'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

30 December 2012

Sunday Kipling

It's cold here. Not as bad as it is where a lot of you live but for this boy, who's spent the last thirty years in moderate California, it's downright chilly. We've had snow twice in the last couple of weeks. Fun for a while but I'm still trying to acclimate. I know, cry me a river right? Some of you are being snowed in and facing severe Winter storms. You know what? Now that I think about it it's not quite so cold here after all. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Lu and I will be spending this last Sunday of 2012 together. A quiet day at home, wrapped in the warmth of each others company. I hope this day finds you all warm, happy and with someone you love. For my brothers and sisters away from all they love and braving both the elements and those intent upon your harm a prayer for comfort and a safe return home.

All this talk of cold and snow makes me think of this poem. I hope you enjoy it. Have a fine day my friends.


"Angutivaun Taina"

Song of the Returning Hunter (Esquimaux)
Our gloves are stiff with the frozen blood,
  Our furs with the drifted snow,
As we come in with the seal--the seal!
  In from the edge of the floe.

Au jana! Aua! Oha! Haq!
  And the yelping dog-teams go;
And the long whips crack, and the men come back,
  Back from the edge of the floe!

We tracked our seal to his secret place,
  We heard him scratch below,
We made our mark, and we watched beside,
  Out on the edge of the floe. 

We raised our lance when he rose to breathe,
  We drove it downward--so!
And we played him thus, and we killed him thus,
  Out on the edge of the floe.

Our gloves are glued with the frozen blood,
  Our eyes with the drifting snow;
But we come back to our wives again,
  Back from the edge of the floe!

Au jana! Aua! Oha! Haq!
  And the loaded dog-teams go;
And the wives can hear their men come back,
  Back from the edge of the floe!

29 December 2012

It Doesn't Work That Way

I know I said I wasn't going to post until after the New Year but this is really bugging me.

The talk everywhere has been on Meet The Press and David Gregory waving a banned 30 round magazine at Wayne LaPierre. Liberals and the media (BIRM) have been trying desperately to excuse him and have basically made our point for us. Banning has never, doesn't and will never work. On anything. But there's a point that is being missed in the prosecute/don't debate.

DC police says they didn't give him permission. ATF says they may have or maybe they didn't. Doesn't really matter. The fact is that no police officer can give permission to break the law. Period. I made a comment at Paw Paw's House about this. Can you imagine?

Reporter. "The officer totally gave me permission to break the law. It's totally not my fault. I had no intention to commit any crime. I'm allowed. I'm just doing journalist stuff."

Officer. "Yes Chief, I told the guy he could drive 100 mph through that school zone. He's a reporter and was doing a segment on speeding and dangerous driving. No intent there."

NHTSA.  "Well, one of our investigators may have given Mister Reporter permission to drive 75 mph over the speed limit in a school zone. Or maybe not. We'll investigate and get back to you on that. But even if we or the officer did it's clear there was no intent there."

Chief. "We'll open an investigation on Mister reporter and get back to you Common Folks later. Maybe."

No. Can't be done. Stop arguing about it and asking who gave him permission. No permission was allowed or could lawfully be given. Specific Intent isn't required in this case. I know the law is stupid but it is the law. Either it applies to everyone or it doesn't but no one could give Gregory permission to do what he did. No one. The best they could have done (and certainly what Gregory should have done) is to have an officer bring the magazine to the studio and do all the handling and displaying. Would have made his point better anyway.

Just to repeat myself and drive home this point to all the reporters and their toe licking lackeys. A police officer cannot give you permission to break the law. Let's say you go on a search warrant ride along and after all the bad guys are in handcuffs an officer gives you the okay and you grab a cellophane baggy of a white powdery substance in your grubby paw. You take it outside and wave it in front of the camera doing your best Jaded Crime Reporter schtick on air. Turns out it indeed ends up being a gram of Cocaine. Guess what? That's right Scooter, you just committed the crime of possession of a controlled substance for all the world to see and your butt should end up in the slammer. In a perfect world. No intent is required. Simple possession is enough. Probably wouldn't get prosecuted (depending on the DA and how bad he wants to be seen as tough on crime and how close the next election is) but that's not because you didn't break the law. Just like Gregory did. Either prosecute him or admit the laws are different for some animals and don't but please stop trying to find excuses. Your ignorance and bias is showing.

The stupidity. It burns.


23 December 2012

Sunday Kipling

Merry Christmas my friends. I hope it finds you all among those you love best. Eat all you want, Christmas food is calorie free as all know.

This is hardly a holiday much less a Christmas poem but it tickles me and I am after all The Six and I know my dooty. I could have chosen something obvious like Christmas in India but I think you'll like this one.

See you all in 2013.

The Jacket

Through the Plagues of Egyp' we was chasin' Arabi,
 Gettin' down an' shovin' in the sun;
An' you might 'ave called us dirty, 
an' you might ha' called us dry,
 An' you might 'ave 'eard us talkin' at the gun.
But the Captain 'ad 'is jacket, 
an' the jacket it was new --
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
An' the wettin' of the jacket 
is the proper thing to do,
 Nor we didn't keep 'im waiting very long.
One day they gave us orders for to shell a sand redoubt,
 Loadin' down the axle-arms with case;
But the Captain knew 'is dooty, 
an' he took the crackers out
 An' he put some proper liquor in its place.
An' the Captain saw the shrapnel, 
which is six-an'-thirty clear.
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
"Will you draw the weight," sez 'e, 
"or will you draw the beer?"
 An' we didn't keep 'im waitin' very long.
  For the Captain, etc.
Then we trotted gentle, not to break the bloomin' glass,
 Though the Arabites 'ad all their ranges marked;
But we dursn't 'ardly gallop, for the most was bottled Bass,
 An' we'd dreamed of it since we was disembarked,
So we fired economic with the shells we 'ad in 'and,
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
But the beggars under cover 'ad the impidence to stand,
 An' we couldn't keep 'em waitin' very long.
  And the Captain, etc.
So we finished 'arf the liquor 
(an' the Captain took champagne),
 An' the Arabites was shootin' all the while;
An' we left our wounded 'appy 
with the empties on the plain,
 An' we used the bloomin' guns for projectile!
We limbered up an' galloped -- 
there were nothin' else to do --
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
An' the Battery came a-boundin' 
like a boundin' kangaroo,
 But they didn't watch us comin' very long.
  As the Captain, etc.
We was goin' most extended -- 
we was drivin' very fine,
 An' the Arabites were loosin' 'igh an' wide,
Till the Captain took the glacis 
with a rattlin' "right incline,"
 An' we dropped upon their 'eads the other side.
Then we give 'em quarter -- such as 'adn't up and cut,
 ('Orse Gunners, listen to my song!)
An' the Captain stood a limberful of fizzy somethin' Brutt,
 But we didn't leave it fizzing very long.
  For the Captain, etc.
We might ha' been court-martialled, 
but it all come out all right
 When they signalled us to join the main command.
There was every round expended, there was every gunner tight,
 An' the Captain waved a corkscrew in 'is 'and.
  But the Captain 'ad 'is jacket, etc.

21 December 2012

Christmas Snow

Well, Kinda. On Monday night we got the first snow of the year. I know many of you in the colder regions will laugh at that but we don't get that much snow and Lu and I have been living in snow free California for an awful long time so for us it was pretty dang cool.

It started pretty late and we didn't discover the white blanket until about 10:00.

Pristine. Or at least it was until a certain black dog made an entrance. Hi Angus!

A view from across the street looking all wintery and Christmassy.

The green truck and nary a window scraper to be found.

It's a good thing Lu used plastic Poinsettias this year.

It's kinda hard to see but that's the Pirate Ghost ship looking all gloomy and, well... Pirate Ghosty.

Angus never could quite figure out what all the fuss was about though when Mom and Dad got into an impromptu snowball fight he was happy to join in. It's a wonder the neighbors didn't call the cops on us.

The next morning and the evidence of our nocturnal frolicking.

"Come on, it's just a little snow. Let's go somewhere!

I'm taking a little break for the holiday so except for Sunday Kipling this will be my last post before the new year. I'm going to relax, eat myself into a food coma and generally enjoy the season and my family. The computer is being shut off and not activated again until 2013 is here. Lu, Angus and I will be spending Christmas with sarge and MIL. There are goodies in the kitchen calling my name and a dog who is always up to share. Packages have been purchased, wrapped and sent. All is in order and my life is full up with blessings.

 Merry Christmas my friends. May you have all the joy and gladness you can. I'll see you in the new year.

Mom In Law

20 December 2012

My Response To Cheaper Than Dirt (Updated)

Like most of you I find my self very unhappy with Cheaper Than Dirt and their recent decision to cave in to the civil rights banning crowd. I decided that I had to take a definite stand and make my determination to protect my right to keep and bear arms crystal clear.

