hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
via gun blog Say Uncle, the FN FiveseveN's capabilities just keep getting more and more impressive:

Authorities have noticed an increase in high-caliber weapons in Los Angeles. One of the most startling incidents was when a Fabrique National 57, an assault pistol used to kill big game, was found in a victim's car by detectives investigating a double-homicide last year in North Hollywood.

"You use it on large lions, tigers and bears," said LAPD Deputy Chief Michel Moore, commander of the Valley Bureau.


*wipes eyes*

This is an FN 5.7x28 mm cartridge.

This is a tiger.

The Deputy Chief of the LAPD is either really ignorant about guns or thinks reporters are. He's right about the latter, anyway; if the article's author knew absolutely anything about guns she would have fallen over laughing. It's pretty much the equivalent of claiming that a 1964 VW bug is what you use to race in the Indy 500.


"Crap, that bear's coming for us! You loaded for grizzly, Mike?"

"Sure! Got my .22 rifle right here!"

"Aw, crap.")
hradzka: (plane)
The names of the other two guards involved in the Holocaust Museum shootout have been released. They're Harry Weeks and Jason McCuiston. One's a retired cop, the other is thirty years old and was a cop in Georgia before he moved back home to the DC area and took the job as a museum guard. It was sheer luck that they were in the lobby. Weeks had been working somewhere else before a supervisor asked him to go work the metal detectors; McCuiston was roaming around serving as a stand-in for guards who went on break. The WASHINGTON POST reports that it was McCuiston's first gunfight; the article hints that Weeks was in one before, about 25 years ago.

They're not clear yet to talk about the details on the gunfight, but from what I've read, here's how it went down: the perpetrator approached the museum carrying a .22 pump-action Winchester rifle vertically, under one arm. I don't know if he wore a concealing garment, like a long coat, or if he was just hiding it using his body; his age probably helped, because nobody really looks at an 88-year-old guy to see if he's packing. As he approached the door, guard Stephen Tyrone Johns saw him and courteously opened the door for him. As Johns did so, the perp deployed the gun and shot him in the upper right chest. A .22 is not commonly considered a man-stopping round, but this one apparently did some pretty serious damage, because Johns later died in the hospital. Johns went down; he was grievously injured and in shock, and was not able to draw his weapon. Weeks and McCuiston were able to, and did. They fired eight shots. I don't know if the perp fired at them, or what distances were involved except that like most gunfights, it was pretty short. Also like most gunfights, the adrenaline dump caused accuracy to go all to hell: only one of the eight rounds Weeks and McCuiston fired scored a hit. A good hit, though; nailed the perpetrator in the face. The round exited through his neck. The perp went down. He remains in the hospital in critical condition and, one hopes, in serious agony.

Police searching the perpetrator's room found another rifle: make and model unknown, described as .30 caliber. Interesting he didn't use that. Reports are that the perp was in financial straits; evidently he sought to combine a hate crime with suicide by cop. He also had a list of targets in his car. This list included locations significant to Jews and blacks, as well as Washington National Cathedral, a local Fox News office, and the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard. The breadth of the perpetrator's hate is truly astounding; he vilified everybody from Barack Obama to Bill O'Reilly. When I was a kid in school, we watched a film of Bill Cosby demonstrating the venality of bigotry by performing a character who systematically vilifies every single ethnicity and type of person imaginable. It's the kind of thing that adults find deeply meaningful and significant and kids find stupid and boring. Reading about the perpetrator, though, made me recall that film: he truly hated everybody.
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
There's a scene in the Batman NO MAN'S LAND arc that always annoyed me. The premise is that Gotham has been declared verboten, outside of all law, following a calamitous earthquake that largely destroys the city. Naturally, the folks who stay in town (most of our principals) find themselves in a dog-eat-dog situation where survival of the toughest is the order of the day. Because trade between Gotham and the outside world is so restricted, the street punks find themselves running out of ammo. So they break into the morgue to recover bullets from the bodies of their dead chums.

This scene got points for creepiness and atmospherics, but for a gun nut it was pretty annoying. Bullets aren't hard; a lot of people cast theirs, and you don't need to re-use old bullets. Back in the day, you'd see the gun nuts hitting up their friendly neighborhood mechanics for discarded lead wheel weights. Melt 'em down, cast 'em, by god you've got cheap bullets. I knew one guy who did a lot of re-enactment stuff who would use old roof flashings; apparently they used to use lead for that. Anyway, the catch is the other stuff: primers and powder. I figured the biggest problem would be the primers; reloaders buy those intact, so how would you make your own?

