Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament 3 - We Have A Winner

Two entrants, Randy Allen and Bryce MacLennen wound up with their guesses being closest to the amount of bullets I fired at the target for this contest. They both said 60, and the correct answer was 57. So I threw their names into the hat, so to speak, and had a random drawing with Randy coming out the winner.

Once Randy complies with the rules, sends me his name and address along with a copy of government issued photo ID showing he is 18 or older, I will send him the holster.

Thanks to all of you for joining in the fun, and my congratulations to Randy


I'll try to post another one of these contests by next weekend.

All the best,
Glenn B

Teaching A Child To Shoot & Getting It Right

A lot of what you read about or hear about in the news when it comes to kids and firearms is that this kid got shot in a drive-by shooting, or that kid accidentally killed a friend with his parent's gun, or some kid shot a person while out hunting in the woods. As usual the MSM (Mud Slinging Media) tells us the bad stuff. There is another story though, one that is not heard about as often as it should be heard about.

That other story is the one wherein the responsible shooter teaches his or her son how to shoot, or maybe even teaches someone else's kids how to shoot (with parental permission of course). Shooting is a great sport. In order to excel in shooting sports you need to be able to develop great eye and hand coordination, along with coordination of many muscles in other parts of the body. Shooting also requires a great deal of concentration. In addition, shooting sports require discipline. Before you can start any of this, safe sport shooting also requires that you learn about firearms safety, firearms nomenclature, and shooting in general in a classroom or sit down type situation before you ever handle a firearm. With all this in mind, shooting sports are a great pastime for children if done properly and at an age appropriate level with proper adult supervision. Starting children, as young as 7 or 8 years old in shooting sports was once common practice. While no longer as common a practice as it once was, children of that age can - under proper supervision of a responsible adult instructor - begin learning how to shoot (you will need to determine if your 7 or 8 year old exhibits enough concentration and discipline to be ready at that age). In my opinion, shooting sports are a great way to spend quality time with them.

Proper responsible adult supervision is a key element of training anyone to shoot. This goes for adults as well as children. In each instance, whether training adult or child, the responsible instructor should have a hands on approach at first. Yes, you read that correctly the responsible instructor should have a hands on approach. This need not be for an extended period and need not seem intrusive to the shooter but should take place at least for the first few shots fired by the new shooter. Simply put the responsible instructor should though use of verbal commands and helpful guidance with hands instruct the shooter in proper hold, proper direction for the muzzle, and other things like proper stance. As the shooter is taking those very first shots, it is advisable especially with young children to make sure the firearm is fully controlled by making sure the responsible adult instructor and the shooter both have hands on the firearm (or possibly that the instructor has hands on the shooter's hands for a handgun). Once the instructor is satisfied that the shooter has the basics down concerning safety, stance, grip, aim - it is then that the instructor can ease up a bit and allow the shooter to completely control the firearm. Of course this does not mean that the instructor should step back and away from the shooter; rather the instructor should remain within easy reach of the firearm should intervention be necessary in order to prevent the muzzle from pointing in a direction where it should not be pointed. With adult shooters, and even with teenagers, the instructor usually can step back and away from the shooter, out of arms reach, once the instructor is satisfied that the shooter is competent enough to continue on his own with instruction from a distance. However, when instructing younger children the instructor should remain within arms reach of the shooter for at least a few to several lesson after the instructor has been satisfied that the young shooter is competent and safe. Bear in mind that while adults and even some teenagers maybe ready to shoot on their own, young children should never be allowed to shoot without responsible adult supervision close at hand.

Before moving on to such things as the techniques and equipment I prefer to use to teach a child to shoot let me cover one word I used several times above. If you read the last paragraph again, you may notice I used a word in conjunction with the word instructor a few times and that I also used the same word in conjunction with adult a couple of or a few times. That word is RESPONSIBLE. When you teach anyone to shoot you must be responsible not only for your actions and instruction but also for the actions of the shooter (at least to some extent, and with young children you are held much more responsible than are they). The amount of responsibility changes over time as the shooter gains experience and become more competent at shooting safely; however when it comes to young children the adult supervising and instructing the child holds the great majority of the responsibility to make sure it is done both safely and correctly. So before you even think about setting out to teach someone to shoot, especially a child, you must be aware of such things as firearms nomenclature, firearms safety, the actual workings of the firearms you intend to use, how to hold a firearms, how to aim in a firearm, sight alignment and picture, trigger control, follow-trough and so forth. You must also have an idea of how you will present all of this to the potential new shooter before you begin.

Note I said to the potential new shooter in the last line above. Now, since I am mostly talking about firearms instruction for children, why on earth would I call a child a potential new shooter. For example let's say you are a parent who is adept at shooting sports. You are aware of the rules of firearms safety above and beyond the 4 rules that others so foolishly use as the only safety rules for firearms (yes there are many more cardinal rules of firearms safety other than the 4 taught by Jeff Cooper). You have thought ahead and you have prepared a brief lecture about nomenclature and safety so you can start your youngster off in the right direction, and you plan to begin shooting right after the lesson is given. You sit down your child, who is seemingly eager to learn how to shoot, and you start talking about the parts of the gun. After that you get into safety. As you are talking safety you notice that your child's mind has wandered off, and that he or she is daydreaming as children will do. My suggestion - stop the lessons - take a break. After the break of maybe 5 or 10 minutes see if the child is now paying attention or not. If the child still seems distracted, call it quits right then and there - at least for the day. Explain to the child why you are doing so, and further explain that full attention is needed for such important topics as nomenclature and firearms safety because the child having learned them will soon be shooting a real gun, and real guns can hurt or kill people. If the child does not seem able to fully comprehend the gravity of the situation, well then I strongly recommend that you hold off on teaching that child until he or she is ready to grasp those subjects with full attention geared at them. Bear in mind you are the RESPONSIBLE party in all of this; the child while needing to learn firearms nomenclature and safety before actually shooting will only do so if you make sure it is being done right. If you have any question about how to accomplish this you can take a firearms instructor course offered by NRA qualified firearms instructors, or you can take a hunter safety course and have your child take it with you. I am fairly certain that some states even allow children to young to hunt to take the hunter safety course. These course usually cover a lot to do with firearms safety and require passing a test at the end of the course. If your child is too young to take the test, he or she could sit through the class with you. In addition you could learn a lot from such a class yourself, probably enough for you to be able to formulate your own firearms safety course for your child with an age appropriate test at the end of the instruction. Am I harping on this subject, yes maybe I am. Why am I putting so much emphasis on it, well because all it takes is one bullet to ruin a lot of lives, and a stray bullet fired by your child could have devastating effects on the remainder of his or her life as well as on yours, let alone had devastating it would be to anyone who might get shot. Thin about that and make a decision now that if you are going to teach a child to shoot you will do so responsibly.

Once you are satisfied that the young shooter is ready to handle a firearm it is time to hit the range - that is if you already have selected a firearms of suitable size and caliber for him. If you have not gotten the firearms already then a trip to the local gun shop is in order. My recommendation for a first firearm for a new shooter is a bolt action rifle in .22LR caliber. This is an especially good choice of first firearm for a new shooter who is a child. There are several things about a bolt action rifle that make them inherently safer than a semi-automatic. Of course, along those lines, there are at least a few things that would make some bolt action single shot rifles inherently safer than a repeater and many folks recommend them over repeaters. On the other hand, I recommend purchasing a bolt action repeating rifle fed by a box type magazine for use with new young shooters. The reasons I make this recommendation are as follow:

1. A bolt action rifle requires that the bolt be operated manually in order to fire it, then unload it, and fire it again for each shot. This is much more preferable than a semi-automatic rifle which only requires that the shooter repeatedly squeeze the trigger to fire it so long as it has ammunition. When it comes to safety especially with a young shooter who would probably be more easily distracted than a more mature student shooter the bolt is my choice. If the shooter is distracted with finger on trigger it could be disastrous if he or she turns and lets off a round, and another and another and another. Sure you want to train the youngster to pay attention and to execute proper firearms safety but even adults make mistakes at the range and it is just so much easier for a child to be distracted. A bolt action requires more concentration than does a semi-automatic rifle in that the shooter must remember to actively operate the bolt in order to unload and fire. If you shoot a lot and shoot semi-autos and bolts then almost certainly you can recall a time that you put down a semi, picked up a bolt, fired a shot and forgot to operate the bolt before squeezing the trigger for a second shot. Yep you have to think more when shooting a bolt action rifle, and thinking keeps the child shooter's mind focused on the task at hand. You could argue for a pump action here in that it requires the same amount of operation and thought, however a bolt action is inherently safe than is a pump gun for a few reasons. With the pump it is harder for smaller children to operate the mechanism than it is a bolt action thereby sometimes having the child contort or turn in an unsafe manner with the pump gun. Also, a hand that slips off of the fore stock while operating a pump gun can wind up in front of the muzzle, or the muzzle can wind up tilting in a bad direction. Finally while operating a pump action there is too much of a chance that the finger can be left on the trigger resulting in an unsafe shot being taken while the student shooter activates the pump in its forward motion. With a bolt action rifle that is properly operated, the trigger finger hand operates the bolt and therefore the trigger finger is removed from the trigger in order to do so. I'll take the bolt action any day as a beginner rifle.

