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Oklahoma Twister: Please Donate to Relief Fund

The news regarding just how devastating the Oklahoma tornado damage is just keeps getting worse.

Please donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund

If you know someone looking for a relative there, check the Red Cross Safe and Well registry.

BOLO [Reward]: Stolen Plate Carrier, Ammo, FAKs (Houston)

Today I present a request (and cautionary tale) to the internets on behalf of a friend.  For those of you in the Houston area please Be On the Look Out (BOLO) for a plate carrier and kit that was stolen from my buddy’s car about two weeks ago on April 23rd, 2013.  [He only recently told me.]  I realize that the recovery of it an extreme long shot but I wanted to do something to help and maybe something positive will come of it.

Here’s the list of gear taken:


  • 180 rounds of 5.56x45mm Federal 62 gr Green Tip Penetrator (loaded in P-mags; 6 x 30)
  • (10) 20 boxes of 5.56x45mm Federal American Eagle
  • (3) 50 rd boxes of Winchester ‘white box’ .45 ACP
  • (5) 20 rd boxes of Remington .22-250
  • (3) 50 rd boxes of CCI Blazer 9mm


  • (1) Chinook Medic Kit (TMK-KE) Multicam – completely stocked
  • (1) Chinook Individual Operator Kit (TMK-IO) Multicam – completely stocked
  • Additional Celox gauze, packs and injector

All of this was in his car but not visible from the outside; the car was parked on the street near his residence in the Midtown/Museum District of Houston, Texas.  The items were actually in a cardboard box with clothes piled on top of it.  There were no overt signs of forced entry (no broken windows) and the car was locked prior to the theft.  The police believe specialized tools (slim jim?) were used to gain entry.  The car is not a luxury model, it does not have any expensive mods or options and is as mundane as any other.  It does did have a single sticker on the back, though.  A basic NRA membership sticker.

The thieves realizing their windfall, returned about 1 week later and gained entry to his wife’s car hoping for another score.

Hindsight being what it is, the take-away of this tale is to Respect the Gray.

  1. Don’t Advertise – even a small identifier such as a sticker can mark you for theft or attack.
  2. Secure your kit – concealment is not enough; car locks are not secure.

I’ve been thinking of ways to secure gear in a car and if you choose to store it there, my recommendation would be a Pelican or similar rugged case to contain the gear.  Preferable the case should be in the trunk (if your car has one) locked with Abloy padlocks and tethered with hardened steel security chain to an anchor attached to the frame.  Some vehicles with removable seats have convenient anchors already.

I can’t offer much but I am personally offering a reward of (2) bricks [1000 rounds] of precious .22 long rifle ammunition* for information leading to the return of the above items; If you can help please send an email to Projectilist AT Gmail

Thank you.

(*and the satisfaction and peace of mind of having helped your fellow man)

In the Land of Empty 5.56’s…

..the man with a .30-06 is king.

In my recent trips to the local purveyors of ballistic consumables, the .30-06 seems to be one of the few cartridges that are reliably in stock.  Apparently, it’s common enough to have been produced in sufficient quantities before the panic to have a plentiful back stock but not quite popular enough to have too many people trying to hoard it.*

A year ago, I had separate conversations with two friends about a more efficient approach to preparedness.  In each case I heard them say that keeping up with multiple types of ammunition wasn’t practical and that they were considering standardizing their firearms in the most common calibers: .22LR, 9mm, .45ACP, 5.56 / .223, .308 and 12 gauge.  The theory being that these cartridges would also be the most plentiful and therefore easiest to obtain in times of emergency. **

Now that seems laughable but at the time, that made fairly good sense.  However, in those conversations I would invariably play the smart aleck and say something like, “Or you could take the opposite approach and get one of everything.  That way, when TEOTWAWKI happens and all you can find is a single box of 6.5 Swede, you’ll still be able to kick ass.”

