Category Archives: Uncategorized

Headshot at 100 Yards… With a 1911

We’ve mentioned before the old Paul Poole / Sandy Ballard trick of nailing target after target with a .45 at 100m, which they used as a way to wake up us young pups in SOT and make us pay attention. It was more of a stunt than something combat-useful, but it made us realize that those old guys (Hell, Poole was a SOG and Son Tay vet who must have been in his 40s, ancient!) had some powerful tricks to treat us new dogs. Here’s three missed shots until the fourth goes “ding!” at 100 yards. You can do learn to do this.

And it is a huge confidence builder with your pistol when you do.

The video is from a trainer named Israel “Ish” Beauchamp, who commented on our site and thereby incentivized us go look him up. We don’t know the guy, but he’s s cop who’s been plowing the fields of PSD work and training for years now, and we liked his video for these reasons:

  • It shows you what can be done with a non-magical, ordinary service pistol. (Can’t do this? Then you need to train more).
  • It’s directly focused on the matter at hand, unlike videos that ramble or digress.
  • It’s completely absent the bluster and self-promotion that some YouTube “stars” indulge in.
  • Dude knows how to stay on point, and to edit a video.

Unlike that famous ex-PSD legend-in-his-own-mind on YouTube, we get the impression that Ish is a grown-up who would be great to take a class with, no matter whether you’re an ace shooter, a pro with some too-long-off-the-range rust on him, or a novice wondering what all those gadgets on the left side of your .45 actually do. 

In Case of Blizzard, Keep Calm and Shovel On

keep-calm-and-shovel-on-112The local TV stations are predicting that we’re going to get hammered with snow and wind, maybe 7 or 10 or 31 inches of the white stuff in 40 or 50 or 70 knot winds. The reporters are reporting this with the sort of glee that sportscasters everywhere but New England have lavished on Tom Brady’s undersized balls lately.

Now, this may be nothing much. After all, a big storm is to local TV what a missing plane is to CNN, or a lost blonde somewhere to Fox News: an excuse to cover it like the NSA monitors on Eric Holder’s enemies list. So some percentage of the storm predictions are simply wishful thinking by TV newspeople, the kind of dysfunctional humans who might set kittens on fire for the entertainment value of watching them burn. We looked at the aviation weather forecast and it looks like a bad-end-of-normal winter storm to us.

For the love of Mike, that’s what happens in wintertime: it gets cold, and precipitation comes down in the solid state of matter, to wit, snow. You’d think snow had never fallen this side of Narsarssuaq before, from the caterwauling and carrying on in the media.

But Here’s Something to Read if We Get Snuked1

But what if we do get snuked, and wind up off the air? How will you ever fill your blog-reading hours? Well, we have a few posts that will post on schedule. And in addition to those, we can send you over to this massive index post at The Firearm Blog:

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/01/23/shot-show-complete-round-posts-show/

In which, they link to all one-hundred-sixty-nine of TFB’s SHOT Show posts. Now, they run the gamut from stuff we’re kind of interested again to yawn-another-AR to things that make you just go, “Huh?” (Like the fact that you can have an artificially-distressed finish put on your gun to conceal the fact you’re a total poser. Yes, really). But no matter who you are, you’ll find something you like. We liked the Colt 1918 Self-Loading Rifle, a license-production Ohio Ordnance BAR with Colt markings and a deep, rich blue finish. We didn’t like the price tag quite so much ($8,799) but we reckon the entire batch will sell. (That means 1,000, netting Colt a topline of nearly $9 million, a lot of which will stick to retailer and jobber fingers).

Colt 1918 SLR TFB

If your taste runs more in the Teutonic direction, then Ian McCollum, familiar from his Forgotten Weapons home base but wearing his TFB hat for this report, tells us that new MP-44s and MP-38s are really, no kidding, no fooling, coming from Germany to the USA, and they’ve already cleared the significant hurdle of ATF tech approval for import. (Of course, it’s not as if their word, even in writing, means anything, as their volte-face on the SIG brace shows). Anyway, here’s the MP-38. Just looking at it gives us an urge to storm Eben Emael.

elbemp38

Now, not everyone gets the jones for foreign and obsolete hardware like we do. Some people want only the trendiest and most mod-ly. We got that covered. While ARs are kind of dull these days, not in .338LM (8.6 x 70) they’re not. Meet Ulfbehrt.