2) The box type magazine is my choice of preference over a single shot, and over a tube magazine for beginning shooters because it is more versatile. The reasons for this are fairly simple. First of all if you buy a single shot rifle, you cannot progress from single shot to repeater without buying another rifle. Buying another rifle can have some advantages but also has some disadvantages. First and foremost is cost. Why buy two rifles when one will do the chore nicely. In addition you have to retrain the shooter for any difference in the mechanisms between the single shot and the repeater when you buy the second one. I prefer the repeater as a first rifle because it can be used as a single shot and then, when the shooter is ready, it can be used as a repeater. To use a box magazine fed repeating rifle as a single shot, simply place an unloaded magazine into the magazine well (be absolutely sure it is an unloaded magazine). Then load shots singularly directly into the chamber, have the student shooter shoot the shot, eject the spent shell casing, and reload with a single round again directly into the chamber. Once you as the responsible instructor are sure the child is ready to progress to a repeater you can then load the magazine with any number of rounds up to its full capacity and have the child shoot from a loaded magazine.

3) A box type magazine is safer than a tube magazine in my opinion because it is more easily operated with less risk to the shooter. Why, well because to load and unload a tube magazine you sometimes need to turn the gun in what is not the safest direction, or at least you need to bring the muzzle closer to you even if you pull the gun straight back without changing the direction of the muzzle. While removing it, your hand is very close to the muzzle. Not the nest of situations with a young shooter. A box magazine on a bolt action rifle is much easier to reach and remove from the rifle. Remember that if there is ever a need for the young student shooter to make the firearms safe, that will require clearing all ammunition from the rifle. That includes first taking finger off trigger, placing the safety into safe position, taking out the source of ammunition (the magazine), then clearing the chamber and assuring it is clear. It is much easier, in my opinion, for young hands to accomplish with a box magazine.

4) There are a large number of available bolt action box magazine fed rifles on the market. At least a few of them are made in youth models to fit younger shooters. Get one of these for smaller shooters because a smaller shooter will have more confidence using a rifle that he or she can properly operate, aim and shoot well.

Okay, enough on the rifle, let's get to the range. Try to select a rifle range that is actually a rifle range as opposed to learning how to shoot out in a field with a hill for a backstop. I am not saying a field with a good sized backstop is a bad thing mind you, just that I prefer a professional range. Choosing a professional range actually can do a few things to help the new shooter. First of all your child shooter will see this is serious business because there are range officers at the range. Secondly the child will probably be somewhat impressed by the range set up, and will learn somethings about the: firing line, downrange, line commands such as cease fire, and so forth. In addition the child will be able to watch some other shooters and how they get good or bad shooting done. Pointing out good and safe shooters, as opposed to bad and unsafe shooters, to the student child shooter can make a big and lasting impression and give the child someone to emulate. of course you probably want your child to emulate you but the child being able to see that other safe shooters do just what you told him or her to do will fix in in their mind that you were right all along.

While using a professional range where others are firing you should allow the child shooter, or any new shooter, to become accustomed to what is going on fort at least several minutes before you beginning teaching him or her to shoot. This is especially important if anyone nearby is going to be shooting large caliber firearms. The percussion caused by such firearms can be quite distracting and even frightening to a new shooter. Once they watch for a while and realize they are not going to be hurt, then the fun of learning to actually fire a gun can begin. If possible you may want to ask if there is a section of the range where it is less likely for you to encounter someone shooting larger calibers.

Bear in mind that while you are doing all of this at the range you have to be mindful of range safety. This means that both you and the child student shooter, and any bystanders are all wearing protective eye and ear covering. Note I did not say protective ear inserts. I much prefer protective ear covering as shooters ear muffs as opposed to ear plugs, but you can use ear plugs under the muff for additional hearing protection. As for eye protection I recommend only shooters' safety glasses or shooters' safety goggles. Regular eyeglasses are often not enough and anyone requiring prescription glasses should wear additional protection over them.
Once there is a break in the action, and the range is having a cease fire for target repair or replacement, you can set up your targets. Such a cease fire is not necessary at all ranges such as those with retrievable target holders (those for which you operate a crank or electronic mechanism to bring the target to you instead of you needing to go downrange). If at all possible, set up the targets at 50 feet or less, but not less than 15 feet (these distances are usually easiest to achieve at an indoor range with target holders on a pulley system that you can set at any distance as allowed by range policy at to the maximum for that range). Use the blank side of a 50 foot small bore target to face the shooter (this is easier than shooting at a bulls eye and once the child is hitting near center you switch to the other side and then shoot at the bulls eyes). Once your targets have been safely set up, and the commence fire com and is given, or when otherwise safe to fire, you can start in with shooting lessons for real. Ease the child into the first few shots by helpfully explaining what to do, and by giving hands on direction. if the child is not comfortable with this type of instruction explain that it is absolutely necessary because a firearm can be deadly. If the child resists this, then stop the lesson and take a break during which you can explain this is how it must be for at least the first several shots after which you will allow the child to shoot by himself with you watching nearby. Remember that is is extremely important that you as the responsible adult instructor are in control of the student and that it is not the student in control of you no matter how mature the child student shooter seems to be.

As the child is shooting talk him or her through the first shot by going over the basics. Make sure the child has a good hold on the rifle and a decent stance whether standing, seated or prone, supported or unsupported (I recommend support of some sort such as a bench). Then softly talk the child student through aiming, breath control, and squeezing the trigger to get off the first shot, and then make sure the child follows though without turning toward you for your approval. You want to make sure all the concentration is on the gun and shooting it safely. Then tell the child to take another shot in the same manner and again talk him through it. Do it one more time for an third shot. Then bring back the target for a look at it, or wait until the next cease fire if necessary to retrieve it for a look. Why only three shots? Well this is because it will give you a good idea of whether or not the rifle is sighted in for the shooter, or if the shooter is making some mistakes that need correction. Three shots are enough to read the target and through triangulation you can then formulate any corrective action. More shots will only muddy up the water so to speak. Fewer shots will not be enough to grasp whether or not the child was accurate or inaccurate with any reliability.

If you are at a range that requires you to await a cease fire before being able to retrieve your target the time waiting can be utilized to shoot another target (hopefully you have two points next to each other from which to shoot), or you can observe other shooters. Better yet you can ask the student shooter how he thought he did, and what it felt like doing it. Of course if you have a good spotting scope, you can check the target from the firing line and do not need to wait to retrieve it before making any adjustments in how the shooter is shooting or to the sights on the rifle. One of these days I'll buy a spotting scope; but if anyone out there is feeling generous after reading this, well I would not turn down an offer of a free one. If you do use a spotting scope, I recommend taking pen and paper and making a representative drawing of the target, then marking off where each shot has hit the actual target. This way there is no doubt as to where later shots hit the target. Even with a spotting scope, I recommend retrieving your target and putting up a frwsh one after about every 10 to 15 shots at most. Make the shooter take his or her time with those 15 shots and if you are on a range where you need to await a cease fire the time will fly by before you know it. Another way to take time while shooting, and I think is important not to rush a new shooter, is to take a short break after every three to 5 shots. The reason for the break is that holding a rifle is new to the student's muscles, and all the concentration required to shoot is or can be pretty stressful. So take some short breaks in between sets of shots. At frst three shots is enough. After the shooter has fired off three rounds, have him or her make the gun safe. Talk them through how to do so, then have them place the gun down on the bench pointing downrange, or back into a rack as appropriate at the range on which you are shooting. Follow the range rules in whatever you do, it only helps to solidify the concept of firearms safety for the child student shooter. Talk to the shooter, give him or her some pointers, and when ready go at it again.

