29 June 2010

Prophetic

I have, on occasion, expressed that while I didn't particularly care for President Bush (43) I regarded him as far better than Gore or Kerry would have been.

Yesterday gave me the most concrete example I've ever had.

Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito are Bush appointees and both Heller and MacDonald were 5-4 rulings.

A Gore or Kerry win would have meant that Rehnquist and O'Connor would very likely have been replaced with justices who would not have supported the 2nd amendment. A 3-6 ruling on Heller would have prevented MacDonald from being filed and we would not have 14th amendment incorporation today.

I also note that Sotomayor did exactly as I expected her to.

Thomas did not do what I expected at all, and that's a good thing! I think his concurrence should have been the majority opinion. He seems to be the only member of the court who bothered to read the 14th. The slaughterhouse cases are a bad decision; refusing to fix that because it's been a long time since falls under "justice delayed is justice denied."

Scalia's concurrence can be paraphrased in one sentence, "Fuck you Stevens!"

I hate to mention it after mocking Sotomayor's "wise latina" line; but Thomas has an obvious reason to be more aware of the history of the 14th than the other justices.

28 June 2010

Fixing The Wrong Problem

I recently read that the main problem with Arizona's new anti-illegal immigrant law is that the police can pull anyone over for any reason because the traffic laws are so Byzantine that you essentially cannot operate a vehicle at all without breaking one. This, in turn, allows the police to target brown people disproportionately.

I'd buy this, except... Nothing about the new law changes the traffic laws that the cops are supposed to be abusing. About the only thing valid about it is that the cops may now target people who "look Mexican" with the specific intent of checking their immigration status. But it doesn't change that the cops could single them out before the law change.

If you really want the police to be unable to profile like this, you need to make traffic enforcement less discretionary.

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Spread This Far And Wide

Read the whole thing, then make sure others see it too.

http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2083

The Good News Just Keeps On Coming

First I hear that the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment is incorporated by the 14th Amendment and that it applies to the states via the due process clause.

Then I hear that Sen Byrd has finally shuffled off this mortal coil.

23 June 2010

Of Lever Actions And .45 Colt

I am interested in Cowboy Action Shooting.

It looks a lot like the SCA, with guns.

I loved the dress-up aspects of SCA, but disliked some of the rules.

I don't want to complicate my life with an additional chambering if I can help it.

My Anaconda is in the cowboy legal .45 Colt, so it seems logical to look at that round. I can get just about any cowboy revolver in it, I'd love a Schofield repro but SAA and Rem 1875 are also available.

The rifle is a bit of a problem. In the real old west, there wasn't a lever gun chambered for .45 Colt.

Today, however, there are several Winchester 1892 clone makers and some are in .45 Colt. Marlin makes a spiffy Model 1894 just for cowboy shooting in this caliber. The gun that gets my juices flowing is a reproduction Spencer 1865 Carbine.

Oh, what to do, what to do?



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19 June 2010

Butt Hurt Forever

Sung to the tune of the Motorhead song "Stone Dead Forever"...

Once a gun person gets offended by a company, they tend to stay offended forever.

I've got my own list of companies that I don't like to do business with too.

This is not a comprehensive list; just a list of my personal peeves.

Colt (said much of this recently):Colt tossed the civilian AR buyer under the bus. Unshrouded bolt carrier. Oversized hammer and trigger pins. Front take down screw. Lower receiver block. No muzzle device. No bayonet lug. Some now say that Colt was strong-armed into the decision by members of Congress threatening their military contracts; it sure seemed voluntary from where I was watching. It's also funny to hear people saying that if they hadn't done the neutering, they would have lost their mil contracts and gone bankrupt. In 1992 they went bankrupt anyway. In 1994 they were sold to new owners who dropped almost all of their non-military products from the line-up. Then came the smart-gun crap and the CEO being an idiot. That led to a boycott. They still don't cater to the civilian market. Long gone are their double action revolvers and their other handguns are boutique offerings.

I don't buy from Colt for two reasons; 1. They really don't offer me what I want at a competitive price. 2. The goddamned furry kool-aid drinkers.

Smith and Wesson:
In 1987 S&W was purchased by Tompkins PLC. During the Clinton administration there were many lawsuits against gun manufacturers attempting to hold the manufacturers liable for the criminal misuse of their products. In 2000 the company made a deal with the Clinton administration to become exempt from those suits. The terms of the agreement would have led to some unpleasant effects on gun dealers who wished to carry S&W products on sales that had nothing to do with S&W; so a boycott started. In 2001 Tompkins PLC sold the company to Safe-T-Hammer.

