Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 39 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Ray Kelly – Totalitarian

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

Via WRSA, Ray Kelly is being considered for the new top cop of the DHS, and there is this directly from Kelly himself.

“I don’t think it ever should have been made secret. I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone it’s going to be recorded and goes to the government … ”

First of all, this reminds you of what kind of person you have for president.  Obama isn’t ignorant of Kelly’s views, he knows full well what he believes, and that’s why Kelly is being considered.

Second, the DHS shouldn’t even exist as an organization.  It’s existence is an obscene, repugnant, despicable blight on the face of America.  So the fact that Kelly is being considered for the top cop of the federal government shouldn’t surprise us.  Obama isn’t going to appoint someone who does away with this monstrosity.

Finally, I will remark that God hates totalitarianism in all of its forms – Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Fabian Socialism, and whatever else – and God hates totalitarians.  There are no accidental totalitarians.  They all know what they do, intend it, and want all power to themselves.  They all usurp His authority.  Their end will draw nigh, sooner or later.  And then, eternal judgment.

Mississippi Open Carry Ban Not State Wide

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

David Codrea:

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has issued clarifying statements about a ruling by Hinds Country Circuit Court Judge Winston Kidd preventing a law redefining “concealed” weapons from taking effect, the Daily Journal is reporting today.

Hood now maintains the ruling clarifies “Mississippi as a state where people can openly carry a weapon doesn’t apply outside the judge’s Hinds County jurisdiction,” the report states.

“I do not believe that the injunction would prevent someone outside Hinds County, who was openly carrying a weapon, from using the statute as a defense,” the report quotes the Attorney General. “In other words, the judge’s decision would only prevent Hinds County residents from availing themselves of the defenses contained in the new law.”

I had previously said that “Judge Kidd is a candidate for impeachment, and if I were the governor and attorney general I would go ahead with the law and call a special session of Congress to throw Kidd out.”

Everything is proceeding as I had foreseen.  Next step?  Impeachment of Judge Kidd.

Hardly Anyone Is Buying “Smart Guns”

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

Motherboard:

The technology is here. So-called “smart guns” are being programmed to recognize a gun owner’s identity and lock up if the weapon ends up in the wrong hands. Entrepreneurs and engineers have been developing technology to make safer guns since the early ’90s, and by now we’ve got working prototypes of guns that read fingerprints, hand grips or even sensors embedded under the skin. But after 15 years of innovation, personalized guns still haven’t penetrated the marketplace.

Why? Smart guns are caught in the crosshairs of a heated debate over guns, for one thing. Pro-gun groups see it as an attack on Second Amendment rights and, you know, freedom. Anti-gun groups worry that if guns are safer it will inspire more people to buy them. Perhaps more troublesome is that consumer demand just isn’t there. “The gun industry has no interest in making smart-guns. There is no incentive for them,” Robert J. Spitzer, a political science professor at SUNY Cortland told the New York Times.

No incentive? What about saving lives?

Some people argue that even if all guns came equipped with the latest personal lock technology, it would only make a tiny dent in gun violence, since the vast majority of gun deaths aren’t caused by accidents, but by people firing their legal weapon. Still, the flood of tragic news of senseless preventable violence keeps the smart gun conversation kicking. Interest in the technology saw new life in the wake of Sandy Hook. In response to the tragedy, President Obama called for research into gun safety technology, offering prizes to companies that developed affordable personalized guns. The Sandy Hook Promise Innovation Initiative is also working with Silicon Valley to offer grants for new gun safety technology.

But the problem isn’t coming up with ideas. There are already numerous startups developing biometric technology—sensors that identify fingerprints, hand geometry, eye scans and other biological features to authenticate the owner of a gun a la James Bond’s gun in Skyfall that’s been coded to his palm print.

The problem is getting anyone to buy them. A group called Safe Gun Technology developed a functioning prototype of biometric fingerprint recognition technology in 2008, and recently tried to crowdfund the money to build a market-ready version. The Indiegogo campaign fell $48,000 short of its fundraising goal.

