Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dang, I Never Get Anything This Cool Shipped To Me

The Detroit Free Press: Officers seize .50-caliber machine gun at Detroit-Windsor border

From the picture it looks like a beautiful example of a .50 BMG, too.

Quick hint to the importer and exporter, next time try "machine tools" instead of "gun parts" when you're trying to fast-track a .50 BMG through customs instead of doing all that annoying paperwork. Or do it legally next time and prevent the whole hassle.

Note well that it was coming from Canada to the US.

And you thought Canadians weren't both crafty and well-armed.

Friday, May 30, 2014

TSA's Airport Security Theater - Now Keeping The Audience Riveted

So some traveler leaves the secured area at Detroit Metro, apparently forgot something in the secured area and, instead of going through security decided to push his way back past the dreaded "Do Not Cross" red barriers.

Much insanity then ensues. They didn't just stop people from coming into the secured area at that point, they stopped everyone from leaving it.

The Detroit Free Press: Metro Airport lockdown lifts after 2½ hours; traveler arrested after forcing past security

“They lowered the gates where no one could go into the terminal,” Geiger said. “It looks like they’re not letting any flights board or leave.”

Geiger said he saw multiple TSA agents searching the perimeter.

. . .

Mary Coleman had already been waiting for more than a half-hour for her nephew to get off his flight from New Orleans.

"He's texting me and saying the concourse is completely shut down in between the gates and the baggage area,” Coleman said earlier in the lockdown. “He said they aren't being told what's going on."

Scott Warheit said he was sitting in a car outside of the airport waiting for his parents to exit the building.

“They are in a Delta terminal, caged in and unable to leave or get to baggage claim,” Warheit said. “I’m parked outside baggage claim. There’s lots of traffic.”

So the solution to someone breaking back into the secured area is to lock down the whole airport and stop people from leaving the secured area.

Anyone else think that leaves a whole bunch of potential victims locked in with a potential terrorist had this been a real incident? How does it enhance safety to leave people locked in the secure area rather than processing them out quickly and in an organized manner?

Remember this was due solely to

“A passenger, who was already on the secured side of the screened checkpoint, exited through the line and made the decision to turn back around and go through the secured side without being screened again,” he said.

From the description he was observed the entire time he left and then reentered the area, which wouldn't leave him much of an opportunity to cause a problem. If he had in fact been bent on mayhem, then having an audience locked in with him for his performance would have been a plus, and not in a good way.

It's not just inconvenient security theater, its downright dangerous and inconvenient security theater.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Anniversary Of A Forgotten Tragedy: The Centennial Of The Sinking Of The Empress Of Ireland

100 years ago today, the liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence river, with a loss of 1,102 of her 1,477 passengers. That's a 75% loss of passengers and crew compared to the Titanic's loss of 68%, and only two years after the Titanic.

One of the main reasons why the Empress is not as well remembered is the conflagration that swept Europe that started two short months after the sinking, and whose casualty lists made the Empress' loss an historical footnote.

Losses included the all but eight of the 167 members of the Salvation Army band from Toronto that was on board.

The Empress also sank within 14 minutes after collision in fog with the Norwegian ship SS Storstad as opposed to the two hours and forty minutes the Titanic had after the iceberg. Some blame the Storstad for the tragedy, others hold that mistakes made by both ships, along with the heavy fog, created the conditions for the disaster to occur.

The Empress sank so quickly due to longitudinal bulkheads that allowed water to fill the side of the ship, causing it to list and then for even more water to enter through the open submerged portholes. Most did not escape the ship, and those who did faced hypothermia in the frigid waters.

Lying in 130 feet of water, the wreck is accessible to divers, except for the dark, cold water and heavy currents of the S. Lawrence river that make it a very challenging dive.

Here's a video that does a good job detailing the Empress of Ireland and showing how she looks today:

A good book to read about the tragedy and subsequent rediscovery of the Empress is Kevin McMurray's Dark Descent .

A 100-year-old nautical tragedy forgotten to most.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Horror, The Horror.

At an ethnic food aisle in a grocery store, my eye caught something that caused my mind to do a double-take and the stomach a belly flop:

Yes, there exists Haggis, vegetarian, canned.

I can understand the cultural necessity of eating Haggis, even something as scary as canned Haggis.

But vegetarian Haggis? The mind boggles. How you could even make Haggis vegetarian considering that

Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal's stomach and simmered for approximately three hours.

Take all the animal parts out and you've basically got a spiced oatmeal with onions that no one in their right mind would eat.

Vegetarian haggis. Ye got tae be kidding.

Let's go eat at a Scottish-Style Vegetarian restaurant said nobody, ever.


Wow. Many thanks to Tam for the massive Tamalanche that has happily fallen upon this post. Welcome to all, have a look around, and I hope you find this blog to your liking.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day - St. Mary's Fair

Every year we go to St. Mary's fair, which is held every Memorial Day weekend. The largest high school fair in the country, its a great event indeed.

As usual, we got there just before the gates opened so it wasn't as crowded as it would become as the day went on. This meant less lines, more rides and less rowdiness.

The fair provides an interesting yardstick to watch the kids grow. From what feels like just last year when they could only do the little baby rides, they're now off and doing the bigger kid rides like Cliffhanger and Pharoah's Fury and Vertigo. It won't be long until they're doing the seriously major rides.

They did the dragon coaster on their own:

The kids would even go on these big rides alone, repeatedly. Just yesterday they were either too short to ride or if they were of size, you couldn't get them on the rides for love or money.

Amazing how time flies.

Both kids loved the Cliff Hanger

Last year Leah was too small to ride it, but this year she made the height cut-off and came with me and Abby so we had a whole hang glider just for us, and went on the ride twice.

They also loved Pharoah's Fury, and this was the first year for both of them:

That ride swings back and forth going higher and higher until it feels like you're 90 degrees away from where you started. Lots of funa nd they went again, and again, and again, and even put their hands up in the air while the ride went back and forth.

The view from the top of the ferris wheel gave a nice overview of some of the fair's attractions.

For lunch at the fair we had the by now traditional Polish Combo - Kielbasa, stuffed cabage, saukraut, pickle and rye bread and three pierogies. I also had a nice cold glass of Tyske beer to accompany the meal. It was a decent Polish lager, not a great beer, but cold and refreshing.

As every year, it was a great time and a nice tradition continued.

Memorial Day 2014

As we take this Monday off to enjoy the first long weekend after the retreat of winter, we should remember why it's called Memorial Day.

The following quote is from a speech made by James A. Garfield, an Ohio Congressman and future President of the United States, on the very first Decoration Day (now Memorial Day) at Arlington Cemetery on May 30, 1868:

"We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue."

May they be forever remembered for their bravery and sacrifice on behalf of this great nation, and indeed for their spreading freedom and lifting the veil of darkness that without their sacrifice would have descended and enveloped the world.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dive 248 - Union Lake

So having not dove in over 4 months, I met up with Chad, Fred and Reichy for a scooter dive in Union Lake this morning.