If the student shooter has been right on target, that is great. Keep him or her shooting and if the accuracy proves reliable that is a good thing. If on the other hand the shots have not accurately and reliabley hit their mark, then you may neeed to either critique the shooter (as during one of the breaks I mentiuoned) or you may need to sight in the gun. Before changing anything with the sights talk to the shooter and ask what his or her sight picture and sight alignment look like. You need to know if they are seemingly getting that right before you even think of sight adjustment. Of course you also want to be sure they are properly holding the rifle and squeezing the trigger, but you need to watch their techniques on those rather than just aksing about them. If you think it may be that the sights need adjustment, then you try the rifle first. Even I can fire my son's Armscor 14-Y youth model bolt action rifle accurately. Yes it is a youth sized rifle, but that does not mean I cannot fire it. If it is shooting the same way for me as it does for the child, such as all shots low to the left, then I would need to make adjustments so that the rifle will fire higher and more to the right. If the rifle was shooting all over the paper for the child and is also shooting like that for me, then the rifle may need repair or the ammunition may need changing, or maybe I had just better improve my shooting. Shooting all over the paper like that is usually indicative of shooter error. Of course it could also be that there is a dominant eye problem too. If the child is a right handed shooter and is left eye dominant, you may have to take steps to adjust for shooting with the right eye such as blurring out the left lens of the shooting glasses - but do this only after making absolutely sure that it is a off side eye dominance problem, and only after consulting with and having the child examined by an eye doctor.

Shoot over the course of an hour or two but not more on the frst trip to the range. If there has been an laxness in safety it is something you must address as soon as you see it. Don't wait until later. Have the child take finger off of the trigger, make it safe, and then explain what was done that was unsafe with suggestons as to how to remain safe. Don't only find fault, make sure to praise things done right. If the young shooter showed some improvement over the course of that time from first shots to last then congratulate him or her on it. Congratulate the shooter likewise if he or she even hit the paper and did not improve, some people rally cannot hit the broadside of a barn, and I am not kidding. Even if the child shot poorly throughout the time at the range, congratulate him or her if she or he handled the firearm safely. Make sure to remain patient. I cannot recall how many times I have lost my patience while out with my son or daughter and ruined what would have otherewise been a good day, but I do know it has happened too many times. Patience is key to having fun while learning to shoot, i goes a long way toward helping the shooter keep at their goals, and keeps thing safer at the range. If you ever do lose your cool, make sure to recompose yourself before any more shooting, or even gun handling, is done.

Next time you go to the range continue with the basics. Don't ever assume that a child has retained everything you told him or showed her for the next time. Such an assumption could lead to a tragic accident. As the second range session progresses you may want to swirch targets to make things a little more interesting. Instead of using a bullseye target, why not try one with several bullseyes, or a small game target. Sooner or later you may decide to try shooting at places other than a professional rang. if you can find someplace where it would be practical you can set up a wide variety of targets from paper bullseye and small game targets to plastic bottles full of water (add food dye to make it more interesting), to ballons tethered on a short string (this way they will move in the breeze but keep the srting very short, only an inch or two of free string otherwise the balloon may blow off to one side or the other enough to make an unsafe shot very tempting). You may even wind up shooting at exploding targets (available commercially where legal). A good idea for a true beginner are splatter targets. These are essentially bullseye stickers that you place over a target and when a bullet hits them the black covering spaltters leaving a bright een or yellow under layer visible. If your eyes are good, you can tell from a good distance as to whether or not you hit your mark without a spotting scope.

Each time you are finished shooting, either at a range, out in a field, in your backyard (should you be so lucky to have a place to shoot on your property) you should teach the young shooter that cleanup is part of a range day; and that you do not leave the area until it has been cleaned. Once you get home you can have the youngster help clean the guns. This is a good way to help assure that young shooters will develop good habits leading to them maintaining their own firearms in good condition when they are old enough to own some for themselves. Of course with children you want to be especially careful when it comes to contact with such things as powder and lead solvents, fouling from firearms, oils, and lead. Make sure that the child wears proper protective clothing while helping to clean any firearms. Rubber gloves, eye protection, and a vinyl or other spill and splash proof apron would all be good things they should wear while doing the chore. A good wash up when done is highly recommended. In additio, once home from the range you will want to change out of your range clothing and throw them right into the wash. This helps cut down on any contamination of lead dust that may have ben picked up at the range. One other note about lead and lead dust exposure. You willr ecall I kept talking about a professional range above. I like to go to an indoor range when I teach youngsters to shoot if only because a properly operating indoor range will have a good ventilation system that sucks out the air containing powder and lead residues, and pumps in fresh and filtered air. You may think an outdoor range would be better than an indoor range for giving you fresh air, but that could possibly depend on which way the wind is blowing. I am not sure it is correct but I have heard that in this regard it is much better to shoot at an indoor range with a proper and fully functioning ventilation system.

By now you maybe thinking that I left out some things about teaching a child to shoot. For example I made no mention of how a child should be taught to hold a gun, nor did I describe in any detail sight alignment, sight picture, breathing control, trigger control and follow through. The reason I did not give specifics on those and other techniques that will lead to a child becoming a good shot is because that is their instructor's job and not mine. In other words, if you are planning on teaching your child how to shoot, you had better be ready to do so. Being ready means that you have all the basics down, and also have an idea of how you will go about teaching the basics to the new shooter. If you don't know the nomenclature of a gun you will be suing, or as related to guns in general, learn it before you think of teaching someone to shoot, and make sure you have it right. Same goes for all of the techniques of the actual handling and shooting of firearsm. Of course, the same also goes for firearms safety rules. More than anything else you want it to have been a safe and enjoyable experience when the day is done.

Speaking of safety, here are a couple of safety tips that you may or may not think of when going shooting. Have a first aid kit available for minor to serious injuries and know how to apply first aid. You do not need to be an EMT to stop or control bleeding if, heavens forbid, someone is shot or otherwise seriously wounded at the range. Take a first aid course if you don't have a clue, the life you save could be your child's, heck it could be your own. Teach your child what you have learned or have them go to the class with you. In addition to a good first aid kit, always, and I mean alway take along a charged cell phone. You could be out in the middle of nowhere and be with someone who gets seriously injured, and while the phone may not help there, as you get closer to a hospital the phone may wind up back in service. It just makes all the sooner that you can contact someone for help. As it is nowadays though, you are in cell phone range in much of the USA, and the phone will get throiugh on a call to 911 when you need it. Either way it is an important item to include on any range trip. Finally you should have an idea of where you can get medical aid if needed and you have to drive the injured person there. A little planning and preparation goes a long way to avoiding a fatal catastrophe should a bad accident occur.


Now you do not have to follow everything I recommended, and you may even think of something I left out that you deem important, bear in mind the very basics of teaching a child to shoot and it should turn out well. Those basics mean that if you strictly follow proper firearms safety, if you closely supervise the young student shooter, if you know what you are doing beforehand, if you do so at a professional range where the shooters are monitored by range officers in addition to you monitoring the new shooter, if you go at it with patience and a good attitude, then things are likely to turn out to be quite enjoyable for you and the young shooter. In closing let me say one thing about you - the person who is ready, willing and able to teach safe shooting to a youngster and then actually does so even if you only teach your own kids how to shoot - Bravo For You! You. You are among a minority in today's world, and you are preserving a piece of our American heritage that should never be forgotten - our right to keep and bear arms and our liberty to do so. Without folks like you, shooting sports will become a thing of the past.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obama's First Change

While running for the presidency, then senator Barack Hussein Obama pledged that his government would be one of change. As president elect, under new policies put into place by President George W. Bush, president elect Obama began to select his cabinet; but from the looks of things there was no real change taking place - his cabinet consisted of many old Washington, DC hacks including quite a few from the prior Clinton Administration. So where was all this change that Obama had spoken about, when would it come. We did not have to wait long to find out, but I have seen little mention of it, certainly nothing on the major online news media networks that I remember.