Ulfbehrt

Yes, he’s named for the Viking sword marking we’ve discussed here before, the meaning of which is not documented, but only speculated upon. As we wrote in 2013:

No one knows who, or what, Ulfbehrt was. The name does not exist in surviving documents at all. Was it a man’s name? Perhaps not, as swords with the name were made for some 200 years. The name of a lost god? A name for the product, an early trademark? No-one knows.

There are so many mods to this Alexander Arms design, it looks closer to a Barrett than to an AR in some ways — which is fitting because of the .338 LM’s almost .50-like ballistics. But internally it’s not an AR at all — it’s more like a Degtyaryev machine gun in its flap locking system (There were a lot of them: DP-28, DA, DT, RP-48, DShK, RPD, and we’re probably forgetting a few). It just shows that the ergonomics battle is over, and the AR stands triumphant.

As these three posts show, there’s something for everyone there. There are not only more photos and information at each of those articles, there’s still the other 166 to look at.

We’ll be Back, That Is, If We Go Away at All

We survived the Blizzard of ’78 (a friend of our cousin got out his show car and went around pulling people out of snowbanks. We should probably mention that Charlie’s show car was an M3 halftrack). Indeed, we drove home from work in the Blizzard, in a 1969 Pontiac Catalina with a huge engine, a two-speed slushbox automatic, and skinny bias-ply tires, which is how most people rolled in those years before SUVs were a thing, and when Toyotas had paint the faded the first year and fenders that were a fine filigree of rust by the third, and most Hondas came with only two wheels.

So we’re fully expecting to survive this one. Our power, maybe not. Blogbrother installed an automatic generator this year so we may all wind up surfing his couches for a couple of days, if the news stations get their wish and the storm is a real disaster.

Notes

  1. “Snuked” — nuked by snow. Yes, we totally made that up.

The Other Revolution of 1775

In April, 1775, the Revolutionary War opened with a bloodless British victory in Lexington, followed by an easy victory in Concord… followed by a sanguinary and hard-fought retreat that made the British relief force’s (QRF, 18th-Century style) leader, Brigadier-General Lord Hugh Percy, bitterly aware he hadn’t won at all.

Colonial propaganda print of the Battle of Lexington. Both sides gave orders not to fire, and afterward insisted the other fired first; historians have little hope of ever sorting it out.

Colonial propaganda print of the Battle of Lexington. Both sides gave orders not to fire, and afterward insisted the other fired first; historians have little hope of ever sorting it out.

First, the operation was a mission failure: Francis Smith’s soldiers and John Pitcairn’s Royal Marines hadn’t captured the men and most of the stores they were after, but they did precipitate an open rebellion. Despite Smith’s leadership and courage in the embittered retreat, and Percy’s, in coming after him, each command had taken unsustainable casualties. Their recent operations, where they sortied against suspected enemy arms dumps, were over. They were besieged in Boston. And this wasn’t supposed to happen to His Majesty’s army! Percy wrote, in grudging admiration of the rebels:

Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob will find himself much mistaken. For my part, I never believed, I confess, that they would’ve attacked the Kings troops, or have had the perseverance I found in them yesterday. They have men among them who know very well what they were about.1

But, while the scale of the outbreak of organized violence was new, the fight itself had been a long time coming. In 1773 and 1774 hostility to the Crown and the British regulars who had descended upon restive Boston in 1768 had risen to a level tantamount to war. (The British forces came, not to defend the colonists against foreign or Indian threat, as in the past, but to keep the Americans in line). In Worcester, a day’s march west of Boston, patriots had seized the courthouse and sent His Majesty’s representatives packing in the fall. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a day’s ride to the north, tipped off by that rascal Paul Revere, they’d seized Fort William and Mary from a caretaker force in December 1774. This was a bloodless demonstration of armed rebel might, making off with His Majesty’s cannon, powder and shot, before the Navy could land men (which they did: too late to capture the rebels, who slipped away). The colonials, resurrecting methods that had been honed by Indian raids in the prior century, were masters of asymmetric warfare — they could mobilize, and organize, and demobilize, in such as way as to put force against weakness, but evaporate against force. Such was the militia, the minutemen.

don troiani minutemen

Painting of Minutemen, by Don Troiani

All across New England, rising tensions struck hardest against civilians who were loyal to King George III and England. These tended to be well-to-do landowners, professionals, and leaders of society, but they often fled with little more than the shirts on their backs. They wound up under the protection of the Crown, in the only place in New England where the Crown could protect them: under the guns of Boston.

