Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Range Day Today - Quarterly Qualifications

I went up to the NYPD Firearms' Range at Rodman's Neck today to qualify for my agency. I only got to shoot my issued Sig and my personal Glock 26 due to the fact that my issued Remington 870 was sent in for repairs not too long ago. it had already been returned to the PFI but he did not get a chance to turn it back over to me and it is sitting in a vault in our office. That could be a good thing as my shoulder has been feeling a bit out of sorts for the past few days; I must have pulled when I should have pushed.

I did pretty good with the pistols. I shot a 249 with the Sig, then shot a 250 with the Glock. The 250 is the top attainable score. I was going to say perfect score but my grouping was certainly not perfect, yet good enough to have em all in the 5 ring.

It was a nice day for shooting and we had a good crew at the range. The instructors are top notch, but sure were short handed today in that there was only two of them there. It went well anyway and I had a blast - no pun intended.

The pistols have both been cleaned. I did that right after getting home because happiness is a clean, lubed and functioning gun. I mean I would sure be happy if they worked as planned if I ever needed to pick em up at 0400 to shoot an intruder bent on harming me or my family. So they had best be cleaned, lubed, functioning and therefore ready when and if ever needed.

All the best,
Glenn B

Today In History - The Invasion of Poland Begins WWII...

...and CNN gave all of about 30 seconds to this newsworthy information this morning. Robin - whatever her last name is, the red headed reporter - closed out by saying there were 50 million dead as a result of WWII. She had, I think, a momentary dumbfounded look on her face immediately after she said that - like the number had really sunk in - but as I said it was momentary and she was smiling and on to the next piece of news which was pretty much pointless - something about a contest. That piece of news took up about double the amount of time that she had just used to mention the commencement of WWII in passing. That was it though, about 30 seconds (maybe less) dedicated to the commencement of WWII, a war which killed 50 million people! Folks I am sorry I cannot beat CNN at the lack of information game when it comes to noteworthy events, and I have already been typing for more than 30 seconds.

On today's date September 1, 1939, German land and air forces attacked Poland. They did so with a new invasive tactic - massive bombardment attacks from the air that were then followed by a huge surge of troops, artillery and tanks. This would later become known as the Blitzkrieg. The Poles had an army with outdated equipment and with generals who had outmoded ideas of how to conduct warfare. They, in some instances, countered the German advance with cavalry charges - cavalry charges as in on horseback. Horse mounted cavaliers, regardless of their bravery and devotion to duty, were no match for the mechanized German artillery or for German tank and infantry divisions. Poland possibly could have held out more than the several days before its army retreated had they used better strategy but probably not much longer on their own. Whether a few more days would have been of any great help to them withstanding the German attack is doubtful simply because the 1 million man strong Polish army was so ill equipped. Of course, it would have been possible that within a few days other nations' forces may have had time to muster to Poland's aid. Great Britain and France started to attack Germany within 3 days. The USSR, a former ally of Poland, was nowhere to be found in the fray - at least not on the side of Poland. Why not? It was because of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Nonaggression Pact that had been signed between Germany and the USSR early on the morning of on August 24th (sometimes attributed to the date August 23rd because that is the date which appears on the papers). In addition to it being a nonaggression pact between the USSR and Germany there were secret clauses that brought the USSR into the war on the side of Germany in its attack on Poland. The USSR attacked Poland on September 17. These two countries were to divide eastern Europe between themselves. A curious thing about this nonaggression pact, or about them in general, is that Hitler had also arranged one to be signed between Poland and Germany so it is remarkable that the USSR would also have signed one without realizing that Hitler was up to no good regarding any pact he signed. The USSR learned the hard way, as did great Britain and many other European nations who all believed that Hitler and Nazi Germany were not a threat until hostilities broke out.

Once the hostilities in Poland had begun it was too late to avoid an all out world war. Great Britain and France, in keeping with an alliance with Poland, subsequently declared war on Germany along with other allies such as Canada and Australia. France and great Britain attacked Germany on September 3 but they offered little direct aid to Poland. So the invasion of Poland was over by early October, 1939 by which time the entirety of the country was occupied by German and Russian forces, Germany had annexed former territory ceded to Poland after WWI, and Germany had set up Hans Frank as civilian leader of Poland. Frank through his actions in Poland paved the way for what today is known as the Holocaust. The truth be told the Holocaust is a biased contortion of the facts in the sense that it is a vast underestimation of how many were killed during Hitler's purging of Europe to creat an Aryan supremecy. When someone mentions the Holocaust today, all that people usually think about or discuss are the Jews who were killed - 6 million of them. While the execution of 6 million Jewish people was indeed a terrible thing - to only remember the Jews as victims of the Holocaust is sad state of remembrance biased by the solidarity among a religious group. You see, in doing so we selectively have forgotten millions of others also killed during the Holocaust. Why have we forgotten or chosen to not remember millons of others? I imagine it is in great part due to the fact that there was no singular unifying factor among the other groups as there was among those of the Jewish faith, but that is no excuse not to remember them or to consider their deaths at the hands of the nazis any less important that the aninilation of the Jewish people of Europe.The sad reality of how many the Nazis killed during these purges is much more terrible than 6 million. What started in Germany with poilitical prisoners, homosexuals, criminals, and the mentally ill would blossom in Poland with the round up and execution of Jews, non-Jewish Poles and others. It would ultimately lead to the murders of 12 to 13 million (some estimates are as high as 17 million) people throughout Europe. Yes folks the 'real' Holocaust not only killed 6 million Jewish people but also up to 11 million more people in ethnic, religious, criminal, mentally ill purges in an attempt to attain Hitler's twisted goal of an Aryan World. They were ethnic Poles, Romanians, Germans who opposed the Nazis, the mentally ill, homosexuals, Gypsies, Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war, and many more. Had the German invasion of Poland been thwarted the world would have been a much different and better off place.

For more information on the start of WWII, the Invasion of Poland, Hans Frank and the Holocaust, apparently more than you are about to get at CNN, see:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6503
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?ModuleId=10005070
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland_(1939)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Frank
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust

All the best,
Glenn B
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