It's that time again, and this time I am free of my delusional April 1 rantings.
Back to seriousness... It's been a slow week as far as gun blogging goes. We haven't had a lot in the way of submissions this week. Well, that just provides an opportunity to devote more time to my own analysis and commentary! So please enjoy Carnival of Cordite #54...
How would you like to have a bigger, badder shotgun? I know I would. How would you like to have a bigger, badder SUV? I know I would like that, too. How would you like to combine the two?
Well, combine this:
And then you end up with this:
The Abrams tank commanders have been screaming for a while to get a canister type shell developed for the M1A1 main battle tank. They (and I) think it would be a great weapon for [use in the] tight unit sized battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. The army of Israel has been using one for some time now in their fights in cities. Well, the American tank commanders finally got their wish late last year. This version of the canister when used with the M1A1 Abrams shoots a quantity of 1100 tungsten balls (10mm diameter each ball). The balls are considered lethal out to 700 meters. Remember, this is a 120mm shell we are talking about here. Good luck to any concentrated groups of terrorists that get hit with one of those. Game over.
As Cartman would say, "Sweet!" And I am sure Chef would have something to say about tungsten balls...
Of course, my concern is that our enemies (political, as well as military) will jump on some sort of "this violates the Geneva Conventions!" theme. There are real restrictions on the types of munitions that may be employed against personnel in war. I can imagine someone like this getting all bent out of shape, and trying to claim we are now using some sort of "cluster munitions" against the "peaceful insurgents" in Iraq.
Frankly, I don't give a rat's patootie about the Geneva Conventions, because I don't envision a time in the near (or even distant) future when we are at war with a nation that will uphold them. We aren't going to see a battle against the British or the Poles any time soon. And last I heard, al-Qaeda hadn't signed on.
The Geneva Conventions are useless when only one side believes in them.
Regardless, tanks are cool! You know what's even cooler than tanks?
Spank that Donkey writes to tell us that the at least some people in our Armed Forces still think Battleships are a worthy asset, and should not be turned into museums (or razor blades):
I really come down on the side of the BB's being reactivated.. Take as an example the almost as old Air Force work horse the B-52. Talk about a "weapons platform" that can be retrofitted to serve new missions time after time. First built to deliver nuclear weapons, then converted to conventional bombing in Vietnam. Now finally the B-52's are long from retirement, and have proved their role again with the precision bombing used in co-ordination with our SOF in the ousting of the Taliban from Afghanistan after 9-11.
I agree. Battleships can move fast and carry a lot of ordnance. With all that space and tonnage, there is a lot of flexibility to adapt to new weapons systems and new logistics needs. Plus, they are cool!
MEDIA AND MISINFORMATION:
Does an increase in gun violence come from the guns? Or could it signal an increase in violence in general? Second Breakfast looks at a misleading (surprise) story on increased gun violence in Sacramento:
Tragic, yes. But the writers seem peculiarly focused on guns, as if there were no other method of killing people. Could it be that the increase in violence with guns is accompanied by a concurrent increase in violence without guns? Well, the writers are so focused on guns that I guess we'll never know.
Wait, yes we will. Buried deep in the story is the answer. Look closely, it's pretty subtle and easy to miss:
So far this year, gun violence is rising in tandem with the county's homicide rate.
Did you catch it? I know, I know, it was pretty easy to miss.
Fortunately, we have our ever-vigilant Carnival of Cordite submitters to catch what others miss! To be fair, we should also recognize articles that make sense.
In another case of misreporting, new contributor Wasted Electrons reports on a child who injured an eye because of a paint ball gun. No, wait a minute:
A boy is injured, probably permanently and it was a result of his failure to respect the paintball gun he was handling improperly. Somebody failed to ensure that his gun handling skills were suitable for unsupervised use of the gun. Those are personal responsibility failures, not equipment failures and this story should have been reported that way.
On a side note, I'd like to offer an apology to Wasted Electrons. He had been trying to submit this post for a few weeks now, but technical problems on my end prevented me from being able to read his blog. But things appear to be working (at least, I have a work around), and his by stroke of luck, his post fits in here nicely.
Captain of a Crew of One thinks one great way to get more people thinking like us is to actually make the effort to introduce, or in some cases re-introduce them, to shooting:
Every person we can (re)introduce to firearms and shooting...every person for whom we can remove the mystery and fear associated with firearms...every person to whom we can demonstrate that firearms are nothing more than tools that can be empowering and liberating...is one more person who is more likely to oppose ridiculous, ineffective gun ban schemes and the continuation of the domestication of Americans.