The refugees bedeviled Governor Sir Thomas Gage. Gage was, in Rebel propaganda, and therefore in many later American history books, as a heartless, bloodthirsty monster, but in fact he was a cautious and sensitive soldier who had little taste for war on fellow Englishmen, and was incensed that the rebellious colonials did. Gage sympathized with these refugees, but he couldn’t easily feed and house them.

For all his concern for the dispossessed Loyalists, Gage had little sympathy to spare for his own redcoats. They were the sweepings of the workhouses and jails, or boys so poor that the miserable life of a soldier was a step up. And they were treated much like livestock, casually beaten and abused, fed just enough to keep them alive, and paid very little. (Enlisted men in the Navy fared no better, which is why the Navy used pressgangs). The Army as an institution had a grudging respect from Britons, and an Army officer could be a gentleman of a somewhat discounted sort, but soldiers themselves were not viewed much differently from the beggars and thieves with whom contemporary London teemed. (The above-mentioned Lord Percy was a rare exception; gout-wracked and irascible, he nonetheless believed in leading by superior example, not by the lash, and he was generous and gentle with his men, forbidding floggings in his regiment. He saved his ire for General Lord Howe, with whom he could not get along).

Unless one lucked into Percy’s 5th Regiment of Foot, one’s life as a musket-bearer for HM George III was a life of hardship, circumscribed by cruelty, and motivated by dispensations that tended to 0% carrot and 100% stick. Iron discipline was enforced by the lash and the noose; it was thought quite a fine thing that the lobsterback feared his NCOs more than any imaginable enemy.

These reenactors are a lot more ragged in their formation and fire than the real Redcoats would heve been.

These reenactors are a lot more ragged in their formation and fire discipline than the real Redcoats were, or ever would have been.

You could say that the British Regulars who stood and delivered at Concord, and who kept order throughout the bloody retreat on 19 April 1775, had been quite literally “whipped into shape.” But it was a functional shape, and the red uniforms of the British Army were known and feared worldwide. By far and away, any British formation in the Colonies in 1775 was vastly more powerful than any similar-sized body of their irregular enemy, simply by dint of their greater experience at drill.

But the enemy was culturally different, and here was the revolution. He joined the fight, not because it was a Hobson’s choice between the King’s shilling and the gallows, but because it was his fight. The colonial American was much less observant of class distinctions than his peers from metropolitan England. Peerage in America was something remote, a reference to a motherland that more and more colonists had never seen. (There was not, for instance, any lord whose seat was Boston or New York).

The colonists were, as one loyal officer wrote home, “Drunk with liberty.” Colonies founded in New England by groups akin to the Levellers of the English Civil War lacked the instinctive class deference that characterized metropolitan England. The citizens there wanted to rule themselves, for good or for ill.

Part of the change would be an Army and Navy of volunteers with the natural rights of free men, not a formation of pressmen, serfs, slaves or helots (all of which have some point of comparison to the state of the English ranker of 1775). The liberty-oriented American volunteer would cause his own army some difficulty over the years: short enlistment terms and elected officers were both troublesome in the US Civil War. But the British Army’s class stratification and peculiar institutions weren’t done causing trouble for Britain, either. (Two words: “purchased commission.”)

Today, there’s been some cultural convergence in the evolution of the two armies that descend from the ones that glowered at each other across no man’s land on Roxbury Neck, during the siege of Boston. The US and British Armies are more like one another, culturally, today, than either one is like its 1775 forebear. But there are also some differences which stem, in part, from those very different origins.

Notes

  1. Quoted in Ketchum, p. 25.

Sources

Ketchum, Richard M.  Decisive Day: The Battle for Bunker Hill. An Expanded and Fully Illustrated Edition. New York: Anchor, 1962.

Friday Tour d’Horizon

So, here are a number of things that ought to be written about but might not be if I didn’t squeeze them in.

Shot Show

Franklin Armory has a three-position trigger that fires first shot on pull and second on release. They call it the Binary Firing System. Here it is demonstrated with what the ATF now says is felonious use of a SIG brace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=XBhX0M5kHnE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=AtuZfONeqbM

Then, the ATF booth got — as is customary at shows — redecorated by people who are not fans of partisan political police.

