Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 41 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]

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

David Codrea:

“A Navy veteran and his wife are challenging a ban on handguns in Saipan, arguing in federal court that the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands is bound by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment” … The right to keep and bear arms is only legally recognized as “conditionally guaranteed,” meaning it’s not. Private possession of handguns is prohibited. All the government allows people to have are “.22 caliber rifles and .410 gauge shotguns.” Naturally, “background checks,” training, licensing and registration are required.

Ridiculous.  A .410 gauge shotgun is good for certain small fowl that would be destroyed with a 20 or 12 gauge, but it cannot be adequately used as a self defense weapon.  Nor can .22LR (including so-called “stinger” rounds).  Of course, my bet is that law enforcement is allowed to have more than .22LR and .410 gauge shotguns.  Some animals are more equal than other animals.

Via Mike Vanderboegh, Army Rangers on civilian land in Georgia.

Back in June, Georgia ForestWatch District Leader David Govus came across two soldiers on foot and one in a pickup truck near Bryant Creek, a tributary of Cooper Creek. Talking with them, he learned that they were scouting out potential helicopter landing zones in the area because, as the sergeant said “the colonel wants to step out.”

[ … ]

In an apparently unrelated incident, I recently happened to be at Wilscot Gap, where the gated road to Brawley Mountain (FS45) begins, when a big pickup truck turned in toward the gate. I thought it must be Forest Service employees and went over to talk with them. But the truck was not a Forest Service one. The driver was not in military uniform, but the passenger who got out to unlock the gate, was. We had a brief, friendly conversation during which he informed me that, “This is a military road.” “No,” I contradicted him, “it’s a Forest Service road.”

This is very troubling.  The Marine Corps has trained before in various civilian venues such as Linville Gorge, and I’ve seen them doing cold weather training at Snowshoe, W.V., during the winter during ski season.  But they weren’t intrusive, and in my opinion this kind of thing ought to be the exception rather than the rule.  Military time on civilian land should be limited.  Recalling the line from the movie Patriot, “This ISN’T the King’s highway.”

Ban all guns:

But in hindsight I now wonder how did that young man get a gun?  Either he stole it, as I assumed, or he purchased it on the black market which exists all throughout America.

This got me to wondering and I realize now that guns are selfish and bring nothing productive to the conversation.

Therefore, civilian gun ownership should be banned.

I know.  You’re blown away by the power of his syllogistic reasoning.  Leave it to me to supply your intellectual challenge for the day.

Gun crime:

Investigators said the burglars took heirlooms, jewelry and cash. Most concerning for Lohmeier, though, are the 45 guns, which included 15 assault rifles. The burglars also stole 1,000 rounds of ammunition. In total, Lohmeier said the burglary cost him at least $200,000 in stolen property and money.

“The sheriff’s department said they’ve never seen anything like this and it had to take hours, so there had to be people watching,” Lohmeier said. “A crew that came in and did this.”

Insure your guns, fellows.  Just do it.  Make that call today to your insurance agent or broker, and get them covered.  Go ahead.  Do it … don’t wait.

Army And Marine Corps On M855 Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

Military.com:

But the Marine Corps and the Army’s decision to use two separate types of 5.56mm ammo is not a simple oversight.

The Army adopted the M855A1 in 2010 after years of struggling to find a lead-free replacement for the Cold-War era M855.

In recent years, troops also criticized the M855, saying it often delivered ineffective results on enemy behind battlefield barriers such as car windshields.

The M855A1 features a steel penetrator on top of a solid copper slug, making it is more dependable than the current M855, Army officials have maintained. It delivers consistent performance at all distances and performed better than the current-issue 7.62mm round against hardened steel targets in testing. It penetrated 3/8s-inch-thick steel at ranges approaching 400 meters, tripling the performance of the M855, Army officials said.

The Corps had planned to field the Army’s M855A1 until the program suffered a major setback in August 2009, when testing revealed that some of the bullets did not follow their trajectory or intended flight path.

The earlier design of the M855A1 featured a bismuth-tin slug which proved to be sensitive to heat, prompting Marine officials to stick with the M855 and also the Special Operations Science and Technology round developed by U.S. Special Operations Command instead.

Commonly known as SOST ammo, the bullet isn’t environmentally friendly, but it offered the Corps a more effective bullet, Marine officials have said.