I wouldn't expect to be able to do this in a large metropolis like New York or Los Angeles, but if you live in a smaller community, where your local press is more accessible, you should try identifying reporters who write drivel like what's mentioned here and invite them out, courteously, for an educational experience with the shooting sports. You never know; you might actually get them thinking for a change.
But there may be no hope for people like these...
Meanwhile, Countertop tells us that yet another barking moonbat is printing "news" stories about how "guns are evil and they kill people." You can read additional commentary from Captain of a Crew of One. Speaking of moonbats...
MOONBATS ON PARADE:
What is wrong with this picture?
For more information, check out Countertop's post. And I am sure that this Hollyweird bimbette is reminded daily that "guns are evil and they kill people," yet she thinks nothing of play like this.
Meanwhile, we don't hear any of the usual gun-control suspects condemning Hollyweird for violent gun play.
While we are on the subject of moonbats, The Ten Ring writes in to discuss dealing with moonbats at work. It's a good post that touches on several subjects, but the main focus is the upcoming film United 93:
I mentioned to one person that I’d like to see the movie. Of course, that person told one of the moonbats who told me that the movie would never show the truth of United Flight 93. She went on the usual tirade; cell phones couldn’t have been used, that it must have been shot down and Bush won’t admit it, that the people on board weren’t heroes, that it’s all part of a conspiracy.
I think she stopped talking when she saw my face turning red. I told her that the people on Flight 93 are my personal heroes and I named Jeremy Glick, Mark Bingham, and Todd Beamer. Someone else gave an opinion that floored me and that gives a whole new definition to moonbattery. She felt it was sad that those passengers died while fighting. She thought they should have sat quietly and reflected on their lives and that struggling cheated them of their final moments of peace.
What is it with these peace, love, and tofu people? Would they submit to being strangled when a rapist finished with them? Would they protect their children? Would they protect their country? They have no concept of self-defense. For them, violence for personal protection is the same as violence done for evil.
I can't wait to see this film, as painful as it will be. Just this week, I had to deal with a moonbat of my own here at the law school. One of our idiots has been trying to raise awareness to the "unanswered questions about the WTC." Questions like "what really brought down the Towers?"
I told him that the answer to his unanswered question was "terrorists who hijacked airliners, killing themselves, everyone on board, and 3,000 innocent people in the Towers." I told him to stop listening to people like Charlie Sheen (even though he probably knows things we don't, seeing as how his daddy was President on TV and all).
We just can't seem to win with these people. Maybe the best thing to do is ignore them, and keep them away from sharp objects. No wait, we should give them sharp objects and let nature take its course...
We had a big victory last week as Nebraska joined the ranks of concealed-carry-friendly states. A big victory, indeed! Or was it? Captain of a Crew of One takes issue with an "all or nothing" naysayer:
Over the past 20 years, gun rights have been making a comeback. It hasn't happened all at once, it hasn't happened easily and it hasn't happened because of people simply ignoring the laws. It has happened because leaders have stepped up and have slowly, incrementally and at great personal and collective effort begun restoring our rights...one bite at a time.
I agree completely. I know that in saying this, I will draw the wrath of some "all or nothing" idealists who insist that anything other than the complete elimination of ALL gun laws is not a victory. All I can say to them is "Rome wasn't built in a day. But it burned in one." If we can accept every step in the right direction as a victory, and keep on moving in the right direction, we will eventually win. But if we refuse to accept a small step as a victory, we risk future progress.
Here is the biggest problem, at least as far as gun bloggers go: the internet is a place where idealism thrives and reality takes a back seat. We can easily find a small number of people who think like we think, and we assume that our small sample of friends represents the universe a whole. Then we get outraged when we see a reality that doesn't always agree with us on everything. I'm not just talking guns. I'm talking about every special interest. You see it on lefty websites, where anyone who doesn't agree that "the evil (s)elected pee-resident Dumbya Bull$Hitler concocted 9/11 so we could invade Iraq for oil" is considered part of the vast right wing conspiracy. You see it on Mac forums, where users assume anyone on a PC is a neanderthal. And you see it on gun blog communities, where anything less than an end to all gun laws is viewed as war against humanity. So we lose track of the reality that many people, people who vote and give money to political campaigns, think ideas like "mandatory background checks" and "no guns for felons" are good ideas. You may disagree. I am sure many of you reading this do. Well, the solution is to convince people, one at a time, and build a majority. Standing firm on principles and rejecting any pro-gun legislation that falls short of your ideas will result in... no pro-gun legislation. Worse, making the body public think that anyone on the pro-gun side wants to arm felons is going to result in tougher, not weaker, anti-gun laws.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned...