ATF_at_SHOT

Of course, the ATF couldn’t “Legalize It!” even if they wanted to. That particular bozosity is Congressional bozosity, and it does . The fact that most of them would never want to — that is ATF bozosity. 

Speaking of ATF bozosity, SIG has made an initial response, and said it’s considering its response in depth, to ATF’s ruling suddenly revoking the letter it issued to SIG for the SB-15 Arm Brace. Guns Save Lives has the release.

Knife Turn in in UK

Words fail. So here’s a picture.

get a life bin that knife

The non-profit promoting this notes that in England and Wales, where guns are banned, 36% of homicides take place with a “sharp instrument.” (We say, try tuning it a semitone lower). Their 31 bins in the Greater London area (“away from CCTV” they promise) have collected some 11,000 knives. And of course, the banners are working on the knives, now, too.

An Exorcism in Moscow

We’ll let the article do the talking:

The two men, Oleg Basov… and Yevgeny Avilov… are shown carrying five-litre bottles of holy water marked with a cross from a church across the square.

They move barriers in front of the mausoleum and throw the water at the doors and steps, shouting “Rise up and leave!” several times before being detained.

On Monday, Orthodox Christians celebrated Epiphany, a holiday marking the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river that people commemorate by immersing themselves in icy rivers and lakes.

What demon were they commanding, “Rise up and leave!”? Well, they conducted their little stunt at Lenin’s mausoleum in Red Square. Yeah, that demon.

Grim policemen seized them bodily and threw them in jail. Devil worship dies hard in Russia!

And Your Betters are Meeting in Switzerland

Thousands of the world’s millionaires, billionaires, celebrities, and wannabe royalty are meeting in Davos, Switzerland. They’ve flown in, in a fleet of nearly 2,000 private jets, spawning the mother of all carbon footprints, to consider what austerity measures ought to be imposed on the middle and working classes in the name of the Great Goddess Gaia.

Move over, Lenin. You’ve been replaced.

A Couple Recent Police Uses of Force

New Jersey: Andrew Branca has one where the passenger in a car appears to have pulled a gun on a cop who was telling him over and over, “Don’t f’in do it. If you do it I’ll kill you.” He did it. The cop killed him. Meanwhile, the driver of the car was holding his hands where the cop’s partner could see them. Him? Nobody shot him. He wasn’t trying to kill a cop. The passenger, it turns out, was a man of convictions, loads of ‘em: he had a long record, including a previous occasion of shooting at cops. (So why was he out? New Jersey).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb8YfUHOWo0

In our opinion, the cop did well enough but he should probably try to clean up his language. Don’t alienate the grand jurors, just in case your next shooting isn’t this patently righteous.

California: In San Jacinto, CA, Deputy Sultan of the Riverside County SO went into a crawl space after an armed felon, and emerged mortally wounded. After negotiations got nowhere, Sultan’s fellow deputies fired tear gas into the space, and when the skell emerged, gun is hand, continued negotiations in ballistic mode. Scratch one felon. But that’s a bad exchange ratio, even taking into account that Sultan was a Belgian Malinois.

There actually have been a lot of police shootings lately (meaning cops shooting criminals, criminals shooting cops, and some news in a case where a cop spraying-and-praying shot a bystander — so they probably deserve a recent shooting roundup of their own.

A Cop in Trouble

From the People’s Republic of Massachusetts:

Edward Fleury was freed on personal recognizance after his appearance Tuesday in Hampshire Superior Court on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and 22 counts of improper storage of firearms.

Prosecutors allege the 57-year-old Fleury pointed a loaded gun at a friend outside a Belchertown bar in August. A subsequent search of Fleury’s home uncovered 22 guns police say were improperly stored.

Ed Fleury was the chief of police in Pelham, MA.

And a Revolving Door Judge

In St. Louis, Circuit Court judge Margaret Niel doesn’t think thugs should go to prison. So she doesn’t send them there. No wonder some locals think they can assault cops and beat up store owners to steal from them.

Some Black Lives Don’t Matter

In Detroit, two skells took teenagers looking to score dope into a field and shot and robbed them. Convicted, one of them cried out at his sentencing hearing, “Black lives matter!” Not his. He’ll be spending it in prison, unfortunately for everyone else who has to spend some time in prison with the worthless crumb.

