Category Archives: Don’t be THAT guy

“We support the homeless, just not here.”

The New York Times is distressed that the city is suffering a plague of threatening bums:

…a growing number of homeless encampments in the city’s parks, traffic squares and plazas. The attendant behavior — like public urination, sleeping on benches and violating the blanket 1 a.m. parks curfew — has led to tensions with neighboring communities.

We confess we only skimmed the article, but for years the Times attributed all the phenomena of urban homeless to the administration of George W. Bush. If they’re still doing that, like some others seem to do for their problems, we missed it in this one.

But they go to great lengths not to tie any of the trouble to the city’s bum-friendly government, which the Times itself pulled out all stops to help elect.

Over all, the city’s homeless population is at a record high, with 57,676 people living in shelters as of early November, in addition to the growing numbers on the streets. In the past month, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office has convened an interagency task force to address the issue. As part of that effort, the city has identified 25 sites where the street homeless are congregating in large numbers. The sites include parks, private buildings, vacant lots and bridges, which have become priorities for the outreach teams who fan out across the city’s five boroughs daily to engage people living on the streets.

“We go out and talk to the homeless and ask them what they wanted because we assumed that if they were avoiding the shelter system then that wasn’t an attractive option,” said Jody Rudin, the deputy commissioner for adult services for the Department of Homeless Services.

That is so Manhattan. “Yes, Chauncey, we went to have a dialogue with the indigent-Americans in the Hooverville in the park. We were going to lay some of that good old New York Times patent Tikkun Olam on them. But we couldn’t make hide nor hair of what those gentlemen were saying.”

We’d just like to observe, from our lowly station in life, marked as it is by the absence of even a single Ivy League degree, that expecting to get rational responses from insane people is a suboptimal course of action, rather unlikely to be crowned by success.

In the past year, about a dozen parks seem to have become magnets for homeless people. Sometimes, it is because of their proximity to refuges that suddenly became off-limits, as was the case when the George Washington Bridge Bus Station in Upper Manhattan, closed in August for renovations.

Suddenly, neighborhood residents noticed an influx of homeless men and women into Juan Pablo Duarte Square, a sliver of green several blocks south of the station. People chained their shopping carts to the wrought-iron fencing in the square and slept in cardboard boxes there.

via Tensions Over Park Behavior as Homelessness Rises in New York City –

“Their” shopping carts? We’re not sure the expropriated markets would agree, the filthy capitalist pigs. Power to the people, right on! But we digress.

We’re sure this flowering of the fragrant ones had nothing to do with the instructions that went out to police to stop enforcing laws against petty crimes. That certainly would not encourage petty criminals, sane or insane.

Then there’s that guy, who (emphasis ours) may explain why some people fear the homeless, and why the rational approach is one that these New Yorkers have never seemed to consider, locking the beggars up. Charles Cephus is that guy:

“The parks offer solace for me,” said Charles Cephus, 41, who was walking through Harlem River Park on a recent evening.

Mr. Cephus, who said he had served 21 years in prison for second-degree murder, is now living in a shelter on Wards Island and trying to put his plumbing skills to use. Earlier in the day, he had taken a nap on a bench in Marcus Garvey Park, also in Harlem. “No one bothers me in the parks,” he said.

The answer to this problem, and a very large part of the violent crime problem, is simple, although it’s not easy: reinstitutionalize the mentally ill. Reform involuntary commitment laws, removing some of the unrealistic civil-libertarian obstacles. Develop involuntary outpatient commitment protocols.

Further, one is reminded of this:

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

And execute the goddamn murderers, or keep them in jail forever. How hard is that? Charles Cephus would not be blighting a park and terrifying citizens if New York had done the right thing in the first place.

Exit comment: this may be news to the New York Times, where household problems are addressed by “call the co-op maintenance office and complain, and complain,” but no one trying to “put his plumbing skills to use,” does it by spending the day napping and loafing on a bench in Marcus Garvey Park.

HSI’s Odd Restrictions on Agents’ Personal Weapons

department-of-homeland-security-mrap-dhs-ndaa-hb347-totalita-politics-1334409716There are numerous investigative agencies and armed police in our Federal government — probably more agencies than anyone can account for. The Amtrak SWAT team? Yep, it’s a thing. Criminal Investigators for the Library of Congress? They’re out there, and they’re armed, sworn 1811s like any other Special Agent.

Each agency has to decide how to arm its own cops and agents, and how much leeway to give them to arm themselves. Some have no restrictions on backup and off-duty carry. Some require that their Special Agents to carry the issue hogleg, period. We’re not aware of any that does what some New York and Massachusetts police departments do: requires their law enforcers to keep the firearm in a locker in the office; but there’s probably one out there.