Well, with the recent extraordinary rush on all manner of ammunition and related materials, some folks on the gun boards have started talking about that very thing. It seems that you can take the primer apart, fix it up, and re-prime it using powdered strike-anywhere matches. I even found one enterprising guy who is *firing his guns* using match-head primers *and powder.* The match-head powder is corrosive, so you have to wash the gun with water and clean it well after shooting, and the ammunition is underpowered; he says that it makes a .357 Magnum shoot like a .38 S&W, though he could probably get it up to .38 Special. But it is physically possible (YouTube instructional link).

Incidentally, if strike-anywhere matches are too hard for you to get ahold of -- I didn't know this, but apparently they're restricted some places -- you can make your own from regular matches.

Useful gimmicks for anybody who might wind up writing post-apocalyptic stories, or freedom novels.
hradzka: (plane)
A man with a shotgun apparently attempted a mass shooting at DC's Holocaust Museum today. I've seen differing reports, but it looks like only two people wound up shot: 1) a security guard, the first person the perpetrator targeted and 2) the perpetrator, who got his ass lit up by the security team. Neither is reported dead yet. Place your bets now on the perpetrator's demographic; my money is on Islamist fanatic, like the guy who shot the two soldiers at the recruiting office recently. Perhaps this will get some more attention than that case did.

ETA: I lost that bet pretty quickly. Not only is he a white supremacist (see comments for quotes from his website), he's waaaaaaaay older than I'd expected. Guy's a WW2 veteran, a member of MENSA, author of an anti-Semitic book, and likely a certifiable paranoiac.

ETA AGAIN: And apparently a convicted felon, stemming from an incident in the early eighties where he tried to arrest the Federal Reserve. Meaning he's prohibited from having guns.

ETA AGAIN: Wow. Quoth the perp:

ACTUALLY, on the road to Damascus — brooding about Rome, relishing the bloody image of the disciple he had stoned to death; sweaty, sore footed, thinking of the blasphemous ravings of the Nazarene — Saul had an incredible, earthshaking IDEA. A light-bulb inspiration. He, Saul — a Roman citizen — suddenly realized how he could destroy Rome! Saul trembled uncontrollably with fear and joy. He would simply promulgate the insane teachings of Jesus! What better way to destroy a Nation — any Nation — than to undermine her hubris; her gods, ethics, mores, history, her gene-pool — in short, Saul would DESTROY ROMAN CULTURE. Then, as night follows day, with her foundations rotted, the Roman Empire would FALL. Saul decided to begin the HOAX by inventing a miraculous encounter on the road to Damascus with the reincarnated Jesus the Christ!

Toward that end — no different than Hollywood script-writers today — Saul created a bogus a la Spielberg docu-drama stuffed with lies, miracles, guilt trips, betrayal, virgin birth, eternal damnation, salvation — a scenario appealing to the superstitious, vulnerable, ignorant yearning sheep — he named his hoax “Christianity.”

That's pretty damn out there: CHRISTIANITY IS A JEWISH CONSPIRACY.

ETA AGAIN: The security guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns, has died in the hospital. In pace requiescat. I've seen reports that he traded fire with the killer after being shot, and others that the killer was brought down by the other security guards; regardless, Johns performed his ultimate duty: the time the killer spent fighting Johns and his colleagues was time that he didn't have to kill museum patrons. Condolences to Johns's family and friends, and thanks to the late Stephen Tyrone Johns and his surviving colleagues for a job well done.

Note, incidentally, how quickly this resolved. Very good work by the museum's security detail. This is how you stop active shooters: you kill them, or at the very least render them physically incapable of rendering further harm. (This is why, while I'm not opposed to requiring permits for civilians carrying firearms, I adamantly support the broadest possible latitude for where and when civilians can carry. Not that folks who lawfully CCW don't commit crimes, but they do it remarkably rarely, and the more people who are lawfully armed in any given place, the less chance any mass shooter will get to make the headlines he's craving.)
hradzka: (roy harper)
Something non-gun nuts may not know about the AR-15: you can buy them in pieces! Because the lower receiver (the part with the trigger on it) is the part legally considered a firearm, that's the only thing you have to go through a dealer to buy. Upper receivers you can just buy through the mail. They don't work without a lower, and you can get several in varying calibers, so you can use what is legally considered one firearm to shoot a broad variety of stuff.

