Category Archives: Lord Love a Duck

He’s a Real BUFFALO! From Buffalo.

Welcome to Buffalo, New York, home of most of OJ Simpson’s pre life-of-crime career, and what appears to be a completely crime-free environment. There must be no crime, because the police aren’t chasing their hundreds of cold and cooling homicide cases, nope: their priority is confiscating guns from dead guys. (Well, when it isn’t stealing $130 from a turned-in wallet. More on that Buffalo cop in a bit).

Because nothing says pro-active crime-fighting than SAFE Act-enabled cops shaking down widows and orphans for their loves one’s heirlooms, instead of solving the murders they’re not bothering to solve. WGRZ-TV 2 Buffalo reports:

“We recently started a program where we’re cross referencing all the pistol permit holders with the death records, and we’re sending people out to collect the guns whenever possible so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Police Commissioner Daniel Derrenda. “Because at times they lay out there and the family is not aware of them and they end up just out on the street.”

Some police agencies give families of the deceased permit holder 15 days to sell or transfer a weapon or weapons held with the permit to another permit holder or a dealer.

Not Buffalo.

Police say the goal of reducing the number of guns on the street is also why they have offered the gun buyback, no-questions-asked program which exchanges pre-paid cash cards for guns. Many question whether criminals would ever do so, but police claim it is still beneficial to take in weapons each year.

We’ll get to how Daniel Derenda and his slacking, loafing (and pilfering, as we’ll see) cops perform in a minute, after we hat tip Bob Owens at Bearing Arms for the story. (Bob is almost as furious at this as we are, and he didn’t even check to see if Buffalo was solving crimes).

It’s things like this that make us remember BUFFALO. Not the city: the acronym. It was coined, best as we can recall, by a young trooper named Lee Sandler1 in the 10th SF Group’s MI Company, and it referred to a stunningly incompetent officer, Captain Winston G. “Wink” Custis2. Vain, insecure, and mistrustful of nearly everybody, Custis really had it in for Sandler, until he heard the SP/4, in tones of admiration, say “Sir, you’re a real BUFFALO.”

Later, Lee explained to us that the acronym broke out to: Big Ugly Fat F’ing Administrative Leg Officer. While Custis wasn’t technically a “leg,” or non-airborne person, he had adopted great parts of the leg persona and had a definite whiff of leg about him. From then on, Captain Custis was a BUFFALO.

Derenda (l.) and the Buffalo mayor, Byron Brown (r.), deplore the existence of firearms, but don't want to pursue murderers.

Derenda (l.) and the Buffalo mayor, Byron Brown (r.), deplore the existence of firearms, but don’t want to pursue murderers.

It seems pretty clear that there’s a BUFFALO in Buffalo, and his name is Derenda. Here’s a quote from an earlier story about him, which he proudly posted to the BPD website:

And while efforts to halt the flow of these weapons is a priority, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says the guns serve no useful purpose.

“In my opinion, they exist for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to kill,” Derenda said. The Buffalo Police Department, he says, has made significant progress in removing thousands of guns from the streets in recent years, including assault weapons.

“Since Jan. 1, 2006, just under 7,000 guns have been taken off city streets. They include assault weapons, handguns, shotguns and other rifles,” Derenda said.

Mayor Byron W. Brown says he is well aware of the devastation assault rifles can cause when in the hands of criminals. “Illegal assault weapons are even more lethal,” he said last week, 11/18in vowing to continue providing resources to police for removal of those and other guns from city streets.

The cops will dispose of your murder weapon for you, no questions asked (en español tambien).

The cops will dispose of your murder weapon for you, no questions asked (en español tambien). One more indicator that they’re not solving murders because they’re not really trying.

So, what’s happening crime-wise while the cops prioritize looting familes of their dead relatives’ property? Well, they’re not trying very hard to solve crimes. There are forty to sixty murders in Buffalo every year. In 2014 there have been 41 murders so far, of which the Buffalo flatfeet have solved a whopping 11 — 26.83%. But hey, maybe they’re waiting for leads. They did better with 2013 murders, so far, clearing 13 murders. That’s out of 47, for a staggering 27.66%. In other words, if the doer isn’t a brain-dead skell standing there covered in blood when a patrol car rolls up, this department probably isn’t going to catch him. Ever.

Consider this: if you get murdered in Buffalo, Derenda will send cops to take your guns while your relatives are still trying to find a funeral home that isn’t solidly booked with other murder victims. But he won’t put anywhere near that much emphasis on his department’s half-hearted half-effort to find your killer.

Of course, what do you expect from the guy who set the ethical tone where a beat cop thinks it’s OK to clean out a citizen’s lost wallet? (By the way, Derenda lifted that cop’s without-pay suspension… while he’s waiting for the courts, he’s been drawing full pay and benefits, and enjoying free extra vacation).

buffalo_homicide_ppt_2006About 3/4 of the murders, and 3/4 of the murders solved, are shootings. The rest are stabbings, strangulations, and blunt force trauma. They may solve those at a slightly higher rate than the shootings, but they leave most murders, regardless of etiology, unsolved. They have been failing for a while. In 2006, they did a shiny powerpoint (.pdf) effervesscent with promises of how they were going to improve their then-dismal clearance rate: 45%. (The national rate was, and is, over 60%). Since then it has declined steeply, even as the overall number of murders has trended lower. They’ve got fewer mysteries to solve, but they’re much poorer at solving them — and they were already lousy in 2006.

Hey, no time for canvassing for witnesses. There are widows to shake down and orphans to expropriate.