Poly-Ticks: Two Anti-Gunners Charged with Corruption

In New York, Assembly leader-for-life Sheldon Silver (D) was arrested under charges of corruption that span practically his entire career and involve millions in bribes. The open question is whether Andrew Cuomo, an intimate Silver ally, goes down too. These guys launched the so-called SAFE act.

In Pennsylvania, it seems the Grand Jury did return a true bill on felony perjury charges against Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D). She is an anti-gun extremist from the far end of loony: one of the things she has done as AG is repudiate previous AG’s reciprocity agreements with other states.

Hardly a surprise there. Another politician is retiring from Congress with a net worth of $70-100 million, mostly from earmarking rich contracts for her husband.  They’re all crooks.

VA Lassitude Kills Another Vet

Norman SpiveyThe lede pretty much tells the story of a Georgia vet who got the Animal House treatment 1 from the VA.

Norman Spivey, a U.S military veteran who had to fight for more than a year to get a cancer checkup from the Veterans Administration in Atlanta, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Douglasville.

via Veteran who had to wait for VA cancer check-up dies of cancer.

Spivey wasn’t trying to get a “cancer checkup” per se, but a normal and routine colonoscopy — the kind anybody who doesn’t depend on the VA for “care” can schedule a couple weeks out with a phone call.

While the VA finally got around to moving him off the phantom waitlist to the real waitlist to actually scheduling his colonoscopy, the cancer cells in his body were multiplying. By the time the VA actually got around to dropping him on a yable and commanding, “Up periscope!”, he was in a bad way:

The colonoscopy revealed stage four colon cancer….

The key fact about stage four cancer? There isn’t any “stage five.” The VA’s docs discovered that his cancer had spread to his liver and lymph nodes. They told him that his only chance was chemotherapy. But they couldn’t set it up, it had to go through channels.

VA-veterans-affairsAnd then, the heartless barbers at the VA put him back on the waitlist. “See ya. Wouldn’t want to be ya. Bwahahahaha.”

When the Stage Four diagnosis was made — in July — Norman and his wife Gayla got the patented VA runaround. He wound up in a local emergency room, where he learned more about the disease than the VA bothered to tell him. That’s when a local TV station got interested in his plight:

“He has stage….”

Gayla paused, taking a breath, trying to say the words.

She continued, “stage four colon cancer that’s spread to his liver. I have pictures of his liver. They can’t do radiation because of the liver.”

So, Gayla said she and the hospital have been trying, since that weekend, to ask the V.A. to approve immediate chemotherapy for Norman.

“There’s been three different case workers here at this hospital working on this [and calling the V.A.] for almost two weeks, now,” Gayla said.

“So really, this is my only chance,” Norman said.

No response from the V.A.

The guys at the TV station thought that was wrong, if not exactly unusual, so they called their PR contact at VAMC Atlanta.

Then somebody called back, for the first time.

When it was a medical problem, frankly, nobody at the hospital gave a good goddamn. When it became a PR problem, then it got what we call in the military “command emphasis.”

If you’ve been thinking of relying on the VA (or any government branch) for health care, it might be time to rethink that. Norman Spivey isn’t here to tell you, any more, but it’s the patient who pays the price for all that “free” medicine.

Notes

  1. Animal House? Yeah, remember this: “You f’d up. You trusted us!”

In Case Gun Coverage Isn’t Slanted Enough…

The Columbia Journalism School and the Bloomberg Youth (or whatever he’s calling his fully-owned and operated gun-ban subsidiary these days) is going to run a “continuing education” workshop for journalists to teach them how to slant gun stories.

This is not a new activity for Columbia’s Dart Center, although it’s new to have its grubby mitts reaching deep in Mayor Billion$’s bottomless pockets.

In this video, the Dart Center’s Obergruppenfuhrer for Journalism and Trauma (we’re not making that up, at least not the “Journalism and Trauma” bit), anti-gun activist Bruce Shapiro, introduces Washington Post reporter and anti-gun activist James Grimaldi, who then goes on to teach reporters how to slant gun stories.

Imagine how much better they’ll do with Bloomberg funding and pulling Shapiro’s strings?

You don’t have to imagine, you can go to the Dart Center and see what they’re all about, and try to G-2 the postgraduate course in slanted gun reporting that they’ll be running from April 13-17.   Thirty good liberal anti-gun reporters will be accepted to attend, and half of them will get $350 in Hizzonner$ walking-around money.

