Mousegunner's Archived Observations

DECEMBER 2010

Chart link buttonDecember 31, 2011 -- Chart of Popular 9mm Sub-compacts...Yesterday the latest issue of Guns & Ammo magazine arrived in my mail box, with a cover photo and feature article about the new Sig Sauer P290. It's a good-looking stubby little 9mm that looks solid and heavy (and it is). There are so many choices these days for a sub-compact 9mm, that I decided to make a little chart, to help myself comprehend how they all stack up against each other. If you click on the graphic to the left, you will go to my chart. If you are looking for a pocket-size 9mm pistol, you have three choices: the Rohrbaugh R9, the Kahr PM9 and the Kel-Tec PF9. The Sig 290 is well sized! It is shorter in length and height than the Kel-Tec PF9. In fact it is VERY similar in size to the well-respected Kahr PM9. The only problem I see with the Sig is that it 5 ounces heavier than the other pocket guns, and is just a smidgeon too thick. It's sort of in the same category as the Kel-Tec P11 (when fully loaded). Just a little too thick, and just a little too heavy, to ride comfortably in your pocket. Price-wise (msrp of $530) the Sig is a good value compared to the Walther, the GLOCK, the Kahr and the Rohrbaugh. From the photos in Guns & Ammo the Sig 290 appears to be carefully built, and if it runs with legendary Sig reliability, I believe Sig will have a hit on their hands.
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New Ruger Scout Rifle in .308December 30, 2010 -- The Ideal Rifle...Ruger has just come out with a new bolt-action "Scout Rifle." It is chambered in .308, has a laminate stock, weighs only seven pounds, uses 5 or 10 round detachable magazines, and is MOA accurate at 100 yards. (Read Michael Bane's review for more information.) From my viewpoint, it is an almost perfect rifle. The weight is good. The accuracy is outstanding. But I prefer semi-auto to bolt-action, and I need to shoot a cartridge that recoils a bit less than .308. I'm sure there will be many rifle fans out there who will be drooling over this new Ruger, though. It really has a lot going for it. The ideal rifle for me (and we are all different) would be something like a semi-auto Chinese SKS (in 7.62x39 or 30-30) that takes 20 round detachable magazines (not the plastic Tapco ones, please). Of course MOA at 100 yards. It would also be able to have a scope that won't lose zero every time the rifle is shot, and I would settle for seven pounds, scoped weight. But the Ruger looks good! They will "sell like hot-cakes!" as people used to say in olden days.
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A Comment from Bob..."I have nothing but respect for Ruger and their new rifle is probably of the highest quality and will last a lifetime. But to me this looks like a case of reinventing the wheel or just putting lipstick on a pig. A bolt action rifle for " hunt, fight, defend"? I'm sure there is someone out there who will straighten my thinking out quick but until then I'm with you on the SKS."

CFL 26 watt lightDecember 29, 2010 -- CFL Lights...Last week I badly needed some light in my office. The ceiling light over my desk uses four of the new skinny flourescent light tubes, which gave plenty of light, but the ballast was burned out. Each bulb uses 32 watts of electricity, and is 48 inches long. I had gotten in touch with our electrician to replace the ballast, but he was taking his time. After more than week had passed, I decided to go buy a floor lamp to set beside my desk. As I wandered through Lowes Building Supplies I saw this floor lamp with four really bright bulbs, putting out a tremendous amount of light. I was surprised to see that the bulbs were 26 watt CFL bulbs (see photo at left). I didn't realize these things could be so bright (26 watt CFL equals a 100 watt incandescent bulb). So I bought the floor lamp, and some of these great CFL bulbs, and set it up near my desk. (Of course my electricial came by the next day, and replaced the ballast in my ceiling light!) I think these bulbs are great, and I don't really mind returning burned out bulbs to a recycling center. However, I'm bothered by EPA procedures and regulations about cleaning up accidentally broken lamps. EPA says to do the following: Before cleanup have people and pets leave the room. Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment. Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning (H&AC) system, if you have one. Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder. Don't use a broom. Place cleanup materials in a sealable container. Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors. For several hours, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the H&AC system shut off. I forsee this could cause serious problems and large expenses in office buildings and factories. A local high school chem lab suffered a tiny spill of liquid mercury several weeks ago, only a few drops, and it cost the county school system over $50,000.00 to clean it up. And in 2012 the old incandescent bulbs will no longer be for sale anywhere in the USA.
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A Comment from Bob..."Thanks for the heads-up on the clean-up of broken CFL bulbs. Although I had switched to CFLs years ago, I did not know how dangerous the clean-up could be and did a normal clean-up just a couple of weeks ago for a broken one right out of the package. The bulbs came 2 to a package and while I was trying to coax one out the other plummeted to the floor. Just cursed and got a broom to sweep it up."

Only One Life to LiveDecember 28, 2010 -- Do it now!...There were several deaths in my local church family this past week, one on December 23, and another on December 24. The lady who died on December 23 was 90 years old, and had been in nursing homes for the past 6 years, suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, where symptoms gradually worsen. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. This lady showed the mild signs for several years, and then suddenly was unable to care for herself. She had led a busy and full life, and has left a legacy behind. She was well-off, and she used her money to help other people. She funded scholarships, especially for young musicians. She traveled the world. She un-officially adopted a refugee from China's Cultural Revolution. She paid for church buildings and Baldwin organs. She was an elementary grade school teacher before she retired. Yes, she filled up her life, and she made a difference. What about you and me? Will we leave behind a legacy? Will people notice our passing, and remember the good things we did? If there are some good things you ought to be doing, do them now! You may not get another opportunity.
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Comment From Bob..."My mother suffered from short-term memory loss and even though she could talk in detail about events happening over 80 years ago, she might forget you were visiting if you left the room and came back minutes later. Regarding helping others and leaving a legacy, I am reminded of a Chinese Proverb: If you want happiness for an hour - take a nap. If you want happiness for a day - go fishing. If you want happiness for a month - get married. If you want happiness for a year - inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for lifetime - help someone else."