I confess that until this article I didn’t know that the Army and Marine Corps were using two different types of ammunition.  If I’m not mistaken, the SOST is an open tip bullet with a lead core and copper shank.  It expands much like a hollow point should.

Saying that the better penetrating capability of the M855A1 through car windshields was the reason for transition from M855 to the M855A1 (with copper slug instead of lead) is like a recapitulation of the reasons for transitioning from the FMJ lead ball to the M855 in the first place.  It’s more likely that environmental concerns caused the Army to transition to the M855A1.  I cannot think of a worse excuse.

I will also remark that when I learned of the copper slug in place of the lead ball for M855A1 my thoughts immediately went to barrel wear and loss of rifling.  It appears that this is in fact a legitimate concern.

So in summary, the SOST is much like the .223 pointed soft point for game hunting, except that it has a copper shank.  If a reader would like to weigh in on the effects of the copper shank, please do so (in an educated fashion – and do not allow this to become yet another worthless argument over 7.62 v. 5.56).

Finally, don’t forget the main reason for the lethality of the 5.56 mm round, which is the fact that it is frangible and immediately fractures into pieces leaving multiple tracks through ballistics gelatin.  See the excellent paper Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56 mm Performance In Close Quarters Battle.  It appears that the Army has forgotten the simple things.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

David Codrea:

A significant number of American households own guns, and a significant number of those have disposable income allowing for regular entertainment expenditures. With word spreading that the actors have been going out of their way to disparage the right to keep and bear arms, it’s likely that accounts for some of the reluctance toward giving aid and comfort to Penn and Neeson.

It’s difficult to know details like this, but it isn’t difficult to see the trend.  If Neeson had courted the gun rights patron rather than pissing off peaceable gun owners, do you think we’d be having this conversation at all?

David Codrea: “Cities using work permit aliens to enforce gun edicts and laws against citizens.”  I’m left speechless.

Kurt Hofmann:

Nevertheless, B. Todd Jones threw the yellow flag about a month ago, charging the M855 round with “unsportsmanlike conduct.” He, though, intended to impose a penalty of far greater than 15 yards. Perhaps that’s just what the NFL needed to see from their prospective new sheriff in town.

This may be down in the weeds of things we would like to know but never will.  Was he booted from the ATF for ham handed handling of the proposed M855 ban?  Was this just a great opportunity he couldn’t pass up?  Was this a golden parachute?  In any case, with an NFL increasingly defined by criminals, self serving and obscene end zone dances, and overall thuggery, Jones deserves the NFL and they deserve him.  Both are loathsome.

Useful thoughts on guns and wills.

Here’s what happens when idiots write letters to the editor.  The write doesn’t get the fact that it was only those defined as enemies of the state who weren’t allowed to have firearms.

Nineveh Christians.  This is so very sad, and as I’ve observed before, partially comes from Christians who simply cannot reconcile the person of Jesus with the notion of self defense.  Get your intellectual act together, Christians, before you get run over by criminals, thugs, jihadists, ne’er-do-wells of all stripes.  Yes, this means Christians everywhere, not just in Nineveh.

Guns Tags:

Take Away White Man’s Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

Daily Caller:

Andrea Grimes, senior political reporter at the lefty women’s site RH Reality Check, sank to a disgusting new low Thursday by saying that guns should be confiscated only from white men.

“Suggestion: we don’t have to vaporize all the guns. Let’s just vaporize white men’s guns,” Grimes tweeted, linking to an article about Arizona shooter Ryan Giroux.

“White guys cannot be trusted to use guns responsibly. It is time to stop giving guns to white guys,” Grimes added. ”I mean, it’s time to stop giving guns to everybody, but we can start with the white guys.”

[ … ]

“As a bonus, we can collect their tears for research and resource purposes while they line up to surrender their weapons,” Grimes said.

Hahahahaha … is that the way you think this is going to go down, deary?  You’re going to pass a law to make our guns illegal, and we’re just going to line up to turn them in?  We’re going to cry while we do it?  You don’t get out much, do you?