I've been a customer of Cheaper Than Dirt for many years now. I regularly get their product catalog sent to my home. I figured this was the perfect way to make my dissatisfaction well known to the company's management. This is the letter I sent. I taped it to the latest catalog I received. Short but to the point.

If you can't read that this is what it says;

Dear CTD Management

Due to your recent decision to capitulate on the Second Amendment and my right to keep and bear arms I will no longer do business of any kind with your company.

Please remove my name from any and all customer lists and cease any and all correspondence including product catalogs.

To say I am disappointed in your decision is a massive understatement.

A very dissatisfied former customer.

They may be able to ignore this like a spam e-mail but at least someone in the company will read it and perhaps get the necessary message to the decision makers. We shall see.

I hate boycott and I'm not a huge fan of embargo. It often leads to events like those in 1812 and 1941. But we have limited responses available and must take advantage of those we can. Our ability to influence these companies and entities are mostly limited to expressions of dismay and voting with our wallets. So be it. I've made my position as clear as I can. I won't do business with nor support anyone who would work with those intent on violating and removing any of my civil rights.



Update: I and another blogger who shall remain nameless caught a bit of flack for our stance on CTD. The comments on both of our sites took us to task for jumping the gun and not doing the necessary homework as well as basically being wrong and stupid. Let me point you here and here and here and here. Apparently we aren't the only ones in the gun community who think CTD melted in the heat. Here's the text of CTD's initial statement;
Cheaper Than Dirt! is suspending online sales of firearms effective immediately.
We are reviewing our policy internally, and will continue to be the leader in the outdoor industry with our full line of gear and accessories.
Michael Tenny, CEO
Note the language please, especially that last part about gear and accessories. No mention of guns. I don't care what a company decides they will or won't sell. I'll find what I want somewhere. What I do care about is a company that is so quick to surrender to the anti gun folks. It's not about whether they will or won't sell guns it's about whether they will or won't support the second amendment. BTW, snark is one thing, arrogant belittling is something else. I've removed one blogger from my roll and read list because of it.

19 December 2012

A Concept And A Proposal

Ok, I've always believed that if one offers a criticism he must also offer a solution. I talked about arming teachers in a previous post and I'm gratified to see that it is in fact happening in certain places. Most notably Texas. I applaud Lone Star Handguns and it's owner, Josh Felker. Well done Sir.

But this approach isn't going to go over as well in other places, especially those controlled by folks more hostile to the idea of an armed non-police presence in their schools. We need an alternative, one acceptable to a broader slice of society in it's current guise. I offer a modest concept and proposal I call the Volunteer School Safety Officer Program. VSSOP for short because I'm both prior military and retired police and we do love our acronyms. VSSOP a way to provide an armed police presence at every school in the nation on a daily and cost effective basis. Bear in mind three things. The emphasis is on local involvement and control and your local agency is going to have to grow at least a little. We can find the money we just have to find the will. In addition this isn't going to work in all places. Some will find the idea both alarming and undesirable. Some will decide it's unworkable. One size does not fit all. Lastly. Yes, there will be hurdles to jump, full time personnel to train and hire and funding to be found. Nothing requiring herculean or extraordinary efforts, just routine bureaucratic issues, the kind we deal with every day. This is just a general proposal and will have to be tailored to each individual locality to best serve the needs of it's citizens.

Warning. Those of you of a more Libertarian bent may find this proposal a little too statist. I understand and appreciate that. I ask only that you consider it from the point of view of those people and places that will not, indeed cannot accept the concept of an armed teacher. For them some solution must still be found. It may not be this one but the conversation is worth having in my opinion.

Ok, that said here's how it could work.

Most law enforcement agencies have a Civilian Volunteer Program, a Reserve Officer Program, a Citizen's Academy or some combination of all three. Volunteerism is a significant part of many agencies public service programs and offer a low cost way to give greater service. Research program like VIPS, Volunteers In Police Service, to see what I mean. Reserve Officer Programs let an agency put more cops on the street for a much reduced cost over full time officers. Citizen's Academies let the agency educate the general public on police procedures, policies and the Criminal Justice System in general. Policies, procedures and training plans are already in place and working right now for each of these programs. We know how to do this and are generally pretty good at it. Funds may come from the localities general fund, the department's budget or, given the current perceived crisis, federal grants. These programs are established, competent and working.

Let's take the idea to the next level, the Volunteer School Safety Officer Program.

First this must be a local program. That is, your staffing will be drawn from the immediate area where the officers will be utilized, generally at the City/Town or County level. It will be administered, supervised and commanded by the agency in charge of local law enforcement. Again that may be City/Town, County or in some remote cases State agencies. The chain of command is already extant. The program can be run through an existing Community Policing program with the training and supervisory assets already in place.

Second, we need that staffing. Volunteers will be sought who live locally (this can be extended for definitions of local depending on the rural nature of the municipality). Extra attention will be given to those who already possess the required skill sets like retired police officers, retired military, veterans, etc. Police agencies are well equipped and experienced in hiring police recruits so have the necessary skills and know how to do the hiring and the lengthy and encompassing background checks on all applicants. The applicant winnowing process is also well known and well proven. We'll then have a pool of qualified and motivated candidates that have passed an extensive background check complete with physical agility testing, a medical health physical and a thorough psychological screening. These officers will be part of the local law enforcement agency. Answerable to, controlled by and employed as volunteers by them. There are hundreds of thousands of highly trained and motivated folks out there who will volunteer for such a program tomorrow if invited. All we have to do is decide.

Third. Since this will be an armed service we need to address training. If the selection process goes well most of the candidates will already have much of the desired skills and training and will need only refresher courses but in all cases a detailed training curriculum will be in place to ensure thorough and uniform skills acquisition. Again, many agencies can rely on their existing plans for training their civilian volunteers and reserve officers with updates to reflect the increased responsibility and nature of the program. Academies that currently offer police officer training can be quickly and easily ramped up to offer a one stop training environment that both agencies and interested civilians can utilize. We in law enforcement have been doing this stuff for a very long time. We understand training requirements, needs, uniformity and liability very well. Every state already has in place a government commission that sets standards and has oversight for all police training. In California for example it's POST, Peace Officer's Standards and Training. California even allows interested civilians to attend an Academy unaffiliated with a police department in the hope of being hired by a smaller, less well funded agency. Many applicants for our VSSOP will be so motivated. It's all regular, expected and well established. Nothing new here.

Fourth. We need to equip our volunteer officers. Since all our training, command and control and the authority our officers will have come from a certified police agency their equipment will be procured through that same agency. Issued by and returned to them before and after every shift. That will give the agency effective control and accountability and ease the fears of states and localities that have stricter gun laws. Positions can be either uniformed or plain clothed depending again on the local needs and desires. Uniforms will be unique from those worn by full time, sworn police personnel for differentiation. Plain clothes will be approved by the parent organization. With the advent of Obama Care, medical insurance shouldn't be an issue however a blanket policy covering all affected participants may be purchased by the law enforcement agency perhaps in partnership with the school district. The same goes for a life insurance policy because, as I'll talk about in a bit, this may be quite necessary.

Fifth. How do we deploy this volunteer police force? The local agency will be the responsible for assigning shifts based on needs and manpower availability and keeping track of hours. Legislation may be needed to change allowable volunteer work hours or bypass state employment law. Nothing impossible or even unusual about any of that. Officers will be assigned to the same school with no unauthorized or unapproved overlap. This will allow our VSSOP officers to know each other by face and name as well as assigned students, school staff and parents. VSSOP officers will be present every school day and in cases where field trips are included may accompany as authorized, requested or required. Staffing will require enough VSSOP officers to fill all required vacancies and any sick or injured time. The employing agency will provide a marked vehicle for the VSSOP officers which he/she/they will park in a public place in the school parking lot at the beginning of each school day. Runouts and excess to needs vehicles will be ideal for this.

Sixth. The employing agency will have direct control over the program. The VSSOP officers will be supervised and evaluated by that agency and answerable to it's chain of command. The chief law enforcement officer will have ultimate authority over the program and all participants. This will allow the agency to have immediate and intimate oversight and the ability to quickly identify sub par officers and remove them from the program swiftly. I envision a sergeant as supervisor with day to day accountability and a staff officer in overall command but based on agency staffing requirements.

