Thursday, March 22, 2018

It's Not "Gun" Control They Want

This list about the Maryland school shooting has been making the rounds of social media, and it gets right to the heart of the matter.
  • What didn’t stop the Maryland school shooting
    • Maryland’s assault weapon ban
    • Maryland’s 10-round magazine limit
    • Maryland’s universal background check requirement
    • Maryland’s law requiring an extensive application process to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun
    • Maryland’s law prohibiting purchase of more than one firearm a month
    • Maryland’s law requiring handgun registration
    • Maryland’s law requiring licensing of handgun owners
    • Maryland’s extremely limited approval of conceal carry permits
    • Maryland’s refusal to honor any concealed carry permit from another state
    • Federal law prohibiting handgun possession for people under 21
    • Laws against carrying without a permit
    • Gun free school zones
    • Laws against discharging a firearm in public
    • Laws against attempted murder
  • What did stop the Maryland school shooting
    • An armed person at the scene who engaged the shooter in less than a minute

The "do something" laws and restrictions around gun ownership that the left has been crying for are already in place. Honest and intelligent people know these laws do nothing to stop evil people from committing acts of violence. Regulations and processes that could actually serve to keep people safe are routinely ignored by those charged with enforcing them. Our leftist antagonists have but one goal with their calls for "gun control." They are not interested in the safety of children, children are mere pawns to them, a means to an end. Their motive is a compliant, defenseless and submissive citizenry.

The despicable people pushing for "gun control" are in my opinion, no different than the tyrants throughout history who cruelly clamped down on the freedom and lives of others. Whether willful participants or useful idiots, they should be met with utter disdain and contempt. They've already proven how they feel about us.

The violence in Maryland will soon fade from the headlines. Unlike the Parkland, Florida mass killing, the outcome in this case doesn't fit the agenda. The leftist narrative must be maintained, facts be damned.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Six Decades Done

I've managed to survive sixty years of life now. I remember when I was much younger, 60 seemed so old. (And so very far away.) But in the present, it's not so bad. :-)

When I was reflecting on those years recently, it occurred to me that I've lived in seven decades. Now that seems like a long time, so I won't look at it that way. I don't actually feel all that old, on most days anyway.

I'm not sure how I'll celebrate the day. I didn't plan a day off from work, but I did block out most of my calendar, so hopefully the meetings will be kept to a minimum. And the winter precipitation gives me an excuse to work from home.

In many years past, I hit the range on my birthday, but the spring snow we're having will likely prevent that. Fortunately I scratched that itch earlier in the week. I am confident there will be a good beer or two consumed later, perhaps a fine whiskey instead in addition.

And don't think I won't be taking advantage of all those discounts and special offers that businesses offer to us "seniors."

So Happy Birthday to me, and all that. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Monday Range Time

The prognosticators are predicting we'll face a late winter, or early spring depending on the timing, snow this week. It's frustrating when a range trip must be cancelled due to inclement weather. Since I have long been anticipating taking some time off work on Wednesday to spend some extended time at the range, I opted to hedge my bet and visit the range after work on Monday instead.

I didn't quite get the variety of drills I had previously anticipated, but it was a fun session nonetheless. I spent some time shooting quick body to head transitions. I noticed the faster I try to go, the lower the heat shot gets. I'll note that for more work in the future. A significant amount of time was spent shooting while holding a flashlight, as well as some strong hand only shots. As usual, I made use of the fun timed turning target too. I finished my "workout" with some slow distance shooting. Loading and shooting 200 rounds in about 30 minutes time, led to a noticeable drop in accuracy near the end. That seems to be about my limit in a sustained practice without a rest.

When leaving, I noticed this view of the flag flying high above the gun range. I couldn't help but wonder just how triggering that scene might be for passing snowflakes and other leftists. The thought gave me a smile.

My rescheduled range outing was shortened from what was originally planned. However, it so happens that March 19 is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, Patron Saint and guardian of families. The range visit seemed especially apropos for that day.

Now if it doesn't actually snow on Wednesday, maybe I'll enjoy a twofer this week.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Stout Themed Holiday

We were visiting with family in Montana for a few days last week, but like any good Irish family, we didn't let St. Patrick's Day go without celebration. For lunch on Saturday, we stopped into Flathead Lake Brewing in Bigfork, MT for a quick lunch. Colleen and I both opted for their 369’ Stout. The mildly bitter American Stout, with caramel and roasted notes, was made even smoother by the nitro serving. I did go a little "off reservation" and enjoyed the stout with a Greek-themed gyro filled with tasty lamb, feta and tsatziki.