Robert McNamara, cofounder of TriggerSmart, a startup that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to match owner and gun, has tried to convince the gun manufacturers to license the product, but none have agreed. If the gun industry won’t budge, it could take a government mandate to get people to buy personalized guns.

Rep. John Tierney of Massachusettes is taking on that fight.

Gosh, if someone could have just seen this coming.  Really seen this coming.  You know, really, really seen this coming.  I mean, just flat out, seen this for what it really is.

Of course, there are other gun owners to hear as well.  Regarding Tierney’s fight, bring it!  We’ll see just how well that “government mandate” works out.

Should Ruger Be Planning For Expansion In North Carolina?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

Some “experts” think not.

A manufacturer of a robustly popular product wants to capture what it perceives as missed-opportunity sales by opening a third production plant, this one in North Carolina.

The company is pledging to create hundreds of jobs and bring a renowned brand and sure-fire economic shot-in-the-arm to the community.

However, there are analysts skeptical of the expansion plans, saying the company already is facing saturation of its product in the U.S. marketplace amid formidable competition. They aren’t sure consumer demand will continue to outpace supply even though the short-term future is bright.

The company: Dell Inc., the world’s largest PC manufacturer. The time: summer 2004. The community: Winston-Salem.

Fast forward six years, and Dell is preparing to close its $110 million plant and finish eliminating the remainder of a workforce that reached 1,400 at its peak. The company is shifting production to third-party vendors after falling laptop prices eroded its market share for desktops and consumers proved increasingly indifferent to a customized product.

Fast forward another three years, and you find Rockingham County reveling in what local officials and residents consider as a godsend – an announcement that Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. has chosen a 220,000-square-foot plant in Mayodan as its preferred site for a third firearms manufacturing plant.

If an unknown amount of local and state incentives are approved in August, local economic officials say they are confident Ruger will commit to spending $30 million on capital investments and hiring a workforce of 300 to 700 full-time employees. The plant would be expected to open by early spring.

It would be the first manufacturing expansion for the Southport, Conn., company since 1988. The company also has plants in Newport, N.H., and Prescott, Ariz. There are about 2,100 employees companywide.

Still, there are analysts who question whether opening a third Ruger plant is prudent. They wonder how many firearms gun buyers want or need before feeling fully stocked.

“While most industry executives believe this surge in demand should still have some steam left in the tank, it’s safe to say it certainly won’t last forever,” said Steve Symington, an analyst with The Motley Fool.

Yes, our “expert” is with The Motley Fool.  Give yourself time to quit laughing and let’s cover what’s really happening here.

First of all, Ruger is having trouble meeting demand, and the U.S. is as in love with its guns as it has ever been.  There is always a demand for good gun manufacturing, especially with firearms made in the U.S. (including every part and component).

But second, take note of the location of the home office.  Connecticut.  What this “expert” with The Motley Fool doesn’t understand is the loyalty of gun owners, or conversely, the wrath of their judgment wrought upon gun manufacturers disloyal to America.  For a brief primer on this, consider the Smith & Wesson boycott.

Ruger is betting on expansion, but not just any expansion.  They’re relocating South.  Look for operations in Connecticut to decrease over time.  If Ruger doesn’t take this step, they will go out of business, just like Remington in New York.

If firearms manufacturers stay in the North, they will become obsolete and eventually go out of business.  If they relocate to the South, a welcome party awaits.  So much for the “experts.”  Ruger knows what they’re doing.

Reading List And Commentary

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

First is Max Velocity, who gives us another good entry on the presuppositions under-girding being able to operate in the field, which he titles More Detail On Rucking Fitness.  This is another valuable post from Max, and he gives us an example of what we should all aspire to achieve.  But I feel like I’m listening to my son (former Marine) describe humping 100+ pounds kit for twenty miles in 105 degree heat at Camp Lejeune.  At some point these guys have got to adjust their counsel for 53 year old guys with a slight belly, who walk five miles a day and get to the gym two or three times a week for weights.  Somewhat in shape, but not nearly the degree to which Max describes.

