Saturday, March 06, 2021

A Helpful And Welcome USPSA Rule Change

USPSA just announced some rule changes that are very happy making.

The quick summary is that Carry Optics and Production shooters can now use appendix carry holsters without being moved to Open division, the handguns can have flashlights attached, so long as they actually work, and magazines can be carried forward of the hip,  are also acceptable in those divisions. 

In short, I can now compete using my carry gear with the PHLster Floodlight holster without getting booted to Open, which is very nice.

Definitely a nice and timely rule change to let people compete with their carry gear as more and more people are using appendix carry and slide-mounted optics.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Bring The Boys (And Girls) Back Home

I am unaware of any actual or continuing insurgency that has occurred or is ongoing in DC that would necessitate the continued stationing of our National Guard in our nation's capital.

Indeed, the National Guard could be put to better use in Portland to support the police there to quell the ongoing progressive civil disturbance,(none dare call it an insurgency),  but that's been ruled out apparently.  Funny, that.

On top of the insult to injury to have twenty-five thousand National Guard soldiers taken from their home states and jobs to be stationed in our capital for appearances, there's this:

Redstate: Michigan National Guard Served Undercooked, Moldy Food While in Washington D.C.

That's simply unacceptable and an outrage. 

Yes, heads should darn well roll for whoever in charge gave out and administered that contract (doubly so if any kickbacks or backscratching, or political favors in awarding the contract occurred). The contractors should be fined and jailed for their conduct in foisting such garbage on our troops.

 If you can't properly feed and house the troops -- in peacetime -- in our nation's capital, where there's no actual threat requiring their being stationed there, then in the words of the anti-war left,  Bring the Boys Home. They've been sent there for an unpopular occupation with no end game, victory condition, or date of departure in sight and that's unacceptable. 

Time to bring them all home.

Whitmer Corruption Continued: Fox Again Asked To Investigate The Goings On At The Hen-House

In the latest Gov Half-Whit scandal, the head of the Department of Health, has left the office with a very nice severance agreement.  A very sweet deal having a confidentiality clause.

Fox News:  Michigan GOP demands state AG probe Whitmer's 'secret deal' with former top health official

Note the Health department director would know all about Whitmer and what she knew when she issued her executive order sending Covid patients to nursing homes.  He would know how that resulted in about 40%+ of all deaths in Michigan due to Covid - and he knows where the data (much like in the cae of Cuomo and NY) would be buried that still hasn't been provided.   he would also know all about how the partisan decisions the governor throughout the crisis have been made, which would prove very interesting indeed.

Now, in return for over $155K severance, he won't be talking.  Nice deal if you can get it.

It turns out some other key officials in other departments that failed also got some nice severance agreements such as at UIA - the department beset with inefficiency and massive fraud to the tune of millions in false claims during COVID, so the per the Detroit News today, the UIA director resigned and got over $85,000 possibly in return for his silence as there's a confidentiality clause in his agreement just as was the case with the head of the Health Department.

Of course, asking the Democrat partisan AG Dana Nessel to investigate the possible wrongdoing is simply asking a fellow fox to check on the situation at the hen-house.  This will undoubtedly get the same result as the last investigation of Gov Half-Whit's corruption by Nessel -he nothing to see here, nothing criminal occurred report created when one partisan Democrat investigates another to whom she is beholden.

Don't expect much from any such investigation, nor for the truth of what occurred to get out any time soon. 

Monday, March 01, 2021

No, You Do Not Get Two Form 5 Transfers For The Price Of One

When dealing with NFA items, it often pays to consult an attorney, especially when it is for more complicated and uncommon issues.  Relying on an FFL can be give less than satisfying results sometimes.

Our story:  I had a client who was an avid firearms collector, shooter, and owner, not to mention a very nice guy.  I had setup an NFA trust for him quite a few years back, and he had NFA items both in the trust and he had prior NFA purchases titled to himself individually.

Sadly he passed away in 2017.  

I then handled his estate and transferred everything to his heir, who was his sister.  She's a nice lady and has a long-term boyfriend who's also a great and friendly guy. I saved her a ton of money as a less-than-scrupulous FFL dealer had offered her $3,000 for his entire collection.

Let's put it this way - just one of his firearms was worth more than $3,000 alone. I managed to hook her up with honest direct buyers where she got fair prices for the firearms that netted her over ten times that of the FFL's massive low-ball offer.

I also transferred the NFA items via Form 5s to her. 

Form 5 is a tax exempt transfer, so no $200 tax is required, and they tend to get processed reasonably quickly.  

Had a bit of back and forth with the NFA Branch as they wanted some additional documents, but we got that all squared away and done and legally transferred to her.  End of story.

Or so I thought.

I get a call a few weeks ago from her and her now husband, that ATF NFA Branch is asking for further documents.  Even worse I get the bad news that she has stage 4 cancer.