Apart from the murders, what kind of garden spot is Buffalo? It made Forbes’s “10 Most Dangerous Cities” list a couple years ago. explains, using FBI statistics:

  • The Buffalo crime index is 175% higher than the New York average
  • The Buffalo violent crime rate is 216% higher than the New York average
  • Buffalo is safer than 3.4% of the cities in the nation.
  • The crime rate in Buffalo is less than 0% of the cities in New York.
  • The chance of being a victim of a crime in Buffalo is 1 in 16. has a similar compilation. Including the cheerful fact that Buffalo’s crime rate soars above other local cities, and that the city is home to over 600 sex offenders. And some nice graphics:


If you’re paying attention, it’s the highest-crime city in New York and it barely escapes that honor on the national scale. It’s in the top 4% of crime locations nationwide, more dangerous that 96.6% of cities.

Could it be the crappy police force? Oh, wait, they must be under-resourced, right? Back to AreaVibes:

There are a total of 923 Buffalo police officers. This results in 3.5 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 25.1% greater than the New York average and 7.7% greater than the National average.

Oh. So it’s a large, crappy police force. Got it. That’s what you get with a BUFFALO in charge.


1. This name has been changed, but if you were there you will know who we mean.

2. This name has barely been changed.

How to Deal with Pool Guns — for the Border Patrol

The Border Patrol has been “effectively disarmed” of its M4 carbines by its political leaders. But there’s a solution to the M4 problem.


But first, the problem. According to CBP leaders via Fox, it is this:

Nearly one-third of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s 16,300 M4 carbine rifles were tested by the agency’s office of training and development, which determined that more than 2,000 had the potential for malfunction. The rate of nearly 40 percent was “more than we are comfortable with,” said CBP Deputy Chief Ron Vitiello.

Is one of the problems the sheer innumeracy of Ron Vitiello? Let’s do arithmetic! To determine what percentage X is of Y, divide X by Y. So, 2000/16400 = 0.1919512… (etc). That’s about 19.2%, not 40%. Unless you’re Ron Vitiello. To put in numbers a CBP senior manager can understand, about 1 in 5 of the rifles has “the potential” for malfunction.

Dunno how to break it to you, Border Patrol. You have to plan and train as if 100% of the M4s in your hands have the potential for malfunction… because they do. Even if the gun is perfect, the ammo was made by the lowest bidder. And it would be just your luck to draw down on Carlos Cartelito just when the round under your firing pin was made one minute before quitting time on the Friday before spring break.

If there’s some proof you have a bunch of guns with a problem — CBP has never said what the problem is — it might make sense to pull some of the guns. To pull them all because one in five may have a problem is just stupid.

“Our top priority is to make sure our agents are safe,” said Vitiello, adding that the agency intends to eventually cycle through all of the rifles to ensure that those in need of repair are fixed. “They will be like new when they are refurbished.”

Again, without knowing what the problem is… out of spec parts? Unstaked carrier key? Skipped mag-release tests? Lack of metallurgical documentation on some parts batch? Without knowing that, it’s screwy and wasteful to reflexively overhaul guns when it’s likely 4 out of 5 do not need it. An M4 can last for many decades on the light duty cycle of a CBP service carbine. Ask the guys who run shooting schools and provide loaner guns how much maintenance a quality M4 really needs.

But in the meantime, Border Patrol agents are dubious about the department’s claims, given that the guns’ manufacturer, Colt, has not issued a recall. And they are vehemently opposed to “pool guns” — weapons shared by two or more agents.

“We’d like to know why the rifles were recalled and when they will be returned,” Shawn Moran, spokesman for National Border Patrol Council, the union which represents agents, told “Our agency is trying to figure out why they were pulled.”

Note that Vitielly has not answered that question, not to the media nor to the NBPC, and he may not know himself.

Moran said there is potential danger for agents relying on rifles shared with others, noting the importance of personalizing settings and having a general familiarity with a personal weapon.

“You don’t want a weapon that is zeroed in to someone else,” he said. “You don’t share guns and you don’t share needles because both could end with people dying.

It appears that they are pulling about half the carbines at a time from each Border Patrol sector, sending them to a central armorer shop that then takes its own sweet time inspecting and reissuing the guns. They don’t necessarily go back to the same sectors (let alone the same agents) that they were with before, and no information is provided to end users about what repairs or mods, if any, are made to any specific firearm.

Now, the NBPC can squawk about this if they like. But it’s not like the management is going to suddenly start giving a stool about the desires of the rank-and-file agents. So here’s a little checklist from a guy who’s built a gun or two, and inspected a vast quantity (the civilized way of saying a Whole $#!+load) of them.

How To Deal with Pool Guns (When You Must)

  1. First, stop bitching. You’re not going to change DC’s policy; no matter how retarded Nebraska Avenue gets, they’re still in charge. So work to minimize their damage to your operations and reduce the risk bad leadership at higher level has imposed on your agents.
  2. Don’t have armorers do these things. You, as leader, do these things.  In a few minutes you’ll be putting toe tags on your guns. These tags should have your name clearly legible, and the date of inspection or test: that tells your guys and gals you are standing behind their firearms. This builds confidence in the rifle — and in you.
  3. Function check the weapons you have. Dummy rounds should cycle. Mags should drop free (empty or loaded!) and it should be impossible to shake them free (empty or loaded!) no matter how vigorously you try. Triggers should reset and fire on Fire. Nothing should happen on Safe. You can find a function check in the GI M4 manual, or on YouTube if you’re dyslexic. Toe tag the weapon: Function Test. 15 Nov 2014. PASS. John Doe, SSA (or whatever).
  4. Range test the weapons you have. A mag each is fine. As we understand it, CBP’s carbines are not select fire, but if they are, test safe, semi, and burst or auto settings. Add the following to the toe-tag on the weapon: Live-FIre Test. 15 Nov 2014. PASS. John Doe, SSA (or whatever). If a gun fails, downcheck it and turn it in. It’s better to know you’re a gun short than to be a gun short and not know it.
  5. Install an Aimpoint Red Dot optic on each firearm. Why?
    1. A red-dot zero is far more transferable from one agent to another than an iron-sight or cross-hair scope video;
    2. A red-dot sight is simple and instinctive, reducing training time;
    3. A red-dot sight is perfect for 99th-percentile Law Enforcement engagement distances;
    4. A red-dot sight’s battery will last a full year between inspections easily; and
    5. Aimpoint brand holds up on quality and durability scores, and it’s already approved and in the system. (Get an NVG compatible version if you have or are likely to get NODs. If no NODs are in your future, don’t waste Uncle’s money).
  6. Have your best marksmen zero the M4s with the Aimpoints. An individual zero is not a big factor here, contrary to range-god shibboleths. This is a service rifle, not a talisman to Aton the Sun Disk (may he smile upon your X-Ring always, but let’s keep Him out of rifle maintenance), and we just got through telling you the red dot is transferable. Add the following to the toe-tag on the weapon: Zeroed Point-Blank 100m (or whatever). 15 Nov 2014. Jane Roe, Special Agent (or whoever your best shot is).