You can build your own lower receiver, too. You can buy it as a finished receiver and parts kit, then put it together yourself; you go through an FFL dealer when you do that, too. But some people are handy and enjoy a challenge, so they go out and build their own lowers.

Some people *really* build their own lowers.

Like this guy, who whittled one. Well, okay, he milled it, but still, he built a functioning AR-15 receiver out of a block of wood.

It only lasted three shots, but hey, he built it.

(It's quite legal to build your own firearms, provided you don't build full-autos. If you do that, you have to get the permission of the ATF, and they'll only give it if you're making it for a government agency. When I have a house and can actually set up a shop, I might try my hand at gun-building.)
hradzka: (han)
The latest big push for anti-gun legislation is in the form of a bunch of news articles blaming the United States for Mexican crime. It's been going on for a couple of years now, in various forms. At first they mentioned the Barrett .50 BMG rifle and the FN Five-seveN (the Five-seveN is never mentioned by name, only as "a handgun capable of defeating body armor," with no mention that to pull off that little stunt you need to be using ammunition that, um, *isn't available on the civilian market*). Most gun nuts figured that the ATF was promoting this line; the scarier guns are, the bigger ATF's budget gets. More recently, the press started running articles about seizures in Mexico of crime guns that originated in the United States; the problem with these articles is that they would invariably list stuff recovered along with the guns, like, oh, say, *grenades.* Here is an exercise, folks; walk into a gun shop and ask to buy some grenades, and when they are done laughing at you they will probably tell you to sit down while they call the ATF.

The WASHINGTON POST has just taken media gun illiteracy to new heights, and I'll tell you about it later in this post.

Read more... )
hradzka: (roy harper)
I've been insulated from this, as I did a massive bulk ammo purchase last year, but ammunition is getting *ridiculously* scarce and expensive. How ridiculous? At my NRA class, I met a gun dealer who was desperately seeking .380 ACP ammunition. I don't shoot .380 at all, so I didn't know this, but it's apparently become absolutely impossible to get. The cartridge languished for a while, but it's popular again in large part because of Kel-Tec, which came up with the P-3AT, an amazingly tiny carry gun -- literally, you can put it in the pocket of a pair of shorts, and no one will see it at all. Six rounds, polymer frame, extremely light. There are other .380s available, notably Ruger's recent entry to compete with Kel-Tec, the LCP -- and that's a very hot gun at the moment, very difficult to get. And the dealer was sitting on multiple .380s in his shop, which he couldn't sell, because *he had no ammo.* And nobody else did, either. He managed to horse-trade some at the class.

Another guy I met was going crazy because he couldn't find -- I can't believe this -- .22LR. Seriously. It's only the most common and cheapest and dinkiest plinking round out there, but he couldn't find any for sale. Saturday night, on my way home from the class, I stopped by my local Wal-Mart, and they had some that had just come in that day. $18 a brick. (550 rounds, for Remington's Golden Bullet.) EIGHTEEN DOLLARS. FOR A BRICK OF .22LR. If you do not shoot, that is high. I think the last time I bought it, I paid eleven. And noted, "Huh, prices have gone up."

I bought four bricks, which was half of what they had, and sold my classmate one for $20. Apparently, I was very nice. One guy in the class sells ammo at gun shows. He said he's seen bricks of .22LR going for $40. (!!!!) Out of curiosity, I stopped in the same Wal-Mart on the way back from class today. Sold out. The lady behind the counter said they only got one case in (ten bricks), and it sold in less than 24 hours. I just went over and clicked on the various cartridges for sale at, and he's out of almost everything. Holy crap.
hradzka: (commies)
Dear ABC, if you're going to do something like this, please, please, please pick me next time. Five thousand dollars to go shopping at a gun show for an hour? That's not investigative journalism; that's a game show on the Outdoor Network!

They're doing a story about what's called by the media and the anti-gun folks the "gun show loophole." So, as a cheap stunt, they got the relative of a VA Tech survivor, who's now an anti-gun activist, and gave him five grand and an hour to buy all the guns he could at a gun show, where, the article breathlessly claims, "Anyone can buy a gun from a private dealer with no background check and no questions asked."