The more likely scenario is this.  Against the advice of the police, you pass a law that makes our guns illegal.  The police have to enforce the confiscatory policies you learned in your idiotic sophomore collectivist classes in college.  Blood runs in the streets, women weep for being made widows, and children weep for being made fatherless.  The police curse you for making policies they have to implement while you sit perched on your elitist throne.  Civil war consumes the nation, the electrical grid goes down not to return for years, medicines are unavailable, and the economy has collapsed.  The things called the federal reserve and the stock market are but a distant memory of a different time that your children will never know except as told in fairy tales and stories.

You didn’t consider that possibility, did you?  You’d better.

Drunk Prison Guards

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

News from California:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s corrections department has a problem with off-duty prison guards brandishing or carrying firearms while they are intoxicated, the department’s inspector general said Friday.

One correctional officer danced atop a bar while drunkenly flashing his gun several times at private citizens in the tavern.

Another drunken officer pointed a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun at a citizen’s chest during an argument.

They are two of seven incidents since June 2014 that show the department needs to automatically and immediately revoke concealed carry permits for officers caught consuming alcohol while possessing weapons, the inspector general said.

Gosh.  I hate it when that happens to me.  I remember the last time I flashed my guns around while drunk and standing atop a bar dancing.  I remember.  Well, sort of.  I woke up in jail that night.  I wonder if the prison guards did too?

God, Guns And Texas

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

Houston Chronicle:

But by Wednesday afternoon, when members of the upper chamber had spent more than a full working day debating the two bills, the dean of the Senate felt it necessary to question his Republican colleagues’ characterization of gun rights as God-given.

“You believe it’s a God-given right to arm yourself and to defend yourself. I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Is that the premise of your legislation?” John Whitmire, D-Houston, the longest-serving member of the Senate asked campus carry sponsor Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury.

What followed was the most detailed explanation offered thus far this session by a Texas lawmaker.

“The Declaration (of Independence) says we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights and that to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men to preserve them. Article VII of the U.S. Constitution brings forward the Declaration as original law, therefore, creator and God are the same to me,” said Birdwell.

He added, “the right to self preservation and the right to defend one’s life is God-given because of the language in our Declaration and Article VII of the U.S. Constitution.”

Whitmire responded, “And you’ve explained that to me and I do not understyand (sic) fully the “God right” (sic?) … I don’t remember in the Sunday school lessons or in my Scriptures that God spoke, obviously to weapons, or concealed weapons holders.”

Whitmire’s question (and appended clarification) was stupid, but Birdwell’s answer doesn’t entirely stay on point.  If Birdwell is trying to harken back to the Christian roots of the nation, we’ve done that before and there is plenty of basis for showing reformational thinking in the the war of independence and constitution.

But the question goes to the basis for self defense, or what Whitmire calls the “God right” (whatever that means).  The basis comes not from the constitution or any other founding document, but from God Himself, and he answers to no one.  His laws have a deontological flavor (see Divine Command Theory).  He refers to no one outside Himself for notions of right and wrong, and when He speaks, it is right because He has spoken it and it follows the nature of His character, which is itself good.  Simply said, God doesn’t need the constitution, and neither do we need it to tell us it is okay to seek and employ means of self defense.  To the extent that either the U.S. or Texas constitutions don’t follow the rights delineated in the Holy Scriptures, they are evil and must be amended or ignored.

As for what the Holy Scriptures have said, we’ve also discussed that.  It is all based on the fact that God created mankind in His image.  As I’ve summarized before:

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless.  “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.”  I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

Self preservation goes beyond a right.  It is a duty, as much of a duty as protection of the little ones.  It is so because man is made in God’s image.  Life is thus sacred, holy, and set apart.  That Whitmire doesn’t understand this means only that he is stolid and hasn’t understood anything he has read from the Scriptures, or that he is a liar and hasn’t really read the Scriptures like he claims.

The next steps to things like open carry require a bit of thought, as I have pointed out to Professor Eugene Volokh.

… carrying concealed means that the weapon can get hung on shirts, pants, and other clothing, and certainly means a delay in presenting the weapon due to the need to remove the offending clothing in order to get to the weapon) …

And if this isn’t an infringement of rights, then at what point does it become so?  Can the law require us to have one hand tied behind our back?  If seems a silly question, and how about one to which the courts would no doubt be more amenable?  Would it infringe on our rights if the law required us to have our weapons unloaded, regardless of method of carry?  Or would it infringe on our rights if the law required us to have two or more garments covering a weapon in order to ensure that we had no inadvertent flashing of the weapon if we bend over or in a stiff wind?