Aguila IQ Zinc Ammo 9mmDecember 27, 2010 -- Bullet Materials Other Than Lead...John Ross wrote in 1999..."High velocity causes astonishing penetration in things that one would intuitively expect to resist same. A .220 Swift at ten feet will not reach the second side of an empty beer can...the same Swift load will chop a 3/8" diameter hole in 1/2" mild steel plate...a nylon bullet (especially a pointy one) at 3000 FPS out of a .38 Special will defeat a vest that laughs at .357 Magnum 158 grain ammo at 1350 FPS....A commercial manufacturer of this type of ammo had to go to a special shape projectile (straight cylinder with huge hollow point) and download the ammo slightly so that it would NOT go through body armor." I bring up the concept of bullet materials other than lead because the Environment Protection Agency continues to bring up the idea of banning lead bullets for the sake of our environment. They brought it up earlier this year, and I'm sure they will not quit until they win. So, what will we do for bullet material? The percentage of gun people who reload is relatively small, so we need to get some commercial manufacturers busy on this. Zamak (zinc alloy) is possible, but has some problems (see the photo to the left of the Aguila IQ zamak 9mm cartridge). My guess is that someday someone will come up with a special hard nylon bullet with a zamak core, it will be an inexpensive fantastic bullet for both handguns and rifles. New solvents will need to be invented for bore cleaning, but that's not really a problem. Even more interesting, someday someone will invent a practical and durable hard nylon or ceramic barrel...that will really set the fox loose in the hen house!
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A Comment from Bob..."Clint Smith at his famous Thunder Ranch requires the use of frangible ammo exclusively. Frangible bullets disintegrate upon impact and are environmentally non-poisonous, unlike lead. I think frangible bullets are useful only for training and you would still pack lead bullets on the street."

Safety signDecember 26, 2010 -- Gun Safety...People look at gun safety from a variety of angles. I know some parents of young children who have simply decided that they just won't own a gun, period. They fear that somehow their children will get hold of their gun, and accidentally shoot themselves, or other little kids. Other parents are worried about their children committing suicide. I knew a family a long time ago whose teenage son took his father's Colt Python and killed himself with it. I officiated over the funeral, and it wasn't much fun, I can tell you. I also know a family who have a son who is "bi-polar," and they refuse to own any guns, fearing their son might somehow get it in his hands on a bad day, and kill himself. My viewpoint is a little different. Personally I feel somewhat unsafe without a gun. I hope I'm not paranoid. I don't think I am. I have just gotten used to being armed, and having that little added bit of assurance that if a deadly threat arose for me, or my family, I would be able to defend myself and them. I view it in the same way that I view fire insurance for my house. I don't think I will ever need to use it, but I have it anyway. I DO believe in keeping all my guns locked up, except for the one I have in my pocket. I keep each gun unloaded and locked separately in its own box. All my ammo is locked up in other boxes, not in the gun boxes. Usually the gun I carry has a round in the chamber, ready to go. However, when my grandchildren are visiting, I take the added precaution of carrying with an empty chamber. With regard to teens committing suicide: I believe if your child is determined to commit suicide, he/she will find a way to do it, even if you won't allow a gun in your house. But to each his own. If your friend or family member asks you not to carry in their house, then respect their wishes, and remember that you will in all likelihood never need to use your gun anyway.
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A Comment from Bob..."Taurus guns make it easy to safely lock your gun at a moments notice using a special key that you can carry easily on your key chain. Their built-in safety lock will kid-proof the gun for sure and maybe even bad guy proof it too (for a while anyway). For me concealed carry is more private than my bank account PIN number and mouse sized guns allow me keep this practice unknown even from those closest to me."

Nativity SceneDecember 25, 2010 -- The Birth of Jesus...A long time ago, Christians chose December 25 as the birthday of Jesus. No one really knows in which month, and on what day He was born. But we know the approximate year (possibly 4 BC or thereabouts). And we know that His birth turned the world upside down. Our very calendar shows His pervasive influence. Things happened BC or AD. "Before Christ" or "Anno Domini" (in the year of our Lord). Even the non-Christian world orders itself by the Christian calendar. Some people are trying to substitute CE for AD, but it won't work. CE stands for "Common Era" but what on earth does that mean? Not much! I am a believer in Jesus. He is the Son of God, come to earth to live and die for our sins, and now living in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for you and me, and all who bow the knee to Him. "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:8-14, King James Version)
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Comment from Bob..."From my morning newspaper: I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth, goodwill toward men...From my collection: Yesterday is already gone, tomorrow is not yet here. Today is the only day available to us. Today is the most important day of our lives. - Thich Nhat Hanh....Merry Christmas!"

Kahr PM40December 24, 2010 -- Recoil and Small Guns...I have a friend who recently bought a Kahr PM-40, and who wants to take me to the local range (Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area) and show it off. I'm eager to go, too. The Kahr PM guns have always interested me, either in 40S&W as his is, or the PM-9 in 9mm. My friend mentioned to me that he found the recoil of the PM-40 to be rather stout (I'm sure he is shooting hi-velocity hollow points.) The only small 40S&W gun I'm very familiar with is the GLOCK G27. There are some noticeable difference in the specs for these guns.


I found the recoil of my GLOCK to be "snappy" but not at all unmanageable. It's a heavier gun to begin with, and then with the additional weight of the 4 extra rounds, there is quite a weight difference. Also, the GLOCK grip is "blockier" and easier to hang on to, I suppose. My friend said he shot 30 rounds at the range, and that was enough for him. He says he found the little PM-40 to be quite accurate. I have one small bit of advice for those who have very small higher powered pocket pistols: when you go to the range, wear a glove. You will be amazed at the added control. Not only that, the glove will protect your hand from getting chewed up by the checkering impressed into your pistol grip.
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A Comment from Bob..."According to a recent magazine article by Mas Ayoob, the .40S&W caliber is the new soup de jour among the vast majority of state highway patrol departments. I haven't run across any ballistic information that puts the .40S&W way above other popular calibers but there's probably a placebo effect to getting a new gun caliber and one touted by the FBI. The glove technique didn't work well for me when shooting my .380 TCP because the trigger guard on this mouse gun is too small. Its a tight fit even with tight fitting gloves and because my finger was already injured, it continued to hurt through the gloves with each discharge. Shooting gloves are a good idea though."

Snob with nose in airDecember 23, 2010 -- Gun Snobs...I must warn you who are new to the firearm hobby that you will run into "gun snobs" from time to time. Gun snobs come in several shapes and sizes. For example, there is the fellow who despises any gun in a caliber which starts in a number smaller than four. In other words, he carries a .45, and grudgingly admits that a 40S&W might possibly be OK. Then there is the fellow who can't stand the thought that there are guns out there which cost less than $200 (or even less than $100) and really are fun, safe and interesting. There is also the gun snob who must have an all metal gun: no plastic for him! Speaking of plastic, there are gun snobs who hate all guns but GLOCKS. On the other hand, you run into people that like most every other gun, but can't stand the sight of a GLOCK. There are gun snobs that despise any rifle but a (________). (Fill in the blank.) There are gun snobs who will be angry with you for buying a gun that was made by the Germans or the Japanese, because of WW2. There are gun snobs who run internet firearm forums, who will kick you off their board in a flash, if you show any disagreement with their prejudices. The variety of snobbery goes on and on. But my advice to you newcomers is simply to pay no attention to gun snobs. Guns are too much fun to get so stuck up for or against a particular brand or caliber of firearm. The gun snobs just don't know what they are missing!
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A Comment from Bob..."As a pragmatist I always place a high value on function over form and I'm probably guilty of my own brand of snobbery, a sort of reverse kind of snobbery, snobbery against the snobs . I frequent a forum that often has disparaging comments about Taurus guns and the remarks are made as though it were common knowledge. I like Taurus guns because they are functional and not too pricey. Smith and Wesson on the other hand are outrageously expensive and I have no use for them unless you're going to give me one. Then I will cherish it..."