I confess to having a slight affinity towards the packrat lifestyle [I’m not a hoarder; all my stuff might be useful someday].  Perhaps my comments to friends were a way to justify my own predilection towards ammo diversification.  Last year when I was trying to budget for a new optic, I briefly considered selling my Charter Arms Bulldog to partly fund the purchase.  I didn’t because I’ve watched, and at times participated in, the great buying panics of pre and post AWB 1994, Y2K, the primer expiration date scare, the powder taggant scare, the ‘legislate the gun industry out of business scare’, and the elections of 2008, and 2012.  Looking at the old .44 Special snubby I thought, “No. If it comes down to it, I can always use my Cowboy Action handloads (to feed it).”

In late 2008, thinking that my Glock 17 gen 2 was too big for carry, I decided I needed to add a Glock 23 gen 3 to my battery. News of Glock’s gen 4 models was coming out and the early reports were not stellar.  Compounding that, the first BHO buying rush was in full swing and, like today, most Glock models were very scarce.  I happened across a lonely Glock 32 (.357 Sig) for $399 NIB and snapped it up.  I ordered a KKM .40 S&W barrel for $165 and for about the price of the gun I originally wanted, I now had a swap-caliber pistol.  Because I had it, I shot .357 Sig ammo and learned that I actually like everything about the cartridge except it’s cost and I also learned that the .40 S&W isn’t have-all-end-all I thought it would be.   Much like today, Glock 19’s were nowhere to be found but neither was 9mm ammo.  .357 Sig ammunition was expensive but available and that let me keep shooting.  Fast forward to today, there is still ammo out there to use it just may not your preferred flavor.  And that is the crux of the matter: You must keep shooting.  Shooting skills are perishable, so even if it’s expensive, has a limited round count or even if it’s with an Airsoft replica, we all need to make the effort to stay on our game.  You want might use Tiger McKee’s advice on how to structure a 50 round practice session.  If you need further support, Alan might be starting up a self-help group for you.

Finally [and I will keep beating this drum], don’t accept that this is the new norm: Keep fighting it!  Let this be the line in the sand.  Join the NRA.  Write your reps and call them.  Tell them, “No new gun laws: Not Assault Weapon Bans, Not magazine limits, Not the ‘universal background check’ (national registry, end to private sales).”  Tell them we will not be scapegoated for the actions of a murderer and that we are watching: “Work with us or we will work to retire you”.  Renew your commitment to do this each week for at least the next 8 weeks.

Together we can push back the current gun ban efforts and eventually return to the good ole days when the hard choice was which hand guard to put on your AR-15.

*Or there is a comment to be made that it is available only because folks don’t think .30-06 is in high demand.

** This is apart from the ‘systems approach’ consideration of functional similarity. (i.e if you prefer pump actions, have multiple  pump actions. The thinking is that if you prefer striker fired pistols without external safeties, stay with those to avoid having to negotiate different mechanisms and manuals of arms under stress.)

Close the Executive Order Loophole! (Oppose ‘Universal Background Checks’)

I’m heading out to the deep water today folks, but bear with me.

The new propaganda term for ending private gun sales is ‘universal background checks‘.  They used to call it the ‘gun show loophole‘.  As others have said before, a loophole is just a law someone doesn’t like.

The first gun I truly owned was a Remington 1100LT 20 gauge, given to me by my father on Christmas day when I was 18.  It was wrapped and under the tree waiting for me to open it.  Ending private firearm transfers means that you would not be able do the same for your child.  Instead you would have to take them to a licensed gun dealer, have them fill out a form 4473 and undergo a FBI background check, and pay the dealer for logging the firearm in the ‘bound book’ and for the transfer ‘service’ before the new owner could have the gun.  Want to give a gun to a friend for self-defense from a crazy ex?  Go to the dealer.  Same for inheriting Grandpa’s old duck gun.  If your family has a collection of guns, each one would require a different form and fee.  It would require government approval and recording of the transfer or disposition of your private property that you have a constitutionally recognized right to own.  The same items you could order through the mail prior to 1968.

Gun dealers are required to keep each of those form 4473’s for 20 years or until they go out of business, at which point the dealer’s records (all 4473’s and the Bound Book, detailing every transfer with description, serial number and customer information is sent to the BATFE) .  Each Federal Firearms License (FFL) is only good for 3 years before it has to be renewed.  Leading up to 1994, the total number of gun dealers in the United States was about 250,000.  Many of them were part-time sellers supplementing their regular income but did not have retail store fronts.  In 1994, the licensing requirements were changed and made more stringent.  Fingerprint cards, photographs, a store front, new storage requirements, minimum annual/quarterly sales requirements and annual inspections all became required and the fees went from $35 for the initial application to $200.  Because of these barriers to establishing and operating a business, the number of FFL holders is now about 50,000; an 80% drop!