Now, you still only have half the long guns you need for your agents to be comfortable facing the cartel sicarios or other long-gun-armed malefactors. And when you get the other half back is  entirely out of your control, but depends on some payroll patriots somewhere else who don’t answer to you. But you have done everything you could to arm your agents, demonstrated you give a rat’s rump about them, and cut off a potential morale problem a-borning.

Now it’s time for the pep talk. Tell them what you did and what they can expect. Make sure they understand that they are now better armed that the cartel enforcers with weapons that are proven reliable and that will put a bullet where the red dot is. They’ll still complain, but fixing that is beyond the scope of this blog.

One last comment:

Jeff Prather, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who now runs the Warrior School…. [and] who used the M4 throughout his law-enforcement career, said the weapon is “very robust” and that any issues found in the Border Patrol inspections are likely simple fixes.

“All you need to do is pull out the old firing pin and put in the new one and the rifle is ready to go,” he said.

Vitiello said that may be the case, but the work must be done by a specialist.

“It may be easy to replace a firing pin, but these are things that should be done by a professional,” he said.

Horsefeathers. Don’t be too awed by armorers; they’re simple gun plumbers. An M4 is not a Saturn V Moon Booster. Most every manufacturer1 certifies armorers in two days or less of training, and the benefit of experience is an asymptote: returns for more training and experience start diminishing almost immediately.

via Border Patrol agents say agency’s gun recall puts them in danger | Fox News.


1. For example, Colt’s LE Armorer course is three training days and 23.5 training hours, but covers multiple rifles and carbines. Bushmaster, two days and 15 hours; Sig-Sauer, 1 day; and we could cite many others if the post weren’t already late!

Why ICE is Failing (it’s not just Ebola)

Here's Marquez/Bracamonte in January 1998. Maricopa County released him to ICE, who let him go.

Here’s Marquez/Bracamonte in January 1998. Maricopa County released him to ICE, who let him go. No, not back en México; in Maricopa County. Thanks for playing, Sheriff….

Among the other problems faced by the criminal investigators and support staff of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency is that even when they can get the DOJ’s mother-may-I to get rid of some rifraff, the network of sanctuary cities and immigration advocates sequester the criminals away from ICE’s well-oiled removal machinery.

(A note on terms: deportation is for first time losers at the immigration courts; two-, three-, or thirty-three [yes, really!] time losers are already deported, so they have fewer legal dodges and are subject to speedy removal). Or were subject to such, prior to the current administration, which values criminaliens over citizens.

That’s not hyperbole, we’re sad to say. In many cases, the administration’s disinterest in removing violent alien criminals, and the work of “sanctuary cities” and a broad range of lawyers, including defenders, prosecutors, and immigration pimps attorneys, turn lose violent foreign criminals, who go on to kill Americans. Of course, they’re just killing the Americans no Americans would kill, right?

Marquez/Bracamonte in 2001, at the time of his 2nd deportation.

Marquez/Bracamonte in May, 2001, at the time of his 2nd deportation.

Take Marcelo Marquez and Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, a two-man crime wave which turned out to be just one man. First, meet Marquez, courtesy of Don Thompson of the Associated Press.

A suspect described as a “one-man crime spree” is accused of shooting three Northern California sheriff’s deputies, killing two of them and wounding a civilian, then eluding hundreds of searchers before being hunted down and forced to surrender, authorities said.
Marcelo Marquez of Salt Lake City was examined at a hospital for unknown injuries.

We heard a rumor that this guy was a 2x deported / removed illegal, and that he was picked up this year and released instead of being removed again. We made contact with sources inside Federal law enforcement to find out what the truth was. We did get the Criminal Complaint:

Crim Complaint against Marcelo Marquez, Janelle Marquez Monroy.pdf


Marquez (etc.), date unknown, possibly 1997, at the time of his first “undesirable felon” deportation.

As the AP story and criminal complaint agree, he killed a deputy, Daniel Oliver, and wounded another, Charles Bardo, with a 9mm pistol, killed a homicide detective, Michael Davis, in a separate shooting with an AR-15, and headshot a citizen, Anthony Holmes, in a carjacking, although Holmes is not dead. Yet. He and his wife also stole and fled in one of the Sheriff’s Office cars, and they carjacked or attempted to carjack several citizens who fortunately were not injured. While we tickled our ICE and CBP wires for details, we searched for other news stories, which is how we found a Huffington Post story about Monroy-Bustamante.

Marcel Marquez 2

We believe this to be the booking photo from West Valley City, UT for a 2013 hit-and-run. We could be wrong about which crime it’s from, but it is recent.

The story does not mention that, as an illegal alien and convicted felon, he was not legally able to acquire or possess firearms. It does not mention (although the criminal complaint does) that his wife also was armed with a 9mm pistol and an AR-15. They also had a 12 gauge shotgun and a .380 with them.