Ok, that's the basics. I've left out specifics because, as I said, each individual program will have to be tailored to the needs of the employing agency and it's state commission on peace officers. I don't envision officers with full police powers and that's not even required. In essence this will be an extension of the Reserve Officer and School Resource Officer concepts with a little VIPS thrown in. Since Reserves have limited arrest powers anyway VSSOP doesn't need to be any different. The differences will be in employment and the mind set of the VSSOP officers. VSSOP officers will be assigned as SCHOOL OFFICERS ONLY! No assignments to traffic control, patrol or any other non school related activity. Their one and only task is school safety. They may be asked to intervene in immediate school issues such as fights between students or counseling but only until a uniformed, full time patrol officer or SRO arrives on scene. Then it's back to their normal duties. They must be screened for, trained for and willing to march to the sound of the guns and take proactive action. That means to engage an active or potential shooter. Active Shooter requirements will be the expected course of action. No matter the personal cost. They will be the first line of defense and their selection and training must reflect that reality.

To my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. This can work. It's based on programs and concepts we already employ. The sheer numbers and size of the program, when taken on a national scale, are staggering but when broken down into the smaller portions required for local implementation it's completely within our competencies. I am completely serious about this, to the point that I am willing to set up and initially oversee a start up with an interested agency. On my own dime. I will come to your agency, write up the selection, training and staffing requirements as well as all policies and procedures required in line with your own and your state's. I'll cover all my own costs including lodging, food, vehicle and miscellaneous. I have administered COPS, Volunteer and Citizen's Academy programs. I have been involved with training cops for years, everything from Crime Prevention, to firearms to accident investigation. I understand the training and staffing environments and the problems, liabilities and issues that follow. I am also willing to consult with your own staff on the concept, again, totally free of cost to you.

Yes, there will be unforeseen obstacles. With new programs there always are. But nothing we cannot overcome with determination and a healthy dose of cooperation and savvy. I have omitted training and even hiring specifics in this precis precisely because each agency is different and will require it's own unique solutions and implementation. We are at a crossroads in this country. We can find real world solutions to the immediate and obvious needs of those we are sworn to serve and protect or we can watch as our country slides into chaos and a state of limited liberty. We have a voice. The only real question is how and if we'll use it. We can protect our children.

If anyone is interested or has questions about the concept or my qualifications you can contact me by e-mail at warriorclasssix@yahoo.com. I will provide you with every bit of help I can.


18 December 2012

Life: Some Courage Is Required

Be brave my friends. No one ever said this would be easy. No one ever promised a life free of worry or challenge. We get this one chance to live here and it's up to each of us how we spend our allotted time. In spite of all that has been done to us and what we see and fear that is just over the horizon our fates are still in our hands.

We are neither murderers nor criminals. We are not responsible for anything more than the desire to protect ourselves, the ones we love and indeed society as a whole. To exercise our God given liberties and to pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness as we see fit. There is no need nor place for guilt. We haven't committed evil nor have we embraced it. We have lived our lives as well as we can and ask for no more than the chance to live as free people.

We shed tears when we see evil committed but we also bear the burdens of our knowledge, intelligence, experience and what wisdom each of us carries. That means sometimes we must see reality for what it is and our our countrymen for what they are. We must be courageous enough to recognize the fight and not flinch no matter how afraid we are or how badly we want things to return to the usual and comfortable. Tears are expected and honorable but they must never blind us.

We aren't in love with our tools no matter what some may say. The fear mongers are among us and they will do or say anything to convince us to surrender and that we must never do. There can be no doubt that our very liberties are under attack and the future of our children at stake. To that there can only ever be one answer.


We are the arbiters of our fate. We are those governed by our own consent. We cannot be enslaved, we can only surrender our birthright and so doom our descendants. By our own choice. If we fight the most we can lose is our lives. If we surrender we will have lost our very souls.

It is a bitter time. Sadness and grief loom. But there is also love in the world. We fight not for things or power or comfort. We do battle for honor and freedom. For goodness and light. For our loved ones. Because what is life without them? Ours is not the fight of conquest but of defense and there is no guilt attached. It is the good fight. It is the right thing to do.

But it takes courage. The will to face down those who would condemn us for the actions of those we have no control over. The fidelity to stand our posts in the face of overwhelming enmity. We know what is right and what is wrong. We need only the courage of our convictions and our indomitable will to face our challenges head on. We are not the aggressors, we are the defenders. Of liberty. Of truth. Of America.

But we must set aside our fear and our trepidation. We must don our whole armor and move into the arena of battle because it's for damn sure those who would dominate us are there already and have even now begun the sack. Put away the feelings of guilt because you do not deserve them and they can only be forced on you if you accept. Be courageous and Fight. Fight for what you believe in, for your freedom, for those you love.

We must find our inspiration where we can. With family, and friends. With the memory of those who came before and have left us. Lu and I remember the birth of a beloved dog who came into our lives on this day 16 years ago. We remember a brother who was lost to us many years ago in a place called Iraq. We remind ourselves that we have a daughter and grandchildren who need our strength. We hold each other tight and shed tears of love and loss. Then we find the ember of our courage and fan it into the flame of determination. And so we go on, one foot after the other and place our faith in God and each other. The bonds of love are so much stronger than any chains forged by hate.

Life is worth living in spite of a hard road. Perhaps even because of it. The ride may be perilous, full of danger and uncertainty, but the companions and joys we find along the way make the journey sweeter than honey.

The fight for our liberty is far from certain but one thing is. The battle for our future is here. Now. Freedom needs every hand, every heart and every mind working as one toward the preservation of all we hold dear lest we lose it and fade into the annals of history. Unmarked except with contempt. Losing means the end of America The Free, perhaps forever. The blood of our forefathers, shed on every continent in this world, cries out to us to rise in her defense and we are honor bound answer that call.

Remember who and what you love. Smile and laugh and live. Eat and play and enjoy. Never forget who you are. Never despair and never surrender. Never hate but never back down. Dare those who hate you to step up and take their best shot. Take to the fight with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Life is a gift, live it as joyfully as you can.

Don't let the bastards get you down. I love you all my friends. I'll see you on the trail.


16 December 2012

Sunday Kipling

I'm late again today but I have a good excuse. Time well spent with Lu and Angus. I can't resist either of them and when they gang up on me? Forget it.

We held a CCW class at Casa Six on Friday. It's actually called a CFP, Concealed Firearms Permit, in Utah. It was good. We had 11 total come and a local firearms and training provider, Rowdy's Range, sent us a fiue instructor. I have a CCW from being a retired police officer but some states can be sticky about it so better safe than sorry. There are 24 states that recognize Utah's CFP so Lu and I are good in as many states as we care to travel through.

Lu and I are heartbroken this day and offer our prayers to all those in Connecticut and around the country. It is beyond tragedy. 

Evil is abroad and I take heart and courage through my faith and my knowledge that God is with us always. Be brave my friends and never take those you love for granted. Hugs and kisses and telling them you love them are the best gifts you can give. I hope this day finds you all enjoying such treasure.


The Fairies' Siege

I have been given my charge to keep --
Well have I kept the same!
Playing with strife for the most of my life,
But this is a different game.
I'11 not fight against swords unseen,
Or spears that I cannot view --
Hand him the keys of the place on your knees --
'Tis the Dreamer whose dreams come true!

Ask him his terms and accept them at once.
Quick, ere we anger him, go!
Never before have I flinched from the guns,
But this is a different show.
I'11 not fight with the Herald of God
(I know what his Master can do!)
Open the gate, he must enter in state,
'Tis the Dreamer whose dreams come true!

I'd not give way for an Emperor,
I'd hold my road for a King --
To the Triple Crown I would not bow down --
But this is a different thing.
I'11 not fight with the Powers of Air,
Sentry, pass him through!
Drawbridge let fall, 'tis the Lord of us all,
The Dreamer whose dreams come true!

15 December 2012

School Shootings

I posted this on 2-29-12, after the last horrific school shooting. I'm re-posting it because it sums up my view of how we address these atrocities if the safety of our children really is the bottom line.

I've waited for the emotion and sorrow of the latest horrific incident of school violence to lessen before I made any comment. Frankly, I usually let these things pass without any comment at all because I find it incredibly insensitive to discuss them in light of the weight words may carry to the bereaved and the surviving victims. "Dancing In The Blood Of The Innocent" is how it's usually referred to and I abhor the practice. Still, I find myself in the position of needing to speak out in view of the ignorant screeching of the usual disarmament and 'Gun Free Zone' zealots. I hope I may be forgiven for my part in this discussion but I need to speak my heart. I'll not link to any of them but that's Ok. We've heard that song before. Many times and always to our societal injury and individual sorrow.