On to other legal stuff:
You would think that gun bans in places like Washington, D.C., would eliminate violent gun crime. You would be wrong.
And this story sounds so ridiculous, I thought it had to be a late April Fool's Day joke. Nope. The Civilian Gun Self Defense Blog reports on what may be the dumbest attempt at a hold up in years:
Thirty-year old Jahwar Harris walked into the High Dollar Fashions store, and offered the owner $15 for a shirt. The owner told him it was $25, so Harris laid a pistol on the counter and asked the owner 'how much he'd take for it now?'
"He asked for a shirt, placed a weapon, a handgun, up on the counter, the part-time owner took the weapon and put it in his pocket," said Lt. Tracey Barnes of the Albany Police Department. That's right. With the customer's gun now in his own pocket, store co-owner Damien Gardner continued with the checkout.
"There was a discussion about the price of the shirt," Barnes said. "He bought the shirt. As he was walking out he turned and asked for his gun back."
Care to guess how this one ended?
PawPaw wants to let us know that there is a manhunt underway down in Louisiana. The locals aren't just sitting idly by hoping law enforcement will take care of the matter. No, they are instead sitting armed for bear, making sure their kids get off the bus and make it home safe and sound:
Only in gun-friendly Louisiana could a tattooed man with a beard and a rifle wait on a school bus and expect the bus to actually stop.
We hope we find this guy before some citizen like Mr. Sherlock blows him away. We don't want to put any good citizen through that inconvenience.
Of course, we DO hope that the police can find the wanted criminal and bring him to justice. But just because the cops are "on it" doesn't mean we should ignore the matter. If every community took such a proactive stance and refused criminals safe haven, we wouldn't have so many criminals running amok.
Compare and contrast this with this Chicago Boyz report on the approach to crime in Great Britain:
Burglars will be allowed to escape without punishment under new instructions sent to all police forces. Police have been told they can let them off the threat of a court appearance and instead allow them to go with a caution. The same leniency will be shown to criminals responsible for more than 60 other different offenses, ranging from arson through vandalism to sex with underage girls.
And yet, the continue to blame guns for crime...
CAMPAIGNS AND ELECTIONS:
The gun-rights crowd seldom quotes the 2nd amendment in its entirety. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” They usually only cite the last half of the amendment, as though there is no implied context for the right to bear arms.
He goes on to write about how he doesn't believe that there is any problem with more rigorous gun registration, tracking, etc., and how there is no real historical evidence to suggest that the Second Amendment really does confer any sort of unlimited individual right to anything.
Now I am a busy man. Final exams are approaching. Serious campaigns, with candidates who actually stand a chance of winning, are underway. The Bar Exam is looming on the horizon. So I don't have the time to invest in educating every nut case out there on the true nature of the Second Amendment. But I have all of you readers to help me out, right? So please, take a moment to post a comment explaining why the Founding Fathers would cringe to hear such modern reinvention of a fundamental right.
Countertop thinks that we should all vacation in Las Vegas. Enjoy the shows, the all-you-can-eat buffets, the warm sun, the adrenaline rush you can only get from firing an Uzi at a life-like Usama Bin Laden target... As Countertop says, "Yeah, baby!"
And I'm guessing Las Vegas is one of the best places to try to meet people like this:
Just up Hwy 395 from Las Vegas is Reno. Remember that Mr. Completely is organizing a convention of gun bloggers. He wanted to get Ted Nugent to come as a guest speaker, but it turns out that was a little out of his budget.
Maybe we could lower the cost by killing and grilling our own food for the buffet?
And if you like a little challenge, Vengeful Zhid wants you to identify all of these (no peeking at the hint below the photo in his post):
Xavier is my kind of gunsmith. I wish I lived nearby, because I can definitely afford his services. The guy works for peanuts:
I also appreciate the fact that he is willing to talk a friend out of excessive gunsmithing:
After looking over Bob's gun, I saw it wore the original blue finish. It would be a shame to cut up such a gun, and I voiced my reservations. Bob agreed...
Me, too! While we can all appreciate the joy of a nice custom 1911 made to order, there is no need to cut up a nice antique. If you want a "project gun," why not start with something a little more common, like a recently-produced Springfield? If you don't mind a little legwork, you could probably easily find a good deal on a used late-model Springfield. Just keep checking local gun and pawn shops, and you will find a suitable candidate soon enough. Their recent models are already pretty decent without a lot of custom gunsmithing, and you wouldn't have to worry about the guilt that sets in when you hack up a piece of history.
