Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Names Palin as VP Nominee

Okay, I really didn’t expect McCain to go this direction, but it’s certainly an interesting choice. McCain has tapped Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his nominee for Vice President. The Democrats are already decrying her “lack of experience” (pot, kettle, pot, kettle), but where does she really stand? A decent summary of where she stands across the board can be found at On the Issues , but for this blog, I’ll only be concerned where she stands on the 2nd Amendment.

Unfortunately her On the Issues page on Gun Control merely says:

“I am a lifetime member of the NRA, I support our Constitutional right to bear arms and am a proponent of gun safety programs for Alaska's youth.”

Source: Campaign website,, "Issues" Nov 7, 2006

That’s not a heck of a lot to go on, but it certainly is a promising start!

Several sources report that Palin is a hunter, but unfortunately there are many hunters who don’t truly seem to support or understand the Second Amendment. Many of these individuals make the mistake that Jim Zumbo made last year and assume that its “okay” to support bans on handguns or so-called “assault rifles” as long as it doesn’t effect “hunting.” Hopefully Palin doesn’t not fall into this group (although Jim Zumbo doesn’t really fall into this group anymore)!

I’m sure Pain’s record and views will be put under a microscope over the next few weeks. She does bring some energy to the McCain campaign, and it will be interesting to see how the race shapes up over the next few weeks.

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

American Rifleman “Top 10” Infantry Rifles

The September 2008 issue of American Rifleman includes a list of their “Top 10” Infantry Rifles and Hunting Rifles. I’ll be the first to admit, that while I hunt, I am not an expert on modern or historical hunting rifles - so I'll let someone else post that list and comment on it. I generally hunt with an infantry rifle (the rifle that, interestingly enough, ended up at number one on AR’s list). Any list like this automatically invites controversy, and they indicated the reasoning behind some of their omissions up front. Some were left off of the list because of limited service history. The M1 carbine was left off because it was deemed more of a “personal defense weapon” than infantry rifle. The Brown Bess was left off because it’s a smoothbore musket, not a rifle. Anyway their list – and my thoughts:

1. The U.S. Rifle, Cal. .30, M1 “Garand” – yeah, pretty much exactly where I’d put it. It’s a rifle that MacArthur and Patton agreed on. It’s the rifle that helped win World War II in both Europe and the Pacific for the allies. I hunt with an M1 Garand, and I’ve always appreciated its rugged simplicity, reliability, and accuracy.

2. The Avtomat Kalashnikov (AK-47) – yeah, pretty much where I’d put this one too. Simple, rugged, cheap, effective, easy to operate, and ideally suited to modern warfare. The most prolific firearm in the world.

3. Mauser 98 – They put the Mauser 98 here largely because it has formed the basis of so many other rifles, both military (the Springfield 1903) and civilian (most hunting rifles use a version of the Mauser action). Variants served through two world wars. I don’t know if I’d put it this high on a “Top 10” list, though.

4. The M16 – Fairly high ranking here, but honestly the M16 in all of its incarnations has served well as the main battle rifle of the West since the 70’s. The M16 still has numerous detractors based on experiences early in Vietnam, but given the modularity of the M16 / AR15 weapons system, it certainly deserves to be high on this list.

5. British Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle-Musket – Used by both sides in the Civil War, the first rifle to bring the concept of “interchangeable parts” to Europe, this one is a biggie, and it’s actually the first rifle on this list that I don’t own a copy of (granted my AK’s are all of the semi-automatic variety, as are my AR15’s).

6. Lee-Enfield – In both its No. 1 and No. 4 incarnations. Another solid rifle that served the British Empire through World War II and beyond.

7. StG44 – The first modern infantry rifle with select fire. Over 500,000 were made by the Germans in World War II (and don’t I wish I owned one!!!). Honestly I think this one should be a little higher on the list. This is the rifle that is the first in the breed that led to the AK-47, the M16, and all those that followed. It has all of the features of a modern infantry rifle – select fire, intermediate power cartridge, and easy to produce. It had more hitting power than the M2 Carbine or any sub-machine gun, and it was more accurate than the sub-machine guns. Truly a revolutionary rifle that made most country’s arsenals obsolete.

