Saturday, February 27, 2010

Excercise your right-to-carry in National Parks -- very carefully

I've already posted about the right-to-carry in national parks, but NRA-ILA gives you the basic facts plus a link to check on your state laws, which unfortunately trump this particular fed law.

On February 22, a new law took effect that applied state firearms laws to national parks and wildlife refuges across America.

The implementation of the new law, which the National Park Service (NPS) has planned for since passage of H.R. 627 last May, has so far been without major problems. NPS management reports that it has worked with the 493 individual parks, promoting a consistent message on several key points:

  • Under the new law, every park is subject to all the firearms laws of the state (or states) where the park is located.
  • Park visitors must know and obey state laws, including knowing which state laws apply in parks (such as Yellowstone) that cross state boundaries. (For information on state laws, go to
  • The new law affects firearms possession, not use. Laws regarding hunting, poaching, target shooting or any unlawful discharge remain unchanged.
  • It will remain unlawful to carry in certain locations, under a separate law that prohibits possession of any firearm in a "federal facility."
As the sergeant used to say on Hill Street Blues, "Y'all be careful out there now."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Never too old to go back to the ABCs of Handgun Marksmanship

I'm always up for more edumication on how to shoot a pistol right and I just ran across an article in American Rifleman online from Wiley Clapp he calls The ABCs of Handgun Marksmanship
At some unknown point in time, an instructor stepped before a group of men and began to speak about the management of a curious artifact known as a pistol. It may have been a Texan speaking to a company of Rangers who had just received their new Patersons. Or maybe it was later or even much earlier—I don't know, because I wasn't there. But I do remember with crystal clarity the voice of my late father as I stood before a target and lifted a loaded Colt pistol for the first time. His message stays with me to this day: "There's not a reason in the world to shoot unless you intend to hit. You hit when you line up the sights."

...The basic message remains the same—stick to the principles, apply them to the situation. I must note that many books and manuals on the subject do exist, just as there are hundreds of good instructors doing their work for the uninitiated. The message from the good ones is pretty much the same, but the principles might sometimes be organized and/or taught differently. I believe there are five principles: Grip, Stance, Aiming, Trigger Management and Follow-Through. They are the "ABCs of Handgun Marksmanship." They should be viewed not as five principles, but rather as five steps on a stairway to success. See them as a linked chain of controlled and codependent events that produce on-target hits....

I've downloaded and printed the full article and if you're a shooter, I'd highly recommend it. I'll use it personally as well as incorporate at least brief elements of it in my future pistols classes as an NRA basic pistol instructor and N.C. concealed carry instructor.

Clapp's introduction reminds me how fortunate I was to have a father who taught his sons how to shoot pistols, rifles and shotguns. It wasn't a formal education, but it was a good one, mostly in applying the basic lessons from the back yard into hunting. Nothing teaches you patience and the necessity of making the first shot count than still hunting squirrels with a .22 rifle.

I wrote about a few of those Lessons Learned With A Gun a while back on my personal site.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

S&W 'Shorty Forty' is subcompact pistol that may change my mind

Every time I post guns on for my gun shop, my head gets turned quicker than a gawker at a red-head beauty contest.

But this time I will resist for two reasons, I can't afford this one, plus it's a .40S&W, which is one of the few pistol calibers I have yet to fall in love with, believe it or else.

Here's the full description:
Like New In Box: Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 4006 Mk. 3 "Shorty Forty" .40S&W Double-Action/Single-Action Semi-Auto Pistol, Lew Horton Exclusive, 3.5" stainless-steel barrel and guide rod, hand-fitted titanium barrel bushing, blue carbon-steel slide with low-mount 3-dot adjustable sights dovetailed front and rear, blue-alloy beavertail frame with precision-checkered front grip-strap, hand-honed double action, ambidextrous safety/decockers, checkered black composite wraparound grips with embossed S&W logos, (1) 9-rd. magazine with finger-rest extension, (1) 11-rd. magazine. Ships in factory hardcase with sight adjustment tool, Allen wrench, S&W manual, S&W PC manual and warranty. Serial number is KPC0366.
It's a mere $1200, so I'm sure somebody will just have to have it, but not me.

I draw the line at pistol calibers between .22 and 9x19mm, or larger than .44 Magnum. The sole exception in that range is .40S&W because I bought one and liked it until I shot it one-handed with an identical Steyr MA1 in .357 Sig in the other hand.

It was a revelation that .357 Sig is easier shooting than .40S&W. And then I compared it to 10mm and found the same thing, even though .40S&W is a shortened 10mm cartridge, the shooting pleasure is less than 10mm, not more. So I swapped the .40S&W for a 9mm subcompact Smith & Wesson.

But after handling this S&W Shorty Forty, I gotta admit it's tempting. I can't afford it and I haven't shot it and won't, for the same reason, but I will admit it is possible that someday, I might just buy another .40S&W, if I could find one like this that I could actually afford.

The perfect wife comes with her husband to the gun shop

I met the perfect wife yesterday. This guy who's been a regular at the gun shop brought his wife in for the first time. He bought one pistol and was looking at another. He asked my advice and though it was a brand name I never heard of, Hawes, it's a Single-Action-Army Colt clone in .22 Magnum/.22LR and on the barrel it said "J.P. Sauer & Sohn" and "Made in West Germany."

J.P. Sauer is the German firm that merged with the Swiss firm of Sig to form Sig Sauer, and neither Sig nor Sauer ever made anything but excellently engineered and manufactured firearms. There's another J.P. Sauer single-action .44 Magnum in the counter that will be my first single-action pistol if it's there long enough to get to the top of my buy-me-next list.

Anyway, I recommended he buy it. He turned to his wife and said, "What do you think? Should I put it on layaway?" His sweet wife didn't pause a second. "If you want it, go ahead and buy it."

Now fellas, that is the perfect wife. I can't even get my wife into a gun shop.

When we first married, she wasn't shaping up so I told her, "You've got three days to shape up and show me some improvement or ship out!" For the first two days, I didn't see a thing.

Then on the third day, I started to see a little ... after the swelling went down in one of my eyes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sarah Palin gets another gun in Arkansas and rocks the crowd

Paul Greenberg went to Arkansas to hear Sarah Palin speak and loved the whole atmosphere.
But first came the opening ceremonies, which went on satisfyingly forever. There was the old-time music given a new political spin, followed by the Formal Welcome, the Invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance, and then a Patriotic Tribute. At some point we sang God Bless America, or was it America the Beautiful, or both? It all melded.

I love that kind of thing, especially when I realized it had been exactly 89 years and 6 days since my mother, then a feisty 19-year-old traveling alone, stepped ashore at the Port of Boston on February 10, 1921, wiped the dust of Europe off her feet, and never looked back at the Old World -- except with immense relief to have done with it. America the Beautiful indeed. What a fine celebration the evening was.

Oh, yes, Sarah Palin also spoke. After she'd been presented with a souvenir of Arkansas -- a .44 magnum. Welcome, Miss Sarah, to another part of the country where folks hold on to their religion and their guns. The former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, should have been right at home, and certainly acted like it.

The lady not only knew where she was but, more important, like Rose in the movie "Moonstruck," knows who she is. And makes no apologies for it. That's something else her oh-so-superior critics can't stand. Other politicians are so sophisticated, flexible, plastic, nuanced ... that they seem to have no backbone at all. Sarah Palin is always Sarah Palin.