School violence is not a modern phenomena. One of the earliest in American history was the 1927 Bath County, Michigan school bombing by one Andrew Kehoe that eventually killed 45 and injured 58. Since then there have been many more. Here's a Wikipedia link to more if you'd care to peruse it. How have we responded? Well, the responses have been essentially variations on the Shelter In Place, Profiling and Police Response themes. Take a careful read through this document; Stone & Spencer—Enhancing an Active Shooter School Emergency Plan Using Ambient Materials and The Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 7(3) School Resource Officers (2010). Please note some of the conclusions drawn (emphasis mine);

Those findings most relevant to the current discussion were: attackers did not threaten their targets directly prior to the attack; there is no accurate or useful profile of students who engaged in targeted school violence; and despite prompt law enforcement responses, most shooting incidents were stopped by means other than law enforcement intervention (United States Secret Service, 2004).

In effect, of the thousands or hundreds of thousands of possible threats made or detected every year, only two or three will be real. While there is no accurate way to calculate the false positive rate, since there is no reliable recording of “threats or perceived threats”, it is reasonable to assume that the false positive rate is very high on predicting targeted violence. Responding to a large number of false positive threats would consume enormous resources and be very disruptive to the educational environment. While threat assessment as a strategy cannot be dismissed, it clearly does not represent “the” solution to school shootings.

All of this additional material about targeted violence, physical security and student support programming was also implemented into school districts’ emergency plans, again contributing to the “planning burnout” effect. School administrators find themselves trying to analyze an almost infinite number of threats, decide which represent the greatest threat, install physical security to counter those threats and implement psychological support programming for unidentified disorders with almost no additional budget.

In considering what else can be done to improve current lockdown plans, the authors realized that any suggestions would have to be “cost effective” and politically acceptable to parents, teachers and school administrators. Some suggestions made in the past such as arming teachers were simply not politically acceptable, even if the implementation problems could be overcome (McLelland & Frenkil, 2009).

The 1990 FBI tests established that a common 9mm cartridge could penetrate an average of 29 inches of ballistic gelatin, a substance designed to simulate human tissue. Under their standards, 12 inches of penetration was considered the minimum to produce a fatal or incapacitating wound. What was even more revealing, is that this same cartridge could first penetrate two sheets of gypsum wallboard spaced 3.5 inches apart (simulated interior wall) and then still penetrate an average of 27 inches of ballistic gelatin. A barrier of ¾ inch plywood also proved to have minimal ballistic resistance leaving an average penetration of 28 inches in gelatin (FBI 1990). In effect, common interior walls, especially those of “portable or temporary” classrooms simply are not effective barriers to common firearms. Sheltering in place behind these walls obstructs the vision of the assailant but provides minimal real safety. This would also need to be considered when tactical (QUAD) entry by the police is being attempted. Students sheltering in place behind non-ballistic resistant barriers would be in danger from police gunfire as well as the gunfire of the assailant.

There's a lot more there and it's worth your time to read and ponder.

There's another factor to consider. The use of School Resource Officers (SROs). This also is not a new phenomenon. The first known SRO program was in Flint, Michigan in the 1950s. Here's a typical duty description for an SRO. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm a supporter of the SRO program and the officers who do that job but consider this. Skip down to 11:22 and 11:23 where it talks about the SRO. He exchanges gunfire with one of the shooters at 11:24. Things have changed a bit since then and primarily as a response to this incident. Now you hear terms like Active Shooter Response and Quick Action Deployment. It's basically form up and march to the sound of the guns as opposed to form a perimeter and await SWAT. It's a laudable and much needed response but again consider how many of the school shootings had an SRO on the grounds? I don't know how many (and have so far not been able to find out) but seeing as we've had the program since the 1950s and the fact that there are over 9000 SROs currently serving and the conclusion is obvious. There have been some and probably more than a few. I can point to one and it's still the worst school shooting in American history. That's not denigrating the SRO program, just pointing out that it's not the panacea some seem to believe it is.

So let's examine where we've been and where we are now. School violence has been around for at least 85 years and doesn't seem to be ending permanently any time soon. Responses like Shelter In Place and Profiling have a limited utility. Profiling doesn't work (and may subtract from the overall mission given the sheer number of false positives leading to program burnout) and there is a marked (and decidedly non survivable) difference between cover and concealment. SROs are a positive addition and a good tool but cannot be everywhere at once nor foresee every possible scenario in time to stop all threats before deaths and injuries occur and to expect them to is sheer folly and wishful thinking. Even in cases where an SRO is in a position to stop a threat there are no guarantees. The creation of Gun Free Zones has added precisely zero to the conversation except as talking points for the victim disarmament groups. It hasn't worked, doesn't work and will never work. Anyone who says differently is either lying or kidding themselves and you. Where guns exist there is no such thing as a gun free zone and guns will always exist. It really is just that simple. Might as well create a disease free zone. It's just as useful a concept.

Where do we go from here? Well, I may be the wrong guy to ask. I spent 24 years as a street level police officer in sunny and crime ridden California so I've seen the results of victimization and what those dedicated to violence do to their fellow man. I have zero tolerance for lawlessness and criminality. I believe in every person's innate right to defend themselves, and more importantly given the current topic, those they love. It is stupidity bordering on the criminal if not outright treasonous behavior to seek the disarming of the innocent and law abiding. So, my solution to the school shootings is simple. Let's take 'Political Acceptability' out of the armed school discussion.

Every teacher and school administrator should be required to attend and pass a basic firearms course as a prerequisite to a teaching credential. The cost isn't onerous and can be easily absorbed into their curricula and funding. I'd bet you could find or set up parent and concerned citizen groups that would help financially and instructors who would volunteer their time. Take a look at the responses to the arming of pilots discussions if you doubt me. After graduation and after accepting a teaching position all teachers and administrators would require to qualify regularly and attend further shooting and gun handling classes in their free time (Summer vacation, Spring break, etc. and all paid for by the taxpayer). Want to be a Principal or Vice? Fine, go to SWAT school first. Every school should have a dedicated and trained shooter response team. Let's be honest here. Even in cities that have an excellent response time it is never ZERO. In a armed school that response time would be as close to zero as we're ever going to have unless we go ahead and staff every classroom with an armed and trained police officer each and every school day and if you do that every school budget will crash and every city's tax rate will skyrocket. Want an advanced educational degree or teaching certificate? No problem. There's a wealth of precision rifle schools just begging for motivated students. And every teacher or wanna be had better be good else we'll find someone else who is just as smart but can acquire the skills and mindset we need.

I don't want Gun Free Schools, I want Obviously and Overwhelmingly Armed schools. I want teachers walking around with a Glock on their hip and an AR15 hanging from a carry sling with Level IIIA body armor under a Tac Vest. I want snipers on the roof with 300 Win Mags and range cards and known distance markers in the parking lot. I want anyone who even dreams about taking out a school to wake up with nightmares and a sudden desire to tackle something safer, like a National Guard Armory. I want anyone who does try to die with a sucking chest wound that will only bubble long enough for the Splat part of Tap Tap Splat to reach him. I want our children to be safe. Anything less is an admission that the aim isn't safer schools, it's gun banning pure and simple. The anti Second Amendment crowd would have us all believe that their aim is a safer America. That their only concern is for the victims and the children. That's pure political bullshit. That they don't even acknowledge anyone who isn't killed by a gun is instructive. That they refuse to allow, much less demand, the actual safety of our children is murderously criminal. They are absolutely guaranteeing that there will be more and more such school shootings period. And they won't quit  until we either surrender to them or take matters into our own hands. For them this is a political question not one of true violence prevention and it is completely despicable.

The gun genie is absolutely and irrevocably out of the bottle and there is no way humanly possible to stuff him back in. There will still be guns on this planet 3 years after the sun burns out. So, if disarmament is not working then those who use such tragedies as the killings of our children to bludgeon the public over the head with the Gun Free and Gun Ban hammers are not, indeed cannot, be serious about putting a permanent stop to violence against the innocent. That they won't even discuss or consider it tells you all you need to know about them.

As I write this I can already see the rivers of flame heading my way. Good. If you've got a better answer I'll listen with an open mind and debate it with you. But let me leave you with these 2 tidbits;

The Harrold Independent School District in Texas
The University of Utah (scroll down to the section 'Student Life' and read the last sentence).

Now do an Internet search of each of those academic institutions under the heading 'Mass School Shootings At...' and let me know what you find. I'm not saying it'll never happen because neither is the armed school I envision but it's data and at least enough for a rational discussion about real solutions for real school safety instead of the usual 'If Only We Got Rid Of All The Guns' nonsense the anti Second Amendment crowd continues to spout. It's just another chance for them to bathe in innocent blood and preach at people who know better and understand that allowing the inmates free run is precisely the opposite of a rational school safety policy.

I'm an anti crime, pro gun advocate but I am those things precisely because of what I did for a career. There is indeed evil in this world and closing your eyes to it and trying to wish it away with platitudes, wishful thinking and reliance on those with a political drum to beat is suicidal at best, genocidal at worst. There will always be crime and therefore criminals. Placing the safety of our children in the hands of the violent, deranged and psychopathic is insane.