From Montrose, Texas we have another example of SWAT misbehavior.

“A man identified himself as the SWAT sergeant. He said I had exactly ten minutes to come downstairs or they were going to start tearing my house down,” Castorena said. “About a minute later, the SWAT team runs through my front yard and batter rams my front door.”

Castorena was led out in handcuffs and charged with felony assault.

The whole thing started over loud music.  No, seriously.  Loud music.

David Codrea’s articles are always worth reading, but one in particular bears reading again regarding judge Kidd making the injunction against the Mississippi open carry law permanent.  We’ve discussed this before, and I just can’t help but believe that turning to judge Kidd at all in any form whatsoever is illegitimate, even attempting to get him to overturn his ban.  The man did something unconstitutional, as he has no right to ban laws because he thinks they are unclear.  Judge Kidd is a candidate for impeachment, and if I were the governor and attorney general I would go ahead with the law and call a special session of Congress to throw Kidd out.

Next, read Kurt Hofmann on gun control pushers hoping to exploit the Zimmerman case for more oppressive laws.  Of course they do.  Has a statist ever done anything or taken any action to decrease the power of the state?  Can a leopard change its spots?

Always drop by Western Rifle Shooters Association every day, and I appreciate WRSA for bloggrolling me.  I consider this an achievement.

“The AR-15 muzzle flash is the new torch of liberty” according to Representative Steve Stockman, R- Texas.  Just so.  Related, one commenter at reddit/guns has a post on AR-15s that might interest you, some of it good, some of it so-so, but be warned.  If you carry on that discussion here, we don’t use Eugene Stoner’s name in any other context but effusive praise or hushed reverence.

Finally, Bob Owens has a rifle suggestion for Zimmerman now that he’s a free man.  Not all that dissimilar from mine (excluding the EOTech).  I have my tactical light on an offset mount because I don’t want it under the weapon and in front of the forend grip.

I hold my weapon the way my son taught me to, using the forend grip only as an anchor point rather than grasping it, and thus my hand uses much of the forend of the weapon.  This is also similar to the way Travis Haley teaches, not coincidentally, and the more exaggerated version of this is in vogue with SF where the arm is outstretched straight and gripping the forend of the weapon on the side completely without a grip in order to avoid over-rotation of the weapon during target acquisition (this technique comes from the gamers).

UPDATE: David Codrea has some thoughts on hauling rucks.  When you look at it that way, I guess I’ll bring up the rear with David and die in a firefight while laying down cover fire for the rest of you.  So be it.  There are worse ways to go.

Is It Wrong For Kids To Play With Water Guns?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

The Frisky:

Sure, it’s a stretch to connect children who play with water guns or even play with video games to the seriously mentally disturbed people who go shoot up classrooms and buses and hair salons. I can’t help but wonder, though, if we’ve become a little more desensitized to those real life shootings because we like how fun playing with guns can be. It’s fun if you’re a grown man with his buddies, sitting in a tree, patiently lying in wait to shoot a deer. It’s fun if you’re a kid running through a backyard shooting water at your aunt.

But maybe it shouldn’t be.

Let’s deal with this as a serious objection to guns, because for too many people it is.  First of all, hunting is a well respected and serious sport, and an activity that has kept many a family fed for many years.  Furthermore, the deer population of Missouri, for example, is higher now than in colonial America because of modern game management practices, and culling the population from hunting is part of that.

As for the shooting sports, see Jerry Miculek shoot a 40-round magazine and tell me he isn’t enjoying himself.  This is a man who spends much of his life at the range and participates in (and wins) competitive shooting competitions.

Next, the population of feral hogs is increasing and even lethal removal isn’t enough to control the damage to the land.  Shooting them with weapons is environmentally friendly.

