A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, September 30, 2005

Drunks with Guns

At what point does black humor, dry wit, and a devil may care attitude affect gun owners at large? This photo will no doubt spawn debate on whether it harms gun owners. Click to enlargeWhere do you stand?

If you are going to put up a sign to deter looters, "Drunks with Guns" just might be the ticket. I'm pretty sure these fellows are not trying to impress Sarah Brady. It appears to me they are policing their neighborhood, and they took time out for a group photo. Yeah, "Drunks with Guns, You loot We shoot" might have been pushing the envelope, but if it keeps just one of these men from having to pull the trigger because a looter turned around and left, then what is the problem? Thank God New Orleans and the surrounding areas still have men who will band together to make such a statement in the face of recent events. You don't expect them to drink the water do ya?

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Joe Dawg

I went out looking for a concrete statue of a dog this morning. I had seen this particular one before, and now I needed it for Chester's grave. It actually looks like a Golden Retriever, is about three feet tall, and sits very much like he did. I figured I could always go out and place my hand on it's head, and my daughter could hug it's neck. I could not find the one I wanted, nothing but cold concrete Whippets and malformed Cocker Spaniels with baskets in their mouths were available.

A voice kept telling me "Go to the Pound." I kept thinking no, it's too early. Finally, when I failed to find the proper statue for Chester, I followed that voice to the pound. They had four times their normal capacity due to Hurricaine Katrina. The Dog Catchers (we still call them that here, not "Animal Control Officers") were loading over a hundred dogs in crates onto a long horse trailer to make a trek to Idaho. Several kennels were labeled with notecards reading Idaho.

I walked down the aisles looking, while one worker was telling me they were expecting another wave of dogs this afternoon, and had to make room. A humongous chihuahua looking dog with huge independent ears was trying to get my attention. Then I noticed an empty kennel labeled Corgi with an Idaho tag. Another worker had a blonde furball hiding between his leg and a chain link barrier of the kennel. I knelt down and asked "Is this one going to Idaho?"

With a little "golden nudge", I got my answer. "Not if you can help it Bud....." In a trance, I went to my Jeep and got Chester's leash, and intercepted him on his way to the trailer. He gave me another golden nudge and said "Hi Bud, I'm Joe Dog." I knew what he meant though. He meant "Your Dog", after all, he's from the Big Easy......... Still, he was dubbed Joe Dog. I paid the fees, promised to get him spayed at 6 months (estimated age right now is 4 months), and recieved my sack of goodies all in a blur that was reminiscent of my wedding. I tend to black out significant life altering events if I know they are occuring.

Then I remembered...........I could be in trouble. I called my wife, explained the situation.......almost.........and asked, "Could We?" and "Is it to soon?". She, too, wanted to save Joe from the trip to the frozen north of Idaho. Whew! He hopped into my Jeep, and we headed for the hardware store to get a collar and a few toys. He rode really well, but still, I was bothered by my hastly decision. Before I had even placed a marker on Chester's grave, he had a sucessor. When it came time to pick up my daughter from school, I snapped the leash on Joe's collar, and we walked to meet her. The look on her face when she saw Joe was all that I needed to make any reservations of the apparent impropriety of my hastiness evaporate. I had made the right decision.Joe Dog

All to often, we as adults, worry about appearances, what is proper and right. We want to believe in absolute right, and it's partner absolute wrong in regards to our actions. Truth, however, lies between these extremes. Sometimes, what is right is to live in the moment, to hear inner voices, to chase fallen leaves, and to receive a Golden Nudge, even if it's from the other side. There is a wisdom in children and dogs that we, as adults, often miss out on. Chester taught me that. Joe will make sure I do not forget.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Requiem for Chester

I lost a friend of 13 years tonight. Chester was my Golden Retriever.
He was a kind of retro-hippie type dog, happy go lucky. He was always willing to forgive the errors of my ways. I met him when I ran over him with my VW bus in 1992. I went back to check on him, and when I opened the door to the VW bus, he jumped in. He was covered with ticks, burs, was wet and stunk like hell. More like a sasquatch than a dog. It appeared he had been living on his own for quite a while. I took him to the vet, patched him up, ran an ad in the newspaper. Nobody answered, so we became pals and he decided to move in.
He lived with me, watched over me, tried to steer me right, and taught me the value of love and devotion for thirteen years. He picked out my wife for me, and he protected my daughter from what he feared most, thunder. He was innately everything I would like to be remembered for. Brave, intelligent, loving. A noble beast.