Speaking of made to order stuff, I have been tinkering with the idea of building up a Ruger Ranch Rifle into a SHTF weapon. I haven't bought one yet (waiting for gainful employment!), so I e-mailed AnarchAngel to ask what he thought about blue vs. stainless. He replied by reminding me of an earlier post he had made about firearms frame finishes. I know we ran this before, but since I've brought the subject up, we may as well run it again. Since that post was really more about frames than about rifles, he also offered this bit of advice:
Basically I wouldn't buy anything other than the stainless, unless you planned on having it refinished with a tough synthetic non-glare finish.
Since the cost difference between stainless and blue isn't very large in the Ruger, I believe I will heed his advice when purchase time comes.
I've owned and shot a Ruger Vaquero in 45 Colt for about 6 years. In all that time, I've only found one load that shot true point of aim, with any kind of accuracy. And that was a commercial round: Winchester's 250 grain lead round nose ammo. But it's expensive, at around $25.00 a box of 50. So I got the ballistics data from Winchester's data page, and set off to find a good dependable load that I can put together.
If you haven't tried hand-loading yet, you are missing out on one of the most important elements of shooting. Some people hand-load to get the most extreme accuracy. Others do it because they want to churn out thousands of rounds of competition ammo without breaking the bank. But even if you aren't an extreme shooter, there are some very real reasons to consider hand-loading. Consider Geezer, who just wants to be able to shoot his Vaquero without spending over 50 cents per round or filing down his sights. Some of you may have an older firearm in a little-used caliber: hand-loading can keep you shooting without spending an ever-increasing amount of money on an ever-dwindling and harder-to-find supply of "gun-show special" ammo. Or maybe you just have a favorite firearm that just doesn't hit the bull's eye like it used to: maybe it isn't the firearm; maybe the current offerings in factory ammo just don't mesh well with it, and hand-loading can bring it back to life.
Plus, it's fun to just sit there running the press up and down. You can work off the frustrations of daily life while listening to soothing music, knowing that every pump of the press produces another primed projectile.
Ah, the smell of cordite...
If you think the only way to shoot a .45 is with black powder, you may be interested in starting up a black powder e-postal match:
If there are three or more black powder hand-gunners out there that are willing to enter, I'll create a class just for them.
I am unclear from Mr. Completely's post if this would be limited to muzzle loaders, or if it would include black powder-loaded cartridges,like you might find in a Colt S.A. Army or Ruger Vaquero. I suppose you'd have to work that out with him.
And Hell in a Handbasket offers his two cents on choosing a handgun cartridge for self defense:
While the .380 ACP is at the low end of the scale, it is also possible to have too much gun...
The most powerful cartridge that I can recommend for defense is the .357 Magnum...
Of course, there isn't much in-between. There is the 9mm, of course. And even though the bullets are larger, I would include the .40 S&W and .45 ACP. And let's not overlook the lesser used rounds like .357 Sig... Pages and pages (indeed, volumes and volumes) have been written about the merits of each, and yet we are still arguing!
Here is my take: the "right" one to shoot is... the one you will shoot! Working within a range of options from the .380 ACP on the light side, to .357 Magnum and .45 ACP on the heavy side, shoot a variety of handguns in a variety of calibers, and stick with the one that feels right to you, the one you will practice with the most. It's better to have a handgun in an "imperfect" caliber that you know well and can use under duress than it is to have a "perfect" handgun that gathers dust in your closet and never feels natural in your hands. Then practice. And be sure to practice efficient reloading!
Mr. Completely has Rimfire Roundup #8 ready for your smallbore reading pleasure. Amongst the entries is this one that I think I missed last week during the April Fool's Day meltdown:
Be sure to read the rest for the latest and greatest .22 posts from around the blogosphere.
Also check out his latest pin shooting report:
And heed this sage advice:
At this point a lot of shooters beat themselves by dwelling on their poor showing on the second table. KeeWee did just exactly what she should have done. She put the bad table behind her, and focused on the next table. The buzzer sounded, and she shot one of her best tables of the day, as you can see by the ... picture above.
And finally... Here's another belated post from Wasted Electrons, who wanted to share the fun he and some others had on a recent shooting trip:
No word on how that tasted, though...
That wraps up this week's edition of the Carnival of Cordite. If you would like to send in submissions for publication, please use the handy Carnival Submit Form from Conservative Cat (you can use this to send your work to dozens of carnivals with a single handy form). If you have multiple submissions, or if you just want to give me some feedback, you can e-mail the Carnival:
c a r n i v a l o f c o r d i t e A T h o t m a i l D OT c o m
We'll see you next week. Until then, keep your powder dry!