There are still people who will not do business with S&W because of the 2000 deal.

Safe-T-Hammer made many changes to the design of the iconic S&W revolvers. The inclusion of the locking mechanism is what offends most. There is a small keyway on the side of the gun. A little tool that is included with the gun can be used to lock the mechanism so that the hammer cannot move. This feature has failed in some guns to the point where the gun would not fire without major repairs. These failures were very well publicized, but seem to be exceedingly rare.

Many people refuse to buy a S&W with a lock. The backlash from this is large enough that S&W has recently introduced (reintroduced?) models without the lock.

The lock doesn't bother me and while I joined the 2000 boycott, the Safe-T-Hammer people's repudiation of the the Clinton deal was strong enough for me to forgive them their trespass; especially since the people responsible for the deal took a gigantic loss selling to STH!

Ruger:
Where to start? I guess it can best be summed up with two words, "Bill Ruger". He had some, shall we say, unique ideas about gun ownership for someone who owned a gun company. He very definitely divided his customers into government and non-government groups. I think it's best summed up here: http://www.thegunzone.com/rkba/papabill.html at that dead link...

He's dead now. I still won't buy Ruger. Why? My Mini-14 wouldn't hold a zero. There are claims that they've fixed this issue with them, but they are also now more expensive than an AR. Their AR is more expensive than measurably better ARs. Much like Colt, they just don't make what I want at a price I want to pay when their competition does.

DPMS
Most people cite their quality when they refuse to buy from them. I don't like their requirement that I fax a form promising I am a good person and their refusal to sell me a shorter than 16" barrel. Only mil and police departments can buy short barrels from DPMS. There is nothing inherently illegal about owning a short AR barrel. An AR pistol doesn't even require any special paperwork and a short barrel rifle is readily legal to people in most states once they've filled out some paperwork. Flat refusing to sell these people parts because they are not from the government offends me.

Bushmaster
One; they are liars. Two; local sales tax.

I've been lied to them on three things now.

First was getting a replacement part for Geff's M17S. The person I talked to told me, several times, that it would ship "tomorrow". It took three weeks of tomorrows to get it shipped and then two more weeks of shipping. I got told when I complained that since they gave it to me for free (warranty claim) I should be happy I got it at all. Considering I originally called to buy the part; I was pissed off by that.

Second was the status of my lightweight barrel I needed for my SBR project. Since the gun I was cloning didn't have a bayonet lug and would be shortened by 4.5" I ordered a "post ban" barrel. Then the shit-storm from the 2008 election started. After six weeks, I called to ask about the status of my order. "It will be a month." So I called in a month. "Just another month, we're swamped with orders." So I called back in a month... but this time I had been reading about people who'd ordered after me receiving their orders! "Oh, those were preban barrels, not post ban like you ordered." Can I change my order to a pre-ban? "Sure, but it will be like 90 days." Ninety days later, I call asking about my barrel. "We've been swamped!" I don't fucking care, you've been telling me to wait for six months now while I read about others getting their barrel orders filled. (Finally he tells the truth) "We're tooled up to make M4 profile barrels and we're selling all we can make of those so we don't want to lose the money lost while changing over the machine to what is, to us, a limited demand item. So wait us out or find someone else." I opted to wait, but got my barrel a week later.

Third lie was about the local sales tax. They charge state and local sales taxes on internet orders. They claim they are required by law to collect it. If that were true, they would also be required to remit it back to the state/local tax offices. They don't. They are padding the bill 7% in my case and pocketing it. If I want to pay sales tax, I can buy local; from a competitor: Spike's Tactical.

18 June 2010

A Chilling Thought

I've been one to compare the Democratic party to Nazis, Fascists and Communists.

It just hit me: What party was in charge when the US set up concentration camps during WW2?

17 June 2010

I Have Figured It Out

I was reading this: dead link and he pointed out the definition of commerce:

commerce
Main Entry: 1com·merce
Pronunciation: \ˈkä-(ˌ)mərs\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from Latin commercium, from com- + merc-, merx merchandise
Date: 1537

1 : social intercourse : interchange of ideas, opinions, or sentiments
2 : the exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place
3 : sexual intercourse
synonyms see business

Since we are being fucked by congress using the commerce clause, I think they are using definition 3 not 2.

New Sling

Marv took advantage of a great deal on a SIG-Sauer G-LAD (green aiming laser). It came with a leather sling.

He asked if I wanted it, and I said yes.

It's perfect for Jasmine; but I expect her to burst into flames at any moment. The sling is a genuine H&K G3A3 sling (I can feel it hating me because I suck from across the room). The G3 was a fierce competitor to the FAL back in the day.