Here's the bottom line for me. It has to be obvious by now to the rational and those not motivated by liberal politics that what we've done so far hasn't worked. More of the same will simply lead to more of the same. It's time to take a look at the issue with a critical eye and an open mind.
Finally I leave you with this. It's an article from Hoover Alabama entitled "Preparing for the unthinkable". The title alone should tell you something. If you regard anything as 'unthinkable' then you've already buried your head in the sand. It's just an article I picked more or less at random but it underscores just what I'm talking about. In it Mo Canady from the National Association of School Resource Officers is quoted. Read it and ask yourself what is it really that he's advocating and what new and innovative approaches to the issue of school shootings is he putting forth? This thinking and these policies (metal detectors for crying out loud! That's the best you can do?) are what's being put forth as the proper, indeed only, way to secure your child's school. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If it's not insanity what is it? We're really only left with three options; gross incompetence, wishful thinking or evil intent.

It's up to you to decide.


13 December 2012

Meggings. Wait, What?

Meggings. Leggings for men.

I'm not talking about Lycra bicycle pants. Heck, I wear those but only when I'm actually engaged in riding or going to and from a ride. They're not exactly daily wear. No no no. Think those really hot, tight stretch pants that those of the feminine persuasion occasionally wear to remind us guys that they're women and we're men. But on dudes? Uh, I don't think so.

Come on guys, don't let them make us into a bunch of stocking clad sissies. The whole Metro sexual thing was bad enough but this abomination? Give me a break.

Blue jeans. 511s. Even Corduroys for crying out loud. But please spare us all the sight of hosiery clad guy butt. No one needs to see that.

It's becoming clear that we need a Masculine Revolution. Grease and dirt and gunpowder. Motorcycles and dogs and holding the door for your best gal. Denim and Vibram and Flannel shirts. Chivalry and courtesy and paying for dinner and a movie.

Jeez, I can't believe this even needs to be said. Let's go men. It's not just us but the futures of our sons and grandsons. Don't let them be turned into weaklings.


12 December 2012

McCarthy and Truth

Are we the sum of our experiences? Or are we rather the result of our genetics? A case can be made for either argument. Perhaps it's a little of both. A predisposition toward certain behavioral characteristics inherent in our DNA coupled with the school of life and the choices we make. That supposes that we can actively learn from our mistakes and apply the lessons we're given. Sadly, human nature argues that the bulk of us cannot learn from our past and we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

I'm not a historian nor did I stay in a Holiday Express last night. I'm also not the brightest light in the Christmas Tree display. This is a general overview of a complex man and movement from an amateur historian with opinions formed of my own experiences an genetic predispositions. 

I've been studying history lately. Particularly the post WWII and Cold War period. I'm a Boomer and the Cold War was my war. I served from 1977 to 1985. One of the fascinating periods of that era was that of Joseph McCarthy and the House UnAmerican  Activities Commission (HUAC).

Now contrary to what many think they know, McCarthy did not start nor was he ever a part of HUAC. HUAC actually grew out of a House investigating Committee, chaired by Congressman Martin Dies in May of 1938. It was co-chaired by Samuel Dickstein who was later accused of being a Soviet sleeper agent in the Verona Project. HUAC became a permanent committee in 1946 as relations with the Soviet Union collapsed post war and the Iron Curtain was born. The whole purpose of the HUAC and the various committees and investigations it gave birth to was to bring to light the Communist infiltration of the US government by agents or Communist loyalists.

Joseph McCarthy was a US Senator from Wisconsin between 1947 and 1957. He gave rise to the term "McCarthyism" which is now used to accuse someone who is deemed to himself accuse others with little or no proof beyond speculation, suspicion and paranoia. By 1950 McCarthy was making his name by investigating possible and real ties between famous persons and the Communists in the USSR. Including many in the ranks of government and the military. And Hollywood, let's not forget the infamous Black Listing of notable entertainment industry insiders.

If you go to the link above and take a look at the Verona and Lee Lists you'll see quite a number of people who were suspected of espionage in government jobs, especially the State Department. Some were undoubtedly erroneous accusations but by no means most. He is often derided for failing to name names publicly but my reading tends to convince me he was actually quite aware of the damage inclusion on one of his lists potentially was and protected names until he was either forced to or was satisfied of their guilt. There were an awful lot of 5th Amendment invocations by witnesses during his hearings.

Reading up on McCarthy and HUAC, I come away understanding a little better how we got to where we are now. The simple fact is that, for the most part, McCarthy was right. There was a massive undertaking by the Communist USSR and it's loyalists and sympathizers to infiltrate and subvert the Democratic process in this country and push us toward the Soviet model.

Of course it was a different time and this was a different country. Even the Democrats feared McCarthy and his "I have in my hand" lists. We were still wedded to the idea of individualism and liberty and understood the danger that Communism and Socialism represented to those ideals.

In the end the media killed McCarthy's career. Edward R. Murrow is given a lot of credit for his hit piece on his See It Now show but the fact is that the media attacked McCarthy for years and the drumbeat of negative coverage coupled with some hearings that showed McCarthy may have been casting his net awfully wide eventually turned public opinion against him. In 1954 the Senate turned on McCarthy, ultimately accusing him of 46 counts of alleged misconduct. The Watkins hearings cleared him of all but two counts, that he failed to cooperate in 1952 with the Senate Subcommitee on Privileges and Elections and that he had intemperately abused Army general Ralph Zwicker who claimed that he would protect any other general who promotes Communist's within the military. The Zwicker charge was also later dropped and another charge substituted; That McCarthy had acted contrary to senatorial ethics and tended to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute. A vote was taken and McCarthy was Condemned by a vote of 67-22 with all the Democrats voting in favor and the Republicans evenly split. His career as a power in government was basically over at that point.

As we can clearly see now, in the end McCarthy failed. He did not because he overreached or was an evil person trying to gain power through false accusations and witch hunts. He failed because of Republicans who were more concerned with their image that the protection of our form of government, the power of the media, even then controlled by those with socialist leanings and the ignorance of far too many Americans who may have been soul sick of War but who still should have known better. But he wasn't wrong. He was able to end the careers and limit the potential damage of hundreds of actual Communist agents, supporters and agitators. The results may have been temporary but his victories weren't Pyrrhic. He exposed the template being used by the forces of anti-Americanism to overcome the protections guaranteed to the American Citizen in the Constitution. A plan of attack we can see very clearly in effect today. Knowledge is power.

Do we learn or are we predisposed to making the same mistakes over and over again? If recent history is a true indicator it's most assuredly the latter. I take a contrary view. All things end and the current socialist trend is no different. Politics are cyclical, as certain as the tides and just as changing. What comes in sooner or later will also ebb. Fortunately the framework for resistance and ultimate victory are still there, as strong and puissant as ever. The uncertainty, the unmeasurable constant, is our will. Which way will we go? Down the path of least resistance and Transnational Progressivism or toward the light of Liberty?

When I was a Cold Warrior I was stationed for a while at Ft Ord, California. During my initial time there we were a weigh station between CONUS and Germany. Those coming in were destined for other bases, either overseas or elsewhere in the US. No one went there just to be there. Ft Ord and the 7th Division were an afterthought in a planners computer model in the Pentagon. We had no mission and no pride. Then things changed and we got a new role. The Light Infantry model became ascendant and we were given a mission and a second chance. Gone was the holding Division and marking time until we all got to a real unit. In was the 7th Infantry Division Light. We became Lightfighters and we were proud. We rucked and ran and sweated and shot and trained. The Manchu Mile. The monthly 7th Division 7 mile run. Camp Roberts and Fort Hunter Liggett. Ranger School and Jump School and Air Assault School. For a solid year I spent 2 weeks in the field followed by two weeks in garrison to clean, maintain and get ready to go back out. We got in new cadre and new troops and were no longer a side note. We were now at the very tip of the spear and we loved it! Esprit De Corps is to the physical as 10 is to 1. All we needed to go from being rag bags to Soldiers was a mission worthy of our sacrifice and the confidence that we were being forged into a weapon to defeat the enemies of America. Pride comes from within but it needs a seed to grow.

A couple of months ago I went to visit Car Guy and Bike Nurse. While there we went for a bike ride on Ft Ord. It's now closed. It's ranges and barracks turned over to the local governments or dedicated as BLM land. But the bones are still there to see if you know where to look.

If you turn that picture sideways you can read the caption at the top. It says;
"Pre-Ranger. 7th Infantry Division Light. Out of these archways will walk the finest Lightfighters."
Not Might. Not We Hope. Not We'll Try. Will. I am proud to have been associated with that idea and those men.