Comment from RT..."In regard to your Gun Snobs Observations, well I am a snob! Yep, I only like guns I can own and shoot." :)

Colonel David HackworthDecember 22, 2010 -- Rules to Live By...Colonel David Hackworth (November 11, 1930--May 4, 2005) was a highly decorated United States Army Colonel and prominent military journalist. He was known for his role in the creation and command of Tiger Force, a military unit formed during the Vietnam War to apply guerrilla warfare tactics to the fight against Vietnamese guerrillas. I came across these rules from Hackworth on the KiloGulf59 blog, and pass them along with some modifications...These rules are helpful for soldiers in the field, but as with Sun Tzu's Art of War may be applied in work situations, family situations, and so on. Use your imagination...


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A Comment From Bob..."Col. Hackworth has some interesting rules, some of which could be applied to civilian life. I especially like the wording used for this one 'keep operations sledgehammer simple...' because it can apply to all of life's activities. It would also be very interesting to see if the Vietnamese guerrillas had any rules to get a different perspective."

Phoenix Arms HP22ADecember 21, 2010 -- Has Shooting Become a Rich-man's Sport?...Yesterday I took some cash which I had saved up for a long time to Academy Sports to buy some ammo. I was looking particularly for .380 ACP hardball, and they had some. The least expensive was Winchester Valu-pak (white box), and it sold for about $30 per 100 rounds. My $100 didn't go very far. I remember when I got my first Kel-Tec P-3AT, and I was buying ammo at Darr's for $16 for 100 rounds. If I do the math right, prices have just about doubled in the last five years. That seems to hold true for ALL calibers of ammo, not just .380. I don't know about you, dear reader, but my income has not doubled in the last five years, not by a long shot. So, what is happening, is that I am going shooting much less frequently than I used to. I believe what I will have to do, and many of you, too, is drop down to .22 caliber rimfire ammo and firearms, when I go to the range. It's still affordable to shoot my .22, even with the price increase. I have an H&R 676 .22 revolver, a Phoenix Arms HP22A .22 semi-auto, and an old Savage .22 semi-auto rifle; and I'm going to stock up on more .22 ammo. I have a feeling that many other gun owners are going to concentrate more in the .22 realm, so it may be a good idea to buy more .22 ammo now, before the price jumps up even more.
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Phoenix Arms HP22AAnother Comment from Craig..."As the demographic ages I find it hard to comprehend that someone has not come up with a half decent .22LR pistol that can be used for self defense along the lines of a Keltec .32. I am betting on the Jimenez JA 22 or the Phoenix Arms HP22. However I think either design could become a polymer and good alloy pistol. There seems to be a market. I have had a Beretta Bobcat. Although the earlier shiny blue ones were nice, the latest version is expensive with a crappy finish. I wonder if the Jimenez .22 could actually be made at a profit with better materials with attention to detail that could make it a reliable self defense pistol for women, old men, the infirm or "lazy"? If it is cheap it has to be purchased/sold with the understanding that this is a limited round-count pistol, with an upgraded material option."

A Comment from Craig..."...I do trigger work on some guns, and have done a credible job on a Ruger 22/45 that I traded my .22WMR Excel Accelerator for. I gutted the 22/45 MKIII and replaced the innards with MII fare along with Clark bushings, VQ sear/hammer/trigger. 2.25lbs -- fairly crisp break for a Ruger. My favorite .22 pistols are S&W 422s; light, accurate and the ergonomics suit me."

A Comment from PW..."Your comments are correct and you did do the math right. Your prediction that .22 caliber shooting would be on the increase is likely correct as well. If you doubt it, look at what the price increases have been on Smith & Wesson Model 17 and 18 revolvers. These handguns certainly qualify as what you called a "rich manís" sport. The Model 17 & 18 are generally considered exceptional quality firearms and they sell used in pristine condition for more than the comparable current "Classic" remakes marketed by Smith & Wesson. Other Smith & Wesson revolvers have also increased significantly too. While there are many less expensive .22 handguns, the higher quality revolvers are definitely experiencing run-away price increases."

A Comment from Bob...".22s will keep the poor man in the shooting game for a long time. And stocking up on them is a great idea for many reasons. I don't shoot my .380 much anymore (I still carry it) because of the "finger slap" problem that was previously discussed. Given the extremely low probability of being a crime victim (lifestyle and geography keep me off of most bad guy radar screens) my everyday carry will soon become a small .22 auto (Beretta or the new Taurus not available yet) that I will buy after I recover from Christmas spending..."

Darr SeniorDecember 20, 2010 -- The Old Gun Store...It was about four years ago that my favorite gun store closed its doors and went quietly away. It was run by Eddie Darr, in Red Bank, TN. (That's his father in the photo.) I often had occasion to pass that way, and would usually stop in to see what was for sale, and to say "Hi" to Eddie and his sales people. I think he had two employees. Sometimes his father would be there helping out, too. I bought quite a few guns from Eddie, including two Mosin rifles, a Beretta Bobcat, a Kel-Tec P-11, and a Kel-Tec PF-9. I think I bought a GLOCK there once, too. I especially enjoyed Eddie's "rifle room" in the back of the store. There were probably 50 or 60 rifles there, of all kinds, including military surplus. I still remember a Buenos Aires Mauser that smelled of cosmoline and cigarettes, and I almost bought it. I wish I had. It had a lot of character. I used to drop in just to smell it! The nice thing about the rifle room is that it was mostly unsupervised. You could just walk in there, pick up a rifle, cycle the action. Try the trigger. Take a good long time making up your mind what to do, and no one would bother you. It was great! I bought some ammo from Eddie, too. And did some "horse-trading." But Eddie had too much competition, and when Sportsman's Warehouse came to town, that must have been the last straw. Anyway, Darr's is gone, and I miss it. My point is this: If you have a really nice privately owned gun store in your neighborhood, go there and buy your guns and ammo. Keep the guy in business. You will be sorry if he ever has to close up.
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A Comment from Bob..."For every gun I have bought, I have bought 1,000 books and the plight of the small neighborhood bookstore is the same as Eddie's gun shop. The Wal-Mart's of the gun world and the book world will swallow up any small businesses that cannot compete with their volume discount prices and market share monopoly. That's capitalism and greed working at its best or worst, depending on how you want to look at it. Paying more for a gun or a book at a small local store (full of history and warm memories) than at a bright and shinny Mega-mart may be commendable but in America, the lowest prices will eventually and always triumph until the market is totally controlled by a handful of giant corporations."