On gearing up, I took time to put silicone lube on the scooter internal O rings, on the light's battery pack O ring and on the glove seals. Having not used the gear in for months, some fresh silicone grease was called for.

Adding it really helped - the battery went into the scooter body past the first O ring easier than it ever had, and the scooter body and tail went together easier than before as well. Should have done this back before my last dive in January.

So we geared up and hit the water.

The group is doing a mapping project of the lake, documenting where all the lines are, their lengths and bearings and noting important bottom features and depths for future reference. This will make it a lot easier to get around the lake considering may of the sunken boats have been moved and fishermen have ripped up a lot of the existing lines.

So we headed out on our scooters, zipping along out past the trolling motor boat and the A-Aron boat, and getting to the end of the first line and then Chad and Fred began measuring the distance back, recording compass azimuths and depth etc.

Here's Fred either taking some notes on the distance or writing me a prescription to get more diving in!

I was just out and happy to be in the water getting back into the flow of things. This being my 4th dive with a scooter, more than half the fun is anticipating where everyone else is going, anticipating where you're going, keeping track of your depth changes and adjusting buoyancy on the fly to match the depth and trying not to silt up the place.

On the upside, I had some good buoyancy awareness and had a nice controlled ascent but I found I need to adjust my wing setup as I'm having a hard time reaching the rear release valve on the wing, which is a problem. Other than that a pretty good time overall.

Boat traffic was crazy this weekend, with tons of unskilled boat owners mucking about, and more and more boats were going over us during our dive. Dome boats were hammering it so hard you could feel the effect of their props from 40 feet underwater. The visibility wasn't fantastic but it got more serviceable as you got farther away from the dock.

We made it down to 53 feet, and the water is still pretty chilly. Even in the 38 foot range it was 48 degrees and dropped down to 45 degrees at 50 feet.

We finished with that line and headed back to our entry point. This was good as we were all getting kinda chilled after being in the water so long. At 20 feet we stowed our scooters, did our deco and then slowly ascended.

We ascended to even more boats around the boat dock area, so it was good that we didn't come up the dock but instead came up on shore near it. We arose just in time to see a DNR officer chewing out a boater for being an idiot at the dock and even more bopats were stacking up, so it was a good time to get out of the water.

Overall not a bad spring day dive, my suit had no leaks, everything was under control, and not a bad way to wash away the rust from 4 months of non-diving.

The Details:

Dive Time: 69 minutes

PSI used: 2000

Max Depth: 53 feet

Average depth 37

Water Temp: 45

Saturday, May 24, 2014

So That "Disgraceful" Belle Isle Policing Is Having A Positive Effect

It's been so effective that Detroit police are setting up a parks detachment to watch other Detroit parks as the thugs leave Belle Isle due to the enforcement of law there and look elsewhere to commit crimes.

The Detroit News: Police boost patrols at other city parks with Belle Isle under state watch

In other words, it's working and the State Police and DNR officers are doing such a good job enforcing the law that the hoodlums are taking their trade elsewhere as a result.

With state officers strictly patrolling Belle Isle, Detroit police are concerned troublemakers who once flocked to the island during warm weather will seek other parks in which to drive drunk, use drugs and blast music.

This summer, Detroit police will beef up patrols in the city’s parks, with an emphasis on those on the east side near Belle Isle, Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt said.

“Everyone knows the state police and DNR are cracking down on Belle Isle, and we’re afraid some people will just find other places to cause trouble,” Dolunt said. “That’s why (Police Chief James Craig) started a new park detail: To get out in front of this before it becomes a problem.”

So if you enforce the law, and have an actual effective police presence, it encourages criminals to go elsewhere and not commit crimes in those areas? Whooda thunk it!

I daresay apologies are owed to the MSP and DNR by Councilwoman Brenda Jones (of the disgrace quote fame), City Clerk Janice Winfrey, and Ron Scott (Of the Detroit Criminals Rights Above Police group, oh sorry his falsely named Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality group, but he and his group are CRAP all the same).

Your Saturday Walmart Ammo Report, It's Raining 40, With a Continuing Drought of 9 and 22.

So in preparation for the planned gathering this weekend I went by Walmart to get some needed supplies.

I also checked the Walmart Ammo counter.

As usual no one was there and it took about 15 minutes before an associate finally showed up to unlock the ammo case after I, the third person to request assistance, asked for some.

On the upside, they had a massive amount of 40S&W in stock, the most I've ever seen them have, two entire shelves full of various manufacturers and packaging, a lot of 45 ACP and a ton of 5.56. They even had a few boxes of 357 Sig, which is the first time I recall this Walmart ever having that in stock. Hmm, now I might start thinking about a 357 Barrel for my 40 M&P....

On the downside - no 9mm and no 22 LR, as in zip, nada, none, not a single box of either. Hopefully more will appear soon as I'm starting to get low in my stockpiles of both.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Wow, An American Boko Haram Apologist

Remember, Walid wants to make sure you don't mention the I-word. Walid: Corruption, bad policy are part of Boko Haram equation

Not Boko Haram's corruption and bad policy, no. He's instead up for a game of blame everything but the stated reason for their existence - to establish an Islamic Caliphate with Sharia law.

Boko Haram, like its pseudo-Christian brethren the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which has caused mayhem and bloodshed in Central Africa, should be viewed along the lines of a cult. Nigerian Islamic organizations, mainstream American Muslim organizations to ultra-conservatives in Saudi Arabia have condemned Boko Haram as being un-Islamic even prior to this latest act of treachery.

That's of course because the Kony's LRA has massive affiliation and support from fundamentalist Christian terrorists worldwide, just like Boko Haram has with Al Qaeda...Oh, wait, try another false equivalence Walid, you're on a roll.

Of course, contra Walid, American Muslims have not all been very quick to condemn Boko Haram: US Muslim Groups Won’t Move To Excommunicate Boko Haram

Ok, Dawud then blames US government policies for Boko Haram, rather than you, know it's stated motivation, Islam.

What has been missing, though, from many discussions on television and the hashtag campaign #SaveOurGirls is a discussion of the environmental factors that gave birth to Boko Haram and whether U.S. government policies in Nigeria actually helping its people or contributing to problems.

Yep, wherever you go, it's always the US's fault for the acts of Islamists. Funny how the view is in Dawud's world.

Dawud then throws out the poverty canard:

Boko Haram has waged a brutal campaign of terror in an attempt to overthrow the central government’s authority in Northern Nigeria in part due to many legitimate grievances. Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in the world, yet lacks in education, economic opportunities, healthcare and security problems are rampant, especially in Northern Nigeria were Boko Haram operates.

Any excuse beside the actual stated motives of Boko Haram as stated by Boko Haram are fair game for Walid.