If she weren't an Alaskan, she'd make a heckuvan Arkansan. The accent -- a kind of Far, Far North Side Chicagoan, or maybe Minnesotan extended to the Arctic Circle -- has come to sound almost homey by now. Comfortable, assuring. Maybe because she dares to say what so many are feeling, especially after Year One of the Obama Era, aka the Continuing Crack-Up. She didn't say anything new, and didn't have to. All she had to do was channel the feeling out there in the arena. Which she did.
God, guns and grits, all in one place at one time, wish I'da been there.

U.S. Judge reads the riot act to shoe bomber Richard Reid

I got the following in an email being forwarded around, but I checked it out on which verified that this is the actual court sentence handed down for shoe bomber/terrorist Richard Reid by Judge William Young in U.S. District Court.
Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb in his shoe?

Did you know his trial is over?
Did you know he was sentenced?
Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV or Radio?

Didn't think so..!!!

Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, U.S. District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am at war with your country.'

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young: 'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.'

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will..

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need more judges like Judge Young. Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.

I can't say it any better than that. Rock on, Judge Young, may your tribe increase and may God bless America!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Confessed 'Gun Slut' makes for hard choices on carry duty

Massad Ayoob is one of my favorite gun writers, and lo and behold, I learned today he has the same problem I do, too many handguns and not enough time and opportunity to carry them all as often as he likes. So Mas says he's a gun slut.

True confession time: I'm a gun slut, too.

I'll let Mas explain, quoting his article in the current Guns magazine issue:
You’ve committed the cardinal sin of not always using the same handgun? Well, say three “Hail John M. Brownings” and share a confession here. So, I was reading one of my favorite electronic gun forums, Gun Rights Radio Network, and one member chided another for often changing firearms. The term “gun slut” was used. I gasped… and said, “Hey! Hey! Hey! I resemble that remark!”

My old friend John Bianchi is credited with “Bianchi’s Law,” which holds, “Carry the same gun, in the same place, all the time.” It makes a lot of sense. Alas, there are those whose jobs require them to violate it, and I fear I am a serial offender.
I don't have a good excuse like Mas does for changing my carry guns often. He teaches various handgun classes and competes in various divisions of handgun competition, which requires him to carry whatever suits the activity he's going to be participating in.

My excuse, pitiful I admit, is trying to keep peace in the "family" of 20-some handguns I own. When I'm deciding what I will carry as I start off for a day's work at the gun shop, I hear this chorus in my head, "Take me, take me!" "No, it's my turn, take me!" "Wait, what about me?"

Last week I carried my CZ P07 Duty 9mm just because I hadn't carried it in a while, with the Charter Bulldog .44 Special as backup. I must confess, the Bulldog gets more than it's fair share of carry in the rotation as primary or backup most of the time, just because I like it and I shoot it well. And my other smallish revolvers get their call frequently also, Charter .327 Magnum, S&W 65 and Taurus 65 .357 Magnum, with the former as backup and the latter two as primaries.

Then it's whether it's a .357 Sig day for one of my two Sig P229s or the S&W M&P Compact or Commander size, or Para P12 .45 ACP day, of Glock 29 10mm day, or Steyr M9A1 day.

But that leaves my three full-size handguns out in the cold for carry duty. I've carried my Glock 20 10mm for a day or two, but it's just too big and heavy for regular duty. Ditto my S&W 29 .44 Magnum. With its 4" barrel, it's handy enough, but it's pretty heavy like the G20 and has yet to be called. But I love shooting the Model 29 so much there's no way I will ever part with it.

And I also have a full-size Para P14 .45 ACP which I really like but have yet to carry.

Which brings me to a tough decision. I've got a .22LR slide conversion kit for my P229s that I had to pay for with credit, plus a .45 ACP slide kit coming in soon for my Sig P220 .22LR Classic.

So to pay off that nut, I've decided the G20 is odd man out. I'm packaging it up with it's 17-round mags and 9x25mm Lone Wolf extended ported barrel plus three boxes of 9x25 ammo and taking it to the shop tomorrow for posting on gunbroker.

I've been keeping the G20 on nightstand duty, but I'm promoting the P12-45 to that role because it's easier to shoot than the G20, which is a hard kicker with full-house 10mm loads.

I got on a Baddest Tactical Pistol kick a couple of years ago and bought the G20, but it's come down to it or the Para 14-45 and the Para wins for being as deadly and easier to shoot. For the past year since I started work at the gun shop, I've concentrated on carry pistols and I just don't have the room for two huge full-size pistols at this time. Adios G20, it's been fun but it's over.

Airborne angels minister to wounded troops in Afghanistan

Michael Yon's latest dispatch from the war in Afghanistan reports on an "angel flight" he made with U.S. Air Force personnel aboard an air evacuation C-17 with wounded troops in the war in Afghanistan. The photo above was picked up by Fox News a week or two ago showing an Air Force nurse whispering to a wounded Canadian soldier.
The medical staff never stopped working. I didn’t even get a chance to talk with Major Lucy Lehker because she was so focused on the Canadian soldier, who was the only truly critical patient. When the Canadian soldier began to wake up, Lucy caressed his head, and whispered to him where he was, how he got there, who she is, and what his injuries were.
Yon calls this dispatch "Whispers." Read the whole report and pray for our troops at war as well as all the nations fighting with us in the international war on terror.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Glenn Beck blasts Obama and 'Progressives' with 'Common Sense'

I didn't start out a Glenn Beck fan, but I'm becoming more of one every day. He's the Thomas Paine of the second American Revolution, bringing Common Sense to the political climate of our times. I watched most of his speech at CPAC after coming in late and IMHO, he knocked Obama and the "Progressives" currently in power clear out of the ballpark.

Merdith Jessup at summed up Beck's appeal thusly from his speech at CPAC:
This unabashed pride in our country continues to be the defining theme of CPAC and the conservative movement in America. As Glenn Beck stressed today, one of the most important aspects of conservatism is a health appreciation for America's exceptional history. It's America's history that provides us with lessons from our past and promise for our future.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

1911 pistol vs. Panzer tank: 1911 .45 pistol shooter wins

And it's my blog so if I want to quote myself, I can and will. Here's another hero of the Battle of the Bulge in WWII that I wrote about after meeting his brother in recent years.

1911 pistol vs. Panzer tank: 1911 wins

By John Myers, Internet Photojournalist

The Medal of Honor
1911 .45 ACP

The Medal of Honor is our nation's highest military award and a surprising number of those who earned it since its introduction just prior to World War I did so with the help of a 1911 .45 ACP Government Pistol or a 1911-A1 model.

Perhaps the most famous of these was Sgt. Alvin York in WWI.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest, taking 32 machine guns, killing 28 German soldiers and capturing 132 others during the U.S.-led Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France.

He was made even more famous by Hollywood in the 1941 movie, "Sergeant York," which York allowed to be made on one condition, that Gary Cooper play the lead role.

But as usual, Hollywood got the details wrong, particularly in regards to the weapons York used.

The movie shows York/Cooper using a captured German Luger pistol in addition to his rifle to kill and capture a host of Germans.

Wrong! He used a Government Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol.

Also, the movie shows York with a Springfield 1903 rifle but he actually used a M1917 Enfield rifle. Wrong again! Similar rifles, both are 30'06 bolt-actions, but different models.

