Wednesday, December 29, 2010

R.I.P. Aaron Zelman

Aaron Zelman, founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, has passed.

Zelman was an uncompromising leader of the right to own firearms.  Although I did not know him, I benefited greatly from his work, which helped to form my own opinions on the Second Amendment and the dangers posed by a government that disarms it's citizens.

May G*d welcome him with open arms.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All

I hope that everyone out there is safe and secure this Christmas season and that all are surrounded by the love of family and friends as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Random Thoughts

Inflation:  It's definitely here as far as food prices go.  Two items I recently purchased have radically increased in price were four-packs of pudding and sugar.  Those pudding packs were $0.99 within recent memory, now they are $1.49 for the store brand.  And sugar was recently about $2.99 for a five pound bag of name brand.  Now it is $3.09 for a four pound bag.  That's right, the standard size sugar bag is only 80% of what it was and it costs more.  If it weren't for my daughter wanting pudding now and me having two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, I would do without both.

Deflation:  Some ammo prices are definitely getting more reasonable.  I was in the White Elephant (sporting goods and toy store in Spokane) the other day, and noticed that the 525 packs of .22 ammo, both Federal and CCI, were $14.99.  Blazer Brass 9mm was $10.99 and .45acp was $18.99.  Compares very favorably with what I have been seeing online.  I found a few very good deals on 9mm and .380acp online and had to stock up.  Sportsmans Guide has Federal 9BP 115 gr JHP's for $17.47 a box of 50 ($16.60 if you are a club member like I am, and an additional 2.5% off if you have the Sportsman's Guide Visa).  SG also has free shipping right now on $99+ orders.  Graf & Sons is another place I have been shopping lately.  They recently had CCI Blazer 9mm 115 FMJ for $7.99 a box, and Blazer .380 for $10.99 a box.  Right now they are also running free shipping on $50+ orders, including ammo.  I really like the Blazer at this price because I don't feel bad about not saving my brass at the range (besides the fact that the range discourages picking up one's own brass). 

Gun Show Last Weekend:   Went to this on Sunday looking for more ammo cans.  The vendor I have bought from in the past was there, but sold out of .50's.  I did see a few good deals, such as an old Stevens Favorite .22 for $75.00, but I passed on it because the extractor looked to be worn out.  There were some good deals on ammo there, but a few "scalpers" as well.  A few tables had the same boxes of bulk .22 ammo as the White Elephant, but were being hawked for $25.00.  I have noticed that there is no shortage of opportunists reselling ammo or selling used guns for more than I could get them in a retail store.

Rifle Cleaning Chores:  I had bought a Russian Mosin-Nagant rifle while Bud's Gun Shop had them for a good price.  Unlike the SKS's and Romanian AK's I had bought in the past, this Mosin had a very dark and dirty bore.  The crown looked good, as did the chamber and what I could see of the rifling.  I cleaned out the cosmoline with WD-40 (it just melts the stuff away), then scrubbed several times with Hoppe's No. 9.  Not much luck with that, so I switched to Bore Scrubber.  A little more gunk removed and more blue-gray stuff on the patches, but still a lot of crud in the bore.  After doing a little internet searching, I came across a recommendation for Butch's Bore Shine.  It was $10.99 locally for an 8oz bottle, which is about middle-of-the-road price for bore cleaner.  I soaked a patch, ran it through, and waited about ten minutes.  The next patch took out more crud than all of my previous scrubbing combined.  I have given the bore two scrubbings with Butch's so far, and while the bore is still dark I can at least clearly see the lands and grooves.  I figure I have about two more scrubbings to go.  I'm  not looking for a bright bore, just cleanly defined lands and grooves.

Cheap Shotgun Update:  The Ultra 87 shotgun I ordered from Cheaper Than Dirt arrived and I picked it up today from my local FFL dealer.   I figure that others must have also considered $145 for  a defensive 12 gauge to be a good buy, because CTD has sold out.  I will report a little later on about fit and finish, but it may be a while before I get to go try it out at a friend's property out of town.