Moving to war (which seems to occupy much of the author’s attention), war is certainly a horrible thing, but that doesn’t mean that having to fight them is evil.  On the contrary, there are good wars, and if your world view cannot see the good in defense of your country, then you should revisit your world view.  You have deeper problems than with guns.

From wars fought against aggressors to prevention of tyranny, you should consider the lives saved by the availability of firearms.  Finally, if you are unwilling to look upon guns this way, you had better hope that your children can safely operate them for when that rapist or home invader violates your space.

Your children are doing just fine playing with water guns.  As for me, I have said before that my own grandson, just two years old, gets wide-eyed and excited when Papa brings his guns out.  But he knows that he can only touch them when Papa is with him.  I look forward to shooting his first 10/22 with him, and I won’t be suffering from any silly moral dilemmas on that day.

Note To Jasmine Rand: Lady, You’re No Engineer!

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

Just a brief note to Jasmine Rand, attorney for the Travvon Martin family, whom I just saw on Greta Van Susteren saying something like the following: “I am more than an attorney and I have commitments to more than just the law.  I am a social engineer …”

Listen lady.  I am a registered professional engineer, and I work with other registered professional engineers.  We have to know things like Calculus, physics, and mechanics of materials.  Unless you want to go to school and take the classes and the tests and the state boards, you’re no engineer.

You may fancy yourself some sort of frustrated social planner or something, but referring to yourself as an engineer or actually performing engineering in most states gets you a cease and desist order from the state boards of registration for engineers and land surveyors.  But then, this wouldn’t happen with you because you don’t do engineering.

I think you’re self important and a little too big for your britches, as they say.

St. Louis Cop Accidentally Shoots Partner While Aiming At Dog

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

From Radley Balko, via WRSA, a St. Louis cop accidentally shoots his partner while aiming at a dog.

An officer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department suffered minor injuries after he was accidentally wounded by his partner Thursday morning in a south city neighborhood.

The incident occurred around 11:20 a.m. in the 3700 block of Keokuk Street, located in the Dutchtown South neighborhood.

Two officers were responding to a call regarding copper thefts in the neighborhood and were approached by what they said was an aggressive dog showing its teeth.  One of the officers, fearing for his safety, pulled out his gun and fired three or four shots at the dog.  One of the bullets missed the animal, ricocheted off the sidewalk and struck his partner in the arm near his elbow.

The wounded officer was taken to Saint Louis University Hospital to be treated.

The dog, species unknown, ran away and police are not sure if it was wounded.

Police are searching for the dog’s owner.

As I’ve said before, the notion that unholstering and discharging a firearm should be the option of first resort is preposterous.  Owners of large dogs (like me) know this, and if police haven’t been trained to deal with animals or are too fearful to do it, they shouldn’t have a job in law enforcement.

Body language, stern voice commands, OC spray and other options can and should be used to handle animals before resorting to killing another living being.  But then, that’s true of SWAT teams and their home invasions too, no?

And best of all, when the officer was down and the other was attending to him, what did the dog do because of the loud noise?  Run off.  I guess the dog wasn’t such a threat after all.

Army Veteran Can’t Buy Rifle Because Of Pot Conviction 42 Years Ago

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

NRO’s Corner:

Ron Kelly, a 59-year-old retired U.S Army soldier, made the front page of the Houston Chronicle Wednesday after he was denied permission to purchase a .22 caliber rifle at a Wal-Mart in Tomball, Texas. The veteran failed the FBI’s background check because he was charged with marijuana possession — in 1971.

Under the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a person can be prevented from buying a gun if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor for which they could serve two or more years in prison. While in high school, Kelly was busted with a small amount of marijuana and spent one night behind bars before he was sentenced to a year of probation. Such a record, under the federal law, prohibits him from exercising his Second Amendment rights.