Everybody's heard of the famous Sergeant York, who actually was a corporal when he earned his medal of honor.

But I ran across another familiar name while reading a July 2000 American Handgunner article by Barrett Tiliman, The 1911 And The Medal Of Honor.

As I was reading through the pantheon of heroes, I found a familiar one most Americans never heard of, another corporal who took on the Germans with a 1911, this time in World War II.

Tillman writes that in the 75 years from 1918 to 1993, at least 55 Medals of Honor were presented to men carrying the .45 ACP.

This includes 20 known in World War II, a dozen in Korea, seven in Vietnam and, finally, two in Somalia.

The exact total, however, is unknown, as most citations only refer to "pistol" or "revolver" and some famous events do not mention sidearms at all.

As Tillman listed the WWII MOH winners who used 1911s, that familiar name surfaced:

Medal of Honor winner Cpl. Henry F. Warner

"Not only infantrymen used the service pistol in Medal of Honor actions. Two tankers were decorated for their exploits in France that October, and in December Cpl. H.F. Warner of the Big Red One used a bazooka and his Colt to stop a German armored thrust.

"Warner's citation says he won a pistol duel with the commander of a Panzer threatening to overrun his position; the tank withdrew."

Back in the early '90s, while I was working as a weekly newspaper editor, I interviewed the brother of Medal of Honor winner Cpl. Henry F. Warner of Troy, NC, who told me about how this hero died.

57 mm M1 anti-tank gun of the 44th Infantry Division in France, 1944.

Tillman got one detail wrong, Warner didn't use a bazooka along with his 1911 Colt against the German tanks.

He used a 57mm anti-tank gun, a design we "borrowed" from the British, a notoriously underpowered artillery piece which was also prone to jam.

This weapon also offered scant protection for the gunner, who stood out in the open to fire it, the only "protection" being a single sheet of metal to duck down behind when taking fire.

His brother showed me Henry Warner's detailed Medal of Honor citation, which noted that his accurate fire with the 57mm gun was able to knock out the heavily armored German tanks only by hitting their one vulnerable spot as he maneuvered the small artillery piece like a squirrel rifle.

In the end, his refusal to retreat as he kept trying to clear his jammed 57mm while a German Mark IV Panzer tank attacked is what cost him his life.

1911 vs. Panzer tank: 1911 wins

Tillman accurately describes the famous 1911 episode on Dec. 20, 1944, when Warner knocked out two German tanks with his 57mm before his anti-tank gun jammed. The commander of a third tank saw Warner's gun was jammed and elected to finish him off personally with his pistol. Bad mistake.

Warner outshot the German in a pistol duel, killing the officer with his 1911 and forcing the tank to withdraw.

Here's a short version of Warner's Medal of Honor citation which covers his heroic fight during two days' actions in the Battle of the Bulge.


Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Antitank Company, 2d Battalion, 26th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Dom Butgenbach, Belgium, 20-21 December 1944. Entered service at: Troy, N.C. Born: 23 August 1923, Troy, N.C. G.O. No.: 48, 23 June 1945. Citation: Serving as 57-mm. antitank gunner with the 2d Battalion, he was a major factor in stopping enemy tanks during heavy attacks against the battalion position near Dom Butgenbach, Belgium, on 20-21 December 1944.

In the first attack, launched in the early morning of the 20th, enemy tanks succeeded in penetrating parts of the line. Cpl. Warner, disregarding the concentrated cannon and machinegun fire from 2 tanks bearing down on him, and ignoring the imminent danger of being overrun by the infantry moving under tank cover, destroyed the first tank and scored a direct and deadly hit upon the second. A third tank approached to within 5 yards of his position while he was attempting to clear a jammed breech lock. Jumping from his gun pit, he engaged in a pistol duel with the tank commander standing in the turret, killing him and forcing the tank to withdraw.

Following a day and night during which our forces were subjected to constant shelling, mortar barrages, and numerous unsuccessful infantry attacks, the enemy struck in great force on the early morning of the 21st. Seeing a Mark IV tank looming out of the mist and heading toward his position, Cpl. Warner scored a direct hit. Disregarding his injuries, he endeavored to finish the loading and again fire at the tank whose motor was now aflame, when a second machinegun burst killed him. Cpl. Warner's gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty contributed materially to the successful defense against the enemy attacks.

Warner's brother showed me Henry's grave in Troy and told me about his childhood, growing up poor, just another country boy who could hit anything he could see with a squirrel rifle, putting meat on the table for his family, much like Alvin York.

There's a lot of confusion among the current generation as to just who or what is a hero. My generation, the baby boomers, didn't have that problem, we had the WWII vets for heroes, like Henry F. Warner. One of my boyhood heroes was Major Dick Bong, the "Ace of Aces" who shot down 40 Japanese planes during WWII in the Pacific.

It's a telling sign of our times that the men and women fighting and dying for their country in Iraq and Afghanistan are not considered heroes by many today. Even the cop on the street, protecting our lives daily, gets little or no respect, hardly seen as heroes.

Another of my boyhood heroes was my "Uncle Howard" Jordan, who really wasn't a relative at all, just a childhood friend of my father's who treated the five kids of our family like his own. He and his wife Lena had no kids, but they often had all five of us kids stay overnight at their home.

And I remember "Uncle Howard" showing up at my school in the first grade and telling the principal he was "Johnny's uncle" and had come to pick me up early. And then we'd go fishing. I remember sitting on a wooden bridge over Drowning Creek, not catching any fish, just having a good time with Uncle Howard. I didn't even know he was a WWII vet, he was just Uncle Howard to me and he was one of my heroes.

Last time I saw him was when I was about 10 and we visited Uncle Howard in the VA hospital. He was in a wheelchair and looked so frail and tired. That's when I learned he was a WWII vet. Not long after, he died.

My dad told me that Uncle Howard had to bail out of a damaged airplane over the desert in North Africa in WWII and landed in a huge cactus patch. He wasn't rescued until several days later, still trapped in the cactus. One of those cactus spines finally worked its way into his heart many years later and killed him, my daddy told me. He also told me that every now and then after the war, Uncle Howard would go "barking mad" and howl at the moon. But he never hurt anybody. Uncle Howard never won the Medal of Honor, but he was a hero to me.

One of my favorite preachers, Ravi Zacharias, tells the story of a 3rd grade teacher who asked her class of 8- and 9-year-olds to list three people who were their heroes. One listed Michael Jackson, Madonna and Boy George (which Zacharias notes "covers all three sexes.")

But a disturbingly high number listed themselves as their own hero. Such is the result of the current educational trend to boost "self-esteem" as the most important classroom goal. Perhaps that's why there's such a strange set of heroes for the current generation.

Two G.I. riflemen who fought and won in the Battle of the Bulge

I love history and military history is right at the top of my list. Reading about the G.I. riflemen who stopped the last gasp of the Nazi war machine at the Battle of the Bulge starting just before Christmas 1944 and extending into January 1945 has always been fascinating to me.

Gen. George Patton, who was billed as one of the heroes of that battle for leading his tanks to rescue the surrounded paratroopers at Bastogne, knew who the real heroes of the battle were when he said a G.I. armed with an M1 Garand was the most potent weapon on the battlefield.

From the current issue of American Rifleman, here's the story of two of those now-forgotten riflemen in The Men & Guns of the Battle of the Bulge.