The story does say that local cops printed him after an arrest for hit-and-run but didn’t run his prints, which made us go, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Immigration authorities say the fingerprints have been matched to biometric records showing the suspect’s real name is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, and he had been living in the U.S. illegally after being convicted in Arizona for selling drugs in 1997 and deported to Mexico twice.

So yeah, the rumor was true.

Records show Marquez obtained a driving privilege card for persons without proof of legal immigration status in June 2011 — the month before the state began requiring fingerprints for the cards. When the identification card expired the following year, he didn’t renew it, said Utah Department of Public Safety spokesman Dwayne Baird.

"Marquez" from Facebook -- even his FB shots look like mug shots.

“Marquez” from Facebook — even his FB shots look like mug shots.

But wait… we still hadn’t heard from our ICE guys. And it does indeed get worse. When we finally heard form them, it turns out this little turd was in custody for a hit-and-run in Utah this year, and ICE agents put an immigration detainer on him. But West Valley, UT, let him go.

Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has had Marquez/Bracamonte as a guest in his famous tent city time and again, criticizes ICE and its forerunner, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, for releasing many violent criminals like this. Whatever his name, the man has a long criminal history that foreshadowed his recent rash of murders.

"Marquez" as he appears in his latest mugshot, this week.

“Marquez” as he appears in his latest mugshot, this week. After shooting a bunch of cops and carjacking something like 10 citizens. Just doing what Americans won’t. 

Many local jurisdictions, including the one that had Monroy-Bracamonte / Marquez in custody in Utah, do not cooperate with ICE for political reasons. Utah also issued the man a drivers license in his (false) name.  It may be misguided altruism that causes this kind of disaster: because “it’s not legal to be illegal,” in the confused terms of the confused Massachusetts AG and wannabee Governor, “Marsha” Coakley1, and because, “they’re just doing the jobs Americans won’t do.”

You know, like killing cops in California.

But hey, one murder (oh, picky, picky, two murders, three if the headshot expires) can’t be allowed to taint all criminaliens, can it?

Erick Maya, murderer and pedophile.

Erick Maya, murderer and pedophile.

Erick Maya, come on down. Maya is a career criminal, a violent woman-beater and pedophile who’s now out of American society, for good. (Barring the Singularity, anyway; he’s doing a 122-year sentence, or as much of it as he can). The illegal alien, living in the Chicago area, already had an adult criminal record in 2011 when he was picked up for beating his 15-year-old ex-“girlfriend” with his fists, feet, a beer bottle, and an iron pipe. She went to the hospital with serious and possibly permanent injuries. At the time, the Cicero, IL PD declined to investigate the statutory rape, but Berwyn IL, where the assault took place, dragged Maya into court.

Remember, this is an adult male in his mid- or late twenties (if a pathetic, Pee Wee Herman-looking one) who raped a young teen, and then delivered a savage beating, using weapons. Remember that when you see what his sentence was:

He was sentenced to 60 days in the Cook County Jail and 30 months probation.

Cook County. Lord love a duck.

In their desire to secure a conviction, the prosecutors obligingly deep-sixed the felony charges, leaving only misdemeanor domestic battery. This meant that Maya was barely out of circulation for the savage attack. Note two things, though: he was in IL, where even to buy a firearm legally requires a license, and he was then and at all times thereafter under federal and state firearms disabilities, due to conviction of a crime of domestic violence.

When he was released from jail, he was subject to an immigration detainer from ICE. But Cook County, under the sway of blue Chicago, is a sanctuary county. The Cook County jail refused to give him up to ICE; instead they released him into society, and told ICE to pound sand.

How’d he do on probation? Not so good, it turns out. While still under probation, Erick Maya had found himself another child, Brianna Valle, who was 13 when they started “dating”. Pedos are one kind of leper that never changes their spots. But the relationship soured by December, 2013; Brianna and her mother, who had let the violent man move in (?), threw him out when he attacked Brianna in a fit of jealousy.

Brianna’s mom filled out the paperwork for a restraining order. Fat lot of good that did. It’s not clear whether it was ever issued, but it is clear that it was no deterrent to Maya.

The judge refused to revoke Maya’s probation for the violent assault.

Maya then blew off a 6 Feb 14 court appearance, and the DA asked the judge for an arrest warrant. But the judge, Gregory Ginex, made excuses for the criminal and refused to issue the warrant. He just scheduled another date.

One week later, Maya, angry and jealous, burst into the home and shot Brianna twice in the head, and her mother once in the neck.

At his trial, he laughed at the jury that convicted him. At his sentencing, a better judge than Ginex, Robert Livas, got a chance to sneer back at the truculent murderer. Not before the case was decided, though:

“I had to look at that defendant walk in with that idiotic smirk on his face,” Livas said, recalling how he was forced to “hide (his) revulsion” from the jury.’

But when it came time to pass sentence, Livas didn’t need to hide his revulsion any longer.

I’ve seen some cretinous things crawl into my courtroom. Five-four, 130 pounds, no education, no job, lived in the apartments of others, didn’t even own a cell phone, no car. Could women his own age find him as pathetic as I do?

Maya, for his part, whined that he was framed by The Man.

But had Cook County done the right thing in 2011, Briana Valle would be alive, and Maya would be back in Mexico.

Criminal aliens know how to play the system, and a great deal of the system bends over to assist them. The Washington Post ran a graphic on where states don’t require ID to vote. La Raza has sent it out as part of their outreach to illegals.

If we had no native criminals we’d still be diffident about importing them wholesale from Latin America. Since there’s no shortage of Americans who will alternate short stints of unskilled labor with sharp episodes of violent and property crimes leading to long stints in prison, we say we don’t need ‘em.

Exercise for the reader: go to the FBI’s most wanted criminals website. There are several most-wanted lists: terrorists, white-collar, murders, violent crimes in general. Get a napkin and make a tickmark in one place for every one on the lists ID’d as a citizen of some other country.

