Category Archives: Uncategorized

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2017 Week 03

As we all know from Junior High French, Tour d’Horizon means Hognose has too many stories in his open tabs at the end of the week. What do you expect? It’s Friday!

Guns

I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Take the Suppressor off your Mouth…

…And put it on your gun. Colion Noir, from NRA TV.
Hey, maybe that was a Gun Poly-Ticks post. Maybe. But we’ve always liked this guy.

3D Printed “M203” by RDECOM, Picatinny

This video shows the printing of both an M203 type launcher using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) in aluminum, and an equivalent of the M781 training practice round using SLS and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).

Gun Stocks update

Pre-Election closings: RGR 64.40, SWHC 28.45, VSTO 38.94.  [8 Nov 16]
-9 week’s closings: RGR 53.20, SWHC 24.13, VSTO 40.02. [18 Nov 16]
-8 week’s closings: RGR 52.50, SWHC 23.82, VSTO 41.05. [25 Nov 16] [short trading day and week]
-7 week’s closings: RGR 50.25, SWHC 21.10, VSTO 39.66. [2 Dec 16]
-6 week’s closings: RGR 51.90, SWHC 21.07, VSTO 38.62. [9 Dec 16]
-5 week’s closings: RGR 53.45, SWHC 21.59, VSTO 36.81. [16 Dec 16]
-4 week’s closings: RGR 54.05, SWHC 22.11, VSTO 38.02. [23 Dec 16]
-3 week’s closings: RGR 52.70, SWHC 21.08, VSTO 36.90. [30 Dec 16] (this was the final close for SWHC, which renamed itself AOBC).
-2 week’s closings: RGR 54.15, AOBC (ex-SWHC) 21.00, VSTO 38.08. [6 Jan 17]
Last week’s closings: RGR 51.35, AOBC 20.60, VSTO 28.70. [13 Jan 17]

This week’s closings: RGR 50.65, AOBC 20.13, VSTO 27.78. [20 Jan 17]

Everybody’s down a little bit this week.

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov 16. It bottomed in the 40s later that day. We still think it has longterm growth potential, and we like the dividend, but we’ve lost (on paper) thousands of dollars.

Gun Poly-Ticks

How’s Open Carry Working Out in Texas?

Well, stop us if this shocks you, but the bloodbath that the anti-gun activists and the press (pardon the redundancy) predicted has not emerged. Herschel Smith has a report from Lubbock.

“We don’t have any reports that we’ve had any difficulty for the most part, the type of person–generally speaking– that wants to open carry is someone that wants to enforce the law. They understand what the law is therefor the reasons behind it,” [Lubbock Assistant Chief Jon] Caspell said.

Hersch is a constitutional hardcase. It doesn’t bug us if a cop asks politely for a license (spittle-flecked screaming whilst white knuckles close on his Glock, that’s different. Some guys just shouldn’t be cops, and the timid are among them). But he explains why it bugs him, and he makes sense:

There are three aspects of this report that deserve comment.  First of all, I don’t advocate open carry any more than concealed carry.  I advocate carrying the way you feel the most comfortable and tactically suited to the situation.  But if there are never any open carriers, then this right will be seen as a permission that is rarely used.  That’s not a good outcome.

We’ve had open carry around here for a long time, and one sees it occasionally. It doesn’t seem to bother anybody. I estimate that there are about 100 concealed carriers for every open carrier.

Chicago Still Can’t Ban Ranges

After the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted Chicago’s ban on firing ranges in what is known as the Ezell case, a Chicago bureaucrat (and Chicago Outfit moll), Zoning Administrator Patricia Scudiero, essentially zoned them out of existence based on fabricated claims of risk, while other Chicago bureaucrats imposed a variety of restrictions (forbidding parents teaching their children to shoot, for example), and Ezell sued again. A three-judge panel overturned the Outfit’s restrictions. See two reports in the Washington Post: David Kopel and Eugene Volokh.

Usage and Employment

 The hardware takes you only half way.

Assistance to Law Enforcement in AZ

A motorist stopped at a shocking scene: an angry man had gotten the best of state trooper Edward Andersson, had him down and seriously injured, and was beating him. As his fiancée called 911 for help, and he approached the officer, to offer immediate assistance.

According to Colonel Frank Milstead, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the assailant was straddling Trooper Andersson’s chest, “taking big blows” with his fists “and trying to bang his head into the ground while striking him” when a good Samaritan stopped his car to help. While his fiancée called police, the Samaritan approached and asked if the trooper needed assistance. When he trooper replied that he did, the motorist retrieved a 9 mm pistol from his vehicle and told the assailant to stop attacking the trooper—at which point the assailant paused to swear at him before resuming his attack.

What the armed civilian did next indicates good adaptive skills (and decent shooting).

“Because of his position, he doesn’t think he can fire without hitting the trooper, so he adjusts his position, and he delivers at least two bullet strikes to the suspect, rendering the suspect incapacitated, albeit temporarily,” Milstead continued. “The good Samaritan then begins to administer first aid to Trooper Andersson … The suspect gets up a second time and begins to attack them again …  As the suspect approaches, the good Samaritan fires another round, this time striking the suspect in the head, mortally wounding him and ending the fight.”

The Associated Press report attributed the cop’s survival to intervention by a drive-by shooter! And didn’t mention the background of the dead assailant, a career criminal, meth addict and dealer, and criminal alien fugitive who had been saved from deportation by the government policy of protecting illegal alien criminals.

37-year-old Leonard Penuelas-Escobar, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. He and his girlfriend, 23-year-old Vanessa Lopez-Ruiz, were reportedly meth users who had been evicted from their apartment for dealing drugs, and a warrant was out for Lopez-Ruiz’s arrest. The two were flying down the interstate around 4:00 a.m. when the vehicle overturned, ejecting the woman and killing her.

Well, he’s deported now. Trooper Andersson survived and they’re hopeful he will recover; Penis-Escobar killed his woman with his driving, and himself with his assault on an officer. Bad cess to the pair of them.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

When the Cop is a Crim, I

We got a lot of these today. Now, this guy’s not even indicted yet, he’s just gotten the fabled “target letter.” But he’s the Police Chief of Honolulu, and he’s behind the eight ball on a corruption charge. And so what are the city fathers doing? Showering him with money, in a deal cut behind closed doors. (Caution, autoplay video).

The Honolulu Police Commission approved a $250,000 payout deal for embattled Police Chief Louis Kealoha on Wednesday….

Kealoha will get the payout in addition to a pension of about $150,000 a year and free medical care for life.

That’s whether he’s convicted or not, the pension. The Commission, under fire from the City Council and public, did insert language that he has to pay back the quarter-mil in hush money if he loses the contest with judge and jury.

He had threatened to sue for “discrimination” (against a Hawaiian. In Hawaii) if they didn’t pony up the hush money, so they did. He’s credibly accused at being at the center of an attempt to frame an estranged relative (autoplay) for a theft; other HPD officers have already rolled over and pled guilty, so it’s probably all kabuki from here, but it has to play out.

Kealoha is a supporter of gun control, on record that the police are the Only Ones who should have guns because of their ethical and tactical superiority. Naturally.

Cop-Killer Got Thumped a Mite

Poor Markeith Loyd, seen in the before picture to the right, dindu nuffin. OK, so he whacked his ex, he dindu nuffin but that… well, OK, so he shot her brother, too. OK, so he killed a cop, Lt. Debra Clayton, shooting her dead in a confrontation at a Walmart, and OK, another office, Deputy Norman Lewis, died in a crash chasing him.

Apart from that, and having this pre-existing mugshot for reasons the press seem disinclined to mention, Markeith was a model citizen. Various friends, relatives, and the more general Black Criminals’ Lives Matter movement helped him evade arrest after he gunned Clayton down (some of them are in custody now on accessory charges). When the cops finally caught up with him, he ducked inside the home where he was being hidden — and came out in body armor and with two guns.

Despite that, the cops took him alive to face justice. In the process, Markeith got tuned up a little:

We suppose you could say they treated him like a king — Rodney King. But that’s OK, it only hurts when we laugh. Hurts him, that is.

When reporters and Black Criminals’ Lives Matter accused the cops of beating him, the Orlando, FL police chief said:

“He resisted arrest and there was force used.”

The reporters doubt that he resisted enough to take this thumping. Remember: two guns, body armor. The cops had every justification in the world for shooting this guy. Some pathogens just need antibiotics.

When the Cop is a Crim, II

In California, where guns are all but outlawed, you can always trust the Only Ones.

Kyle Rowland, 23, a rookie deputy who lives in Sacramento and recently started commuting to his new job in the Bay Area, was attending a small gathering late Thursday at a home in his downtown neighborhood. He left the party briefly, possibly after a dispute, only to return after midnight with two firearms, according to the Sacramento Police Department.

His return to the party created a “disturbance” and a confrontation ensued between Rowland and others at the house, police said. During the ruckus, Rowland fired a handgun “multiple times,” police said.

Yeah, he’s now experiencing the criminal justice system from the other side.

The Perils of Kathleen: Nothing this week, finally….

She’ll be back in the news soon enough, when her appeal kicks off. Barring some Perry-Mason-level courtroom event, the appeal will end with her reporting to state prison. But you get to play the last 10 minutes of the game even if you’re down fifty points. At this point, she’s paying her own lawyers, but she’s using the family fortune of the husband she’s divorcing, so it’s not like she’s contesting any of the bills.

When the Cop is Really a Crim

In a creepy story from Florida, an armed woman dressed in police gear and going door to door and pretending to be a detective seeking Markeith Loyd (see above), was not a cop at all, but probably casing homes for a burglary ring. Wary homeowners called 911 on her, but she got away.