Preps:  Despite the reported coming price increases in grains, I found 20lb bags of white rice for $6.72 at Winco Foods the other day.  Wheat berries went up a bit to $0.47 a pound, but popcorn went down to $0.58 a pound.   Bought some of all three to add to the preps, as I cannot help but think that some radical food inflation is just around the corner.

Well, I suppose that is enough for now.  Gotta get back to my day job.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Questions for WaPost Hoplophobes

I would not have noticed the blatant editorialization (as opposed to genuine news reporting) in As Mexico Drug Violence Runs Rampant, U.S. Guns Tied to Crime South of Border by Washington Post Hoplophobes James Grimaldi and Sari Horwitz, except that I found it summarized at Newsmax last night.  I notice that since David Codrea exposed Newmax's repetition of the WaPost muck at The War on Guns, Newsmax has dropped the link from its front page. Go read the WaPost editorialization here, then see if you agree that the following questions need to be answered by Grimaldi and Horwitz.

1)  They mention that certain data is confidential under a law passed by Congress in 2003.  Are they referring to the Tiahrt Amendment?  If they are, why don't they just come out and say so.  I get the feeling that these two hoplophobes are using the old journalistic trick of injecting mystery into their editorialization to attract attention.  They act as if they know something we don't, that they are privileged to know, and that we should just trust them to explain the mystery without them having to produce a source.  If these two pseudo-reporters are referring to the Tiahrt Amendment, it is the same law that provides for gun trace data to law enforcement when a gun has been  recovered in a crime investigation, but prohibits law enforcement from peeking into gun transfer records to determine what guns are owned by law-abiding citizens.  The gun trace data allowed by the Tiahrt Amendment are the likely source of information obtained by Grimaldi and Horwitz.

2)  If this information is confidential, how did Grimaldi and Horwitz obtain it?  Are they BATFE stooges?  It's not enought to say they reviewed documents and court cases.  Cite the sources, or your "reporting" is suspect.

3)  Grimaldi and Horwitz state that FFL dealer Bill Carter's Carter's Country stores are the sellers of guns found at Mexican crime scenes.  Was Carter's Country the last recorded seller or somewhere in the stream of transfers?

4)  Who were the last recorded purchasers of the guns and were the guns stolen?  What "transfers", both legal and illegal, occurred after the recorded transfers at Carter's Country?

5)  What definition are Grimaldi and Horwitz using for "high-powered"?  My understanding of the term does not include intermediate rounds such as .223 Remington/5.56x45 and 7.62 x 39.  Grimaldi and Horwitz appear to be referring to these rounds as high-powered.  Are they doing so to inflame the reader against guns chambered for these rounds?

6)  What do Grimaldi and Horwitz mean when they refer to AR-15 and AK-47 rifles as "assault rifles"?  Assault rifles in the military context are selective-fire or full-auto.  Besides mixing the apples and oranges of semi-auto AR-15's and presumably full-auto AK-47's, are Grimaldi and Horwitz simply confused or trying to confuse the reader. 

7)  Do Grimaldi and Horwitz know that AK-47's are Class III firearms and that Carter's Country was not likely licensed as a Class III dealer?  Do they even know what Carter's Country was licensed to sell?  Would they tell the reader the truth even if they did know?

8)  What is the source of Grimaldi's and Horwitz's claim that Mexican drug cartels are turning to the U.S. for their supply of guns?  Do Grimaldi and Horwitz even know that under most circumstances Mexican nationals cannot purchase firearms from FFL dealers?

9)  Are Grimaldi and Horwitz alleging that FFL dealers in Texas, and in particular Bill Carter, are selling firearms to Mexican nationals/non-U.S. citizens in violation of federal law?  What information do they have that such transactions are actually occurring?

10)  If criminal drug cartels from Mexico are obtaining firearms in the United States, what is the federal government doing to prevent Mexican criminals from entering the United States and illegally obtaining guns here?

11)  Since state-issued identification is required to purchase guns from any FFL dealer in every state in the United States, how many states are issuing state identification cards and drivers licenses to non-citizens?   How many non-citizens have used these state-issued identification cards and licenses to purchase guns from FFL dealers?  How many governmental entitities have approved purchases by non-citizens under the the mandatory (for FFL dealers) instant-check system?

12)  How many of these guns were purchased by entities or persons affiliated with the United States government?

13)  When Grimaldi and Horwitz refer to laws supported by the "gun lobby" which supposedly make prosecutions of law-breaking FFL dealers difficult, who is the "gun lobby" and what laws are they referring to?

14)  If Carter's Country is one of the largest volume firearm dealers in Texas, just what percentage of their sales are involved in crimes?  What percentage of sales are never involved in crimes?  Can Grimaldi and Horwitz actually show a causal connection between any behavior by Carter's Country and the guns found in Mexico, or just a conclusion based on innuendo?

15)  If there is no indication that any of the FFL dealers, cited as the source of guns in Mexico, did anything wrong, what is the point?  It sure does not seem to be that the government is competent at arresting Mexican drug cartel members and illegal aliens.

16)  Do Grimaldi and Horwitz even understand what a straw-purchaser is?  Have either of them ever examined the form that must be completed by a firearm purchaser?  Purchasing a firearm for one's spouse is not considered a straw purchase.  The form that must be completed by the purchaser asks if the purchaser is the actual buyer.  Obviously, lying about this is a crime.  That is where the problem lies, no pun intended.

17)  Considering that BATFE routinely harasses FFL holders, including threats of revoking licenses (and actually succeeding) for minor paperwork errors, why should anyone believe that BATFE lacks the ability to investigate and prosecute FFL dealers who violate the law?  For instances of abusive and extralegal conduct by the BATFE in its investigations, consider the fates of the General Store in Spokane, Washington and Red's Trading Post in Idaho.  If anyone still doubts the power of the federal government to investigate illegal firearm transfers, consider what happened in Ruby Ridge, Idaho in 1993.

18)  Grimaldi and Horwitz imply that FFL dealers are the problem.  To what degree did they investigate the failure of the U.S. government to enforce the immigration laws and the border with Mexico?  It seems that preventing illegal aliens from entering the U.S. and having tough border controls would prevent a substantial amount of the supposed gun trafficking.  It could reasonably argued that a substantial amount of the blame could be placed squarely on the U.S. government, and Janet Napolitano in particularly, for the utter failure to prevent illegal aliens from freely crossing the border, with and without guns.

19)  Why is there little mention of the extensive corruption throughout the Mexican government, including the complicity of Mexican police in drug and weapons trafficking?  It seems that Mexican President Calderon could clean house, enforce its side of the border, and take on the drug cartels.  Mexico is loudly attacking a symptom of a larger problem that it has the power to control, but lacks the will to do much more than complain to the U.S.

20)  Why do Mexicans not have the right to possess firearms for self-defense?  Is there government of the side of the people or the drug cartels.  Denying citizens the ability to defend themselves against organized crime indicates which side the Mexican goverment is on.

There are many other questions I have after reading the work of Grimaldi and Horwitz, but I figure that 20 questions is enough.  My point is that every trumped-up account of guns found in Mexico tries to lay the blame on FFL dealers who are stringently regulated and have no more control over the end use of the product than a sporting goods store does over a Louisville Slugger.  So-called reporters rarely seem to turn the scrutiny back on to their government sources, for whom these "reporters" are often nothing more than sycophants.

Of course, the aforementioned commentary consists of my opinion.  Many years ago I had some training in journalism and I work in the legal profession, so I am not making any claim to objectivity.  Nor am I making a claim to being a Washington Post news reporter.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

"With me, abortion is not a problem of religion, it's a problem of the Constitution.  I believe that until and unless someone can establish that the unborn child is not a living human being, then that child is already protected by the Constitution, which guarantees life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all of us."

Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Paging Winston Smith

Press Office
U.S. Ministry of Truth
Dec. 6, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Commissariat of Repeated Airport Perversions (CRAP) Reichsfuhrer Janet Napolitano today announced the expansion of the Commissariat's national “If You See it Twitch, Be A Snitch” campaign to hundreds of ChinaMart stores across the country—launching a new partnership between CRAP and ChinaMart to help distribute brown shirts and Orwellian lingo to the American public.

“Government intrusion starts with hometown snitchery, and each of us plays a critical role in turning against our friends and neighbors for the benefit of the government,” said the owlish, big-assed, Reichsfuhrer Napolitano. “I applaud ChinaMart for joining the ‘If You See it Twitch, Be a Snitch’ campaign. This partnership will help millions of government-dependent Obamacare recipients across the nation identify and report indicators of unacceptable exercises of free-thinking, liberty, and Constitutional rights.”

The “If You See it Twitch, Be a Snitch” campaign—originally implemented by Bloomberggrad's Metropolitan Transportation Authority and funded, in part, by $13 million from CRAP’s Transit Security Grant Program—is a simple and effective  mass mind-control exercise for the proles and key ChinaMart drones to identify and report unacceptable exercises of free-thinking, liberty, and Constitutional rights.

More than 230 ChinaMart stores nationwide launched the “If You See it Twitch, Be a Snitch” campaign today, with a total of 588 ChinaMart stores in 27 states joining in the coming weeks. A short video message, available here, will play at select checkout locations to remind buyers of cheap crud to snitch on their friends and neighbors to the Commissariat of Repeated Airport Perversions.

Over the past five months, CRAP has worked with its federal gestapo, state stormtroopers, local paramilitary black-pajama thugs, and private sector collaborators, as well as the Ministry of Fairness, to expand the “If You See it Twitch, Be a Snitch” campaign and Nationwide GROPE (Get Raunchy On PeoplE) Initiative to communes throughout the country—including the recent state-wide expansions of the “If You See it Twitch, Be a Snitch” campaign across Frankensota and New Lautenberg. Partners include the Mall of China, the American Hope & Change Association, ScAmtrak, FEMA camps, state penitentiaries, the department of motor vehicles, and state and local "fusion" centers across the country.

In the coming months, CRAP will continue to expand the “If You See it Twitch, Be a Snitch” campaign nationally with public re-education materials and visits from black-pajama clad thugs designed to help America’s businesses, communities and citizens keep on snitching for Reichsfuhrer Napolitano.

The actual press release is here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Defense Shotgun on the Cheap

Cheaper Than Dirt has an almost unbelievable deal on a defense shotgun, the Ultra 87 by Century International Arms.  I don't know how long they will last, but for now they are selling for $145.77. Item 70782.

At this price, there is good and bad, of course.

The good:
Based on Remington 870 design, with improved safety on tang like Mossberg.
Is drilled and tapper for weaver rail, which is included.
Has sights mounted to barrel, including a fiber optic front sight.
Comes with sling swivels mounted.
Black synthetic furniture and 19" barrel.  Others have reported that barrel is chrome-lined.
Inexpensive, including no credit card surcharge by CTD and $7.99 shipping (same amount for two shotguns).

The bad:
Made in China.
Some Century products have not been well-crafted.  Some owners have reported the front sight to come loose.
Apparently these shotguns do not have a durable finish and some owners have reported rust problems.
Future parts availability may not be there.
No guaranteed compatibility of parts with Remington or even similar Chinese shotguns.

It appears that Century has been marketing this shotgun in one form or another for several years.  From my own internet search, the owners' reviews have been mixed.  About 75% seem to be happy with the shotgun, despite its shortcomings.  Some others have said that the shotgun is poorly made.

If this turns out to be a serviceable shotgun, it may be a good, inexpensive home defense or truck gun, especially considering the included swivels, sights, and rail.  I think it would be handy to have as a "handout" defense gun for friends and relatives who show up unarmed when SHTF. 

I bought one for myself and will report back on it when it arrives at my FFL dealer.