This is peculiar.  They said the NFA Branch letter was looking for certain documents on the transfer that they had never requested before, so I go through and retrieve the requested documents and send them to her ASAP.  Most of them are probate closure documents showing the estate was completed in 2017, which it was.

Sadly she died that week.

I then meet her husband last week as they had just got another inquiry letter and I had him come in to take a look at what was wanted as over the phone it just didn't make any sense.

There was a reason for that.

It turns out the inquiry is not about the transfer of the items I assisted with in 2017.

It's about a transfer of the same items in 2020.

It turns out she sold all the NFA items to an FFL dealer in late 2020.

The dealer instead of doing Form 4s as transfers from the sister to him, instead did them all on Form 5s, naming the estate and the sister jointly as the transferors, and the dealer even signed as the transferor and as transferee.

No you really can't do that.  Not when they've already been legally transferred out of the estate in 2017.  Very much not the way to try and save $200 on each item.  The dealer also messed up the serial number on one of the items to make it all even better.

Not good, and it now makes sense why NFA Branch is very unhappy with the paperwork.  This is because the paperwork is fundamentally flawed junk.

This is what we call a mess. Thankfully it's not my mess. That FFL now has some explaining to do.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Weekend Knowledge Gain: USPSA NROI Range Officer Course

So this weekend each morning I got up early, walked the dog, and then headed to Romulus for the Level 1 Range Officers Seminar.

Since I've been shooting USPSA more now, and helping out as a range officer at my local club, I decided to get official.

A huge benefit of the class is you get to understand the rules better as a result of taking the class, so you become a better range officer and a better shooter within the rules as well.

Wondering why you got that procedural or how you got that score?  The class explains the whys, the hows, and the wherefores. 

Teaching the class was the always awesome Gary J.  - a Range Master Instructor, very experienced shooter, course designer, and RO.  In short, he knows what he's talking about, has extensive experience doing what he's talking about, and knows how to teach it.

Gary was excellent as the instructor and highly effective in imparting a ton of required knowledge in a very short time. 

A very good bunch of students were talking the class - 26 in all. Ranging in age from teens to seniors and everyone had a good attitude about learning the material and being a good RO.  Being a good RO requires knowledge, judgment,  and attitude components and everyone in class certainly had the right attitude about learning and acting as an RO.  It's not about power tripping, it's about appreciating the sport and wanting it to run well and fairly.

Yesterday was spent in class going over how to be a range officer and the main rules, and how to find the answers in the rule book to things that would likely occur.  We also talked a bit about course construction and how to RO at a match including higher level matches. 

A lot of safety issues were discussed which is rather important, and we saw a few videos that illustrated what not to do.   Importantly, make sure the range is clear before starting the next shooter - Always.

Lots of learning occurred - By the end of the morning Saturday I understood the puzzle of the target perforation shot, which was one of the things driving me nuts previously.  Now I get it and why it is scored the way it is scored.

Lunch was BBQ and it was awesome.

After lunch, we returned to discuss disqualifications and related matters.

Then we went over some best RO practices and started going over the range commands.  Getting the range commands perfect is actually important and in some cases giving the wrong range command can cause a re-shoot to occur or even worse,  shooter confusion and a potentially unsafe situation.  Often shooters at larger matches may be traveling and are not be fluent in English and instead rely on the exact commands to know what to do.   So, memorizing range commands correctly was a must.

So,  Saturday night I spent a few minutes memorizing the range commands as instructed, this paid off Sunday morning.

Sunday was drizzling a cold rain all morning, so we did a lot in the classroom first.

We  mainly worked on range commands in groups.  

Then the rubber guns came out and there would be an RO, a scorekeeper and a shooter and the "shooter" drew a card to see what he would do.  Many cards had the shooter shoot the scenario straight, but others had them commit a safety or procedural violation, or otherwise act in strange ways such as not paying attention to the range commands and the RO and scorekeeper had to sort it out and know what was happening and what to do and what rule applied and if a procedural, a quick admonition,  or a disqualification was appropriate.  

Hi-jinks ensued, learning occurred.

Then on to the range for a couple live fire runs without any deliberate safety violations but with the  shooter retaining the right to cause procedural problems or ham it up without flagging anyone or deliberately acting in an unsafe manner.

Interestingly enough, it turns out one of the readers of my blog from Traverse City was attending the class and he figured out it was me.  It was very nice to meet the gentleman and we had a good conversation during some of the downtime.

I'm happy to report that I was the first one to do a clean run live as a range officer - no command mistakes, scoring mistakes,  or bad positioning or other mess ups on my part, which was happy-making. 

Lots of learning occurred just by watching others as the live fire exercises played out - scoring issues would come up, positioning issues came up and lots of range commands needed to be made clear.  All good stuff.