Let ’em All Out

This infographic celebrates the pace of pardons in the outgoing Administration. If the following graphic was correct, it would show a gun or knife in the hand of the sprung prestoopnik.

The pardons and commutations included quite a few terrorists, including many jihadis transferred from Guantanamo to foreign nations that will return them to the jihad. 

There were also many violent criminals, including murderers on Death Row. And, of course, Bradley Manning; for some reason, Russians hacking a political party’s unsecured email server (P@ssword01!) is the crime of the century, but an insecure little weasel leaking masses of highly sensitive documents out of sheer self-aggrandization is excusable. More on that moron below in Veterans Issues.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. 

SEAL History Highlights

Flagged by former SEAL officer Matt Bracken to this interesting history roundup, that hits some of the SEALs’ high points (although neither Grenada nor Paitilla Airfield was exactly a high point. Unlike Social Justice Warriors, real warriors don’t get valuable points by being victims). Some of the frogmen’s greatest successes are left off this article, which feels like what it is, a cheap tie-in to promote the upcoming series on History (aka the Paranormal Channel these days). The series looks, from its previews, utterly cringeworthy, and done on a budget of $31.73 in pennies from the producer’s couch and sock-drawer. But the roundup does remind us of the long and noble recent history of our naval special operations frog-brethren. (Yes, naval special operations existed before D-Day. Before WWII even! But hey, it’s the History Channel, so anything that engages with actual, you know, history, is a step up these days).

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to o disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?

The Plague of Fake PTSD

In releasing traitor Bradley Manning, President Obama cited Manning’s “PTSD”. Manning has a veritable Petri dish of mental bugs, but to get real PTSD, one has to experience real trauma. There are tens of thousands of sniveling rear-echelon weenies like this sobbing drama queen who are riding phony 100% disabilities, and the VA encourages this behavior.

There are people that really suffer from what was called in World War I “Repression of War Experience,” but really, in order to have that, oughtn’t one to have some, you know, war experience? Not getting a stern talking to because you were a failure at your job, which was the full extent of ickle Bwadwey’s twauma?

We know, we know, he was twaumatized by his inability to grow up. Even in the great institutional imposers of adulthood: the Army, where he didn’t belong, and Leavenworth, where he did. C’est dommage.

At least he won’t be sucking up a 100% disability rating for his phony-baloney PTSD. Why not? Because he’s still a convicted felon, dishonorably discharged, and thus, the mousy little traitor can’t claim veterans’ benefits.

No doubt this poster child for Generation Snowflake will try.

VA: The Press Worm Turns

The Press, which supported Dr David Shulkin when Barack Obama named him to the #2 position, has suddenly found all kinds of things wrong with him when Donald Trump moved him up to the #1 position. Sample of how they do it:

USA TODAY spent several hours with Shulkin during the past year, and previously unpublished material gathered during those interviews provides a glimpse of who he is, beyond the static statements, what he may or may not do at the VA, and how he compares to current VA Secretary Bob McDonald.

Trump was rumored to be considering several high-profile candidates for the job, but in the end chose to move Shulkin up rather than install an experienced politician or business leader. (Prior to joining VA, Shulkin was an internist and a hospital-chain leader).

The USA Today report did close on an up note, noting that when a whistleblower settled a suit with VA he got something unexpected in the settlement — a letter of commendation from Dr Shulkin.

Is It Time to Disband This Thing?

Writing in the Boston Herald, John Graham says yes. He points out the VA inefficiency and waste are nothing new:

In 1949, for example, a commission led by former President Herbert Hoover criticized VA plans to spend more than $1 billion on new hospitals — almost $10 billion in current dollars — while existing hospitals were underutilized and the Army and Navy also were building facilities.

After all, building VA hospitals is not a medical necessity; it’s a jobs program, intended to curry favor with local members of Congress and assure the VA’s place at the public trough.

The Veterans’ Choice program is also a failure, not because other doctors and facilities aren’t holding up their end of the log, but because the VA bureaucracy isn’t, and it has stiffed enough of them that many won’t participate:

Branded Veterans Choice, the bailout was camouflaged as a way of providing veterans with additional health care options outside the government bureaucracy.

In a practical sense, though, it does no such thing because many private providers won’t see VA patients, knowing the agency doesn’t pay its bills in full or on time.

Moreover, the private option is available only to veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or those who have waited more than 30 days for a VA appointment. Further, the private care is still largely coordinated by the VA, which in most cases handles scheduling of appointments and patient records.

Graham suggests that, instead of having a failing bureaucracy try to manage veterans’ health, it would cost less and produce better outcomes, simply to pay the same physicians and facilities that handle everyone else’s to do it.

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.

This Guy Hates His Job

As Studs Terkel wrote, you can’t do anything for eight hours a day, but work. This poor bastard.

 

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2017 Week 02

As we all know from Junior High French, Tour d’Horizon means Hognose has too many stories in his open tabs at the end of the week. What do you expect? It’s Friday the 13th!

Guns

I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Yeah, This is a Curio and Relic this Year

It’s a 1967 Colt AR-15 Sporter SP1, serial number SP09088, which by the number was made in 1967, and is therefore C&R eligible this year.

Rock Island Auctions, which includes this rifle in its 10,000 gun mega-auction in February, explains:

Did you know that per the ATF, “Firearms automatically attain Curio & Relic status when they are 50 years old”? Did you also know that the earliest AR rifles were made in the mid-1960s? Meaning that, if you have your C&R license, you could have guns like this Colt AR-15 shipped right to you. The one shown here will turn 50 later this year.

One more thing for Gun Ban Barbie and her gang to flip their lids over (to use some slang of similar vintage).

Gun Porn: M1A1 Thompson

There’s a decent if brief article at Recoil by the aptly named Jamie Slaughter, covering the wartime M1A1 Thompson, and in true Recoil tradition it’s got some lovely photographs.

The lines of the TSMG were so lovely that even the bowdlerized wartime model still looks gorgeous, like a movie star at the gym. It was also remarkably ergonomic for its day.

It reminds us, we’ve been meaning to write up our Kahr M1A1 SBR: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Remington RP9

Well, this is Remington’s big gun for 2017: a 9mm service pistol. (Its grip is sized so that .40 and .45 versions are possible; only the .45 has been announced). The .45 will have a 15-round magazine; with the 9 you have 18 rounds in the mag.

We dunno about you, but if we can’t kill it with 18 rounds (let alone 36), we’ve got no plans to start a fight with it. Is anybody going to load this up with 18 and the extra round in the chamber?

Yeah. Probably. We know our people.

 

It has a light rail, trigger safety, ambi slide stop and reversible mag release, and a loaded chamber indicator (the extractor, right side only). One clever feature is a sort of flat on the forward surface of the rear sight, to allow the slide to be racked one-handed if necessary.

The RP9 and RP45 is made in Remington’s new Huntsville, Alabama plant (for which Huntsville can thank Andrew Cuomo). And it’s very aggressively priced, at $489 List, which makes it competitive with anything out there, even Glock LEO pricing.

It is a Glock-alike in many ways, a striker-fired pistol with a polymer frame, but the slide runs less on the frame and more on a steel chassis inside, which is the serialized part.

That makes it a bit like the SIG 320, except there’s no interchangeable frames (there are interchangeable grip swells, which are becoming standard these days). The pistol is very simple, with a low parts count and extensive use of rapid and cheap manufacturing technology (which is how they get to $489).

There is no need to pull the trigger for disassembly, which means cops will have to try harder to shoot themselves with this firearm. (That same 5% who never get the word will still manage it).

Gun Stocks update

Pre-Election closings: RGR 64.40, SWHC 28.45, VSTO 38.94.  [8 Nov 16]
-8 week’s closings: RGR 53.20, SWHC 24.13, VSTO 40.02. [18 Nov 16]
-7 week’s closings: RGR 52.50, SWHC 23.82, VSTO 41.05. [25 Nov 16] [short trading day and week]
-6 week’s closings: RGR 50.25, SWHC 21.10, VSTO 39.66. [2 Dec 16]
-5 week’s closings: RGR 51.90, SWHC 21.07, VSTO 38.62. [9 Dec 16]
-4 week’s closings: RGR 53.45, SWHC 21.59, VSTO 36.81. [16 Dec 16]
-3 week’s closings: RGR 54.05, SWHC 22.11, VSTO 38.02. [23 Dec 16]
-2 week’s closings: RGR 52.70, SWHC 21.08, VSTO 36.90. [30 Dec 16] (this was the final close for SWHC, which renamed itself AOBC).
Last week’s closings: RGR 54.15, AOBC (ex-SWHC) 21.00, VSTO 38.08. [6 Jan 17]

This week’s closings: RGR 51.35, AOBC 20.60, VSTO 28.70. [13 Jan 17]

Red means “lower than the previous week.” Everybody’s lower, but Vista Outdoor really got shelled. Why? Vista crashed on opening Thursday, down over 25% after being pretty stable. What happened is that “a softening retail environment and increased promotional activity” in one of Vista’s several business units requires them to take a charge to the intangible value item called “Goodwill” on the balance sheet. (It’s explained in more detail here, but “softening retail market” means “sales are down,” and “increased promotional activity” means “each sale is costing us more”). The interesting thing is that this charge is not in the Firearms and Ammunition part of the business, but in the segment that produces shooting and archery accessories. But it’s such a big charge that it’s going to turn a nice quarterly profit into a disastrous ($300 million plus) loss. Vista doesn’t think they’ll have a similar problem with gun and ammo sales, but they haven’t done that arithmetic yet, so the Street has run screaming to other opportunities.

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov 16. It bottomed in the 40s later that day. We still think it has longterm growth potential, and we like the dividend, but we’ve lost (on paper) thousands of dollars.