Okay, lemme explain how this works: the term "private dealer" is an oxymoron. You know, kind of like "honest journalism." Being a gun dealer is like being pregnant. You are or you're not. Gun dealers are federally licensed. Private sellers are just regular folks like you and me. It's like Primetime calling you a private automobile dealer when all you did was sell your old car. The reason this is called the "gun show loophole" is that it's an effort to muddy the waters. If you buy a gun from a dealer at a gun show, you go through the same procedure as if you'd bought it in his shop. Private sales at gun shows are exactly like private sales elsewhere; there are just more of them, for obvious reasons. Think about it: you own a gun that you don't want anymore, or need to get rid of because your car needs some work and you need the money. Nobody you know personally is interested in buying it, and if you take it to a dealer you're going to get well below the value, because gun dealers have employees and light bills to pay. Hmmm. What to do? Oh, man, if only there were a place that you could be guaranteed to find a large audience of potential buyers, people who like guns and have enough cash in their pockets to buy them from you for the actual value of your firearm or close to it. Where, oh, where could you find such a halcyon place?

....ding ding ding; you got it in one.

Incidentally, the VA Tech perpetrator bought his guns perfectly legally from a dealer and passed the background check.
hradzka: (plane)
Looking at the case of police officers who were murdered in Pittsburgh, I'm noticing some interesting stuff coming out. Richard Poplawski, the perpetrator, allegedly opened fire immediately on officers entering the home he shared with his mother. Reportedly, his dog peed on the carpet, and Poplawski's mother got angry and told him she was going to evict him. The cops came in response to a domestic disturbance call. They'd been out there before on similar calls, so the PD was familiar with the Poplawskis. So it basically began in the same way that most shootings of police officers begin: with a routine call. Most police officers who are killed by gunfire are murdered during a routine traffic stop, when the perpetrator unexpectedly opens fire. That's what Poplawski did.

He had a Kalashnikov of some sort, a handgun of some sort, and what the New York Times describes as a "22 long rifle." .22LR is the name of a cartridge, not a firearm, and you can fire it from handguns or pistols, so your guess is as good as mine on that one. He's reported to have exchanged hundreds of shots with police. That'd be a little surprising. Ammo is hella expensive these days, and most people don't keep vast amounts of it on hand, though Poplawski was reportedly stockpiling. If I had to bet, I would guess that his first murder, as the police were coming in the door, was committed with the handgun. Subsequent murders probably done with the AK. I do wonder, though, if a lot of the rounds he exchanged with the cops after the murders were .22s. Because it's not uncommon in the slightest to buy hundreds of those at a time.

My guess is that the shootings were probably relatively impulse-driven. Example of previous behavior: Poplawski joined the military. Than he decided he missed his girlfriend and wanted to see her. So he deliberately got a dishonorable discharge. Yeah, that's thinking ahead, guy. While the murders were likely not politically motivated, it turns out that Poplawski is a political fanatic and active white supremacist who believes Jews run the country. He posted regularly to the white supremacist Stormfront forums, and had tattoos related to the movement. Also, he had domestic battery charges from roughing up a girlfriend, and was arrested for violating the order of protection she had against him.

Gun owners reading this will have had two alarm buttons go off: what was this guy doing with firearms? The domestic battery stuff and the dishonorable discharge mean that he is legally prohibited from owning guns. Those are two of the questions on ATF Form 4473. Whatever guns this guy had, he had illegally. Be interesting to know how he acquired 'em. If he made a straw purchase, then the guy who made it for him is going up the river, big-time.
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
So I forgot to mention that Denise and I took the .44 Magnum out for a test drive. Short review: ah, what fun! Longer review: wow, I really need smooth grips on this thing.

Pics below! )


Apr. 3rd, 2009 05:41 pm
hradzka: (plane)
More substantive comment after actual information comes out. Right now it's in the early stages, so the media keeps putting out inconsistent reports. He had a rifle; no, he had two handguns; he took hostages for hours; no, he just walked into a room and started firing. Right now, we don't know much about the crime, other than that it was at a civic association building that served lots of immigrants, the dead are in double digits, and the gunman is dead, too.