Gay Lesbian Rights FlagDecember 19, 2010 -- The repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" in the Armed Forces...The Senate Saturday (Dec. 18) voted to end a longstanding ban on gay troops serving openly in the US armed services. The House repealed the ban last Wednesday. President Obama likes this repeal quite a lot: "It is time to close this chapter in our history," said President Obama in a statement. "It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed. It is time to allow gay and lesbian Americans to serve their country openly." I observe thusly: President Obama's statement is really beside the point. I have never heard anyone argue that gay men have never served their country acceptably in the military. No doubt there have been some in-the-closet-gays who have been good soldiers and sailors. But I hate Obama's statement, because it is spiritually blind to lump homosexuality into the same category as race or gender. There is nothing sinful about being white or black, or male or female. But the Bible says in many places that homosexual activity is perverse and un-natural. The central question is not what America's Congress thinks about homosexuality, but what God says about it. My preference would be for the USA military to treat homosexuality as it does hetero-sexual adultery or fornication. It's all bad for the esprit des corps, and it all needs to be frowned upon and considered unacceptable. I believe the majority of Americans agree with me, but apparently that is not important to our Congress in Washington, or to America's top brass.
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A Comment from Holden..."Thankfully, America's Congress makes the laws in America, not God. If the military was a Christian organization, you would be absolutely right; however, like all publicly funded government ventures it is decidedly secular. Furthermore, it is my opinion as a Christian that the only spiritually blind path is that which condemns a person for urges he did not choose, and whose actions harm no one."

A Comment from Bob..."The subject here is a wedge issue that politicians and talk radio guys like to make a big deal out of and it quickly becomes a no win situation to take a position for or against. But in this mornings paper there was a great cartoon that may not have circulated everywhere. It depicts an Arab type on some rocks aiming a rifle off into the distance and the caption read: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell...Don't Care"!. Our enemies want to kill American soldiers regardless of their sexual orientation. However, to me a possible consequence of this law change is that we might create a gay military since we will now have a high profile employer, the Army, condoning gay practice."

40 round shot from Sig 45December 18, 2010...Be careful when you load up your gun...A few days ago a fellow traded me his .380 hollow point ammo for some FMJ 40S&W I had. As I looked it over, I noticed that four of the 50 rounds appeared smaller than the others, and on closer examination I discovered that these were actually .32 and not .380. It may seem unlikely to you that anyone would load the wrong size ammo in his gun, but I have seen it done. I was shooting with a friend of mine at a local range a few years ago. He was trying out a brand new un-fired Sig .45. He was havivng constant difficulty with ejection, extraction and jamming. He couldn't figure out what was wrong. Finally I looked at an empty brass cartridge from his gun, and the photo at the left is what I found. He had loaded up his .45 with 40S&W ammo, and of course was having some problems. I was surprised his Sig functioned at all. So, you may think it unlikely, but remember to watch what you are doing. And when someone hands you a tray of ammo and says it is all .380, don't assume that they are all really .380. (By the way, this goes for "empty" guns, too. If someone hands you a gun, and says it is unloaded, TRUST BUT VERIFY! Too many people have been shot with so-called empty guns.)
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Ruger raspberry LCPDecember 17, 2010 -- An LCP Raspberry...Yesterday afternoon I traded guns with a friend of mine, and ended up with a Ruger LCP "Raspberry." (Click on the photo to the left for a larger picture.) The raspberry LCP is a limited run of this color for the frame/grip. You either love it or hate it. The color is hard to describe accurately. Ruger calls it raspberry, but you could also call it red, purple or hot pink. Apparently women who want a pink pistol think it is a pink pistol, and "macho men" who only like black run from it feeling sick. From my viewpoint, I simply don't care about the color very much. I wanted a Ruger LCP, and now I have one, and that's all that matters to me. It's LNIB (like new in the box). The former owner only put about a dozen rounds through it; and he included an extra magazine and 50 rounds of hollow-point .380 ammo. I traded him my Smith and Wesson SW40VE. He prefers calibers that start with "four," and I'm a pocket pistol kind of guy, so we are both happy campers. One of these days soon I will do a review and a range report with lots of photos, and post it here on mouseguns.com. For lots of camaraderie and information about Ruger's LCP, I recommend you visit the "Elsie Pea" forum.
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A Comment from Bob..."You're right about either hating the color or loving it but sometimes the reaction to color is slow to develop, especially in someone who is married to substance over form. A few year back I bought a Charter Arms .38 Special that was black and red. My truck is red with a black cap, so I thought the gun color combination would be fine. However, even though the Charter was a functioning, light-weight and fairly accurate revolver I grew to hate the color and now only own stainless steel revolvers. To me stainless steel guns are the eye candy blondes in the world of revolvers and autos."

