Monday, October 31, 2011

Choices.

I had the scratch for either a rear sight for my AR, or ammo.  I decided to wait until Friday when I get paid to buy both.  Hopefully some time early next week I'll be able to get on the range and then give a review and full parts list.  The list will be short since I cheated, but I'll give a full run down.

You don't want to vote (or shoot) your way out of this.

Robb Allen has a very thought provoking post up today.  Go read it if you haven't. 

For the most part, I tend to agree with him.  Where we disagree comes down to how much we each have to lose.  I have relatively little.  Robb has a lot.  I'm leaning more towards, "Fuck it, it's broken.  Let's take our chances by scrapping it and start over" without really being willing to start the party by myself.  Robb is of the mindset, in my opinion, of, "Well, it's not that bad.  Sure, there is a lot that could be better, but we're a hell of lot better off than most and why not enjoy all the wonderful things we have and be as happy as we can."*

Robb says we're not voting our way out of this.  He's right.  We are not going to get a person through the political process who has enough power to shrink the government and reintroduce individual responsibility at the cultural level.  We'd basically need a benevolent dictator, and we'd need that person to have absolute control in order to control and eventually dismantle the bureaucracy that runs this country.  First we'd have to find someone capable of it, and then we'd have to take the risk of giving that person all that power and hoping he or she didn't get either replaced with someone not so benevolent or that they didn't become an American Robert Mugabe.

He also says we're not shooting our way out of this.  I think he's wrong on the this count.  Dead wrong.  We could very easily shoot ourselves out of this.  In fact, shooting our way out of it would be a hell of a lot easier than trying to work within the stacked deck that is the American political process. 

The problem, however, is not getting out of it.  The problem is what we'll be in once we're out of it.  That is what most people are not willing to risk.  Most people "are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." 

Right now in the United States quality of life is so high, things are so good, pleasurable things are so damned easy to attain, that we're willing to put up with the violation of every single one of our rights,** especially when those violations are so light, and since we're so accustomed to a lot of them.***  The most brutal violations of rights, while generally highly visible, are largely ignored because we're willing to take the word of those in power that a few transfers or demotions are going to keep it from happening again even though we see evidence every day that this is not the case.  They're also largely ignored because the only effective response would be to kill those doing the violating, and in turn kill those who would retaliate in response to that.  I'd rather see them in prison, personally, but when the only people capable of putting them in prison are thinking, "Well, if I look the other way for him/her, he/she will look the other way for me," then that just isn't going to happen.

So, we put up with it.  We put up with it because the only other option left to us is a highly risky one that is just as likely (probably more than likely) to lead us into an even worse situation.  And when the chance that you, as an individual, will have your rights grossly violated is so small why would you risk making things worse?  Fact is, while the government grossly violates individual citizens' rights everyday, the population of the nation is so huge that, even though the vast majority of those who do the violating get away with it, we are not likely to be a victim of it.

And because the vast majority of those who do the violating do so often get away with (aside from the occasional sacrificial lamb here and there), we are vastly more inclined to ignore the violations when they happen to someone else.  When we are the victims of those violations ourselves, assuming we actually survive, we are generally so afraid of it happening again that we'll let it go with nothing but a lot of grumbling and maybe a lawsuit.****  We're allowed the grumbling and the lawsuit because it gives us the illusion of having a meaningful recourse to government abuse and because it gives legitimacy to the powers that be. 

I mean, hell, if this were a real police state they'd be beating us for talking out of line and they certainly wouldn't be giving us monetary restitution, right?  Ever wondered if maybe they're just smarter than your average tinpot dictator, and know that if they allow us this they can, quite literally, get away with murder?

I guess what I am trying to say here is that ultimately we are all of us just going along to get along.  We've got no real hope of getting anything better without taking a chance that will most likely leave things even worse.  And why complain when I've got internet (and free porn), a smart phone, plenty of food, Dish Network, and Netflix?  The odds of the government violating my rights in a spectacular enough fashion to have lasting consequences are far lower than me losing all of those things I listed in previous sentence if I were to choose to start shooting the bastards.

I'm content to go along to get along.  For now. 

*This is the more practical and safe course.  It's the best one if you have a family to protect.  And to be fair it's the one I'm following and will probably continue to follow all by my lonesome.  After all, it really isn't all that bad for most of us. 
**To avoid pointless digressions we'll define rights as Life, Liberty, and Property.  "I can't remember having to quarter any troops lately nyuk nyuk nyuk."
***I've always needed a license to carry a pistol.  So did my parents generation.  My grandparents were white, so they got to carry whether it was technically 'illegal' or not.  I say technically illegal because it boggles the mind how it can be illegal for a person to do something the Constitution clearly says they can do, but I digress.  I've also always had to put up with an officer being allowed to pat me down any damned time he wants because the powers that be say his safety is more important than mine.  I have to put up with unreasonable searches and seizure (I've experienced this first hand and it's certainly changed my view of the police from highly positive to mostly negative).  I have to pay rent, in the form of taxes, on property I supposedly own.  This list could go on and on. 
****That, if we win, will be paid for by the citizenry rather than the individuals responsible for the wrongs, so why would they care if they lose, right?  And talk is cheap.  People will forget as soon as the person in charge says, "We deeply regret what happened and those responsible have been punished."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fourth.

Bolt!

Technically I have a complete AR at this point.  It's perfectly capable of going , "bang!bang!"  Well, it would be if I had ammo.  The unveiling will come as soon as I pick up a rear sight.  Hopefully I can swing by the gun store today, and have some pics of it up in all it's glory Sunday or Monday. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

American Guns: FAIL

So Discovery Channel has a new gun show called American Guns.  I've watched a couple of episodes. 

