expect a lot of volume in the way of commentary, so I am asking all of you readers to read these links and make this the center of your posting for next week!
Boy, did you readers come through! New Orleans dominated the discussion in Carnival of Cordite #30. I just can't do justice to it with a few excerpts, so please, refresh your memories and read it again.
Both of these Carnival of Cordite issues also featured in-depth discussion on firearms for emergency situations. If you are interested in preparedness, go back and re-read them all.
Here's the bottom line: Randy Lee is the best revolver gunsmith working today. He is clearly one of the greatest S&W mechanics ever. Back in the day, I was lucky enough to shoot guns from some of the legendary PPC revolversmiths, and I would put Randy's 625 against any of those guns. I suggest you get your S&Ws to him TODAY, because as soon as word gets out, he's going to be sitting on a waiting list like you wouldn't believe!
I am curious how much new business Randy Lee received because of Michael Bane's web plug... Perhaps Mr. Bane can find out and let us know?
When Carnival of Cordite #32 came around, I was happy to announce that, thanks to Uncle, I was able to set up a Blog Ads account and get my first PAYING CUSTOMER! I've been getting a teeny, tiny bit of income ever since. Not much, but enough to at least cover the expenses of running this blog.
THIS IS A HINT: YOU ARE NOW SUPPOSED TO SCROLL UP AND DOWN THE LEFT SIDEBAR AND CLICK ON ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE AN AD!
The Gullybabe and I thank you in advance for helping to pay off the law school student loans!
Along came Carnival of Cordite #33... This week, we learned about the gift that keeps on giving: a custom stock for a loved-one's small frame:
Looks like quite a difference in the fit! But is it a good fit for Kit? You all decide for yourselves:
And the following week, in Carnival of Cordite #34, we found out how it works in the field:
You know, in case I don't say it enough: THANK YOU, KIT!
Big news one week later: as reported in Carnival of Cordite #35, we achieved a major victory with the passage of a lawsuit immunity bill!
The following week, in our pre-Hallowe'en Carnival of Cordite #36, the big news was the general gun-fearing-weaselness of the new James Bond. Rather than waste time with that idiot, how about we instead remember the infamous Hallowe'en Kalashnikitty!
Carnival of Cordite #38 was our Veterans' Day edition, recognizing the guns of our Armed Forces, as well as celebrating the 230th birthday of the U.S.M.C. It also marked the first contribution from a certain nationally syndicated talk radio host!
One of my biggest supporters is talk radio host Lars Larson. I heard Lars talking about his weekend hunting trip on the radio, so I sent him an e-mail congratulating him on his kills. He e-mailed me some photos, so I put together this photo album for him.
Even though Lars and I have our disagreements over a few things, he continues to be a great conservative voice on the radio with both his national and local Oregon show. And he is a STALWART defender of the Second Amendment. As the photos show, he knows his way around an elk rifle, too.
Gun safety came back in a big, ugly way in Carnival of Cordite #39:
This is what happens when you don't follow proper safety protocols! If all the hard work I do bringing you guys the Carnival of Cordite can keep just one person from doing something like this, then it will all be worth it.
After a hurried Carnival of Cordite #40, we had our last issue of 2005 in Carnival of Cordite #41. This was the pre-Christmas issue, so naturally there was talk of presents. My favorite was this from Day by Day's Chris Muir:
But all the celebration soon took a backseat to sheer terror, as ZOMBIES TOOK OVER during a rare full-moon Friday the 13th! Fortunately, we had a special all zombie edition Carnival of Cordite #43 to prepare us all for the worst, and keep us informed of zombie advancements across the nation:
Avoid New York City, where Mayor Bloomberg's brain has apparently already been eaten by zombies! More here. Yet more here. Someone needs to remind Mayor Bloomberg, or what is left of him now the zombies have got him, that gun ownership is a fundamental right, like voting. Or maybe, just maybe, Bloomberg is actually playing a clever game of chicken? Nah...
And zombies appear to have eaten the brain of at least one Boston city councilor.
Fortunately, y'all managed to fight off the zombie hordes and return us to safety for Carnival of Cordite #44. Sadly, this week brought us news of a demise more bittersweet than any zombie victim:
Another busy blogger, Michael Bane, first brings us some sad news:
U.S. Repeating Arms Co. Inc. said Tuesday it will close its Winchester firearm factory, threatening the future of a rifle that was once called "The Gun that Won the West."