On the bitterly cold night of January 20th, just hours after Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as president of the United States of America, he instituted what may have been his first change in the way presidents have done things for the past 56 years, and that was by way of the cold shoulder. The most telling thing about the change I am about to describe is that it was one that had the effect of being extremely discourteous and disrespectful to the members of the United States Military Services. You see, ever since the day of the presidential inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1953, each and every president since then - with only one exception - has attended a certain gala event - a ball - on the night of his inauguration. Of course, President Obama attended many balls on the night of his inauguration, just like virtually all others before him. He reportedly attended 10 balls that night, all with no worry about time to attend and no worry about whether or not security would be tight enough at each. As a matter of fact his disregard for security concerns was amazing considering the amount of drug users and other undesirables who would be at some of these events; but that is not the point. The point is that he attended these events and had no excuse not to attend them. He attended such events as: The Neighborhood Ball, The Home State Ball (for two states, both Illinois and Hawaii), the Commander In Chief Ball, a youth ball, and several regional balls. Yet somehow he managed to miss a ball that every president since and including Dwight D. Eisenhower back in 1953 was able to attend, one that he was honor bound to attend if only because of his dependence upon the image of Abraham Lincoln.

The one he missed was the Salute To Heroes Inaugural Ball. This ball is special indeed because it honors a group of very select individuals. The people who are honored, as one can guess from the name of the ball, are all heroes. More importantly they are American heroes - either citizens or legal immigrants. Even more importantly is the type of hero who is honored. You see these are not make believe television heroes, they are not sports figures who earn millions, they are not rappers, they are not talk show hosts, they are not political hacks - or in other words they are not like many if not most of those in attendance at the balls President Barack Hussein Obama actually attended. While they can be any of the above, in fact they could be any loyal American man or woman of almost any background at all, there is something else that makes them heroes, something different about them. That something is that they have all performed their duties heroically. You see, these heroes the real deal.

The people honored by the Salute To Heroes Inaugural Ball are ones who have been honored since 1953 by the American Legion and 13 other veterans organizations, and who should be honored by each and every citizen and legal resident alien (and anyone else) living in the U.S.A.. They have also been honored by each and every president since then with the one exception of Barack Hussein Obama. You see this ball honors those of the United States Military who have achieved the highest honor that this land can bestow upon any of her military service people. They are all medal of honor winners. This year there were reportedly 47 (or 48 depending on which report you see) medal of honor winners in attendance at the ball. Yes, that means there were 48 folks there who risked their own lives doing service for our country above and beyond the call of duty; and guess what - President Barack Hussein Obama turned a cold shoulder to them. He apparently paid them less attention than he would a piece of dog excrement stuck on his shoe. While he sent Vice president Joe Biden to said ball, I would be willing to bet that President Obama himself would take the effort to scrape dog excrement off of his own shoe instead of having the Vice President do it for him.

So with whom did President Obama decide to spend his evening/night at the 10 balls he attended. Well he spent some of it it with these people instead of with the Medal Of Honor Winners: Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Mary. J. Blige, Faith Hill, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, will.i.am, Sting, Mariah Carey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kanye West, Kid Rock, Marc Anthony, Cheryl Crow, Beyonce, Usher, Shakira, will.i.am, Samuel L. Jackson, Sting. I have to wonder, other than in movies, what honors have they won for service to their country.

What is the Medal of Honor. Well first of all it is correctly called The Congressional Medal Of Honor. Not because it is awarded by congress, it is actually awarded by the president, but because it was a bill put through Congress that led to its creation and because it is awarded in the name of Congress. This medal is an award, no actually more an honor, bestowed upon servicemen and women of the United States Military forces who have distinguished themselves either in battle or otherwise in the face of the enemy during hostilities. It is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a U.S. Military Service Person. There are three types of Medal of Honor currently awarded, one for the Army (pictured), one for the Navy and one for the Air Force. President Lincoln signed the bill into law, on July 12, 1862 authorizing this Medal of Honor. To date about 3,468 of them have been awarded for heroism "above and beyond the call of duty". Yes folks that means that out of all of the U.S. soldiers, seamen, marines and airmen who have served their country since July 12, 1862, only a relative handful have performed their duties in a manner to become Medal of Honor recipients. Only those few since the time of Lincoln!

Yes, you remember president Abraham Lincoln. He is the same president upon whose bible President Elect Barack Hussein Obama laid his hand while swearing into office. Lincoln, whom Senator Obama quoted and referred to throughout his own candidacy. Lincoln who sent northern soldiers to fight against their brothers in the south so that slaves could be freed and all men would truly become equal while at the same time preserving the Union. Lincoln, the president who was in office when the Medal of Honor was created, and who signed the bill authorizing its creation. Lincoln the first president to award said medal to anyone. Lincoln, the man upon whose image President Obama leans so heavily. I wonder, would Abraham Lincoln have snubbed Medal of Honor winners on the night of his inauguration had such a ball been held back then. I doubt it very much, it is not fitting with the history of that great man. I think, and this is my personal opinion, only a lessor man would do so, a much lessor man in my opinion.

Now as for the people whom in essence seemingly were ignored by President Obama, those living Medal of Honor winners who were in attendance at the 2009 Salute To The Heroes Inaugural Ball - who are they? I don't know, I do not have their names, but you can be assured that they deserved much more from our 44th president. If you want, you probably need do just a bit of detective work to find out who attended. You see there are only about 98 living Medal of Honor winners today, and 47 or 48 or them attended this ball. Even without knowing who they are I can tell you something about them, and the words I will use are to be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 32, Volume 2, Revised as of July 1, 2002, from the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 32CFR578.4][Page 395-396]. You can see them by visiting this link: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2002/julqtr/32cfr578.4.htm; but I will also reprint them here. These words tell you more than I ever could about who are the men and women who have received the Medal Of Honor (please note the below is specific to the Army but the words pretty much describe those of all branches of service who have received the medal):

The Medal of Honor, established by Joint Resolution of Congress, 12 July 1862 (amended by Act of 9 July 1918 and Act of 25 July 1963) is awarded in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Army, distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party (figure 1). The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit. Eligibility is limited to members of the Army of the United States in active Federal military service.

Did you catch this part: "...distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States..."

What about this part: "The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life."

Do you see it? Do you realize the type of people who are the winners of the Medal of Honor? These heroes are not the plastic type, they are as I said above - the real deal. They are people who have gone beyond anything that others have done in the service of their country, and many have paid with their lives while doing so. Yet, there was no time in the president's busy but gala schedule to attend a ball honoring them.

What about this one: "Incontestable proof of the performance of the service will be exacted and each recommendation for the award of this decoration will be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit."

Do you understand that one? What it is saying is that in order to receive the medal of Honor, the act performed must have been proven upon the standard of extraordinary merit. Heck our current president apparently did not even have to prove, by way of producing even a birth certificate, that he was a natural born citizen of the United States. Our president is the same man who during his campaign promised great respect for our military. Yet, he evidently again fails to prove himself, and his words, by way of not giving the same respect as others before him, since 1953, have given to these brave few who performed deeds "...of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life." Medal of Honor winners - who are they? They are the people of the United States Military who first won their medals during Lincoln's war. These are people who "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States" did the right thing for their country. That is who they are, the winners of the Medal Of Honor; but who is President Barack Hussein Obama? In my opinion President Barack Hussein Obama is the man who now holds the distinct dishonor of being the first president throughout a 56 year span and 14 presidential inaugurations to show the Medal of Honor recipients disrespect by not attending the inaugural ball. On January 20, 2009, at the Salute To The Heroes Inaugural Ball, the Medal of Honor recipients were ready to honor their new president as they had done without fail at 14 inaugurations prior this one; but in a change from those prior 14 inaugurations this president was not willing to honor them. Is that the change he promised us?

