Thursday, November 9, 2006

Ballseye's Boomers: Remington 241 Speedmaster

This little rifle may not look like much when you see this picture; but let me tell you it is GREAT. First of all I got it at a song of a price via an auction on GunBroker.com. I may have even given the 'buy it now' price instead of bidding, I cannot recall, but whatever I paid I do remember it was well below book value. Of course, that had me a bit concerned because you often get just for what you paid. In this case though I spent less than I should have for such a fine piece of Remington quality.

It is basically a semi-automatic rifle in .22LR caliber. It is fed by a tubular magazine. The magazine tube runs from inside the butt stock forward to wherever. It opens in an indent in the buttstock and the mag spring pulls out for loading. There is a loading port in the right side of the stock. The sights are a v notch rear and fixed post front. The 241 is somewhat unusual in that if ejects from the bottom of the receiver. The first time I shot it, I had a number of small scratches and burns where shell casings hit my wrist, so I quickly learned how to hold it so that would not happen again. Then again I am forgetful so it happens again now and then. No big deal but it takes some getting used to. The bolt operating handle is also at the bottom of the receiver.

The 241 is also a takedown rifle. I have always wanted a takedown rifle, I don't know exactly why, maybe because of something I once saw in some movie about a hired assassin, and I thought it was neat. I can say now, without a doubt, takedown rifles are neat, and I mean that literally. They break down into two pieces and store neatly and easily in smaller than usual gun cases. This makes them very unobtrusive, a nice feature for a rifle.

It is a pretty good plinker, and would probably be good for squirrels or rabbits. I may take it afield this weekend when I go to scout out some deer sign in upstate NY hunting grounds. Who knows, I may get lucky and bag some dinner in the for of a bushytail or three.

All the best,
Glenn B

Things have changed since the elections...

...at least for me.

For quite sometime now, I have been considering a change in my status as a registered Republican. I have voted almost straight Republican since just after my 18th birthday back in 1973. My votes for Republicans have not been so much based upon my belief that the platform upon which the Republican party stands is the best; but rather that there were usually only two viable choices in any major election those being either for a Republican or a Democrat. For the most part, I tend to be more conservative than liberal when it comes to certain issues, although I am somewhat liberal on others. Yet my vote has not been torn between one party or the other. I find the Democrat party’s platform either repugnant in how it attempts to smother individual liberties (while claiming just the opposite, yet wanting ever increasing control over my personal life and my rights), or I find it just outright outlandish when they propose emasculating our country in its national defense, and I find it robbery when they want to raise my taxes and spend my money on those who do not pay taxes.. So I vote Republican, or at least I have usually done so. I voted for Ross Perot when he ran for president; and a couple of years ago I voted for Elliot Spitzer, a democrat in a NYS election. He just ran for governor and won, but I must point out this time I voted against him.

I figured voting for Republicans was always the better of two evils. Of course there are some things I do not like about voting Republican. For instance I am an agnostic at best; I doubt the existence of a great, all knowing, all powerful, being that will somehow magically do good by me if I adore it. Yet I am pretty moralistic. Religion taught us (mankind) morals when we were little more than cavemen; but now that we all are aware of morality there is no need to disguise it as religion and belief in a supernatural being. Of course, that is my opinion. If someone wants to believe, so be it; there should be room for all of us so long as one does not try to destroy the rights of another as do Islamo Fascists, other religious extremists, or atheistic extremists. Republicans usually spout religion, and Christianity at that. There is really no room for such in our political system whether or not the founding fathers were Christians. I would prefer something that was more in the nature of what they proposed in the Bill or Rights, a true freedom of religion to include a freedom not to believe. It is hard to find that in the Republican party, and just about impossible to find it in the Democrat party. The effect is that Democrats stray more from morality if only because they seemingly deem it to be religious, Republicans embrace it because they seemingly deem it religious; and the fact is morality does not have to be religious or anti-religious - it can be neutral just as is supposed to be our form of government.