Gun Poly-Ticks

Pro-Gun Bills in Congress

A number of bills are moving in Congress. The ones that have some odds of passage are progun. The two we’re watching most closely are national reciprocity, and limited NFA reform. This is the best chance we’ve had in many years to get these legislative priorities. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has vowed to kill them in the Senate, but he may not have the votes.

Close the ATF? Let’s Think First

Another legislative bombshell would eliminate the ATF. Frankly, the Bureau has it coming after the ATF’s Thomas F. Brandon campaigned for gun control and Hillary! last fall, not to mention its history of scandal, but we might want to think this over a little more.

If you close the ATF, what happens to the problem children? You have to do something with the SES managers and SACs that produced the Gunwalker program, including but not limited to the Fast & Furious scheme to arm the Sinaloa cartel as (1) a counterweight to Los Zetas, and (2) to promote domestic gun control. Under the proposed bill, they all chop over to the FBI. Does anybody think he FBI wants Thomas Brandon? Dave Voth?

It also seems like it’s punitive to the line special agents. Many in the gun culture think ATF does nothing but infiltrate the Hells’ Angels and try to entrap suburban dads into NFA violations. We get the ATF press releases every Friday, and not only are they fighting against the real scourge of gun shop burglaries, they’re also putting away a lot of gang members and career criminals who, frankly, need to be put away. Most of your regular ATF agents are plain old 1811 Criminal Investigators, who want to investigate crimes, not manufacture them.

The FBI also has been playing partisan political police, lately, and displeasing members of both parties. Aggrandizing the FBI doesn’t seem wise.

Frankly, a better move for Congress would be to retain the ATF, but compel greater transparency, and strip it of some of the regulatory authority that it has abused. In effect, put the ATF under a consent decree.

The Dog That Has Not Barked: ITAR

Nothing has been said yet about yanking the State Department’s ITAR chain. It’s a chain that needs to be yanked, for sure, but again the underlying problem is one of Congress delegating legislative authority to power-crazed, unaccountable bureaucrats.

Usage and Employment

 The hardware takes you only half way. We got nothin’ this week, just because we’re running late. 

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Chicago Record Adjustments?

We saw a site today — didn’t grab the link — that said the final box score for 2016 was 816, per the medical examiner. That probably counts the justifiables, though, which would almost square it with HeyJackass.com’s 796. Also, either Jackass or Second City Cop noted a program at University of Chicago for the admissions office to pay students up to $500 to come up with good lies about how safe the city is, because it’s starting to cost them top candidates.

Criminals and Child Welfare Authorities

We recently told the story of Sara Packer, who with her boyfriend was charged with murdering and dismembering her adopted daughter, Grace. Packer mère was a former adoption official. There were many horrifying details. But more horrifying details have emerged, including the fact that Sara Packer’s former husband went to prison for, inter alia, raping an underage Grace, and that 30 kids passed through their home as fosters. And that all this happened while they “led a transient life.”

Yeah, those are the people in charge of judging your parenting, America.

Sumdood did Whaaaat?

Lord love a duck. This creep, one Joey Kennedy, set a cop on fire, which is just par for the Black Criminals’ Lives Matter course, but he really overstepped it… he set the K9 on fire, too.

http://bluelivesmatter.blue/tampa-police-officer-t…

The cop and the K9 are going to be OK. The perp may also recover, unfortunately. (The cop, understandably, lit him up — no pun intended). He has a trifecta record: violent, property, and sex crimes (including child rape). Why was he even out?

And is there any member of the extended (very extended?) Kennedy clan that doesn’t wind up in a cell sooner or later?

The Perils of Kathleen: When the Chick is Gone and All You Got Left is the Bills…

We’re giving Korrupt Kathleen a week off. It’s too depressing to look her up. Well, we will note that her last legal bill cost the taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a tidy $1.435 million. The outgoing placeholder acting-jack AG got the lawyers to knock off almost $400k from their initial bill, which was almost $2 million. For a diversion attempt, as she faced a photo finish with a grand jury (which she lost).  And the saga continues.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. 

Tomorrow

Your choice. Do you guys want to see a brief explanation of what “Civil War Sharpshooters” were, or a breakdown of the “Intelligence Disciplines” (all the “INTs”), building on Friday’s 17 Intel Agencies post? Pick one, in the comments. Or we’ll pick it for you.

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to o disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?

Exchanges to Sell Online to Vets

 

Right now, to use the military exchanges, you need to be eligible. The services have defined that as active, reserve, or retired. (And there are some provisos and oddities). But until 2017 veterans who are not retired, your typical one-tour-and-home honorably-discharged vets, haven’t had exchange access.

The good: the online exchange services will be open to all of you one-tour wonders like they are to us knuckle-dragging lifers.

The bad: not until Veterans Day (11 November 17!), because it’s going to take them that long to make eligibility work. And vets who got out pre-1981 might have to jump through some hoops to get their service recognized, as that’s the event horizon of the computerized records.

The ugly: we can’t imagine why anybody with acccess to the really real economy would want to shop at the exchanges. But they think they have incredible bargains. (Actually, the exchanges are exempt from state taxes, so if you live in a high-tax jurisdiction like 9.5% Missouri or send-us-your-firstborn-male-child New Jersey you might actually save.

Story here. Exchange website here.

NBC New York: Shootings Caused by Veterans!

You can read this indignant article at Mediaite, but the guy is railing about one of those lists that media drones have the unpaid intern put together, listing every crime committed by a tickin-time-bomb veteran. As if being a veteran is why they did it, and not, say, being nuts, or being mohammedan (but we repeat ourselves).

The implication that military service somehow causes mass shootings is even worse considering most of the veterans listed had known motivations entirely devoid of their military background.Micah Johnson was a black militant who believed in race war, Wade Michael Page was a white supremacist who wanted the same. Nidal Hassan… hmm, the timeline forgot to list his motive. Guess it was workplace violence.

Yeah, we’re all ticking time bombs.

Funny how the white racist and the black racist wind up in exactly the same place, shooting folks to cause a race war. That was what Charles Manson was trying to do, too, although his gang was more stabbing than shooting. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.

Vets Helping Vets

A few of you know Tilt Meyer. Some others might at least know his articles and books. John Stryker Meyer ran recon and was a Covey Rider in SOG. Then he wrote about the experience. But he remains pretty active today helping vets, and a San Diego paper did a pretty decent article about him. We really ought to give it more of a write-up here, but at least this is something, and you can always go to the link.

Lord Love a Duck! ALL NEW

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.

This is Your Doctor on Overconfidence

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics, which also wants to ban guns, got peanut allergies completely wrong. Best thing to do is give at-risk kids some nut products in infancy, when their immune system is developing. The absence of the stimulus leads later to allergy, and then it’s too late.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/well/family/par…

Do these barbers have any more advice for us?

The No-Gage Headspace Test

Here’s more wisdom from Roy F. Dunlap in Ordnance Went up Front. In this case, he’s noting that captured rifles often have mismatched bolts, and headspace may be an issue. But you might not have the gages you need for some oddball foreign round. How do you know it’s okay? He provides a quick and dirty method for checking bolt gun headspace. (We have separated his 1940s wall-o-text paragraphs into shorter ones for readability’s sake).

Not many gunsmiths have headspace gages in foreign calibers, but a practical test can be made with live ammunition. At least 10 clean loaded, unmutilated cartridges, preferably military cartridges of the same type and origin should be used.

The bolt must be stripped of all parts except the extractor collar, which should never be removed, and the magazine spring and follower removed. The chamber should be polished clean with cloth, and if any trace of rust is observed, clean it out with steel wool or even crocus cloth. Chamber, bolt head and lugs and the locking lug recesses in the receiver must be absolutely clean and dry, without any oil whatever. Any burrs on the bolt face around ejector cut or firing pin hole should be removed.

With the bolt and receiver ready, the cartridges are placed in the chamber one at a time and the bolt closed very gently, the knob of the handle held loosely between thumb and forefinger. Half of the cartridges should offer no resistance to the bolt’s complete closing, and two or three cause slight effort to seat fully. If the bolt flops shut on all the cartridges available, or will not close at all on any, do not attempt to use the rifle but send it to a responsible gunsmith for a thorough check with legitimate gages. consider whatever the charge is in the light of an insurance premium.

If the bolt is “felt” To close on at least one out of every five cartridges tried, headspace may be considered safe enough for test fire at least. Some idea of the headspace distance range maybe gained by using the cartridge on which bolt closes easiest and placing as many .001″ shims as possible between bolt face and cartridge base. If the tolerance is over .008″, ‘t’aint so good – get it checked with gages.

You can see, then, why it’s only really possible to do this test as described with bolt action firearms.

He goes on from there to describe causes and consequences of too little or too much headspace, and even provides schematic instructions for making one’s own “real” headspace gages — which he notes, is quite a tough proposition.

Newpaper Loses Mind over Millionaires’ Jobs Ending

You too can be an Ambassador. Just drop this off… and hope your candidate wins.

One of the plums available to political donors, at least, at the nosebleed level, is the ambassadorship. Not to a hardship post like Burkina Faso or a country lacking in all mod cons, like Guyana, or even to an impoverished old dowager like Bolivia. And certainly not to a country where ambassadors get whacked, like Afghanistan or Pakistan. But to a country with a good symphony, and a 72-room ambassadorial residence full of liveried servants, like the Czech Republic, or a country that you dimly remember hearing of while checking the boxes at Pater’s old prep school, such as Belgium or (for the three-generation legacies) France. Those ambassadorships are traditionally for sale, although the “diplomatic protocol” is to cloak the transactional nature of the assignments in diplomatic — what other kind would be fitting? — euphemism.

