Category Archives: Uncategorized

They hate us. They really hate us.

The needle-dick bug buggerers at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, formerly the National Coalition to Ban Handguns1, now whining because they’re not getting a lot of Daddy Bloomberg’s allowance money, have discovered RangerUp. And they’re appalled. My god! Veterans (pronounced in the tones of Martha Stewart reacting to dog feces on the rug) are joking (pronounced as if humor causes them physical pain) about PTSD! (pronounced as if the proper response to an ailment is to lock the sufferer in the attic and speak his name nevermore).

Miguel at Gun Free Zone captured their tweet or FB post or whatever it was:

CSGV-Ranger-Up-tshirt

Then, he hung around and captured their comments in response. Comedy — not even gold, but dilithium crystals, at least. Because the smiles they generate can power the Internet for weeks.

But they do hate’em some veterans, that’s for sure, and they completely missed what RangerUp is all about.  There are many statements that anyone who would wear such a shirt is terrifying, and more than a couple of calls for violence against the wearers — preemptively, of course. They demand that anyone wearing the shirt get beaten, or arrested. One threatens to shoot anyone with the shirt, then backs off. (Wait, they’re a gun-ban group? Threatening to shoot people?)

The impulse to violence is never too deep with these jamokes. But usually, it seems, it’s the impulse to have someone else do their beating or arresting for them. One wonders if it’s that vague and impersonal belligerence that convinces them that all of us can’t be trusted with direct control of the levers of power, to wit, triggers.

The same guys are terrified of 3D printing of firearms, but don’t understand that a firearm can begin as a block of steel, a set of files, and an idea. They are an inch from calling for the ban of the idea (as some have already called for a ban on firearms plans and firearms manufacturing discussions); in their profound insecurity the 1st Amendment is no safer in their hands than the obsolete 2nd. That makes them, as laughably small as their braincases may be, worth watching by those of us who exercise their rights every day. (We also assert our 3rd Amendment rights, and no longer quarter soldiers at Hog Manor. Since retirement).

Now, back on Miguel’s post, where we do insist you go Read The Whole Thing™, he notes that their moderators are madly deleting comments. So someone thinks that calling for the murder of vets wearing a smart-ass shirt is wrong, at least, right?

Wrong. They have been deleting posts by veterans critical of their loathing of us, and responding to their and their followers’ calls for violence. And they wonder why the trends are against them, these violent, vicious, vindictive, totalitarian creepazoids.

Notes

1. They didn’t change their name because, as you might suppose, they changed their minds about wanting to ban handguns. Oh, no! They decided they also wanted to ban rifles and shotguns.

A German Guns Follow-up: What a Mystery!

Not what we had planned for this morning, actually, but frequent commenter Oberndorfer Stefan van den Borght (oops, sorry) sends a link to an article about what the reporter clearly thinks is a terrifying explosion of gun ownership in Franconia, a bucolic, mostly rural region of Bavaria.

Before we dig into a brief excerpt that made us laugh out loud, note that Bavaria is arguably the most traditional-minded and conservative of the states of the former West Germany. Bavaria preserved the greatest amount of the Old German hunting tradition. Franconia, specifically, is the home of Germany’s largest and most prominent guns-and-hunting empire, Waffen Frankonia aka Frankonia Jagd, kind of like Kittery Trading Post or Cabela’s with a German accent: traditional tyrolean hats and loden coats instead of Elmer Fudd caps and plaid jackets. So there’s a gun culture of centuries’ standing here, but the reporter, like journos everywhere, is mystified:

Die Zahl der Straftaten mit Schusswaffen im Landkreis Neustadt a.d. Aisch-Bad Windsheim ist der Polizei zufolge trotz der hohen Waffenbesitzquote eher unterdurchschnittlich. Die Polizei registrierte nach eigenen Angaben 15 solcher Fälle im Jahr 2012.

Bwahahaha! Oh wait, you don’t read the language of Goethe (or the nameless reporter), do you? Allow us to translate:

The number of crimes with firearms in the county of Neustast an der Aisch / Bad Windesheim is, according to the police, rather lower than average, despite the high number of weapons-possession permits.

Mystery, innit? And, yes, he said “despite.” We’ve seen more than a few Anglophone journalists make that same logical error, haven’t we? (Note, too, that the permit they’re talking about, the WBK, lets you possess firearms alone. You can’t necessarily do anything with them).

But wait, it gets better. Because to get the number up to “below average,” they have to throw in everything but the kitchen sink as a “gun crime” (another dodge beloved of Yank journos). Let’s continue, auf deutsch and then immediately in good ol;’ American:

Der Durchschnitt in Mittelfranken liege bei 20 – inklusive Straftaten mit Schreckschusswaffen. Davon gab es im Landkreis elf Vorfälle. Straftaten mit scharfem Schusswaffengebrauch, bei denen Menschen verletzt wurden, gab es im Landkreis in den letzten zwei Jahren nicht.

The average in Middle Franconia is about 20 [crimes] — including crimes with non-lethal weapons. Of those there were 11 incidents in the county. Crimes with the use of lethal firearms, in which people were injured, have not occurred in the county in the last two years.

So parsing that into logical English, there are about 20 crimes a year in that counyy with some kind of firearm-looking thing, 11 of which were determined to be with blank, replica, or tear-gas guns. That means there are 9 crimes committed with real guns, or at least, with guns that could not be determined to be fake guns. (A robbery goes down as a real gun unless or until they catch the perp and determine he was packing non-heat).

This was not lost on the readers of the paper. The very first comment, referring to the story’s hyperventilation over the 5,000 registered weapons in the city of Amberg:

In Amberg, it’s like Kennesaw, USA. A city full of weapons brings peace and order….

And at the end of the story, they note that there were 54 dead through firearms in Germany (the construction of the sentence makes us suspect this is homicides, suicides and accidents all together), of which 27 — exactly half! — were with registered weapons. This strongly suggests that gun homicides are disproportionately done with unregistered, black-market guns.

We support freedom everywhere. Germans would be safer if there were 50,000 registered firearms in Amberg, and safer yet if they didn’t have to be registered. Russians would be safer if they could own handguns; how about it, Vladimir Vladimirovich? It’s culture, not weapons, that drives homicides.

Weird Gun Doings

In New Jersey, Too Many Bears

Well, everyone knows the answer for too many bears. Black bears have been irritating New Jerseyites for a while, and have recently taken to eating them, which the state wildlife authorities think is just a little too much success on the part of the once-endangered predators.

So they put out a call for hunters to come and thin the bear herds. But the hunters are not showing up.

You’re kidding, right? Would anybody in his right mind take a gun to New Jersey for any reason, (except, of course, for criminals, whom the state seems as eager to import as if they didn’t have an endless cornucopia of home-grown ones)? Does the name Shaneen Allen ring a bell? Brian Aitken?

Enjoy your future as Purina Bear Chow, people of the Garden State. You voted for it.

In South Bend: Anti-Violence Violent Felon Reverts to Type

Color us shocked. Again.

Isaac Hunt, a man known in the community as an anti-violence activist, was arrested early Saturday morning.

Officers booked Hunt for alleged unlawful possession of firearm by serious violent felon. According to Indiana Code, “serious violent felony” includes voluntary manslaughter, a crime Hunt served a prison sentence for in the 1990s.

He was released later Saturday night on $4,000 bond with the promise to appear in court.

On Wednesday, Hunt was charged with Domestic Battery, a class A misdemeanor, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon, a level 4 felony.

Right, so this guy’s a killer with a slick story, so the city and various non-profits just totally accept him as an ambassador against violence. Until he proves once again that the best guide to future behavior is past behavior. (And the “past behavior” of urban non-profits is generally “stupid.”)

If you just left the violent criminals in the jeezly prison the first time, what would you need “anti-violence activists” for?

In Indianapolis, Boss to Cop: “So, Sue Me.” So he did.

This is a strange case. The police came to a cop’s house on a domestic call, and confiscated the cop’s guns, even though the complainant was not on the scene. Later they determined “there was no domestic” (in our experience, this sometimes means a bunch of cops and/or cop wives induced a battering victim to recant her story, and sometimes means a bitter ex-wife tried and failed to get her cop ex into hot water), but wouldn’t give him his guns back.

According to the complaint filed in July 2012 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Rebolledo asked Eden to return the firearms to him and told him his rights were being violated.

“Sue me,” Eden told Rebolledo, according to the complaint.

The complaint says Rebolledo repeatedly asked for his weapons back. Most of the weapons were taken to IMPD’s property room as “personal property found,” according to the complaint. Others were taken to the Crime Lab for processing.

The firearms were with IMPD for two months. Rebolledo had to be fingerprinted to get his guns back, according to the complaint.

The cop in question is no longer a cop. He’s in the Army, stationed at Fort Meade. (Most of the soldiers stationed there work for NSA or the 902nd Counterintelligence Group).  He already had his guns back but the lawsuit brings him $$$ from the taxpayers. Cha-chingg.

The most curious thing was the weapons that were taken to the crime lab. Sounds like they suspected, vaguely, that the cop was dirty and tried to bend the law to go fishing.

In Phoenix, two more Victims of Fast & Furious

Two more woundings, from a 2013 gang assault on an apartment building, have been confirmed to have been done with weapons provided to the Sinaloa Cartel by the US Department of Justice and, specifically, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Two US Federal Agents and scores of their Mexican counterparts (along with hundreds of other Mexicans) have already been confirmed dead in the disastrous ATF gunwalking operation. No one has been held responsible. While Katie Pavlich’s story was headlined about the confirmation that one of the ATF-furnished firearms was used in the Phoenix attack, Bob at Bearing Arms noted that her article also shows the ATF surveilled the handover of the specific crime firearm — and let it go, knowing it was going to sicarios for a drug-trafficking organization.

ATF Crime Gunwalking AK traceDarrell Smith, the ATF agent tracing the firearm, and part of the organization that provided the gun to the cartel in the first place, knew last summer of the gun’s use in the near-murders, as did ATF brass and assistant AG Jamie Cole, a Fast and Furious figure who is resigning now that his top cover — AG Eric Holder — is gone. But they conspired to keep that fact from investigators and Congress.

Remember, the “I” in “ATF” is for “Integrity.”

Great government we got here. Let’s put it in charge of ebola readiness!

And Some Micro Links

  • America might have not hit its credit limit yet, but the President has. (Actually, his card number was compromised in one of many hacks. We can relate; same thing happened to us).
  • We mentioned Joe Biden’s dimbulb sons when the word that one lost his Navy career; the other one also needed drug waivers for an Army direct commission that wouldn’t be available to you. As it happens, Slow Joe’s dimbulb daughter turns out to be a druggie also.  We’re shocked.
  • The ever vigilant Secret Service had a protective agent leave his firearm in a car, and get ripped off. Some criminal still has it. Accountability? Consequences? Come on, he’s a government worker. It’s not like they have standards or anything.
  • And in another case of The Usual Suspects, a rapper got busted with a handgun (is that a dog-bites-man story or what?) in an airport security checkpoint. It gets better: he’s a felon. It gets even better: it’s not his first charge of felon in possession. Which is supposed to be a ten-year, no pun intended, rap, under 18 USC §922(g). But he’s out on the first one, in plenty of time to walk into the second.

Yet there are people in our government who think the right answer is to prosecute the criminals less, and persecute the non-criminals more. While within a couple of days, the Director of the FBI demanded a back door into everybody’s cell phone with the old “trust me!” con-man shtick, while the FBI in Minneapolis threw an insinuation into the South Dakota Senate race — and then took the phone off the hook, so that they can’t be questioned about it. Gee, there’s one reason why we might not trust you, Mr Comey.

What ICE told All Hands about Ebola

ebola virionsPresented with only minimal redactions, the all-hands message:

A Message from Medical Officer Dr. McMillan, To all ICE employees, October 28, 2014

ICE Response to Ebola

As many of you know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported four confirmed cases of Ebola in the United States. While the news of Ebola on U.S. soil is concerning to everyone, it is important to note that the CDC has advised the American public that the risk of an outbreak in the United States is very low. Nonetheless, ICE leadership will provide guidance and information regarding safety measures to ensure the health and well-being of the ICE workforce.

As an initial response, ICE has activated a modified Crisis Action Team to coordinate, monitor and assess ICE’s internal health and safety procedures. The DHS Office of Health Affairs is reviewing the existing protocols along with ICE officials to determine employees’ potential exposure to Ebola. Existing basic personal protective equipment in the form of protective gloves and masks is available at ICE field locations now, and ICE is working to acquire additional personal protective equipment should circumstances require it. In addition to the CDC guidance on Ebola including prevention and detection methods we provided earlier this month, training for the correct usage (donning, doffing and disposal) of the enhanced equipment will be made available to ICE personnel who use personal protective equipment in the course of their duties. Federal Occupational Health staff will provide hands-on training of the enhanced equipment.

ICE is closely monitoring the situation and will provide additional guidance and training regarding required personal protective equipment to help you to continue to perform your duties in a safe and healthy work environment.

On DHS.gov you can keep up with the latest information on Ebola including the results of passenger screening at the five airports which all those coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea must transit through to get into the U.S. For more information on ICE workplace health and safety, including the Ebola FAQs, visit the ICE Health and Safety Program online.

If you have questions or concerns about your personal health and safety regarding Ebola exposure, please contact Dr. David McMillan, Medical Officer with the ICE Office of Human Capital at [redacted] or 202-[redacted].

If you have questions in the course of executing your duties, please contact your operational chain of command.

Dr. David McMillan
Medical Officer, Office of Human Capital
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

ICE expects to be assisting other DHS elements in dealing with Ebola patient inflows.

Ebola is actually the least of ICE’s problems, believe it or not. The biggest problem is that the Executive in general and the Department of Justice in particular are opposed to removing or deporting criminal aliens, who the politicians see as valuable constituents, both at voting time and in providing demand for services such as welfare, that those politicians can provide.

A Marine Rifleman’s View of Weapons

USMC EGA eagle globe and anchorThe new, and excellent, memoir of Marine rifleman Sterling Mace (written with pro writer Nick Allen), Battleground Pacific, goes into some detail about what Mace thought about weapons and equipment. Here are some quotes from the book:

It was George [McNevin, a friend of Mace’s before the war that he ran into on the island of Pavuvu, as the Marines prepared for the assault on Peleliu] who recommended I choose the Browning automatic rifle (BAR) as my weapon, as it suited a left-handed rifleman better than an M1 rifle….

John M. Browning in 1921 with Mr Burton of Winchester and the category-creating Browning Automatic Rifle.

John M. Browning in 1921 with Mr Burton of Winchester and the category-creating Browning Automatic Rifle. The services would later add a bipod and mess with the controls; not everyone thought these were improvements.

When Mace and his fellow Marine boots landed on the friendly-held island of Pavuvu, they had no weapons with them; indeed, he’d only handled weapons in boot camp, and during a detail at the Brooklyn Naval Yard.

Our job at the naval yard was the highly classified, top-secret duty of guarding the dockworkers payroll. That duty entailed carrying shotguns and Reising submachineguns. The shotguns were okay, but the Reising was so cheaply built that I was afraid to touch the damn thing. It seemed like it would go off at any second if you just looked at it funny.

A Reising Model 50, the variant most used by the Marines. This one has a 12-round magazine in place of the usual smooth-sided 20-rounder.

A Reising Model 50, the variant most used by the Navy and the Marines. This one has a 12-round single-column magazine in place of the usual smooth-sided dual-column 20-rounder.

Back on Pavuvu, however, the lack of weapons meant more than we knew.

We didn’t know it then – as we milled around the dock, waiting for someone to tell us where to go and what to do – but if you didn’t have specialized weapons training, in, say, flamethrowers or machine guns, the chances were pretty good that you’d be a rifleman. End of story.

The Marine Corps rifleman. Every marine wanted to be like him. No Marine wanted to be him. We were unique in our class and phylum. The lowest common denominators. Yet a whole operation – from the simplest maneuver to the grandest assault – revolved around the man and his rifle…. Our sole potential was killing a lot of Japanese. God, we loved the Marine Corps!

As riflemen, firearms were a frequent subject of discusion, a professional interest, you mihght say. For some, it was a generational heritage. Like the platoon leader Mace discusses, as he runs through some “typical” Marines he knew:

Marines like… Lieut. William “Bill” Bauerschmidt, USMC, from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, recipient of the Silver Star for bravery – with his high-top lace-up boots that were never tied up all the way but instead they flared out at the tops. Bill carried his dad’s World War I .45 service revolver into combat – engraved with the initials WB on its grip – dearly wanting to make his father proud.