All the best,
Glenn B
references:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beretta 92FS - New U.S. Military Contract

As you may or may not be aware, I am a big fan of the Beretta 92 series of pistols. I own one 92SB (the pistol of my Ballseye 15 minutes of fame) and two 92FS Berettas. I like em, they work well, they take a beating and keep on shooting, and they are easy to maintain. It seems that the U.S. Army agrees with me since they have just awarded Beretta a new contract to supply up to 450,000 92FS pistols to U.S. military customers worldwide. This includes an order for 20,000 pistols for the Iraqi military. I am impressed, I wish I owned stock in Beretta.

Here is a link to the Beretta 92FS site: http://beretta92.com/berettahome.htm.

I have to admit, all in all, my Berettas have been my favorite pistols over the years. From the .25 caliber Jetfire, to the .22LR model 70S, and the .22LR model 21, to the 92SB to the 92FS, I have loved em all

All the best,
Glenn B

The Anticipation Is Just About Killing Me...

...as I await the planned big announcement that is going to be made by ClassicArms.us early next month. Here is the way they put it, and I quote:

TODAY IS MONDAY 01/26/2009

TICK-TOCK... TICK-TOCK...TICK-TOCK...TICK-TOCK....
THE CLOCK IS TICKING ON A HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT AND SOME EXCITING NEWS THAT WE WILL BE BREAKING IN EARLY FEBRUARY.

STAY TUNED. GREAT THINGS LIE JUST AHEAD.

Now you tell me folks, should I be excited. Are they going to announce a great deal on some new mil-surplus rifles. I hope so, but gosh darn it, chances are that whatever it is they are getting in stock will be illegal here in the land of anti-gun nuts Schumer & McCarthy. Then again I may get lucky and find out that whatever they are getting in stock will be a gun that is completely legal here in NY as well as across the rest of the nation, that it will be selling for less than $250 apiece, and that it will be C&R eligible. If so, I am probably going to buy one. One can only hope.

Of course one can hope that maybe they are also getting in a huge lot of 7.62x39 current production commercial ammo that is stuff of decent quality, and that prices of 2 years ago have returned. In that case I'll be buying more than a case.

Now anything they may announce could all be ruined by an announcement that the House and Senate have passed a new assault weapons ban before then that was signed by the president almost as soon as it was passed. Chances are slim for that to happen so quickly, but you can bet that something miserable like that is in the works. Hopefully whatever Classic Arms is about to announce will assure we can get hold of some decent arms before a new AWB goes into place.

All the best,
Glenn B

CheaperThanDirt.com - What Do They Know That We Do Not?

I am referring to the price of Wolf 7.62x39 Military Classic Ammo at CheaperThanDirt.com. It is a whopping $399.99 per case of 1,000 rounds as shown on their website today 01/28/2009. So I checked over at Sportmansguide.com - they apparently are out of it and do not even show Wolf 7.62x39 at all on their site. I also checked at Ammoman.com, they are out of stock. I then checked at AimSurplus.com and they did not have any listed in the caliber. I also checked with CenterfireSystems.com and they do not show any 7.62x39 ammo, well not real ammo anyway, they do have blanks for sale. Nor does ClassicArms.us show any ammo in this caliber for sale.

JGSales.com has Golden Tiger 7.62x39 FMJ with steel cases available (as per their website, who knows if they actually have any) going for $239.00 per case of 1,000 rounds. I do not have the money or I would be trying to order a case from them. (Thanks to my son's college, I will be paying about $295 just for two books for one Biology class. I cannot wait to see how much the books for his other 4 classes will cost.) We have some 7.62x39 on hand, I am guessing enough to last a year of shooting if we dole it out carefully, and then some. Lucky for us I bought ammo as soon as the presidential election results were in.

If you need any 7.62x39 ammunition, I strongly recommend (where legal) that you try to find some at a decent price and then buy as much as you can afford. Then store it for a rainy day, or something like that. Chances are that things will not be getting much better any time soon with the most rabidly anti-gun administration in place in Washington in our lifetimes.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Weather Has Not Got Me Down...

...but the weatherman certainly is trying to do so. I got finished shoveling about 4 inches of wet snow an hour ago. I am a little achy since I did not only my small sidewalk but also my neighbors pretty large corner sidewalk (he is in Florida - and is apparently happier with the weather he is enjoying than am I with mine).

My wife and I need to go today to get grocery shopping done, the weekly stuff we get from either COSTCO or BJ's. We are also going to visit my mom who once again is in the hospital due to a bad fall on Monday night or early Tuesday morning (she was found unconscious in her room, but at least nothing was broken). Because we are going out, I decided to check on the weather. According to the radio weather reports we are to get continued freezing rain, sleet and more snow throughout the day and evening. Being an Internet junky, I also checked online with MSN. Their weather report said this under "Today's Forecast":

TODAY - SPRINKLES

Well, I hate to tell them but sprinkles do not deposit 4 inches of that cold and wet white stuff on the ground. Nor do sprinkles come down in the form of steady fairly heavy rain, as it has now being doing over the past couple of hours or so; unless of course the word sprinkles means something different to them than it does to me. I think though they know what the word sprinkles means, and it is not heavy snow, nor is it fairly heavy and constant rain. Then again, isn't it the folks at MSN who went right along with that pompous buffoon Al Gore on Global Warming. Yep it was them at least as I remember, them and most of the rest of the media and the companies associated with them! Maybe the globe is warming, maybe all of this snow and cold we are experiencing is a result of the ice cap melting and all that cold coming down this way - and maybe they are all full of themselves in their inability to even report the weather while it is actually taking place. Sprinkles indeed - balderdash!

All the best,
Glenn B

Still Time To Oppose The Economic Bailout Vote...

...since that vote takes place later today. Has anyone wondered what will happen if the plan does not work. I just heard a newscaster quote Representative Charles Rangel of New York when asked that question, his answer according to the reporter: "I don't know". There is not even a back-up plan in place for what will be done if the plan using hundreds of billions of dollars of tax payers money goes bottom up, not even a plan. Is that because politicians are so confident it will work, or because they believe it must work otherwise we are doomed because they are shortsighted and inept and don't have any clue as what else could be done. I believe the latter. I will again be emailing and calling my representatives and my senators to tell them to oppose the bailout. Although I feel almost sure my calls will go unheeded, they may not if enough of us make them likewise. A link to contact Congress and the White House can be found on the right side of my blog. Use it!

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Comparison of Our Law Enforcement Officers To Nazis...

...is something that all too often can often be found on forums on the Internet. As a matter of fact, I recently visited a firearms forum in which the actions of police here in the USA were compared as being similar to Nazis. In the particular instance being discussed, a man was out doing yard work while legally wearing a handgun in a holster. The handgun was worn in plain view (which was quite legal where he lived). One of his neighbors called then police to report him. The police responded, detained the man wearing the gun, and after a somewhat extended period of detention decided to arrest him for disturbing the peace, or so the story is told. In the forum discussion about this event, our police (the officers in question, and law enforcement in general in the USA) were compared to Nazis in an unfavorable light for our police. I replied twice to said forum and in both posts I made sure to point out that I thought it ludicrous for people in general to say that law enforcement officers in the USA are similar to the Nazis. (Oh did I forget to mention, the man is now suing the police. Can you imagine someone arrested in WWII suing the Nazis over said arrest?)