My daughter and I composed a song for him a few years back.

He's Chester the Wonder Dog,
He goes through rain or sleet or fog.
He never gives up,
He never gets down,
He's Chester the Wonder Dog!

He was indeed a wonder. While I was typing up my last entry in this blog, Chester placed his head on my knee to say goodbye. The old "golden nudge". Then he went and laid down beside my wife and daughter. He died quietly and without pain. After he died tonight, I buried him. Outside our window, so he will always be near. He would like that. I need that. He was my Dog.

"Old GreybeardTears & Laughter" by Gene Hill.

He's just my dog. He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds.

He has told me more than a thousand times over that I am his reason for being -- by the way he rests against my leg, by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile, by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along
to care for me).

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it.
When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another person.

With him, I am all powerful. He has taught me the meaning of devotion in loyalty itself. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.

He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.

He has promised to wait for me ... whenever ... wherever ... in case I need him, and I expect I will, as I always have.

Who is he?

He's just MY DOG!


I Took the Test

You are a

Social Moderate
(50% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(66% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

I think I passed..............Give me a Rum & Coke and................

You are a

Social Conservative
(18% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(80% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Republican

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Two more.......

Jesus! I give up!


A Hero?

New Orleans Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass III resigned yesterday, after four weeks in which the police force corruption was exposed in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. "I served this department for 26 years and have taken it through some of the toughest times of its history. Nagin and CompassEvery man in a leadership position must know when it's time to hand over the reins," Compass said at a news conference. "I'll be going on in another direction that God has for me."

As the city slipped into anarchy during the first few days after Katrina, the 1,700-member police department itself suffered a crisis. Many officers left New Orleans, deserting their office and responsibility. Others were filmed apparently joining in the looting that broke out in the absence of an effective police force. Two officers Compass described as friends committed suicide. "It's a sad day in the city of New Orleans when a hero makes a decision like this," said Mayor Nagin, who appointed Compass in mid-2002. "He leaves the department in pretty good shape and with a significant amount of leadership." Mr. Nagin's words mean little. Many times scoundrels are called heros as they are flushed down history's toilet of oblivion.

I believe it has become obvious that Mr. Compass not only lost control of New Orleans, but also control of his own police force. Over the past few weeks we have seen his officers walk off the job and leave town, turn to blatant crime themselves or choose suicide. To be sure, there are heros on the police force of New Orleans. Mr. Compass himself, however, violated the second ammendment, as well as the fourth ammendment. This classifies him as one who turned to criminal activity. While at the very least condoning these violations of the Constitution, Mr. Compass called officers who walked off the job cowards. Then, when a hot bright light was shone on his activities, Mr. Compass turned in his badge and walked off the job. Thus he joined those who he labeled cowards. I do not wish him suicide, but I would not feel the loss if he chose it.

Here in Louisiana, we have a word for a person of no honor, who bleeds society and then turns tail, one who is lower than a coward. Scalawag. Mr. Compass is a scalawag.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Pawn Shop Circuit, King Cobras and 12 Gauges

I went on my pawn shop run this morning after seeing a few patients. I usually make the run about twice a week.

Dave had a couple of interesting guns. First up was a Smith & Wesson 67-1 with a pinned barrel. It was a beater with hard plastic aftermarket grips shaped like Hogues. I think they were Safariland. Anyway, the 67-1 was rather dirty, but would probably clean up OK for a beat about gun. Dave wanted $179 for it. That's a bit high for me, especially since I have a Model 66 that can perform essentially the same job. Right now, after Katrina, Dave will sell that gun for $179. If he does not, I'll offer $125 for it in a couple of weeks. That 67-1 is calling me. I bought a Python from Dave last week though, he got enough of my money.
Dave also had a polished stainless Colt King Cobra that was mint. Six inch barrel. He wanted $399 for that one. I passed, already got one. Nice gun though. I noted that Dave had a couple of 12 gauge pumps on the rack. Those have been glaringly absent since Katrina blew through.

Moving on, Neil still had his Steyr pistol on the display shelf (it's been there for about three months). He has marked it down to $365. He also moved a Titan revolver out of pawn & into stock, priced to move at $69, and a Sigma in the corner. No thanks. Not a single 12 gauge shotgun on the rack at Neil's place, just a lonely 410. Neil did have a nice Winchester over & under shotgun priced right for somebody.

