The Perfect Rifle

Herschel Smith · 06 Nov 2014 · 8 Comments

Rifles and their advocates are in the news and blogs these days.  It doesn't take a handgun to perform home defense.  A man using a rifle recently detained three burglars until police arrived.  It could have been any type of rifle. Rifle Shooter Magazine recently did a piece on the best bolt action rifles of all time.  Brad Fitzpatrick covers a number of the ones you would expect to see, including the Remington 700, Winchester model 70, Weatherby and so on.  But he includes one…… [read more]

Opinions On Single Point Slings

BY Herschel Smith
19 hours, 23 minutes ago

Mountain Guerrilla:

Single-points have been popular for a long time, and I’ve been a fan. I ran one for a long time. I think the biggest selling point for single-point slings, for most people, is the cool-guy CDI (chicks dig it) factor. Guys see Chris Costa, or Travis Haley, or Kyle Defoor running them, and want one. The reality is, I HATE single-point slings. Every time I drop the gun, whether to transition to my sidearm (doesn’t happen nearly as often as a lot of training courses make it seem like does), or to go hands-on with someone, the f****** rifle nails me in the nuts.

Kyle Lamb, American Rifleman, December 2014:

A general-purpose AR just isn’t complete without a sling.  If you plan to carry a rifle or stabilize it while shooting, you must have a sling.  I use a quick-adjust, two-point type, the VTAC sling.  It allows the user to carry the carbine muzzle down as well as quickly cinch the rifle tight to his chest or loosen it for shooting or transitioning.  The sling can be slightly tightened while building a shooting position to greatly increase stability.  If you choose to use a single-point or three-point sling you will lose the ability to also have the built-in shooting aid.  The single-point lets the rifle dangle, merely there in case you have to transition to your side arm.  I find that less-secure configuration may also allow it to crack you in the family jewels or on the knees, depending on the adjustment.

My son Daniel and the rest of his company threw away or modified the mandated MC-issue three point slings to make them whatever the Marine wanted (even braiding 550 cord to make their own slings), in most cases a single point sling.  At the time they were preparing for Fallujah and a lot of CQB and room clearing, and needed the ability to raise the weapon and engage the sight picture via a “reflex sight” very quickly and efficiently.  Up and down and side to side and use of hands was very important.

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

BY Herschel Smith
19 hours, 25 minutes ago

I’m late with this wish because of connectivity problems.  But I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving.

I know that I am thankful for so many things – family, health, work, sustenance, and all good things which come from God – but most of all that He loves me and is my savior.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
19 hours, 31 minutes ago

David Codrea:

Time was, the turkey was considered a game bird. The Pilgrims at Plymouth feasted on them. Generations later, Ben Franklin considered it such a useful fowl that he nominated it for the national bird.

Of course, this was in the days when the right to bear arms was taken for granted, when free people hunted turkeys for sustenance, all the while honing marksmanship that would serve them well in time of need.

Fast-forward to present-day Boston, a place of sacred tradition, the literal forge for our heritage of individual liberty. Except Boston is now a place where traditions have been betrayed. Its current overlords have succeeded in disarming the whole people in a way that General Gage could never have conceived possible.

So successful have these rulers been that the city that gave us Sam Adams and Paul Revere is now a city under siege …

David Codrea:

At Wednesday afternoon’s White House ceremony for the traditional annual presidential pardon of turkeys from being served up for Thanksgiving dinner, Barack Obama likened the action to his executive order last week on illegal aliens. The president made the remarks before assembled press with daughters Malia and Sasha present before sparing the lives of turkeys Mac and Cheese, the beneficiaries of his latest order.

That’s because he’s an asshole.

Kurt Hofmann:

One cannot help but wonder about Ensley’s blustering “we’ll take them.” Does he propose to personally take part in the confiscations, or would his participation be limited to cheerleading from the sidelines. Personally, I strongly suspect the latter.

Yes, but I prefer the former.  At least that would make an honest man out of him.

Magpul finalizes departure from Colorado.