Some of us open carry for reasons other than making a statement.  As for the protests, making a statement to politicians is only necessary when the politicians are dense and relentlessly recalcitrant concerning rights.  It’s time for the politicians in Texas to do the right thing and honor God-given rights.  As for the slower ones like Whitmire, Sunday School is usually held every Sunday.

Guns Tags:

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

David Codrea:

The report, while as yet not corroborated, is consistent with information Gun Rights Examiner has been investigating, including by attempting earlier today to obtain confirmation from ATF.

“FFLGuard has learned from unconfirmed sources that current ATF Director B. Todd Jones will be stepping down by the end of the month, and perhaps even sooner,” the alert reports. “Rumor is that Jones will be making a move from guns to sports, as a lawyer for the National Football League. The good news is that the ‘acting’ personnel who will be elevating to higher positions, albeit temporarily, have historically been receptive to the concerns of FFLs.”

David cites other sources as well.  I cannot confess to having any personal concern for the man whatsoever.  He could get run over by a truck tomorrow and I wouldn’t so much as blink.  As for his departure, this is a good thing.  The more the ATF stays in disarray and without a leader at the helm to direct it in the implementation of its onerous, bureaucratic overburden to American patriots, the better.

Kurt Hofmann:

But a larger point is that in claiming that the current law–banning ammunition by virtue of its construction–is inadequate, because an infinitude of ammo not so constructed is equally capable of penetrating body armor, they are tacitly admitting what gun rights advocates have been saying since the attempt to ban the M855 came to light. That round has no special “armor piercing” capability. Reps. Israel and Speier must know this, but that did not stop them from railing against the decision to shelve the M855 ban proposal.

They lamented the demise of the green tip ban and blamed it on the ATF, and then turned around and admitted that they need to include all other sorts of ammunition within the scope of the ban.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

Gunsmithing the Kurds:

In their fight against ISIS, the Kurdish army known as Peshmerga has a secret weapon – a second-generation gunsmith so skilled he can practically turn a bucket of rusty bolts into a killing machine for the rugged, but cash-strapped, fighting force.

Bakhtiar Aziz works in a dimly lit basement shop in Erbil, refurbishing guns taken from the enemy, bringing broken and even decades-old firearms back to life and helping to outfit an army as short on weapons as it is long on heart. On a recent day, he inspected an M-16A4 assault rifle badly damaged in a coalition airstrike. Pocked with holes, missing a large section of the barrel and with human hair wedged in its moving parts, the gun was found by Peshmerga soldiers near the town of Gwer.

[ … ]

As he used a drill to grind away at burrs on a recovered gun, Aziz said his trade will be in demand, even when, he hopes, ISIS is defeated.

“Weapons always get broken,” he said. “That’s why I have to repair them.”

Well, just to be clear, an armorer changes parts.  A gunsmith can take a block of metal and fabricate a 1911 out of it.  I wish I had all of these skills, but engineers can only tell the machinists what to do.  We usually can’t do it ourselves.  I spent precious little time on a lathe in a course called “Manufacturing Processes,” and it wasn’t a programmable lathe (think 35 years ago).

But also to be clear to the totalitarians among us, you can never remove weapons from the people.  There will always be a way to defend ourselves and hold tyrants accountable.

Guns Tags:

Tips For Flying With Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

LEX18.com:

Officials at Blue Grass Airport say they are dealing with higher numbers of weapons found in luggage. TSA officials came to talk to talk about the right ways to travel the US skies.

As a nation last year a record 200,030 guns were discovered at checkpoints. Nine of those were found at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington.

A TSA spokesman says that people travelling with a firearm need to put it in a hard case unloaded. Any ammo needs to be in its own container inside that hard case.

The case must be locked and left at the ticket counter. Never bring it through TSA checkpoint.

If you are planning on flying with a weapon and you have questions you can ask a ticket counter agent or TSA agent in the airport.

This sounds like good advice, and after reading the TSA rules for flying with guns and ammunition, I too thought that they wanted ammunition in the same locked box with the firearm.

My wife and I took a recent trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and boarded the aircraft in Charlotte and Jackson with a firearm and ammunition.  The firearm needs to be in a locked case such as a Nanovault (which worked well for my purposes).  I have read other web sites that recommended against use of a TSA approved lock on the basis that anyone could get into it and that’s what they want to protect against.