The first G.I. took part in a bayonet charge in the fog, the second one started a battle with his Garand and finished it with an MP40 submachine pistol captured from a dead German soldier. Neither would quit until the job was done.
In early January 1945, an Allied counter-offensive struck the salient and produced still more intense combat in the bitter cold. At this time, the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division fighting on the north shoulder of the “Bulge” near Trois Ponts. Pvt. Joe M. Cicchinelli of A Company, 551st was one of those cold, shivering paratroopers, and he looked on as the men of B Company began an attack on the village of Dairomont on Jan. 4, 1945. When that attack ran into enemy machine guns concealed by heavy mist and fog, it began to stall. Cicchinelli’s platoon leader quickly realized that blindly firing into the mist might result in friendly fire casualties, so he gave the only command that made sense: “Fix bayonets!” Cicchinelli obediently drew his bayonet from its scabbard and mounted it on the lug at the muzzle of his M1 Garand rifle. At the command of “Charge,” they all rushed toward the Germans yelling and shouting. “We reached the enemy position, and leaped from foxhole to foxhole, thrusting our bayonets into the startled Germans,” Cicchinelli recalled. It was over in minutes and 64 enemies lay dead on the battlefield. Dairomont had been captured by a handful of determined American riflemen at the point of the bayonet.

Meanwhile on the opposite side of the “Bulge” salient, the 80th Infantry Division attacked the left flank of the German Seventh Army near Ettlebruck, Luxembourg. On Jan. 8, the 1st Battalion, 394th Infantry advanced to a plateau three miles southeast of the city of Wiltz with B Company occupying the tiny farming village of Dahl. As the company moved in, a nine-man squad lead by Staff Sgt. Day G. Turner was sent to establish a flank outpost at Am Aastert, a farm on the northeastern edge of the village. There, Turner’s men dug foxholes in the frozen pasture facing north toward the neighboring village of Nocher, less than a mile away across a gently sloping ravine.

Shortly before noon, German artillery began to fall on Am Aastert and enemy infantry advanced from Nocher into a stand of pine trees in the ravine. When the enemy emerged from the tree line and charged uphill toward the farm, Turner’s men began to drop them with accurate fire from their M1 rifles at 300 yards. Having failed with the first attack, the Germans pounded the farm again with a mortar and rocket barrage that drove the nine Americans from their foxholes and into the farm house.

Under the cover of the renewed barrage, enemy infantry attempted to cross the ravine and overrun Am Aastert again. This time, Turner and his men directed accurate rifle fire on them from open windows on the second floor—repulsing the second assault with heavy German losses. Undeterred, the Germans sent forward a third assault, this time with tank support. The enemy quickly stampeded toward Am Aastert as accurate mortar fire rained down around the house, killing one of Turner’s men. When German infantry finally reached the farm, the mortar fire lifted, and they closed in on the eight surviving Americans.

From his position on the second floor, Turner heard a German voice order some of the troops to charge the building. Determined to keep them out, he rushed to the top of the stairs and fired into a mass of five Germans as they attempted to climb them. But his Garand only gave him two shots and then locked open with a ping as the empty en bloc clip ejected from the rifle. The survivors pushed the bodies of the two dead aside and continued climbing the stairs toward Turner with his now-empty rifle. Out of ammunition, the 24-year-old staff sergeant reached for the closest object that could be used as a weapon: a nearby oil lamp. Turner hurled the lamp down the stairs at his antagonists, and when it shattered it engulfed them in flames. They immediately fled the building on fire, but then a second wave of attackers rushed in.

Turner tossed a grenade down the stairs toward them and dashed into another room to shelter himself from the explosion. After the blast, Germans stormed into the hallway of the second floor and Turner met them in the doorway where he bayoneted two of them before they could raise their weapons. Turner then grabbed an MP40 from one of the dead Germans and used it as he fought from room to room. Although five of his men had been wounded, he refused to surrender and led the remaining two unwounded soldiers as they mopped up what was left of the German assault force.

When they emerged from the house, they found dazed and wounded Germans anxious to surrender—25 in all. The bodies of 11 German dead littered the farm—most killed by Turner himself. His exceptional actions ultimately resulted in Turner being awarded the Medal of Honor on June 28, 1945, but he never wore it or knew he had received it. One month to the day after his heroic actions at Am Aastert, Turner was killed in action.

By the end of January, the Bulge salient had been reduced, and American lines returned to where they had been before the Germans launched their offensive. It was the largest battle that the U.S. Army fought during the Second World War, and the cost was enormous, with 19,000 killed in action and almost 50,000 wounded. The German casualties were even worse: 91,000 killed, wounded and missing. But for all the enormity of it, the Bulge was very much a rifleman’s battle where soldiers such as Joe Cicchinelli and Day Turner marked the difference between defeat and victory.

As the Hebrews Chapter 11 says of the heroes of the faith, the world is not worthy of such men. One of them survived, Pvt. Joe M. Cicchinelli, and he will be at the NRA Annual Meeting in May in Charlotte and I hope to meet him there and thank him for his service to our nation.

Pair of subcompact 9mms provide hi-capacity pocket power

Paul Heliniski at GunsAmerica Forums thinks like me, which makes him practically a genius when it comes to carry guns. He writes he used to feel comfortable carrying a 5-shot S&W .38 Special snubby and then Katrina, 9/11 and other disastrous events in life changed his thinking.

Now he prefers small subcompact pistols that will shoot more than five times and he reviews his top two picks. I don't own either of these, but hope that either or both are in my future.
The Beretta Px4 Subcompact and the Springfield Armory XD9 Subcompact both come in just under two pounds fully loaded with (count em) 14 rounds of 9mm. They represent what I feel is the next generation of pocket pistol. Both are manageable weight for front pocket carry if you wear a belt, and with a pocket holster they both draw smoothly, with no snags.
Here's a couple of videos he made shooting both these pocket pistols, the Beretta PX4 9mm SC:

And here's the Springfield XD9 Subcompact:

Shooting back and ending a gunfight -- without dying in the process

Jim Higginbotham writing for the forums at GunsAmerica has some good advice that might save your life if you're ever think you might want to shoot back at a bad guy.

The "Center Mass" Myth and Ending a Gunfight

Surviving a gunfight isn't what you think it is. Don’t let conventional wisdom get you killed. A well placed round to "center mass" in your attacker may not take him out of the fight. Lots of people stay in the fight after "center mass" hits, and some even win it. If you expect to win your gunfight, you have to make sure that you have effectively ended the threat of your attacker. One, two or even several well placed "center mass" shots may not do what you think it will, and learning to recognize this before you gunfight may save your life...
Read the whole article, but I really like these closing remarks.

I can find no real measure – referred to by some as a mathematical model – of stopping power or effectiveness. And I have looked for 44 years now! Generally speaking I do see that bigger holes (in the right place) are more effective than smaller holes but the easy answer to that is just to shoot your smaller gun more – “a big shot is just a little shot that kept shooting”. True, I carry a .45 but that is because I am lazy and want to shoot less. A good bullet in 9mm in the right place (the spine!) will get the job done. If you hit the heart, 3 or 4 expanded 9mms will do about what a .45 expanding bullet will do or one might equal .45 ball….IF (note the big if) it penetrates. That is not based on any formula, it is based on what I have found to happen – sometimes real life does not make sense.