According to what seem to be fairly stable reports, the gunman was 42-year-old Jiverly Voong, himself an immigrant from Vietnam. Not recently; he was a US citizen and his sister told ABC News that Voong had been in the US for almost thirty years, but ABC also says that she told police her brother had been taking language classes at the center, so I'm not sure what the whole story is there. Voong, who was recently laid off from IBM, is reported to have opened fire on a citizenship class.

My brief comment is that this shooting, coupled with the one in Germany recently, scare me. Because both of those guys are reported to have done things that were -- I hate to use this word -- innovations made by Seung-Hui Cho when he killed over thirty people at Virginia Tech. The German perpetrator, like Cho, had two handguns, one a .22, but he killed plenty of people because he took the care to make sure the people he shot were dead. He didn't just shoot and move on. Voong, for his part, is reported to have *backed his car against the back door of the civic association building,* in order to prevent his victims from fleeing that way. Cho had chained the doors of the building he chose for his rampage.

Historically, mass shooters seem to have taken inspiration from other perpetrators -- in the wake of Kimveer Gill, whose story led journalists to report on the misogynist rampage of Mark Lepine, there were incidents in which the perpetrators targeted women and girls. So they've emulated people whose work struck an emotional chord. What they *haven't* done, by and large, is made careful study of previous incidents to see what tactics resulted in a larger body count. Voong did.
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
I am totally blaming [ profile] liviapenn for this one: she had her first range trip recently, and waxed about how much fun she had shooting, among other things, a Smith & Wesson revolver. Now, I like Smith & Wesson firearms, and my #2 carry piece is a J-frame, the 638, but that was the only Smith & Wesson revolver I owned. Most of the firearms I've bought recently are semi-automatics, particularly the long guns, but handguns, too. My first gun was a revolver, so Livia's post got me thinking that maybe my next acquisition should be a wheelgun. And there have been two big holes in my handgun caliber collection for a while: the .357 and .44 Magnum revolvers. (I have a .357 Magnum handgun, the COP, which stands optimistically for "Concealed Off-Duty Police," but as a target gun... hell, as anything other than a safe queen, it leaves something to be desired.)

So today we had the pre-assessment portion of the rifle instructor class. This basically means that the NRA's Training Counselor takes you to the range and hands you a rifle to see if you know what the hell you're doing. It's not hard -- my work schedule has played havoc with my range time of late, but I did well enough to get a high-five from the TC. Afterwards, one of my classmates mentioned that he was looking for a gun shop willing to do some wheeling and dealing; he needed to sell off some guns he had to get other guns he wanted. Naturally, we asked what he was getting rid of, and one of the items was a Smith & Wesson Model 29. Nickel-plated. Basically new in box.

I have a weakness for nickel-plating. It's *pretty.* And he named a great price, and I said, "Sold."

So, yeah, *another* gun. Yay! Gratuitous gun pics will be forthcoming.

class over!

Mar. 1st, 2009 08:00 pm
hradzka: (roy harper)
Well, it's official: as soon as the NRA signs off on my credentials, I will officially be an NRA Certified pistol instructor. Yay! This has been a long time coming. Same Training Counselor is offering a rifle instructor certification course later this month. I will have to do that as well. The pre-assessment should be interesting. I am, er, much less a rifle shooter than a pistol shooter. Clearly I need to live at the range for a while.

There were some really nice guys in the class -- I got on really well with a couple in particular, and we're planning to help each other out in classes once we start teaching. This is especially useful for me because 1) one of those guys, who works as a counselor for kids with behavioral problems, is a garking brilliant teacher -- he came up with a couple of teaching techniques that everyone in the class, the Training Counselor included, immediately decided they were going to steal and 2) I am planning to offer Range Days to student organizations at the university, and if more than a couple people in any organization take me up on it I will need ALL THE HELP I CAN GET. The idea is that after such a thing, maybe some people will want to find out more about guns, even get training, possibly through me.

Alas, my certification will not be processed anywhere *near* enough time to do a Dred Scott anniversary shoot with the Organization of Black Students. In that decision, among other things, Chief Justice Roger Taney argued that you couldn't let black people be citizens, because if they were, they could, among other nasty civil liberties, "keep and carry arms wherever they went." One of these years, I really want to do a Dred Scott Memorial Shoot, just to make Roger Taney roll over in his grave. I could do one anyway, and I will, sometime, but it'd be more fun and appropriate as a commemoration of that decision.