Across the river, Amber had a couple of Glocks. I was not interested, so I don't know what type. She also had a Hopkins & Allen DA#6 revolver with no finish on it. It had a half of a penny for a front sight. That was kind of neat. It also had the original bakelite grips. She was asking $89. Amber had a couple of automatic shotguns, and a Taurus PT22 for $119.

UPDATE Wednsday September 28,2005

Model 67-1 Combat MasterpieceI went back and bought the Model 67-1. It will be a platform for learning engraving. Who can resist a gun called the Combat Masterpiece?

The King Cobra was gone.


Range Report: Pristine Python vs K38 Combat Masterpiece

The Standard

K38 Combat Masterpiece $179For several years my favorite six gun has been a work hardened K38 Combat masterpiece that I bought from a pawnbroker for $179. This old revolver had obviously been carried. It has quite a bit of holster wear touched up with cold bluing. The trigger is the best I have on a wheelgun though. It is smooth and light all the way to sear release with no stacking and no catches. Either this gun had a good trigger job at some time, or the parts have been polished to perfection through use or both. At any rate it is the standard I use to judge a revolver. It is an inherently accurate gun, and although it is a weathered old warhorse, it still ranks as the best handling and most accurate six gun in my safe. The only known alteration it has from stock is a Hogue Monogrip.

The Challenger

Colt Python $599The Colt Python is a legendary sixgun. Many say it is the finest six gun ever made in America. It is a handfitted gun of impeccable finish. The old-style Colt "Bank Vault" lockup, Colt's superior quality barrels, with their faster rifling twist are often cited as the Python's advantage. Colt went even farther with the Python, designing an expensive tapered-bore barrel, which is finished with Colt's mysterious "Silver Ball" treatment. In short, The Python is very much like ordering a true custom 1911 from a maker like Wilson, Brown, or one of the other top custom builders. What you're getting is a revolver on which expensive hand labor is lavished, and on which everything possible is done to insure it's the finest quality and most accurate production revolver possible. The Python never has been a moderately priced handgun. I found this pristine four inch example at a pawn shop for $599, and bought it immediately.

The Tussle

Before I talk results, let me state the purpose of this head to head test, plain and simple. The Python cost $599. The K38 cost $179. Is the Python worth 420 more dollars to ME? I chose these two because I shoot my K38 better than any other DA revolver. The Python is often heralded as an accuracy legend. Apples and oranges? A 1950s .38 special up aganst a 1990's .357 magnum? To help level the playing field both guns will be shooting .38 special. To further level the field, no wadcutters or such. I went to Wal-Mart and bought some value packs of Winchester White Box. That is what I usually use, and that is reason enough for the ammo choice. Then I headed to the range.
ResultsI shot 100 rounds through each revolver, and came up with these representative groups. A few things must be acknowledged.
The K38 is my favorite revolver. I prefer it's wide trigger, and the Hogue Monogrip fits like it was made just for me. I shoot this gun double action frequently to demonstrate that DA shooting can rival SA shooting. In my hands, this is a hard gun to beat. It fits, and I usually shoot my best with it. The Python did not fit me nearly so well. To be fair, if I installed a Monogrip, I'm sure it would. The Python's trigger pull is smooth, but not as smooth as the old K38's, and it seems to be a bit stiffer. This may or may not be attributable to the wider S&W trigger. The polish on the Python's trigger made the more narrow trigger a little better. The Accro sights on the Python gave a better sight picture than the stock K38 sights.

In function, the old K38 accepted rounds, swung the cylinder into place and ejected casings with aplomb. Nary a hitch, and smooth as silk. Again, I attribute this to the K38 being a "mature" gun with a lot of bullets down the pipe. By contrast, the tightly fitted Colt would sometimes take two tries to have the cylinder lock into place. The chambers seemed to be a bit snug, and the .38spl ammo did not want to seat as easily. Likewise, the casings required a firmer push for extraction. The old K38 did not lock up as tightly as the Colt. The Colt exhibits the famous bank vault lock-up. The S&W has gotten a bit lackidasical in it's lock-up over the years. Neither gun spit lead, neither gun had any failures.

If my familiarity with my K38 and how well it fits me is factored in, as well as the newness of the Python, accuracy in my hands was essentialy the same. I had quite a few better groups of five or four shots than what is pictured with the Python. Often it would cloverleaf groups of three and four. Then I would shoot a flyer, which I could instantly call as such. I have a feeling if I placed a Monogrip on the Colt, and shot it as much as the K38, it would hold the edge in accuracy in my hands. As it is, the K38 out shot the Python.

There is no denying the Python is a fabulous gun. If these were watches, the S&W would be a Seiko, and the Python a Rolex. The Python is beautiful. It's bluing is lucious and swimming pool deep. There is not a flaw on the gun. It's beautiful.
If I am going to pull a wheelgun out of my safe to take shooting, and show a young whippersnapper what a six gun is capable of, I'm pulling out my beat up Smith & Wesson K38. If I am going to pull out a gun to show a young whippersnapper how a handfitted gun looks and feels, I'm pulling out the Python. So, back to the original question........is the Python worth $599 to me? Well, I have not taken it back (and I can under the pawn shop's return policy). I suppose it is worth $599 to me. I feel certain I will be able to get that back out of the gun if I care for it properly.

What many will want to know is which gun "won"? In my opinion, there is a clear winner. The old beat-up S&W K38 cleaned the Python's clock. In another shooter's hand though, it might have been a different story.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Home Defense Shotguns

Bubba's Tactical Shoot'emupgun
There is a lot of bullshit out there in the home defense shotgun arena. A lot of money can be made in the plastic tactical whizbang market, and it leaves the newbie wondering if the shotgun itself is really a necessity if he has all that extra junk to throw at an attacker. The truth is, a combat shotgun needs very little to be a devastatingly effective weapon, and they can be bought on the used market very cheaply. There is no reason for any home not to have one.

I'm going to dispense with the crap and keep things simple. I assume the reader has already made the decision on a home defense shotgun versus a handgun. What a person needs is a maneuverable gun with a reasonable capacity, and some replenishment ammo. All else is superfluous. The olive drab coated picatinny railed bright light laser guided Walter Mitty guns are fine, but a person should not confuse function with glitz. Of a concern as well is how that gun will appear when held up by a prosecuting attorney in front of a jury if must be used. A gun that looks like a duck gun rather than an evil black rifle will always influence a gun ignorant jury less. Finally, as in handgunnery, you can not substitute plastic high tech add on accessories for technique. I instead recommend a good solid hands on course to learn how to employ the shotgun well. Knowing your weapon and your capabilities with it is essential to successful self defense. The Clark family offers a course second to none in my area. I am unsure of what is available elsewhere.

A quick word on pistol grips i.e. no stock and firing from the hip........Hip shooting with a pistol grip is based on the common delusion that a shotgun with an 18 inch barrel will spray buckshot in a 4 foot pattern at ten feet, thus negating the necessity of aiming the gun. That's Hollywood. Get a real stock, and aim the gun. The 18 inch shotgun will not place an impenetrable 4 foot wide hail of lead down your hallway. My cylinder bore guns group 00 buckshot about 3-5 inches at 15 feet. At best, you might have 7 or 8 rounds in the magazine, so you had better be using them effectively. Look down that receiver and barrel. Aim the gun. To do that, you need a stock.

Mossberg 500
The best deals on shotguns will be found in a pawnshop. This was a 28 inch Mossberg 500 Field Gun I found priced at $100 during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I needed a "loaner" gun. At any other time I would have expected to pay $80-100 for it. It's humble, yes, but it is a no bullshit platform to build on. I chose this particular shotgun because of the slick barrel, the corncob forend, and the overall condition. I like the "cob" forend, as it does not overlap the receiver. This allows a sidesaddle installation. The slick barrel allows for easy trimming and a heatshield if desired. I simply cut it down to 18.5 inches for better maneuverability and reinstalled the bead sight.

I prefer the Mossberg 500/590 for several reasons. The safety is located sensibly on the back of the receiver. Being thumb activated, it does not require the shooter to reposition his trigger finger. The same can be said for the slide release, which is operated with the second finger. The deciding factor for me though is the way the shell lifter works. On the Mossberg, it is up out of the way through most of the operation on the forend. This allows easy reloading of the magazine. If a person ever gets his thumb caught between a Remington shell lifter and magazine during a tactical reload on a course of fire, he will praise Mossberg's design afterwards.

One of the first decisions to be made is whether a 5 round magazine is sufficient. You can buy extensions for the magazine to bump it's capacity up to seven rounds if you like. The barrel length has to be 20 inches to support that extension though, so the capacity decision must be made prior to shortening the barrel.

Winchester 1300
I am of the opinion that a 5 round capacity is suitable for my use. Thus, for me, the barrel will usually be a 18.5 incher. Before going any farther, one must make sure their used shotgun is a reliable one. Take it out and run a box or two of shells through it. Repair or tighten anything needed. Disassemble and lube it. It is amazing the dirt, mud and gunk these guns will harbor after a life of duck hunting. On my $100 Mossberg I had to tighten up the forend, and remove a limiting rod from the magazine.

As far as ammunition, I am a believer in 00 Buckshot. I like the low recoil police rounds, and the two and 3/4 shells allow me to squeeze five shots into a Winchester magazine after the limiter is removed.

Mossberg 500
I actually own four six home defense shotguns. I keep them on hooks inside different closets, above the closet doors, around my house. If I am at home, I am seldom more than 20 feet away from one. If I ever need more than five rounds, a New York reload is ready. I store them safety off, chamber empty, trigger pulled, magazine full. Stored this way, I do not have to think whether I am holding a Winchester or a Mossberg. They work the same. The action is unlocked and ready to shuck in a shell. The added benefit of multiple shotguns, is if one is ever taken as evidence after it is used, I still retain more. I am unsure whether I would be able to purchase another at that time, but I doubt it.

Winchester 1200
Speaking of the shuck-shuck noise of a pump shotgun..... Many say that the sound will make a criminal crap in his drawers. Well, it might, and it might not. It is not my goal to make an intruder have a fecal hemorrhage. It is my goal to render my home safe again. It is my contention that in 100% of the cases, the shuck-shuck sound will cause a rapid rearranging of priorities among all involved. There is no question that the 12 gauge shotgun is a formidable defensive weapon, and the realization that one is loaded just for you is intimidating like little else.


Barrel shortening

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Patricia Konie Video

Friday, September 23, 2005

On Combat & On Killing

Click for a fine book review
I am in the middle of reading On Combat by David Grossman and Loren Christensen. I bought this book after reading Grossman's pioneering work On Killing. To date, nothing quite like either book has been written. It is odd indeed that these topics remain some of the most taboo in our society. I highly recommend these books to anyone who may have to someday use a gun.
My wife, also a voracious reader, devoured both books. While I sailed through On Killing, and kept after my spouse to begin it, I am having problems plowing through On Combat.
I might read four pages and then put the book down for a week or two before returning to it. I have done this for close to a year now. My wife, a psychiatric nurse, asked me about this.
Reading this book is reading about that which I buried when I decided to have a family. Things I never wanted to go back to, but which affect my life still. Huge wounds must be tended to a little at a time, and the scarring is extremely unpredictable. My wife says she understands. I hope she never does.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

New Orleans Gun Grab Saga

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and National Rifle Association (NRA) joined with individual gun owners in Louisiana this morning, filing a motion in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana seeking a temporary restraining order to stop authorities in and around the City of New Orleans from seizing firearms from private citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Arbitrary gun seizures, without warrant or probable cause, have been reported during the past three weeks since the Crescent City was devastated by the hurricane. In cases reported to SAF, police refused to give citizens receipts for their seized firearms. Earlier, SAF insisted that police account for all seized firearms, disclose their whereabouts, and explain how they will be returned to their rightful owners. Authorities have not responded.

Gun confiscations have been highly publicized since the New York Times quoted New Orleans Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass III, who said, "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," and ABC News quoted Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley stating, "No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons."

For example, a San Francisco, CA camera crew from KTVU filmed one incident in which visiting California Highway Patrol officers tackled an elderly woman identified as Patricia Konie, to seize her pistol and forcibly remove her from her home. An ABC news crew accompanying an Oklahoma National Guard unit filmed another incident in which homeowners were handcuffed and disarmed, then released but without their firearms.

"We are delighted to work jointly with the NRA in an effort to bring these outrageous gun seizures to a halt," said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. "Our inquiries about these confiscations were cavalierly ignored, as were our demands for a public explanation from the police and city officials about why citizens were being unlawfully disarmed, leaving them defenseless against lingering bands of looters and thugs.

"New Orleans officials left us with no recourse," Gottlieb observed. "It was bad enough that Big Easy residents were victims of the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. That they would be subsequently victimized by their own local government, taking their personal property without warrant, is unconscionable. These illegal gun seizures must be stopped, now."


Both the NRA and SAF want to speak with people who had guns confiscated.
In preparation for further lawsuits over gun confiscations both groups are looking for people who actually had guns confiscated. If you have personally had a gun confiscated in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina hit, please call (888) 414-6333. Be prepared to leave only your name and immediate contact information so we can get back to you. Once again, they are seeking contact information from actual victims of gun confiscation in Louisiana only.
Contact SAF via e-mail at safalert@liberty.seanet.com. Please be ready to provide them with your full name, address, current working telephone number and the date and time of the firearm(s) seizure, as well as any other pertinent information.

Update: Friday, September 23, 2005 4:37PM


The United States District Court for the Eastern District in Louisiana today sided with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and issued a restraining order to bar further gun confiscations from peaceable and law-abiding victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. “This is a significant victory for freedom and for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The court’s ruling is instant relief for the victims who now have an effective means of defending themselves from the robbers and rapists that seek to further exploit the remnants of their shattered lives,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

Joining LaPierre in hailing the U.S. District Court decision was NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox. “This is an important victory. But the battle is not over. The NRA will remedy state emergency statutes in all 50 states, if needed, to ensure that this injustice does not happen again."

The controversy erupted when The New York Times reported, the New Orleans superintendent of police directed that no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to have guns and that “only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.” ABC News quoted New Orleans’ deputy police chief, saying, “No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons.” The NRA also pledged that it will continue its work to ensure that every single firearm arbitrarily and unlawfully seized under this directive is returned to the rightful law-abiding owner.

We can stop and celebrate, but the work is not over. Mr. Nagin, Mr. Compass, and Mr. Riley have a little thing called RS14:134 to read up on with their advisors. Have fun!

In preparation for further lawsuits over gun confiscations the NRA and SAF are looking for people who actually had guns confiscated. If you have personally had a gun confiscated in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina hit, please call (888) 414-6333. Be prepared to leave only your name and immediate contact information so we can get back to you. Once again, they are seeking contact information from actual victims of gun confiscation in Louisiana only.
Contact SAF via e-mail at safalert@liberty.seanet.com. Please be ready to provide them with your full name, address, current working telephone number and the date and time of the firearm(s) seizure, as well as any other pertinent information.

Update: Saturday, September 24, 2005 2:04PM

The Roaches Scatter

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued a temporary restraining order on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and National Rifle Association (NRA), bringing an end to firearm seizures from citizens living in and around New Orleans. District Judge Jay Zaney issued the restraining order against all parties named in a lawsuit filed Thursday by SAF and NRA. Defendants in the lawsuit include New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Chief Edwin Compass III. News reports quoted Compass as saying that only law enforcement officials would be allowed to have firearms and Deputy Chief Warren Riley as saying, "We are going to take all the weapons." Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, states his group documented 30 to 40 cases of people having their weapons illegally confiscated by law enforcement after Hurricaine Katrina hit Aug. 29. The location and disposition of these weapons is being sought, as well as civil and criminal charges against those who instituted the acts of confiscation.

Not surprisingly, in documents filed in federal court in Baton Rouge, La., New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Police Chief Eddie Compass and St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain deny ordering the confiscation of firearms. To wit:

Defendants, C. Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans and P. Edwin Compass, III, Superintendent of Police for the City of New Orleans, deny the allegations in the Complaint For Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief and specifically deny that it was or is the policy of the City of New Orleans nor the New Orleans Police Department to illegally seize lawfully possessed firearms from citizens;

Defendants C. Ray Nagin, Mayor of the City of New Orleans, and P. Edwin Compass, III, Superintendent of the Department of Police for the City of New Orleans, specifically deny each and every allegation in the Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief and specifically reserving all rights herein and waiving none, assert the following:

1. C. Ray Nagin has not issued, nor has he any intention of issuing, any order, declaration, promulgation, and/or directive pursuant to the authority granted unto him by LSA-R.S. 29:721, et seq., ordering the seizure of any lawfully-possessed firearm from law abiding citizens, nor has C. Ray Nagin delegated any authority granted unto him pursuant to LSA-RS 29:721, et seq. to any other city official, department head, officer, employee, and/or agent of the City of New Orleans including, but not limited to, P. Edwin Compass, III, Superintendent of the Department of Police for the City of New Orleans and/or Warren Riley, Deputy Superintendent of the Department of Police of the City of New Orleans;

2. P. Edwin Compass, III acknowledges that no authority has been delegated to him by C. Ray Nagin, Mayor of the City of New Orleans, pursuant to the powers granted unto the said Mayor by the provisions of LSA-RS 29:721, et seq. to order the seizure of lawfully-possessed firearms from law abiding citizens and that any and all statements which are allegedly attributed to him in such regard do not represent any policy, statement, ordinance, regulation, decision, custom or practice of either C. