Friday, December 21, 2012

So Close

I actually thought I'd pulled it off.  There was a mass shooting here in the US and for about a week, I'd managed to get by with only cursory glances at the hysterical articles screaming for some sort of gun control.  I know from experience that these people haven't taken the time to form a reasoned opinion on such things, so I avoided them as best I could as all they do is raise my blood pressure.  So close.

But then there was a power outage at my company's data center and suddenly I'm stuck at work this morning with nothing to do but to surf the web.  Thankfully, one of my friends and coworker had the presence of mind to see the storm brewing and calmly told me to close IE before I stroke out.

Bearing that in mind, this will be my one and only response to all the hysterics driven by this latest atrocity:  Time and again, it's been proven that gun control not only doesn't work, it actually makes violent crimes like this worse.  By proposing more and increased gun control legislation, you're part of the problem not the solution.

Don't believe me?  Research it yourself.  I'd recommend The Smallest Minority over in the links as Kevin puts in a lot of time and effort on such things and tends to show his work.  But, whatever decision you come to, don't jump on the "do something" band wagon until you're certain the something you're doing doesn't make things worse.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bob Munden, Rest In Peace

Bob Munden, exhibition shooter and gunsmith, died of a heart attack yesterday.  I only got to know about him a couple of years ago when I started watching the show Impossible Shots, where his humor and skill with a pistol immediately made him a hit with me.

He will be missed.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Snark and You

Something that has been bugging me for some time is the tendency of writers in the gun culture to use snark in response to comments from anti-gun proponents. Specifically bloggers in the gun culture who seem to have taken snark to the level of art form. I've been guilty of using it myself. After thinking about it for a while, though, I've decided to make a conscious effort to avoid using it.

My thought process on the issue goes like this. I can think of two reasons why someone is anti-gun: 1) They actively want to deprive people of the ability to protect themselves for whatever reason; 2) They don't understand guns and therefore fear them. The first group knows exactly what they are doing and trying to dissuade them is pretty much an exercise in futility. The second group is a result of the decline of the gun culture in our country and is one that may possibly be brought to see reason. Snark, however, has a tendency to put people's backs up. By using snark in response to these people, we are quite likely driving away potential allies.

Just some food for thought...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Skimmer Trigger Review

I can't remember exactly where I was on the gun-centric portion of the internet when I ran across the first mention of the Skimmer Trigger (ST).  Where ever it was, it prompted a quick search and I promptly found the page for the ST.  I did a little digging and the gist I got from most posts seemed to be that while the claim of a "1911 trigger" fell well short in reality, it was a marked improvement on the stock Glock trigger (read: toy ray gun trigger).  Talked it over with friend Terry, who was the one who taught me pretty much everything I know about Glocks, and the only concern that we both thought merited consideration was the increased possibility of a negligent/series-of-unfortunate-events discharge.  As I'm usually one who thinks of safety as a mindset issue rather than a hardware issue, I decided to take a chance and drop the $160 for a gen 4 G17.  (Mandatory CYA: No, I didn't get any goods, services, or any other considerations from the vendor.  Paid for the parts myself, in full.)

Pulling the parts from their container was a bit of a surprise.  I knew the page mentioned the parts were polished to a mirror finish but I didn't actually expect to be able to see myself in the reflection!  Very nicely finished with no burrs on the edges that could be felt by touch.  Installation was very simple as the parts were all pre-assembled in the new block.  Just punch the pins far enough out to remove the old trigger and block and drop the new one in.  Not unexpectedly, I found that the posts praising the trigger while not buying the "1911 trigger" hype were spot-on.  The trigger has just the slightest bit of take-up before hitting the "wall" described in the ST page description.  And to my uncalibrated finger, it seems like the reset is just the slightest bit shorter, though that may just be due to me fully releasing the old style trigger.  Overall, I definitely find it more friendly than the stock Glock trigger.  I haven't had a chance to do much more than dry-firing of late (one 50-round range session with no malfs) so I can't realistically make any claims as to the reliability. I hope to be able to get some more trigger time in this holiday weekend.  If it continues to give good service, I will greatly anticipate the addition of a G20/21 sized kit to include in my preferred G20.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Breaking the Drought

Pardon me while I knock the top layer of dust off the old blog here...

Caught this YouTube video from a link over at The Smallest Minority that I think is worth your time.  Warning: It's an hour and a half long and you don't want to break the train of thought he's putting together so make sure you have the time to devote to this.  Also, Bill winds up using a few choice words there near the end when he starts getting emotional, just so you know.

I watched this through once and I think I may have to watch it through again before I can make up my mind as to whether this is something that I can get behind.  My first reaction, part-way through the piece where Bill is putting forward the idea of basically crowd-sourcing (as a more appropriate term eludes me) the funding for private spaceflight, was overwhelmingly positive.  One of my dreams is to see humans living on self-sustaining, off-Earth colonies in my lifetime.  While the time frame on that may be more of a pipe dream, I know that it will never happen if left up to our government.  Bill was spot-on with that.

However, as he further laid out what his overarching idea was, I couldn't help but feel that this is unreasonable optimism in the face of experience.  His basic premise seems to be to give up the fight to retake government and instead to ignore it aside from making certain all the laws and regulations it puts out are followed religiously.  I can't help but think that he's ignoring previous experience in this call to action.  The government has for years put more, and more restrictive, laws on the books.  By ignoring government, you're giving them the perfect opportunity to make exactly the things you're trying to do illegal.  Doesn't matter if it's nonsensical for these things to be illegal.  There's already too many nonsensical laws on the books to count.  A few more aren't going to make any heads turn with the "normal" people.  And I'm honestly afraid that's how most of the voting public would view this - as a small minority of nutjob malcontents who shouldn't be mixing with "normal" society anyway.  Who really cares if a few wackos are put in jail, amiright?

I think this way because that's exactly the kind of demonization that happened in the '80s and '90s to gun owners.  It's what got us the FOPA and the AWB.  These laws were and are horrible pieces of legislation that were passed with exactly the attitude described above by "normal" people who didn't really know what they did or why they were bad laws.  It was only the political backlash from the AWB that led to the Democrats losing control of congress that allowed us to let the AWB sunset (thank goodness that provision was in there, 'cause when was the last time congress repealed anything?).  We still haven't recovered ground from the FOPA.  Ignoring the issues wouldn't have gotten us any ground back and without active political resistance we'd probably be worse off than we are now.  Seriously, when it comes to politics if you're not advancing, you're losing ground.

On the other hand, Bill himself said the details are still in flux.  It's up to us to determine how this idea unfolds.  And I've still got just enough of a spark of optimism left in me to want to give this a shot  While I gave up on my government a while ago, I'm not yet ready to give up on my country.  I'm gonna watch the video again and then let the whole thing percolate for a while...