Why do I think that our law enforcement, here in the USA, are not like the Nazis. I guess it can be best explained by my second post at said forum, and I have reprinted my response below:

"Some of you folks really seem to have little to no real comprehension of what Nazism was all about, or about Nazis themselves. You continue to twist the facts to make it look as if the police in the USA are strikingly similar to them. Do they use informants, yes but so have all police departments throughout history - so maybe you got it backwards - maybe the Nazis were using a technique used by legitimate authorities for their own twisted ends. As for the Nazis using words like "papers please" you have been watching too many WWII propaganda movies. They did not ask for papers please in the course of making arrests, they carted people off while the people dirtied themselves out of fear. Papers Please - you really believe that about Nazis, yeah maybe when they dealt with a delegate from another government or from the International Red Cross, or when they were being ruthlessly sarcastic, but you have got to be kidding that you think the Nazis routinely used such courtesies. No the police in this country for the great majority are nothing at all like Nazis, but you can believe what you want. Or you can try to find out what it was really like. Why not get together with a survivor of Nazi Germany, or better yet with several of them, and discuss Nazis with them. Your eyes will be opened. Being of partial German descent, living in a German neighborhood up through my twenties and often coming in contact with Germans who were in Germany during WWII, living in NY and frequently coming in contact with Holocaust survivors, and being a person somewhat interested in history, my curiosity was always seeking to be satisfied about this subject. Over the years, I have met with, and discussed Nazis and life in Nazi Germany with several survivors of the Holocaust. I have also had in depth discussions with members of the German military from WWII. In addition I have had many discussions with German citizens who lived in Germany during WWII and encountered Nazis on a daily basis in their lives; and that includes with some people who still live in Germany. I also have discussed Nazis with people who were from Poland and Russia and who encountered Nazi oppression in WWII. Our police forces are not like Nazis, and those to whom I have conversed on such maters would likely laugh at you for thinking so, or maybe they would just shed a tear that you could even think such a thing of our police for whom they have respect.

I am truly amazed that anyone would think so if they really knew anything about what life was like under the tyranny of Nazi Germany. By the way, if you would truly like to get a real glimpse into what it was like, and if you cannot find any survivors who lived through it with whom to discuss it, there is an excellent and very short book called Night by Elie Wiesel. It is well worth the few dollars to purchase it, or a trip to the library to borrow it, and is well worth the few hours to read it.

Before I close on this one, please allow me to make a final observation. I am over a half century old. In all of the years that I can remember, I have never once heard anyone who was actually brutalized by Nazis, or who was persecuted in any way under Nazi rule, complain that the police in the USA are anything at all like Nazis unless that person was an absolute ultra leftist of the card carrying commie type – and then they called everyone who did not agree with them Nazis. Yeah maybe there are a few out there who would make, or have made, such remarks who were regular Johns and Janes but they are a rarity. Then again there are or were tens if not hundreds of thousands who escaped or survived Nazi persecution and came to the USA after during and after WWII. Yet, for some reason, they do not call our police Nazis or say that they are similar; and isn’t it they who would know! It is very funny to me though how it is the American citizen, living in relative comfort and able to enjoy his rights and liberties to a great extent, who is the one to call our police Nazis or to compare our police to the Nazis in a negative light. Think about that, and think about why it is that way, and then ponder the fact that you are at liberty to do so without being rounded up, placed into a cattle car, forced to labor in subhuman conditions, experimented upon by what amounted to mad scientists, and left for dead or killed in a horrible manner such as by gassing with Zyclon-B, and then having the gold from your fillings collected to enrich the Third Reich (or maybe to just be stuffed into the commandants pockets). Our police like Nazis, even on their worst days the comparison is ludicrous. Why not really try my suggestion to get a better understanding of life under the Nazis before you even think such things about the police in the United States on the whole."


Yes I will agree that it seems all to often that law enforcement in the USA oversteps the bounds of its authority, or that police officers make all to many arrests based upon bad probable cause (which equals no probable cause), or that law enforcement comes after people they should not (but remember they are guided by the legislative and judicial branches of our governments (local, state and federal) on much of this, as well as being directed by the executive branches). Yet we usually have some sort of redress. We can have our day in court, and if found innocent we can cause the officers or departments and agencies to have their day in court when we sue them. Just imagine having tried that in Nazi Germany. We can bad mouth them too, and we can call them Nazis and therefore by implication call our government a Nazi Regime. We can get as bent out of shape as we want and keep the name calling going for a month of Sundays if we want. We can call cops pigs, we can give federal agents the finger, we can tell LEOs we hate them, and that we are going to write to our Congressmen about them. All the while they usually eat the shit some of you throw in their faces. Imagine what a real Nazi, say an SS officer would have done in response to you calling him a pig and giving him the finger. He would not have stood there taking it from you, you can bet your life on it.

Now, while crude, rude, obnoxious treatment of law enforcement officers in the USA today is no excuse for them to shirk their duties or to overstep the boundaries of law - should they do so - well the truth be told they usually pay for wrongdoings they may commit. Guess who comes to arrest them - other LEOs - other guys you refer to, or compare to, Nazis! Do law enforcement officers screw up - sure they do. Do some violate your rights while trying to enforce the law - sure they do. Do some violate the law themselves - yes indeed - way too many. Do some commit atrocious criminal acts - yes indeed. Does that make them Nazis across our nation on the whole? You have to be of another reality, a twisted and sick one, and a misinformed one (about what is a Nazi) to believe that such is the case. Do we need to be on the watch for Nazism rearing its ugly head. Yes we do. In fact we are being vigilant all the time for that and for other forms of tyranny.

You see, here in the US of A, law enforcement is ruled by something called the law, and law enforcement officers are subject to the law as are you and I. Try to remember we are the ones who voted in the legislators who write and vote on the laws, and we are the ones who elected the executives who sign the bills into law, and we are the ones who elected the executive who appointed judges (or maybe we even voted for the judges) who rule on the law and those laws are applied to our law enforcement officers as well as to ourselves. Are their some exceptions where the law is somewhat different as it applies to an LEO than it does to a non-LEO, most certainly there are some, but not many. The bottom line is that law enforcement officers in this nation are part of our government, our legally elected and appointed government that we put in place. In no way, on the whole, do our federal, state and local law enforcement officers come even close to the Nazis in similarity of purpose, in execution of duties, or in their treatment of the citizenry. Any of you who think otherwise have an awful lot of learning to do on the subjects of Nazis, Nazi Germany, their victims, and the survivors of that tyranny most despicable.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Unintentional Gecko...

...or I suppose I should say Geckos. A friend of mine dropped off 13 Leopard Geckos with me tonight hoping I could do him a favor and try to see if I can find homes for them tomorrow at the New York Metro Reptile Expo in White Plains. Heck, I had forgotten there was even supposed to be a show tomorrow let alone planned on going to it. Of course I am happy he reminded me because I always try my best to make all the shows so I can help man the Long Island Herpetological Society Table. While there, I imagine I can at least try my best to get rid of them for him. So if you are reading this, are nearby, and are interested in a leopard gecko at a very fair price, come by the Long Island Herpetological Society table at the expo tomorrow. The geckos will likely be for sale on the members table next to the LIHS table (note they are not being sold by the LIHS).

All the best,
Glenn B

Bailing Out The Failed Bailouts - What Will The Lawyers Screw Up Next

I just had a thought, one that those in the media have not made comment on, one that those in Washington, DC and state governments have not made comment on either. If the current bailouts of the financial industry fail, and then banks start collapsing - as in closing their doors to customers because they are bankrupt - where is the FDIC going to acquire all the money necessary to pay off all those FDIC insured accounts?

No, I am not even going to guess where it will come from because I know that it will be demanded that the tax payer foot the bill if it is to be honored. Of course another option would be for the government to just print reams upon reams of new currency and flood the market with it by way of insurance payments to those who had insured accounts. of course that would me mega devaluation of the dollar, and all the money you had protected in just one account would probably fall to 75% or less of its former worth - if you are lucky it will not fall to 25% of its former value. There is no way the government can afford to pay; and that brings us to the third option - the government declaring itself bankrupt and defaulting on all outstanding debt. Think it cannot happen, get back in touch with me when the trillions expected to be paid toward the bailout disappear and another bailout is required and the lawyers in disguise as government executive officers, representatives, senators, and appointed staff members of them tell us we have to dig deeper than ever.

