Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gas Thefts - Am I The First To Wonder When They Will Start?

Heck, I am old enough to remember the gas shortages and rationing back in the 70s when Nixon was president. I also remember that theft of gasoline right of of a car's gas tank was pretty common. So in that light, with prices at an all time high, I have to ask:

Why are there no reports of gasoline thefts similar to those of the seventies?


Why hasn't some enterprising young rascal, in the automotive parts industry, paid off some hoodlums to go out and start stealing gasoline, so that his company can be the first to get in on the buying frenzy for locking gas caps?


Why hasn't some slimeball reporter paid some young thugs to go out and start stealing gasoline out of folks gas tanks, in a few different neighborhoods, in a major city, to get the big news scoop?

I mean, you can bet that it probably happened just like that in the 70s. maybe not an automotive parts company employee encouraging hoodlums to steal gasoline, but do you doubt that the news reporter types did it back then? I remember riots where newsmen were accused (and I believe convicted of or at least proven to have done so) of dropping brick on the ground with a $20 bill attached to it, during race riots. The brick just happened to fall at a minority youth's feet. Guess what happened next - the reporter's camera crew got a great shot of that brick flying through the air and smashing into a window while the reporter gave the play by play. Have we become that much better of a society that none of this will happen during the current fuel crisis? (You had better believe that regular at $4.29 per gallon is a crisis.) I hope so, that is that we have improved as a society and will not resort to such petty thievery, but I doubt it. My guess is that it is just a matter of time before we start hearing reports of gasoline thefts, of someone being beaten for trying to siphon gas out of someone else's car, and of the need for protection in the form of locking gas caps, and locking fuel filler doors (remember them, virtually all new cars had them for about a decade, but not all cars have em now).

I only hope that my thinking about this, and writing about it here doesn't spur some knuckle head dirtbag into action because I certainly do not condone or promote theft of any sort, nor do I want to inadvertantly give someone the idea and then they do it. It just baffles me though that it has not already started, or that the Mud Slinging Media has not somehow stirred the pot and created the problem to make news. I suppose it is just a mater of time.

All the best,
Glenn B

A Firearm's Creed Regarding Concealed Carry

Thanks to quidni pro quo I got to read The Concealed Carry Creed that appears at Xavier Thoughts - Nurse With A Gun. I left a lengthy reply to the post over at quidni pro quo, where I first saw the creed. After a bit, I thought I would post my reply here in order to make sure this gets around as much as possible to promote some intelligent discussion on the issue. Read the creed here, then read my reply below. Hopefully there will be some good discussion and sharing of thoughts, and more of it because now it is being discussed on at least three different blogs.

MY REPLY (with a minor but important edit as noted):

"As a legitimate and legal gun owner, I have to say there is an awful lot in that 'creed' with which I disagree. This sort of disagreement usually arises whenever anyone says this is the way it must be, and the only way it must be - just like it is said in that piece.

For instance, my weapon is not only for the protection of life. if that were the case it would only ever be used defensively. My weapon could also conceivably be used not only to protect life, but to ensure the continuance of the United States of America and her Constitution.

I will not seek ‘never to have to use my weapon’; instead I will practice with it often in the event I ever need rely upon it. If I were to seek never to use it, I would put it in a drawer and lock it away, or I would surrender it to my enemy. I would indeed seek to use it as I find myself morally, logically, and justifiably able to do so - otherwise why bother having it. I will not be "forced" to use my weapon as would the author of the 'creed' I would choose to use it when I deem necessary.

In preparing myself to use my weapon, I will not as would the author of the 'creed' acquire superior training; however I will train with it to make myself thoroughly familiar and proficient with it in various situations. To believe that any training I receive, or any practice I perform is superior leaves me open to failure because I have unwisely underestimated the ability of my assailant.

I will never be able to know, and understand all laws regarding the possession and use of firearms, or anything else for that matter. The legislators who enact laws, the executive branch who enforces them, and the judicial branch who interprets them are constantly at odds with one another over the meaning of laws, and all three are at odds with the People over the same, so how is it that anyone can believe that we can be expected to know it all.

On the other hand, I will make every effort in good conscience to obey laws about firearms, until those laws violate the Constitution of The United States of America. When that violation is blatant, and it results in the harm to fellow good citizens, and oppression of our rights to an extreme degree, I will do all within my power to uphold the Constitution of this great land. if that includes violating unjust, oppressive and tyrannical laws to achieve preservation of the Constitution, well then, so be it. Failure to do so means the end of liberty and justice, and the demise of a nation.

I will go far beyond the so called '4 Rules of Safe gun Handling' if only because they are a poorly abbreviated version of the Rules of Firearms Safety that were taught for many, many years before someone well versed in firearms decided to shorten them to help sell his name and his book. Yes he knew a lot about shooting, but Colonel Jeff Cooper was a fool if he believed those 4 rules were what it took to handle a firearm safely. I don' t believe that is what he thought, but I do believe it helped him sell himself and his book, and maybe that made him much worse than a fool in this regard, and I say that without attempting to detract from giving him his due relative to his other knowledge about firearms and his ability to use them. (edited a bit from the original to show I defer to the man and his experience on many things related to firearms, but just certainly not the 4 rules)

The above is not my creed, I have no creed when it comes to firearms usage. Life with all its twists and turns cause circumstances to change from day to day, and I tend to be flexible when it comes to my practical applications of anything. That includes my use of firearms. There is always something else to learn, maybe something to discard that you have already learned.

Of course if I were to have a creed, it might go something like:

I, Glenn Bartley, do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

And you can bet I would be willing to use a gun to get the job done within the framework of just and moral legal system.