Practicing Dynamic Response means practicing with an open mind. Circumstances in a real gunfight are unpredictable and the more unpredictability you mix up into your practice the more your brain will be preparing itself for a possible real gunfight.

In real life, your gunfight may be dark, cold, rainy, etc. The subject may be anorexic (a lot of bad guys are not very healthy) or he may be obese (effective penetration and stopping power of your weapon). There are dozens of modifiers which change the circumstance, most not under your control. My only advice on this is what I learned from an old tanker: “Shoot until the target changes shape or catches fire!” Vertical to horizontal is a shape change, and putting that one more round into his chest at point blank range may catch his clothes on fire, even without using black powder.

We tell our military folks to be prepared to hit an enemy fighter from 3-7 times with 5.56 ball, traveling at over 3,000 feet per second. This approach sometimes worked, but I know of several cases where it has not, even "center mass."

With handguns, and with expanding bullets, it is even more unpredictable, but through years of study I have developed a general formula, subject to the above mentioned unpredictable circumstances.

  • 2-3 hits with a .45
  • 4-6 with a .40
  • 5-8 with a 9mm

With a revolver, the rounds are not necessarily more effective but I would practice shooting 3 in a .38 or .357 merely because I want 3 left for other threats. Not that those next three won’t follow quickly if the target hasn’t changed shape around my front sight blade. A .41, .44 or .45 Colt I would probably drop to two. Once again, they are not that much more effective than a .45 Auto but I don’t have the bullets to waste.

In any case, I want to stress the part that it is more about how you shoot than what you shoot, within reason. It is also more about the mindset and condition of the subject you are shooting which is not under your control. Take control – buy good bullets and put them where they count the most! And remember “anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting a whole lot!” (but please stop when the threat is cancelled, we don’t advocate “finishing shots”).

And here's Higginbotham on video with some "dynamic response" training.

Cartoons of the Day: "Tell ol' Pharoah, 'Let my people go!'"

Friday, February 19, 2010

Two victories for gun owners, National Parks and Virginia, too

Victories for gun owners haven't exactly been thick on the ground since the leftwingnuts took power in Washington, but today brings news of not just one but two such happy events.

First, the outgoing Bush administration ruling to allow legal carry in National Parks has finally become law, despite the leftwingnuts' attempts to reverse that decision.

The federal government will lift long-standing restrictions on guns in national parks Monday, meaning that visitors with proper permits could pack heat along with camping and picnic gear to most of the 392 parks. The move concerns current and former employees of the National Park Service who are convinced that the move will damage the spirit of the nation's park system.

Depending on state gun laws, visitors will be able to carry concealed and loaded guns into parks, the Park Service said.

And in the great state of Virginia, sanity is returning with the prospect appearing very likely for repeal of its law on restrictions of gun purchases.

Virginia finally is poised to repeal its unusual law that prohibits law-abiding citizens from buying more than one gun per month. It's about time, because the red tape has not had the desired effect in lowering crime. There is no academic research by criminologists or economists that shows that one-gun-a-month regulations reduce crime in either the states that pass them or their neighbors. The laws have merely inconvenienced honest Americans who want to buy guns.

Besides Virginia, only Maryland, California and New Jersey still have these laws. South Carolina was the first state to adopt the restrictions in 1976 but repealed the limit in 2004. New Jersey has had the law on the books for less than two months now.

I'm sure all Virginia gun owners are delighted to hear this. Thank God we don't have a law like that in North Carolina. I buy guns every time I have the money, but I just don't have enough disposable income to buy one every month, as much as I'd like to. I don't wanna be illegal.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saturday will be .22 Pistol Day with 3 Sigs, 1 S&W and 1 DW

The .22LR slide kit for my Sig P229 .357 Sig pistols that I ordered at the gun shop where I work hath arrived and I got a pleasant surprise.

Sig says you gotta order the .22 slide kit for either a P229 or the P229R, with the "R" for rail. I've got both, so I just told the sales rep to send me whichever one they had in stock.

They sent the P229R kit, but lo and behold, it also fits my P229 SAS Gen2, which ain't got no rail, as well as the P229R. I tried it on both. Ain't took no photos yet, but that's the no-R 229 at right top.

Only way to see if the slide kit works on both P229s is to go shoot it, so I will on Saturday. Praise the Lord and pass the ammo, weather report for Saturday here in the soon-to-be-again Sunny South is 59 degrees and sunny!

I'll also be shooting my Sig P220 Rimfire Classic, which remains sans the .45 ACP Caliber X-Change Kit, which is still on order from Sig.

And not last and certainly not least, I will also be shooting my S&W 22A-1, which I fully expect to remain the most accurate and best shooting .22 pistol I've got.

It's got a trigger-pull weight of 1 lb. 12.4 oz. which makes it just about impossible to shoot badly. With the green-fiber-optic front sight plus the handsome and comfortable monkey-wood grip I added, it's got to be the easiest-to-shoot .22 pistol I will ever own, unless I spend a ton of money on some Olympic-quality target pistol.

And lastly, I'm also looking forward to zeroing the sights on my recently purchased Dan Wesson .22 revolver, which I have thus far only shot at the local clay bank with a bit of plinking to determine what brand of ammo it does and does not like.

It's partial to Federal, so I will be testing it and zeroing it with at least a couple of different Federal and American Eagle .22 varieties.

But mostly I'm planning to really enjoy shooting my pair of Sig P229s with .22 ammo instead of .357 Sig.

I love .357 Sig, but shooting up hundreds of rounds of ammo is just a bit expensive. I usually limit myself to about 50 rounds max, if that, when I shoot the .357 Sig pistols.

But with this new P229 .22 slide kit, I can shoot both my P229s to my heart's content and only blow a few bucks at a session. Good training with two carry pistols and lots of fun in the bargain.

We Promote, Protect and Preserve Hunting and the Shooting Sports


Gripping your handgun correctly is the key to accurate shooting

Whether the game is golf, tennis or handgun shooting the right "grip" is critically important to making good shots. Forget how they do it on the shoot-em-up movies and get it right by watching firearms expert Tom Gresham show you how, whether you shoot a semi-auto handgun or revolver.Try Tom's tips next weekend at the range and watch your scores go up!

Watch the video at the link below and you might just learn something about your handgun grip. I sure did.

We Promote, Protect and Preserve Hunting and the Shooting Sports

Facebook persecutes 8.999 months pregnant mom in Pittsburgh

I can't figure out to send an actual email or any kind of message to the idiots who run Facebook, so I'll have to limit myself to blogging about it, but those idiots have got all the good sense of Barack Hussein Obama.

My wife's daughter in Pittsburgh is 8.999+ months pregnant with a toddler she's also trying to keep up with and Facebook is persecuting this sweet lady, who's a victim, not a perpetrator.

Some useless scumsucker hacked into her Hotmail account and used that info to hack into her Facebook account and then proceeded to send messages to everyone on her contacts list asking them to send money to London. Anyone who knows Jess knows that she's 8.999+ months pregnant, due any day or any hour now and about as likely to be stuck in London asking for friends to send her pounds as she is to be sending messages from the dark side of the moon.

But to make a long story longer, Facebook responded by shutting down her account. Then after she waited a week for them to let her out of jail, she started a new Facebook page under her married name. And Facebook responded by shutting down that page too. Nothing like treating a victim like a criminal, is there? So I echo Jessie's sentiment, which she posted on her blog.