My guess is that once again we as a nation led by lawyers we will spew forth whatever rhetoric is required to allow people to take the free ride be they politicians, corporate or banking executives, stockholders, people who buy houses with absolutely no way to pay for them or the lawyers who represent them all. I think if it actually comes to something like any of the financial messes I described above, then We The People should actually consider and push for some form of new government to be instituted to take care of the problem. No violent overthrow stuff - no I am not going to advocate that - not yet any how, but we sure do need some new blood in DC and I do not mean legal hacks like the current and past administrations. What I mean is that it is about time that the lawyers who make up most of the Senate, and most of the House of representatives, and even the presidency be shown the door. In their places I would recommend that you vote for candidates who actually have practical experience in jobs other than lawyering. For example I recommend that our Congress be limited to less than 25% lawyers, and that the rest of the seats go to people in other professions or trades. I would like to see some plumbers, carpenters, dock workers, dentists, police officers, deliverymen, teachers, professors, bankers, stockbrokers, accountants, farmers, ranchers, waiters, pilots, nurses, military service people, and so on get into the House of Representatives - remember those in the House of Representatives ARE SUPPOSED TO ACTUALLY REPRESENT THEIR CONSTITUENTS so why are so many of them lawyers! I would also like to see some higher end or more experienced workers (not lawyers) get into the Senate such as: doctors, professors, executive managers from all sorts of industry, police officers of rank, nurses, dentists, union chiefs, and even some lower level managers. I cannot understand for the life of me why so many people are fooled into believing that We The People need to elect lawyers to run a Government OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.

Do you think that too easy. Or do you think it would never work? Why is that? Are the rest of us morons, are lawyers, for the most part, capable of running things more than anyone else (if so then there is no hope we will ever get it right because they never have done so before and they only keep screwing up)! Come on folks wake up, get it right, it is the lawyers in great part who have been screwing us over and raping our nation for all it is worth. They are the ones who have run government for years. They run every aspect of our lives from way to high medical bills all caused by malpractice insurance rates caused by lawyers who sue for hundreds of millions, to our auto insurance rates, to our homeowner insurance rates (ever see those commercials for slip and fall bloodsuckers), to our criminal law, to laws that regulate our schools, to laws that even go as far as saying what type of cooking oil with which a restaurant can prepare food, to almost anything of which you can think. They have there greedy paws on everything, or so it seems. Do you really think that lawyers who become representatives, senators or even presidents will ever really change things to benefit the rest of us, or will the greatest profit always go to them and their employers? It is about time we look elsewhere for our leaders, and I think there is a good possibility if you look around you right now you may see some people with great potential to legislate for and lead us, and the great majority of them are not lawyers!

All the best,
Glenn B

BFAT 3

Six entries so far in Ballseye's Firearms Accessories Tournament 3 and all I'll say is that one guess is pretty close. The contest ends on the night of January 30 at midnight; and I'll probably announce the winner on January 31. Good luck to any who will or has entered.

http://ballseyesboomers.blogspot.com/2009/01/i-went-to-range-yesterday-to-get-in.html

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Official: Kirsten Gillibrand Named NY Senator

I suppose that for a state like New York, it is a step in the right direction. Yes she is a democrat, but yes she also has a track record of being somewhat friendly to those of us who are willing to fight to maintain our right to keep and bear arms and enjoy our liberty to exercise said right.


"As a lawmaker, she has projected a down-home image in tune with her rural
district, which stretches from Lake Placid past the state capital of Albany.
Besides the backing of the NRA, she has the strong support of the New York Farm
Bureau, which described her as ``a leading advocate for agriculture in Washington.'' Her Web site's homepage includes a picture of cows."
Source of the quote: http://www.1010wins.com/Little-Known-Congresswoman-Picked-for-Clinton-Seat/3712805.

For more info, see: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/01/22/new-york-gov-paterson-rep-gillibrand-clintons-senate-seat/

Maybe this guy Patterson will turn out to be a better governor for NY than I had thought. If nothing else, the selection of Gillibrand as senator for NY may cause The Honorable (by pomp and circumstance only in my opinion) Carolyn McCarthy to have a heart attack moment of pause to reconsider her own rabid anti-gun stance. Of course that will not be the case as McCarthy has already vowed to opose Gillibrand. I imagine Senator Charles Schumer will do likewise; and that pompous buffoon Michael Bloomeberg is already ranting in opposition to her appointment. The thing is though, they do not have squat to say about it that can keep her from becoming a senator as I understand. It's nice to see the antis squirm for a change here in an anti-gun state like NY. Now one can only hope that Gillibrand is a true supporter of the right to keep and bear arms and not just a fly by night friend who takes what she can get, such as support from the NRA, to further her career and then dumps what friends she has made once she is in power. Time and her legislating will tell.

All the best,
GB

No Lack Of Blogger Mojo...

...but I have had a lack of time to blog, so the blog has been lacking over the past few days. Yesterday was the worst day for time all week. My mom had an episode at the assisted living facility and had to go to the ER. Dementia is not a nice thing, especially if it expresses itself by way of a lot of fear. My sister spent most of yesterday at the ER with my mom, and I got there by cutting my day short at work and spent a few hours there myself along with Brendan and his girlfriend. I went out to the assisted living residence today to see my mom, again with Brendan and Julia, and my mom was much improved. That was a good thing, even though she was not 100%. The remainder of my day, until 5 minutes ago, was spent on bills. Making sure my credit card bill was correct took over an hour alone, and I am still none to sure the balance is correct. Then I paid a bunch of bills. I also made sure the ones left over were sorted by the date by which they need to be paid.

We do okay with our bills, but I have to admit we are having a tough time getting it all paid off with Brendan's college bills. I refuse to take a loan out this time around as I did for my daughter. Since Brendan is staying local, that makes it much easier to accomplish, but it is still hard paying by credit card and making sure not to otherwise go overboard with the cards. I am trying to pay the college bill of within two months of making the payment so we are being careful about what else we charge. I suppose with the holidays out of the way, that will get a little easier - knock on wood. Thank goodness for lower heating bills this year because if we were paying the same oil rates as last year it would be likely I'd need to take out a loan for his college. Not complaining about having those college bills mind you - I am quite proud that Brendan is going to college and did well in his first semester; and there is no way that I would not put him through his undergrad studies. As with his sister Celina though, when it comes to graduate degrees, they have to make it on there own. She is doing that right now and I am pretty sure Brendan will do likewise. First things first, he has to get a bachelor's degree first.

All the best,
Glenn b

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

I am sitting here listening the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Greatest Hits CD and I find myself wondering why I never saw them in concert in my younger years. I suppose it was because I went into Law Enforcement in 1979, and that kind of put the kibosh on going to concerts. Yeah I still went to some, but when I moved back to NY from California in the early eighties I soon realized that my job and rock concerts did not necessarily mix. Simply put I did not want to light up like a Christmas Tree had I been given a urine test for drugs at work. Just being at something like a concert probably would have exposed me to enough second hand smoke in the air to make me test positive for a year. That's too bad for me, I sure missed some good live performances from what I can gather by listening to them on disc.


Oh well, thank goodness for technology, I can listen to them as I please - and man are they ever so good.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Am I Missing Something?

Am I missing something? Maybe they never sing it at inaugurations but somehow I doubt that they do not. They did sing a song before swearing in Biden, but not the one I am missing. Wouldn't the National Anthem have been much more appropriate than 'My Country, Tis of Thee' before the swearing in commenced? Hopefully they will squeeze 'The National Anthem' in there someplace. Of course maybe they will not since they are now performing Air and Simple Gifts a musical composition! Then again I just heard Feinstein say how much more wonderful and right it is that the vote won out over the gun or something to that effect. Damn moron forgets that the gun is what keeps the vote free in the first place, the gun and the blood of all those who bore arms in defense of our great Nation. Yet somehow she found it appropriate to show the cold shoulder to all of those who have fallen in defense of Freedom and to outright slam them with disrespect in her opening remarks.

Gosh damn they are administering the oath of office and we have not heard The National Anthem during these ceremonies. He is now president without it having played, but trumpets are blaring as is 'Hail The Chief'. I suppose now that I give it a moments reflection this should come as no surprise concerning the man who refused to wear an American Flag lapel pin and who refused to place his hand over his heart during the singing of The National Anthem. As I said, maybe it is never sung at the inauguration, but I certainly think it should be sung. Now his acceptance speech - maybe The National Anthem, and a thought for our country, will come after that.