In most of those cases, we had multiple chances to send them back there, and we blew them.


1. The citizens of Massachusetts rejected Coakley’s candidacy last night. It was one of the small wins in a night of wins for gun rights, too.

He Didn’t Get Knifed Till he Got the Gun

Ah, the nonstop pageant of human bloody-mindedness, in all its dim rage and subsentient fury. We give you Bridget Campbell, of Corpus Christi, Texas, and her boyfriend, who apparently blew the (rent?) money on a gun, and kind of set her off. Well, not “kind of.”

Officers were called to a trailer park in the 5900 block of Ayers Street and found the man with a stab wound to the back of his head.

The victim told police he got into an argument with his girlfriend, Bridget Campbell, 27. While they were arguing, he claimed she grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed him the back of the head.

He told officers she was upset that another man had come over to sell her boyfriend a gun. Police said she was mad that the boyfriend had a gun, and wasted money to buy it.

via CCPD: Woman Stabs Boyfriend After He Buys Gun | Corpus Christi, TX | |.

Ladies, this is why we are sometimes… how should we put this? “Economical with the truth?” Perhaps, “not forthcoming?” Or as you would say, “Lying bastards!” when it comes to the expenditures entailed in keeping our memberships current. You know: NRA membership, range memberships, and Gun of the Month Club™ memberships, but who are we kidding? Mostly, the Gun of the Month Club™.

If you were buying the gun because your bat-guano-crazy GF is prone to murderous rages, dude, in one way of looking at it, you were too late (duh), but on the gripping hand there is no amount of anything you get from this person that is worth getting stabbed in the head. It is well past time to eject.

What’s that you say? It’s her trailer?

Weapon for Vampires? A stake in the heart is traditional

In Bulgaria… archaeologists are exhuming centuries old… dead vampires? Well, they’re people that someone thought were vampires… judging from their burial with a stake in the heart.

Let’s go back to a forgotten era, before vampires became sparkly, and stepped into the role once played by horses in tween girls’ fantasies; let’s go back even before that, to a time before Bram Stoker wrote Dracula and set the whole “Vampire” thing moving. Apparently, about 900 years ago villagers really believed this stuff, and staked some of the dead through their congealing hearts, like this feeling-no-pain character. The disc about where his ticker used-to-was is the butt end of an iron stake:

dead vampire

Smithsonian magazine has an entertaining article on him:

Clearly, this man’s neighbors did not trust his remains to stay put. As Nikolai Ovcharov, the archeologist in charge of the dig, told the Telegraph: “We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out.” At the time of the man’s death, vampires were perceived as a real threat in many Eastern European communities. People who died unusually—from suicide, for example—were sometimes staked to prevent them from coming back from the dead, the Telegraph writes.

Iron stakes and hokey religions are a pretty poor substitute for a blaster by your side, kid.

Of course, we learned of this from a typical Beastweek story, written by a professional, J-School-certified journalist, that passed through “layers and layers of editors,” that concludes (emphasis ours):

Little could the New England community ever imagine that 200 years later, vampires would be taking over the entire country—but this time on the silver screen—and that their ancestors would be swarming to get a look at these sultry modern counterparts.

Please explain your meaning of the word, “ancestors.” You appear to require its antonym.

Silly English language, it has another word for everything.

Anyway, we’ll be thinking of Old Spike tonight as we hand out candy to little vampires, etc. Our neighbors up the street put on a fantastic display of inflatable decorations — giant ghouls and devil dogs and whatnot. That brings all the kids from all over the place, and some of their parents come, apologizing. Why apologize? It’s a harmless costume holiday, and in a community  where a median home is around a half-million, nobody needs to whine about buying some extra Reese’s Pieces or what have you. (We tend to buy candy that we don’t like our ownselves… in the event of leftovers we’re less tempted to scarf it all up).

Oh, no, Bubba got hold of the SKS!

In the Continuing Adventures of Bubba the Gunsmith™, we’ve seen him savage Glocks (and more Glocks), Lugers (and more Lugers, en français aussi) and mangle 1911s and more 1911s. In long guns, he’s had his way with more ARs than we could count, like this one and this one (something about the modularity of the AR system is irresistible to slow minds and fat fingers), and solved the notorious “tight chamber” er, “problem,” of a National Match M1A barrel. Most recently, we saw his Century Arms International iteration hacking AKs with a Foredom tool.

With the entertaining website apparently paws up, we stand alone between the pipe wrenches and rattle cans on one flank, and the pool of remaining decent firearms on the other. And we seem to be constantly retreating. Take this SKS, for example.

Bubbas SKS overview

And take it, the Lewiston, Idaho dealer would like you to: he has it on GunBroker for $149 (+$37 shipping to your FFL). It’s an ordinary preban-import Chinese military SKS, the sort that sells in decent condition for $250 right now. Now, SKSes are great guns; they’re a blast to shoot, reliable as a shovel and forgiving of abuse, have an interesting military history (it was the main arm of many NVA units, and a sought after Vietnam souvenir). It fires common and inexpensive ammo, is small and handy, and looks like a real military weapon, if a dated one. It’s a great gateway drug to the world of military collecting, and you could always hunt with it (although many jurisdictions frown on 10-round magazines in the woods in deer season, and Elmer Fudd is not going to like seeing a bayonet).

But this one has lost its value, and its looks; Bubba has been at it with the usual tools of his trade. First, the rattle-can refinish job:

Bubbas SKS bad rattle can job

That’s not some crummy polymer stock; that’s the original Chinese hardwood. (It might even be laminate under there, but odds are it isn’t). But Bubba didn’t stop with spraying the stock. In Bubba’s trailer, if a little Krylon is good, the whole can is better. That’s why it has all the wrinkles: right on the can, it says something like, “apply in thin coats,” but that would require you to read the can. Or at least, to read. 