So Walid jumps from oversimplified strawman to strawman without substantiation, trying to hide the elephant in the room, while demanding that:

What we can do, however, from our side of the pond, besides pray, is make sure that we are not oversimplifying complex geopolitical issues and promoting misinformation about Nigerian Muslims and Islam in general.

No Dawud, we leave the "promoting misinformation about Nigerian Muslims and Islam in general" to you, and you're doing a bang-up job of it.

One day, even the average Western sap is going to stop believing the "poverty and the west causes these poor misunderstood Islamic fellows to commit acts of terrorism instead of the reasons they themselves state for their actions" canard.

Michigan's Bumpy Road Paradox

As everyone hits the roads here in Michigan for the Memorial Day long weekend, they can ponder the great Michigan road paradox.

Michigan has the sixth highest fuel taxes in the nation, but has some of the worst roads and lowest investments in road infrastructure in the United States:

Michigan ranks 33rd among states for the amount of investment per lane-mile of road; 47th for investment per vehicle mile driven, and dead last among the 50 states for investment per driver.

The Detroit Free Press: Why Michiganders pay among highest gas taxes - to drive on crummy roads

Part of the reasons is that much of the taxes collected on fuel is never used to improving or repairing roads at all but is instead siphoned off into the general fund.

Of course, the Detroit Free Press thinks this can be solved by making Michigan residents pay more taxes for road repair, rather than properly allocating the taxes already reaped from the sale of fuel.

Yet another example of the faults in the blue state model in general - high taxes, low effective services.

That Michigan, the state with the claim to fame of putting the world on wheels had such lousy and often impassable roads is a disgrace.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Detroit's Population Continues To Dwindle

Detroit's population continues to decline, dropping below the 700,000 mark.

The Detroit News: Database: Suburbs gain while Detroit population drops below 700,000

The 60-year exodus from Detroit is continuing but may be slowing, as the city’s population has fallen under 700,000 residents, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The government pegs the city’s population at 688,701 as of summer 2013, down nearly 10,000 residents from 2012. The rate of decline, though, has slowed to an average of 7,500 per year since 2010 compared with 24,000 per year in the 2000s. Suburban counties — Oakland, Macomb and Livingston — gained about 1 percent in population, while Wayne County lost about 1 percent, the records show. Its decline is fueled largely by Detroit, which had 1.9 million residents in 1950 and is now smaller than it was at any point since before 1920.

They already had to amend the law that allowed Detroit to levy its own income tax in 2012- they reduced the minimum population to 600,000 to make sure Detroit could still levy its pernicious income tax.

They also almost had to amend the law allowing Casinos to be built in Detroit. Luckily for Detroit, some legislative assistant had some foresight and drafted the law to say that a city may have a casino if it was a city defined as:

(l) “City” means a local unit of government other than a county which meets all of the following criteria:

(i) Has a population of at least 800,000 at the time a license is issued.

(ii) Is located within 100 miles of any other state or country in which gaming was permitted on December 5, 1996.

(iii) Had a majority of voters who expressed approval of casino gaming in the city.

Yes, only Detroit qualified in 1996 when the law was passed, and it wouldn't qualify today.

It probably also doesn't help that Detroit's abortion stats are way out of proportion to the rest of the stat eif not the country. Almost one third of all pregnancies in Detroit are aborted or 37.9 per 1000 women, compared to the rest of the state's rate of 11 per 1000.

The stats are described as third world, and yeah, that sums up the D all right. Detroit has a third-world culture complete with corruption, disregard for human life and a nihilistic outlook and until that changes were not going to see a real recovery in Motown.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

FIAT Losing Money On Every 500e Electric Car

It seems that Chrysler's Italian savior has adopted the Big 3 policy of losing money on cars they sell but making it up in volume.

The Detroit News: Marchionne: Fiat loses $14K on every electric 500

So why are they selling the 500e when every car is a $14k hit to the bottom line?

Basically it's due to perverse environmental incentives and regulations with which the company must comply.

Marchionne last year had estimated the company would lose about $10,000 on each subcompact 500e, which went on sale last summer and was created to comply with California’s zero-emissions vehicle rule. Fiat will expand sales to Oregon this summer.

Without the regulation, it's unlikely FIAT would willingly produce a loss-leader car like the 500e.

The Fiat 500e, has a starting price of $32,300, but can be purchased for as little as $19,300 when accounting for tax credits and incentives.

In other words, the rest of the US via the electric vehicle income tax credit is subsidizing California car buyers picking up electric vehicles for below cost. The vehicle is only environmentally (and that's only if you don't look to where the electricity in the electric car comes from) but not economically viable.

On top of losing on the 500e, FIAT must also buy emissions credits:

FCA — which has had to buy emissions credits to comply with U.S. guidelines

FIAT has found itself fouled by government fiat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pro-Criminal Element, Hand-Wringers, Shocked At Detroit Police Chief's Courage.

Yes, Detroit Police Chief James Craig actually had to hold a news conference for making the cover of NRA's magazine for the temerity to publicly favor the concept of law abiding citizens having firearms for their own protection.

The usual suspects were not pleased.

The Detroit Free Press: Detroit police chief on NRA article: 'I'm pro law-abiding citizens staying alive'

Detroit Police Chief James Craig’s stance on residents using guns to protect themselves is garnering national attention after landing him on the cover of a gun rights magazine. He reiterated his views today at a news conference, saying armed, law-abiding citizens can be a deterrent to violent crime. “I’m pro safety. I’m pro life. I’m pro law-abiding citizens staying alive, having the ability to protect themself in a dangerous situation,” he said.
He then pointed out what is obvious to those of us living in reality:

“Police officers cannot and will not be on every corner, in front of every house, every business in the city,” he said. “That’s just not realistic.”

Meanwhile the criminal coddling Ron Scott, of Belle Isle protest fame had this to say:

Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality spokesman Ron Scott called Craig’s comments “incendiary.”

“This is a public safety and community issue, not simply a Second Amendment issue,” he said in a statement.

He also called on police to find ways to “de-escalate the violence spawned by the Stand Your Ground principle,” in which citizens can use justifiable force if they feel their life is in imminent danger without any obligation to retreat.

In other words, citizens should surrender to criminals and hope they're not hurt. Mr. Scott, you're outta your element on this one as no "police brutality" is implicated by law abiding citizens defending themselves form attacking thugs. Go find your 5 minutes of fame elsewhere, you're done.

I am really liking this police chief. The man has shown he's got integrity, has shown he'll stand up for an unpopular but factual opinion and actual can call it like it is. He also will put himself on the line, and actually go after criminals unlike his predecessors.

Detroit hasn't had such a stand-up chief in over a decade, and the city may just have a chance with him at the helm of the Detroit Police Department.

Kudos to Chief Craig, and may his appearance on the cover of America's First Freedom be only the first of many magazines where this stand-up cop gets featured on the cover.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Oh, What Media Bias?