Potentially every single one of those dealer records of previous firearm transactions as well as those from any current dealer that goes out of business are or will be part of the database the ATF operates as eTrace which includes (according to Wikipedia)

  • Dealer, Importer, and Manufacturer computer, paper or microfilm “Bound Book” Out-of-Business records (including digital files required by ATF Ruling 2008-2),[5]

  • Dealer “Bound Book” records (computer and/or paper) copied or photographed by ATF during annual inspections.

  • ATF Form 4473 from dealers copied or photographed during annual inspections and in Out-of-Business records.[5]

  • Multiple Firearm Sales reports (ATF F 3310.4)[5]

  • Dealer “Bound Books” over 20 years old voluntarily sent in to ATF.[5]

  • Certain firearms dealers are required by ATF to report certain used firearms transaction to ATF for entry into the Firearms Tracing System.

  • ATF has imposed a requirement (pilot project) to report all dealer multiple sales (2 or more) of all semi-auto rifles with a detachable magazine greater than .22 caliber. (Currently restricted to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas – border states with Mexico).[15]

So, the question is: What if the ATF make the requirements more stringent again or (worst case) finds ways to not renew licenses at all?  All records would be added to the database.  There are reports of the ATF already copying records of current FFL’s too. Now they will tell you that this database is not registration, it is only for solving crimes.  Well, what if it becomes a crime to own a particular weapon?

This: Registration leads to confiscation. Every. Time.  It’s happened here already.

So while we rally and are calling, writing and emailing our representatives and are joining the NRA in record numbers to oppose any new gun control,  VP Biden says that the Obama Administration is exploring executive orders to ‘combat gun violence.  That’s weasel-speak for “Screw Congress; you peasants will get gun control whether you like it or not.”

Well, I think it’s high time we end the ‘Executive Order Loophole’.

Use This: Pro-gun Letter Writing Cheat Sheet

Here’s a quick list of points you may want to consider using when you write your representatives urging them to oppose gun control.  Please do not copy verbatim; please do personalize with your own words.  I would not recommend using them all at once; letters tend to be more effective when shorter and succinct.  Instead, write multiple letters!  Actual mailed letters garner more attention than phone calls or emails (although you should call and email too).

Update: Tom Gresham points out [via his podcast] that snail mail may take as long as 3 weeks to reach the intended congressman or senator due to added security added after the anthrax scares.  The meetings and decisions of this issue are being made now.  Post cards may get through quickly but to be sure, call and email too.  Mr Gresham is also requesting we all pledge to write, call and email each of our three reps once a week for the next 8 weeks.  By then we should have a better idea of how this will shake out.