Or you can try to count the buzz phrases in the Dart Center’s announcement of the seminar:

Every day, 86 Americans die of firearm related injuries, including nearly 12,000 murdered with guns each year – a rate 20 times higher than that of other developed countries. Nearly 100 school shootings have occurred since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary only two years ago.

Of course, the “100 school shootings” number comes from… Shapiro’s paymaster, Bloomberg, and it was duly reported by previous generations of Dart Center insta-experts. (The number was 96, but advocates round up to round numbers always, and as we’ll see, it’s bullshit anyway). Back in June, when the number Bloomberg was touting was 74, it was examined by Charles C. Johnson, and again by Charles C.W. Cooke. All but eight of them turned out not to be Newtown-style school shootings, but random criminal activity on school or university grounds, mostly after hours. Is a shooting at 0200 on the periphery of a university a “school shooting?” One was a self-defense shooting on a Florida open campus. One of them apparently never happened at all.

We’ve seen the slant that reporters impart already, imagine how much further they’ll go for a few dollars. (Are reporters crooked? Read this about how a CBC reporter crapped all over another reporter’s story — because the second gal’s report was negative on a big company RBC — a Canadian bank that was paying the first reporter large amounts for favorable reports occasional speeches, wink, nudge. Note that there are also many other updates on AmandaLang’s and CBC’s corruption on that site).

Applicants will be vetted for anti-gun bias, to make sure they have enough of it. They’re being asked to sketch out an anti-gun story as a sort of audition, including:

…a one-page letter of interest that:

  1. Describes how and why this workshop is relevant to you and your work;
  2. Identifies three issues around guns or gun violence of particular interest to you;
  3. Explains a challenge you have encountered in pursuing a story on this topic (or a related one); and
  4. Briefly outlines a possible story you might pursue on the topic.

Lord love a duck.

Journalism, n. A job for people who flunked out of STEM courses, enjoy making up stories, and have no detectable integrity or morals.

Update

While this post was ripening in the queue, Shapiro contacted Lee Williams, who had also written on the subject Tuesday, and denied that the Bloomberg payment, which he says amounts to $48,000, would change the way the seminar preaches. Given that he’d probably produce the exact same how-to-slant class without Bloomberg’s money (seeing that he’s done it before), well, he’s probably telling the truth that the money didn’t change the message.

Reporters? The enemy. Don’t talk to them under any circumstances.

Another Gun Crime in a Gun-Free Zone

Type 64 "7.62" (.32 ACP) pistol. DIA image.

Type 64 “7.62” (.32 ACP) pistol. DIA image.

Guy in jurisdiction with extremely strict gun control laws, the society that Der Bloomführer and Shannon What’s-Her-Face dream of building here, “impossibly” gets hold of pistol. Escapes to second strict-gun-control jurisdiction. Goes on robbery and murder spree, killing four innocents before he’s finally stopped.

By, it must be said, good guys with guns.

The jurisdictions? Totalitarian absolute monarchy North Korea, and politically totalitarian Communist China.

January 6, 2015: China announced that it had formally protested to North Korea over a North Korean Army deserter who entered China in late December with a stolen pistol and then killed four Chinese civilians (while robbing them) on December 27th. Within 24 hours of the murders he was hunted down and killed by Chinese security forces.

There was a time, a few years ago, when China and North Korea kept incidents like this quiet. No longer, mainly because it is happening more frequently and China believes the North Koreans are losing control with desertions in their military and security services on the rise.

There was no announcement of the murders in Chinese media but the diplomatic protest was news outside of China and despite Chinese Internet censorship news of the murders got into China and spread rapidly. Before the end of the year there were anti-North Korean demonstrations by some Chinese living near the North Korean border.

Since at least 2008 North Korea has been trying to do something about the growing number of soldiers who are deserting and fleeing to China. There are always some troops who desert and just disappear inside North Korea.

One of the things about totalitarian states: they have their blind spots. Or as Airey Neave titled his book about escaping from Nazi totalitarianism, They Have Their Exits. While some Nork deserters choose to vanish into the officially nonexistent underground economy, others cross the officially impregnable borders — turning up in the underground economies of the bordering states.