That’s bad advice, don’t follow it.  Nanovaults have TSA locks.  Your local gun shop can also sell you TSA approved locks (as well as other hard cases).  You announce at luggage check-in that you want to check a firearm, and the airline employee will ask you to certify by signature that the firearm is unloaded.  More than likely, they won’t even ask to look at or examine the gun.  You sign, you re-lock your box, and you’re on your way.

Except I had ammunition in the Nanovault and American Airlines requested that I remove it and place it in the luggage away from the firearm.  You see, even now, flying with firearms isn’t as straight forward as you might think, and airline employees apparently have a different understanding of the rules than do I.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

David Codrea:

As for the first part of his statement, it’s funny he prefaced it with “But I’ll be honest with you,” and then failed to mention who has done comparison shopping in such neighborhoods and then reported which purchase offered more quantity and variety selections, was quicker, easier, less expensive and scary, and carried fewer inherent risks. It’s also funny he failed to mention why that was the fault of gun owners, and where he got the talking point from.

Barry is a liar, and he’s not very creative either.  He has to use the lies created by other people in order to have talking points.  It’s a far cry from his lofty rhetoric and prediction of the cessation of the “rising of the tides” with his advent.  David has written a good article and vetted Obama’s sources on this one.  I find it amusing when we know their tricks.  Similarly, their astroturfing has been such an abysmal failure that it does more for our side than theirs.  Read all of David’s piece.

Kurt Hofmann:

This unimaginably courageous man, “armed” only with a shopping bag, is one of CSGV’s despised “insurrectionists”? Granted, one could make the case that refusing to meekly surrender to the government’s unlimited coercive force is indeed “insurrectionist” behavior, even when unarmed, and thus doomed. The Chinese government no doubt believes it was. But isn’t that a good thing–something to be admired, even revered?

Very good catch, Kurt.  Go read what Kurt is talking about.  And no, CSGV couldn’t care less about ending totalitarianism’s rule over the people, leading to such things as the murder of children under the still-enforced one-child policy.  As long as the collective is unhindered in its aims, then the CSGV is happy.  That says all sorts of remarkably bad, ugly, obscene things about Josh Horwitz, doesn’t it?

From Glenn Reynolds, backyard grilling targeted by the EPAGlenn responds, I’M INCREASINGLY IN FAVOR OF BACKYARD TARRING-AND-FEATHERINGS THAT TARGET THE EPA.  David Codrea also notes this today.

Yes, tar and feathers.  It seems to me that it’s past time for disobedience and threats.  Until the federal government has a healthy fear of the people, they will continue to perpetrate this sort of obscenity.

More Chris Christie On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

News from the great Northeast:

Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who survived being shot in the head by a disturbed gunman in 2011, met with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday as part of a push for state legislators to pass stronger laws to protect women and families from gun violence.

Before the meeting at the state house in Trenton, N.J., Giffords participated in a roundtable discussion about the issue with several women leaders and advocates including state Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Gabby Mosquera, both Democrats.

Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey have introduced legislation that would mandate domestic abusers to surrender their guns if they are convicted of domestic abuse or if a domestic violence restraining order is in effect. Christie, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has not made his position on the legislation known.

“Dangerous people with guns are a threat to women. That makes gun violence a women’s issue – for mothers, for families, for me and you,” said Giffords at the event.

The specifics of Christie’s private meeting with Giffords were not made public. But the governor’s spokesman, Kevin Roberts, said “Governor Christie has incredible respect and admiration for the courage and perseverance of former Congresswoman Giffords and he was honored to have the opportunity to meet with her this afternoon and discuss domestic violence and gun violence issues.”

Ms. Giffords has lied concerning guns all over America, is the leading tool for the gun grabbers, does their bidding without shame, and if she had her way no one in America, save the elite and government goons, would have weapons of any kind.

And yet Chris Christie says he has “incredible respect and admiration for the courage and perseverance of former Congresswoman Giffords and he was honored to have the opportunity to meet with her.”  While sending his propagandist out to vomit moralistic, supposedly neutral, platitudinous goo designed not to offend anyone, he yet again reveals more of himself than he intended.  He admires gun grabbers and collectivist tools, or if he doesn’t really, he’s a liar.

Do you really need to know any more than that about Chris Christie?


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