In between these extremes, the most common thing is to require an agent to shoot the qualifications (and pass) using his or her desired off-duty or substitute weapon, and often to require a certain minimum performance of the weapon (no, your NAA .22 is not going to cut it). Others have a shortlist of permitted weapons — it isn’t just your peers’ laughter that keeps you from toting that Hi-Point with the Airsoft red/green dot sight. Usually, there’s some provision that old goats nearing retirement can cling to their guns and religion (just joking about the religion, so far), which explains the presence of revolvers in approved lists.

Since it’s the Federal government, managers tend not to be the best of the line investigators. Let’s pause a moment to explain how that happens: a manager tends to be whatever underperformer a superior manager can promote without screwing up his throughput statistics. You can’t lose your best investigator. You can lose your most inept and lazy agent. Didn’t you wonder why they picked you for SAC?

Given that the managers have to look up to see “average,” there isn’t a lot of originality or variation to the way these agencies handle off duty and backup weapons. They either crib off the FBI’s homework, or they copy off whatever agency the latest SES lateraled in from. But Homeland Security Investigations marches to its own drummer. They issue .40 SIGs, and managers are dimly aware of some problems: maintenance issues, agent preferences, and the really crappy qualification scores of those agents unwilling to spend quality range time mastering the .40, or unable to find good instruction or coaching.

A certain percentage of agents come out of FLETC “qualified” by the skin of their teeth and having a love-hate relationship with shooting and their sidearms, without the “love” bit. These agents struggle to maintain qualification, and strong incentives encourage managers to report these struggling shooters as fully qualified.

A change to the 9mm is probably coming, in the long term, but in the meantime the agency is facing a near mutiny of SIG rejectors, resulting in a stockpile of unissued pistols and agents choosing from the agency’s shortlist of approved firearms. (Any agent can get approval to use one or two firearms from this list, in lieu of or as a backup to the issue SIG). But the list is just plain weird. Here it is, shorn of verbiage:

  1. Sig 226 .40 in either TDA or DAK (full size)
  2. Sig 229 .40 in either TDA or DAK (mid size)
  3. Sig 239 .40 TDA or DAK (compact)
  4. Glock 17 9mm (full size)
  5. Glock 26 9mm (compact)
  6. H&K compact .40 with LEM trigger (about same size as 229 but lighter)
  7. H&K p2000 sk .40 (compact)
  8. S&W .38 or .357 magnum revolver (5 shot, compact).

It’s as interesting what there isn’t on there, as what there is. Here are a few thoughts:

  • If you like a SIG but you prefer 9mm, you’re SOL.
  • Ditto if you like a Glock in .40. Or anything at all in .45.
  • The single most curious omission is the Glock 19 midsize 9mm. They have the bulky 17 and the small 26, but not the mid-size 15-shot G19? What gives? Per one of the trainers, “if we permitted that, no one would carry the SIGs.” What the agents seem to believe is that the firearms trainers and managers are so committed to the SIG platform that they’re actively sabotaging everything else.
  • We see the Smith (why not Colt?) revolver as a sop to greybeards who already had one. But the five-shot limitation is just inexplicable.

A solid majority of agents are never going to carry anything but whatever they got issued “for free.” That’s just the way it is; 999.a-buncha-nines out of a thousand special agents neither expect to use their weapon nor practice with itj. And we understand the rationale that agencies use to try to keep their agents’ off duty weapons restricted to a small number of popular models. Having too many makes and models of guns to keep track of it is confusing, and bad for proficiency; in addition, there’s always that guy, that 1% exemplar of any group, who sees freedom nearly as a license for him to do something stupid

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have teeth

jamesfoster_mugshotNo, that isn’t Austin Powers villain Fat Bastard in the facing mugshot. It’s a character named James Foster, who got bagged Friday after running since August — for biting a guy’s ear off in beautiful downtown Tulsa.

Who does he think he is, Mike Tyson?

An ex-con is facing a maiming charge after allegedly biting off the ear of a male victim during an Oklahoma bowling alley fight that was triggered by a spilled drink, cops report.

James Foster, a 40-year-old convicted felon, was arrested Friday on the felony count and booked into the Tulsa County jail. He was released from custody Saturday after posting $10,200 bond.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the August 31 confrontation began when bowlers on adjacent lanes argued over a drink being spilled on a table that they shared. A group of about seven girls was on one lane, while the other was being used by Chris and Desiree Lyons and their 17-year-old daughter.

“The females eventually left stating that they were going to come back with their boyfriends,” the affidavit notes. When the girls returned, they were accompanied by Foster, an ex-con who has served time for shooting with intent to kill and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Foster is the father of one of the girls who tangled with the Lyons family at The Lanes at Coffee Creek.