Others things I disliked about voting republican were that Republicans support big business over other important matters such as the environment. The government is here to protect its citizens, and therefore should to some extent protect the environment - not reward those who destroy it. Now before you think this sounds liberal or like a democrat, let me say I am all for big business, just not the government giving big business breaks in taxes or other subsidies. I believe in competition for all businesses big and small alike. Keep government interference to a minimum. I am also for legalization of certain drugs for adult recreational use. I find prohibition ridiculous and I have spent most of my 27 year career fighting narcotics smuggling. I am a strong advocate of law enforcement, but also a strong advocate of being able to change laws within reason. Prohibition did not work for alcohol and look at the taxes collected on alcoholic beverages now. If the same was done for narcotics we could quite likely do away with the income tax. Of course if we legalize drugs, I would be all for strict enforcement of laws preventing children from getting them. I also somewhat abhor there view of consensual sexuality between adults as not being moralistic since sex is as natural as can be. I am no fan of gay mnarriage though, marriage is a tradition between the sexes and not for same sex couples, though if someone wants to cojoin sexually with a same sex partner in the privacy of a home, why not, so long as they are doing it consensually

I believe in our constitution as it was written , or as it was amended. It is definitely a living document but not as republicans or Democrats would have us believe. It is changeable, but only legally through amendments, and those amendments can be passed only by following strict guidelines set by the founding fathers of our nation. Our courts should never decide if an issue is constitutional or not if it is not addressed by our constitution. If folks want an issue to become a constitutional issue, they should press government officials to amend the Constitution. Both Democrats and republicans get this wrong and misuse the U.S. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court in such maters.

Yet when it all comes down to it I usually have voted Republican because they support things I support such as:

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms (only limited support by Republicans but much better than most Democrats)

National Security and Defense of Our Nation

Legal immigration while opposing illegal immigration

Law Enforcement to protect the people and our nation

A moralistic approach to government and other issues (and the morals are usually within reason though not always)

Less taxation and less government spending

Economic growth

A more polite form of government

A less chaotic and more reasonable form of government than offered by Democrats

And other things.

This is all changing. Today I changed my voter registration. I am no longer a registered republican, or at least will no longer be a Republican once my registration is approved. I have registered to be an independent; no not for the Independence party, but as a voter with no party affiliation. I will look toward voting for candidates in the future who best fit in with my political, ethical, and moral convictions. There will likely still be many Republicans who get my votes, thee will likely be few if any Democrats, but there will also be third party candidates. These will not be wasted votes, as I would not vote for a candidate at all if I disliked both the Republican and Democrat candidates. If I like a third party candidate they will get my vote. Over the years, maybe they will gain momentum and win an election or three on the local level, then later on a state level, then later on a federal level.

I can tell you that some of the third party candidates are just remakes or cover-ups of Republicans or Democrats, but some are true third party choices. Libertarians seem somewhat attractive to me now on some issues but way too flaky on others. I will keep them in mind though as the most viable alternative to the other two rather sickening parties that are the mainstream. I will probably still vote republican a lot, but I will definitely have an eyee toward other choices, other than Democrat or Republican.

I will continue to vote against things like:

Unlimited abortions, even though I favor legal abortions to some extent

Amnesty for illegal aliens

No religion in schools (so long as students can choose)

Gun control laws
Anything that jeopardizes national security

Violations of our constitutional rights as written in the Constitution, or as in the Bill of Rights, or as in English common law prior to those documents

Higher taxation

Welfare programs that do not have a strict workfare intiative to get people to work

Social Security being a federal program and not privatized

Laws that try to restrict consensual sexual conduct between adults (note marriage is not sexual conduct and I strongly oppose same sex marriages)

Laws that restrict religious beliefs, or that restrict atheistic beliefs - there is room for both.

Laws that allow political ideology to be viewed as religion, as in the case of Islamo Fascists.

And so on.

Think of me as you will, but I am sick and tired of the old party line from either side. It is about time we seek some sensible alternatives on many of the issues.

All the best,
Glenn B
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