You’ll have to read the book to see just how Bill Bauerschmidt made his father proud. Mace runs through his squad and platoon mates, identifying them by an unusual habit (“never wore a helmet, only a cap”) or by the weapon they carried (“He was only 5’6″ but he carried the 19-pound BAR”). You’ll know, as you read this, that not all of them will survive, not with Peleliu, Ngesebus and Okinawa in their future.

Along with these brief tone-pictures of his platoon-mates, Mace describes in precise detail what the well-dressed BAR gunner was sporting on the scenic beaches of Peleliu in September, 1944:

My equipment was easy to put on, although it weighed more than the average Marines care, because of my job as a BAR gunner. My pack itself was nothing, with its poncho looked over the top and an entrenching tool fastened to its center. To secure it, the pack was affixed to a wide strap which ran down my spine, attaching to the rear of my cartridge belt at the waist. Therefore, putting it on was akin to donning a jacket. One arm went through one strap, and then the other, leaving only the clasp for the cartridge belt to fasten below my abdomen, securing the whole getup as one piece.

On the cartridge belt were six BAR magazine pouches, three on each side, holding two magazines apiece. That’s 20 rounds a magazine, making a total of 240 rounds of .30-06 ammo, double what a marine with an M1 rifle carried. Also I had two canteens of water and a little first-aid pouch on my belt.

Strapped across my chest and hanging to my waist was my gas-mask bag, with a gas mask inside. Add that to the contents of my pack, housing three boxes of K rations, a change of socks, a dungaree cap, and a waterproof bag with my personal effects – a pocket New Testament and my wallet, including the card I received when I cross the equator – and that made me combat ready. I had to carry light, given that the weight of my BAR was another 19 pounds to shoulder – and that’s 19 pounds without the bipod fixed to the end of the barrel. The bipod was the first thing I took off on Pavuvu; it made the BAR unbalanced and unwieldy.

 

BAR with bipod removed as Mace did to his, from the VT Military Museum.

BAR with bipod removed as Mace did to his, from the VT Military Museum.

My head was covered with my pisspot (helmet), unbuckled at the chinstrap, swathed with the fall motif camouflage cover. On my legs I had a pair of tan canvas leggings, enfolding my dungaree pants close to my legs.

That was what the well-dressed Marine was wearing to His Imperial Majesty’s ball on Peleliu. Mace took some camouflage face-paint that other Marines were passing around, and drew a whimsical mustache on his face.

On his way into the beach, he ran his hands over the cool steel receiver of his BAR. It was the only thing he could count on to keep him alive.

 

Epilogue:

Photographer ME Stanley has some photos of battlefield relics, including some from Peleliu, taken long after the war.

A Weapon is Where You Find It

Kevin Vickers opens ParliamentWho knew that Canadians in their Parliament would defend themselves with such intensity?

By now, everyone knows about Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers, a middle-aged retired Mountie in a ceremonial position that often involves dressing funny and carrying weird implements, to wit, a Ceremonial Mace (carried at the opening of Parliament, and called “a Foolish bauble” as log ago as 1650 or so, by Oliver Cromwell — of course, Ollie was talking about the English version, but that was the origin of the Canadian tradition). Vickers dashed to his desk, picked up his Smith & Wesson 5906, and returned to the scene of the fray, curing all the ills of the Sudden Jihad Syndrome sufferer with a couple of well-placed therapeutics. “Readiness is all, said Hamlet; Mr Vickers and company were ready,” the Globe and Mail intoned in a satisfied editorial.

Yeah. We knew about all that.

maple_leaf_1964But we didn’t know about what the parliamentarians themselves did. Imagine a gunman loose in the halls of the US Capitol — it’s not hard to figure out who would pee himself, who would hide, and who would vie with one another to draft the most abject terms of surrender imaginable.

The Canadian politicians did none of that. Now, the PM did hide in a closet, which is only partly excused by the fact that it was his bodyguards that stuffed him in there. At least he had the stones to reject his American counterpart’s invitation to call this “workplace violence,” American-style. But the rank and file MPs took action:

Some positioned themselves on risers that flanked doors, ready to attack an assailant.

“There were 15 flags up at caucus and all but two were taken down,” one MP recalled.

“These guys were up there holding these spears ready to impale anyone who came in,” the source said.

“It was that or get mowed down,” the member of Parliament said of the threat posed by a gunman who was ultimately shot dead by Parliament Hill security.

The MPs-turned-halberdiers (or at least, pikemen) didn’t know that the PM was still in the caucus room, or the closets thereto, until a flying wedge of Mounties swept him out of there.

It looks like Canada will be springing for new flags, as the MPs who manned-up during the attack have grown attached to theirs.

Some MPs kept their flagpole weapons as souvenirs.

“Everyone was taking their spears home,” the MP said. “I’m going to frame mine.”

Tory MPs reunited with Mr. Harper Wednesday evening at the Foreign Affairs building and Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre brought his spear as a memento, another source said.

We have no idea what a Democratic Reform Minister does, and probably wouldn’t like it if we did, but we can’t help but have warm feelings to our fellow North American, Minister Poilievre. We’ll even suck it up and have those warm feelings in English and en français, in deference  to the way our neighbors do things. Toujours l’audace, Pierre, to quote another famous Francophone (The ill-fated Georges Danton, specifically).