8. FN Fusil Automatique Leger (FAL) – Pretty much equipped the non-Soviet bloc world early in the cold war. Designed for the .308 NATO cartridge, this one at this point on the list may cause some controversy.

9. Dreyse Model 1841 “Needle Gun” – This rifle represented an evolutionary step between the hammer fired breech loader and the later bolt-action rifle. The basic cartridge design used on the Dreyse is still in use today, though brass quickly replaced paper in cartridges. It’s truly a revolutionary rifle that played a strong role in German unification (with later political and military consequences), but again, it may be a controversial choice.

10. The Henry Rifle – Only 14,000 copies of the Henry rifles were made, but the rifle did introduce several novel features – the 16 round tubular magazine, the .44 rimfire metallic cartridge, and one was, of course, presented to Abraham Lincoln. It’s a historically significant rifle, to be sure, but is it really a “Top 10” Infantry rifle??? I tend not to think so.

Check out the actual article for the full write- up and rationale behind the choices AR made for their article. There are several other rifles that didn’t make the list for one reason or another; feel free to post your comments!

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Anti-Second Amendment Nightmare Ticket

Now that Obama has named Biden as his running mate, the choice between the candidates and parties grows ever clearer. Like Obama, Biden is adamantly opposed to the Second Amendment. The Democrats won the House in 2006 by moving closer to the center and running candidates who opposed draconian gun control measures, but at the top of the ticket are two individuals who represent a clear threat to our Constitutionally affirmed right to keep and bear arms. The website On the Issues details Biden’s stance on the Second Amendment. Here’s some highlights with commencary.

When asked what could have been done to “save those kids at Virginia Tech” at the 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate in April – his response was:

“What they could have done is three things.

“1. In the so-called Biden crime bill, we put 100,000 cops on the street. I've worked with law enforcement for the past 30 years, with armor-piercing bullets, waiting periods, etc. But the one thing that's clear: We should not have let the assault weapons ban lapse.

“2. We should close this so-called gun show loophole, so you can't go into a gun show and buy a gun that you couldn't buy walking into a gun shop.

“3. We have let the country down in the way in which we have not focused on mental illness. We should know that your kid is safe at college. If teachers determine that a child is a danger, the school should be able to take them off the campus.”

Never mind the killer at Virginia tech didn’t use a so-called “assault weapon”, never mind that the killer reloaded his small caliber pistols several times, never mind that the killer passed a background check. Never mind the facts – just spew typical anti-Second Amendment tripe.

He also voted NO on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers (the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-219 on Jul 29, 2005). The same bill would also have banned lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence.

He voted NO on more penalties for gun & drug violations. He’d rather penalize the law abiding than those “innocent” criminals and gang bangers.

Rated F by the NRA and GOA.

Unfortunately the Democrats have decided to ignore the Constitution, the recent Heller ruling, and good common sense by running a Presidential ticket comprised of two of the most ardently anti-Second Amendment Senators in the nation. Clearly the Democratic party hasn’t learned from the mistakes of 1994, 2000, and 2004. The Second Amendment MATTERS to the majority of Americas, and they’re alienating a huge portion of the electorate with their continued insistence on a platform that effectively repeals the Second Amendment and tramples on the inalienable right to keep and bear arms. This election cycle, the choice is clear.

Until next time!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Texas School District Gets Governor’s Approval on Gun Plan!

In an update to a previous blog entry, MSNBC is reporting that Texas Governor Rick Perry supports the Harrold Independent School Districts policy to allow employees to carry concealed firearms in the districts schools. Looks like we have yet another win for TRUE “common sense” gun laws. At a news conference in Austin, Governor Perry indicated:

"There's a lot of incidents where that would have saved a number of lives."