But more of these deserters are being found in China, and South Korea. Those who make it to South Korea report that the troops are now going hungry, and senior officers are stockpiling food and attempting to move their families to China. The worst desertion incidents are the ones where the deserters take firearms with them and rely on robbery to survive. This is especially bad if they do this while still wearing their North Korean military uniform.

That implies that this behavior is common enough to deserve a category of its own. It suggests what might happen if the great-at-parades Nork military was put to the test of combat — it would be a spectacular failure of Saddam’s-army proportions.

Both China and North Korea have increased their border security but the number of people, armed or not, trying to get out of North Korea increases faster and the escapees are more desperate and resourceful.

via Korea: The Price Of Pain Has Gone Up.

States are remarkably resilient things, even in their most fragile forms (of which a totalitarian absolute monarchy would be the pinnacle). But like the famous Hemingway line (from The Sun also Rises) about bankruptcy, their collapses come on “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” We’re in the “gradual” phase with North Korea — and until the inflection point, we’re going to see squirters with Type 64s, 68s, Baek-du-sans, or long guns, so desperate that they Will Kill For Food.

Official Report: the 507th Maintenance Fight

The report attached to this post was completed as part of the command investigation into the fate of the 507th and its soldiers. We had to generate this searchable version of the document as part of our research.

us-507th-reportOCR.pdf

While it is marked “FOUO – Close Hold” it has been very widely distributed in the past, although in a non-searchable version. There is nothing in this report that should embarrass any American soldier or his or her family, and there is nothing in here that was not made public over 10 years ago. There are no intelligence sources and methods or valid TTPs revealed in this document.

Our Favorite Charlie Hebdo Cover

We’re pretty bemused by the whole Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, especially by the people who seem to think that the editors had it coming. Among whom, of course, is the President, who has taken time in the past to condemn those who’d would “blaspheme the prophet.”

Oh, snap. I guess this will get WeaponsMan.com off the White House Eid-al-Fitr Card List, but here’s our favorite Charlie Hebdo cover.

the koran is shit

Old Dead Mo (or is it Osama Bin Leaden?) here is saying: “The Koran, it’s for shit! It can’t stop bullets.”

Gun Buying: How to Do it Wrong

We believe but are not certain this Hoang is the suspect.

We believe but are not certain this mugshot is the suspect, Kenneth A. Hoang, from a previous arrest.

We’re normally all for guys buying guns, but Daniel Terrill at Guns.com reports that Ken Hoang did it wrong. How? According to charges in US District Court in Texas, by using OPM — Other People’s Money. Without OPP — Other People’s Permission. Namely, he lightfingered the guns by using a credit card from a previous job, from which some boss had fired him in a rare act of business precognition.

Kenneth A. Hoang has been charged with six counts of wire fraud for using the company American Express Company card to buy more than $23,400 on guns, among other things, according to the indictment filed in a Texas federal court on Dec. 11.

TurboCare, Inc., a subsidiary of the engineering company Siemens AG, employed Hoang and issued Hoang the credit card for business expenses, but failed to retrieve the card after firing him in August 2012 for insubordination and missing work.

via Texas man indicted for spending thousands on guns with company credit card.

Hoangs-Purchased-guns-lgA list of firearms from the court case shows that Hoang had some strong preferences, for name-brand .45 caliber pistols (Para, Kimber, Glock, Sig, etc) and high-end ARs (he bought an HK, a Colt, and three Noveskes, among others).

We guess, if you’re spending OPM, you don’t have any incentive to economize.

But the firearms were less than 10% of what Hoang is alleged to have charged on his card during his wild spree. They were worth about $24,000 but he charged over $330k.

An FBI presser has more details:

According to the charges, Hoang was employed by TurboCare Inc., a subsidiary of Siemens AG until he was terminated in August 2012. While employed there, TurboCare had issued Hoang an American Express card to use for business purposes, according to the indictment. Following his termination, Hoang allegedly did not return the card and illegally used it to make purchases for personal use.

The indictment alleges that beginning on or about July 10, 2013, Hoang used the credit card make numerous purchases totaling more than $330,000 before Siemens discovered the fraud and cut off the card. Included in the purchases Hoang allegedly made with the card were 17 firearms.

If convicted, Hoang faces a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine on each count.

Hoang does have a previous arrest record, for financial-related crime. We believe this mugshot is him, from this previous arrest. We will remove it if we turn out to be mistaken.