Sending facebook a big fat middle finger

EFF YOU, facebook.

That's 2 accounts suspended in less than a week. I can see that maybe you had reason for the first account if you believe that treating the victim like the criminal is the way to deal with things. You had no reason for the second account.

I'm seriously considering closing my Facebook account in protest, but when I poked around this morning trying to figure out how to send them a message in protest or how to close my account, they certainly didn't make either option available, so far as I can could find. If I knew it would deliver a bullet to Facebook, I'll pull an Elvis and shoot my monitor. Arrrrrgggghhhh!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

American Thinker: Ezekiel's Tomb on the Edge of Destruction

American Thinker: Ezekiel's Tomb on the Edge of Destruction

Ironic at the least that memory of a Jewish prophet in exile in the land of Babylon is about to be erased by the "free" people of Iraq that our American tax dollars and American blood of our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen (and women) have purchased at such great cost.

Valentine's Day advice for all married men and would-be grooms

Here's some Valentine's Day advice for all you dudes who are either married or think you might ever be.

Some excellent training for being married is to get an ear -- or any other body part you choose -- pierced.

What's that got to do with being a better trained husband or prospective groom?

Two counts. First, it teaches you to endure pain for no particularly good reason and keep your mouth shut about it.

And second, it teaches you how to buy jewelry, a skill every married man needs to learn.

You're welcome.

Maryland going from bad to worse for gunowners' rights

My N.C. concealed-carry permit is good in 30 states that have full reciprocity rights for North Carolina permit holders, but Maryland ain't one of them. Apparently this enclave is trying to outdo Washington D.C. as one of the worst places in the nation for gun owners.

The Washington Times offers this editorial update on plans by the Maryland gun-grabbers.

The gun grabbers are at it again in Maryland. Next month, the state's House Judiciary Committee will initiate hearings on legislation forcing firearms enthusiasts to register with the state government before they can exercise their Second Amendment rights.

The plan, drafted by Delegate Samuel I. Rosenberg, Baltimore Democrat, and Sen. Brian E. Frosh, Montgomery County Democrat, would mandate that citizens carry a special license while conducting any number of routine transactions involving a gun.

To obtain a gun license, a person must fill out a long application form, attend a comprehensive firearms safety course, pay a nonrefundable fee to the state and wait 30 days for the completion of a criminal background check. If all items are processed properly, the Maryland State Police would drop the license in the mail.

It would become a crime to go to a gun range and rent a firearm for a little target shooting without this license in hand. Out-of-state visitors who might want to keep up their skills while on vacation would be out of luck under the proposal because they would not even be allowed to apply for a state gun license.

The bill would make it a crime on par with murder, kidnapping, rape and extortion for a private party to sell his own gun to someone who has no license. It also would give police the authority to seize the e-mail, cell phone and other records of anyone merely suspected of selling or renting a gun in Maryland without a license. This is an extreme reaction to conduct that is perfectly legal in most states and should be a constitutional right anywhere in the Land of the Free.

It's obvious that Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Frosh are not really interested in stopping criminals from obtaining weapons. Instead, this misguided proposal plainly is designed to harass legitimate gun owners with bureaucracy and paperwork until they simply give up on the idea of exercising their legal rights. Readers should let the measure's proponents know what they think. Mr. Frosh is available at 301/ 858-3102,, and Mr. Rosenberg can be reached at 301/858-3179, samuel.rosenberg@

When the sweet wife and I travel north to Pittsburgh to visit her daughter and our granddaughter, even though the wife's sister lives in Baltimore we do not go through Maryland due to the stupid gun laws of that state. Sounds like it's fixin' to get worse before it gets better.

There are now 40 out of the 50 states that have "shall issue" conceal-carry laws or have no restrictions on carry, like the great state of Alaska, but the other 10 all range from bad to worse, most notable being New York, Massachusetts, California and Illinois, particularly Chicago.

What the powers that be in those states do to gun owners is what the gun-grabbers wish to do to us all.

If you're a gun owner and not a member of the NRA, you oughta be ashamed of yourself. You can join up now as an associate member for free. The NRA has led the fight to get us where we are now, from the first big fight in Florida back in the '80s to 40 out of 50 states now where gun owners can freely exercise their rights of self-defense with concealed-carry permits. (Or maybe it's 57 states in the union. How did somebody get elected President who thinks we got 57 states?)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A trio of Mauser pistols in non-serious calibers, just for fun

What's way cooler than a Walther PPK but lacks the movie fame of "Bond, James Bond"?

That would be Mauser HSc.

Blame it on Tam and Michael Bane, who got me thinking about Mauser pocket pistols. But if I was gonna buy a pocket pistol of .380 or smaller, and I ain't because I refuse to get smaller than my Kel-Tec PF9 9mm, I'd rather have one of the old Mauser pistols than anything I've seen from among the plethora of new .380 pissants now sold.

I shot photos of three old Mauser pocket pistols recently to post them on gunbroker for the gun shop where I work. And they all have much more allure, not to mention being much more shootable, than any of the new pocket .380s I've seen.

The Mauser HSc is the most recent of the trio and IMHO a better .380 than the Walther PPK, which has an awful trigger as well as being a bad hand pincher if you get an old model with the heel-mounted magazine release. James Bond made the PPK cool, but cool don't make it shoot any better.

The Mauser HSc that I shot photos of is a post-war American Eagle version that despite its collectibility is still cheaper than a new PPK.

And then there two golden oldies, the Mauser 1914 model in .32 ACP and the Mauser 1910 model in .25 ACP, or as the Europeans refer to those two John Browning calibers, 7.65mm and 6.35mm. What I found remarkable about all three of these Mausers is their rather ingenuous design for closing the slide.

The slides lock back with no visible slide stop when you jack the slide back, leaving you to wonder, how'd it do that? And then how do you close the slide? Simply remove the magazine, presumably in normal use either reload it or swap it for a loaded one, then reinsert the magazine. As soon as the mag locks in, presto, the slide slams shut and chambers a round. Them Mauser dudes were pretty darn smart, as all German engineers are. There's a feature that got lost in time that oughta be revived.

But I just took the time to show these Mausers off because they're cool and shootable. I have no plans to get any of the three, the calibers are just too puny for my taste.

Maybe one of these days if I ever get around to buying pistols just because they're fun to shoot and have no self-defense or serious carry use.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi assist an old priest on his deathbed

It's an old joke but still timely. Better repeat it while the main actors are still here to kick around.
In Washington D. C. an old priest lay dying in the hospital. For years he had faithfully served the people of the nation's capital. He motioned for his nurse to come near.

"Yes, Father?" said the nurse.

"I would really like to see Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi before I die", whispered the priest.

"I'll see what I can do, Father", replied the nurse.

The nurse sent the request to The House and Senate and waited for a response.

Soon the word arrived; Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would be delighted to visit the priest.

As they went to the hospital, Reid commented to Pelosi, "I don't know why the old priest wants to see us, but it will certainly help our images and might even get me re-elected."

Pelosi agreed that it was a good thing.

When they arrived at the priest's room, the priest took Reid's hand in his right hand and Pelosi's hand in his left.

There was silence and a look of serenity on the old priest's face.

Finally Nancy Pelosi spoke.

"Father, of all the people you could have chosen, why did you choose us to be with you as you near the end?"

The old priest slowly replied, "I have always tried to pattern my life after Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

"Amen", said Reid. "Amen", said Pelosi.

The old priest continued, "Jesus died between two lying thieves; I would like to do the same."
Too bad Jesus didn't die between three thieves and I coulda added Obama into the joke.

A Marine from Noo Yawk City runs for Congress in North Carolina

As a former sailor, I must confess I tried to avoid Marines whenever possible while in service, since they just loved to start fights with us "swabbies." But as a former sailor, I now have the highest regard possible for Marines, airmen and soldiers in the service of our nation. And here's a Marine I hope to see in office soon.

I don't live in the 7th Congressional District of North Carolina, I'm in the 8th, but there's a Marine running for the 7th District seat that I surely would vote for.

To stretch my unlikely admiration even further, he's a Noo Yawk City Yankee but everything I read about him sounds very good.

The article I read identifies him as "former Marine 1st Lt. Ilario Pantano" but any Marine will tell you "there are no former Marines, once a Marine, always a Marine." (There are only two exceptions to that rule that I'm aware of, Lee Harvey Oswald and the late Congressman Jack Murtha. Both of these two earned the prefix "ex-Marine" for their betrayal of all that Marines stand for, faithful service to God and country.)

But back to Marine 1st Lt. Ilario Pantano.

He believes Republicans are as responsible as Democrats for the country's economic problems. Though he served willingly and proudly in Operation Iraqi Freedom, he doubted the Bush administration's justification for the war and criticizes the competence of its execution.

Nor should anyone expect him, should he be the next congressman from North Carolina's 7th District --- held by Democrat Mike McIntyre since 1997 --- to support expensive defense programs simply because they're defense programs.

"If you think the largest piece of the federal budget is not fraught with fraud, waste and abuse, you're smoking crack," he said. "And I am going in there with a butcher's knife, and we are gong to get to the bottom of some things." This will include going after the practice of senior congressmen directing billion-dollar programs into their districts for jobs when the military goes without critical resources.

"I am not a typical Republican," Pantano told in a Feb. 3 telephone interview. "In fact, I think the Republicans have done a lot of things that disgusted me, that have disgusted the American people over the last couple of years. And the Republicans absolutely deserved the comeuppance they've gotten.

"And just because there have been some successes in Massachusetts and elsewhere is absolutely not carte blanche to return to … tone deafness to the American people."

Pantano further earns my admiration by first serving a hitch in the Marines as a "grunt," their term for an enlisted man, then going into the financial business on Wall Street, then returning for a second hitch as a Marine officer. Ironically, an incident in Iraq left Pantano fighting accusations of murder, exactly the same BS that ex-Marine Murtha accused other Marines of committing in Iraq. Pantano and the Marines Murtha falsely accused were all found innocent of any charges.

But his interest in business collapsed along with the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, and he returned to the Marine Corps, this time going in as an officer.

April 2004 found him leading a platoon in Mahmudiya, Iraq, where he had in custody two Iraqis he suspected were involved in anti-coalition activities. According to various accounts, Marines had already searched the men's car and found no weapons. But when weapons were found in a nearby house, Pantano wanted the car stripped down for another search.

Then the shooting started. When it was over, both Iraqis were dead. Pantano said he killed them in self defense. Marine prosecutors called it murder and roughly a year later he faced an Article 32 hearing on the charges. But when witness testimony fell apart from inconsistencies and autopsies on the Iraqis' exhumed bodies supported Pantano's version of events, the charges were dismissed.

With the legal storm over, Pantano left the Corps and penned his autobiography, "Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy."

"My experience has colored and defined and shaped who I am," he said, when asked if the murder charges he faced will play a part in the campaign. "And there is no question it's going to be an issue. All my life experience is going to be an issue. … They speak to my character."

And Pantano believes he can turn those blemishes in his record into strengths at the voting booth.

"I went out to do a dirty job for my country and in the process I got jammed up," he said. "I never broke with my Corps. I never broke with my country. I never said I was a victim. I took responsibility. I did what I did. I killed men in combat and if you don't like it, don't send men to war."

With a few good men (and women) like Pantano in Congress, we might return sanity to America.

Most Americans are mad as hell and ain't gonna take it no more

Did you see it in the news this morning? A new WaPo-ABC polls finds out the law of gravity still works.
Two-thirds of Americans are "dissatisfied" or downright "angry" about the way the federal government is working, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. On average, the public estimates that 53 cents of every tax dollar they send to Washington is "wasted."
Only 53 cents is wasted by the federal guvmint? More like 99.9 cents. Seriously, did the lamestream media need a poll to tell them that Obama and the leftwingnuts in Congress are in seriously deep doo doo with the voting public after only a year in absolute power?

Of course the WaPo goes on to spin the results madly to try to favor Obama, saying the poll also found the Tea Party movement has nothing to do with the decline in public favor and that Sarah Palin's popularity is going down, not up. This crowd could spin poll results to show that a majority of Americans think the Pope isn't Catholic, but that wouldn't turn him into a Baptist.

Victor Davis Hanson explains what's really behind the public revolt against Obama and the "elitists" who are oh-so-much smarter than all us hicks who cling to God, guns and grits.

What's behind the Tea Party protests, low approval ratings for Congress, distrust of the media and unease with experts in the Obama administration?

In short, a growing anger at the sermonizing and condescension by many of America's elites.

In other news, remember all that populist blather from Obama about cracking down on the greedy Wall Street moguls who are supposedly the cause of the current recession/depression?

It's all BS and Ann Coulter gives us the straight skinny about Obama and Wall Street fat cats.

Employees from Goldman Sachs gave more to the Obama campaign than any other organization except the University of California -- with Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase quickly following in sixth and seventh place.

Whatever Obama has in mind for punishing the financial industry, I promise you, he won't punish his friends. After JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon took a $17 million bonus this week, and Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein got a $9 million bonus, Obama said he didn't begrudge them their bonuses, saying, "I know both those guys."

Now, after all that encouraging news about the state of the disunion, don't you feel all warm and fuzzy? Me neither. Go open a window and shout "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it no more!" Or better still, make sure your voter registration records are up to date. C'mon November when we can start cleaning out Congress! And c'mon November 2012, when we can clean out the White House with a fire hose and a manure rake and move Sarah Palin in.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I love the smell of Hoppes/Gunscrubber/Kroil oil in the morning

Went shooting on Saturday with these three new-to-me handguns, S&W 469 Mini 9mm, Dan Wesson 22LR revolver and Taurus 65CH .357 Magnum, so guess how long it took me to clean all three?

If you said this morning, you'd be right. I'm not lazy (well yes I am too). I'm also a charter member of the Procrastinators Club but I can never find the time to send my dues in.

I was too tired Saturday afternoon/evening, Sunday is a day of rest, Monday I worked at home so I can put off cleaning for another day. So finally Tuesday morning I had to clean the Smith because I wanted to wear it. Also got the Taurus cleaned Tuesday because it had to go back into the layaway safe at work until I got it paid off.

So I went to work yesterday smelling like Hoppes No. 9

Then finally this morning, I got the Dan Wesson cleaned too. Better late than never I always say. And I gotta confess, I do love the smell of Hoppes, Gunscrubber and Kroil oil in the morning.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Finally the truth is published about who won the Vietnam War

Finally, history gets corrected. I'm a Vietnam War veteran, serving on board the USS Mullinnix (DD-944) in 1969 when my crew set a record for the most gunfire support of any Naval gunship in the war.