I'm drawing up lists of organizations who might be interested. I really hope the disabled students' organization is, because there are lots more opportunities for disabled people in the shooting sports than most people realize, and experience with coaching people who have a variety of disabilities will only help me with clients in the future.

Also, range days with student groups give me an excuse to buy more guns.

Not that I NEED one, mind.
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
If I seem haggard this weekend, it's because I'm in the middle of a training course to become a certified pistol instructor. Technically, it's "Basic Pistol" and "Firearm Safety," but this course is a prerequisite for certification to teach other pistol courses. This has been a long time coming: I wanted to do this for a year, but first work intervened, then there were other issues. So today, our training counselor had about twelve people ready to learn. Interesting bunch. Demographics were not out of the ordinary for firearms-enthusiast gatherings: all men (the one woman registered couldn't make it), mostly white (one Hispanic instructor, one black student)

There was some talk about politics -- Attorney General Holder's admission that yes, the administration wants to reinstate the "assault weapons ban" (which, really, should be termed the "scary-looking normal-capacity rifles ban") has everybody really annoyed -- but mostly we focused on the business at hand. I was pretty pleased with myself at first -- in my group, I was shooting second-best in our two-handed pre-evaluation exam, and I shot the best one-handed (did better one-handed than two-hande, which surprised the hell out of me, as I rarely shoot one-handed, bullseye style). So I was pretty pleased with myself, as my crazy schedule means I haven't been able to go shooting much, and then the guy who shot in international competition stepped up. And, yeah. Long way to go, me.
hradzka: (roy harper)
A lot of gun nut sites are, understandably, country-centric, though you do see foreign gun nuts crop up -- I've seen Russians, French, and Italians on the sites I frequent. It's always interesting to compare notes with them, but I'd never encountered a gun owner from Nigeria before. But gunblogger Steve, at the Firearm Blog, recently got an email from one -- a guy named Emmanuel. According to Emmanuel, Nigeria "has a very strict Gun control law, but which licenses shotguns (Single, double-barrel, pump action and recently: semi-automatics) to responsible, respectable people (actually: who am I fooling: anyone with the money!)" He bought a Turkish semi-auto 12 gauge, but found himself with a problem. It came with a pistol grip, and he wanted a stock. Problem: NO GUN STORES IN NIGERIA. So he built his own, using a steel walking stick. Simple build, well thought out, nicely done; there are pics.

The self-defense video that all the gun nuts are buzzing about is this one, from Tucson, Arizona. Home invasions are on the rise there, and some of them have ended with murders. In some others, the homeowners have defended themselves successfully, but I don't think any of 'em have done so with the speed, style, and sheer capability of this guy. At least, not on camera.

The would-be invaders come in, most with pistols, one with a rifle, and get ready to attack -- and are repelled by gunfire from the homeowner, in AMAZINGLY short order. They flee so fast that only one of them bothers to get into the getaway car. It is actually rather like this. Incidentally, the homeowner only shot one of them, but when he shoots at the getaway car he gets an AMAZING grouping on the windshield.

To my knowledge, two of the robbers have been arrested, and the guy who was shot is believed to have fled to Mexico. Reportedly, the homeowner just happened to glance at his security camera and had his handgun loaded and accessible by the front door. And that is why "keep your guns unloaded and locked in the safe" laws suck. (I keep most of my guns unloaded and locked in the safe, sure. But not the ones I've designated "in case of zombies, break glass.")
hradzka: (roy harper)
I doubt that Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) is going to get anywhere with HR 45, his ludicrous firearms bill, but it's been a while since I posted something gun-nutty, so here y'all go: some commentary and explanation of gun nut thought.

Basically, the bill would require a licence to own a gun (good for five years), and mandate registration of all firearms. To get a firearms license, you'd need to submit, among other things:
Read more... )
hradzka: (roy harper)
ME. *checking over inventory* "Holy crap. I own [very many more than two] guns."
ASH. "One for each hand."
hradzka: (commies)
I usually stay away from politics posts, but I thought this was an interesting item. A few days ago, USA TODAY ran an "Obama's making inroads with Republicans!" article. The piece focuses specifically on business executives, and one of the guys they quoted was a fellow named Dan Cooper, who lives in Montana and owns a company that makes custom rifles. They've got a very good reputation among gun aficionados. Cooper started sending Obama money after his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, and decided to vote for him this year, he said.