Now to do the online test and I'll be official.

The NROI Level One RO class is a great way to be able to better understand the rules of USPSA and to enable you to help your club or section in holding matches.  I certainly learned a lot, and will be a much better range officer and USPSA shooter as a result.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Education Gone Woke: Getting The Right Answers In Math And More Is Now White Supremacy Culture

Critical Race Theory first infiltrated and infected the higher echelons of Academia and its now spread to the corporate world (See Coca-Cola telling its white employees to try to act less white for example)  the entertainment world - see the cancellation of Gina Carano and the current force-feeding of BLM and woke theology in just about every show these days)

Now its working its way down the educational chain into primary and secondary schools.

See for example the curriculum at  Equitablemath.org:

Highlights from the first section alone include such gems as: 

We see white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom can show up when:

  • The focus is on getting the “right” answer.

  • Independent practice is valued over teamwork or collaboration.

  • “Real-world math” is valued over math in the real world.

  • Participation structures reinforce dominant ways of being.

  • Teachers enculturated in the USA teach mathematics the way they learned it.

  • Expectations are not met.

  • Addressing mistakes.

  • Teachers are teachers and students are learners.

  • Math is taught in a linear fashion and skills are taught sequentially, without consideration of prerequisite knowledge.

  • State standards guide learning in the classroom.

  • Procedural fluency is preferred over conceptual knowledge.

  • “Good” math teaching is considered an antidote for mathematical inequity for Black, Latinx, and multilingual students.

  • Rigor is expressed only in difficulty.

  • “I do, we do, you do” is the format of the class.

  • Students are required to “show their work.”

  • Grading practices are focused on lack of knowledge.


Note this insanity of course comes from California, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation providing "generous financial support" for this insanity.

First, it is amazingly racist to deem math a matter of white superiority and "white supremacy culture".  Many races and ethnicities of all sorts are rather upset with this unfounded assertion.

Second, it's even more amazingly racist towards black and brown people and "multi-lingual" people [seriously - what?] to claim that getting "the right answer", being required to "show your work",  "Addressing mistakes",  having "expectations",  "procedural fluency",  and that teachers are expected to be teachers and students are expected to be students are somehow signs and features of white supremacy culture.

Just imagine if the real-life Black women of NASA in Hidden Figures when asked by astronauts for their orbital calculations simply replied: 

"Sorry, we can't be expected to meet those expectations and getting the right answer and then showing how we did that is a matter of white supremacy culture - hope y'all have a good launch and good luck"

Just imagine if Jaime Escalante, when teaching his Hispanic students about calculus and advanced math, that instead of inspiring and challenging his students to learn and excel instead just said:

    "That's just white supremacy culture esse, you can't be expected to learn that or get the right answer, just go back to the barrio."
I think we've gone past the soft bigotry of low expectations and have started hitting the hard stuff.  

Would you want anyone designing a bridge, vehicle, or doing financial calculations, or anything else for that matter related to math not being concerned with getting the right answer, showing their work, etc?

It's bad enough that Gates inflicted Common Core on the nation, now he's funding an even more destructive Common Wokeness on our nation.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Stuff Kids Say - High School Edition

The kids just returned back to school (via Zoom from home) after their break (also at home).

Leah reporting on her school day today while we were together eating dinner:

"Just finished the drug and alcohol unit in Health - Now, I know how to make a killer Long Island Ice Tea!"

The kid's got perfect timing, and yes, some liquids were coughed up in response.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Cause And Effect: Michigan Government Creates A Propane Shortage, Declares Emergency To Address It

Nothing like government causing a problem to have the same government step in and announce an emergency 

It's not like Governor Half-Whit can't say she wasn't warned what would happen with her enviro greenie regulations.

The Detroit Free Press: Whitmer to revoke Enbridge oil pipeline easement in Straits of Mackinac

The Detroit News: What a Line 5 shutdown would mean for Michigan's energy

Sure enough, she closed the line and -

Today:  Whitmer signs executive order to ensure adequate propane distribution

Well, when you shut down a pipeline delivering 756,000-gallons-a-day, 65% of the UP's propane and 55% of the state's propane supply, and you certainly don't have the trucks to replace that, you get a propane shortage.  This of course comes as a complete surprise to our governor who doesn't seem to get the concept of cause and effect.

  You also of course get a lot more road traffic and pollution from all those trucks now driving with lots of overtime and risks of road accidents and spillage,  trying to do what a pipeline was doing in a very environmentally friendly fashion.  So higher energy prices and shortages result, along with more actual environmental damage.

 But that's ok, because pipelines are bad now, right?

Friday, February 19, 2021

Catch and Release, and Catch and Release, and Catch and Release Again

It's very refreshing for criminals when they do not have to post bail and instead are released immediately upon arrest.