I was a Firecontrol Technician-Gunnery 2nd Class Petty Officer (FTG-2) and a significant portion of the 25,000+ 5"-54 and 3"-50 naval artillery rounds my ship fired literally had my finger on the electrical "trigger."

One thing I've always known for sure, along with other Vietnam War vets, is we didn't lose that war, we kicked some serious Communist behind for 11 long years and then we went home.

A new book takes a look at what really happened and kicks behind on all the liberal leftwingnut lies that still persist today about how the U.S. military supposedly lost that war.
The Vietnam War was a tragic and dismal failure—at least that is what the mainstream media and history books would have you believe. Yet, Phillip Jennings sets the record straight in The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Vietnam War. In this latest “P.I.G.”, Jennings shatters culturally-accepted myths and busts politically incorrect lies that liberal pundits and leftist professors have been telling you for years. Bet you didn’t know that:
  • The U.S. did not lose the Vietnam War—we won it
  • The U.S. achieved our goal—we stopped the spread of Communism
  • The U.S. did not suffer significant battlefield losses
  • The cultural chaos of the 1960s and 1970s negatively influenced the Vietnam War—not vice versa
The Vietnam War was the most important—and successful—campaign to defeat Communism. Without the sacrifices made and the courage displayed by our military, the world might be a different place. The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Vietnam War proves the above and more as Jennings reveals the truth about the battles, players, and policies of one of the most controversial wars in U.S. history. Paperback, 256 pages
I don't need to read the book to know the facts, but maybe you weren't there and want the truth.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

'Spitting Cobra' artillery crew delivers hell on earth to Taliban terrorists

Michael Yon, the Ernie Pyle of our generation, reports from Aghanistan on "Spitting Cobra," an artillery unit that can hit a car-bomb from 20 miles away with the first shot. That's shooting.

More civility from Obama? Doubtful. Sarah Palin in 2012? Definitely!

Doug Giles takes President Obama's call for "more civility" in politics and runs with it in National Prayer Breakfast: Obama Wants Civility Now, Dammit

This week at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama waxed eloquent on the need for more “civility” in the national discourse, to which Rahm Emanuel replied, “That’s effing retarded.”

Later that day Emanuel, in homage to Obama’s exhortation to be more mannerly, stabbed a tarpon in the eye with a butcher knife and had it UPSed overnight to Scott Brown’s D.C. office while screaming, “I got your manners right here, mama!”

When the NBC execs who head up the PR arm of Obama’s political agenda heard the call for courtesy, they cried, “Yes, civility! Finally! We need more of that civility crap and no more of FOX News’ insensitivity!”

And while we're talking about national politics, guess who has thrown the fat into the fire? Former Alaskan Governor and Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin gives the keynote speech at the first national Tea Party convention. This is the entire speech Sarah Barracuda gave, 40 minutes and 27 seconds, and it's what I believe voters are ready to hear.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Two Wessons and a stainless Taurus 65 go shooting on a chilly day

My sympathies to all my fellow gun nuts who live in the snow belt, which this particular Saturday seems to stretch from coast to coast but mostly north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Here in the almost-sunny South it was mid-40s and with a bit of wind felt like 30s, but most certainly not too cold to go shooting for the first time in more than a month. I did wear gloves, but other than that, it was fun as usual.

The wimp who runs the outdoor firing range I usually go to didn't open up today, but here in the gun-friendly South, there's a place beside the road nearby that locals call "the clay bank" which never closes and is also free.

At right are three new-to-me pistols which I shot for the first time, starting bottom left, S&W 469 Mini 9mm, bottom right, Dan Wesson 722 .22LR revolver and top, Taurus Model 65 stainless .357 Magnum with concealed hammer, 2.5" ported barrel and custom wood grips. All three did fine.

The Dan Wesson was the only hiccup of the day. I discovered it to be the first .22 handgun I've ever shot that does not like CCI ammo. I've got a pair of .22 pistols, S&W 22A-1 and Sig P220 Rimfire, both of which are quite picky but love CCI and have never failed with either standard or high velocity loads. Both are not fond of Remington or Winchester .22 ammo.

But the DW didn't like any of the above. I tried two Remington loads, Golden Bullets and high-velocity, Winchester Super-X high velocity and CCI Mini Max, all of which had one dud per chamber load of six. Not acceptable.

But thank God I bought a brick of American Eagle high velocity just because it was cheap. Because the DW loves AE. I shot a whole box of 50 and it never misfired once. Henceforth, it will be fed only AE, though I will try some Federal Gameshock loads too.

As you probably know, AE is the budget brand of Federal ammo.

Musta been a day for duds, I had one JHP fail to fire in the S&W 469, which wouldn't go boom even after I gave it a second chance. In all I ran six magazines through the 469, three 12s and three 15s, including one mixed magazine of four different JHPs. It fed them all perfectly and shot dead on with the sights, so I pronounce it ready for carry duty.

I'll be carrying it as backup in a Galco small-of-back holster with one of my revolvers as main carry, .327 Magnum or .44 Special Charters, S&W 65-3 .357 Magnum or the Taurus, once I get it paid off from layaway.

I've turned into a revolver guy of late both because I like to shoot 'em but also because you can't beat a revolver for reliability. It's gonna go boom almost all the time and when it don't, pull the trigger again until it does.

The last of the pistols I shot today is a quadruple new-to-me. It's another used pistol from the shop I got to try out before purchase and I love it. Its other three new-to-me counts are:

1) It's a Taurus. I am not a big Taurus fan for their virtually nonexistent customer service. But this one seems quite solid, plus it was customized by an apparently talented gunsmith with a bobbed hammer and a very slick trigger, also with a nice set of wood grips with no sign of Taurus logos.

2) It's a double-action-only revolver, which I have never owned before. But the slick trigger makes DOA shooting a breeze, easy to hold the sights on during the very smooth trigger pull.

3) It's also my first ported handgun with three big holes on top of the barrel, which I presume is more of the unknown gunsmith's talented work. I shot four different loads in it, CCI .38 Special +P 158-gr. and three .357 Magnum loads, CCI 158-gr., Winchester JHP 110-gr. and Cor-Bon JHP 140 gr. With the exception of the Cor-Bon, all shot every comfortably. The Cor-Bon was definitely more manageable than it is shooting in my S&W 65-3, but it is still noticeably hotter and harder shooting. I'll stick to the Winchester 110-gr. for a carry load, which shot to point of aim with the fixed sights, just as it does with the S&W 65-3.

It's no coincidence that the Taurus 65 is quite similar to the Smith 65 with the same model number, both are stainless .357 Magnum six-shot double-action revolvers. The Taurus is an obvious copy of the Smith but I have to say the DAO, slick trigger and ported barrel makes it a very good alternative to the Smith. The Taurus trigger ain't as slick as the S&W Performance Center trigger job on the S&W 65-3, but it's close, which makes it very, very smooth and slick.

According to Bluebook, the Taurus Model 65 blue or stainless was never offered in DAO concealed-hammer with wood grips and a ported barrel, hence my presumption of custom work.

Both Model 65s fit my new Bianchi shoulder harness rig like they were made for it, which will be my preferred method of carry for both these as well as the two Charter revolvers, which also fit the Bianchi rig very well. As Hannibal Smith used to say, I love it when a plan comes together.