Uncle: Will the Army drink the Kool-Aid?  I don’t know.  But I’m not worried about what the Army does.  To S&W, I say again like I have to every gun manufacturer.  Don’t even start down the path of relying on government contracts to keep your company solvent.  It’s like shooting heroin once.  Just say no.  Just don’t do it.

Mike Vanderboegh:

It is possible to condemn rioting and lawlessness in the streets without embracing the militarized police state.

It is also possible to call into question the righteousness of Wilson’s use of deadly force without embracing arson and pillage.

These are not mutually exclusive propositions.

Yea, but when I said the same thing, I was somehow the devil.

Guns Tags:

Don’t Shoot Crappy Guns Or Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 23 hours ago

Opposing Views:

An unidentified woman pulled the trigger on her rifle and witnessed the gun explode in her hands in video footage uploaded to LiveLeak over the weekend.

Although the woman appeared to be unharmed, her exact condition is not known. The location of the incident is also unknown.

ConcealedNation.org, a website focused on firearms, suggested a reason for the explosion, since the woman in the video seemed entirely surprised by the accident.

“It seems that she experienced a squib load on the 2nd to last shot. While she cleared the casing from the rifle, she did not check for barrel obstruction,” the website explained. “Once she pulled the trigger again, the newly-fired round ran right into the back of the previous round that didn’t have enough energy to make it out of the barrel.”

The website added that squib is usually attributed to an underpowered cartridge, a missing powder charge or a light powder charge. If an obstruction is created, then a fired round comes into contact with it and causes “dangerous situations”.

As if you needed any more reasons not to shoot crappy guns or ammunition, this should be enough.

The Link Between Mental Health And Gun Violence

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 22 hours ago

I’ve previously cataloged mental health professionals and their reaction to the notion that their patients perpetrate violence more frequently than others.

Clinicians treating patients hear their fears, anger, sadness, fantasies and hopes, in a protected space of privacy and confidentiality, which is guaranteed by federal and state laws. Mental health professionals are legally obligated to break this confidentiality when a patient “threatens violence to self or others.” But clinicians rarely report unless the threat is immediate, clear and overt.

Mental health professionals understand that, despite our intimate knowledge of the thoughts of our patients, we are not very good at predicting what people will do. Our knowledge is always incomplete and conditional, and we do not have the methods to objectively predict future behavior. Tendencies, yes; specific actions, no. To think that we can read a person’s brain the way a scanner in airport security is used to detect weapons is a gross misunderstanding of psychological science, and very far from the nuanced but uncertain grasp clinicians have on patients’ state of mind.

What about diagnoses?

If mental health professionals were required to report severe mental illness (such as paranoid schizophrenia) to state authorities, it would have an immediate chilling effect on the willingness of people to disclose sensitive information, and would discourage many people from seeking treatment. What about depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse or post-traumatic stress disorder, along with other types of mental illness that have some link to self-harm and impulsive action? The scope of disclosure that the government could legally compel might end up very wide, without any real gain in predictive accuracy.

Diagnosis is an inexact and constantly evolving effort, and it is contentious within the profession. To use a diagnosis as the basis of reporting the possibility of violence to the authorities would make the effort of accurate evaluation much more fraught. And what of the families and friends of the mentally ill? Should their weapons purchases be restricted as well? A little reflection shows how unworkable in practice any screening by diagnosis would be.

“We’re not likely to catch very many potentially violent people” with laws like the one in New York, says Barry Rosenfeld, a professor of psychology at Fordham University in The Bronx….

A study of experienced psychiatrists at a major urban psychiatric facility found that they were wrong about which patients would become violent about 30 percent of the time.

That’s a much higher error rate than with most medical tests, says Alan Teo, a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan and an author of the study.

One reason even experienced psychiatrists are often wrong is that there are only a few clear signs that a person with a mental illness is likely to act violently, says Steven Hoge, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. These include a history of violence and a current threat to commit violence ….