She may be gone but she's not forgotten. The very hills yet echo with the sounds of Soldiers training and preparing to defend our nation. Her bones are still those of a warrior and no amount of cosmetic change can alter that fact.

America is like Ft Ord now. Changed. Different. But she lives on. Her pride may be hidden but it's still there. In the blood and sweat of the millions who worked so hard to ensure our victory every foe and obstacle. All she needs is the willing sacrifice of Patriots and Warriors. The pain and sweat and hard work necessary to build military units into weapons of war and countries into bastions of freedom. We have a mission but do we have the Pride, the Will? Is our Esprit De Corps gone, churned into the dust of history? I say NO, a thousand times NO. We are currently rediscovering who we are and what we can do. What liberty looks like and how quickly it can be taken away. Who the enemy are and what their tactics and plans are. We have forgotten so much and discarded the rest. But we are Americans and no task is beyond us. We are governed by our consent and the current politicians exist in office only through our sufferance. It's time we withdrew that consent. No retreat, no surrender and no accommodation. Remember McCarthy and the truth he publicized. It's not McCarthyism any more. It's recognizing reality.

Remember the proud 7th. There is no try. There is only Will.

I am a proud Lightfighter and I have only begun to fight.


09 December 2012

Sunday Kipling

The wind is howling out today. It's starting to really feel like Winter. We started the morning with a warm doughnut and a hike in the foothills south of town. Angus was ecstatic as he always is when he gets the chance to explore and just run free. Sarge is down with Pneumonia. Get better soon Pop. We went to the range yesterday and tried out the new loads. The 45 LC was....stout. Everything shot well and I'm satisfied. That load now goes in the reloading book as a keeper.

Life goes on. Lu and I are now actively looking to add a new member to the family. I don't know when or even really whether but we are looking for a rescue dog. We'll see.

CCW class is tentatively scheduled for next Friday evening. I have my retired peace officer CCW but some states are sticky about it so I've decided to go ahead and get my Utah permit. Lu, MIL and some others are taking it with me here at Casa Six. Should be fun.

I hope this day finds you all in company as good as those I'm blessed to call family. May the season bring you Joy, Love and Peace.


The Broken Men

For things we never mention,
  For Art misunderstood --
For excellent intention
  That did not turn to good;
From ancient tales' renewing,
  From clouds we would not clear --
Beyond the Law's pursuing
  We fled, and settled here.

We took no tearful leaving,
  We bade no long good-byes.
Men talked of crime and thieving,
  Men wrote of fraud and lies.
To save our injured feelings
  'Twas time and time to go --
Behind was dock and Dartmoor,
  Ahead lay Callao!

The widow and the orphan
  That pray for ten per cent,
They clapped their trailers on us
  To spy the road we went.
They watched the foreign sailings
  (They scan the shipping still),
And that's your Christian people
  Returning good for ill!

God bless the thoughtful islands
  Where never warrants come;
God bless the just Republics
  That give a man a home,
That ask no foolish questions,
  But set him on his feet;
And save his wife and daughters
  From the workhouse and the street!

On church and square and market
  The noonday silence falls;
You'll hear the drowsy mutter
  Of the fountain in our halls.
Asleep amid the yuccas
  The city takes her ease --
Till twilight brings the land-wind
  To the clicking jalousies.

Day long the diamond weather,
  The high, unaltered blue --
The smell of goats and incense
  And the mule-bells tinkling through.
Day long the warder ocean
  That keeps us from our kin,
And once a month our levee
  When the English mail comes in.

You'll find us up and waiting
  To treat you at the bar;
You'll find us less exclusive
  Than the average English are.
We'll meet you with a carriage,
  Too glad to show you round,
But -- we do not lunch on steamers,
  For they are English ground.

We sail o' nights to England
  And join our smiling Boards --
Our wives go in with Viscounts
  And our daughters dance with Lords,
But behind our princely doings,
  And behind each coup we make,
We feel there's Something Waiting,
  And -- we meet It when we wake.

Ah, God! One sniff of England --
  To greet our flesh and blood --
To hear the traffic slurring
  Once more through London mud!
Our towns of wasted honour --
  Our streets of lost delight!
How stands the old Lord Warden?
  Are Dover's cliffs still white?

08 December 2012

Bob Costas Calls For End Of Car Culture

A tragedy occurred this morning as another life was senselessly ended by an intoxicated driver. You can read the story here. The driver and deceased passenger were both football players for the Dallas Cowboys. The driver was apparently impaired. This is truly a sad and horrific time for two families and our hearts and prayers go out to all affected.


Luckily for all of us two sports reporters were immediately on the story and have rendered us the benefit of their extensive and exhaustive expertise on the issue of accident fatalities.

When he heard the news Bob Costas immediately decried the "Car Culture" and stated that there was no doubt in his mind that if only that player had not possessed a motor vehicle his teammate would surely be alive.

Jason Whitlock called the AAA the modern KKK of the blacktop. "America’s Car Culture is out of control, dangerous and a threat to our liberty."

We all know that the evil Car Owners and their paid mouthpieces will never voluntarily give up their overly powerful 4 wheeled instruments of death. No one needs a car with enough horsepower to kill large numbers of other motorists with a single acceleration. We must have a national conversation on common sense car control. Anyone can buy dangerous cars through the unregulated Used Car Cartels and uncontrolled private sellers which allows even felons and those with prior DUI arrests easy access to these instruments of death. No background checks are required which means that even those who have a history of mental imbalance can drive on the streets of America. Where our children walk and play every day. For crying out loud even people with no drivers licenses are allowed to buy an car with which they can mow down the unsuspecting citizens with no limits. The founding fathers never intended for such powerful instruments to be in the hands of the general population. If you want to get from place to place do as they did and get a horse.

Thank our lucky stars that we have these two stalwarts of safety and reasonableness to shepherd us through these difficult times. Thank you Bob and Jason for your even handed and unbiased reporting. What would we do without you?


07 December 2012

Reloading, It's Not Just For Making Ammunition

There are a lot of tributes to the men and women who died on this day 71 years ago. I chose a different way to honor them and their sacrifice on the altar of freedom. Today I exercised that liberty they bought with such dear coin.

This is my reloading/gunsmithing bench. It's not nearly as nice as some but has the advantage of being cheap. Lu and I picked it up out of the scrap left over when the 7th ID moved out of Ft Ord. It's big, heavy and sturdy. I like it and it tickles me to have a piece of my old division with me. That's my RCBS single stage over there on the right. A progressive press is on my Badly Want list. Someday. It's not tidy but it is cozy and inviting. A good place to while away a few hours in quiet work and peaceful contemplation.

One of my pet loads for my Redhawk. It's stout but not too much so as I'm shooting hard lead bullets and lead deposits in the barrel are no fun to clean out. If you look closely you can see a recipe for 225 grain JHP at the bottom of the load info. I used both today.

I loaded one hundred fifty 240 grain lead SWC and one hundred 225 grain JHP. Practice and Make My Day. Ammunition by Six.

I love creating my own ammunition. I can tailor it for anything I want it to do. It's inexpensive, once the capitol outlay is paid for, and makes me feel connected to my spiritual ancestors. It's a Zen hobby. One that requires both careful attention to detail and an ability to do repetitious work over and over again. There's a mental aspect as well. Figuring out loads and combinations. Adjusting dies so they're operating exactly as you need them. Powders, primers, cases, bullets. Cleaning and lubing and inspecting.

It's also a truly American pastime. A statement of Liberty and a renunciation of the culture of dependence. It's kicking sand in the face of the bully and telling him to take his best shot. Here resides a free man. As long as my supplies hold out I can never be starved of the fuel of Liberty.

Then there's the moment you touch off the first round from a new batch. Will it even fire? How will it perform? Listening and feeling for the miniscule Pop of the hated squib or the mammoth BOOM of the dreaded double powder load. And the smile and thrill when it goes as planned and the new rounds both fire as expected and perform as hoped. Yeah, reloading is awesome and exciting.

What's next on the list for the Six bench? Maybe some 44-40 for Lu's beloved Vaquero. Some 45 LC for my Blackhawk? I'm running a little light on both 300 Win Mag and 30-30. Hmmm.

Ah, I know.


You all have a great weekend. I'll be in the man cave making a new batch of Freedom.


06 December 2012

Gun Porn

I got nuthin' so how about a gun picture? 

A good old gal along with one of her younger siblings. Springfield M1A and a Remington 03A3.

That's Awesome times 2 right there.


05 December 2012

First Bird

Yesterday was a big day for Angus. He finally was introduced to real birds. Accidentally as it happens but sometimes training opportunities crop up when you least expect them.