It's...well...it's reality tv (in other words so scripted it hurts, but whatever).  I figure if there is more demand for this type of show, then great.  I think winning over the American Idol crowd to our side is a good thing in the long run for the whole renormalization of guns in everyday American society.

Anyway, I was watching last night and there is a deal going down for some guns.  One they talk about is the Thompson Sub-machine gun.  Everyone loves a Thompson. 

Then they did that little blurb in the corner of the screen to give  you more information about what they're talking about:


The Thompson was NOT the first handheld machine gun (using the definition of 'fires full auto' for 'machine gun').  Even if we look at just sub-machine guns it was not the first.  The BAR came before it (1917), and for sub-guns there is the Beretta 1918 (1918).

The Thompson was just getting the kinks worked out in 1917, while John Moses Browning already had a working model of the BAR being tested by the military.  Considering the Beretta went into service in 1918 I think it's fair too assume that it's design probably predates the Thompson (which went into service in 1919, too late for WWI).  

There is also the MP-18 which was designed in 1916 and went into production in 1918. 

Hey, Discovery?  I'm all for more gun programing, but could you at least pay attention to getting the technical details correct before throwing them out there?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stabby want.






Weer'd has a post up about CRKT knives.  I've never owned one, but everyone I know who has owned them loves them.  My friend picked up one of the above (not black, but tan), and I really liked it.

Most of my extra cash has been tied up in putting my AR together, but that's almost done so next paycheck I think I'll be picking that baby up.  If I can find it local I'll buy it local, if not I'll just order it direct from CRKT.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On The Range #56

Yesterday I made myself get outside and put a hundred rounds through the 1911.  It's been way to long since the last time I went shooting, and I needed it. 

I managed pretty well.  I did all of my shooting from around 7 yards and was hitting pretty well.  I did a lot of Mozambique drills using two different targets just to put some pressure on myself (I really need to invest in a shot timer), and I ran some sprints to get the blood and adrenaline flowing.  I didn't notice a perceptible change in my shooting.  I'll take that as a good sign.

I had one malfunction.  The slide locked back with a round still in the magazine.  It happened in the first twenty or so rounds and was not repeated.  Might have caused that one myself. 

I really like working with multiple targets.  I'm going to try and keep that up.  I've also got a bunch of empty two liter bottles I've saved up, and a half case of clays that I'm going to start using to give myself some reactive targets of various sizes/shapes.

Third.



This arrived yesterday.  I also got word that my bolt group should be shipping today.  Once that arrives I'll need a rear sight, which I should be able to pick up at the gun store any time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You should be dead.



One hopes that this fool has turned into a gun safety Nazi.  One also wonders that if he had managed to put the shot threw his own head would there have been anything inside to damage?

H/t The Firearm Blog

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quote of the Day: Pure Fucking Stupidity Edition

Glancing at the comments for a short article on 'Occupy Birmingham' I can across this one by someone going by Cyanlite, regarding a call for people to close accounts at big banks:

Waste of time. The Big Banks will just get bailed out again by the Tea Party with another round of TARP.

 The fail is strong with that one.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Interesting book.

I had some time to kill today as one of my customers decided being at home to have his satellite tv set up was just too much to ask, so I went to my new favorite (used) bookstore. 

I was browsing around the science fiction/fantasy section when I hit the Tolkien books.  I was tempted to pick up The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun (I'll be getting it eventually) when I saw a book called Tales Before Tolkien.  It's a collection of fantasy fiction that predates Tolkien's works, some of which were sure to have been influences on him.  I read the first story and I must admit I'm hooked. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

This one comes from Stingray of The Atomic Nerds:

I have come to the conclusion that “organic” is a Native American word for “costs four bucks more, sucker.”
Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

What's it got, Precious?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hornady Zombie Max.



Whether they actually do it, or it's just a clever marketing ploy, I really love Hornady for this!

H/t The Firearm Blog

Monday, October 10, 2011

Second.


I picked this up Saturday after work.  My last paycheck was quite nice so I paid off a credit card and decided I was either going to pick up a complete lower or that shotgun I mentioned before.  The lower was cheaper, and I wanted it more anyway.

Now, if DSA would just get around to shipping my bolt group assembly that I ordered last month....

Friday, October 7, 2011

October Gun Giveaways.

Courtesy of Aaron at the Weapon Blog.

Robert's Picks

Books:

The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien (excellent)

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) by Patrick Rothfuss (excellent)*

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (good)

Movies:

Samurai Trilogy 3:  Duel at Ganryu Island (very good)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (good)

Killers (good)

Splice

*Highly recommended

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Painful admission.

Unless I have a HUGE run of good luck, the next center fire pistol I purchase will be a Glock, either a G21 or G17, but probably the G17 because of the price of ammo.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

They've opened a second front in the West.

Today the Nerd Ranch suffered a vicious surprise attack by the Empire of Evil Stinging Insects.  It appears a new front has been opened in this long and painful war. 

However, I fear the insects are about to realize they've aroused the ire of an enemy that will not rest until the attackers are annihilated.  Unlike the small skirmishes I've faced for years here in the South, they've launched an all out invasion in the West.

The enemy has made a grave mistake.  Reconnaissance quickly located their base, and within hours a counter attack designed to bring about its complete destruction will be under way.

Oops, you blew it.

This could get very nasty for the administration. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

I didn't realize it could do that...

I admit I haven't really looked to closely at the newer aircraft the US military is trying to get into action.  I didn't realize the F-35* had a vertical landing capability.




*A quick search shows there are three variants, the one shown in the video has a short take off, vertical landing capability.  Cool stuff.