Thursday, April 23, 2009

The ICE is melting...

...apparently from the top down, or so it seems. I just heard, on the news, that there have been calls for the resignation of Janet Napolitano as the head of DHS (parent department of ICE, the agency for which I work). cannot say that I am surprised after the things she has been saying and doing recently - things like what she said about 'right wing extremists' totally leaving out those on the left and seeming to implicate military veterans, gun owners, religious people, and those opposed to illegal immigration as prime candidates to become extremists, with her saying the 9/11 terrorists came into the USA from Canada, her stance on Work Site Enforcement investigations, her giving illegal aliens work permits, and the list goes on and on.

I get the feeling that many Americans are beginning to think it is amateur hour in our federal government lately, especially in the cases of political appointees selected by the president. As for me, well I'll keep my opinion on this one to myself, sort of job security by doing so.

Range Day

I spent last Friday at quarterly qualifications for my agency here in Tucson. To say that things are done differently than they are when I qualify at my home office in NY would be an understatement. I am not going to go into the specifics of how we differ at how the range is handled but I will say I was somewhat surprised at the amount of difference in techniques used by the instructors since we are a single agency with set rules and methods on how to run qualifications. Mind you now, I am not saying anything was done wrong - just different. We shot at a local sheriff's department range and I'll say man that was different too. Pretty spartan as far as police ranges go that I have visited before, but certainly up to the task.

As for me, I had a ball. I don't get to shoot on days as nice as was last Friday here in Tucson. Temps were in the 70s and there was a mild breeze at our backs. We had an outdoor class, then got right into qualifications. We shot in two shifts of about 10 people each shift, that keeping in line with the ratio of instructors to shooters. I was pretty happy with my shooting - well not so happy with my shooting the new Sig, but I guess I should not be too disappointed with a 246 out of 250. With the Glock 26 I shot somewhat better scoring 249 out of 250. The perfect score was just a bit too elusive for me that day. Only one other agent shot better than me getting a 250 on one of his quals, but let's just say he did not do so well on his other qual. I guess that had something to do with his shooting the wrong target that time around. He did a requal after that, but had a dismal but passing score on that.

I was very disappointed with my shotgun score first time around. I only got 4 out of 5; and my grouping of the 4 that were in was lousy. That can be attributed to a problem I was having racking the slide forward after each shot. It took a considerable second effort to get it to go forward. One of the instructors tried it and he too had the same problem and he is bigger and more muscular than me by far. That made me feel a little better because I am now certain it was the shotgun and not me. With me here on temporary duty I imagine it will not get sent in to our armorers until I return to my regular duty station. So I suppose that means a pool shotgun for me when out on operations. I may strip it down this weekend and try to figure out what is wrong with it, but I want to do so at a range and not i my hotel room since figuring out the problem will probably require trying to cycle live rounds though it. I kind of like my hotel walls intact and I'll bet the hotel management and other guests like em that way to.

If anyone else is having a similar problem with a Remington 870 while cycling 2 3/4" slugs through it, please let me know if you have found a solution.

All the best,
Glenn B