Perhaps most important, although people with serious mental illness have committed a large percentage of high-profile crimes, the mentally ill represent a very small percentage of the perpetrators of violent crime overall. Researchers estimate that if mental illness could be eliminated as a factor in violent crime, the overall rate would be reduced by only 4 percent. That means 96 percent of violent crimes—defined by the FBI as murders, robberies, rapes, and aggravated assaults—are committed by people without any mental-health problems at all. Solutions that focus on reducing crimes by the mentally ill will make only a small dent in the nation’s rate of gun-related murders, ranging from mass killings to shootings that claim a single victim.  It’s not just that the mentally ill represent a minority of the country’s population; it’s also that the overlap between mental illness and violent behavior is poor.

And finally,

Jeffrey W. Swanson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Duke University School of Medicine and lead author of the article in Annals of Epidemiology was quoted in the UCLA Newsroom saying ”but even if schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression were cured, our society’s problem of violence would diminish by only about 4 percent.”  That is not very much. When people with mental illness do act violently it is typically for the same reasons that people without mental illness act violently.

And yet … the raison d’être, we are told, for background checks is to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns.  Enter Huffington Post (yet again) claiming that gun violence is a medical condition due to “recurrent violent injury.”

An article has just been published that is a must-read for everyone concerned about violence and guns because it places violent behavior in its proper context — namely, as a disease that, in order to see it decline, needs to be handled like other chronic medical conditions. The researchers followed two groups of young men and women, ages 14 to 24, who were patients at the ER in Flint, Michigan, between 2008 and 2010. One group consisted of patients who were admitted for the first time suffering from a serious injury due to an assault. The other group were first admitted for some other medical issue.

Except for their histories in the ER, both groups were basically the same. They were mostly African-American, mostly from families on public assistance, they had the same degree of drug use and the same number who had either been convicted of some crime and/or were on parole. Finally, a majority of the members of both groups reported family incomes below the poverty line. In other words, both groups of patients shared the same social culture that breeds violence, but one group never came to the ER as victims of violent assaults, the other group not only came at least once, but many came multiple times.

The researchers characterized this latter group as suffering from what they call “recurrent violent injury,” which is estimated to cost the medical system somewhere between $600 million and $1 billion per year.

Welcome to the condition of recurrent violent injury.  I’m willing to bet that you’ve never heard of that before.  And yes, the author linked an abstract rather than a paper.  As if on queue, a more studied author tells us something different.  I have to quote at length for you to get the full force of the argument.

When mass shooters strike, speculations about their mental health—sometimes borne out, sometimes not—are never far behind. It seems intuitive that someone who could do something terrible must be, in some sense, insane. But is that actually true? Are gun violence and mental illness really so tightly intertwined?

Jeffrey Swanson, a medical sociologist and professor of psychiatry at Duke University, first became interested in the perceived intersection of violence and mental illness while working at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in the mid-eighties. It was his first job out of graduate school, and he had been asked to estimate how many people in Texas met the criteria for needing mental-health services. As he pored over different data sets, he sensed that there could be some connection between mental health and violence. But he also realized that there was no good statewide data on the connection. “Nobody knew anything about the real connection between violent behavior and psychiatric disorders,” he told me. And so he decided to spend his career in pursuit of that link.

In general, we seem to believe that violent behavior is connected to mental illness. And if the behavior is sensationally violent—as in mass shootings—the perpetrator must certainly have been sick. As recently as 2013, almost forty-six per cent of respondents to a national survey said that people with mental illness were more dangerous than other people. According to two recent Gallup polls, from 2011 and 2013, more people believe that mass shootings result from a failure of the mental-health system than from easy access to guns. Eighty per cent of the population believes that mental illness is at least partially to blame for such incidents.

That belief has shaped our politics. The 1968 Gun Control Act prohibited anyone who had ever been committed to a mental hospital or had been “adjudicated as a mental defective” from purchasing firearms. That prohibition was reaffirmed, in 1993, by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. It has only become more strictly enforced in the intervening years, with the passing of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Act, in 2008, as well as by statewide initiatives. In 2013, New York passed the Safe Act, which mandated that mental-health professionals file reports on patients “likely to engage in conduct that would result in harm to self or others”; those patients, who now number more than thirty-four thousand, have had their guns seized and have been prevented from buying new ones.

Are those policies based on sound science? To understand that question, one has to start with the complexities of the term “mental illness.” The technical definition includes any condition that appears in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but the D.S.M. has changed with the culture; until the nineteen-eighties, homosexuality was listed in some form in the manual. Diagnostic criteria, too, may vary from state to state, hospital to hospital, and doctor to doctor. A diagnosis may change over time, too. Someone can be ill and then, later, be given a clean bill of health: mental illness is, in many cases, not a lifelong diagnosis, especially if it is being medicated. Conversely, someone may be ill but never diagnosed. What happens if the act of violence is the first diagnosable act? Any policy based on mental illness would have failed to prevent it.

When Swanson first analyzed the ostensible connection between violence and mental illness, looking at more than ten thousand individuals (both mentally ill and healthy) during the course of one year, he found that serious mental illness alone was a risk factor for violence—from minor incidents, like shoving, to armed assault—in only four per cent of cases. That is, if you took all of the incidents of violence reported among the people in the survey, mental illness alone could explain only four per cent of the incidents. When Swanson broke the samples down by demographics, he found that the occurrence of violence was more closely associated with whether someone was male, poor, and abusing either alcohol or drugs—and that those three factors alone could predict violent behavior with or without any sign of mental illness. If someone fit all three of those categories, the likelihood of them committing a violent act was high, even if they weren’t also mentally ill. If someone fit none, then mental illness was highly unlikely to be predictive of violence. “That study debunked two myths,” Swanson said. “One: people with mental illness are all dangerous. Well, the vast majority are not. And the other myth: that there’s no connection at all. There is one. It’s quite small, but it’s not completely nonexistent.

In 2002, Swanson repeated his study over the course of the year, tracking eight hundred people in four states who were being treated for either psychosis or a major mood disorder (the most severe forms of mental illness). The number who committed a violent act that year, he found, was thirteen per cent. But the likelihood was dependent on whether they were unemployed, poor, living in disadvantaged communities, using drugs or alcohol, and had suffered from “violent victimization” during a part of their lives. The association was a cumulative one: take away all of these factors and the risk fell to two per cent, which is the same risk as found in the general population. Add one, and the risk remained low. Add two, and the risk doubled, at the least. Add three, and the risk of violence rose to thirty per cent.

Other people have since taken up Swanson’s work. A subsequent study of over a thousand discharged psychiatric inpatients, known as the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study, found that, a year after their release, patients were only more likely than the average person to be violent if they were also abusing alcohol or drugs. Absent substance abuse, they were no more likely to act violently than were a set of randomly selected neighbors. Two years ago, an analysis of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (which contained data on more than thirty-two thousand individuals) found that just under three per cent of people suffering from severe mental illness had acted violently in the last year, as compared to just under one per cent of the general population. Those who also abused alcohol or drugs were at an elevated, ten-per-cent risk.

Internationallytoo, these results have held, revealing a steady but low link between mental illness and violence …

Psychiatrists also have a very hard time predicting which of their patients will go on to commit a violent act. In one study, the University of Pittsburgh psychiatrist Charles Lidz and his colleagues had doctors at a psychiatric emergency department evaluate admitted patients and predict whether or not they would commit violence against others. They found that, over the next six months, fifty-three per cent of those patients who doctors predicted would commit a violent act actually did. Thirty-six per cent of the patients thought not to be violent in fact went on to commit a violent act. For female patients, the prediction rates were no better than chance. A 2012 meta-analysis of data from close to twenty-five thousand participants, from thirteen countries, led by the Oxford University psychiatrist Seena Fazel, found that the nine assessment tools most commonly used to predict violence—from actuarial ones like the Psychopathy Checklist to clinical judgment tools like the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth—had only “low to moderate” predictive value.

Mental health does not bear on propensity to violence any more than any other condition, or said another way, some mentally ill people are intent on evil just like mentally healthy people.  Not, by the way, that I think that one can logically define “mentally ill.”  Definitions of mentally ill fall prey to a formal logical fallacy.  The definition requires a listing of conditions that doctors consider mentally ill, and thus presence on the list crafts the definition itself.  It’s circular reasoning.

But gun controllers don’t care about that, or the mentally ill either.  It’s another tool to effect their designs on your freedom.  And in conclusion, I would remind you of reader menckenlite on psychiatry.

Control freaks love psychiatry, a means of social control with no Due Process protections. It is a system of personal opinion masquerading as science. See, e.g., Boston University Psychology Professor Margaret Hagan’s book, Whores of the Court, to see how arbitrary psychiatric illnesses are. Peter Breggin, Fred Baughman and Thomas Szasz wrote extensively about abuses of psychiatry. Liberals blame guns for violence. Conservatives blame mental illness. Neither have any causal connection to violence.

Despite this, expect the calls for universal background checks to continue, and the “mentally ill” – whatever that means – to endure discrimination.  Soldiers and Marines with PTSD – are you listening?

Scott Walker, Immigration And Guns

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 23 hours ago

Have you considered Scott Walker as a viable candidate for the GOP nomination for President?  Think again.

On the surface, Scott Walker seems like a gun owner’s dream candidate for president. The Wisconsin governor is backed by the National Rifle Association, which lauds his signing into law concealed carry and castle doctrine legislation. The “On the Issues” political leadership website notes Walker opposes restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.

It’s unsurprising then, that NRA Director Grover Norquist has co-authored a piece for Reuters explaining “What makes Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker a good choice for 2016.” But in this case, Norquist is wearing a different hat – that of president of Americans for Tax Reform, teaming with ATR’s director of state affairs, Patrick Gleason.

So what’s not to like? Don’t both issues track with greater freedom? Where’s the conflict?

Wearing that different hat, Norquist campaigned for and endorsed Bob Dold for Congress, in spite of the “Republican’s” support for restricting gun purchases and possession which was known at the time. The unsuitability of Dold’s Democrat opponent notwithstanding, NRA Director Norquist chose his priorities and endorsed a known gun-grabber who went on to accept an award from the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

There’s an issue besides taxes Norquist has yet another hat for: immigration. Just like Barack Obama, Norquist endorses rewarding alien nationals who have broken U.S. law by entering and remaining in this country illegally with a “pathway to citizenship.”

And Walker agrees with him.

He’s owned by the Chamber of Commerce.  He’s no different than George Bush, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and most other republicans.  David’s article is well researched and full of URLs for you to go and study the issue yourself.  I intentionally don’t supply the reference material so that you will visit Gun Rights Examiner.

The reasons for my rejection of Walker because of his stance on immigration are multifaceted.  First of all, the envelopment of America by immigrants changes everything, from language and culture, to generational demographics, racial demographics, and economic health of the country.

The immigrants to whom we have opened our borders are in the main low paid, low skill workers.  Big business loves them, because they can cut their bottom line.  They get away with this because we – middle class America – foot the bill for their medical care, SNAP, welfare and other necessities, thus providing corporate welfare for executives and members of the boards of directors.

The Democrats love them because they will vote democratic.  Recall what we’ve already discussed.

“For historical reasons to do with the nationalisation of the land under Lázaro Cárdenas and the predominant form of peasant land tenure, which was “village cooperative” rather than based on individual plots, the demand for “land to the tiller” in Mexico does not imply an individual plot for every peasant or rural worker or family. In Mexico, collectivism among the peasantry is a strong tradition … one consequence of these factors is that the radical political forces among the rural population are on the whole explicitly anti-capitalist and socialist in their ideology. Sometimes this outlook is expressed in support for guerilla organisations; but struggle movements of the rural population are widespread, and they spontaneously ally with the most militant city-based leftist organisations.”

One of the reasons for this reflexive alignment with leftism has to do with the the mid-twentieth century and what the Sovient Union and allied ideologies accomplished.  South and Central America was the recipient or receptacle for socialism draped in religious clothing, or in other words, liberation theology.  Its purveyors were Roman Catholic priests who had been trained in Marxism, and they were very successful in giving the leftists a moral platform upon which to build.  This ideology spread North from South and Central America into Mexico, and thus the common folk in Mexico are quite steeped in collectivist ideology from battles that were fought decades ago.