The New York Times is losing its mind in general over the incoming Trump administration — but one of its wailings and gnashings stems from the plight of those poor, impoverished megamillionaire donors, who, alas! have to leave their plum ambassadorships because their boy was term limited out, and his chosen successor, who might have retained them for some weeks or months, or longer with the right Global Initiative donation, didn’t rise to the throne after all. To put it in the language of diplomacy, Quel horreur!

Of course, French is also the language of l’amour, and the moneybags feel like they just got amoured without getting kissed. So they take to the Times, the Newspaper of Record for Wealthy Manhattanites and Those Who Wish They Were, and describe how twaumatizing the whole thing has been to a sympathetic reporter or three:

Mr. Trump… has taken a hard line against leaving any of President Obama’s political appointees in place as he prepares to take office on Jan. 20 with a mission of dismantling many of his predecessor’s signature foreign and domestic policy achievements. “Political” ambassadors, many of them major donors who are nominated by virtue of close ties with the president, almost always leave at the end of his term; ambassadors who are career diplomats often remain in their posts.

But these Unique and Special Snowflakes™ are entitled, you see.

The directive has nonetheless upended the personal lives of many ambassadors, who are scrambling to secure living arrangements and acquire visas allowing them to remain in their countries so their children can remain in school, the diplomats said.

In Costa Rica, Ambassador Stafford Fitzgerald Haney is hunting for a house or an apartment as his family — which includes four school-age children and his wife, who has been battling breast cancer — struggles to figure out how to avoid a move back to the United States with five months left in the school year, according to the diplomats.

A man with three last names. What odds his family tree looks like a poplar, and his chin, if he has one, is an implant? Waaaah! Gotta move in mid-schoolyear. Welcome to the soldier’s world, or one small aspect of it, Stafford old boy, not to mention normal life for anyone working for a large and widespread firm, who doesn’t have the good fortune to be in the golden-parachute blocks on the org chart.

You’re breakin’ our heart. Take two listens to Gloomy Sunday, and do what the song is famous for:

We kept expecting the story to break into what it really is: comic relief. But they don’t get their own joke, and the Times doesn’t lighten up at all, as one megamillionaire after another whines and whinges:

In the Czech Republic, they said, Ambassador Andrew H. Schapiro is seeking housing in Prague as well as lobbying his children’s Chicago-based school to break with policy and accept them back midyear.

He doesn’t want to give up his .gov-paid 72 rooms, and more servants than George III had. But it’s all about his precious spawn — riiiiight. We’re sure that generation of Schapiros will produce a cure for cancer more entitled, spoiled moneybags who are only fit to be ambassadors-to-a-place-where-the-ambassador-isn’t-critical.

In Brussels and Geneva, Denise Bauer, the United States ambassador to Belgium, and Pamela Hamamoto, the permanent representative to the United Nations, are both trying to find a way to keep daughters from having to move just months before their high school graduation.

These people had millions to give to the Obama and Clinton campaigns. If they can’t bear to come back to the America that elected Mr Trump, and it seems like they can’t, they can do what millions of Americans do every day and rent a freaking apartment. And if the nation won’t give them a visa, however unlikely that is? They can do like millions of Mexicans, and sponge off their host nation as illegal aliens.

They’re still breakin’ our heart (severely NSFW):

The President (outgoing) had a soirée for these high-end welfareniks:

At a White House farewell reception that Mr. Obama held on Wednesday night for noncareer ambassadors, many of them commiserated, attendees said, comparing notes about how to handle the situation.

At which the named individuals unburdened themselves to the crack Times reporting team. And others sniveled that this means, egads! The End of Diplomacy™!

W. Robert Pearson, a former ambassador to Turkey and a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, said the rule was “quite extraordinary,” adding that it could undermine American interests and signal a hasty change in direction that exacerbates jitters among allies about their relationships with the new administration. …

In fact, no diplomacy is going to end because these figureheads give up their mansions, motorcades, and minions. In nations with rich, connected inbreeds in diplomatic posts, the actual diplomacy is carried by down-ticket Embassy staffers who are career diplomats, especially the #2 guy or girl, normally titled Chargé d’Affaires. While the Chargé is nominally #2, and the State Department is nothing if not protocol-bound, one of his or her major responsibilities is keeping the donor-Ambassador from stepping on the national reproductive tackle. The donor-Ambassador seldom knows the language of the nation in question, let alone the first thing about the nation, its issues, or its historic and current relations with the United States. The donor-Ambassador may have run a business, or at least had a big office, before. But he or she has never run an Embassy; has never had to deal with a embedded CIA Chief of Station; has never dealt with foreign press who operate under different expectations and laws than their US counterparts; doesn’t know what the consular staff does and what the GSA officers do. All these fields of ignorance are kept from blowing up relations by the career Foreign Service Officers on staff, and generally, they can do it better when not babysitting some jerk whose only quaification is having given his and his friends’ inherited wealth to a political campaign (often in a conditional quid pro quo for the Ambassador gig).

Sure, they’re Ambassadors, but they’re hollow figureheads — Potemkin Ambassadors. And that is not a partisan issue, both parties produce these drones in profusion, depending on who’s got the keys to the White House.

The Times’s meltdown isn’t just over the State Department’s nosebleed-rich Potemkin Ambassadors. They’re also flipping out over other Trump appointments, like Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions. Because he advocated for the death penalty for rebarbative murderers, they call Sessions the Grim Reaper of Alabama; he will replace AG Loretta Lynch, who with her predecessor Eric Holder generally favored criminals, including murderers, over victims.

Hat tip: Elizabeth Harrington at the Washington Free Beacon, who has some of the details of the perks these .001%er Ambassadors don’t want to let go of, and of what they paid to buy their posts, and did to get their money (mostly, inherit it, or shuffle other moneychangers’ gelt on Wall Street, although one was a CBS producer).

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2017 Week 01

First Tour d’Horizon of 2017, which promises to be a whole new year.

Guns

I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

AR-15 Kaboom

There’s a lot more pictures at TFB, where Nicholas C notes that he hasn’t “seen damage to a BCG like this before.” Here’s the BCG:

Here’s the gun in pieces. Note that the bottom of the BC is blown out:

Like we said, many more pictures. Nicholas may not have seen a BCG like this, but we have. This is actually one of the ways an AR sacrifices itself to save the shooter. Here’s a remarkably similar case:

Look here for more info and photos, but we’ll show you one more.

That one was caused by a misloaded round (commercial reloads); it had a load of mixed rifle and pistol powder (pistol powder is much faster burning).

Gun Stocks update

Pre-Election closings: RGR 64.40, SWHC 28.45, VSTO 38.94.  [8 Nov 16]
-7 week’s closings: RGR 53.20, SWHC 24.13, VSTO 40.02. [18 Nov 16]
-6 week’s closings: RGR 52.50, SWHC 23.82, VSTO 41.05. [25 Nov 16] [short trading day and week]
-5 week’s closings: RGR 50.25, SWHC 21.10, VSTO 39.66. [2 Dec 16]
-4 week’s closings: RGR 51.90, SWHC 21.07, VSTO 38.62. [9 Dec 16]
-3 week’s closings: RGR 53.45, SWHC 21.59, VSTO 36.81. [16 Dec 16]
-2 week’s closings: RGR 54.05, SWHC 22.11, VSTO 38.02. [23 Dec 16]
Last week’s closings: RGR 52.70, SWHC 21.08, VSTO 36.90. [30 Dec 16] (this was the final close for SWHC, which renamed itself AOBC).

This week’s closings: RGR 54.15, AOBC (ex-SWHC) 21.00, VSTO 38.08. [6 Jan 17]

Red means “lower than the previous week.” Two of the three stocks are higher this week on an overall rising market, the third is pretty neutral.

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov 16. It bottomed in the 40s later that day. We still think it has longterm growth potential, and we like the dividend, but we’ve lost (on paper) thousands of dollars.

Gun Poly-Ticks

A Message from Massachusetts

So a guy from another state who has two pistol permits already prepares to get the MA out of state license. He takes the class, does the paperwork, pays the stiff fee — gets told, bzzzt! You are a no-go at this station; you are DQ’d and we’re reporting you to the Feds as a Prohibited Person.

What’d he do? 20+ years ago, he was in college in MA and was arrested for a fake ID he used to get into bars. He was never convicted, but the courts didn’t retain the records, so the state firearms dweebs now say that they must assume he was convicted, and the max penalty for a fake ID (on paper) is > 1 year. Now he has hired attorneys and his license will ultimately be awarded, probably, but he’s looking at the mid five figures to exercise a Constitutional right.

Meanwhile, MA pols all agree that requiring a voter to show ID (like the college students their Party buses to NH to vote up here) is a terrible imposition on poor young black chilluns who can’t afford an ID.

First offense DUI in MA is also a lifetime Federal prohibitor, because the max sentence (which has literally never been assigned) is two years in State prison. We knew that. But we didn’t know about the Fake ID thing.

Czechs Go All Schweik on EU Gun Ban

The Brussels Imperium has demanded the peasants turn in their pitchforks and torches, and the Czechs, who survived the Austrian, Nazi, and Soviet empires, seem disinclined to submit to another.

[T]he latest Czech proposal argues that armed citizens would be the best defense against terror attacks.

…Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said that amending the constitution would reduce the chances of attacks by enabling “active and rapid defense.”

Citizens should be given the right to use firearms to defend their “life, health and property” and contribute to “ensuring the internal order, security and territorial integrity” of the country, he said.