And we’re talking about Bubba here. So he not only went rattle-can, he chose from Bubba The Gunsmith™’s three-tone color pallette: Flat Black? Semi-Gloss Black? Nope, he went with the ever-so-tactical Feces Brown. Because, he’ll tell you, black is a color that does not occur much in nature, unlike feces. Er, we mean, brown.

He also sprayed, as you can see, the fittings and fixtures, like the sling swivel. And the sling. And, if you look, the receiver.

Let’s have a look at that receiver. Left side? Ow:

Bubbas SKS

It looks like sometime before or maybe even after the Krylon “refinish,” he took to the receiver with a stone. No, not the sort of stone we use on triggers, gentlemen: the sort of stone he finds between the cleats of the mismatched knobbies on his F-150. This is particularly sad if you’ve ever had the chance to handle one of these in new condition; the Chinese manufacturers put a pretty decent polish and blue on their firearms before sending them out to do their International Socialist Duty in the hands of some 17-year-old PAVN draftee.

Even the PAVN draftees, hiding in stinking bomb craters on the Ho Chi Minh trail, treated their rifles better than this poor thing. Well, maybe the right side of the receiver isn’t so bad?

Bubbas SKS sanding marks

Not really. There are gouge marks here, too.

Here’s what we suspect happened: after taking it out of the stock and nailing both assemblies with 1/8″ thick Krylon, it wouldn’t go back in. (Duh). So he then sanded the receiver until it fit, or stoned it, with, as we suspect, a random stone from the gravel road.

The Krylon alligator skin continues on the trigger guard and magazine, where it appears to have been applied over dirt and mung of all kinds, and probably some rust and/or pitting:

Bubbas SKS trigger guard

And on the barrel:

Bubbas SKS barrelAnd if we look at the other side of the barrel, we’ll see the ever popular improvised wire keeper on the spray-painted sling. At least the Krylon has been partially cleaned off the bayonet. Or, maybe, didn’t stick to its satin finish in the first ever-lovin’ place.

Bubbas SKS barrel leftSomewhere in China, a gun guy is shaking his head and saying, “For this, we went through the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward?”

But wait, we didn’t tell you the best part. Here it is, verbatim from the listing, emphasis ours:

You are currently looking at a Chinese SKS Type 56 serial # 10329. 20″ barrel with a post front sight & 1000 meter adjustable rear.
Wood stock & handguard have been hot glued to the metal. Handguard can be taken off & gas pistons work freely. The follower in the magazine keeps it from opening all the way
The trigger works correctly & bore is mirror bright with deep rifling. The entire rifle has been spray painted.

Hot glued to the metal. Or in Bubba’s shop, “custom bedded.” Lord love a duck.

Will need a little TLC and cleaning before firing

Gee. Ya think?

Now, it’s not our intention to bag on the dealer selling this firearm. After all, they took it in trade from someone, quite possibly the Bubba that did this number on it, and they’ve discounted it about $100 on what they could have charged for it, pre-Bubba.

Wait, just thinking that this was a trade, we shudder to think what his next project will be.

We are selling this rifle just the way we got it. Will make a fun winter project or shoot it just the way it is.

And they do have a point. This is a potential project gun for a patient non-Bubba. Most of what he has done this time is reversible. There are a few reasons not to take on that project:

  1. Even valuing your time at $0, it will cost more to restore than the delta between this gun and a good one.
  2. It’s going to be messy. All that toxic Krylon has to go somewhere.
  3. The same amount of effort can better be spent on a firearm that’s higher-quality and in higher demand to begin with.
  4. The resulting gun will never be original again.

…But there’s also the joy to be had in taking something Bubba the Gunsmite™ (sic) has applied his trademark smiting to, and repair the damage he has done.

We’re weighing a bid. If we do it’ll be a project in these pages. But we have a lot of SKSes already (all non import marked Chinese ones, actually). And oy, the mess….



He broke into whaaat?

Crime is what criminals do. And nothing much deters them, until they get religion (of the bible-thumping or, sometimes, 12-step kind), or they get religion (of the 124-grain, “You believe in Jesus? Say hello to Him” variety). Here’s an example of a target that would deter you or us from crime, but then, we’re not criminals, are we? It didn’t deter one young man, and now he regrets it, somewhat unconvincingly.

“What you did is absolutely intolerable in our community,” Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Marguerite Wageling told 30-year-old Ryan Mackenzie.

Cripes! What did he do? We’re a pretty tolerant community, especially the sort of nonjudgmental, “do your own thing” baby boomer hippies that are what we’ve got for judges these days. What could you do that was “intolerable?” Something really serious, like prayer in public? Well, not exactly.

Mackenzie’s vehicle was seized by State Police after he was stopped on Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth on Dec. 29, 2011 for a traffic violation.
According to prosecutors, Mackenzie’s taillights weren’t working and it appeared he tried to evade State Police Trooper Tamara Hester when she attempted to stop him.
Hester noticed his dilated pupils and suspected he may be on drugs. A State Police drug-sniffing dog was brought in and the car was seized after the dog allegedly got a hit.
The car was impounded at in a garage at the State Police barracks on Route 125 in Epping. At some point later that night, Mackenzie showed up and broke in through the garage door.
Police had noticed what appeared to be a large white rock inside a tied off plastic baggie stuffed in a cigarette box between the driver’s seat and the center console, but Hester found it missing the next day before she had a chance to execute a search warrant.
Mackenzie pleaded guilty to breaking into the barracks, but did not admit to actually stealing the cigarette box.

So, now when this criminal makes the usual before-the-judge plea that he’s a changed man, yadda yadda, we need to bear in mind that the situationally remorseful criminal didn’t even come clean about his last caper.

Of course, if we were concerned about the “root causes,” like today’s judges, rather than simple stuff like applying the law to the set of facts before us, we’d probably want to know why he did it. Say, why did he do it?