So Hispanics and Latinos think and vote as collectivists, but do their views on gun control reflect that heritage?

Latinos take a more conservative view on pot legalization and a more-pro view on gun control, according to a fresh report on politics from the Pew Research Center.

About 49 percent of Hispanics polled support legalization of marijuana versus 53 percent for the total U.S. population. Liberalization of pot use is gaining support around the nation. Come January, in Dallas County, there may be some loosening on pot prosecution with a pilot project that gives tickets rather than jail time for simple possession, as we reported here.

On gun control, 62 percent of Hispanics polled by Pew say they support controlling gun ownership, versus 45 percent for the nation.

David warned you, and again.  And listen to me yet again on this.  With every immigrant crossing the border, you will see the government acceptance and acknowledgment of your God given gun rights evaporate, further every day.

Gun Manufacturers And Connecticut

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 23 hours ago

Hartford Business:

Connecticut gun makers and dealers say they want to leave the state but actually pulling the trigger on a move has been easier said than done.

Nearly two years after threatening to leave Connecticut entirely after lawmakers passed comprehensive gun control laws following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, only one gun manufacturer has made a public show of leaving the state; the others — particularly the largest industry players — remain tied here by history and/or tough financials.

“If it weren’t for the large amount of capital they have in Connecticut, the gun companies would be gone,” said Brian Ruttenbur, a gun industry analyst for Stamford investment research firm CRT Capital. “But I don’t see any time in the near future that any of the big Connecticut gun makers are going to move. It is just too expensive.”

Gun makers like Colt Manufacturing of West Hartford, Sturm Ruger of the Southport section of Fairfield, O.F. Mossberg & Sons of North Haven, and Stag Arms of New Britain — some of which can trace their Connecticut roots to before the Civil War — face the same pros (highly trained workforce, established supply chain and proximity to New York and Boston) and cons (high energy costs and property taxes, a unionized workforce and a tough regulatory environment) as other manufacturers when considering an out-of-state move.

Here the writer has let the manufacturer’s propaganda inform him a little too much.  A highly trained work force is available anywhere a company wants to invest a little time and money.  Machinists, mechanics, engineers and designers are available all over America.  As for supply chain, this can be developed overnight.  Besides, Connecticut isn’t necessarily the most efficient hub anyway.  Watch, and let me show you what I mean.

Of the companies that had their feathers ruffled during the 2013 gun control debate, PTR Industries was the only gun manufacturer that moved entirely out of Connecticut.

In April 2013, following passage of the law that banned its only product, PTR left Bristol for a small town near Myrtle Beach, S.C. As part of the move, the company took 24 of its Connecticut employees and hired an additional 120 in South Carolina.

PTR — like Colt, Ruger, Mossberg, and Stag — declined to comment for this story.

While PTR outright left Connecticut, other gun makers instead have opted to curb their Connecticut footprint.

Ruger remains headquartered in Southport but does all it’s manufacturing in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Arizona. Mossberg in July significantly ramped up its manufacturing at its Texas plant, installing a 116,000-square-foot addition, while lowering — but not eliminating — production at its North Haven facility.

There’s also the case of the Freedom Group, the North Carolina manufacturer of gun brands like Remington and Bushmaster. Eight days before the Sandy Hook shooting, the state Department of Economic and Community Development offered Freedom Group a $1 million low-interest loan to move its headquarters and 25 employees to Stamford.

So if it’s a legitimate point that the companies are so heavily invested in supply chain and highly trained workers that they cannot afford to relocate, then why has Ruger and Mossberg eased out of Connecticut, and how did they manage to do that without going bankrupt?

The answer is that they can make the change, they just haven’t chosen to because of emotional capital in their communities and people.  I don’t fault their loyalty to their people – that’s a trait that is hard to come by these days for many companies.  But in the end, high union wages and customer dissatisfaction with their state might be controlling factors.