Clay Duke, shooterDecember 16, 2010 -- Crazy shooter in Panama City...You have probably all seen the video on TV of Clay Duke (photo to the left), the crazy gunman, who held hostage and shot at the Bay District school board yesterday. Here's a good summary of the story. How great it is that he missed everyone, was shot from behind by a security guard, and finally killed himself. News reports say that he had a history of mental illness, and was "bi-polar." He had been planning this attack for some time, and had it marked on his calendar. There are lots of interesting aspects to this story. First, I must confess my admiration for one of the school board members, Ginger Littleton, who actually returned to the board room after being released by Duke, and tried to knock him out from behind by a blow to the head with her purse. Way to go Ginger! Second, I'm glad there was an armed security guard there who shot Duke several times from behind, which led to Duke finally killing himself. Third, I believe we have here the proof that designating schools (or school board meeting rooms) as "gun free zones" is nonsense. Only those who are harmless regulation-keeping citizens will leave their guns elsewhere, thus allowing criminals and crazies to bring their guns and kill people without fear of meeting an armed opponent. Fourth, I don't know how Duke got his gun, but people who have mental illnesses must not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms. That's just common sense.
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Husky Tool PouchDecember 15, 2010 -- A Concealed Carry Possibility...This morning I was at Home Depot buying some foam water pipe insulation, and happened to walk down the aisle featuring tool bags and carriers from Husky. These are reasonably priced, and are built of "ballistic nylon canvas." Some would be really great range bags. My interest was especially caught by Husky's small tool pouch. It is just barely large enough to carry a GLOCK 26/27/30, or Taurus PT-111, or similar sized pistol. If you are in an occupation in which it doesn't look strange for you to have a tool pouch on your belt, this thing would make an excellent carrier for a concealed firearm. (It doesn't work for me, as I "dress up" every day, but it might work for you.) It is black, with the word "Husky" on it. It doesn't look like the dreaded "fanny pack." It looks like a tool pouch. It has a steel belt clip on the back. It has a roomy interior pocket, and an exterior pocket for your cell phone, PDA, tape measure, or whatever. It costs only $4.97. Here's a link. So, if you are dressed for work, and use tools a lot, this may be just the ticket for you. Of course I'm assuming you have a permit to carry a handgun concealed. If you don't have the permit, you can easily get one in most States these days.
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Little Boy atom bombDecember 14, 2010 -- I'm Astonished We Are Still Here...In the year 1945, on August 6 and August 9, the USA dropped two atomic bombs: "Little Boy" (U-235) on Hiroshima and "Fat Man" (Plutonium) on Nagasaki. President Truman said on August 9..."I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb... It is an awful responsibility which has come to us... We thank God that it has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes." The bombs we dropped on those two cities were tiny compared to the hydrogen bombs which now are deployed in missle silos across our nation, and across Russia and China. Other nations have "the bomb" too: Britain, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and probably North Korea. It is possible that other advanced nations have atomic weapons, and their existence is a very closely guarded secret. In the not so distant future, many other nations will either develop their own atomic weapons, or purchase them from "friends." The last an atomic bomb was used in warfare was an incredible 65 years ago. People being as fallible and unwise as we are, I'm astonished! And I credit our survival to the grace of God, who must have been miraculously intervening in our affairs all these years.
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Comment From V.P...."I have to agree with you there. The only plausible explanation for the world's survival in the light of the extent of nuclear proliferation and climate of knuckeheads who are in charge is 'the Grace of God.' Good call."

Comment from Bob..."Besides "to the grace of God" I think there's another simple answer to why we haven't blow each other up. And if I could paraphrase Mr. Heinlein: "Nuclear armed countries are polite countries (but only to other nuclear armed countries)." So, if a country wants any real respect, it must be nuclear armed and by nuclear I mean the most advanced weapon of the time. Can you imagine what the west would look like if Indians had had unlimited access to 1873 Winchesters?"

Six sided red cross with medical staff/snakeDecember 13, 2010 -- Shooting for Handicapped People...I don't normally consider myself as a handicapped person, but I suppose I am, actually. I had left shoulder surgery about 15 years ago, after falling from a ladder to a concrete patio. I still have rush rods and wire in my left shoulder. I guess I did well in surgery, and I had several rounds of physical therapy, but have never been able to regain full range of motion or strength in my left shoulder. Over the years, because of inability to use, the weakness has grown. This has a genuine impact on rifle or shotgun shooting. Pump shotguns especially, because it is really uncomfortable for me to cycle the pump action with my left arm. Rifles are easier, but it is still difficult for my left arm to hold a rifle horizontal. (When shooting my WASR I generally grab hold of the magazine with my left hand, and this helps a lot.) I've also noticed that as I have aged (I'm 63), I have less meat in my right shoulder, too, and rifles that recoil heavily are pretty painful to shoot. I've gotten rid of my Mosin rifle, due to the heavy recoil. So far I'm OK with 7.62x39. Of course, a .22 is no problem at all. My wife has gone shooting with me, but she suffers from severe arthritis in her right hand fingers, and pulling a trigger is actually painful for her. So when she shoots, she needs a pistol with a very easy trigger. (Our easiest right now is a Taurus PT-111.) If you happen to be somewhat "handicapped" don't let that stop you altogether from shooting. Be patient with yourself, find the right gun, and you will be OK.

A Comment from Bob..."I pulled into a handicap parking space some time back and my daughter who was with me quickly pointed out the mistake. She said "dad you can't park here, its not for the mentally handicapped"! Other than that, wearing glasses and carrying a cane (mostly as a weapon) my wife and I are fortunate to be healthy and we're in the same ballpark as you, age wise. Interestingly, my wife also has some arthritis in her right-hand but it doesn't affect her shooting because she wouldn't touch a gun, any gun with a ten foot pole. Such is life."

Robert A. HeinleinDecember 12, 2010 -- Robert A. Heinlein...For the past 50 years I have been a fan of the science-fiction books of Robert A. Heinlein. (Yes, I know, that means I'm really old!) When I was a boy, his stories for boys were available on the local library (Mason City, Iowa) bookshelves: Red Planet; Between Planets; Have Spacesuit Will Travel; and so on. As I grew older I enjoyed his books that were written for a more mature audience. This week I am planning a new addition to the mouseguns.com website. It will be a compendium of quotes from Heinlein's works, and I am thinking of naming it "Our Daily Heinlein." There will be a new quote every day. Heinlein was a prolific author. He had a lot to say, and he said it well. Many who enjoy shooting will recognize this quote from Heinlein: "An armed society is a polite society." (From Beyond This Horizon, 1948)
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A Comment from Mike..."Excellent idea! I too was and still am a Robert A. Heinlein fan. His thoughts about the roles and responsibilities of citizens are to be admired. 26 years in the United States Air Force was as close as I could come to being a "Starship Trooper" but I am a citizen."

A Comment from Bob..."A daily quote from Heinlein is an excellent idea and I will look forward to reading it as much as I do your editorial columns. Regarding science fiction I never read much even though I am interested in astronomy and stumbled across Carl Sagen and Isaac Asimov from time to time. However, I made an exception and devoured everything Douglas Adams wrote and love this quote: Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.-- Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

arbeit macht frei gateDecember 11, 2010 -- Keeping Your Freedom As An American...Today I am reposting something from Joe Huffman's blog. (But it is written by "anonymous.") It is very blunt and challenging, and gives us some ideas to chew on. Here's the re-post:
Remember the lessons of the 20th Century:
Lesson No. 1: If a bureaucrat, or a soldier sent by a bureaucrat, comes to knock down your door and take you someplace you don't want to go because of who you are or what you think-- kill him. If you can, kill the politician who sent them. You will likely die anyway, and you will be saving someone else the same fate.
Lesson No. 2: If a bureaucrat, or a soldier sent by a bureaucrat, comes to knock down your door and confiscate your firearms-- kill him. The disarmament of law-abiding citizens is the required precursor to genocide.
Lesson No. 3: If a bureaucrat tells you that he must know if you have a firearm so he can put your name on a list for the common good, or wants to issue you an identity card so that you may be more easily identified-- tell him to go to hell. Registration of people and firearms is the required precursor to the tyranny which permits genocide. Bureaucrats cannot send soldiers to doors that aren't on their list.
Lesson No. 4: Believe actions, not words. Tyrants are consummate liars. Just because a tyrant is "democratically elected" doesn't mean that he believes in democracy. Reference Adolf Hitler, 1932. And just because a would-be tyrant mouths words of reverence to law and justice, or takes a solemn oath to uphold a constitution, doesn't mean he believes such concepts apply to him.... A sign saying "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Makes You Free) posted above an execution camp gate doesn't mean that anybody gets out of there alive, and a room labeled "Showers" doesn't necessarily make you clean.
And famous last words: "That can never happen here!"
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A comment from Bob..."Interesting words by Joe Hoffman but it would have resonated better if he had substituted the word policeman for soldier. But I think that in America our downfall is not coming in a hail of bullets or myriad of concentration camps. Instead the politicians and the oligarchy that controls them will keep the divisive issues of bigotry, abortion, guns and religion continuously stirred-up so that the country remains in a politically fragmented and polarized state, all while the rich continue exploiting the masses. We will become a third world country where everybody packs heat and owns a bible yet be devoid of any organization or resources to mount a true revolution. Five or fewer corporations will control the world and everybody in it. Maybe."