A man who admitted battles with drug addiction

Translation: a bum who voluntarily dopes himself up, and now wants our sympathy. One word, sunshine: No.

Mackenzie, a Barrington native mostly recently living in Northwood, pleaded guilty to a felony burglary charge after the break-in on Dec. 29, 2011.

Here’s where the criminal starts to deploy the bullshit to hornswoggle the judge.

Mackenzie, who told the court that he’s no longer the “same person as the addict,” apologized to State Police for the burglary, which was discovered by a trooper and made other members of State Police potential suspects as they investigated the disappearance of a cigarette box suspected of containing drugs from Mackenzie’s car.

Consider the chutzpah of the claim that Mackenzie was “no longer the same person…” as Mackenzie. What does he think we are, dope-addled bums like he?

“I understand my actions are inexcusable and I accept full responsibility,” Mackenzie said moments before he was cuffed after being sentenced to a year in the Rockingham County jail with two months suspended.

Translation: “My lawyer told me to say this….”

After the potential drug evidence disappeared, State Police Lt. Chris Vetter told the court that anyone who had access to the evidence was considered a suspect.
“It was pretty unnerving and unsettling to all the troopers that we could be considered a suspect in this crime,” Vetter told the judge.
Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton argued Mackenzie broke in to steal drug evidence in an effort to avoid drug possession charges.
He said it “appears that he was aware of what could happen if the drugs were found.”
But with the evidence gone, Bolton added, “The reality is we will ever know what he took out of the car. …We know what we think was in there, but we will never know.”

Well, everyone knows Mackenzie is a criminal. Crime is what he does. When he is released, does anyone think that Mackenzie will magically become an ordinary citizen, or will the centripetal force of the prison’s revolving door suck him back in?

Do we really gotta ask that?

Public defender Tony Naro argued there was more to Mackenzie’s story.
“This is a case, not just about avoiding responsibility, but also a case about addiction,” Naro said.

Well, at least the mouthpiece admits it’s at least partially about avoiding responsibility. That’s refreshing from a member of the bar. (Sigmund Freud, call your office).

Naro, who sought a sentence of 60 days in jail followed by home confinement, described Mackenzie as “someone who kicked a nasty drug addiction.”

He’s not in court for his drug addiction, but for his burglary. And whoop de do, he quit dope whilst in pretrial confinement. Frontiers in Recovery for $200, please, Alex.

Mackenzie, whose many successes as an Eagle Scout and other accolades were detailed in court,

What has that got to do with anything? He’s not in court for Scouting without a license or anything. He’s in court because he’s a thief, for Christ’s sake!

[Mackenzie] told the judge that he’s now overcome his addiction and that “it was a small part of my life” and something that he never thought could take over his life so quickly.
He said he lost the motivation to succeed as the drugs took hold.
“This has been one of the most difficult periods of my life,” he said.

via Man gets year in jail for break-in at State Police barracks – News – – Portsmouth, NH.

Translation of the last sentence in the quote above: “I didn’t like getting caught.” Give him some cheese with that whine. And process him in to his new cell without delay.

About that Keene, NH Bearcat

This is Keene's Bearcat. There are many like it, but this one is Keene's. Without its Bearcat, Keene is useless. Without Keene, the Bearcat is useless...

This is Keene’s Bearcat. There are many like it, but this one is Keene’s. Without its Bearcat, Keene is useless. Without Keene, the Bearcat is useless…

Keene, New Hampshire, is a sleepy college town, left-leaning as NH goes, and the subject of a great outcry two years ago because the police purchased (or rather, had your Federal taxes buy, so maybe “requisitioned”) a Lenco Bearcat armored personnel carrier. We were part of that outcry.

Keene’s justification for the vehicle was that they needed it to defend large gatherings, like the Pumpkin Festival.

This made the entire town the laughingstock of the Western World, and parts of the Old World stretching back to the furthest conquests of Alexander the Great (we concluded, “Somewhere in North Waziristan, Gulbuddin Hekmatayar is laughing his ass off at us.” back in 2012).

Before we bring the story up to date, note that a large number of the inmates of Keene are college students at Keene State, the designated Party School of the NH System. That helps to explain What Happened Next.

So how do the people of Keene demonstrate how the police in their leafy burb don’t need any riot control vehicle? By rioting, naturally.

At the freaking Pumpkin Festival.

We are Not Making This Up®. We’d be ready to go back to that 2012 post and eat our pixels, but…

We just got done talking to a Keene cop, and they used all their resources to control the riot, except one. Which one? You got it: the Bearcat.

A perfect chance to grind patchouli-scented hippies (not to mention drunks in their fourth sophomore year) under the Bearcat’s run-flat tires, and they go all restraint, like. Lord love a duck.

Somewhere in North Waziristan, Gulbuddin Hekmatayar is laughing his ass off at us.

(Not Making This Up® is a registered trademark of Dave Barry. Used without permission -Ed).


Imura-san gets the shaft — two years’ imprisonment

3D imuras guns

Imura’s printed guns, seized along with his computers and printer when he was arrested.

Japanese 3D-printing gun activist Yoshitomo Imura was convicted and sentenced to 2 years in prison for printing guns.

The Yokohama District Court handed down the sentence to Yoshitomo Imura, a 28-year-old former employee of Shonan Institute of Technology who made a number of guns with a 3D printer in his home in Kawasaki outside Tokyo last year.

Imura was arrested in May on a charge of illegal weapons possession in what media reports described as Japan’s first such case involving 3D-printed firearms.

In a very Japanese ruling, the judge seemed as upset with Imura-san’s nonconformity as he was with the guns, and condemned Imura for “flaunting his knowledge and skill”:

“This has shown that anyone can illegally manufacture guns with a 3D printer, flaunting their knowledge and skill, and it is an offense to make our country’s strict gun controls into a dead letter,” public broadcaster NHK quoted judge Koji Inaba as saying in the ruling on Monday.