“In the wake of these very restrictive gun control laws, they have to deal with the consumer reaction,” said Mike Bazinet, director of public affairs for the firearms industry trade association National Shooting Sport Foundation, which is headquartered in Newtown. “There is no question that some damage was done to the brand equity of these companies because their products have a ‘Made in Connecticut’ stamp on them.”

Or not.  But if not, they (Mossberg, Ruger, and other gun makers left in Connecticut [Colt is almost a lost cause at this point]) might just have no company left with which to be loyal to their workers.  Competition is good.  Freedom is good.  It can be painful at times, and relocation of loyal workers (I didn’t mention the need for worker loyalty yet) might be a big life change, but in the end change can be good.

See also Gun Valley Moves South

Logistics Is Everything: Lessons From The Ukraine

BY Herschel Smith
4 days ago

NYT:

DNEPROPETROVSK, Ukraine — In a cramped kitchen that smelled strongly of cabbage and beets, a small army of women labored into the night, preparing what would become dried borscht to supply Ukrainian soldiers in the field.

One Ziploc bag of the borscht, which looks something like wood chips, can feed 10 men and is distributed as a type of Ukrainian meal ready to eat. Each bag comes with a handwritten note saying, “Bon appétit, made with love.”

“Who in the Ministry of Defense is going to make borscht?” Tatyana V. Sirko, an obstetrician volunteering on a recent evening, said. “I want to help somehow. I want to help our guys. They aren’t having an easy time.”

In late summer, with rebel fighters on the run from a concerted government drive, Russian troops and military equipment poured over the border and launched a devastating counterattack, stopping the Ukrainians in their tracks.

A shaky truce declared in early September has averted all-out war. But as NATO documents the arrival in recent weeks of another incursion of Russian armored columns, artillery units and elite troops, the country is bracing for a new assault.

While the Ukrainian government maintains that it is prepared for any sort of attack, the preparations are veiled in secrecy that many fear is a cover for weakness. Most of the open fortification for the troops is coming now from volunteers, who offer not just moral and physical support but at least a glimmer of hope that the Ukrainian forces can hold their own against what appears to be a vastly superior force.

Powering the Ukrainian war effort, teams of volunteers, most of them women, work around the clock at a logistics center to send an array of products — bottles of homemade pickles, sets of handmade underwear and commercially available military equipment, like night vision scopes for rifles.

In one room, a man stacked hand-sewn ballistic vests, peculiarities of the war in Ukraine, a nation with a rich tradition of handicrafts but a woefully underfunded military. Others at the site sort sleeping bags, miniature wood stoves and wool socks.

[ ... ]

Volunteers are also fighting — 15,000 to 20,000 irregular combatants in about 30 volunteer battalions active in the east.

“Without us, the situation would be far more grievous,” Vitaly G. Feshenko, a former furniture salesman and deputy commander of the Dnipro-1 volunteer battalion, said in an interview. “We are lawyers, businessmen and housewives,” he said. Serving in one of his units, for example, is a former cellphone store accountant who fights under the nom de guerre “The Accountant” and is rumored to be widely feared along the front.

Read the rest at The New York Times.  This is an outstanding article on the logistics of fighting a war.  Without socks, clothing, ammunition, medical supplies, R&R for the troops, deployment rotations, food, sleeping bags, functional vehicles, guns and their accoutrements (scopes, magazines, cleaning supplies, etc.), potable water and everything else an army needs to function, all the physical and tactical training in the world doesn’t matter.

Logistics rules.

Unconstitutional Invasion And Abuse Of Home Schoolers By Police

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 22 hours ago

World Net Daily:

A Missouri homeschooling family is suing a sheriff and another officer who forcibly entered their home without a warrant, Tasered the father, pepper-sprayed the mother and put their children in the custody of social service workers.

A court already has ruled that the actions of Sheriff Darren White and Capt. David Glidden of Nodaway County, Missouri, violated the U.S. Constitution, resulting in the dismissal of charges of child endangerment and resisting arrest against the couple, Jason and Laura Hagan, of New Hampton.