Two headlines in the Detroit News today that just leave you shaking your head at their sheer inanity.

The First: Detroit police chief's stance on arming residents lands him in NRA's sights

Really? An article by the NRA praising (and justifiably so) the police chief's sensible yet highly and sadly atypical pro-self-defense stance is negatively presented as the chief "being in the NRA's sights". Generally, if you're in someone's sights, that's not a good thing, and you know the headline writer knows that.

Nice way to get an unwarranted dig at the NRA in there Detroit News.

The second even more inane headline: Armed visitor shoots, injures Detroit homeowner through front door

What!?! A pair of home invaders shooting through a door is now described by the media as an "armed visitor"? Drafting a headline to make a deliberate criminal act appear like a careless use of a firearm by a permitted visitor to the premises is pretty damn pathetic.

Apparently the MSM will use every opportunity, no matter how ridiculous and inappropriate to cast firearms and firearms owners, and the NRA in a bad light.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Grey Man Vignettes - A Darn Good Read

I just finished The Grey Man: Vignettes (Volume 1) , by none other than the Real Most Interesting Man In The World Himself, Old NFO.

In short, its a darn good read, fast paced, solid plot, good character development and one of the protagonists has a damn fine first name.

If you like to shoot and like books that get details about shooting right, get the book.

If you like well-written action novels, with a you-are-there flavor, get the book.

If you like books that get military details right, get the book.

If you want to support a fellow blogger par excellence, get the book.

If you want him to write a sequel, and considering Amazon has it titled as "Volume 1", buy it to encourage him to write Volume 2 so, get the book.

Heck, just go get the book and read it already. You won't be sorry.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

WECSOHA Range Results


So I took kids, and packed the M&P9 with its new Apex RAM installed and the M&P40 with its new Apex Sear and Apex RAM installed, along with the trusty Ruger Mark II and headed to the range.

The M&P9 with the new RAM installed this morning worked flawlessly - here's the first magazine shot through it rapid to try and work the reset:


Then it was the M&P 40's turn, again very rapid:


The kids had their own targets for shooting with the Ruger Mark II, each of which had 2 balloons on them for their shooting enjoyment.

Abby's color choice had a distinct MSU Spartan flavor:

Leah got up and popped her two balloons with her first magazine.

Abby missed with her first magazine, but got them with her second.

I kept putting rounds through the M&Ps, first running a  box through the M&P 9, then a box through the M&P 40, doing magazine changes with each and trying to really wring them out to make sure the WECSOHA hadn't been a Wreck-So-Ha!

All mods worked, the guns worked 100% and function better than they did before. The trigger pull on the 40 is so much nicer than it was originally, and the reset on both guns are now very nice indeed. I can highly recommend the Apex sear and RAM as very useful modifications to enhance your shooting of the M&P.

The kids took turns using the Ruger Mark II and loading the magazines for it. Both had a lot of fun and were very safe while doing so.

The kids ran my shot timer for me and I did a few FAST drills with the M&P and a few other drills.

They were really getting into running the timer.

Then Abby wanted to give it a go with Leah giving the range commands:

video

Coming soon to a USPSA match near you.

A fun time had by all, then we headed to lunch at Smashburger and had some tasty burgers, and then home.

A great range trip indeed.

WECSOHA: The Apex RAM And The M&P9

This morning was WECSOHA time.

WECSOHA of course meaning the Willie E. Coyote School Of Home Armoring. Genius I tell you, Sheer armoring genius. Note it's not gunsmithing as I'm not a gunsmith. I can take pistols apart and install parts but I sure can't make parts for them or do other gunsmithing kinda stuff.

Today I was going to install the Apex Tactical Specialties RAM on my S&W M&P to improve the reset.

Step 1. Check and make sure the pistol is unloaded.

Step 2. Check and make sure the pistol is unloaded.

Step 3. Check and make sure the pistol is unloaded.

Why three times? Because of the 3 Cs - Carelessness, Complacency, and Catastrophe. If you check it three times, the chance of one of them biting you becomes vanishingly small. Check only once, or even worse forget to check, and someday you will get bit.

Step 4. After checking, remove the slide from the frame. Using the Apex Armorer's Block helps keep the frame in one place and protects it when you start removing the roll pin.

Step 5. Then take a #4 roll pin punch and remove the rear roll pin from the frame, hammering from the left side towards the right.

Step 6. Then remove the sear block from the frame by pulling up on the rear rails, this becomes easier if you pull the trigger while doing so. Expect the ejector to fall off while you're doing this. That's normal, but don't lose it.

Now's a good time to clean the sear block, trigger bar, ejector, and other areas you don't usually get to cleaning.

Step 7. Then put the spring on the RAM, have the RAM with the flat spot and hook facing upwards and place in the hole in the middle of the sear block.

Step 8. Put the trigger bar back into place on the side of the sear block, pressing in on the right side of the RAM so the tail of the trigger bar fits into place right in the flat sport on the RAM and with the pointy tail resting back in the sear block.

Step 9. Put the sear block back halfway into the frame, then put the ejector back on the sear block, then push down until it drops into place and then hammer the roll pin back into place.

Step 10. Check for function, and you're done. The trigger reset is now seriously improved.

Now off to the range to do a full check.

The whole process took about 15 minutes, including chasing around parts that fell off the bench. Quite an easy upgrade to perform. Overall, the Glock is much easier to work on and only needs the Glock tool, unlike the M&P which requires a few different pin punches to fully take down especially if you replace the sear. But, with a little care and perseverance, the M&P is not that difficult to work on.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Michigan Dems Introduce Bill For Firearms Registration And Then They Go Full Stupid While Doing So

In a bill that will likely go nowhere considering we have a Republican majority in the House and Senate and a Republican Governor here in Michigan, the usual Democrat representatives are up to their typical anti-gun ways.

Why they want to rile the pro-gun base up in an election year is rather questionable, perhaps they know they're not going to pickup any pro-gun vote and are just playing to their base to show they're doing something and hoping for campaign donations for Bloomberg et al?

House Bill 4774 was introduced by Reps. Townsend, Schor, Barnett, Hovey-Wright, Lipton, Irwin, Robinson, Durhal, Zemke, Singh, Roberts, Stallworth, Talabi, Hobbs, Tlaib, Dillon, Slavens, Rutledge and Oakes.

Quite a rogues gallery of Dems there, some with rather interesting backgrounds.

The bill would require a license to purchase any firearm and that all firearms are to be registered, not just pistols as is currently (and annoyingly) the case in Michigan.

But wait, there's more.

Understand that these legislators don't really understand current Michigan firearms law, so they merely went through and changed the word Pistol to Firearm in existing law regarding purchase transport and licensing (registration). This creates some major problems and lots of stupidity.