A witness told police that Foster began “swinging punches with a closed fist.” During the confrontation, Foster allegedly bit off Chris Lyons’s ear. Lyons, 48, subsequently told investigators that his ear “could not be reattached, that he will have to undergo plastic surgery and skin grafting to repair the damage caused by the defendant.”

Police noted that the Lyons family was fearful that Foster “will find them again and retaliate for the charges sought.”

While cops sought to arrest Foster soon after the fight, they were unable to locate him. After being pulled over for speeding Friday, Foster was arrested on the outstanding maiming warrant. Foster is scheduled for a November 21 Tulsa District Court hearing. (2 pages)

via Ex-Con Bit Off Man’s Ear During Bowling Brawl | The Smoking Gun.

That’s the Smoking Gun’s version of the story, and they have the affidavit,  which makes Foster look even worse, if that’s possible.

In the first place, it appears that the teen slattern who precipitated the fight, and said she’d get her boyfriend… is Foster’s daughter. (And girlfriend? Anything’s possible in Lifestyles of the Criminal and Impetuous™). And then, there’s the fact that Foster didn’t start with his gnawing victim, but started out in the very manly way that he learned as Cletus’s date in the State Pen, beating on another teenage girl. It was when Lyons (the victim) interceded that Foster bit his ear off. Lyons recovered his ear, but doctors couldn’t put it back on.

The affidavit closes:

James Thomas Foster, on or about 8/31/2014, in Tulsa County, State of Oklahoma and within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit the crime of MAIMING, a Felony, by unlawfully, feloniously, willfully and intentionally with a premeditated design to injure one Chris Lyons did then and there inflict upon the person of the said Chris Lyons injuries which disfigured his appearance by then and there biting part of Chris Lyons ear off, with the unlawful and felonious intent then and there on the part of said defendant to injure, maim and commit mayhem on the body of the said Chris Lyons,

Contrary to the form of the statutes in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the State.

Sometimes there is a certain majesty in the forms of the law. Even if there’s barely any humanity in the behavior the laws are arrayed against.

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have screwdrivers

Cat-Looks-ShockedIf you’re a cat hater, you’re cool with that, because the “victim” in this case is a cat — and a cat even cat lovers might hate, as it was not, ahem, using the litter box. Still, you have to love Massachusetts. The lady woman in question is liable to a 5-years-in-State-Pen felony for what the reporter amusingly calls “felicide,” but for assaulting her daughter is only charged with a misdemeanor A&B that usually nets 30 days or less in the county house, or a one-year probation.

A Dudley woman who allegedly used a screwdriver to stab her family’s incontinent pet cat to death Thursday was released on $200 bail after being charged with animal cruelty.

Michelle E. Stegenga, 37, of Shepherd Avenue was arraigned Friday in Dudley District Court after her daughter went to police and reported that her mother had killed the cat and later tussled with her.

Police, according to court documents, went to the Stegenga home and spoke with Ms. Stegenga, who told them she was frustrated because “the cat was peeing on everyone’s clothes, ruining them.”

You can see where this might get old for the housekeeper who launders those clothes. Still, she’s looking like, at least, an anger management failure.

She allegedly told police she used her husband’s screwdriver to kill the cat.

This is one of those things. If she had taken the cat to a vet and had it put down, Massachusetts law wouldn’t care. Kind of like the difference in Massachusetts law between bearing a kid at Planned Parenthood and having it whacked during delivery, or delivering it at home and whacking it yourself. Or the difference between the cops whacking a Wealth Redistribution Specialist® (or a bystander negligently struck whilst engaging said Wealth Redistribution Specialist®), which is A-OK in the Bay State, and you whacking the same individual in your foyer, which the state views as barbarous vigilantism). The state tends to privilege the arm’s length, carried-out-by-trained-professionals approach, and discourage, er, self-help in these things. After all, laws exist to benefit the political class over the working schmoes.

Police wrote that they found the cat buried in the backyard but were unable to find the screwdriver used in the felicide.

Without the murder weapon, she can probably get off — if she pays enough to a lawyer. Another way the political class lines its own pockets.

Police also informed the state Department of Children and Families because there were other children in the household.

Yeah, and the DCF has a really good record. (Some of the meatiest stories are on the third and fourth page of those google results — that’s how bad it is, and how long it’s been bad for).

Under state law, a person convicted of animal cruelty can be sentenced to not more than 5 years in state prison or 2½ years in the house of correction or fined $2,500. Anyone convicted is also prohibited from working in occupations that require them to be in contact with animals.

via Dudley woman allegedly stabbed cat to death – Worcester Telegram & Gazette –

She should have let the cat go, used the screwdriver on her daughter, and explained it was just a 35th-trimester “termination”.

Did you dry fire this week?

Remember the Trayvon Martin target? Yeah, bad taste.

Remember the Trayvon Martin target? Yeah, bad taste.