It's appropriate for my almost Romat clone. Israel used K.98k slings for their rifles; this sling is also German...

14 June 2010

Do They Owe Us

Do the gun companies owe we customers anything?

I was in a discussion where the topic of Colt's treatment of the civilian market while they are flush with government contracts came up.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=500570

CTbuilder1 said: "They are a company like any other. They will do what is profitable and in there best interests. It doesn't mean they are anti civilian. Why is it that so many people feel they are owed something by gun companies?"

I don't feel that Colt owes me anything. I just think that if their best interests are ignoring us for the fat government contract we should ignore them when they come back, hat in hand, for our business when those contracts expire.

I am getting damned sick of hearing what great products Colt makes and how I should ignore their actions in the early nineties. "They were forced to do that or lose their military contracts," is what several people have said about the large hammer and trigger pins and the deletion of the bayonet lugs and flash-hiders, "if they hadn't done that they would have gone bankrupt!" In 1992, they went bankrupt anyway. In 1994 they were bought out. They have not been a large presence in the civilian gun market since. In 1998 their CEO, Ron Stewart, stated that he would favor a federal permit system with training and testing for gun ownership. He was replaced because of the boycott that followed, but his successor pursued "smart gun" technology, something that there was zero market for naturally but got a lot of gun-control people drooling to make a requirement for ownership; who were they trying to sell that to? It wasn't us private buyers.

Yes, you can buy a Law Enforcement line gun as a normal schmoe, but for several years Colt threatened dire consequences to the dealers who sold the LE line to non-departmental customers. There are rumors of Colt refusing to warranty LE line guns that were sold to private individuals. The threats proved hollow and the rumors appear to be false; but your gun will have "RESTRICTED MILITARY/GOVERNMENT/LAW ENFORCEMENT/EXPORT USE ONLY" stamped on the side. That sure doesn't give me the impression they want private ownership of those guns.

I get the distinct impression that their defenders are totally unaware that there are companies like Bravo Company and Spike's Tactical who are making AR-15's that are every bit as good, perhaps better, than what Colt sells.

For a long time Colt's 1911 has been just more expensive than several competitors, not better made.

Their Single Action Army is, indeed, still the standard by which all other SAA are measured, but you could buy two of the next most expensive brand for the price of that standard.

All of this makes me seem like a Colt hater. I am not! I want them to court me actively while they are flush with government largess and act like they want my business too rather than treating the markets as mutually exclusive or a zero sum game where a sale to a person is a lost government sale. It's not true.

There are people pining for the return of the Python or Detective Special. I would love to see the return of the Anaconda. Smith and Wesson is managing to make money selling revolvers in those sizes and there are several other companies sharing the market with them, like Charter Arms, Rossi and Taurus.

SIG is making big money selling a clone of the Colt Mustang! Colt could have owned that market, but they gave it away by sucking up to the politicians.



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10 June 2010

08 June 2010

Playing With My Camera

I've had my Canon Powershot S5IS for almost three years now. I am only just starting to play with the settings that a point and shoot doesn't have.

I also have a nice compact collapsible tripod now.

I swapped out the 4.5" moderator clone on Sabrina for an A1 flash-hider just to see what it looked/felt like and decided to take some pics to play with the settings.

Manual mode. 2 sec delay. F3.2. 2"5 shutter. Without flash.

Program Mode. 2 sec delay. Exposure -2. Without flash.

Program Mode. 2 sec delay. Exposure -2. With flash.

Program Mode. 2 sec delay. Exposure ±0. Without flash.

Program Mode. 2 sec delay. Exposure +1.33. Without flash.

Automatic Mode. 2 sec delay. Without flash

Automatic Mode. 2 sec delay. With flash.

An Observation

Where once I noticed a bit of chaff in my wheat with some blogs I enjoyed; several of them have transmogrified to the point where there's a bit of wheat in the chaff.

04 June 2010

There are quite a few gun vendors that no longer do business with anyone in California. The reasons for doing so vary from person to person, but it boils down to California having stupid gun laws.

In more than one comment thread you'll find a Californian being angry about the seller's refusal to do business with them. Occasionally this will also include a reciprocal refusal to buy from this vendor in the future.

Wow, that's convenient, you aren't going to buy from someone who is not going to sell you anything. You sure put him in his place. Yup, sure showed him!

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01 June 2010

Moment Of Bravado

"Just give the robber what he wants!"

OK. I will.

I intend to shoot him.

It is what he wants.

If he didn't want to be shot, he would not have tried to rob me.


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