  • Law passed during high emotion is bad law.  Do not pass a law for the sole appearance of ‘doing something’.  The facts are on the side of individual liberty.
  • Existing laws do not stop killers and none of the proposed laws in the wake of the Newtown shooting would have stopped the shooter.  He killed his mother [illegal] and stole her guns [illegal and bypassed access restrictions] took them within the 1000 ft ‘no gun’ zone of a school [illegal], forced his way into the school [illegal] and committed multiple acts of murder [illegal].  Will you make it ‘more illegal’ to do so?
  • The term “Assault Weapon” is a propaganda tool to demonize the most common semi-auto firearms in use today.  Apparently some think that ‘looking scary’ is reason enough to eliminate the rights of the people.  Dianne Feinstein even admits to using a picture book to determine what features should be banned
  • We tried an ‘Assault Weapon’ ban before.  When it was passed, crime didn’t decrease; when it expired, crime didn’t increase.
  • During the previous AWB, the (anti-gun) CDC released a report that gun laws do not reduce crime, stating “The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.”
  • If restrictive gun laws worked, why do Chicago and Washington DC have the highest violent crime rates?
  • Blame the murderer not the tool.  Millions of law abiding citizens are not responsible.  Laws restricting citizens’ access to efficient defense tools are absurd and offensive.
  • Semi-auto firearms are by far the most common firearms.  They have been around for over a century.  They are commonly used for hunting; Teddy Roosevelt hunted with one.  [P.S. – the 2nd Amendment is not about hunting.]
  • Predators often operate in packs. Standard capacity (a.k.a high capacity) magazines protect an individual from multiple assailants.  Not all shots fired under stress hit; single hits rarely incapacitate. [police defensive use stats show they only connect about half the time].   If a home invasion involves 3 attackers and each attacker takes 3 hits to stop, assuming a 50% hit ratio, that’s 18 shots fired in order to successfully defend oneself.
  • If you allow the opposition to define a ‘bad’ number of rounds a firearm may hold (i.e. 30 rounds is ‘bad’), you also grant them the power to change that number at any time afterward (‘anything more than zero’) because you have validated their ability to define the term.  Furthermore, what other Rights would they require a demonstrated need for before you could exercise them?
  • The push for licensed concealed carry in Texas began in part to a mass shooting (Killeen Luby’s).  Our response was to arm ourselves against predators not create more victims.  And violent crime went down.
  • “Gun Free Zones” only create “Victim Disarmament Zones”.  The Aurora movie theater murderer drove past several other theaters showing the same movie, choosing to go to the only theater with ‘No guns’ signs.  If the legal punishment for committing (multiple) homicide isn’t enough to deter a criminal, why would a sign that says “Gun Free Zone”.
  • If ‘Gun Free Zones’ work why don’t President Obama, Michael Moore, Michael Bloomberg, and others disband their armed security details?
  • President Obama and David Gregory both say they don’t recommend guns in schools yet send their children to a school with armed security.  About a third of schools in the US already have armed security.  A Sheriff’s Deputy was present at Columbine and he engaged and hindered the killers, preventing more death from occurring.  Having trained personnel (whether police, security guards school administrators and teachers, or regular citizens) on site with access to secured firearms serves to prevent mass murder attempts and greatly reduces response time needed to end them.
  • When mass shootings are stopped Armed Citizens save lives and reduce casualties by 84% compared to waiting for 911 responders.

Your assignment is to have a letter to each of your Senators and Representative in the mail tomorrow.  Obama is pressing to pass something by the end of the month.  Furthermore there may be a ‘stealth scheme‘ to undermine our rights more quickly.   Don’t waste time; get to work!

Find your Senator

Find your Representative

And JOIN the NRA (warts and all) and the SAF.  Sign up your family members and friends.  If you’re not a member you are dead weight in the wagon the rest of us are having to drag uphill.

Enough of the Pity Party; Time to Cowboy Up!

I admit that last night I felt pretty low.  I asked myself if finally those who vote for a living outnumber those who work for a living in this country.  My gut felt sour and I didn’t sleep well.

This morning however, I’ve been building up a slow burn.  I began thinking of my lineage; of forefathers that fought wars for me and mine, of ancestors that overcame oppression, cast down dictators and created a Republic.  Rather than lament a bleak future for the children of today, I recalled that one of my grandfathers left school in the 4th grade to provide for his family during the Great Depression and afterward never stopped working hard (as a soldier, a laborer, and as a machinist) every day for the rest of his life to improve his station in life.  My other grandfather left the farm to fight in World War II and then came back and while still caring for his young family put himself through medical school working as many side jobs as he could.  Both men raised families saved wisely, retired debt free and left the world better for their own.  I remembered that people from all over the world still want to come here for the opportunity to prosper and that having the fortune to be born here puts me in the top 1% of the world’s most affluent. We have the resources to combat those who would force our country farther to the left.  We have to duty to resist.

This is not the time to panic, give up, whine or pity ourselves.  My forefathers wouldn’t have and I won’t shame their memory by doing so.  We have the finest birthright in the world and now is the time to earn it!

I know the Great Gun Buying Frenzy of 2012 just kicked off this morning, but before you spend another $100 bucks on ammo, mags and other items to stash away how about the first thing you do is take that first C-note to either join or renew your NRA membership?  One year is only $25.  Then sign up your family members.  Hell, sign up your dog too.  After that join your state’s pro-firearm association.  There is strength in numbers and we need as many as we can get now for the fight ahead.  That’s not all that will be required of you but it’s something you can do today.