Finishing lunch, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon (meaning I fell asleep on the couch) before heading out for the Vigil Mass that evening. Afterwards, my father in-law asked, "Who's up for a wee dram of Jameson?" I certainly wouldn't pass by a chance to raise a glass with the 90 year old Irishman. He produced a bottle of Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition. This whiskey is aged in beer barrels that previously a aged stout brewed by the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork, Ireland. The whiskey had a smooth finish with butterscotch and milk chocolate notes. It was a mild but quite enjoyable libation.

After our drinks, we enjoyed a delicious Irish-American meal of corned beef, mashed potatoes, and cabbage that had been prepared by Colleen. That was a fitting end to a day honoring Ireland's favorite Saint.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day


It's that time of the year when a Saint revered by many, especially in the Irish-Catholic community, has his good name and works twisted into an excuse to drink to excess and abuse the color green. As a Catholic of Irish decent, and a lover of naturally-colored beer, it pains me to see what this day has become.

It strikes me as odd that this day, meant to honor a great man and Saint, has evolved the way it has. Whether you accept the traditions associated with his life or not, there can be no denying the good he did. (As much as some of these stories cannot be proven, they cannot be disproven either.) Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery in Ireland, he grew to love the Irish people. Late in his life, he was around 60 at the time, Saint Patrick returned to the Emerald Isle to teach and convert the people he had grown to love so much. Certainly that is worthy of our respect.

Odd is it may seem, we actually have to remind people, and pubs, that St. Patrick was a man, not a woman. His name is Patrick, which comes from the Irish, Pádraig. Shorten his name to Paddy if you must. However, we do not celebrate "St. Patty's Day." Patty is a shortened version of Patricia, a girl's name. Feast-related debauchery is one thing, but transgendering our Saint is unacceptable.
So, celebrate the memory of St. Patrick. Enjoy a drink or two and some good food. There's nothing wrong with bringing a little revelry into the world. I like a good party as much as the next guy. (And I certainly appreciate a good Irish drinking joke.) Drink your green beer if you must. Dress up in silly clothes. Dye your water fountain green. But please, remember the reason for this feast. Take a moment to honor the man and all the good he did. In our house we'll raise a toast, and a prayer, to St. Patrick in honor of his deeds, and in reparation for the abuse of his good name and faith.

All the children of Ireland cry out to thee:
Come, O Holy Patrick, and save us!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

President Kennedy on the Defense of Freedom

President Kennedy's Commemorative Message on Roosevelt Day, January 29, 1961.
"Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. The cause of liberty, the cause of America, cannot succeed with any lesser effort. "
A Democrat no less. In the era before snowflakes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

What To Practice

It's always a blend of multiple goals when I go to the range, two in particular. On one hand, I simply enjoy shooting. I find it a relaxing activity, one of the few things I do that totally and completely removes thoughts of anything else; no distractions, no bills, no deadlines, just the shooting. On the other hand, I crave self-improvement. I want to shoot to the best of my ability. When I go to matches, I compete against myself, and am my own worse critic. I don't expect to bring home any trophies, but I sure want to leave the match feeling good and knowing I did the best I could.

Where the decision comes in, is deciding what to do in the limited time I have at the range. There are a few things I try to do frequently, if not every time. For example, it's my goal to spend a short bit of time shooting one-handed at every range trip (and every dry fire practice too.) Looking through my practice log, I realize I have neglected those SHO and WHO exercises the last two range visits. It's not that I forgot, I just ran out of time and ammo. For example, I got into shooting some longer distances during the last outing and spent more time than usual on that.

In a few weeks, I'll be participating in a match that has stages shot in the dark, while holding a flashlight. With few exceptions, I haven't done that since shooting the same match a year ago. So a refresher with the flashlight is high on my list of things to do soon.

I mentioned the pure enjoyment aspect of shooting at the start. In addition to the guns I use frequently to compete, there are other firearms I own that I also want to shoot, just for fun. There's always a decision to be made, do I pack another pistol or rifle to shoot? Or do I concentrate on competition-specific skills? Decisions, decisions.

Neither time nor ammunition comes in infinite supply. The local outdoor range has gotten so restrictive that it's hardly worth the 12 minute drive to get to it. The indoor range where most of my practice is done is an hour away from my home, and that means there are no quick runs to try something new. Trips are generally scheduled, rather than spontaneous.

So, thinking out loud... For the next range trip, starting 50 rounds with flashlight in hand, 50 rounds of SHO/WHO shooting, 50 rounds on the timed turning target, 50 rounds with some other pistol "for fun." But I always want to end with the competition gun, so another 50 rounds...

We're going to need more ammo!