In this way with no cash bail,  they can become a one-criminal daily crime wave.

FoxKTVU: California man arrested three times in one day, given citation and released due to state zero-bail policy

Dijon Landrum was arrested for braking into and stealing a car at around 8:28 am.

He was arrested and then immediately released without bail.

An hour later he was caught leaving a home with stolen property.

He was arrested and then immediately released without bail.

Less than twelve hours later, at 8:28pm he was then arrested again after  fleeing officers after stealing another car.  

Yes, he was again booked and released without bail.

3 felonies in less than 24 hours.  Oh, and he's still free to wander and commit more crimes.

This no cash bail policy so highly touted by the progressives as being just and equitable for the poor is instead releasing criminals to prey upon poor communities and others with impunity. Great for criminals but leading to rising crime rates everywhere its been tried

Sadly our local newly elected progressive county prosecutor is pushing for eliminating cash bail as well.  Expect crime to rise here in a similar fashion as a result.

New Tires Have A Remarkable Effect

There's been even more snowfall in the past few days, and I've been stuck driving while its falling more often than not recently. 

In regards to slipping in the snow, I found I needed to have new tires as my previous set was down to 2-3 mm, which partly explained some of why I was having problems getting up (and down) the driveway.

I then got some new Michelin tires installed and the difference is rather remarkable.  Much, much more control and traction.  Even with them tires being all-season they're acting like a winter tire.  Drove home in a snowstorm last night with nary a problem and even made it up the Driveway of Doom™and into the garage with over an inch of snow upon it.  Very nice and the old tires would not have done that.

Replacing tires is expensive, but the increase in traction and handling over worn out tires makes it well worth it.  The bank account is not happy, but the safer handling and control is very happy making.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A Little Stuck

So Abby got stuck in the snow with her car this morning.

How stuck?  Completely stuck with wheels spinning fruitlessly stuck.

I first tried to dig around the snow she was stuck in to give the wheels some purchase, but no dice, even with me pushing the car as she tried to move it forward and back and forward again.

I then grabbed some of the extra gravel I had stored that was leftover from the parking pad project and I scooped copious amounts of gravel under the front of her tires to help them get some traction.

That did the trick combined with my pushing the car forward.

A great and freezing cold way to start the morning it's about 6 degrees Fahrenhit out there right now,  which made the whole experience extra pleasant.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Ok Fellas, Pay Attention - I'm Only Going To Show You This Once

The Daily Mail: 30 Taliban militants are killed in explosion during bomb-making class at Afghan mosque

Well, that's an efficient way for there to be 30 less terrorists available for future attacks.

Note also how well they respect their own holy spaces - running a bomb-making class in a mosque. One of the reasons for this of course is our stupid rules of engagement that tend to make mosques off limits for weapons searches or raids, rendering them safe houses for terorists.

So Texas, How's The Preview Of The Green New Deal Working Out For You?

So it turns out windmills don't handle icing conditions very well. Solar doesn't do well when covered in snow or in overcast conditions either.

MSN :   Texas electric grid operator says frozen wind turbines are hampering state's power output: report

About half of Texas' wind power generation capacity has been put on ice amid the state's historic winter storm, according to a report.

Oops. Add to that a sudden demand for natural gas for heating instead of electricity generation and there's not enough capacity to provide power.

It's definitely a cautionary tale of over-reliance on unreliable sources of energy such as solar and wind.    It's another cautionary tale of the failure to maintain and build an energy infrastructure able to keep up with the demand and have enough at the margins to handle an emergency. 

Pushing for the Green New Deal and not building reliable nuclear power and clean coal plants instead of expensive and unreliable wind and solar are going to end up putting us all in the dark and cold.

Snow Much Snow

8 inches of the white stuff has landed so far between yesterday and overnight, with more to come.

Digging out the Driveway of Doom™, was quite the chore this morning, as was digging out  Abby's car after the street plow so thoughtfully blocked it in behind a wall of heavy packed snow.  I cleared it three times yesterday and spent well over an hour and a half today on it and helping her dig her car out.

On the upside, this snow offers pretty good traction, so I wasn't slipping down the Driveway of Doom™while clearing the snow, and I even got the car back up the snow covered driveway last night

There's still a ton of snow on the street itself even with the plow making huge walls along the sides. No asphalt is visible.

Oh, and it's now snowing yet again.

Meanwhile, those poor fellows down in Texas are getting hammered, and they're not used to it at all.  Be safe down there and try to stay warm.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Inflation And Product Shrinkage - The Subtle Way Of Paying More For Less

Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man has a rather sobering post up about inflation - complete with the mind-boggling fact that 40% of all dollars in existence were produced in the last year alone.

40 percent.

That which can't go on forever, won't.  

The amazing question is how are we not facing massive inflation after all these dollars have been injected into the economy in such a short time?  