If this law is enforced as they have written it, then no one from outside the state could bring a long gun into the state unless they were licensed by their their state to posses the long gun and have that license with them (see Section 2(8)). Since most if not all states don't do this, kiss all revenue from out-of-state hunters and shooters coming to Michigan good-bye, considering they can't legally bring a firearm into this state. Ooops.

The bill gets even dumber as there's a definite error in it that negates the actual registration of long guns as it only requires the paperwork be done on them but then the law as badly written as it is does not require the form to be sent in to the State Police so it conceivably just sits around for no purpose, except if you fail to keep a copy as a buyer, you have no way to prove you complied with the law - that's a trap if there ever was one.

In short, it's a perfect example of a stupid law, with unintended and intended bad consequences that likely will go nowhere and is being introduced just to play to the anti-gun base. Now, if there was a Democrat governor and the Democrats held a majority intbeh House I'd be worried, as it is, this bill should go nowhere.

But do tell me again how urging Republicans, conservatives and pro-gun people to vote for a known anti-gun Democrat for governor will lead to pro-gun nirvana in Michigan.

Thanks to NRA-ILA for the email alert regarding this bill.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why You Shouldn't Make Coffee Until You've Had Coffee

So in the early morn I awoke to make the morning coffee as I always do.

I typically put a shake of cinnamon in with the coffee and then kick the machine off.

The cinnamon container looks like this:

Unfortunately, someone put the Kirkland granulated garlic up in the same cabinet rather than back in the lower spice cabinet where it belongs.

It looks like this:

You know where this is going right?

Yep, one does not taste like the other, there was no way to separate the garlic from the coffee so new coffee had to be prepared to be brewed.

This better not be a warning about how the rest of the day will go.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Scenes From A Courtroom

Today in a District Court, somewhere in South-Eastern Michigan, we saw quite the spread of humanity, much of it at its dumbest.

First, there was the lady who got caught going back into Walmart after she had been barred from there for shoplifting and busting one of the terms of her probation in doing so.

It turns out Walmart security does pay attention, and running in wearing a hoodie as a disguise doesn't help.

Then came another hapless fellow who also had attempted to leave Walmart without paying for his items. Didn't turn out well for him either.

Then came the guy that stole power from the electric company with an illegal hookup - that's a twofer, being both dangerous and dumb.

But the topper of the day was the two blonde girls who had been busted for shoplifting cosmetics from Meijer, and this wasn't their first offense.

Here's a brief list of some things not to do in court, and these two seemed determined to do everything on this list:

1. Don't show up in extra tight shirts and skirts, especially one so tight and short that you go up to the podium with a portion of cheek showing. This doesn't impress the court and you're expected to be in reasonable attire - especially when you had the notice to appear that said come dressed appropriately.

Not a good first impression nor a way to get any leniency.

2. Don't visibly chew gum. Again, Not a good first impression.

3. Don't act like it's a joke. You're being charged with an offense that can lead to jail time. If the judge thinks you're making a mockery of the system and don't understand the seriousness of your offense - well, you're about to find out.

4. Never, ever, jokingly refer to yourself as a habitual offender. You're gonna get treated like one. You instead want to downplay any prior acts and stress how you've seen the error of your ways.

5. Do not demonstrate a lack of remorse for your actions. The judge really loves it when you said you stole something because "oh, it was expensive" and by your attitude he figures you're going to be a repeat customers.

6. Don't try to act all tough when you trying to have a judge accept a plea bargain. You've already pleaded guilty, don't annoy the judge enough that he might override the prosecutor's recommendation of no jail time and instead put you in jail. Yes, he CAN do that.

The judge was frustrated enough with the two of them and their attitudes that he sent them to sit in a cell at the court while he decided what to do with them. Hopefully that changed their attitude.

You Don't See That Everyday

Driving on my way to court, I saw a rather unusual sight.


I passed a Toyota Prius with a tan interior, and in the passenger seat was presumably a lady in a full brown burka including the lattice face cover, that practically matched the interior of the car. While there's lots of hijabs and chadours around here, this was the first complete burka I've seen on the highway. 

A very weird convergence of full-on Islamism and environmentalism or something.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Again, Let's Play Name That Party

Here's the news today about sentencing on a Detroit-area drug ring. The hot news is that 3 of the four defendants failed to show up for the verdict and are on the lam.

The fourth however, did get some mention in the Detroit Free Press, and he's the focus of today's example in media bias by omission: 3 drug dealers flee federal custody in Detroit minutes before guilty verdict read

A fourth defendant, Kenneth Daniels, a former state representative, did appear to hear the jury’s verdict. He was convicted of money laundering.

You'll note that Mr. Daniels' political party is conspicuously not mentioned.

Yep, he's a Democrat.

The money laundering conviction should have tipped you off if you had any doubts. After all, Democrats are obsessed with spending other people's money, so they've got no problems occasionally washing s other people's money.

The Usual Suspects Show Up At Belle Isle Protest

All 20 of them.

Not much of a turnout to support the thugs, druggies and scum otherwise interfering with decent people enjoying the island, but hey, it's an election year and community organizers gotta organize and Democrat electoral hopefuls gotta play to their base.

The Detroit Free Press: 20 protest policing policy at Belle Isle

From The Rev. Horace Sheffield III, running for congress against John Conyers, who is not on the ballot due to some Democrat shenanigans, we get not a dog-whistle, but a full on blast horn:

The Rev. Horace Sheffield III, who is running for Congress against U.S. Rep. John Conyers, was also at the rally and said “there’s been a history of whose island is this,” pointing to the 1943 Detroit Race Riot that began on the island. “There’s been an inordinate number of people arrested on the island, and that’s by design,” he said.

Yep, not very subtle, but it's an election year.

The protest then descended into farce when

Ron Scott of the Coalition Against Police Brutality said activists plan to launch what he called “freedom rides” in coming weeks on parts of the island. He said part of what he and others want to accomplish by engaging authorities now is to head off potential negative confrontations before larger numbers of young men start hanging out on the island with their friends this summer.

Seriously, He went there. He's comparing the freedom rides for civil rights in the 60s where real civil rights were at stake versus the enforcement of law on Belle Isle today, where people are being stopped for things like speeding, doing drugs and committing serious crimes?

One of these things is just not like the other.

Methinks the Coalition Against Police Brutality is running out of actual cause celebres and is now fishing for relevance and an opportunity for Scott to get his face and name in the news before he fades into irrelevance.

USPSA Match After-Action Report

Thanks to Mark, the club's awesome and efficient match Score-master, the match results are already up at the USPSA's site.

The club is moving to a higher technology scoring system - while keeping paper as a backup, all scores are now entered onto Nooks that travel with each squad and then are uploaded from the Nooks onto mark's computer and then into EzWinscore. This makes the scoring process a lot faster and a fair bit cooler - just tap the competitors results into place and you're done. This also makes the results quicker and you don't have to puzzle out someone's chicken-scratch on the score sheet.

Overall I did ok, landing in spot 15 of 29 Production class shooters, with my result from the classifier ranking me 10th out of 29, but still keeping me in the upper half of C class.

I'm good with accuracy but I really need to work on my speed. And once I get the speed up, I'll still need to keep being accurate while going faster.

More practice is clearly indicated, but that was a great first match of the season for me.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Part 2 - Garage Spring Cleaning

A Mother's Day request Natasha had for today was that I and the kids clean the garage, since she has allergies to dust she really doesn't like doing it.

Since it's Mother's Day, how could we say no?

So Abby, Leah and I've just finished a few hours of sweeping, cleaning, and throwing accumulated junk out. They're getting to an age where they can actually assist and do useful cleaning actions.

I also inflated the tires on all the bicycles, and they certainly needed it, after this winter they were all just about as flat as flat tires could be.

You wouldn't believe how much debris, dried leaves, dirt and dust came off that garage floor. Now its so clean you could practically sit on it (I would never advise eating off a garage floor, ok?).

Now I'm grilling some chicken drumsticks for a Mother's Day dinner, and all is right with the world.

Have a great Mother's Day!

A Mother's Day USPSA Match


So this morning, after giving some happy Mother's Day wishes and bringing Natasha, the world's best mom a coffee to her bedside, I got to go head to the range for a match.

First match of the season, and the first time I've shot in about almost a month. As you can guess, I was a bit rusty.

I ran my M&P 9mm in production class and it ran perfectly - no issues and shot very well for me indeed, so i;m well and truly back on the M&P Kool-Aid.

On the upside, on my first stage, the shoot house, every hit was in the A-zone and all steel was dropped, with no misses. I was slow, but accurate.

Some of the stages were rather fiendish in that many targets could  only engaged from some locations, but even then you had to be at the proper angle to see them - whip by to fast and you had an unengaged target and lots of penalties.  Even worse some targets were visible from multiple ports, leaving you to womnder if you had already engaged them from a previous port as you were moving.

Happily, this match I paid close attention to the angles and left had no target unengaged. Others weren't as lucky, especially if they had a malfunction that threw them off their plan.  Overall I had some very decent runs, smooth draws and magazine changes and very good accuracy.

The classifier this time was CM 13-02 Down The Middle. Basically it's 4 targets in an offset line with only the center of each a shootable area to count as a hit, I didn't set the world on fire, but I had all 8 of 8 shots scored hits, and all of them were A-zone with a time of 7.81 seconds.

Here's a video of how to do this classifier quick, demonstrated by one of the shooters in the squad, in a tad over 4 seconds:

video

Yes, he's got a racegun, but with practice, even shooting Production I should be able to get my time down significantly from 7.81 seconds to something more respectable and still not drop any hits, so that's something to work on.

So it was a great match with a great bunch of people.

More practice and I'll be in better shape for June's match.

Friday, May 09, 2014

The Usual Detroiters To Protest Police Actually Enforcing The Law On Belle Isle

In a move that surprised the heck out of the typical lawless Detroiter used to Belle Isle as an unsafe, law-free zone, the Michigan State Police and the DNR are actually - gasp - enforcing the law on the islands.

Those really hard to understand laws like obeying posted speed limits.

These usual suspects aren't happy about it.

The Detroit Free Press: Groups plan Belle Isle rally tonight to protest 'aggressive treatment of citizens'

Groups are planning a rally tonight on Belle Isle in response to concerns raised by Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and City Clerk Janice Winfrey about police enforcement on the island park since the state took over management there in February.

Ron Scott, a spokesman for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, said in a news release that groups including Bike Riders United, Grown Men on Bikes, the National Lawyers Guild and unnamed state and local officials will be on hand during the rally set for 6 p.m. at the park’s Giant Slide.

I guess they chose the spot to reinforce their demand that police should let lawless behavior slide.

Even Detroit City Councillors, who should be leading by example and encouraging the ne'er do wells of Detroit to follow the law and improve the reputation of the city and its residents, are getting in on the fun for some publicity and to play to their lawless base.

[Detroit City Council President] Jones had called the state’s enforcement efforts on the island “a disgrace,” and [Detroit City Clerk] Winfrey complained about what she considered to be insulting treatment while being stopped for doing 35 m.p.h. in a 25 m.p.h. zone on Good Friday, according to previous Free Press reports.

A Quick tip: Don't be speeding 10 mph over in a park.

Further quick tip: Michigan State Police and DNR are actually enforcing the law and they're getting results:

The DNR reported on Tuesday that fewer than 200 people were arrested on Belle Isle from Feb. 1 to March 31. A biweekly field report in late March showed arrests were made for outstanding warrants, marijuana possession, a concealed weapon and open intoxicants. Others have been cited for violating park closing times, driving through stop signs or having dogs with no leash.

The agency reported about 80 tickets for breaking traffic and park rules through April 27 and about 360 verbal warnings in that time.

Don't like it, don't go to Belle Isle, which will result in the park being much nicer for the law-abiding and decent folk that would visit.

That the criminals and their supporters are complaining that Belle Isle is no longer a preserve for them is one thing, for City Councillors and other public officials to do so is pathetic.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

A Snake In A What?

Singapore certainly gets the weird news headlines award for the day:

Singapore Seen: Bathroom horror: Python slithers out of toilet to bite woman at Sims Ave

A woman was sent to the hospital after she was was bitten by a python while using the toilet.

The python had slithered out of a toiletbowl at a unit at Block 826 Sims Avenue last Thursday evening and bit Madam Noraslinda Asat on her thigh.

The housewife, 34, told Shin Min Daily News that she heard a bubbling sound from the toiletbowl while she was seated on it.

Before she could react, she felt a sharp pain in her thigh.

Madam Noraslinda said, "When I looked down, I saw a snake!"

She said the snake was 1.8 metres in length and its teeth were clamped down tightly on her right thigh.

Apparently there was something badly lost in translation when they told the maintenance guy to snake the plumbing.....

Some Interesting Stuff Found Underwater

Seventy-one percent of the Earth is covered by water, so you can always expect to find something new, or in this case, find some things that are quite old:

In Lake Huron, an 8,000 year old caribou hunting camp, with stone walls to drive the caribou along a certain path for easier hunting has recently been found 50 feet under water. The are used to be part of a land bridge that connected Michigan and Ontario. Yes, the Great Lakes' water levels have been much lower in the past than they are now.

In San Francisco Bay, the wreck of the SS City of Chester, sunk in 1888 in a collision that took 16 lives, has been found upright in 217 feet of water. She was sunk after colliding in a fog with a Chinese vessel bringing over immigrants to the golden state.

Meanwhile, the search for La Griffon, one of the most famous and the longest missing ship in the Great Lakes continues, with a wooden beam found that may be the bowsprit of a ship, or may just be an pound net stake from an old fishing trap from the 1800s. So as of yet, there is still no definitive proof that Libert has found LaSalle's Griffin.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Is It Blowback If It Never Left?

Vodkapundit has a post up on the expected blowback from Syria - volunteer Islamist fighters having been trained in terrorist tactics returning to their homes in Europe and America will likely not just resume whatever they were doing before they left to fight on foreign shores but instead will likely launch jihadi attacks locally on their return.

I'd question use of the term blowback - it's not like we're supporting Al Qaeda/Salafi fighters. Instead we're just, in Obama's infinite wisdom, not supporting the more "normal" opposition to Assad, leaving them to get their butts kicked by both Assad and the Salafis, and it's resulting in Syria being locked into an Aliens vs Predator war where regardless of whoever wins, we'll have a heckuva foreign affairs problem for the foreseeable future.

Let's hope the NSA is doing, you know, their actual job of watching these foreign fighters and their movements rather than busily surveying little Timmy's online pron stash or Fred's Tea Party email list.

Meanwhile, back in America, and in Dearborn, Michigan in particular, there's a source of inspiration and terrorist advocacy for them waiting upon their return.

The Detroit Free Press: Dearborn cleric cited as most inspirational leader for militants from West in Syria

Just a few weeks after he was released from federal prison in March 2012 on fraud convictions, Dearborn cleric Ahmad Jibril told his followers in a fiery sermon posted online:

“When your brothers in Syria speak, everyone today needs to shut their mouth and listen, because they’re proving themselves to be real men.”

Jibril’s talk was the beginning of a number of videos and online comments that have made him an internationally known inspirational figure for militants in Syria. Over the past two years, Jibril has become the most popular religious leader online for Westerners who’ve joined the battle against the Syrian government, according to a new report by a security center in England.

And most of his followers online among the Western fighters surveyed are with groups related to al-Qaida, the report said.

Jibril, 43, acts as a “cheerleader ... a benevolent father figure” to foreign fighters motivated by Islam, said the report released last month by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. Based in London, the center is a partnership with five universities and for the past year has been studying the role that fighters from the West are playing in the Syrian war.

He's also quite the anti-American extremist:

Jibril has a history of making what prosecutors said were extremist comments, dating to at least 1995, according to a 2005 sentencing memo from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit. In November 1995, he sent a fax to CNN praising the bombing by terrorists of a building in Saudi Arabia used by U.S. military and civilian personnel, prosecutors wrote. The blast killed four Americans.

On a radical website he operated, “Ahmad Jebril encouraged his students to spread Islam by the sword, to wage a holy war, to hate and kill non-Muslims,” prosecutors said in the memo.

Maybe it's time to apply the RICO act to terrorists and their ideological enablers, as while Jibril may not be the guy pressing the button when the time comes, but he'll be one of those who set it in motion.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I'm Diving In The Wrong Quarries

I've never come across anything like this on any of my quarry dives:

The Detroit Free Press: State police divers in U.P. find stolen guns underwater

A team of state police divers went underwater in the Upper Peninsula to recover a safe containing stolen long guns.

Authorities were led to the Plymouth Open Pit Mine near Wakefield.

That’s where a man suspected in a series of break-ins told police they would find the gun safe.

I'd think that dropping a safe fun of guns under water probably didn't do too much for their value, especially with the likely contaminants in the water. Good on the State Police for recovering them and hopefully they can be salvaged.

Remember kids, dropping guns into a mine doesn't make them yours.

Monday, May 05, 2014

There's Gold In That Dar Ship

It seems the S.S. Central America, one of the richest shipwrecks in American history, still has some gold in her hull.

The Detroit Free Press: 1,000 ounces of gold recovered from 1857 shipwreck.

With gold at around $1,309 an ounce, that's $1,309,000 retrieved off the ocean bottom in just one exploratory dive, with more to follow.

Very nice indeed.

Saturday With Paintball

I was invited out by a friend last Saturday to go to a paintball event he had setup with about 24 other people. Having only done paintball one time before, about 12 years ago, I was interested and agreed to come along and give it a try.

One interesting thing about paintball is how into it people can get - there's a very strong player base that likes to play and heavily invest in their equipment.

Here's just a couple of my friend's paintball markers:

That's a Tippmann 98 , sort of the AR-15 of the paintball world - apparently its a solid reliable performer that can be modified with different sized barrels, hoppers, triggers etc. He kindly let me use this one and it was quite fun indeed.

The other one that looks like an AK is a Tippmann A-5 , with modifications to look like an AK added.

In short, you have people who are very dedicated to the paintball game and very good at it, and who know how to wring the most accuracy out of their markers to paint the opposing team.

Masks and eye shields are mandatory when playing, and with good reason. With those .68 caliber balls heading towards you at 285 fps, they hurt. They hurt even more when they don't break and instead whack you and bounce off. Gloves and full skin coverage with clothing are good ideas as well.

In the group, there were various munchkins playing and they were tigers on the field. They were small targets and hard to hit, and had no compunction about aggressively letting the opposing team have it.

Here's one, all armored up against incoming rounds, and a padded chest protector not seen in this photo but worn later rounded out his protection striking a pose:

"What's the matter, Colonel Sandurz? CHICKEN?"

We played at the Lone Wolf Paintball field by the Gibraltar trade center.

For a couple hours we played 8 different matches on 3 different playing fields. From a small speedball field to a very large field, to one

Paintball guns have neither the range nor accuracy of real guns and have a bit of a parabolic arc to the shots. The paint does tend to get everywhere.

It's quite an experience being under paintball fire, and it does make you seek cover quite quickly. You also learn the difference between cover and concealment quickly, as paintballs have a way of finding holes in your cover to zip through and whack you.

One interesting lesson when playing paintball is that movement, any movement, draws fire, and lots of it.

A corollary to that is that movement can result in paintballs to the ribs, and paintballs to the ribs, especially when they don't break, hurt and leave really interesting colored bruises.

Another lesson is that you run out of paintballs really fast when trying to suppress other players, and then you're reduced to firing air and trying to psyche out anyone on the other team from rushing you until they figure out you're firing blanks. I actually held the flank of our team's position for about three minutes firing air alone until the other side finally figured out there was no ball traveling with that air, and then I got flanked and whacked.

We won a few games, lost a few games, and had a good time win or lose.

It was a lot of fun with a good bunch of people, all of them good sports.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Jett Unleashed

Jett is becoming quite the cool dog.

So cool, that unlike other doge instead of food, he gets fuel.

We've been working on his off leash skills, and he's been doing real well.

Most importantly, his recall is excellent. When you tell him to come, he comes right away:

He'll also sit and down by voice command only and no leash. We're working on heel, which is coming along but not there yet.

He's also got quite the ball drive. He'll chase after it, fetch it, bring it back, and then wrestle over it and chase it again and again.

He's also developing a serious bark and the concept that he's supposed to use it if strangers come near the house.

He's also decided on his favorite chair where he can relax and watch the front of the house in comfort:

Good dog.

Playing With Dirt Day

Today was a home maintenance day, and the focus was on the outdoors.

Comcast's idea of burying cable seems to have consisted of a tiny layer of dirt, and that has fully eroded away, leaving the bright orange cable out for all to see in multiple spots on the lawn, just waiting to get sliced when the lawn is cut.

Having the cable just lying out like that wouldn't do. In addition, the side of the house has a bit of erosion and some earth needs to be placed there to cover some of the basement wall that ought to be buried.

So after buying 9 forty pound bags of dirt, I was all set for covering up the exposed cable, tamping the earth down, and then covering the new soil patches with some grass seed.

The kids then had fun watering the patches and getting themselves soaked while doing so.

About 4 bags sufficed to cover all the exposed cable, which left 5 for the side of the house which wasn't enough, but at least it's a start. Next weekend another 9 bags or so should do it, then I'll put some gravel on top by the house for drainage and to stop the soil from running off. I also did the lawn fertilizer and weed treatment and that was enough maintenance for one day.

Friday, May 02, 2014

NRA Convention The Dave Grossman Seminar

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman should need no introduction to the serious gun owner. The author of On Killing and On Combat and many more books, he's an expert on the subject violence. If you haven't read the above two books and you carry a firearm for protection, you owe it to yourself to do so.

The Presentation he gave was tittled: Sheepdogs! The Bulletproof Mind for the Armed Citizen

The Seminar was advertised by the NRA like so:

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, co-author of Glenn Beck's new book Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns, and author of the book On Combat and several others, gives his special presentation on mental and physical preparedness for the armed citizen. Grossman will speak about your role as an Armed American Citizen in the future challenges to our nation. Hear about the potential threats, be they internal or external, and the response to those threats as intended by our Founding Fathers. Grossman will also discuss how to prevent PTSD and be physically and emotionally triumphant after an armed encounter. Seating for this one-of-a-kind presentation is first come, first served.

The seminar was all that and more.

First Col. Grossman immediately grabbed everyone's attention by noting that while no children have been killed by a fire in school in 50 years, many have been by violence, and the biggest reason for it is denial of the problem. Why none form fire - we have fire drills, fire alarms, sprinklers and fire resistant building requirements. We currently lack killer-resistant schools because we continue to deny the problem and not take steps to detect potential killers, deter them from attacking by denying them access to their targets, and to effectively defeat them when they do attack.

He also stated something that changed my worldview on the matter. He noted that the media and politicians are calling these "School Shootings" committed by "Active Shooters".

These murders he correctly pointed out aren't school shootings - these are school massacres and mass killings. Here the media and others are focusing wrongly on, and blaming a weapon used and not the killer. Using the term active shooter stigmatizes people who shoot and associates shooters with criminal acts.

From now one, this blog will not refer to these massacres as school shootings committed by active shooters. Instead I'll be using school killings and killers accordingly. Following Grossman, the killers names will not be mentioned on this blog as that is one of their goals - to know they will be remembered and associated with their horrific acts. If the media ceases to name them, ceases to put them on the cover of magazines and in the news, future killers who do it to crave the attention will realize that they will receive none, and that will deter some of them.

Grossman went into the reason why, after over two hundred years of firearms ownership, we're only recently seeing kids take weapons into school and murder other children en masse. He convincingly and eloquently argues and points the finger at violent video games and other media that is inuring and acculturating susceptible youth with mental issues to commit acts of murderous violence by both seeing it and virtually committing it. He identified a few using very vivid examples: “Grand Theft Auto V” has the players get a higher score by killing police, stealing, selling drugs, patronizing prostitutes, and then beaitng and killing the prostitutes and taking their money back. He pointed out that the Wii's “Manhunt 2” game has players using the motion sensor controller for the game to actually physically reenact the actions of the character on the screen - bashing people with a baseball bat and creeping up on people from behind and slash their throats with a knife. Grossman said that all of the multiple school killers tended towards being loners and anti-social, and all of them spent many hours playing these types of violent video games and racking up scores by killing doing so.

Grossman notes that denial of the problem and the lack of will to both face this media onslaught and to have both secured schools and armed personnel in schools is the problem. This makes schools a target-rich environment that offers the killers the opportunity they crave - the chance to run up a high score of kills and get media attention for their murderous acts.

He points out that at Sandy Hook, the killer gained access by shooting out a standard window which let him open the door to the building - a mesh screen or inexpensive but effective laminate coverings for the glass could have prevented access or slowed him down further and saved lives.

He continued by pointing out that the lack of potential armed resistance gives these killers the opportunities they need to commit their crimes. He stated their greatest fear is failure and the presence of armed individuals increases their risk of failure and deters them, and he gave plenty of examples of how and where that deterrence has worked.

Sadly at Sandy Hook, two officers arrived at the school while the shooting was ongoing but failed to enter the building for six minutes due to orders to wait for two more officers to arrive so they could form a four man team as the doctrine dictated at the time. This was exactly the wrong decision. Doctrine has now changed to two or even solo entry to get at the killer as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it took a lot of innocent lives to reach the obvious need for rapid intervention. Failing having armed security on the premises due to denial, rapid intervention will prevent at least some lives from being lost.

He then made some damn scary prognostications:

1. There will be shootings at day care centers as killers seek easy opportunities for both easy kills and media sensationalism

2. Once US forces fully pull out of Afghanistan, we will see a Beslan-level terrorist attack against a school here by an organized force of Islamic terrorists.

3. We will see incendiaries (gasoline, firebombs etc) used in a school attack and the casualties resulting form the fire will be greater than in any school attack to date. He stated unequivocally that the Islamic terrorist attack will use fire as a weapon, as they did at Beslan and on 9/11. Expect the non-Islamic killers to do the same.

4. We will see increased violent gang activity in the US, and it will make parts of the US look like the areas in Mexico that are currently under control of the drug gangs.

5. The disturbed kids already inculcated to violence and taught by video games that violence is the way to solve problems are going to grow up and enter the workforce. Expect a wave of workplace killings as these ill-adjusted people enter the workplace and work things out by violence.

Yes, it was a damn scary presentation.

He covered what can be done about it, including joining the school board or being active in what is happening in the schools and working past denial to enhance actual school safety. He also covered the role of the armed citizen as a deterrent to such acts and in deterring crime in general and the psychological resilience and mental preparation needed for doing so. He also called on the audience to be involved in their community and to demand their school boards take action to make their schools more likely to deter attacks.

He received a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd at the end of his three-hour detailed presentation. To say it was informative, powerful and enlightening would be an understatement.

Fortuitously, I just received a school security survey from my local school board yesterday. I sent it back noting the availability and need for the installation of the security laminate on school windows, and strongly suggested that they have Col. Grossman give them his presentation and consult with them on effective school safety. We'll see if we can get past the denial stage at the local level.