Hungary F.E.G. 32 caliber (7.65mm)December 10, 2010 -- New Gun On My Wish List...A few days ago I dropped by my favorite pawn shop to see what they had in the way of guns, and spied a Hungarian F.E.G. 7.65 mm (.32 caliber). It looked brand new, and the clerk said it was a new gun. But I wonder if it really isn't military or police surplus being brought into our American market. I learned the following from Google: "FEGARMY Arms Factory of Hungary started producing Walther PP/PPK clones in the late 1940s starting with their Model 48 which differed from the Walther PP only in minor details. By the late 1950s F…G began making broader changes resulting in the PA-63, which uses a 9x18mm Makarov round. It quickly became standard issue to both Hungarian military and police forces. Due to its popularity and relative durability FEG later issued models using .32ACP and .380 ACP caliber rounds (FEG AP9 and PMK-380 respectively)." This one I saw must be the AP model. I believe the magazine holds seven rounds. It has a thumb safety, and the mag ejector button is in "the right place." The frame is metal, and the slide is steel. The double-action trigger is really heavy, and it was very hard to rack the slide. But the single action trigger was light and crisp. It's a nice looking gun, and priced at $170 it will probably be gone quick! Why do I like it? I don't know, I just do.
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A Comment from Sam..."I have a PA-63 in 9mm Makarov that is my carry piece, and I love it, even more than that jewel of Makarov guns the CZ-82, which I also have. The FEG gun is an honest (well except they ripped off Walther totally for the design) piece, aluminum frame - light but heavy enough to shoot comfortably, 9MM Mak is a great round, use either FMJ or HP's without significant overpenetration issues. Wolff does carry springs for the PA-63, and the 11lb hammer spring and 13lb recoil spring was all I needed. The DA pull is now about 12lbs - similar to my S&W 686 - and the SA is light and fast. HP's are $11/50 and FMJ's are cheaper, and even the American loads are less then $18/50. So if I could find another FEG in .32 like yours or in Tokarev or the rare 9mm I wouldn't hesitate. And since FEG is bankrupt (sniff) they all go cheap, even better."

A comment from Bob..."Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I may not share your enthusiasm for the FEG .32, but on my wish list near the top is the .454 Casull which I was smitten with after seeing a shooting demonstration by Bob Munden comparing the .44 Magnum and .454 Casull. Only the Casull could live up to the urban legends and Dirty Harry gun bravado attributed to the .44 Magnum!"

22 ammoDecember 9, 2010 -- Ammo - Buy it Now!... I'm pleased to see that ammunition prices have dropped a bit over the past six months, and that ammo which was unavailable is now fairly plentiful. My local WalMart even stocks Russian AK and SKS ammo, for only $4.97 per box of 20. Prices are not what they were five years ago, but they have dropped a little. I believe that we may be seeing our final opportunity to get plenty of ammo at a decent price. The American economy puzzles me, I admit. We have a strange mixture of inflation in the price of gasoline, food and commodities. We have high unemployment, and dropping house prices. Does the future hold hyper-inflation, or deflation? Or "stagflation?" Will the stock market soar to new heights, or will it crash and burn? I can't figure it out. But I do believe the time will shortly come when ammunition once again will be scarce, and very expensive. So, get out there and buy ammo. If worse comes to worst, you will be able to use it for barter. I'd rather stock up on ammo, water, beans and rice, than on gold and silver (which I can't really afford anyway).
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A Comment From Bob..."I too am wondering if anybody knows what's going on with the economy. People buy gold and silver when there are afraid the money they have in currency is going to be lost. If the dollar collapses would that mean the end of the US economy or just super-high inflation? I don't know much about this but I do know Congress has legalized bribery for themselves and are therefore directly in cahoots with the big money on Wall Street by passing laws allowing them to manipulate commodity prices (gasoline, corn, wheat, soybeans, etc.) which has the effect to raise costs for us without there being any need for a shortage. Sweet deal if you are a broker. Prices for gasoline will soon exceed $3.00 per gallon but do you ever see any lines at filling stations these days? If gold goes from $1,400 per ounce now to over $50,000 per ounce soon as is being hawked by Tim at USCCA and I have 25 lbs. of brown rice to sell, its going to cost a fortune to buy it from me. So, I'm with you and will do my investing in bullets and beans. A brick or two of .22s every month may end up being a very good investment.

Lester WarnerDecember 8, 2010 -- 86 Year Old Gets His Deer...This is an excerpt from the York, Pennsylvania Daily Record: "When Lester Warner left home for the mountains for the first day of deer hunting, he told his wife, Shirley, it would be for the last time. Three weeks before that, the 86-year-old was in the hospital, dehydrated and sick from the chemotherapy he was receiving in his battle against prostate cancer. The cancer has spread, however, and he recently stopped treatment. Warner, a lifelong hunter, wanted to spend the first day of hunting in the outdoors and with his family, as he has for decades. Warner's sons, Brian and Scott, hoped their frail father could make it, but they weren't sure he could. Les used a walker when he came home from the hospital, and his wife had to lift him into bed. But therapists gave him exercises -- moving his legs and arms -- to get ready for hunting. His strength improved. Scott picked up his father last Sunday at his Dover Township home, and the two traveled to Brian's home in Huntingdon County, in central Pennsylvania. Brian owns a couple farms in the mountains, and the family gathers at the Big Pine Camp nearby. The sons knew their father would need to be comfortable while hunting on the side of Broadtop Mountain. So Brian hauled a recliner to the top and put it in an 8-foot-by-10-foot hut the family had built as a shelter for Les years ago. On the first day, the men woke up at 4 a.m. Brian drove Les in the truck to the top of the mountain. Scott hunted about 300 yards away, and Brian stayed with his father. They watched the sun rise and waited for a deer. It didn't take long. About 8 a.m., a buck ran out of the woods, into a clearing and stopped. Brian pointed it out to his father. Les told his son to shoot it, but Brian wanted his father to bag it. He told his dad to take his time. Les aimed his son's 243 Winchester, squeezed the trigger and killed the 8-point buck with one shot. Then the father looked up at his son and said: "Never give up." "It was the biggest buck he ever shot," Brian said. It was a good morning, Les said, and he thanked God. The family took pictures of Les with his kill. Even the grandsons came over to get their pictures taken with Pa-Pa and the buck. Brian Warner called his mother to report the news. Both cried. "I know that for a while he forgot he had cancer, and that's the best part," Shirley Warner said."
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Comment From Bob..."Touching story and for most men living into your mid-eighties and still being healthy enough to do what you truly enjoy doing is about all any of us can expect in this life. Lester Warner is and has probably always been a winner. For me, I have never seen or read about any centenarian that would make me eager to live past the age of being able to do stuff whether that's making it to eighty and beyond or much, much earlier."

