175 years ago today: The Battle of the Alamo Began

Well, the Last Battle of the Alamo actually.  From Alamo.org:

In December 1835, Ben Milam led Texian and Tejano volunteers against Mexican troops quartered in the city. After five days of house-to-house fighting, they forced General Martín Perfecto de Cós and his soldiers to surrender. The victorious volunteers then occupied the Alamo — already fortified prior to the battle by Cós’ men — and strengthened its defenses.

On February 23, 1836, the arrival of General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s army outside San Antonio nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the Texians and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo together. The defenders held out for 13 days against Santa Anna’s army.

The Texas Shrine of Liberty: The Alamo

Remember the Alamo.

Sky Net Update: Nano Hummingbird

via Drudge: Robot Hummingbird Passes Flight Test. (click link for full article with video)

AeroVironment developed the spybot using parameters and funding ($4M!) provided by DARPA.  Using only two wings, it can take off, fly, hover and land in a fashion simulating the flight of a real hummingbird while a providing real time video feed.

Aww Come ON!  We are going to have to defend against weaponized hummingbirds now?!

Defending Texas from Californication

In the 80’s there was the great Yankee Migration that led to the foundation of the Great Wall of Texas Society (to be built along the Red River).  The GWoTS didn’t build a wall but they did sell a few collectible bricks and hold some darn fine BBQ’s.  At that time a couple of popular bumper stickers were “We Don’t Care How You Did It Up North!” and “Welcome to Texas – Now Go Back”.

Now we have another influx of folks coming to Texas for the jobs, low taxes, etc. only this time they are often from the People’s Republik of Kalifornia.   Which again serves to illustrate that Liberals are like locusts.   They lay waste to a land of plenty and then move on to the next place of bounty and do the same thing.  Having thoroughly screwed up the West Coast, they come here seeking prosperity only to complain that here isn’t like where they came from.  For the sake of clarity: If you come here because you like it here – Welcome!  If you don’t like it here – Go Back!

On this topic Matt G has posted a piece at his blog, Better and Better, titled Pardon Me While I Get A Little Defensive for Our State.  For this right and proper show of Texas Pride he has earned a link on the right column.

Also, those of a like mind may appreciate this song.


These are good times.

Smallest Minority has a very good piece up about re-normalizing the gun culture.  I highly suggest you read it.

Part of the article addresses the new Discovery Channel show Sons of Guns and the portrayal of guns and gun owners within that show.  That spurred me to action and I sent this letter to the producers of the show:

I am very glad to see positive use of firearms on mainstream TV channels; thank you for making this show possible.  The thing I wanted to address are the potential pitfalls of ‘minimizing’ the ATF regulations regarding Type II firearms (short barrel shotguns, suppressors, full auto, etc.)  I realize the show is for general consumption and has to be palatable for every viewer. Furthermore, I know one episode does show a purchaser being turned away for not having the proper paperwork.  I don’t mean to bog the show down with showing boring regulations but the simple change from the opening disclaimer of “Don’t try this at home” to “Certain guns shown in this program require specific federal paperwork to possess; owning them or making them without the appropriate license is a felony.” would help to protect the viewers of the show from running afoul of federal regulations.  It may also serve as a liability buffer for the producers and disarm any anti-gun arguments that may use the show to distort the availability of such ‘exotic’ firearms.  Thank you very much for your time; keep up the good work.

Maybe they will think about it.  I like the show for what it is: entertainment. On one level it may even serve to demystify some of the more unusual firearms by showing that they are actually a lot of fun to shoot.  It’s a darn sight better than a lot of ‘build shows’ (choppers, houses, junk re-purposing, etc.) and hasn’t any contrived interpersonal conflicts (so far).  The folks on the show are people I actually wouldn’t mind meeting someday.  [Note to producers: PLEASE don’t wreck the show.]

With regard to firearms, we are living in good times.  Overall firearm quality and selection is better than ever.  Great gains have been made with such landmark legal decisions as the Heller and McDonald cases.  Anti-rights organizations such as the Brady Campaign and other similar groups [MSNBC?, CNN? :grin:] have lost members, funding and influence.  Shall issue concealed carry has advanced so much in the last 20 years as to be commonplace in most of the United States.  Multiple firearm oriented programs (not just hunting shows) are on television.  On Sundays you can listen to the nationwide broadcast of Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio program (or podcast it free anytime).  In Houston, talk radio stations play commercials for Cheaper Than Dirt, Crimson Trace lasers, gun shows  and indoor shooting ranges.  Even the city’s own traffic billboards inform drivers on how to get to the larger gun shows.  (I meant to get a picture of that last weekend.)

All of this is to say that these are indeed good times.  If we stay the path of vigilance and education with regard to our Second Amendment rights while promoting the safe enjoyment of the shooting sports and remain active in the legislative process, things will only get better.

Blatant Logos on Gun Parts: Not my fave

After competing in several shooting sports over the last twenty years, I’ve come to look at most factory original guns as ‘preassembled kits’  [carry guns, not always withstanding].   I’m no stranger to ‘modding’ guns: Trigger and action work, ergonomic improvements, better sights, etc. all are useful upgrades.  The staggering selection of aftermarket parts we have today is a wonderful thing.  With the increase in popularity of modular firearms such as the 10/22 and AR-15 platform [the Mr. Potato Head Firearms] the selection of parts continues to grow.

I understand that branding is an important marketing tool that builds recognition for a company.  A company’s recognition should be based on performance, innovation, value and service.  Companies that excel in those areas benefit from unique labeling in that the brand becomes associated with the label.  However, I don’t care for blatant logos or labeling visible on the exterior of guns or gun parts.   No matter how good the product.

Examples of quality products that I am less likely to purchase because of blatant labeling:  Bravo Company Bolt Carrier, R&R Target Mag Well & Forend

I realize that product labeling does help, and even protect, the consumer by identifying the manufacturer of the parts purchased.  However, I am not being paid by these companies so if I choose to equip a firearm with their parts it won’t be to advertise for them.  I don’t mind if  a useful product has laser engraving down its entire length if it’s hidden from exterior view, such as on the the excellent Gunfighter Charging Handle.  My focus is more towards function than fashion.  If I can find another product of equal quality and function I’ll choose the one without the billboard on it.

There are many good car / firearm analogies – the applicable one here would be the Stunner versus Sleeper mindsets.  Stunners are to something to look at and may have performance to back up the looks.  Sleepers keep people guessing until the owner chooses to demonstrate its capabilities.  So, are you the type that wants people to know what parts are in and on your ‘ride’ or  are do you prefer the ‘Greyman’ approach?