‘Member our discussion on the importance of dry fire? You probably left that discussion, like many people, vowing to yourself to do it a little more.

Did you?

Or did you make it to the end of the week without making your firearm go click? If you are that guy, there still time.

Don’t be that guy. Take twenty minutes this coming weekend, clear your carry or home defense gun, and “fire” at something (something safe, naturally, in case you brainfroze during the “clear your gun” phase).

Here’s a pro dry-fire tip: Work your way to smaller and smaller targets as your front sight control and follow-through gets better. If you’re dry-firing at your reflection in the mirror (don’t worry. We’ll never tell) then “hits” are easy to come by. If you’re dry-firing at a 1/4″ rivet in a binder in a bookcase across the room, you will need to work harder on your grip, trigger control, and follow-through.

Start on a target you can consistently call good shots on, and then work your way to the next size smaller. You can never have too much consistency, precision and accuracy in your fundamentals, whether you’re shooting bullseye, benchrest, or bad guys. (If you’re shooting good guys, first tip: hold your Glock with the sights to the left and the magwell right, and stab it at your target).

If you are getting frustrated trying to “hit” the target you chose, pick one two sizes larger and continue doing that, if need be, till your skills are meeting the target. Practice with that for a while, and then move one size smaller.

You’re not trying to achieve perfect Zen mastery in one session. You’re just trying to make your very next shot the perfect shot, and you’ll do this for just a little while before reloading, holstering, and moving on (or locking the gun back up, if that’s how you roll. But the point of a defensive handgun is to have a defensive weapon with you).

Follow-through is especially important and it’s one of the things that separates pros from schmoes. You may not be a pro but there’s no harm in trying to shoot more like one.

So, you did dry-fire this week, right?


(Note: this is another one that spent all night in the queue. So Saturday is off to a way slow start, as we’re chasing light fixtures here anyway. Perhaps you should wander back and read How to Deal with Pool Guns — for the Border Patrol or What’s New in 3D-Printed Guns & Enabling Tech if their length daunted you before. Or use the search engine to find something you like in the 3,000-plus posts on this blog, 1,000-plus of them from 2014).

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.

Bubba the Rocketsmith

Yay! We figured out how to upload an .mp4 movie. Hey, it may not be rocket surgery but it had us stymied for the longest time. And speaking of rocket surgery, hold this beer and watch this:

In this case, “rocket surgery” means “playing with a homemade rocket, we nearly needed surgery.” Events happen pretty fast, so we’ll break it on down for you. In the still below, Wile E. Coyote, Supergenius #1 on the “bazooka” hasn’t reacted yet. While you don’t see in real time where the damn thing goes, by rolling the shuttle wheel we were able to see that the projo goes forward and hits the target (well, he’s almost in bayonet range, so why not?), while the “launcher” gets “launched” in an equal and opposite direction:


The sheer bozosity of this shocks the conscience, and is yet one more illustration of the fact that youth + GoPro = 911 call. That they escaped it this time probably will give them entirely the wrong idea, and they’ll go bigger next time.

One word: FOOM!

Hat tip, My Name is Foxtrot (Dan Finkelstein) who tries to apply adult analysis to this situation. Lotsa luck with that, Danno.

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?

BREAKING: Eric Frein in Custody

We went to the FBI Most Wanted website for another purpose, and the first man on the list — Frein — had a CAPTURED label on his photo.

Frein was caught by US Marshals, outside of his hiding-place in a hangar at the abandoned Birchwood-Pocono Airpark airstrip. The FAA forced closure of the runway in 1996 and the resort, which had been a honeymoon retreat with heart-shaped tubs, closed around the same time; it’s been for sale but the structures are not only dated but in poor, unmaintained condition. This aerial view, from Freeman’s Abandoned Airfields site, shows the hangar where Frein had nested.


He was on foot, outside the hangar, when the Marshals set upon him. He resisted briefly. His rifle and pistol were not on his person; they were found inside the hangar.

We have been in touch with some jubilant Pennsylvania law enforcement types, and they are as proud of the professionalism that brought this cop-killer in alive (albeit with a bloody, possibly broken, nose) as they are of anything else.

A Federal agent had one detail to share: Frein was hauled off to face the music, secured with Corporal Bryon Dickson’s handcuffs. Dickson was the state trooper shot dead by Frein on 12 September; Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded in the attack on the State Police barracks at Blooming Grove.

Frein evaded capture for 48 days, after gunning down the two Pennsylvania State Police troopers at their barracks at shift-change time.

The authorities have said little about Frein’s motivations and intent while the manhunt was pending, but now that he is in custody they may release more of the information found on his computer. The only thing they have said about their discoveries there, is that it provides evidence that Frein planned the attack for a very long time.

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….