Remember, your weapon is your mind. The raw materials necessary to bring those conceptual weapons to immanence are all around you.

File photo of a 94 -- TEddy Roosevelt's Maxim-silenced version

File photo of a 94 — This one is Teddy Roosevelt’s Maxim-silenced version, actually, but it was the 94 photo at hand.

Many have commented on the excellence of Vickers’s performance, but we also have to highlight that he went up with a pistol against Jihad Boy’s long gun (a .30-30 Winchester 94, according to Dean Weingarten). Fat lot of good the rifle did the wrongdoer, once Vickers showed up: Canada 1, Allah 0 from that point on.

(Does Larry Vickers have cousins in Canada, or what?).

The Moslem assailant did nail two Canadians before Vickers terminated his spree: one soldier, Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll & Sutherland Regiment, and one of the regular security guards. The guard, whose name was not released as far as we know, will recover, but Cirillo passed away from blood loss as a pick-up team of first-aid-trained passersby urgently strove to keep him alive.

The gunman fired four shots at Cirillo. The Canadian trooper and his partner, ceremonial guards  at the National War Memorial, had empty C8 rifles. He appears to have bled out from a compromised artery due to an abdominal wound.

Many Canadians seem shocked that the terrorism has come home. In the past, the terrorists asps suckled at Canada’s breast, like Omar al-Khadr, have turned their fangs on America. But it was just a matter of time.

Rather shamefully, Canadian Armed Forces have ordered their men not to wear their uniforms in public. Here’s hoping they also give the two fellows at the War Memorial, and any other ceremonial guards, some pointy bullets. (The details are closely held, for sensible reasons, but the guard mount at, for example, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the moral equivalent of Canada’s War Memorial cenotaph, has always had deadly force capability). That would have resolved this whole thing without terrorizing the MPs.

Whether Canada (or the US, for that matter) wants to do something about the cuckoo’s egg of Moslem immigration is a policy question, one the parliamentarians may consider when they put aside their improvised spears. But whether to give guards live ammunition is dead in the lane of a Weapons Man. And we say: if you don’t trust your guards with bullets you probably shouldn’t trust them with weapons. And if you don’t trust a man with weapons, he probably should be confined or at least under supervision.

This Day is Called the Feast of Crispian

So, Miguel at GunFreeZone posted video of the “Band of Brothers” speech from the excellent cinema version with the talented and committed Kenneth Branagh (then, about the age Henry V would have been). It’s our favorite version, but it’s far from the only one.

Here’s the traditional way of doing it. Mark Rylance, a great stage actor with a shelf full of Tony and Olivier best-actor awards, on stage at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, in 1997.

Rylance’s Henry leaves us cold; the quintessential English hero ought to have an English accent, and this rings to us as nearly a Scots one (Rylance is as English as a bowler hat, but grew up partly in America). He’s got a different sort of the common touch from the one Branagh delivers. Maybe you will like it — horses for courses, to quote another great Briton.

The classic performance pre-Branagh was, of course, the 1944 one by Sir Laurence Olivier, then in his late thirties. It clearly was inspirational to Branagh. Olivier (who was, like most of these actors, of quite common origins) perhaps takes the accent too far in the direction of “plummy.”

A recent TV version had a heartfelt delivery by Tom Hiddleston, complete with a suitably 2013 black York among his anachronistically diverse followings. This video is only the second half of the speech, but Hiddleston does well enough, and his accent strikes us as just about right:

Every military unit seems to have someone who can do the St Crispian speech — even fictional ones, like Private Donnie Benitez from the forgotten Danny DeVito vehicle (directed by Penny Marshall), Renaissance Man. In the movie, DeVito has to teach remedial English to a class of the sort of hollow-braincase losers that Hollywood imagines soldiers to be. Shakespeare turns out to be what engages them:

There’s a whole raft of parodies and ironic uses of the speech, but note that that was not the intent of the Renaissance Man version. Instead, it shows the development of the Benitez character, and bedamned if the drill sergeant character doesn’t undergo the very elevation of station that Henry V promises to his loyal few in the speech. It was a nice touch we didn’t notice on first viewing the film.

And, for comparison’s sake, here is Branagh, although you can go over to Miguel’s and see him there (and Miguel always has something to read).

For an idea of how The Speech has changed war itself, here’s an older and experienced Branagh reciting, word for word, the pre-war speech of Col. Tim Collins of the Royal Irish Regiment on 19 March 03, the evening before the Royal Irish went in.

Collins seemed to have taken Branagh’s performance as Henry on board — and now, here’s Branagh playing him. How recursive can one military tradition get?

Whilst most of the focus has always been on “we few, we happy few, we band of brothers,” this speech abounds in phrases that resound through the centuries, especially in the hearts of men who have faced combat.

“This story shall a good man teach his sons….” Yes. But our favorite must be, “All things be ready if our minds be so.” Amen.

Hat tip, Miguel, mi hermano.

Friday Tour d’Horizon

The objective is to clear out our extra tabs, and make up a little for the slow posting this week, by throwing all the links at you that we wanted to post about this week, and didn’t.

Guns and Stuff

Does anybody know what happened to Rutgers Gun Books? We’re not the only ones to have benefited from their great customer service, albeit not in a while. But the website comes up unregistered.

Speaking of books, the American Society of Arms Collectors has a web page of recommended books. Biased towards collectors of American martial arms made before the manufacturing and materials revolution of the 1960s. Bunch of other good stuff at their website (we were there looking at their serial number lists, check the left sidebar).