As I've said many times I am not a professional Retriever trainer. I'm an enthusiastic amateur with a little experience and a lot of study. Especially Richard Wolters (PBUH). Take what I say with a grain of salt. It may or may not work in all cases and there are certainly those who would take violent exception to my methods. I do things the way that work for me and I make no apologies for that though YMMV. Ok, weasel words out of the way on to today's lesson.

Introducing a retriever to birds can be tricky. Live birds can scare a young dog and if that happens curing one that is bird shy can be harder than fixing one who is gun shy. I start out a dog with wings and dead duck trainers. Wings smell intriguing to a dog and get them used to the taste and feel of feathers. The dead duck trainers get him used to the size, shape and general feel of the birds plus the floppy head and feet/legs.

I throw the trainers and generally tease him with them so he gets the idea that things to retrieve may be different from the usual bumper or ball and gets him excited to fetch. I let him mouth and tote the wings around but not chew on them. The wings are crunchy and if he is allowed to chew them it may lead to being hard mouthed where every retrieved bird comes back with every bone in its body broken. Not a good thing. Labs are naturally soft mouthed and it's much easier to keep things that way than to try and fix the problem after it's developed. Canvas bumpers are also tricky because of that very issue. Ever seen a Lab with a canvas bumper who bites at it and makes it pop? Think bird bones and you get the idea why they can be problematic. I tend to fixate on the idea that the easiest issue to fix is the one I never let develop. Know your dog and pay attention at all times to what he's doing and what you're teaching. And don't doubt that letting him do something he shouldn't is most assuredly teaching him bad things.

From there we go to dead birds in controlled settings. I usually buy dead ducks that haven't been processed yet. If you freeze them you can use them a couple of times before they get too nasty to use. Introduction is gentle and stress free. Let the dog approach it at his speed, smell it and then mouth it. Tease him with it after he's gotten the idea that it won't hurt him. They work just like the dead duck trainers and wings. After introduction take him and the bird out and in a training setting throw it just like you would a bumper or retriever trainer and let him go get it. Lots of praise and enthusiasm are keys here.

Yesterday Angus got his first dead duck experience and it was totally accidental if not unexpected in hindsight. I was apprehensive at first but it ended up working out well.

We were at the pond, walking and chasing the ducks that are resident there at this time of the year. Angus loves them and swims out in pursuit as we walk along the shoreline. At one point I lost sight of him for a few minutes. When I caught up with him he was in the shallow water near the bank, intensely interested in an object just in front of him. I looked closer and discovered it was a dead duck. Well, actually it was a Grebe but a waterfowl by any other name is just as fascinating to a Lab.

At this point I must apologize. I have this really small camera that tucks into a pocket that I'm supposed to carry around on these outings for just such occasions. Yeah, it was at home so no pictures. Sigh.

I decided to go ahead and let him explore and see what happened. It took Angus a good 10 minutes before he took the actual plunge as it were. He'd circle it, nosing in and out with quick jerks and starts without ever actually touching it. Then he'd run back to me with a "Did you see that? What is it? I'm going back!" look on his face and very, very bright eyes. A dead give away for a Lab that he was having ultimate fun.

Finally he took a tentative nibble at a wing. Remember, we introduced him to the concept of real birds with actual bird wings so he was on fairly familiar ground here. A "Hey, I know what this is!" kind of thing. He got to the point that he started to tow it around by a wing. Good. Then he moved to the feet. Again, this was familiar ground as we'd given him dead duck trainers that have, wait for it....feet! More towing around and much joy was had by all. Except maybe the Grebe but he was dead so he didn't get a vote.

After about 20 minutes I figured we were about done and headed up the bank and back on to the trail, satisfied that Angus' introduction to birds had gone reasonably well. Suddenly a black blur sped by dripping and generally flinging water for miles in every direction. Clutched in his happy mouth was a dead Grebe. He ran up the bank past me and then circled back to proudly display his trophy. "Look what I got daddy! Aren't I a good boy? Huh, huh? Aren't I?!" I laughed, praised him and decided that this warranted an attempt to take the lesson to the next step. Would he go out on command and retrieve it?

Now before anyone goes "Eww, Ick, How Nasty" let me assure you that working with dead birds is all a part of retriever training. It's difficult if not impossible to take a dog from balls to bumpers to wings to trainers to game in the field without adding in real dead bird training in there somewhere. Waiting until you've downed a duck on opening morning 50 yards out on open water is a bad time to find out your dog also thinks dead birds are Icky. 35 degree water makes for a tough swim in underwear and a t-shirt. I know. Sigh.

I took the bird that Angus gave up with no hesitation. This is important and one of the reasons I teach a release command. I use RELEASE but the specific command doesn't really matter. That he gives it up on that command does. Tug of war with a dog over a bird he really doesn't want to give up is messy and makes for a mighty tore up would be meal afterward.

I set Angus up at HEEL on the bank and pitched the bird back into the water. Short because it's his first time with actual game bird and I want success not correction. Angus was watching intently, where that word has the connotation of quivering, whining eagerness, and straining for release. I had hold of his collar because I know my dog and I wanted him to go on my command not his. This is also important. Know your dog but take no chances when you're doing new things and he's amped up on doggy adrenaline. I sent him off on his first real bird retrieve, BACK!, and he went like he was shot out of a cannon.

Out, full mouth on the body of the bird (Not a leg or wing. Yes!) and back to me on the bank. He still tends to overshoot on the delivery and run a short distance past me but as he's eager and enthusiastic and always comes back to me immediately (no "I've got it you can't have it") I'm not horribly concerned. Most of that is youthful energy and he'll get better as I train it out of him and he gets more mature. RELEASE command given and set up to do it again. This time he slipped my grip on his collar and went on the splash. I could have called or whistled him back but as I said it's his first time so I bit the bullet and gave him the BACK command while he was swimming (Reinforcement, reinforcement always reinforcement even if you've screwed up which I had) and he made another picture perfect retrieve and delivery to hand.

To say I was ecstatic is a vast understatement. This was a crucial step in Angus' development as a potential field dog. A dog who refuses to retrieve real dead birds is useless as a hunting retriever. Not as a good dog because no matter what I love that boy and always will but if we want to hunt together he must not only be willing but excited over the prospect of a swim and a mouth full of feathers and warm bird. He has proven to me and himself that this retrieving birds stuff is pretty cool and that makes me a happy man. A good field retriever would rather fetch than eat. It's really that simple and Angus has discovered that joy. It's also a critical step because a Lab who retrieves nothing but balls and bumpers will eventually tire of the game. Retrieving birds is a treat not a chore. Give a dog a job, the thing he was born and bred to do, and you'll have a happy and content companion. One who has far fewer behavior problems and is easier to teach and train.

By the second retrieve the Grebe was beginning to lose it's neck skin. I know, Eww, right? I decided the lesson was over so I tossed it and whistled Angus up so we could finish the hike with plenty of praise and love and general good feelings. He was one happy and proud of himself dog. With tail high and a light step we headed back to the truck and home.

I'll go ahead and buy some dead birds (Ducks are preferable but even chickens will work in a pinch) and we'll continue his lessons. Eventually we'll move to wing clipped live birds to simulate cripples. That's an important step for a good dog because they must be willing and able to take on a crippled bird if you're going to be an ethical hunter. But that's for another day. For now I'm content with where we are.

There is real joy in training a dog and watching his progress. When I got that little bundle of black fur and sharp little teeth he was acting out of pure instinct and in response to his environment. Now he's biddable, responsive to input and learning hot only how to do his job but what his job is. A whole new world is opening up for Angus and he's excited at the prospects. I envision many a wonderful day spent with a wet, happy dog in a duck blind or a Pheasant field.

Yeah. Joy is where you find it and when it's with a warm, furry, devoted friend it's sublime. It was a good day.


04 December 2012

Chance Encounter With A Hero

Every once in a while, if you're really lucky, you get the chance to meet someone special. Today was that day for me and Lu. Let me preface this by saying that I've met celebrities before. Mostly it's been Meh. The only exception was when I met Evel Knievel. Until today. Today I met Samuel Tom Holiday at a local restaurant.Who is Samuel Tom Holiday?

He was sitting at the next table with a woman I believe is his daughter. He was wearing a Marine Corps cap with Navajo Code Talker printed on the brim. I was stunned. I watched and waited until they were done with their meal and getting up to leave. Then, with a certain amount of trepidation, I approached him and introduced myself (I'd have paid for that meal but they were already in the settling up phase when we sat down). I asked him if he was an actual code talker and he confirmed that he was and gave me the above business card. All I could get out was "Thank you Sir" and "It's an honor to meet you" while shaking his hand. He actually made the rounds of the restaurant afterward, talking to folks and shaking more hands. I've still got a huge smile plastered on my face from the encounter.