Nothing is over and I’m not quitting.  Pledge your service, get your head right and Cowboy Up!

It’s About the Next 40 years, Not the Next 4

Get out and vote!  Vote straight ticket Republican and take a friend, coworker, neighbor or anybody else that will also vote straight ticket Republican.  Straight ticket because we need the House and the Senate to overturn the damage that has already been done. Furthermore even if the local dogcatcher has a ‘D’ after their name, it’s an acknowledgement that they accept the leadership and policies of Obama (and Pelosi, and Reid, and Holder, and Schumer, etc.) and I don’t want any of my local government supporting and tax money paying for that.

For those that don’t think Obama has done anything to restrict your firearm rights, think again.  GunBanObama.com has the extensive list of anti-gun actions he has already committed.

Remember also his comment to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, “After my election I have more flexibility.”  A tacit admission that without the fear of having to be elected again, the brakes would be competely off for the next term for any and all regulation and restrictions he seeks to impose.

And that brings me to the title of this article.  All federal judges, not just those on the Supreme Court, are appointed for life.  Obama has already attempted to stack the deck against our Second Amendment by the appointments he has already made.  All appointments [hundreds] made during the next four years will impact our Rights for the next 40.

We the People won the Heller and McDonald cases by one vote.  Our natural rights were affirmed by one person deciding in our favor in both cases in a 5 to 4 decision.  The next President may have as many as three Supreme Court appointments.  Just imagine another three Kagans, Sotomayers or Holders.  Beyond that, only an infintesimal percentage of cases make it to the SCOTUS, almost all decisions from the lower courts stand.  Another four years means going from having the deck stacked against us to not even having a seat at the table.  To use another metaphor: Obama will salt the Earth against your gun rights.

Look, I realize that we rarely ever get a choice between good and better;  it’s often a choice between bad and worse.  However, the way to fix a party is from within it; look at the influence the Tea Party movement has had so far.  Yes, Mitt Romney did sign “Assault Weapons” legislation, but that law was endorsed by gun owners and served as a ‘fix’ for already existing law.  Mitt’s not the ideal candidate (and since I’m not running, no one is) but he’s better than the alternative.  I understand the urge to vote for Gary Johnson or Ron Paul, but I also remember that in 1992, thanks to Ross Perot, we wound up with eight years of Bill Clinton, who won his first term with only 43% of the overall vote.  And Clinton gave us the ’94 Assault Weapons (i.e. semi-automatic) Ban.  That one had a 10 year sunset; Obama’s won’t.  Do you remember folks paying $120 for a single full-capacity Glock 17 magazine?  I do.

These thoughts are why this superb piece by Bill Whittle resonates so strongly with me:

So if you haven’t done so already, please go vote today.  Vote for Mitt Romney and every other Republican you can.  And for Heaven’s sake don’t let the mainstream media outlets discourage you from voting.  They will try and call states early for the Democrats in hope of convincing later voters to stay home.  If you are in the line to vote when the polls close you still get to cast your ballot.  Your vote matters and we have to win by a larger margin than they can cheat.


Starbucks Appreciation Day – Buy Coffee, Say “Thanks”

Today (2/14/12) the pro-gun blogging community encourages you to support the ‘buycott’ (opposite of boycott) of Starbucks coffee.

Long story short: California open carry advocates legally carried handguns into a Starbucks last year which upset the anti-gunners.  The Brady Campaign started a petition to convince businesses to ban guns in their stores.  While some other corporations capitulated, Starbucks chose to not alienate part of their customer base stating, in essence, in the states where it is legal to carry a firearm, Starbucks does not make policy to discriminate against people that follow the law.  The anti-gunners were then even more upset that Starbucks did not cave to their demands and announced a boycott scheduled for today, Valentine’s Day 2012.

NGVAC, the group calling for the boycott claims 14 million people in their ‘network’ but only had (as of 1/29) 132 people attending.  They have since hidden the number attending out of shame.  While on the other hand the grass roots only ‘Starbucks Appreciation Day’ Facebook page currently has over 22,500 people listed as attending.