Nutcracker Ballet Mouse KingDecember 7, 2010 -- Americans Love Guns!...One of my pastimes is playing the cello, and presently I am involved with a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet, by Tchaikovsky. In one of the scenes, the Mouse King is shot in the rear by one of the Nutcracker's soldiers, providing a bit of comic relief! The sound of the shot is done by our orchestra drummer, who whacks hard on his snare drum. This started a chain of thought in my mind about how much Americans love guns and shooting. Even in ballets that we do with children in mind, someone gets shot, and everyone loves it. This love of guns is quite evident in just about all of the big movie hits and popular TV shows. I'm guessing that the people trying to pass more gun control laws like these movies and shows just as much as everyone else, they are just inconsistent. Or some of them want guns for themselves, but not for you and me. I also notice that the gun grabbers are losing their battles in nearly all of our States, and on the federal level, too.
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Marlin 30/30December 6, 2010 -- Finding Time to Shoot...I love to go shooting, but these days I rarely find time. And it DOES take some time. It takes 30 minutes to drive to the range, and another 30 minutes home again. When I get there, I always feel rushed, because I know I don't have much time. When I get home, the guns must be cleaned. There goes another hour. I can't remember the last time I've had a whole day just to do whatever whenever. I have a Marlin 30/30 that I have never shot. I've scoped it, and I need some time to sight in the scope. Sighting in a scope takes calm, patience and a slow hand. But I can't seem to find the leisure time. I work full time, even on weekends. And when I'm not working there are a thousand "honey-do" projects. Any of you in the same situation?
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A Comment From Bob..."I confess to never having shot my 9mm Hi-Point carbine because of an online video about disassembly and cleaning which turned out to be more like rocket science compared to snapping apart my .380 TCP! And yes, I'm always thinking about how much trouble gun cleaning will be before I go shooting. Also, there are real expenses to shooting besides the travel costs, range fees and cleaning time like bullets, targets and cleaning supplies including those latex type gloves! I'm mostly Mr. .22 when it comes to practice shooting and I even have a small bullet trap for use in my basement where I enjoy shooting the .22 Colibri bullets that are only powered by primers (they don't work in autos). The full-time job market suggested that I pursue other opportunities years ago but it's amazing the number of things that regularly popup to keep you too busy to go shooting."

Curio and Relic Old ManDecember 5, 2010 -- Curio and Relic Firearms...The picture is supposed to humorously depict an old man who is both a curio and a relic. (I'm getting there myself!) One of our readers, Paul, has re-awakened my interest in getting a C&R license. I believe the cost is only $30 for the license. With a C&R license, you can buy firearms from a variety of people and vendors all over the country, and have the guns shipped directly to your home via UPS or FedEx. C&R firearms must be at least 50 years old, OR have some special features that make them of interest to gun collectors. (The BATFE maintains a list of which guns qualify.) Also, the C&R license holder is required by the BATFE to keep a "bound book" of all his/her transactions. (And they may drop by your house and ask to see your book and firearms unexpectly.) You can't buy and sell as a business with the C&R license, merely collect. Many vendors will give special discounts to C&R folks on ammunition and other items, too. I've always liked the military surplus rifles, and have owned several Mosins and a Yugo SKS, but have never gotten into the handgun side of things, and there are many available. I've started a web page for C&R handguns, and will be developing and adding to it regularly. I believe I will send off for a C&R license next week, and I will let you all know how the process is going.
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Davey CrocketDecember 4, 2010 -- A Permit to Carry a Handgun...In about 40 of our USA States, any citizen who has not been a felon may carry a concealed firearm, with the proper permit. In two of these, a license is not required; in the "Shall Issue" states the permit, MUST be granted after the required class, background check, finger-printing, fee, etc. is done. Two states, Wisconsin and Illinois, have no provision for concealed carry. The remaining States are "May Issue" States, and permits are granted or refused at the discretion of County Sheriffs, Police Chiefs or Judges. Big cities like Chicago, San Francisco or New York are so restrictive as to virtually forbid handgun carry permits. In some States, the permit is to carry a handgun CONCEALED, and if it is not concealed, you become a law breaker. In Tennessee, it is simply a permit to carry, concealed or not. I got my permit about six years ago. If you live in a State where you can get a permit, you should do so. If you live in a State that curtails your 2nd Amendment rights, I think you should leave. We should never allow any government to do more than regulate in an orderly and helpful way. When the government takes away fundamental rights, it's time to leave, or change the government. Remember, in the final analysis, the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to preserve to the people the right and the firepower to remove an oppressive government, should the need ever arise.
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A comment from Bob..."Indiana, where I live, is similar to Tennessee and issues a carry permit, concealed or not, to non-felons after a police background check only. But I have more respect for states that set the bar a little higher such as including some type of handgun training before issuing a permit. Regarding Wisconsin, it is ironic that the USCCA magazine and association is based there and regarding Illinois, I worked in Chicago for 30 years...Currently, my pet peeve is open carry which I view as anti-social, uncivilized and perpetual intimidation to others. When I see open carry by a non-uniformed person I automatically go from yellow alert to red and I know as long as that person is in my vicinity if something goes down, that's were my sights will be aimed. It seems that eliminating open carry was the first order of business in taming the wild west by gunfighters like Wyatt Earp. Now, a 140 years later, a large number of gunowners want to return to the days of yesteryear. Is this nostalgia or just taking the 2nd amendment too far."