The reaction of gun enthusiasts was immediate, and strongly negative. Within a few days, the complaints had led to Cooper getting ousted from his own company.

This story is noteworthy for multiple reasons, and I thought it might be interesting to folks on my flist who occasionally wonder what gun nuts think. Because you may see some commentary on this in some other places, and I wanted to give some background on things you might miss if you're not familiar with this particular corner of society.

It's an interesting issue. )
hradzka: (plane)
Information is still coming out on the shooting at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN. We've already seen information contradicted: the first word from the guy's neighbors was that he was vehemently anti-religious; a neighbor said that he got angry with her when she mentioned in conversation that she was a Christian. This made me scratch my head; if he was motivated by religious issues, you'd think he'd attack something other than a famously non-doctrinal sect.

Turns out he's a political fanatic with an intense hatred of liberals and homosexuals.

Also, radio station WNOX reported yesterday that his ex-wife, who had an order of protection against him, attended the church in question. Don't know if that's accurate. CNN says the order was granted in 2000, because he threatened to kill her. If the order was in effect, it raises questions about the legality of his gun ownership. We'll have to wait a few days to see how that all comes out.

I believe that people who commit these crimes are strongly influenced by previous attempts. It appears that, in most cases, they don't research them for the most effective methods -- thank God -- but they do seem to find some individual case that strikes a chord and emulate those. In this case, the shooter was probably strongly influenced by Steven Kazmierczak, the graduate student who walked into an auditorium at Northern Illinois University and started firing. Kazmierczak wounded eighteen, killed five, and then fatally shot himself. Like Jim Adkisson, the Knoxville perpetrator, he carried a shotgun in a guitar case. Kazmierczak also had at least three handguns (a Glock 9 mm and two that I haven't seen identified). His shotgun was a pump-action Remington, probably a model 870, and he fired six shots from it before it was empty and he went to the handguns. Adkisson had a semi-auto shotgun, make and model currently unknown. It turned out not to make a difference. According to one witness, Adkisson got off a grand total of three rounds. His first two shots killed two people, one of whom reportedly took the shot to protect other people. His third shot went wild, because the congregation was on him. Bravo to them.

A while back, I posted an after-action report on Virginia Tech massacre. It included some recommendations on what to do if, God forbid, you find yourself in this sort of situation. One of them was "be prepared to respond aggressively:"

Attack fast, attack hard, and do not stop attacking while you are physically capable of doing so. Attack in a group if at all possible. You do not have to kill the shooter outright. You do have to render the shooter incapable of further action. Take the shooter down, keep the shooter down, and yell for people to help you. Get a pile of people going, get the gun away, keep the shooter from getting the gun back or resisting.

That's what the brave-as-hell congregants at the Unitarian Universalist church did.

Way to go.
hradzka: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." (sledge hammer!)
So, I've got a decent paycheck or two on the way for a job I just finished the field part of. And it's my birthday, and I'm contemplating a present for myself. So it's that time again -- I need a new gun!

But I need your help.

Like a lot of gun nuts, I'm a little nervous about what happens after November. The Supreme Court's recent ruling, in which all the justices -- even the dissenters(!) -- recognized the Second Amendment as an individual right, is nice, but it's not like I can go out and marry a Browning Automatic Rifle; there has to be a legal framework for this stuff, and lawmakers and the courts will be hashing it out for a while. The Court gave lawmakers a bit of latitude, so there's still room for some forms of anti-gun legislation. Most of which, alas, doesn't inconvenience criminals, but is a pain in the tuchis for law-abiding gun nuts like yours truly. That means planning ahead for the fall, which looks good for the Democrats. The good news, if you're a gun geek, is that many lawmakers on the Dem side these days are pro-gun or just don't think gun bans are a winner; the bad news for us is that some folks, in office and out of it, are laying groundwork for future anti-gun legislation. Which means, unfortunately for my wallet, BUY NOW.

I'm focusing on weapons likely to be affected by future legislation. That means rifles. Specifically 1) the .50 BMG and 2) scary-looking semi-automatic rifles that take big-ass magazines. I think I've got it pretty much whittled down to the following two items.

Yes, there is a poll. )


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

November 2014



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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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