We're being told that inflation is a measly and practically non-existent 1.4%

How can this be?

Some of it is demand destruction preventing inflation - locking down the economy over the past year certainly slowed the velocity of money by quite a bit and chilled if not froze out the economy almost completely.  

Some of it is the money being invested into the stock market where it's raising the price of stocks by leaps and bounds and likely creating an asset bubble, and in other investments, but not entering the real world of shops and everyday prices.

Yet, in other ways inflation is already here and eating into our savings and raising prices - but in an insidious manner.  Instead of paying more for the same, you'll now pay more for less - and you'll either not be told of the switch - or be told it's good for you and the environment.

Yahoo News: Coca-Cola Debuts New Bottle Size, Recycled Packaging Strategy

The Atlanta-based company's new 13.2 ounce bottle will be introduced this month for the Coca-Cola Trademark line . . .with a nationwide rollout by the end of 2022.

The new 13.2 oz. bottle is smaller than the retail staple 20 oz. bottle and slightly larger than the 12 oz. aluminum can used by the company. In a press statement, Coca-Cola said the new bottle is "a more sippable package and reduces the use of new plastic."

Expect it to replace the 20oz in the name of reduced packaging and the environment, and I'd wager you'll pay close to, if not the same as what the 20oz bottle was going for now when you buy the 13.2 oz bottle - a third less in size for what I expect will be 20oz prices within the next year - an inflation rate as far as Coca-Cola goes that far exceeds the official 1.4% rate.

Coca-Cola isn't the only company reducing the size of its products while maintaining prices and you can expect even more of these reductions, sold as environmental awareness rather than the raising of prices, in the near future.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Trump Acquitted Again

Yet another sham impeachment brought to a close with the appropriate result of an acquittal. 

Expect "peaceful protests", riots and property damage as a result.

On the upside the continuous snowfall we're having right now should tamp the enthusiasm for such lawlessness down a bit in this area.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Oh Canada: Our Virtue Signalling Stands For Thee

One funny thing I've recently noticed in Canada is that at the start of every hip artistic performance or similar activity they somberly intone "We recognize we are on stolen land or land belonging to blah blah blah".  

There's literally written extensive guidelines on how to do this now.  They can even get in trouble for doing it wrong, as Gay Pride Toronto found out to its dismay.

First time I heard it I burst out laughing.

It's virtue signaling and preening of the highest order and nothing more of course.  It's an easy way for some good group think and disdain towards Western Civilization without having to really do anything about it and shows you're part of the hip and the woke.

I guarantee none of those making the invocation or taking it seriously have surrendered the deed to their house, or moved out of their apartments.  After all, if you are acknowledging you obtained your property by theft or from a thief as you so piously intone, then you don't have good title so why are you still living there?

So then the question arises as to who to give it to since you're staitng you're on land not belonging to you:

Certainly not the Iroquois or Ojibway, they're johnny-come-latelys  to the scene and the land.  No, we need to go further back.  After all many of the tribes that were there before them were pushed farther south (or wiped them out) by the Iroquois and those tribes pushed others farther south (or wiped them out)  before them. They similarly pushed others farther south (or wiped them out) as well so they don't count either.

So we better go back farther in time.

So going all the way back we end up with:

Yep, this Zuul crurivastator a recently discovered species of ankylosaurankloysaurus rocked and ruled Ontario, Canada over 75 million years ago. Until, of course the land was stolen.

As such,  following the lefties' line of thought and the arc of justice to its ultimate absurd conclusion, the land justly belongs to its descendants:


So yes, Canada really is for the birds.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Biden Reversing Course In The Middle East Has Entirely Foreseen Consequences

It's a really good thing Biden is cutting military aid and assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, isn't it?

Fox 13: Saudi TV: Yemen rebel attack on airport sets plane on fire

Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Wednesday targeted an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia with bomb-laden drones, causing a civilian plane on the tarmac to catch fire, the kingdom's state television reported. The attack threatened to escalate Yemen's grinding war. 

Biden is also freezing arms sales and putting aluminum tariffs back in place on the UAE after they were removed as a carrot in the peacemaking UAE-Israel deal done under Trump.

Under Biden it appears the pro-Iranian/Arab rejectionist faction in the State Department are now back in charge and working to undo the  progress Trump made with peace in the Middle East and end Trump's pressure on Iran.  Biden instead has reversed course and is full steam ahead on appeasement and higher oil prices to benefit the Iranian regime.  

This should lead to lots of stability and peace in the region, right?  Right?

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Michigan Needs Van Control

Apparently, vans are just running amok in Michigan these days.

Just look at these two headlines from the Detroit News today:

Man, 61, struck by van, killed crossing road in Macomb Twp.

and

Van strikes train in Michigan's Thumb

It's amazing how these inanimate objects go off and hit people of their own accord. Taking on a train was certainly a case of punching up - and to no one's surprise, that didn't work out well for the van at all.

Clearly, we need van control as these inanimate objects are clearly at fault. 

Oh wait, it turns out there actually were people driving each of these vans in these incidents, but it takes getting a few paragraphs in before you find that out in the stories.

Biden: Covid Testing To Get On Planes, But Not After Illegally Crossing Borders.

It's always fun to compare and contrast:

Reason: Biden Considers Forcing Domestic Airline Passengers to Get a Negative COVID Test

So after spending all this time stating that air travel is safe and not likely to spread the Wuham Flu, they want to further inconvenience people by having them get a Covid test prior to flying.

Meanwhile, under Biden, illegals crossing into the US are not being tested for Covid and are being released into the US to spread about. 

New York Post: Biden reinstates ‘catch and release’ policy at the southern border

The swell of illegal immigrants has raised health and safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Federal officers are not doing any COVID testing for immigrants coming across,” McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez told the outlet. “So we actually reached out to the state of Texas, to the governor’s office. And they quickly sent us thousands of test kits so that we could supply the charity taking these people in.”

Good to see this new administration has its priorities with regards to stopping a transmissible disease. 

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Yet Again - Firearms Are Not Toys

With 7 million new gun owners just this year, and with lots of pre-exisitng owners already that may have a careless or ignorant attitude about firearms safety, or who learned everything they know about firearms from the movies or TV, it is sadly not unexpected that stupid events like this happen:

The Detroit News: Oakland County man accidentally fatally shoots himself

A 50-year-old man died when he accidentally shot himself in his head after a witness asked him to to "stop playing" with a gun last weekend in Pontiac, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said.

Guns are not toys and you do not "play around" with them.

Since the Four Rules of firearms safety seem to be too much work for some people to learn, let's begin with two really basic and what should be obvious ones if you lack the time and attention span to learn 4:

First, Do not point a firearm at your head (or other part of your body) - Ever.  

Regardless of whether you think it may be loaded or not, Do Not Point A Gun At Your Head (or other part of your body) - Ever.

Second, Do not pull the trigger of a firearm pointed at your body - Ever. 

Regardless of whether you think it may be loaded or not, Do Not Pull The Trigger Of A Gun Pointed At Your Body - Ever.

These rules also apply to all other persons and objects who you do not intend to shoot or do not want to get shot as well. 

 Now that you've got that down, go forth and learn the 4 Firearms Safety Rules, please. They're really not hard to learn and follow and you can avoid these tragic accidents by learning and following them.

In short, this is a completely avoidable and incredibly stupid fatal accident.

Alternatively, this may very well have been a suicide given what we know about people's mental health in this age of Covid isolation. 

Explaining the event as the person dying by "accident" especially when an inanimate object can potentially share the blame, is often much more bearable for the survivors to take and comprehend rather than knowing the person deliberately took their own life.

Either way, it's still an absolute waste.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Covid Naming Thought For The Night

Now, we've been told that applying appellation of  "Wuhan Virus" or the "China Virus"  is allegedly both racist and scientifically illiterate.  Verily, one may not even say the descriptive words China Virus or Wuhan Flu to denote the virus' geographic origin.  Indeed even the Yale School of Medicine said it was bad to attach geographical locations to identify the source of the disease in its name.   News agencies fell into line immediately with this and uniformly call it Covid-19 or Coronavirus with no hint to its geographic origin.

Yet, news agencies now regularly and with absolutely no self-reflection report the mutations of the virus as the South African variant, or the UK Coronavirus variant, and the Brazil variant etc.  There's no insistence that they be solely referred to by their variant names of B.1.351 , B.1.1.7, and P.1 respectively.

Isn't that interesting?

I'm Suprised It Has Taken This Long - Stupid Game Player Wins Stupid Prize

Social media pranks are all the rage - scaring people and other fun hi-jinks played on the unsuspecting.  Many such have left us shaking our heads that such actions are going to lead to someone doing such antics getting shot sooner or later.

The pranks often are safely executed in locales where the unsuspecting scare-ees are unlikely or unable to be carrying weapons or be inclined to violently defend themselves from the scare-ers.  But, one Youtuber just managed to commit such an act of stupidity where armed citizens happen to be not so rare to come across.

With rather predictable results.

FoxNews: Tennessee man, 20, shot dead during YouTube prank robbery: cops

In short,  the prankster, along with a fellow accomplice, approached a person not in on the joke with drawn knives and acted like they were attempting to rob him and his friends as a prank.  This ended with the prankster assuming ambient temperature after being shot.

The prankster wasn't the victim here.  Instead it was the law-abiding citizen being forced to shoot the dumb schmuck who both assaulted him and made him justifiably believe he was facing a deadly threat requiring him to react with deadly force.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Gun School: Adaptive Combat Pistol - Day 2

 Day 2 began in the same way as Day 1 - the 3 round fade-back drill and the orange dot drill.  I did an almost clean fade-back, dropping two shots low.  Both drills are really good warm-ups and a good way to make the most out of a limited and pricey ammunition supply.

On the upside, both shooters with misfitting holsters brought proper fitting holsters today.  If you're going to spend hundreds on a gun, and hundreds on a class to learn to shoot it better, spend some money on a properly fitting holster for it.

 Then it was on to some shooting offhand only, starting with the gun on the floor simulating you had been hit in your strong hand and dropped the gun.

Dave Spaulding would explain why each of these drill was done and the reasons for it, and often a lot of the history and development of why the techniques have evolved as they have over time.

Then we went on to shooting from different positions - kneeling, double knee kneeling, sitting, fetal position, and supine and moving through all of them and the reasons and advantages/disadvantages of each.


 Having run through that a few times on a concrete floor and you get a workout and rather sore both.

Then we did shooting from cover with the lunge technique which beats the fan / head leading technique for reducing your visible area to an attacker around cover.   Hadn't seen that before and it was rather enlightening.

Then we shot the 5 in 5 drill - 5 rounds at 5 yards, 10 years, 15 yards, 20 yards, and 25 yards with 5 rounds each from the holster/concealment in 5 seconds maximum time for each distance at an 8.5x11 target.

I made the time for all five areas, cleaning the 5 yards in under 3.5 seconds, but dropped a couple shots so didn't get a clean.

The class then ended with the performance of the 2x2x2 drill.  No one earned a belt buckle this class, even though the record holder with a 1.57 second time - Mike  - was in attendance.  I did it in 2.06 seconds, missing it by .06. 

It was a great class and I learned a lot from Mr. Spaulding.

Sadly, this may be the last year that Dave Spaulding will be teaching classes.  

I'd strongly advise getting out and taking on of his classes this year if you're able as you get a chance to improve your shooting, gain a lot of techniques, and a lot of the background for the development of these techniques and the reasons why for them. 

In short, the class was well worth it.

Gun School: Adaptive Combat Pistol - Day 1

Yesterday,  I attended Day 1 of Dave Spaulding's Adaptive Combat Pistol class held at Detroit Sportsmens Congress.

It's an excellent class with a very experienced, personable, and capable instructor.

Unfortunately, these days, the replacement cost of the ammunition I have burned through exceeds the cost of the class.

There were 16 students attended so it was two squads of 8 on the line at a time.

Class began with some warmups and Dave walked the line and saw things that could be improved as a result.  He spent time with each student and customized advice and also worked on getting everyone to stop pinning the trigger.  We also worked on the draw and grip.

Most were pretty good shooters and a few were really outstanding.

A few though had some holster choices that had me look a tad askance especially when standing behind them.

The gun was not fitting in the holster and the trigger was exposed the whole time.  Another shooter also had a leather holster that similarly didn't fit the gun they were running and was doing the course with the trigger hanging out.

Then we moved on to manipulating the gun and clearing malfunctions, first with both hands then one handed.  We also tried malfunction clearing sitting down one handed.  Then we added live fire to the jam clearing.

And that's when the fun started.

We were doing a one-handed stoppage drill - from standing - point gun downrange, pull trigger, hear click, then clear the jammed case by first a tap to the magazine and then racking the slide using whether the red dot window or shelf of the sights on your belt, holster, or other surface that normally have available to rack the slide. This tends to have the ejector port facing down so gravity helps as well.

Next after clearing the jam you quickly fire two shots at the target.

So one guy was on the line went click, turned his Glock over, racked it on his belt and BAM!

Round hits the floor in front of him.

His finger was not on the trigger.  This got people interested to see what was going on.

He repeated the drill and cleared the jam, this time angling the gun to point at the backstop and BAM!

Round hits the backstop in front of him. His finger again was not on the trigger.

While he had had no failures when the gun was upright, turning it upside down to clear it caused it to fire.  

It turns out he had a Zev extra light striker in it and the cruciform of the trigger bar had worn enough to detach it from the trigger housing.  With the combination of those two issues, once upside down, nothing stopped the striker from moving forward to slam fire the round  when the slide closed.    The striker and trigger bar were replaced and his Glock then hummed along happily after that.  Kinda exciting.

We then moved on to jam clearance while moving, and then on to one handed reload drills including while moving, which were conducted without drama.

 Day 1 ended and I had learned a lot.  I'll write up Day 2 once it is done.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

The Firefly Distillery

After touring Ft. Sumter, Murphy and I headed to the Firefly Distillery to take a distillery tour. 

While the tour itself was not going on due to Covid, the distillery has their history on display with their first still:

They also had some history of local lowland distilling in South Carolina.


 


Firefly Distillery makes some pretty awesome products, including  a Sweet Tea Vodka.

 

Sweet Tea vodka just works.

Did I forget mention the distillery had a tasting?


Their banana pudding liqueur tasted like a complete banana pudding - not just bananas but also the vanilla wafers as well. The moonshine was great, as was the straight vodka.

They also have a decent gift shop with some appropriately whimsical items.

 




Quite an enjoyable experience, and I got to buy some there to bring home since I'm pretty sure their products are not distributed up here.  If you get the chance, do try out their sweet tea vodka - it's worth it.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Ft. Sumter

We arrived at the Fort and began to look around.


The main draw are the various cannons around the fort, especially as all the interior exhibits are closed.


 

 



While there were plenty of cannon on the inside, firing out.  There were several outside the fort shelling it with abandon.

During the Siege of Ft. Sumter (1863-1865) when the Union was trying to retake the fort, they shelled it extensively. Many shells passed into the fort and hit the interior of the walls rather than the exterior. Some of those shells remain within the walls of the fort.

Quite a few of these shells are still visible inside the walls where they impacted and failed to explode.



When the archeologists were excavating an area, they found a bunch of cannons still in their firing positions at the walls that had been purposely buried in place as obsolete.

Rather cool.  The excavation is ongoing and more cannons and artifacts will likely be found.  Entry to the area was prohibited.

That sign was a red flag to a Murphy.

That was not adequately Murphy-proofed.

We then went to the highest point in the fort to take in the view.

Then we saw a gun mount position that had been installed post-civil war to protect Charleston from attack from the sea.

The ferry was then set to depart, and we were all required to leave with it, so we boarded and left Fort Sumter.  It's a very historic location yet a rather small fort that can be thoroughly explored in less than two hours, especially now that the museum and other interior spaces are closed.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Putting The Electric Car Before The Horse (Power)

While GM announced the they have plans to exclusively offer electric vehicles by 2035 on January 28, its only today that people are asking the question that policy poses: 

The Detroit News: EVs are coming: Can Michigan's power grid hold up?

Behind a paywall, as that's how Detroit News rolls these days.  But the answer at first glance would be no.  

We haven't built a new power plant in Michigan in decades and a few windmills aren't going to cut it.  

Going to all-electric vehicles sounds nice until you realize there is insufficient electricity generating capacity and infrastructure to meet the demand from such a fleet of electric powered vehicles.

Indeed as noted in an op-ed article not behind a paywall, the answer is no.  Especially as Michigan under Dem Governor Granholm denied the permit to build a 600 Megawatt coal plant and there has been no further serious power generation plant built  in Michigan since.

We simply don't have the generating capacity nor the infrastructure to support an all-electric vehicle fleet.  Meanwhile the supporters of vehicle electrification are in general the same people preventing new generating capacity from being built.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

Onward to Fort Sumter!

The day after our tour of Patriot's Point, Murphy and I headed over to Fort Sumter.

After all, if one is in Charleston, one should take the time to see the location of the first clash of the Civil War.

To get to Ft. Sumter you either do an endurance swim which is frowned upon, or take a Ferry.  I'd highly recommend the ferry.


Leaving the harbor you get some nice shots form the water side of Patriot's Point:

 

USS Laffey

 


USS Clamagore


 And of Course the USS Yorktown:



It was nice of that boat to give the Yorktown and Clamagore a sense of scale.

It's a working harbor so there's many a civilian ship doing work on the water.


The Ocean Jazz, a US-Flagged Heavy Load Carrier was in port.


As we left the harbor, a tug was coming in.


On the way to Sumter you pass by other fortifications.  This one, I believe, is Ft. Moultrie:

Then we reached Ft. Sumter:




Saturday, January 30, 2021

Patriot's Point Vietnam War Exhbiit

In addition to the Naval exhibitions, Patriot's Point also has a Vietnam War exhibit.


 

They exhibit in keeping with the overall nautical theme of Patriot's Point, has a PBR on display.


 While some of the Bunkers and exhibits were closed due to Covid, there was still lots to see.  The exhibit is setup like a Vietnam era base camp with a variety of Quonset huts, fence-line, and a watchtower.


There were more helicopters including a medevac Huey:

A rather tired looking H-34 Seahorse

 

And a CH-46 Sea Knight:

It's not a war if you don't bring artillery:


Other vehicles present include a deuce and a half in remarkably good condition. Murphy gave it a detailed walk-around inspection and concluded it probably wouldn't take much to get her up and running.

And there was an M-42 Duster, good for when you really want to get the kids off your lawn:


Note the "Keep Off" sign.  They put it there in advance of Murphy's visit.  They knew he was coming.

It's an extensive exhibit and well worth checking out.

Definitely plan for at least a solid day at the minimum when visiting Patriot's Point.