It looks like the fiction of a “gun free zone” is finally starting to fade, at least in baby steps. Incidents like Columbine and Virginia Tech occur not because of a lack of gun control measures, but rather BECAUSE OF the gun control measures. Creation of a ready supply of unarmed people merely creates a flock of victims which no security or police force can adequately protect.

MSNBC is also running one of their unscientific polls on the topic – and the results when I voted were surprising:

Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school? * 4851 responses

* Yes. Any teacher should be allowed to decide if he/she needs to carry a gun - 60%

* Yes, but only in the country's most dangerous school districts - 5.7%

* No. Guns have no place in schools - 34%

It looks like at least 6/10 Americans have the right idea – though there is still the diehard 1/3rd. Granted, the poll is unscientific, but in the not so distant past even these “unscientific” polls ended up heavily skewed toward the “gun ban” side of the equation.

Until next time!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Finally, a Real “Common Sense” Gun Law!

In what may be a first in recent history, MSNBC is reporting that the Harrold Independent School District in Texas will allow teachers to carry firearms on school property. Individual teachers must “be certified to carry a concealed handgun in Texas and get crisis training and permission from school officials.”

Unlike in many urban districts where the average citizen’s knowledge of firearms is limited to what they see on TV and the anti-Second Amendment propaganda pumped out by the major city newspapers, this plan is meeting with approval from parents. The measure was unanimously approved by the district’s board.

The Harrold District currently serves only about 110 students, and is 150 miles NW of Fort Worth in a remote part of the state. The District’s remoteness undoubtedly was a factor in the decision as first responders are at least 30 minutes away in the event of an emergency.

According to district superintendent David Thweatt:

"We have a lock-down situation, we have cameras, but the question we had to answer is, 'What if somebody gets in? What are we going to do?" he said. "It's just common sense."

Finally a “common sense” gun law that ISN’T an oxymoron!

Until next time!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Surplus Firearms on Shelves Now

Guns & Ammo has released its latest Surplus Firearms issue, and this one is a good one. It’s covering the “Guns of D-Day” and has several feature articles on various weapons. When I saw the cover, it states that one of the “Complete Rundowns” is on the Japanese Type 30 Arisaka. I figured, “has to be a misprint”, they mean the Type 38 – the Type 30 is too obscure. Much to my surprise – no! The article really is on the Type 30 – “the rifle [that] brought Japan’s military into the modern age.”

An overview of the articles:

The D-Day feature covers “the Guns and Gear of the 82nd and 101st Airborne” with lots of good color pictures .

There’s a full feature article on the M91 Argentine Mauser.

Another article covers “The Revolutionary Portuguese Korpatschek” with its unique bolt and magazine arrangement.

“Chasing Villa” covers the arms and equipment used by the US army in their pursuit of Francisco “Pancho” Villa.

In yet another interesting choice, the French Model 1873 Revolver also gets a write-up, as do the Enfield Revolver and the Smith and Wesson Victory.

The Irish Constabulary carbine – yes ANOTHER unusual choice – gets a write up.

In more conventional circles, the Soviet M44 Mosin Nagant, Springfield 03A3, and 1879 Trap-Door get write ups.

Several other articles are in the issue, including ones on the Gras, the Gewehr 88, the Bergmann Machine Pistol, the Cold New Army & Navy, the Ruby Pistol, and the Italian Modello 1910 Glisenti.

In short – there’s a little something for everyone in this issue. As always the articles give a little bit of history (which may or may not be quibbled with), and then go through the actual engineering, operation, and performance of the weapons. Color pictures are generous throughout, and it’s well worth the magazine’s $9 price tag.

Until next time!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Run, Do not Walk, to Your Bookstore

Here in Oregon we have one of the best independent book stores in the entire country, Powell’s Books . My wife and I were there last night when I came across one of their Staff picks, America Fights Back – Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age by Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman. I had to do a double take, as most of the staff picks are fairly left-leaning, and the left has not been friendly to the Second Amendment in recent years. I was therefore very surprised to see a “Staff Pick” that seemed to be unabashedly pro-Second Amendment. I picked up the book and I can heartily recommend it to ANYONE.