Prosecutors had demanded a prison term of three and a half years for Imura. Defense lawyer Akira Noguchi had argued that Imura did not know his acts were illegal. After the ruling, he said that an appeal had not been decided upon yet.

via 3D-printed gun maker draws jail term in Japan | PCWorld.

Imura's Zig-Zag Revolver. He only fired it with blanks, but that didn't keep him out of durance vile.

Imura’s Zig-Zag Revolver. He only fired it with blanks, but that didn’t keep him out of durance vile.

Despite the legal findings, our information is that Imura designed and manufactured his “guns” to fire only blanks, which are available in Japan in calibers and cartridges that have no commonality with any live ammunition, like the 8mm blanks popular in Europe.

Mind you, we understand why Japanese officialdom gets upset when the subjects start “flaunting their knowledge and skill.” The last time somebody tried that, his name was Isoroku Yamamoto and he wound up getting their country nuked.

Shotgun Stolen: Situation Strange

A Luciano Bosis 'Michelangelo' 12-bore shotgun (not the stolen gun, every Bosis is unique). From the Bosis website.

Look at that case color! A Luciano Bosis ‘Michelangelo’ 12-bore shotgun (not the stolen gun, every Bosis is unique). From the Bosis website. Click to embiggen. 

This one is just damned difficult to figure out. Let’s just leap into the lede from the Burlington (VT) Times-Argus:

A man arrested this week in Boston is expected to be arraigned next week on a charge that he stole a shotgun valued at $89,000 from the Covey and Nye store on Main Street last month.

David Goldberg, 58, is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Bennington criminal court on a felony count of grand larceny, State’s Attorney Erica Marthage said Friday.

A police affidavit in the case was written before Goldberg was arrested. It is unclear whether the shotgun was recovered.

Now, the case is going to get weirder, but even in Ben and Jerrystan, casual shoplifters don’t usually make off with long guns valued at more than half the average house in Bennington. Also, one hates to stereotype, but when was the last time your city had a shoplifter or other small-time crook named “Goldberg”? It’s just one more oddity around this case. Then, there’s the way the case was broken:

The shotgun that had been at the Manchester store was made by Luciano Bosis, an Italian artisan who specializes in high-end guns often used for bird hunting or clay target shooting.

Police said media coverage of the theft and tips that came from people who had seen the coverage led them to Goldberg.

Officer Abigail Zimmer of the Manchester Police Department said in an affidavit the theft was reported Sept. 18.

After conversations with several employees, Zimmer said, she believed two men had come into the store Sept. 17 with a large Great Dane dog and left driving a black Ford Focus. One employee said the men were acting strangely.

Zimmer sent out a news release Sept. 18 and by the next day got a tip from a woman who said she recognized the description of the men because of the dog and the vehicle.

Cowboy the Great Dane -- his unwitting participation in the shotgun heist was the theives' undoing.

Cowboy the Great Dane — his unwitting participation in the shotgun heist was the theives’ undoing.

The dog turned out to belong to a guy named David Paul, who has a brother named Peter Paul — a twin brother.  (That’s two identical twins sharing three first names, without a last name between ‘em. We told you it was going to get weirder).

But criminals never commit just one crime, and this two-boys-and-their-dog crime wave also hit a store that had a video camera:

Another tip came from an employee of a Bradford store. The employee called Zimmer on Sept. 19 to say two men matching the description from the website and driving a black Ford had been at the Bradford store Sept. 16.

The employee said he believed one or both of the men had stolen a pair of shoes worth $145.

Store surveillance photos showed the men and Zimmer said one showed a Great Dane.

The Great Dane, Cowboy, turned out to be featured extensively online, and the dog led to his master, David Paul — and one of the guys on the surveillance footage was either David or his twin brother. With enough information to think that one of the Paul twins and their yet-unidentified friend were up to no good, Officer Zimmer went to the logical place where she might find the stolen shotgun and shoes:

Police executed a search warrant at the Randolph home of Peter Paul, where his brother David Paul was staying, on Sept. 25. Zimmer said the shotgun was not recovered but police were able to interview David Paul.

No word on the shoes. The only open question: did David Paul throw his brother or Goldberg under the bus? Well, what’s that saying about “honor among thieves?”

Zimmer said David Paul told them he and Goldberg had been at the store Sept. 17 but denied any direct knowledge of the theft.

“(David Paul) stated that Goldberg’s behavior in the gun shop and immediately after made him think that Goldberg had stolen something,” Zimmer said.

“David Paul stated that he was very angry with Goldberg if he had indeed stolen the shotgun.”

Translation, he was very angry that he was at risk of getting caught. Seriously, you go into a store with someone and don’t notice that he shoplifts a shotgun? 

Criminal Mastermind Professor Moriarty these guys are not. What kind of genius takes, not just a dog, but a Great Freakin’ Dane on a pilfering patrol? And where’s the shotgun? Well, the trail led ever onward:

A neighbor in Randolph said he had taken Goldberg to catch a bus in New Hampshire around that time and said Goldberg had a bag “which appeared to have a tennis racket inside it.”

We don’t know if the gun was recovered or not. With the sort of genius Goldberg seems to be, he probably fenced the $90k shotgun for $20 to some crack head, and it will turn up sawzalled into a zip gun on some felon’s cooling body after a drive-by. But even if the story were to end where it is today, we think it’s the weirdest stolen-gun story of the year. Industrial-strength weird.

Hat tip, Jeff Soyer, who adds in the comments on his site:

[T]he funniest part of this incident doesn’t appear in the article, but did in the initial report of the theft last month (which is behind a paywall): Police had a description of the car, AND the license plate number. They asked the public to come forward with any information they might have… Because the license plate number wasn’t enough?

Eh. Crime in New England is a little… different. Wait till about four months of snow shoveling have got everybody’s nerves frayed.