“Applied Ballistics” is company name and mission statement all in one. Bryan Litz and Nick Vitalbo at Applied Ballistics are names you need to know, if you need to understand and develop the ability to make the smallest deviations from intended point of impact at the greatest range under the most varied conditions.

Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you. That seemed to be what was on the bear’s mind the second time the bruin broke into Victor Peters’s house. (Warning, autoplay spam). The first time, it came for the dog food on Peters’s porch. The second time, he’d moved the dog food, and the bear seemed willing to settle for him — till he shot it (his other precaution had been loading his gun at night). The quarter-ton bear was removed by authorities. “It was the biggest bear I’ve ever seen,” said Peters, a former wildlife officer who’s seen a few bears. Hat tip, Dean Weingarten (whose recounting of the story does not have autoplay spam).

This Canadian Company makes a very good compact AR-15 stock, reminiscent of the simple M231 Firing Port Weapon stock but higher quality and more ergonomic. (It still lacks a decent cheek weld, a failing of many compact stocks, but sometimes compactness trumps utility). Just the ticket for a PDW or SBR on the AR platform. It’s “available” at Brownell’s but has been temporarily out of stock, well, permanently.

Don’t bring a machete to a gunfight. You’ll lose, like this guy. So sad. (Not really).

In New York, another genius attacked a group of cops with a hatchet. He’s cold on a slab, but in true NYPD fashion, the ill-trained New York cops with their inaccurate New York Trigger Glocks shot and nearly killed a bystander, too. The cops were all recent Academy graduates. Unfortunately, one of the cops, 25-year-old Taylor Kraft, was critically wounded with a hatchet blow to the head. The other wounded cop and the bystander have been treated (surgically in the bystander’s case) and will probably recover. The press has been reporting this as “a disturbed loner,” but was it Sudden Jihad Syndrome? You be the judge, here’s a screencap of his Facebook page:

NYPD-hatchet-ATTACK-facebook

SF History and Lore

Knives — yes, SFQC grads and long-tab earners (who have not had their tab yanked) can still get a Yarborough knife. The procedure is fairly straightforward, and if there’s interest we’ll put it on here. And for present and former soldiers of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), there’s a Harsey-designed commemorative just for you. Order here; you will be expected to document your bona fides. 

Unconventional Warfare

A jury convicted four former Blackwater Worldwide employees, members of a State Department personal security detail, for a variety of crimes stemming from a 2007 gundight, including one charge of murder (for a marksman who shot one Iraqi) and many charges of manslaughter (for three carbine-armed guards who shot about two dozen other Iraqis, killing about half of them). The managers who instigated the attack were granted immunity, for the testimony the prosecutors wanted, so the outcome isn’t entirely surprising. (The immunity bit is buried in one of the last paragraphs of the Washington Post story, which appears to have been fed them by the prosecution).

The Ukrainian secret services have found a weapons cache and arrested an agent, in the aftermath of an attempted assassination of a Ukrainian pol. They blame the secret services of a bordering nation — any guesses whom? The cache contained two Igla-M MANPADS and was mined.

Igla-M gripstock.

Igla-M gripstock reportedly found in a cache in Ukraine..

A few days before that, they caught a saboteur with plastic explosive molded into a candle in the shape of an ancient Russian “Bogatyr” warrior.

UKR splodey head PM577image002

That’s a plug-ugly decoration, even if it wasn’t high-explosive.

In other Spy Stories, in 1971, the recovery of imagery of a HEXAGON satellite was underway, and the mid-air recovery of the data package (including film) failed because the recovery parachute failed. The data unit hit the sea at about 350 knots, and kept booking towards Davy Jones’s Locker, finally embedding itself in primordial muck 16,400 feet below mean sea level. A manned submersible, DSV-1 Trieste II, was sent to recover the priceless data. Now declassified (with redactions) in the CIA’s Electronic Reading Room. Release of the documents triggered a symposium at the National Air and Space Museum (TV stream).

You know, the first counterinsurgents were the empires of antiquity. So it helps to read that “old” stuff. And it might help to have a Dictionary of Roman Military Terms.

 

Laws and Cops and Stuff

The Justice Department is claiming Executive Privilege for 15,662 documents that tell the story of Operation Fast & Furious, one of the ATF’s several gunwalking initiatives that provided deadly weapons to Mexican drug cartels, to drive crime up and create impetus for more US gun control laws. The index to the documents is 1,323 pages long. (Ayn Rand and Dostoyevsky are reportedly jealous). Sharyl Attkisson is on it, no shock considering this is the story that got her fired from CBS for lèse-majesté.

Here in New Hampster, we have a different view of violent crime than, say, a Chicagoan or Angeleno might. Here’s a typical, initially alarming, report from the nearby “Big City” (population 28k), culled from the police blotter.

5:54 a.m.: A 911 caller reported a disturbance at Motel 6, reported a woman being tortured in some woods and said someone was “shot in the face.” After police responded to an area off Gosling Road, where the crimes were reported, police determined there were no emergencies and arrested Bradley Paradise, 46, of 1338 Woodbury Ave. #2, on a charge alleging criminal trespass.

Imagine being that cop or cops, responding to a report of violent crime, no doubt on razor’s edge (every cop for miles around knew the police chief murdered and at least some of the DTF cops wounded by a small-time dope dealer in 2012), and you wind up with… a freakin’ trespasser. The area where this took place has a number of seedy motels and bars, but even the “big city” goes for years without murders. But it’s gotta be life-shortening to have all that adrenaline etc., dumped into your bloodstream, to have the danger fizzle out. The rest of that blotter is some dull stuff. Being a cop is hours of boredom punctuated by moments of exasperation, most places, most times.

And then there’s the kid who swears revenge on the whole school. With a gun.

Police said the student responsible for making the threat confessed to Detective Joseph Byron….they don’t believe the student planned to carry out the threat. The school has taken disciplinary action against the student.

In 1974 he got laughed at. In 2014, he gets an introduction the court system in all its glory. All of life is an IQ test, and some 16-year-old just failed.

Meanwhile, back in New York, Frank Serpico is still a pariah at NYPD, not for being a bad cop, but for turning bad cops in. In a long essay at Politico, Serpico writes that it’s not just a New York problem:

And today the Blue Wall of Silence endures in towns and cities across America. Whistleblowers in police departments — or as I like to call them, “lamp lighters,” after Paul Revere — are still turned into permanent pariahs. The complaint I continue to hear is that when they try to bring injustice to light they are told by government officials: “We can’t afford a scandal; it would undermine public confidence in our police.” That confidence, I dare say, is already seriously undermined.

“I tried to be an honest cop in a force full of bribe-takers. But … police departments are useless at investigating themselves….” Serpico writes. Read The Whole Thing™. Here’s another graf that really struck us:

Today’s uncontrolled firepower, combined with a lack of good training and adequate screening of police academy candidates, has led to a devastating drop in standards. The infamous case of Amadou Diallo in New York—who was shot 41 times in 1999 for no obvious reason—is more typical than you might think…..It’s like the Keystone Kops, but without being funny at all.

We don’t think things are as bad as he makes out, but any organization is useless at investigating itself. Serpico’s 6-point plan for a better police is outstanding. We already said Read The Whole Thing™, so why are you still here?

Poly-Ticks

We’ll spare you nonsense about the midterm elections in this posting. Instead, we’ll just direct you to retiring Senator Tom Coburn’s annual tradition, the Waste Book. The Waste Book chronicles government waste, so it’s as massive as government itself. There’s plenty of military and weapons wastage in there, along with the usual squanderathon that’s modern Washington.

Towards a Nobel War Prize

NobelThe Nobel Peace Prize, administered by a gang of left-wing Norwegian politicians, has become a laughingstock. PJ O’Rourke notes that it has been bestowed about four times for actually making peace, and some 65 times for “wishful thinking.” Essentially, it’s a Big Gong for Stuff White People Like. O’Rourke has, naturally, a modest proposal:

I propose a Nobel Prize for just that. The Nobel War Prize. There are, after all, worthy and decent wars. What was America supposed to do after Pearl Harbor, put the keys to the Golden Gate in an airmail envelope and send them to Tojo?

Peace creeps to the contrary, you can usually tell who’s right and who’s wrong in a war. Which is more than can be said during peace, witness peacetime politics.

There are always lots of wars going on so the Nobel Committee would never have to skip a year….

Despite it being at the usually worthless Daily Beast, you should go Read The Whole Thing™, it’s O’Rourke after all.

Wars produce heroes widely recognized by the public. Nobel War Prizes could have been given to Marshal Foch, George Orwell, Winston Churchill, the French Resistance, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Tuskegee Airmen, Charles de Gaulle, FDR, Ike. This is an improvement on the Permanent International Peace Bureau, Charles Albert Gobat, and Ludwig Quidde. The Nobel Foundation’s P.R. profile would be considerably raised.

We’re not sure Orwell rates, although you should probably read Homage to Catalonia before reading the sort of tripe about the Spanish Civil War that the veterans (or, probably, wannabees) of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade infected American schoolbooks with. Spain fought a bloody Civil War, but they dodged a long Soviet nightmare.

After all, war never solved anything, except for slavery, colonialism, Naziism, Japanese imperialism, the Persian conquest of Europe, the Moslem conquest of Europe, and the spread of pernicious Carthaginian Baal-worship.

Then there’s what often comes after a war, which is usually less silly than what comes after a Nobel Peace Prize. Look at the U.S. and Great Britain. Once we got past that 1776 thing we’ve been—with a brief time-out for the War of 1812—road dawgs.

The Southern States and the Northern States after the Civil War? We’re so close that we date-swapped the political parties that had been screwing us.

If you want peace, have a war. Just make sure to have a good, prize-winning one.

via Up To A Point: What We Really Need Is a Nobel War Prize – The Daily Beast.

The “date-swapped” line alone is explanation enough of why someone at the Daily Beast cuts paychecks to O’Rourke, despite his politics being at odds with essentially all of his stablemates there.

A Working Man’s Gun Auction: 1030R 8 Nov 14 (Saturday)

Savo Auction 8 Nov PUMPED-001When the election’s over, whichever bunch of corrupt anti-gun knuckleheads wins, you’ll probably want to console (or prepare?) yourself with a new gun. Our Pennsylvania pals send us the page from the next outing for Savo Auctioneers in the Philadelphia area. What’s nice about this auction house is that it has pieces that are desirable, yet attainable to normal human beings, not to those of you who have to make the tough decision between a new gun and a new Bentley this year.

Along with items that RIA or Julia wouldn’t bother with or would put in a mass lot with three other guns you don’t want, Savo, being a smaller house, has rather more reasonable terms and a lower buyer’s premium. (Against that, they have a little less expertise. For example, one lot they offer is a “bayonet,” unspecified. It’s actually a Czech Vz58 bayonet, a common piece at the moment). Everything’s on the page, but here are the basic feeds and speeds:

Sat, Nov 8 @ 10:30 A.M.

14 Kennedy Drive
Archbald, PA 18403

Preview @ 9:00 A.M.

Firearms, Militaria, Antiques & More

via Auction: Sat, Nov 8 @ 10:30 A.M. – Savo Auctioneers, LLC.

The catalog shows some nice Winchesters. These are highly desirable collector pieces, both the classic Model 12 shotguns (which are in 16, 20 and 28 gauge) and the 1906 .22. They will likely be bid well up to real retail, as will the practical hunting guns (judging from its observance, the most important holiday in Pennsylvania is the First Day of Deer Season. NTTAWWT). But this kind of auction is a great place to buy up something idiosyncratic: many of the bidders are FFLs who will stop when they can’t make a profit on a piece, and not bid at all on items that they fear would hang around on the shelves.

There’s also a lot of militaria in this auction, and some interesting knives and bayonets. The auction is small enough that you can see it all on one page. Here are a few items that caught our eye, not necessarily the nicest stuff. All pictures embiggen.

 

Let’s start with one of the strangest hermaphrodites to ever put a 7.62 NATO round downrange, the La Coruna FR8 looks like something conceived by Bubba in a moment of Ebola fever, but was actually a product of a Spanish arsenal, the eponymous La Coruna. Two versions were made, the FR7 (based on 1893 7mm Mausers, the ones that so impressed us in the Spanish-American War that we promptly adopted a copy of the Mauser action), and the FR8 (based on the M1916 Large Frame Mausers). To this action, the barrel and associated hardware of a CETME or H&K was grafted on, and the whole thing shortened to a carbine that some find attractive and some fugly. Draw your own conclusions:La Coruna FR.308

 

Another interesting long gun is this  1898 .30-40 Krag “carbine.” We use the scare quotes because a lot of Krag rifles were carbine-ated by early surplus dealers like Bannerman, and this example appears to have a rifle serial number. (Also the carbine versions of the M1898 were M1899, and this guy’s receiver is marked ’98). It would serve well enough as a whitetail gun, if you wanted a bolt equivalent to the old standby Winchester 94, or would serve as a representative Krag that didn’t take up all the wall space of a rifle. These things must have seemed modern as tomorrow to troopers trading in Trapdoor Springfields — until they ran into high-velocity, strip-loaded opposition in Cuba and the Philippines.1898 .30-40 KragMoving to short guns, here’s one of those “the stories it could tell if it could only talk” guns. Small .32s like this were the bread-and-butter self-defense guns of 100 years ago (they are generally chambered in .32 S&W or .32 Colt, which are the same cartridge by two different companies who did not deign to speak one another’s name. Third parties, like H&R, Ideal, or Iver Johnson, who manufactured this example, generally went with .32 S&W. Single-layer nickel plating was a common finish on these pocket pistols. This one is hammerless, with a trigger safety (lookee here, Glock fans), and… paper tape around the grip. This may be because the original grips, probably hard rubber, are crumbling, or it may have been an attempt to keep fingerprints off the gun. Like we said, the tales it could tell! A lot of these guns are fine to shoot given a careful review by a smith, but they’re not economically repairable if anything breaks. On the other hand, they’re not really worth anything, and a working one is a blast to shoot.

Iver Johnson .32SW

 

Waaaay up the revolver class scale, but made around the same time, is this curiously finished Colt Official Police. By the midcentury decades, cops carried this (or the Police Positive) or its S&W equivalent, the Model 10. Believe it or not, the round-nosed, FMJ .38 special was considered a real manstopper. Of course, those police departments were stepping up from the anemic .32 S&W or the larger .32 Long Colt /.32 S&W long (yes, they did the same thing). On the .38 Special, Smith insisted it was the .38 S&W Special, and everyone else, including Colt, just called it the .38 Special. For a 20th-Century American, this silhouette said, “Cop gun”.

Colt Official Police .38Before we move on from that pretty Colt, note the unusual finish of nickel-plate and gold-plated controls. It’s lethal jewelry! The better condition of this gun than the tape-handle IJ above is partly because this showpiece has clearly been handled less in the last century. It may also be because the plating is higher quality, thicker, and atop better-prepared metal. That could be true whether the plating was done by Colt or by some post-manufacture smith.

It would be interesting to get a letter from Colt and see if this revolver shipped like this. If so, that would add to the value considerably. Most owners don’t do that because the letter takes time — and they don’t want to see their bubble burst.

The next one is something completely different: a 2-shot, rotating barrels, percussion derringer. Derringers are interesting; a Philadelphia gunsmith named Henry Deringer made well-crafted pocket pistols in the mid-1800s, and achieved boundless notoriety when one of his pistols was used in the century’s most shocking murder, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln at the hand of an actor who led a stumblingly incompetent gang of Rebel irredentists. Many smiths and small manufacturers thought to capitalize on Deringer’s unsought fame, and the custom became to add a second “r” to a generic “derringer” to keep Mr Deringer’s lawyers away from your profits. Today, a “derringer” is any one- or two-shot small pocket pistol. Defensively, they’re long obsolete.

While this could be a period piece, the loose fit, oak grips, and imitation of Remington rimfire derringer styling makes us suspect it’s a more recent production, possibly even something built from a kit. It’s in the .36 caliber of the Colt 1851 Navy and many other Civil War era guns.

percussion derringer .36Hopefully, that gives you a little taste of what Savo’s got. You might also like the USAAC flying helmet or Soviet service uniforms that are part of the auction, the original US WWI style helmet, or American and German fighting knives that appear (from a single picture, mind you) to be genuine. Other things are going to be auctioned in the May 8 sale, but the firearms are first up.

All information you might want for bidding is on Savo’s site, linked above.