Kelly, a native of Durham, North Carolina, enlisted as an infantryman two years after the incident that is currently keeping him from keeping a gun in his own home. “I went on to serve 20 years,” said Kelly. He finds it “amazing” that after firing two decades worth of government ammunition, “they won’t let me buy a gun for a misdemeanor 42 years ago.”

I too find this ridiculous, and I couldn’t care less about a conviction for marijuana 42 years ago.  But let’s pause a moment and ask why it’s important to the story that he is retired from the U.S. Army?  It shouldn’t have anything to do with experience handling firearms.  That can be learned.  Does it have to do with the idea that members of the armed forces have served their country?

I have a son who is a former Marine.  I am sympathetic to that idea, and while America owes him everything they promised on a contractual basis, we don’t owe him a mansion on Emerald Isle with free food for the rest of his life.  Besides, appreciation for service shouldn’t be conflated with legal approval for owning weapons.

When retiring California police officers wanted to keep their “assault weapons” after leaving work, I opposed this exemption from the new California law.  If Californians want to be communists, then “special people” shouldn’t be exempted from their onerous laws and regulations.  Similarly, if it’s okay for someone who was charged with having marijuana 42 years ago to own a weapon, it shouldn’t matter whether he is a former Soldier or not.  What’s good for one is good for all.

National Review On Remington

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 9 months ago

NR:

Ilion has a spa; a shoe shop; a trio of pizza joints (Franco’s, Sorrento, and Lombardo’s); a McDonald’s; a bowling alley; and a few more of exactly the sorts of places that you’d imagine you’d find in towns of its size. Pretty much all of the businesses rely on Remington for their livelihood. “That little shoe shop, for example,” Kollitides says, pointing, “makes all of our safety shoes.”

And so Remington tends to get its way in matters civic. “They moved the town so we could expand,” I’m told by plant manager Paul Merz. “See that factory building there? That used to be the center of town.” Later, I’m shown photographs of houses literally being picked up and transported down the street to make way for the plant.

They moved the Erie Canal, too. In 1827, the company, seeking access to the new waterway and to the expanding domestic market, switched from its original location in the Remington family forge at Ilion Gulch to a new position closer to the canal. Business boomed. Eighty-eight years later, the tables were turned: To facilitate the company’s growth, the town altered the canal’s path. “Ilion has molded itself to Remington,” Kollitides smiles.

[ … ]

I ask the predictable question: Despite the plant’s history and the cohesion of the town, do New York State’s business environment and sweeping new anti-gun legislation tempt the company to move? Some disgruntled gun enthusiasts believe that manufacturers should leave states that are hostile to their interests. Remington produces many weapons that are now illegal in New York State.

In answer, I am referred to a statement that was released immediately after Governor Cuomo signed the disastrous SAFE (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act in January. It reads: “Remington will not run or abandon its loyal and hard working 1,300 employees without considerable thought and deliberation. Laws can be overturned and politicians voted out of office, but the decisions we make today will affect our people, their families and entire communities for generations.”

Charles C. W. Cooke got taken to the cleaners in this article.  He rolled over and failed to address the hard issues or press the hard questions.  He soft-pedaled one of the best questions, and was satisfied to be referred to a press release.

Every union shop knows that the company needs to operate.  That’s a horrible answer, and it doesn’t change the fact that union shops destroy companies.  Remington has recently announced expansion in North Carolina, not by any stretch a union shop state.

The labor pool will be just as good and cheaper than a union shop.  And Remington no more believes that New York is reconcilable with constitutional rights than you and I do.  Their press release kicks the can down the road and fails to deal with hard issues.   The notion that gun control can be reversed in New York is a fiction.  The answer is to move and leave New York to the consequences of its actions and decisions.

Their union shop knows the company needs to operate.  But it doesn’t, not really.  The bottom line will decide whether Remington can stay in Ilion.  As for me, I have begun to look for alternatives to that nice Remington 700 series rifle I wanted.  Too bad.  If they relocate their entire operation to the South, I might reconsider.

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