Frankly, I'd rather have seen the Zombies eat Mayor Bloomberg's brain...
But happier times returned the following week, as Carnival of Cordite #45 was, aptly, dedicated to:
Ordinarily, we feature posts on a very broad range of topics within that sphere. But this week, in honor of it being our 45th issue, we are focusing on a more narrow theme. You guessed it: the magical number 45!
You know, I thought that, after owning five different 1911's, I knew a thing or two about 'em. And yet I learned a few new things that week. It's amazing what the collective knowledge base of all you readers and contributors can produce!
Of course, not every .45 is a 1911...
Time got the better of me yet again, and Carnival of Cordite #46 was skimpier than I would have liked. But the following week more than made up for it. Carnival of Cordite #47 was truly historic. In what may have been the single greatest campaign strategy in the history of elections, a major candidate for the Governor of Oregon sent in material for the Carnival!
I'm going to reproduce that section in its entirety (and keep an eye down below for an update in the new material) because it is just that dang important:
I'd like to leap right into Oregon politics and the Governor's race. As regular readers know, I have been a big supporter of Jason Atkinson. Well guess what? He has noticed, and sent me his own hunting photos and a fun video for the Carnival of Cordite! Who ever would have thought that political candidates would be seeking out yours truly in such a way?
First off, here are some shots from the field:
That's Jason with Stella, his favorite hunting buddy and a Browning over-under.
This one is Jason and Stella, with a Remington shotgun, waiting for the ducks to come.
Jason and Stella with some good looking ducks!
And here's Jason and Stella with a fine pheasant!
And it wasn't just hunting photos he sent in for the Carnival. He also send me this video of some good old fashioned M-60 rock and roll, along with the following note:
Forwarded this from a friend of mine: one trigger pull ... 850 rounds through a 15,000 round-life barrel. Enjoy!
Oh, I enjoy!
So here is yet another reason why it is important to support Jason Atkinson for Governor of Oregon, and why all you out of state readers should check him out and spread the word about him - the man kills things and likes machine guns!
And how is this different from his Republican opponents? Well, Ronald Reagan always asked us to follow the 11th Commandment, but on an issue this important, I simply must say:
Kevin Mannix claims he is a good pro-gun politician, and to his credit he did help pass a concealed carry law for Oregon a decade ago. But, he has always supported mandatory background checks for private sales and other "progressive" gun laws. And, he drew the wrath of the Oregon Firearms Federation, earning a "public enemy number one" ranking alongside Ginny Burdick, Oregon's most notorious anti-gun democrat.
Ron Saxton also claims he supports the Second Amendment. But Ron is quickly earning a reputation as a liberal masquerading as a conservative and a flip flopper on big issues. So while Ron may talk a good talk on guns, can we trust him?
I'll leave the discussion on other campaign issues for another time. But if you are a single issue voter, I think it is clear that there is only one choice for Oregon's next Governor: Senator Jason Atkinson!
So please, if you are a regular Carnival of Cordite reader, even if you are from a far away state, take a moment to read his website and spread the word - because here in the Pacific Northwest, an anti-gun law is always just one vote away, and the opposition is hiding behind pro-gun language even though they maintain anti-gun policies. We'd hate to see a fairly pro-gun state like Oregon end up like Massachusetts...
Like I said, keep your eyes open for more down below...
Real Life has been getting the better of me the last several weeks. I was glad to see the Revolutionary War Veterans' Association step up and fill in on short notice as a guest host for Carnival of Cordite #48. This, of course, was also the week that most bloggers weighed in on Dick Cheney's hunting accident (after many of them learned about it in the "breaking news" section of the previous Carnival of Cordite...).
After a brief return for Carnival of Cordite #49, I again passed the reigns over to another veteran guest host, AnarchAngel, who produced Carnival of Cordite #50. Being issue #50, AnarchAngel led things off with a series of .50 caliber posts. My favorite: some good illustrations of the power of .50 AE and .50 BMG!
Rounding out the history lesson, yet another veteran guest host filled in for me while I was on a trip. Thanks go to Countertop for hosting Carnival of Cordite #51.
You gotta love Countertop's outlook on life:
I'm so happy, here's a couple of .45s just for the hell of it.
You know, I can't argue with logic like that. And that brings us to...
I had to break this up into two posts because of space limitations, so just click the link above for the rest of this week's fun!