9mm uziDecember 3, 2010 -- Taking Personal Responsibility...Today's morning newspaper updated the sad story of the death of 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj, who accidentally shot himself in the head at a gun fair in Westfield, Massachusetts, in 2008. (Read the story here.) The boy was participating in an event called the "Great New England Pumpkin Shoot" when he lost control of the 9mm Uzi submachine gun. A video was filmed by Christopher's father, Dr Charles Bizilj, who was standing nearby as his son fired the micro Uzi submachine gun at a pumpkin. Edward Fleury, who owned the company that organised the event, was been charged with Christopher's manslaughter. Fleury, who is the former police chief of Pelham, Massachusetts, pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go on trial next week. There is also a four million dollar civil suit against Fleury and six other people and companies. I'm very sorry for the Bizilj family. Young Christopher died un-necessarily because several adults around him dropped the ball. The gun fair should never have allowed young children to shoot 9mm sub-machine guns. Sure, give them some training with a single-shot .22, with close supervision. That would have been great! But the person most to blame is Christopher's father, standing there filming the accidental death of his son. Letting your 8-year-old shoot a 9mm micro submachine pistol is like letting him enter a cage with a lion. You never know what's going to happen in such a dangerous situation. Of course I don't know all the facts about the accident, but I do know this: Parents are required to exercise great care and responsibility in protecting their young children from firearm accidents. Christopher's father is just as much to blame as anyone. I can't emphasize this too much or too often: People who like and use firearms are required to be careful, and act responsibly at all times!
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A Comment from Paul... "I agree 100% that we have to take responsibility for children in our care. You teach a child to solder before you teach him to weld. You don't have him welding gas tanks, it takes practice. Auto weapons get away from most everyone the first time, most adults have no business with them. I am all for freedom, but with it comes responsibly...This is the kind of thing the gun grabbers love. I remember going shooting 15 years ago and this place had "anything goes" rules: auto fire(sounded like south central LA on sat night), people bringing old cars to shoot up and blow up, etc. That turned me off to guns for years. For a while, I even believed the "assault weapon" crap, until I saw what the were classifying as "assault weapons." Many other people have seen this and believed the propaganda...We, the gun owning public, have to police ourselves. When you see something obviously wrong, you try to take care of it, or else just ghost out of the place. Making laws about schooling is not freedom, but attending a class or getting checked out on whatever weapon is a good idea."

A Comment from Bob... "This is a tough situation to comment on but I share the same feelings you have on responsibility for this horrible accident. The father is 100% responsible for Christopher's death and should be charged with child endangerment. He will be burdened with remorse for life. The fair organizer will be ruined by lawyers and settlement costs and may be even some jail time. A lose, lose situation for everyone..."

School BusDecember 2, 2010 -- Trained to be pacifists...This morning I caught a bit of TV news; and there was a story about a boy who was being badly beaten by a bully on a school bus. One of the other kids riding on the bus pulled out his cell phone, and filmed the beating. Now it is a YouTube video. The news commentator was asking: "Why did the cell phone boy only sit quietly and film the attack? Why didn't he (or some other kid) come to the aid of the boy being beaten?" That started me thinking about the question in general: why do most people do nothing when they see another person being attacked by a bully or a criminal? I'm sure there are many reasons. But a memory from my own childhood surfaced, and I believe it explains some of the problem. I remember in my Junior High School years that there were bullies and fights on the playground. Usually what happened when a teacher came on the scene was that the teacher punished EVERYONE for fighting. Teachers operated on the theory that ALL fighting was wrong. The person fighting the bully was just as bad as the bully, and everyone was made to stay after school, and write "I will not fight" a thousand times. This is just WRONG! People who retaliate against bullies should be praised and rewarded for fighting. Those who fight to steal, or oppress other should be punished. Those who fight to do good should be rewarded. This anti-fighting philosophy has permeated our public schools for many decades, and is one reason we have now a generation of pacifist cowards. How much better our schools would be if we had martial arts classes, and even firearms classes, and taught everyone to fight hard against criminals and bullies!
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A comment from Bob... "Good topic! In my opinion schools force children into an unnatural social environment that does not exist in the adult world with the military being an exception. Non intervention is probably learned at home as well as through interaction with school bullies (both students and teachers). The fear and consequences of being punished (as you mentioned) and as an adult being sued for voluntary involvement in difficult situations will keep many, many idle. Classes on martial arts and even on how to specifically handle bullies would be a great improvement and would force schools to recognize the problem. This is why I'm a strong proponent of homeschooling when possible."

A comment from Paul C... "This is normal. It sets a pecking order and it teaches them that no one wins, just that someone loses more than another. When someone gets to far out of line, the others will gang up, if they have to, to put him in his place...We need to allow kids to be kids, get an a$$whipping and learn from it. Many times, it is a young boy who gets beat up by a slightly older girl because he got out of line. Bravo!...Teach your children well. A bloody nose or black eye is a good learning experience."

Dr. J. Vernon McGeeDecember 1, 2010 -- Dr. J. Vernon McGee....I'm going to "re-blog" this excerpt from a Bible lesson by McGee (re-blogged from the "Armed and Christian" blog). It's a great statement: "I'll be very candid with you that there are certain news commentators whom I won't listen to any longer. I know that they are doing nothing in the world but giving out propaganda. They are not giving facts. Everything they give is biased and distorted and twisted for a liberal position. Apparently, they are willing even to misinform you, and they have been willing to withhold facts to gain their objective. I have come to the place where it does not matter who they are or what party they belong to, I have no confidence in politicians. Therefore, we are in a place today where it is difficult to believe the witness of men, but the interesting thing is that John Q. Public swallows it hook, line, and sinker. You can tell by the different polls which are taken that a man's influence or his popularity is determined by what the news media say about him. The biggest frauds in the world can be built up by the media--Hollywood, of course, has done this for years. Most people do receive the witness of men; they are taken in by it. If it is said over television or if it is put into print, they will believe it. There are many people who believe whatever they read or hear, but they will not receive the witness of God--but the witness of God is greater, my friend." Dr. McGee has been dead and gone for a good long while, but his words live on in his daily radio "re-broadcast" and in his Bible commentaries. He is not scholarly in his approach, but he is spiritually deep. When I was recovering from surgery twelve years ago, I listened to him daily, and was greatly strengthened. He is in Heaven now, with His Savior. Well done, thou good and faithful servant!
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Comment from a reader..."Dr. McGee was and is still right about politicians (and may be everything). Nothing gets done in Congress that is not either totally self-serving or to political advantage regardless of any greater good. Haggling over ratifying the nuclear arms treaty with Russia and not extending tax cuts for the very rich are prime examples. Public service appears to be an oxymoron much like the term military intelligence is often joked about. The military seems to be just one of the many arms of big business these days and promotes patriotism and duty only at the lowest levels like when a boot hits the ground." (from Bob)