To be clear, Starbucks have not said that they are pro-gun.  However, they have rebuked the efforts of the civilian disarmament / anti-civil rights activists to force them into social activism and released a statement saying:

“Starbucks does not have a corporate policy regarding customers and weapons; we defer to federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding this issue.”

For that we thank them and show our appreciation today and will continue to do so for as long as that stance remains.

Helpful tips for showing appreciation:

  • Be polite and friendly. Smile.
  • Do state why today’s purchase is important to you.
  • If possible, ask for a manager on duty and thank them for the company’s stance.
  • Do not make this a wide-eyed, convert-the-masses sermon on the evils of Liberalism, Anti-gunners, etc.  We are making friends here.
  • If someone asks if you are carrying a (concealed) firearm just smile and reply with something like, “That’s what great about concealed carry, folks just don’t know.” or “I’m just here to buy coffee.”
  • Thank them again and tip your barista.
  • Contact Starbucks corporate and thank them directly

[h/t and thanks to Sebastian, Joe Huffman, SayUncle, DOOT, Tom, and all those that helped move this forward]

Update: I have since gone to two separate Starbucks and received positive feedback from the employees.  Each time, I had with me an abbreviated print version of this posting (I did not include the Helpful Tips section) so that they could have a brief explanation of why we are supporting them.  At one location the conversation went like this:

Me: Did you you know today is Starbucks Appreciation Day?

Barista [slightly puzzled]: No…

Me [handing him the print out]: Yeah, I found this on the internet and wanted to show my support and say “Thanks.”

Barista [after a quick scan]: So you’re here to spend money because another group called for a boycott?

Me: Well, yes.  There’s tens of thousands of people doing the same today.

Barista: That’s awesome!  Can I keep this [paper] to show my manager?

Me: Absolutely, that’s why I brought it.

Barista: Cool! [offers high five]

Me: *high five*

Tom Gresham’s Operation Mag Drop

A few years ago on Gun Talk, Tom Gresham announced the Operation Mag Drop campaign.  Essentially, whenever you go to a place that has a ‘reception area’ where people wait (doctors’ offices, airport lobby, hospital, etc.) you bring along a few gun magazines to leave behind.  The idea being that by appealing to people’s curiosity and offering an alternative to the usual reading fare we re-normalize gun culture and might even be able to counter anti-gun rhetoric found in other media.  In doing so, we hopefully reach people that otherwise wouldn’t hear our side of the story.

Granted, the likelihood of a magazine causing an instant pro-gun epiphany in a dentist’s waiting room is slim but if it at least causes someone to question the credibility of something like the “90% Lie” next time they hear it (plenty of folks still have no idea about Project Gunwalker), the purpose has been served.  Plus the overall positive portrayal of firearms helps in itself and you can say you’re saving the planet by keeping all that paper out of a landfill.

The reason I bring it up is because of the jury duty I served earlier this week.  I spent pretty much all of Monday in a jury assembly room.  Six and a half hours to be exact; simply waiting to be called.  We were greeted, thanked for our service, watched a 10 minute orientation film and then sat in silence.  There were several magazine racks already there with reading material, mostly fashion and Hollywood reporting magazines.  I felt prepared with a netbook, magazines and my smartphone but most people didn’t bring anything with them to occupy the time.  The courthouse did have open WiFi but only a couple out of the group had computers and many (Android) smartphones have short battery life when used frequently.  Even then the WiFi signal quit sometime after lunch.  It was a perfect setting for Operation Mag Drop.  During breaks, I seeded the magazine racks with some recent issues of Guns, American Rifleman and America’s First Freedom.  [I do trim off the address labels].  I would also recommend American Handgunner and other such broad spectrum gun magazines that show sporting use* of firearms.  I’ll leave it up to you as to whether to leave behind a Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement, S.W.A.T. or Soldier of Fortune magazine.  Those may not be the best for winning hearts and minds but I’ll still be thankful for them if I wind up in a waiting room where the only other choices are Redbook, Newsweek or Highlights.

[*Yes; not about duck hunting. Got it.]

Texas Legislative Update: 5/12/11

Aaron brings it:

Legislative Update

Action Alert for Open Carry (Act today!)