Go here and take a look at his website. It's fascinating. There were only ever 280 Navajo Code Talkers and there can't be more than a bare handful left. Soon, all to soon, they will be gone forever. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and for this veteran and admirer of the honorable it was one of the highlights of my life.

Thank you Mister Holiday for your valorous service and your kindness to an awestruck fanboy. I will remember you always. It may not be acceptable to give a 'Semper Fi!' from an old Soldier but I'm going to do it anyway and extend it to you on behalf of every Marine who will never get the chance I got. You and your brothers will never be forgotten.



M&P 15-22 ProMag 32 Round Magazine Review

Rourke over at ModernSurvivalOnline.com has a new post up reviewing the ProMag 32 round magazine for the S&W M&P 15-22. It's worth a look see.

After reading it I think I'll drop  a few bucks and pick up a couple. Lu hates reloading and loves high capacity mags. Oops. Did I just give away a Christmas Present Secret?

Lu, don't read this!!

Yeah, I'm just not very bright. Sigh. 


Three Flavors To Choose From

Today's serving of cuteness brought to you by Lu.


03 December 2012

I Haven't Murdered Anyone

To Bob Costas and the rest of those who are dancing in the blood of the innocent, again.

I didn't murder anyone today. Or yesterday. Or the day before that on back to the day of my birth. And yet I've been a gun owner since my early twenties and handled/fired guns since I was a boy. I will never murder anyone because I'm not an Evil Murderous Bastard.

I have never even been tempted to murder the mother of my child. And yet I have been a gun owner virtually all of our married lives.

I have never been tempted to commit suicide with one of my guns in spite of some difficult times in my life. Shooting yourself in front of witnesses says a lot about their mindset and precious little about the solutions to mental illness and depression. I have handled such scenes in my professional life and they always left me with the firm conviction that they were more about the narcissism of the suicide than their inner turmoil. My mother committed suicide with a gun but I don't blame the tool and I don't blame society. I understand that choices are personal and the responsibility for those choices resides with the individual.

I have used a gun in my professional life to defend my life and the lives of others. Without having to fire a shot as it turned out. Yet the very presence of my gun and my willingness to use it has de-escalated more than one violent encounter. Multiply that by a few million times and you get an idea of the value of an armed society.

I have never murdered anyone and yet have seen many in my life. Most were committed by means other than a firearm and yet all were horrific, violent and tragic. The presence or lack of a gun means nothing. Dead is dead.

I have never committed violence against my wife or child and yet I saw it virtually every day of my professional life. Almost exclusively perpetrated by men. That doesn't mean all men are violent brutes but it does mean that if you're a woman or a child and the man in your life decides to become violent with you your chances of being hurt or killed are lessened if you have the means to defend yourself and guaranteed if you don't. Kindly spare me the woman beats up man anecdotes. They are the exception not the rule.

Evil walks the face of the Earth and it takes many forms. Even that of a supposed loved one. Murder is evil. Period. A woman is dead, her child orphaned and her murderer dead by his own hand in front of witnesses who had at least friendly feelings toward him. That makes the murderer (I for one refuse to utter his name anywhere) Evil. I keep hearing tragic and sad and 'in his memory' but what I'm not hearing is Monster and Murderer and 'screw that evil bastard'. Why is that? Because a gun was used. Dead is dead and murder is murder. It's the intent and the result, not the weapon.

Many objects can be used to commit evil or good but that depends wholly on the intentions of the person doing the committing. It is not my fault nor the fault of any other law abiding gun owner what the evil ones do with a gun. Just like it's not every motorists fault what an Evil Bastard tanked up on legal intoxicants does behind the wheel of a 4000 pound ground missile.

I keep hearing the gun control activists say some variation of the theme that for the greater good of society we need to give up on the idea of individual liberty and hence the Second Amendment. That the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. It's the survival of the state and not the individual. That may be arguably correct but it's certainly 180 degrees out of phase with reality. If logic were followed and the needs of the many were actually the desired result then every adult would be required to go around armed because such societies, as new studies are constantly showing, are safer for everyone, especially the weakest members. If more CCWs means less crime then if we were truly a logical and caring society, shooting and gun handling would be taught in school and permits would be unnecessary because open and concealed carry would be expected and encouraged. Even societally mandated.

There is no such thing as a gun culture. That's just jargon invented by folks who believe that no one really has a right to Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness. It's a buzz phrase used by ignorant journalists to cover for the fact that they're too lazy or too prejudiced to do any real investigation. There is a Self Defense and Constitutional Rights culture. They're called normal, everyday Americans. 

I didn't murder anyone. Where are the lurid headlines? I have guns and ammunition and shooting skills and yet no one cares that I did not shoot anyone. I'm a lawful, tax paying, gun owning citizen. When is my interview? I'll even wear a suit.

My right to possess and carry a gun isn't dependent on what anyone else has done with one. I am an individual not a statistical member of a demographic subset.

The NRA isn't the KKK but if you want to point that particular finger liberal Democrats are definitely close family. If you don't believe me then talk to poor blacks living in inner city gun free zones and ask them about their quality of life. Try Chicago first. The NRA wants to empower everyone and acknowledge their individuality and basic human rights. The Liberal KKK wants everyone to live in shooting galleries where the only ones with guns are the criminals and the state who, heroic individual members notwithstanding, has no duty to protect anyone. Do an internet search for Woodrow Wilson, Orval Faubus or George Wallace some time if you want to see who the real racists are and understand that gun control is just another word for people control.  The modern progressive is nothing more than Wilson with an I-Pad and a Prius.

I haven't murdered anyone and it's not because my guns are somehow nicer than other peoples. They're not possessed by some magical pixies who are warm and fuzzy as opposed to the magical pixies inhabiting other guns that are dark and violent. It's because I'm not an evil murderous bastard. That's why.

Evil  murderous bastards are everywhere and they always will be. No law, no War On Evil Bastards will ever change that. It's as much a part of human nature as Heroism in the face of danger. Evil bastards are evil and in most cases nothing but death will ever cure them of that particular malady. It's not the gun that kills, it's the evil bastard who wields it who kills. Just like they kill with hands, cars, knives, frigging bathtubs and most anything you care to name off. Anyone who wants to engage me in a gun control debate can start by acknowledging that fact and go from there. Otherwise there is nothing to discuss.

Please stop celebrating the Evil Bastards and using each and every instance of their murderous insanity to push your Collectivist, Progressive, Hive Minded agenda. It's offensive and only serves to convince me and others like me that your real goal ends in chains and death for the bulk of mankind while you continue to live in palaces, surrounded by security denied to the rest of us.

I see no real difference between those who commit atrocities and those who use them for their own political purposes. Both of you are Evil Bastards.


02 December 2012

Sunday Kipling

It's overcast and just a touch dreary weather wise here at Fortress Six. Still it promises to be another good day. Angus had his Sunday Good Breakfast of eggs mixed with a little kibble. The boy loves the stuff. He's also working over a meat bone we got him yesterday. All is right in his world this morning.

Lu and I are mostly done Christmas shopping. We usually only buy for the grandkids and give Christmas treats to close family. Though this year I believe I'll be sending some lead and brass to DO. One shipping day and we'll be done. All the lights and decorations are out and we're looking pretty darn festive.

I'm writing again. For those unaware I love to write. One of my original motivations for blogging was to exercise my creative chops, something I've been remiss on for a while now. I may share but frankly it's mostly amateur and bad but it makes me happy and scratches an itch.

We may throw something on the grill for Sunday dinner tonight. Just because it's Winter is no reason to ignore the BBQ. I hope this day finds you all in the Christmas spirit. May you find Joy and happiness today and every day.

Something a little different today. I don't know why but this poem just tickles me.
Take care my friends.

"Angutivaun Taina"

Song of the Returning Hunter (Esquimaux)
"Quiquern"--The Second Jungle Book
Our gloves are stiff with the frozen blood,
  Our furs with the drifted snow,
As we come in with the seal--the seal!
  In from the edge of the floe.

Au jana! Aua! Oha! Haq!
  And the yelping dog-teams go;
And the long whips crack, and the men come back,
  Back from the edge of the floe!

We tracked our seal to his secret place,
  We heard him scratch below,
We made our mark, and we watched beside,
  Out on the edge of the floe. 

We raised our lance when he rose to breathe,
  We drove it downward--so!
And we played him thus, and we killed him thus,
  Out on the edge of the floe.

Our gloves are glued with the frozen blood,
  Our eyes with the drifting snow;
But we come back to our wives again,
  Back from the edge of the floe!

Au jana! Aua! Oha! Haq!
  And the loaded dog-teams go;
And the wives can hear their men come back,
  Back from the edge of the floe!