The lawsuit, which seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys costs and fees, was brought on behalf of the couple by the Home School Legal Defense Association, the world’s leading advocate for homeschooling families.

Attorney James Mason, senior counsel for HSLDA, told WND the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure were added to the Constitution for a reason.

“We need to be vigilant,” he said. “We need to be willing to stand up for our rights.”

He said authorities sometimes need to be reminded that “rules apply to them, too.”

The complaint, filed Nov. 14, alleges the the officers came to the Hagan residence because a social worker was investigating a report of a messy home.

The case worker wanted to inspect a second time, and the Hagans refused, so she called Glidden and White.

Glidden first demanded to be allowed into the home and was denied permission. So, according to the complaint, he pepper-sprayed Jason and then Laura.

“Glidden then turned to Jason, who was still standing, and shot him in the back with his Taser,” the complaint said.

When Laura closed the front door, Glidden continued triggering the Taser through the closed door.

Then White joined in.

“Together they forced open the door and found Laura and Jason lying on the floor,” HSLDA said.

They “slapped Laura, knocking her glasses off of her face,” they threatened to shoot the family dog, they threw a telephone across the room, called Laura a “liar,” handcuffed the parents and threatened to let Jason fall down, according to the complaint.

It all took place in front of the three children, ages about 13, 10 and 8, who were taken into state custody, where they remained for months.

When the allegations made by social workers and the officers against the couple reached court, a judge summarily tossed the case.

This all began over a report of a “messy home.”  It escalated into throwing things around the house, threatening the family pet, and physical abuse of innocent victims.  There is no difference between these cops and the Gestapo, and these cops deserve the same treatment as the Gestapo.  One day they won’t encounter a set of complaint home school parents who are willing to let a black robed tyrant work it all out.  They will get a mouth full of 5.56 or .45.  And I won’t shed a tear when that happens.

Stop The Insanity: Ban Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 22 hours ago

Tallahassee Democrat:

It’s the guns, stupid.

The shootings Thursday at the Florida State University library. The shootings Saturday in a northwest Tallahassee neighborhood. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The shooting of Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The shootings at Virginia Tech. The 10,000 senseless shooting deaths that happen every year in this country.

Take away guns and they don’t happen.

How is it that the supposed greatest nation on earth refuses to stop the unholy availability of guns?

I’m not talking about gun control. I’m not talking about waiting periods and background checks.

I’m talking about flat-out banning the possession of handguns and assault rifles by individual citizens. I’m talking about repealing or amending the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

[ ... ]

Gun supporters say, “It’s not guns that cause gun violence, it’s mentally ill people with guns; fix the mentally ill.” Even if those same people did not oppose government spending on the mentally ill — which they have for decades — there is no predicting when mental illness will express itself in violence.

[ ... ]

Gun freaks say if you take away their guns only outlaws will have guns. That’s a chance worth taking.

[ ... ]

Let the hunters keep their rifles and shotguns; those weapons are ineffective tools in a mass shooting. But we need to ban handguns and assault rifles for all but police and military.

[ ... ]

One of the frequent refrains of gun freaks about President Obama is “He’s coming for our guns.” Obama never said such a thing. But I will:

We’re coming for your guns. And someday, we’ll take them.

Hmm … I cannot help but think of Charles Whitman as I read this.  And there goes that sweet tactical bolt action gun I’ve been looking at.  Because apparently it’s an ineffective tool.  And I need a good tool, you know, so that I can stop people like this writer.

So in order to keep filling my gun safe, it’s another semi-automatic rifle for me before I procure that sweet tactical bolt action gun and some high powered glass.  I need to be prepared for the writer – Gerald Ensley – because I’m sure that he’ll lead the charge into our homes to confiscate our guns.  I’m sure he will fire the first shot of this civil war he wants rather than send the cops to do his bidding.  Gerald doesn’t actually think that passing a law to turn in our weapons will cause us to relinquish our right to bear arms, does he?  Surely Gerald understands that this means war?



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