Heydrich did his worst. Beria did his worst. Jean-Claude Juncker may harbor similar ambitions in his small, cold, hard and black hockey puck of a heart, but he isn’t fit to carry their thumbscrews. And the Czechs, of all the races of men in Europe, know it.

Švejk žije!

The Menace of Armed Toddlers

In a paean of praise to the wondrous Obama pro-terrorism policies from the Democrat-partisan Brookings Institution, one Daniel Bynum launches this canard:

The average American is more likely to be shot by an armed toddler than killed by a terrorist.

Now, his entire article is nonsense, making it a good thing that he gets to formulate policy from the outside for at least four years, but this is a fable, an untruth, and bespeaks a hole in Bynum’s integrity. His source?

The Democrat-partisan Huffington Post, in an article by gun-control activist-for-hire Ben Powers.

Bynum also expands on Powers’s little apples-to-oranges dodge: “shot by an armed toddler” (for which no statistics exist, so Powers just garbage-collects some media stories, including Bloomberg-planted “the Trace” stuff), transmogrifies all cases of children shooting or being shot into “toddlers shooting,” and then Bynum follows Powers in comparing “shot” to “shot dead,” except, Bynum then converts the “shot dead” to “killed,” miraculously reanimating, say, victims of bombings, stabbings, and runnings-over. Or at least excluding them from the data.

He also excludes ISIL self-starters from his definition of terrorism, cutting the Islamic-tax-on-America death toll to 5.

If there is a profession with lower integrity than the media (Powers’s trade), it might be the professoriat (Bynum’s).

Usage and Employment

 The hardware takes you only half way. This week the theme is Resisting Armed Robbery

Armed Robbery Resistance: No-Go

This shopkeeper tries to arm wrestle the robber for the revolver. He loses, badly (with John Correia of Active Self Protection). He is a no-go at this station.

Yes, Virginia, there are people that will kill you for the $100 in the till, and for less than that; from the signage, this murder appears to take place in Brazil, but it could be any American city, because these kinds of crimes happen in every major metro area. Being a convenience store clerk is a very hazardous profession!

This guy had a good attitude — he was ready to fight. (As John points out, any armed robber is planning to kill you if things don’t go his way). But he didn’t have the skills to fight a gun barehanded — few people do — so the plan he formed, probably in a split second, and executed, availed him not.

Armed Robbery Resistance: Go

Brazil again, an upscale store gets hit by a motorcycle-rider-dressed bandit with a Taurus pistol. (Common MO is for the gun robber to ride pillion on the bike, and dismount to conduct the actual robbery, while the getaway driver stays ready on the bike.

This one goes in the “all’s well that ends well” file.

Armed Robbery Resistance: Go Ugly, But a Go

Finally here’s proof of what the Marines say, a guy’s always a Marine. Cleveland Heights, OH.

John’s YouTube Channel is an endless font of such thought-provoking (and entertaining) videos.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Chicago Record Corrected

Last week we reported that box score was “793 homicides of which 713 were by firearm, with one long day yet to go. As the year ends, Chicago’s homicide clearance rate is a mighty 18.4%”

The tally is, as of 6 January, 795/713, with 36 outstanding “death investigations,” some of which will probably resolve to homicides. The clearance rate rose to 18.5%, with two more cases being called justified citizen shootings, bringing the good burghers of Chicago (or at least the justified users of deadly force in self-defense) to par with police agencies, with each group having ended 11 criminal careers in 2016.

22 down, a few thousand to go.

In the gotta-grin department, the shot-in-the-kiester and in-the-junk totals (most of whose victims, like most of the homicide victims, were fellow gangbangers) were 223 and 63 respectively, and there were 46 “selfies.”

All stats, of course, are from HeyJackass.com, which sums up the year in review with an apt term we choose not to repeat, trying to keep the blog SFW. They also have this to say about ’17:

2017 isn’t looking much better than 2016. In fact, we believe it’ll be worse as the CPD will continue to stay fetal and let the Strategic Subject List(ed) jagoffs ventilate one another. 850 homicides with an additional 3850 shot and wounded very well may be the tally come December 31st, 2017.

Bearing in mind that every month was up 30% or so from 2015, it does look like Chicagoans are in for a tough year, again. The mayor and the aldermen need the criminals and their advocates, so the odds of them taking effective action approximate zero.

The Perils of Kathleen: The Only Thing Appealing About Her…

The anti-gun, convicted felon former Attorney General hit the new year’s headlines like a felonious (but wrinkly) Kardashian. The only thing appealing about her is what she’s doing in the state court of appeals.

  • Item: Kane Files AppealShe’s basically claiming that each of nine motions her defense team was denied (including one to have all judges and prosecutors in the county recuse themselves) constitutes reversible error. It seems to be the same kitchen-sink legal approach that
  • Item: Kane Alleges She Could Have Retaliated Other Ways, Tooso she should be excused for the retaliation that she actually did do.
  • Item: Kane’s Tu Quoque DefenseHer appeal also suggests that the people she tried to frame with selective leaks had it coming because they were Very Bad People for sending or receiving “porn” (off-color memes and jokes) on their government computers, and therefore her perjury and other corruption shouldn’t count.
  • Item: Read Kane’s Appeals BriefBut, bear in mind that it’s a one-sided, deliberately slanted presentation, aimed partly at persuading the appeals court but mostly at suggesting to the public that her conviction was somehow illegitimate.

Of course, the other point of the appeal is to keep rolling the dice and hoping the public will lose interest.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. 

Hacking and Equivalency

ABC reporter (!) Jonathan Karl asked Presidential spokesman Josh Earnest, why the government did nothing to the Chinese when it said they hacked the 21 million detailed records of cleared personnel, but booted 35 Russian intelligence officers diplomats when it said they hacked an unsecure email server, at least one of the key accounts of which had a password of P@ssw0rd.

JOSH EARNEST: These are two cyber incidents that are malicious in nature but materially different.

KARL: 20 million people had their personal data taken… fingerprints, social security numbers, background checks. This was a far-reaching act–

EARNEST: I’m not downplaying the significance of it, I’m just saying that it is different than seeking to interfere int he conduct of a U.S. national election.

Got it? The difference, apparently, is stealing stuff from the government and exposing 21 million cleared personnel’s data including everything from criminal and financial records to fingerprints, isn’t a priority, but cribbing some emails off people who made no effort to secure their email.

The Great Gitmo Jailbreak

75% of the people who were in detention at Guantanamo Bay on 20 Jan 2009 are now somewhere else… outside .And despite letting three-quarters of these bad actors out, and pardoning or commuting the sentences of hundreds if not thousands of violent felons, want to guess the number of GIs whose court-martial sentences have been lifted?

Zero. Unless Bowe Bergdahl and Bradley Manning get theirs in the days ahead.

About All Those Intel Agency “Unnamed Sources” in the Press

“Ishmael Jones,” a pseudonymous source who was one of the increasingly rare guys who actually collected human intelligence “forward,” notes that most of the people with their noses out of joint are headquarters drones… at CIA, 95% of the headcount is headquarters drones.

The CIA is meant to spy upon foreign countries. The secrets we seek are located in foreign countries. Yet the bloated CIA bureaucracy exists almost entirely within the United States. CIA bureaucrats appear to find foreign service disagreeable. They enjoy their lifestyle and will fight with aggressive passivity to keep it that way. More than 90% of CIA employees spend their careers living and working entirely within the United States.

The incoming CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, will be astonished by how many of his senior leaders have not had an overseas assignment in decades. Brief junkets and TDY’s to foreign countries do not count.

He’s absolutely serious about that. Not only do the overwhelming bulk of personnel sit in cubes in DC area buildings (either HQ or the many leased overflow buildings), many of them have never had an overseas assignment (and that invariably under official cover), and the majority of those who have had an overseas assignment had one early in their career… or one later in their career when decades of loyal HQ toadying land someone an Assistant Chief or Chief of Station post.

And that’s at CIA. At some of the other agencies, an overseas assignment is extremely rare, and can be career damaging.

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to o disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?

The WWP Fights Back

A new manager at the Wounded Warrior Project notes that the exposure of the waste and abuse at the highest levels in the organization last year has hurt fundraising.

Cry us a river.

At that same link, the story notes that he was going to have some transparency about financials, but he’s months late.

These are not the reforms you were looking for.

And the fired, culpable managers, Steve Nardizzi and Al Giordano, got some Columbia professor to write an “independent” report[.pdf] agreeing with their point of view that, yes, charities should spend their donations on things like $150,000 to fund another nonprofit that fights against transparency and limits on “charitable” self-enrichment. You can read the report here, if you want 79 pages of self-serving bullshit in .pdf form.

We’ve seen the WWP’s fund-raising ads back on TV lately as part of this charm “don’t believe your lyin’ eyes” offensive.  (TV ads for nonprofits are a great deal — for the for-profit fundraisers, who keep 80% to 98% of the money they raise).

VA Greatly Reduced in-Hospital MRSA infections

Methicillin-Resistant Staphlococcus Aureus is a hard-to-kill bacterial infection that can spread like wildfire in hospitals. A recent paper says the VA has done an excellent job of reducing what was an unacceptably high level of Hospital-Associated Infections (HAIs) with MRSA, 10 years ago. Well done, VA: credit where credit is due.

VA Trying to House the Homeless

Vets, that is. VA is gunning to place as many homeless vets as possible in residential situations in the next 30 days. If they succeed in this, loaves and fishes are next… but seriously, someone has to try these things. Most “homeless” vets are mentally ill, substance abusers, or both. But they’re still human beings.

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.

 This is Yahoo News

Lord love a duck, they really posted that. We know a lot of people want to put words in politicians’ mouths, but this is ridiculous.

Do you think they keelhauled an intern over this? And what’s the over/under on the intern being a student at or graduate of Columbia Journalism School?

Pistols, Each with a First

A first what, you may well ask?

Each of these high-condition classic pistols is the first associated with a given cartridge. Some of them were the only pistol made for that cartridge… others were the first of extremely long lines. How many of them can you name?

These all come from an informative and entertaining gallery on imgur.

The sub-theme that I am going to write about today is “firsts”. First pistol made in the various semi-automatic pistol calibers. I think it’s an appropriate topic as we approach the first of the new year. Note this is not a complete collection in that I don’t have a pistol in EVERY semi-automatic caliber. But I’ll share with you the ones that I do have.

His collection has some very fine pistols in it.

For more, go to the imgur page.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, Week 52

Last Tour d’Horizon of 2016, which conveniently ends on a Saturday.

Guns

I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

That’s Not an Auction, Mate. This is an Auction:

Rock Island’s next Regional Auction is going to take place Feb. 16-19. Why four days, when past auctions have been two or occasionally three?

Ten thousand guns. That’s a one followed by four zeroes. Here’s the catalog. There are 2093 lots that are curio and relic firearms. Winchester? 892 lots. Colt, 784. Mauser is represented with 180, and Springfield Armory (mostly, the real Springfield Armory) with 230, including a rare Springfield .45 M1911 made in 1914.

You know you want it.

And a fake Luger prototype, which they give the dignified name of “professional copy” to:

That’s one of over 100 Lugers, including at least a dozen Artillery (lange Pistole.08) and at least one Navy model.

Gun Stocks update

Pre-Election closings: RGR 64.40, SWHC 28.45, VSTO 38.94.  [8 Nov 16]
-6 week’s closings: RGR 53.20, SWHC 24.13, VSTO 40.02. [18 Nov 16]
-5 week’s closings: RGR 52.50, SWHC 23.82, VSTO 41.05. [25 Nov 16] [short trading day and week]
-4 week’s closings: RGR 50.25, SWHC 21.10, VSTO 39.66. [2 Dec 16]
-3 week’s closings: RGR 51.90, SWHC 21.07, VSTO 38.62. [9 Dec 16]
-2 week’s closings: RGR 53.45, SWHC 21.59, VSTO 36.81. [16 Dec 16]
Last week’s closings: RGR 54.05, SWHC 22.11, VSTO 38.02. [23 Dec 16]

This week’s closings: RGR 52.70, SWHC 21.08, VSTO 36.90. [30 Dec 16]

Red means “lower than the previous week.” All three stocks are lower this week.

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov. It bottomed in the 40s later that day. We still think it has longterm growth potential, and we like the dividend, but we’ve lost (on paper) thousands of dollars.

 

Gun Poly-Ticks

Eurocrats Impose Sweeping Gun Restrictions

Pro-gun Activists Lost; the Euro restrictions passed. The New York Times is ecstatic. Their photog captured Jean-Claude Juncker in the early stages of his Hitler salute, fittingly enough.

California Laws

In California, loopy new laws effective tomorrow raise the minimum wage in steps to $15 (a subsidy for automation developers), encourage the distribution of EpiPens (from a company controlled by the family of politician Joe Manchin), banned sports teams named Redskins and redefined underage hookers as victims-of-trafficking instead, insuring a ready supply of the underage hookers so popular in Sacramento. There are also, being California, plenty of loopy new gun laws. ABC TV-7 LA:

People who own magazines that hold more than 10 rounds will be required to give them up starting Jan. 1.

Good luck with that. Previous bans everywhere have seen compliance rates from rounds-to-zero to approximately 30 percent, and no ban has ever seriously restricted criminal access to weapons.

But of course, this ban is not aimed at criminal access, but at yours. 

Buyers must undergo a background check before purchasing ammunition and will be barred from buying new weapons that have a device known as a bullet button.

NICS for ammo is just a “sickener” meant to shrink participation in shooting sports. The Bullet Button is a California-only perversion that turned a detachable-magazine firearm into a firearm with a magazine only removable by a tool, such as the tip of a bullet.

Law enforcement officers will be required to follow the same rules as civilians by securely storing handguns in a lockbox out of plain view or in the trunk if the weapons are left in an unattended vehicle. SB 869 by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, closed a legal loophole that had exempted authorities and concealed weapons permit holders from those rules. The move came after stolen guns were used in high-profile crimes.

The reporter doesn’t want to mention that the “high-profile” crimes were things like the murder of Kate Steinle, committed by a criminal alien, who was free to commit the outrage under California and San Francisco sanctuary-for-violent-criminal-aliens policy.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. This week the theme is Safety

Safety: Don’t do this.

We”ll just put this out there:

[A] woman shot in the eye at a South Carolina gun range earlier this week has died.

Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore told local media outlets that 24-year-old Sarah Bonner from Lawrenceville, Georgia, died early Thursday after being on life support for several days.

She was shot in the face Monday while visiting friends and family for Christmas. Shore says an autopsy is being done, and the bullet will be examined to show which gun it came from.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Sheila Cole said in an email that investigators are examining whether the shooting was an accident.

Now, it might not be an accident. It might be one of those rental range suicides that have been creeping out ROs and range owners for the last few years.

Safety: And Don’t do this, either.

One suspects that “the second officer” has beaucoup ‘splaining to do, back at the cop shop:

Police in Weatherford near Fort Worth say officer Chris Bumpas was conducting the stop Thursday evening when he discovered there was a warrant for the arrest of one of three people in the vehicle.

Police said in a statement that the man became combative and struck the officer with a flashlight.

The second officer couldn’t subdue the suspect using a stun gun and fired multiple shots, striking Bumpas and the suspect.

Police say Bumpas is recovering from surgery on his abdomen. The suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, is in guarded condition at a hospital.

We’ll bet he’s in “guarded” condition. But while we often make fun of cop marksmanship, the joke’s not funny this time. May the officer recover.

Safety: It’s Always Loaded, Especially With Someone New

This guy should have known better — he was a 71 year old lifelong gun owner and NRA member, and one of the few friendly voices we had in the legacy media. But M.D. Harmon was showing a kid and his father a gun in his own house, and when the kid handled the gun, it fired a single shot, killing Harmon instantly.

What state is your firearm in, people? Loaded. Form the habit. Harmon never expected an accident, either.

Safety: A 12-Year-Old Boy

After hunting with family and friends, the party returned and were handling a gun.

Spencer Bennett Jr., died at a friend’s home in Noxubee County on Thursday after a high-powered rifle discharged.

Bennett had just returned from hunting with a friend and an adult shortly after 6 p.m. Calhoun said they apparently were passing around the firearm when it discharged accidentally. He said Bennett was shot in the upper abdomen and died at the scene.

Heartbreaking.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Chicago Racks up Records

While the rest of the world was celebrating a Christmas message of peace and light, the black gangs of Chicago were braving cold weather to commit dozens of shootings and at least 13 murders, bringing the city tally to 785 homicides, of which about 90% (705) were by gunfire, by midway through the weekend.

New Years’ weekend is only getting underway, but as of 10 PM Friday night, it seems probable it will break the 2015-16 record of 4 killed 40 wounded is probable (3 killed, 4 wounded with Saturday, Sunday, and Monday’s day off still to be counted).

The box score is 793 homicides of which 713 were by firearm, with one long day yet to go.

In an interesting statistic, while Chicago and other police ended the criminal careers of 11 perps with well-placed gunshots, since the legalization of self defense over the objections of the Chicago political combine, non-cop self-defenders have nailed 9 of the varmints. One of them just today. (He actually shot two robbers, but Chicago’s very experienced trauma teams saved one).

One factor? With the police having “gone fetal,” in the memorable phrase of the cop-loathing mayor, Rahm Emanuel, arrests are way, way, down: 28% according to the higher-ups, and 35% by Second City Cop’s estimate. If you don’t arrest criminals, they’re available on the street to do killings. Funny how that works.

As the year ends, Chicago’s homicide clearance rate is a mighty 18.4%.

All stats, of course, are from HeyJackass.com.

The Perils of Kathleen: Back in the News

The anti-gun, convicted felon former Attorney General remains a headline producer.

  • Item: State Wants to Stiff Kane Email LawyersKane ran an investigation on a cost-no-object basis into off-color emails sent by other public servants. Her objective was, apparently, a tu quoque defense, which she should have learned in law school doesn’t work. The State has paid almost $400k but the lawyers want a total of nearly $2 million.

A spokesman for Attorney General Bruce Beemer said Thursday the office is trying to negotiate an “acceptable settlement.” The spokesman says the office has paid $385,000, while the Buckley Sandler law firm is seeking approximately $1.5 million more.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. 

Jews to Obama: Thanks, We’ll Pass on your Boxcars

After the injury of a UN vote to condemn Israel — something signaled years ago when the anti-Semite, seething, and man-jawed Samantha Power was named UN ambassador — the Obama followed up with an insult at a national menorah lighting ceremony. They sent, as the traditional government participant, a nominally Jewish entry-level political appointee who has been working to redefine zionism as terrorism.

But the rabbi leading the ceremony, Levi Shemtov, let the official, acting undersecretary for terrorism in the Treasury Department Adam Szubin, say he piece, then insulted Szubin in turn, albeit politely: he brought up the name of perhaps the most hated Jew in the most Jew-hating Administration the United States has ever had, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Szubin was left to seethe in silence at what was otherwise the high-water mark of his career as a payroll patriot.

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to o disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™? (Nothing this week, sorry).

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.(Nothing this week, sorry).

Some Things Never Change. Should They?

Some things never change. Since the firearm became the standard weapon of the infantry, and it ceased being a pike that could fire a couple of volleys, it’s been about a meter long and weighed about 4 kilograms — call it a yard and nine pounds on the English system.

Why should an M4, or, especially, an M27, be about the same size and bulk as a 1903 Springfield……(which was within a fraction of an inch and a pound of its cousin, the Kar. 98k)?

Sure, the guns that are contemporaries are very similar in size, weight, caliber and effect, because they’re shaped by the technology of the day, but why should a new gun be proportioned roughly like one of two centuries ago?

Because that’s about what a man can conveniently carry and manipulate in combat, while executing foot maneuver under enemy observation and fire. So that weapon size is a natural size, dictated by biology as much as anything.

For as long as recorded history has been written, the fundamental unit has been about 100-150 men. Here’s a British wargame guy explaining how that’s a natural size, dictated by biology — neurological and social biology perhaps.

Can you think of some other examples of weapons sizes, shapes and performance envelopes that are defined, one way or another, by the limits of human biology?

Friday Tour d’Horizon, Week 51

Hey, the Tour d’Horizon is on time. Who kidnapped Hognose? (Or is that piglet-napped?)

Guns

I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Variants of the Beretta 92/M9, explained

In this sticky post at Arfcom, the variants of the venerable Beretta are run down. Did you know that the first ones had very different slides? We knew about the safeties and stuff, but didn’t know about this “stepped” slide, and we’ve owned lots of Berettas and shot many more.

Did you know how the frame profile of an early 92 and the military M9 differs from that of a commercial 92FS? We didn’t know that, either. Check out this thread and learn a little more about these remarkable firearms. Yes, they’re bashed at one end by the 1911A1 devotees and at the other by the Glockenspielers, but this pistol’s place in history is secure.

New LaserLyte Training Targets

To illustrate the changing of the target guard, they blast a few of their old targets with something other than the standard laser cartridges.

Hat tip: All Outdoor.com.

Gun Stocks update

Pre-Election closings: RGR 64.40, SWHC 28.45, VSTO 38.94.  [8 Nov 16]
-5 week’s closings: RGR 53.20, SWHC 24.13, VSTO 40.02. [18 Nov 16]
-4 week’s closings: RGR 52.50, SWHC 23.82, VSTO 41.05. [25 Nov 16] [short trading day and week]
-3 week’s closings: RGR 50.25, SWHC 21.10, VSTO 39.66. [2 Dec 16]
-2 week’s closings: RGR 51.90, SWHC 21.07, VSTO 38.62. [9 Dec 16]
Last week’s closings: RGR 53.45, SWHC 21.59, VSTO 36.81. [16 Dec 16]

This week’s closings: RGR 54.05, SWHC 22.11, VSTO 38.02. [23 Dec 16]

Red means “lower than the previous week.” All three stocks are lower than they were on 8 Nov 16. But all three are up this week, on a general rise of the market.

Disclaimer: Your Humble Blogger holds RGR, bought at about 56.40 on 9 Nov. It bottomed in the 40s later that day. We still think it has longterm growth potential, and we like the dividend, but we’ve lost (on paper) thousands of dollars.

Gun Poly-Ticks

Wanna Wear a Yellow Triangle?

State Senator Danny Verdin of South Carolina wants you to.

Mad Duck UN Gun Control Play

A short piece at The Washington Times explains the history and concequences of the UN Arms Trade Treaty that President Obama has submitted to the Senate for Ratification. It is a direct attack on the right to own and use firearms and all kinds of weapons.

What happened was not just part of the usual give and take of such negotiations, but a deliberate act of bad faith by Hillary Clinton. The firearms community was under the impression that the Department of State was negotiating in good faith. However, release of Mrs. Clinton’s Benghazi emails revealed the truth. As it turned out one of the reasons she supported the treaty was because it was opposed by the NRA.

Along with Mrs Clinton, the villain of the piece is Tom Countryman, an example of the sort of prep-school inbreed that always serves the State Department and the nation, and always serves them both badly, due to greater affinity with foreign oligarchs’ scions, whom they closely resemble. The Senate should reject it, but you never know with chinless, gutless, nutless Mitch McConnell.

Does the Constitution Require Reciprocity?

That’s what New York lawyer Rafael Mangual argues in National Review.

[T]he Constitution may actually already require national reciprocity for the more basic right to keep a gun in the home — not because of the Second Amendment, but because of the constitutional right to travel.

…the fact that a state’s regulations may not violate the Second Amendment doesn’t mean they don’t place an undue burden on the right to travel.

His point is that It’s an interesting argument, if a technical one. It may have found an outlet at the #NeverTrump precinct of National Review, though, specifically because it’s not what Trump says he’ll do, and because it might undermine what Trump says he wants to do, provide carry reciprocity (Mangual argues only for possession reciprocity, in the home, which is something only a few benighted states deny new arrivals).

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. 

This is Winning Ugly

A Philadelphia woman fired two shots at a would-be armed robber. She didn’t hit him, but the cops nabbed him as he skedaddled, still holding her purse and the club he’d been robbing people with.

However, she did hit someone else — what’s worse, the store security guard. He’s in stable condition with a bullet in the shin. She’s not expected to face charges, but a little remedial instruction on the flat range might be in order.

This is Winning Ugly, too.

We didn’t know whether to laugh or cheer when the store clerk seemed torn between continuing to shoot at the fleeing felon, or taking another drag on his cigarette. “I’m not just the smoke shop salesman, I’m also a customer!” Even if he is a CZ guy… this is pretty ugly.

It is still winning, though. The good guy didn’t get shot. No bystander got shot. The criminal was a no-go at robbery.

The clerk wrote when posting the video:

Castle doctrine, baby. Shout out to CZ-USA, beautiful performance from my CZ-75 SP-01 Tactical. This was in Houston, Texas at Smoke Alley on Westheimer.

The two crims are wearing yellow baseball caps. Gang color? One enters the store and quickly pulls his gun and announces a robbery while the other stands guard outside. In seconds they’re both fleeing a fusillade of 9mm rounds, and, one hopes, contemplating a career change.

This is Winning Clean

Robber Kevin Johnson — before receiving four well-earned shots and assuming ambient temperature.

The guy’s going to be fired by anti-gun Uber, who would be perfectly happy if he and his rider had been murdered. But he’s still sucking oxygen in the free air, and one robber is slabbed and the other jailed — that’s a W on any scorecard.

The Uber driver’s vehicle was then cut off by a Dodge Caravan minivan on the William Lehman Causeway.

“The driver of the Caravan exited the vehicle and he had two firearms in his hands and he pointed them at the Uber driver and demanded items from the driver,” [Aventura, FL, police spox Sgt. Chris] Goranitis said. “This was an attempted robbery.”

But the unidentified Uber driver was also armed, and he proceeded to fire at the would-be thief, police said. The suspect, who was not identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the Uber driver fired in self-defense.

Johnson, after. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the dyin’.

The passenger in the van took off, but has been identified and is wanted. The dead robber Kevin Johnson, 24, robbed someone else just before he unwisely tried to rob Uber driver Namique Anderson. Johnson’s two guns were recovered at the scene, next to his cold, dead body. Police confirmed that they don’t expect to charge Mr Anderson.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

Mad Duck: Get Out of Jail Free Cards to More Criminals

Most of the new 78 pardons and 153 commutations went to drug dealers who carried guns while dealing, but a few went to unarmed dealers, and a handful went to other violent and white-collar criminals. Mark Knoller notes (via Twitchy) that 148 pardons and 1,176 commutations so far, the commutations are more than the previous 15 presidents combined.

The Cop was a Crim, I

This is not the way to accelerate your fast food order, there, lawdog.

Drunken off-duty Deputy Marshal Charles Brown, 30, stumbled into the fast-food joint in Bay Ridge around 1:20 a.m. Saturday and quickly started a beef, according to police.

The fried lawman began yelling at cashier Joanna Diaz, 41, about the long wait for his food, police sources said.

Brown then allegedly pulled out his loaded service weapon and pointed it at Diaz before wheeling around and training his gun on terrified customers inside the 86th Street eatery.

The marshal zeroed in on a 21-year-old man behind him in line who tried to intervene on the cashier’s behalf, cops said.

As workers frantically dialed 911, Brown’s order came up, and he paid for his food and fled, sources said.

Sheesh. Judgment Juice® and guns… isn’t there a block of instruction at FLETC about this?

Crooked State Rep who Took Cash Resents Wrist Tap

Hey, the laws are for the little people, says the corkscrew-spined ex-PA state rep, Louise Bishop. She got a better deal than anyone else – 6 months probation. Her excuse? When the lobbyist slipped her a roll of bribe money, it was all rolled up, so she didn’t know what it was. A reporter swallows that line whole… naturally.

Crooked Hedge Fund Maklers Tried to Abscond

They were planning to flee to Israel ahead of the authorities anxious to investigate a fraud that turned out to have cleaned investors out of over $1 Billion.

Maybe the Israeli authorities will claim them, like Pollard.

Crooked Central Banker Convicted, but Walks

Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund fled France ahead of a court verdict that did indeed go against her, for misusing public funds; but it turned out to have been unnecessary, because the court refused to penalize the old fraudster.

France is so crooked that there’s actually a court that speciaizes in public corruption cases, the Cour de Justice de la République. (We need one of those). Lagarde’s predecessor at IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, stepped down after charges he raped a hotel maid — nothing happened to him, either.

Murder: What Comes Next

A package of interviews at the Philadelphia Inquirer is designed to make you think, and, perhaps, tickle the fancy of the Pulitzer Board. The subject? The aftermath of homicide, and its effects on the families of the victims — and of the perpetrators. To make sure they had enough murders, they set the story not in Philly (which has plenty) but across the river in Camden, NJ (which has even more).

The Perils of Kathleen: Back in the News

The anti-gun, convicted felon former Attorney General remains a headline producer.

  • Item: Judge Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit. Kane (and her former butt-boy Jonathan Duecker) tried to get a judge to throw out a lawsuit by two special agents, who have made (the judge ruled) a credible claim that Kane and Duecker retaliated against them for testifying to a grand jury investigating some of her political allies. They charge that:

Kane denied them promotions and publicly exposed their private emails during the Porngate scandal in retaliation for their disobeying her orders not to testify before a grand jury that was investigating corruption allegations against Democratic state legislators from Philadelphia.

Kane, a Democrat, declined to prosecute that legislative corruption case….

Unfortunately for Kane, the Philadelphia DA picked up the case, and her pals got convicted despite her attempt at blocking. And now she’s gotta answer for her retaliation against subordinates. Isn’t an Attorney General supposed to know that crime doesn’t pay?

And unfortunately for the gun owners of Pennsylvania, her replacement is Josh Shapiro, another guy who blames crime not on the criminals that do it, but on all the gun owners that don’t.

Ivy League Prof About to Walk for Bludgeoning Wife

Despite perjury in a related civil case, a multimillionaire former economics professor, Rafael Robb, looks like he’s about to walk free next month. After bludgeoning his wife to death while she wrapped Christmas presents in 2006, Robb got the unusual gift of a plea deal for a max of ten years in the can, and it looks like the State will honor the deal, even though Robb seems to have worked with his lawyers and his prison rabbi to try to cheat his wife’s family out of her assets. Nice guys, all of ’em.

TSA Perv Gives Genital Grope

And, the groped lady being a CNN type, she video’d the whole thing.  And even she, with her global platform, got the usual high-handed response from TSA: crickets. No one will be held accountable. When has any one of them ever been held accountable? For anything? 

No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. 

She Still Doesn’t Get it Dep’t

So, where was Mutti Merkel while some ISIL assel was running over dozens of her countrymen in service of the moon god Baal (aka Allah)? The Sun (coarse UK tabloid):

Merkel – who attended an award ceremony to celebrate the International Day of Migrants the day of the attack – said she was “shocked and shaken” by the tragedy.

Shocked? If so, she was about the only sentient being on the real-world side of a university campus not to see this coming.

The open-door approach, criticised by political allies and foes, may seal Merkel’s fate if the attacker turns out to be a migrant let in to the country.

Well, we don’t know what rock the Sun’s Sam Webb and Allan Hall (authors of the piece) are sleeping under, to throw that “if” in there. A good 12 hours before the dateline on their report, the attacker had been ID’d as a “refugee” from Pakistan, admitted in February. (OK. They’re now saying that he denies it, which gives the Merkel crowd plausible deniability too. Hey, maybe it wasn’t a rapefugee. Maybe it was Willi from Würzburg just acting up? Maybe he was under the control of SPECTRE’s brainwashing ray? Update: They are now saying another “refugee” did it).

The Sun article has a picture of German protesters from a previous rally, holding a sign that reads: “Wanted: Orban. For sale: Merkel.” (Victor Orban is the Hungarian leader who’s been determined to protect his nation and his people from the immigrant wave).

Back to the Jihad

Excerpt from the Reuters wire story sets the stage…

President Barack Obama plans to transfer as many as 18 more prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison before leaving office, a source close to the matter said, further shrinking the inmate population but still far short of meeting his longtime pledge to close the facility.

Americans and allied forces risked, and lost, lives bagging these terrorists, completely apart from everyone else they killed, injured, enslaved, or oppressed.

There were 242 jihadis in the tank when the oceans stopped rising and the planet began to heal. There are now 59, and 41 will be left when President Obama leaves. Most of the nearly 200 released have returned to jihad. 

Navy: What Book List?

For weeks (months?) the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program  book list has been “under revision” — and blank.

“Navy Reading” is an official Navy page — an empty one.

A Good Choice for SECARM

We’ll just put this out there

President-elect Donald J. Trump has picked Vincent Viola as secretary of the Army. Viola is the founder of several businesses….

Viola is a 1977 West Point graduate. He trained as an Airborne Ranger infantry officer and served in the 101st Airborne Division. He is a graduate of New York Law School. In 2003, he founded and helped fund the creation of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

During the time when Viola served, every infantry officer (indeed, at one point, every male officer) was automatically cycled to either Airborne or Ranger school, but Viola did both. Not necessary, for a guy not planning on a career.

Frankly, anybody would  be better than outgoing social engineer Eric Fanning, whose only efforts during his term as Secretary of the Army were focused on stamping out dissent in the ranks, pressing Women in Combat, and “integrating sexual minorities.” Fanning leaves behind a weaker, less ready Army than he inherited. Viola’s business past is as an entrepreneur, not a turn-around artist, but a turn-around artist is what he has to be at the Pentagon.

You gotta love the press. Most of the headlines describe Viola as a “hockey team owner.” He is, but that’s probably not how he “identifies,” to use a favorite catchword of the press and the Eric Fanning crowd.

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to o disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™? (Nothing this week, sorry).

A Thought on First Aid Kits

Most vets have more medical training than the average citizen… that’s especially true these days with so many troops trained as Combat Lifesavers. Dark Angel Medical makes truly decent first aid trauma kits, both individual and team sized. They want everyone to know that you can buy these with Flexible Savings Account funds and some kinds of Health Savings Accounts, and if you have an FSA you may be up against a year end “use it or lose it” limit. Naturally, they would like you to spend the money with them. After you see their kits you will want to. (They also do training classes, for those who aren’t vets (or aren’t up on the latest techniques). They keep track of the lives their trainees have saved… over fifty, so far.

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.(Nothing this week, sorry).

 Insha’allah Alone is Not Enough

So Pakistan International Airlines sacrificed a goat next to one of their jets.

Pakistan’s embattled national carrier has been widely mocked for sacrificing a goat next to a plane to ward off bad luck, weeks after one of the country’s worst air disasters.

This is the airline where the captain tells you what your destination is… “insha’allah.”

Can You Pass a Harvard Entrance Exam? [.pdf]

But wait, there’s a trick. It’s from 1869.

Merry Christmas from the Heathens at Apple

OK, they say “Happy Holidays,” but this is the funniest Frankie since Mel Brooks’s.

How Many Guns? Another Analysis

Long time readers know that a perennial interest of this blog is the number of guns that are manufactured, imported, and available in the United States. It’s not a simple number to derive because the vast majority of guns are owned in free states and not tracked on any government statistic. Many in the industry have tried to derive good statistics, and we’ve just learnt of a professor trying to do the same thing, who has developed his own methodology.

The press likes to use the NICS check number as a proxy. It’s probably a good source of trend data, because its errors are the same kinds of errors every month and year, but there are numerous imprecisions in the raw numbers that limit its utility as an accurate measure of gun sales. The press uses raw FBI NICS for the same reason that a drunk looks for his keys under a bright streetlight, not in the dark alley where he dropped them.

In the past, we have used and compared:

  1. FBI NICS checks, which are immediate but inaccurate statistics;
  2. National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) Adjusted NICS, which attempts to comb out the inaccuracies;
  3. ATF Annual Production, Import and Export reports (which are spotty and years late);
  4. DOI Pitman-Robertson tax revenues (provides dollars, not unit sales);
  5. ATF NFA Tax Revenues (which concatenate transfer and making taxes); and,
  6. ATF Access2000 Database Numbers leaked in a Government Accountability Office report. These are the numbers from 66 large FFLs who allow the ATF to place a computer terminal in their plants.

This graph of NFA transfers shows mere tens of thousands, compared to the >20 million non-NFA, Title 1 guns that sell annually. But the trendline slope matches!

The striking thing is that all these disparate metrics have a trendline with a very similar slope. That suggests that they may indeed be measuring the same variable, or variables that are very highly correlated with one another.

We learned through this press release featured at AmmoLand that Professor Jurgen Brauer has been working in this field as well, and has developed, like NSSF has done, an adjusted NICS methodology. (Breuer sounded familiar; indeed, we read, and we think, reviewed, his Castles, Battles and Bombs circa 2012). While NSSF is coy with their methodology, Brauer appears to have published his (we’ll be reading his papers over the holidays).

The peg that Brauer hangs his presser on his his projection that December 2016 will set an all-time sales record of some 2.36 million guns. This is a plausible and reasonable projection, his 2015 December figure was close to the NSSF figure, and we’re interested in reviewing his methodology.

We’ve been using a very naive prediction method as we track data, simply assigning to each incomplete month the average number of the months to date this year. The weakness of that method is that it does not recognize the seasonality in firearms markets. November, December and January are big months. June and July are doldrums. But the strength of our naive method is that it is very conservative for most of the year, and never will overstate the prediction in the year’s second half.

Our conservative forecast does not have December setting an all-time monthly record like it did last year. But it does show that 2016 will set an all-time annual record, even if December sales fall far short. This increases our confidence in the plausibility and reliability of Prof. Brauer’s numbers.

For More Information:

Jurgen Brauer is one of the Principals of the Small Arms Analytic Foundation. http://smallarmsanalytics.com/

Brauer, J. “Demand and supply of commercial firearms in the United States” The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Volume 8 Number 1 (22 April 2013). (abstract only, article is paywalled). Retrieved from: https://www.epsjournal.org.uk/index.php/EPSJ/article/view/146

Brauer, J. The US Firearms Industry: Production and Supply. (Working Paper 14); Small Arms Survey, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva 2013. Retrieved from:

  1. Abstract: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/about-us/highlights/highlight-wp14.html
  2. Full text PDF: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/F-Working-papers/SAS-WP14-US-Firearms-Industry.pdf