Finally there’s a book that covers not only the Second Amendment, but the myths of gun control, ‘gun free zones’ with hard facts that must be giving the Brady Campaign and other anti-Second Amendment groups nightmares. While it’s not a comprehensive look at the case supporting the individual right to keep and bear arms, this one hits the high points nicely with examples taken directly from today’s headlines. The chapters of the book include “The Deterrent Factor”, “Stopping Rape and Abuse”, “Fighting Media Bias”, “Gun Free Folly”, and “The Insanity of Public Disarmament”.

The credentials of the authors are solid as well. Alan Gottlieb is the publisher of Gun Week. He’s also the Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (among many other active roles to protect our Civil Rights). Dave Workman is the senior editor of Gun Week and spent nine years as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association.

This is a book that needs to be read by everyone in America as it deals with the reality of violence and gun ownership in America. A reality that far too many in the media fail to recognize, even in light of the recent Heller decision – to the extent of calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment. This book shows not only how incorrect, but how dangerous their Pollyanna notions of ending the violence by disarming the public are. Run, do not walk, to your bookstore and pick this one up!

Until next time!

Friday, August 8, 2008

World War II Ballistics in Handloader Magazine

Friend of mine gave me a copy of the August-September 2008 issue of Handloader Magazine. You can get a preview PDF online, but this issue is a must for any fan of World War II military surplus rifles. Starting on page 42 is a great article by Mike Venturino on hand loading cartridges that reasonably mimic World War II Military Loads.

All of the usual suspects are included from the ubiquitous .30-06, to the .303 British, 8x75mm German Mauser, 7.62x54R Soviet, and even the 6.5mm and 7.7mm Japanese. Sorry Italian fans, no 6.5mm Carcano or 7.35mm Carcano. Mike details the variations in bore diameter that make hand loading for a military surplus rifle challenging (including the fact that most reloading guides call for .308 bullets for 7.62x54R when most should really be .311).

All in all this is a neat article with lots of recipes and shot groupings achieved with the various loads. I’m planning on trying out some of these (or variations of them) soon as I’m always tweaking the loads in my M1 Garand, Nagants, and others.

Until next time!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It’s Back to Court We Go...

The NRA and Heller are going back to court! The ink was barely dry on the Supreme Court decision ending DC’s gun ban, when DC passed the “Firearms Control Emergency Amendment Act of 2008”. That’s right, ban one was struck down, so they passed an “emergency” act (which they can renew every 90 days to avoid Congressional scrutiny) to dodge the Supreme Court’s decision.

From NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox:

"The District of Columbia's so-called 'emergency regulations' prohibit law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves and their loved ones in their own homes. The Mayor and City Council have proposed a list of regulations that violate the Supreme Court's decision."

NRA-ILA provides this analysis:

“The Supreme Court explicitly articulated that handguns are constitutionally-protected, yet the District's Firearms Control Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 bans all semi-automatic handguns and requires any firearm in the home to be disassembled, unloaded and secured by locking devices unless there is an "immediate" threat of violence, even for innocuous purposes such as cleaning.”

Again, this pretty much says what I said a few weeks ago. DC creates their own definitions to suit their one and only goal – to prevent law abiding Americans from exercising their Constitutionally affirmed Second Amendment rights. In my opinion the DC government and police department is criminally violating the Civil Rights of the residents of DC, and they have categorically violated their oaths to uphold the law. The Constitution is the supreme law in the land, and they’re using it as toilet paper.

The sad thing is that I see no criminal charges being brought against them by the Attorney General of the United States. I see no grand jury being called. I see no indictments being handed down. It’s a frightening time to see elected officials not only flagrantly violating the Civil Rights of their constituents but openly defying the Supreme Court of the United States – and suffering absolutely no consequences. The inaction of the Attorney General and the courts on this issue sets a dangerous precedent, and I hope that in the final reckoning there will be consequences for these individuals with no respect for our inalienable rights and the rule of law.

Until next time!