This may seem like semantics to some of you who read this. I think not. I think there is a definite difference between myself and the author of that creed, a basic difference in our philosophies when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it all. Not a vast difference mind you, but an essential one. Maybe I am wrong, maybe we are more alike than I imagine, and it is just the way of saying things that differs. Regardless of which, I am pretty sure our philosophies do not differ that much that we would not both strive for morality, justice, and the right way of being a responsible gun owner. For that, despite any differences, I tip my proverbial hat to the author of the Concealed Carry Creed.

By the way, I did not give my reply in order to offend the author of the creed; but rather to intelligently promote discussion about it, and to make others and maybe even the author himself realize there are a lot of other ways to look at legitimate firearms ownership. In that regard, I suppose my intent was also maybe even to get others tho think about whether or not creeds are probably much to narrow in scope to be applied to such a topic as carrying, or use of, firearms. "

All the best,
Glenn B

ARSENAL - Why Become Defensive Over Use Of This Word

"28 guns qualifies as an arsenal these days?"

The above comment was found on The High Road in this thread: It and all the and all the other comments in that and other threads like it about the use of the word arsenal made me scratch my head in wonder. So I penned a thread about the word and its use, and why people who own guns become defensive when they hear it, or see it, used to describe a collection of firearms. The following is a quote from my post, that can be found here: If you wish to comment, you can do so at the end of this blog; or you can go to The High Road and comment there where your comment is bound to add more interest to the discussion that is sure to follow.

"...I was pretty surprised that a comment like this one was not the first one after the initial post, but as I was reading the thread starter, I knew for sure that one or more like it were surely coming. It always seems to come up whenever anyone calls a cache or collection of weapons and arsenal. Nothing personal in my using that one, it was the firs tone in the thread, and the thought struck me to write a thread on the subject so I quoted it here.

The fact of the matter is that use of the word arsenal, in the case of 28 firearms could be quite accurate. For example, if small military unit consisting of 14 people, had a storage room in which they stored 28 firearms (all long guns) would that not be an arsenal? Throughout history such a collection of firearms for a small military outpost has often been referred to as an arsenal - were the people who called that an arsenal wrong? Similarly, if a group of survivalists had a room in which they stored 28 firearms, half of them long guns, and half handguns, would that not properly be called an arsenal? I think it would be correct to use that term to describe that room. Add to the mix ammunition, firearms cleaning supplies, tools for repairing firearms, knives, and so forth and it seems even more clear such would be a correct use of the word. If guns were also manufactured there it would be a cinch. Still though, an arsenal can simply mean a collection of weapons.

So I wonder, when an individual is arrested, by police albeit it in a restrictive state like NJ, and the media uses the term arsenal to describe the same thing - except that it was in possession of an individual - why is it that the term suddenly becomes incorrect? I believe it becomes incorrect only in as much as gun owners, and gun right advocates see this word as a negative term and believe it is being used against us and our RKBA by the anti-gun lobby. Even if that is the case, that those who advocate for gun control are trying to make it sound like some evil collection of weapons, the fact of the matter is that the definition of the word arsenal, and its historical use, both support the fact that 28 firearms, even fewer, can indeed be an arsenal of weapons. Although it can be one, an arsenal does not have to be a manufacturing plant for weapons, it can be a mere storage building or room in which a number of firearms are stored, or can be a mere collection of firearms. If a collection it can be large, medium sized or relatively small - two weapons, though a stretch, could possibly qualify as an arsenal, though a small one indeed.

Here is one definition of the word, this from Merriam-Webster:

"Main Entry: ar•se•nal
Pronunciation: \ˈärs-nəl, ˈär-sə-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian arsenale, ultimately from Arabic dār ṣināʽa house of manufacture Date: 1555
1 a: an establishment for the manufacture or storage of arms and military equipment b: a collection of weapons
2: store, repertoire "

Here is another definition, this one from from Encarta:

"ar•se•nal [ rssən'l, rssnəl ] (plural ar•se•nals)
1. weapons storehouse: a building where weapons and military equipment are stored
2. armaments: a stockpile of weapons and military equipment
3. resources: a supply of methods or resources
an arsenal of teaching strategies
[Early 16th century. Directly or via French<> "

I think that when we become so defensive at the use of a term like the word arsenal, we are missing the forest for the trees. Why not just agree and say, wow that indeed was a small arsenal of weapons. So what - there is nothing wrong with owning an arsenal. In fact an arsenal of firearms whether a collection, a storage room of firearms with repair shop, or an out an out manufacturing plants, with repair shop and storage facilities for firearms all seem perfectly legitimate to me - so why get defensive about the word that describes those things. Many of us, quite defensively, deny time after time that an arsenal is just what it is when it comes to a collection of weapons. Instead of becoming defensive, and playing into the hands of the anti-gunners, start using the word regularly to describe your firearms collection. Make people, who are gun owners, and non-gun owners alike, aware of the fact that there is nothing bad about legally owned arsenal, and that the word itself is properly used to describe a legitimate collection of firearms as well as a manufacturing plant for firearms; therefore the public should not misuse construe the word as something negative. If however, we as firearms enthusiasts continue to misconstrue that same word, then we basically agree with the anti's incorrect portrayal of an arsenal as indeed a bad thing; and in that way we help the antis win their battle against because we too are giving indication that it must be something bad. That is pretty self defeating, so why give the antis any ammunition with which to shoot down our rights, why not educate folks instead that an arsenal is something of which to be proud in your role as a free citizen who exercises his/her rights in both keeping and bearing firearms, and maybe even storing them in an arsenal? "

All the best,
Glenn B