As for now, his speech is scary already - too expensive health care, our decline is inevitable, our use of energy feeds our enemies - etc. Welcome to the Socialist States of America is all I can forsee. Heck, did he just call us childish at least by implication when quoting scripture? Heavens help us....... Well at least he is acknowledging the sacrifice of those who worked and died for our Country. I guess one has to hope, but I don't have a whole lot of it as for this administration being good for our country especially with his remaking America comment. Note he did not say imrpoving it, or fixing it, or anything that would indicate that it at least at one time had been great - he said remake it - as if it was never good enough in the first place.

Gotta go to work, no time to listen to more of his speech.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Cold and The Snow

So far this past fall, and this winter, we have had several snowfalls here and in the nearby New York metro area. It is pretty unusual to have so many snowfalls as we did before January, and the number of snowfalls seems not to be falling off. This weekend we had two. Of course we only got about a total of 3 or 3.5 inches. Now, the amount of snow is not the issue. Rather, I am just surprised, what with Global Warming and all, that we are having so many snowfalls and that the temperatures here in the New York area have been so cold. I imagine that once President Elect Obama is sworn in as president tomorrow he immediately will have his Global Warming Czar manufacture, in a green way, some ludicrous reason as to why the whole country is experiencing one of the coldest winters in memory. Of course, I figure that reason will blame it on the melting ice caps as caused by Global Warming or something like that. You can bet they will not say that the Global Warming theory is wrong, they have too much invested in pushing the theory and they stand to gain ever so much from propagating it further.

All the best,
Glenn B

Yugo SKS From SAMCO - Update

Well, if you have read along, you know I bought a NEW SKS from SAMCO awhile back. When I received it I immediately noticed repair to damage on the stock and some minor cosmetic damage to the metal parts, and one small but bent metal part. I contacted SAMCO and after quite the wait, and many phone calls, I received a return label. A supervisor at SAMCO, who was very nice and seemed right on top of the issue, told me I would get an exchange, and that was fine with me. Since it was taking so long to get that label I called American Express a couple of times and had the charge put on hold. I specifically told the folks at AMEX to take no other action than placing a hold on that charge until they heard from me but they did not follow my instructions. The rifle was delivered back to SAMCO on January 5, I ordered it on or about November 11th. An annoying amount of time for a turn around. Somewhere in there I also received a letter from AMEX saying they had convinced the seller to give me a refund. I wrote SAMCO an email saying I still wanted a NEW SKS if they could sell me one at the original price I had paid. Then, last week, I guess maybe on Thursday or so, I received a call from SAMCO saying they would indeed send me a new one, at the price I paid.

Since then AMEX has screwed up my credit card account by apparently giving me credit twice for the SKS. I have tried to take care of that to no avail, but will cal them again today. First guy I spoke to told me if they reversed the credit they would also add on another $XXX charge instead of just reversing the credit. After I hung up with him, I called back AMEX and the next person to whom I spoke said that would I would not be charged an additional $XXX if the credit was reversed, but they still have not reversed the extra credit. I know I will never wind up with a double credit in my pocket, and it would be wrong to expect such, so I have to give them yet another call and try to straighten this out before it messes up my accounting of my credit card bill.

As for a new replacement SKS, well someone is supposed to call me this week from SAMCO and tell me when it will be sent out. I was assured this one would be in 'new' condition; and I imagine they will make their best effort to assure such is the case. Time will tell, and if and when I receive an exchange I'll let you know how it turns out.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, January 16, 2009

Battlestar Galactica - The Final 10 Episodes Begin...

... and let me tell you they were long overdue. I for one would have been in serious withdrawal had they delayed the premiere of the final 10 episodes any longer, and it would have been even worse if I missed the first of them tonight. I am intrigued by what they found on what they think was Earth - yeah I guess you can figure from my having said that that I am pretty sure they did not really find Earth - not yet anyhow. What I am truly disappointed about was that one of my favorite characters, and one of the prettiest ones in the series, was killed off tonight - then again maybe two of the hot babes on the show were killed off - watch it and decide for yourself. That one who definitely was killed off was a shame, I figured her for a lot more in the story. Without saying more to ruin it for those of you who wanted to see it but missed it, I can only say, make sure to watch it when it is on again. This is the most awesome science fiction show since Farscape - and a bit better at that. I am anxiously awaiting next week's episode.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, January 15, 2009

On Its Wings, The Water and a Prayer (or a lot of em)

Now that was excitement enough to last a long time, and all I did was watch as events unfolded. I am referring to the U.S. Airways Airbus 320 that landed on the Hudson River just blocks from my office, and then floated past my office as rescuers aboard a fleet of mismatched And unlikely rescue ships and boats circled the aircraft saving the survivors. I am happy to have heard early reports that all have survived this potentially deadly ordeal.

Apparently the plane took off from LaGuardia Airport in Queens, NY and shortly thereafter, or maybe even during takeoff, a bird or birds were sucked into the engines. As I have heard it the pilot had a choice, try to turn around and head back to the airport or put it down in the river. It seems he chose the river. Based upon what others heard on radio reports, and from what I read on online news reports – witnesses say it looked like a perfect landing except for the fact it was in the middle of the Hudson River. As the first new reports were coming over the radio, I headed to the windows on the north side of my office and could see some of the rescue boats around the aircraft. I then headed to the west side of my office that directly overlooks the Hudson, and those of us watching saw one heck of a rescue operation staged by what appeared to be the: NYPD Harbor Patrol, Circle Line Cruise boats, Water Taxi boats, a possible NYFD boat (could have been something else, but this one had a line from it to the plane), and other small boats.

It was a tense 15 or 20 minutes, maybe even a half hour , just for us to watched the plane, still afloat, as it drifted from a point near mid river and straight out from about W. 34th Street, then continue south past our building between 27 and 26th Streets (we take up the entire block) down toward Chelsea Piers in the mid to low 20s. Imagine how those on the plane must have felt! As we watched we noted what appeared to be several orange life jackets, or maybe buoys drift ahead of the Airbus along with what appeared to be debris, luggage and the escape ramps that double as life rafts from the aircraft (those are our guesses as to what these items were). We also saw what appeared to be people on the aircraft, probably rescuers and not passengers as none had on the yellow life preservers they have on planes. Several small watercraft were circling the area possibly looking for anyone in the water. Helicopters circled overhead doing likewise, and some most likely filming for the new. We saw tens and tens of emergency vehicles heading south on West Street almost directly below us, some stopping at the piers cross from our building. One small boat came in with about 6 to 8 people aboard wearing yellow life vests, all apparently passengers from the plane. Only one was put onto a stretcher to be taken to a Hetzalah Volunteer ambulance. The other apparently well enough to walk under their own power and not needing blankets. Then again maybe no blankets were to be had in the mayhem; and I am guessing so because at least 3 of the passengers were in shirts or blouses with no jackets, sweaters or coats. Even if they had not gotten wet, which they may not have gotten, they should have been given some sort of protection from the bitter cold temps. Right now it is reported to be 19 degrees and feels like 14 degrees out there, pretty cold when you are in shock after a plane crash. Well not a crash really but a landing on a its wings, the water and a prayer.

It is a pretty helpless feeling to be so close and know there is nothing effective you can do to help, and just stand by watching it all unfold. Of course I can only imagine the feelings of those who had been on that polane when they realized they landed on the river. It was a great relief to hear all were saved, again I only imagine the relief they felt. The emergency responders were there quickly. I almost get the feeling they may have been headed there before the plane even hit the water; I mean they were there that fast to have saved all on board they must have gotten some notice from the air traffic controllers. My hat goes off to all of them be they well trained rescue teams from the NYPD, the NYFD, The Coast Guard (they seemed to be the last to show up – not a surprise considering how much they have been cut back and hopw far they probably had to go to get there) police, fire fighters, rescue teams, the crews of the Circle Line and the Water taxis, or just plain old Johns and Joans who were passengers aboard the Circle Line and Water Taxis. They sure are some folks’ heroes today. Then again, let’s not forget the men or women who piloted the plane, the rest of the crew who evacuated the plane, and those in the air traffic control tower who called for help. Someone listened, someone up high you can bet on that because as I said, the plane basically landed on its wings, the water and a prayer - then to top it all off it walked on water until everyone was saved. Just absolutely amazing.

All the best,
Glenn B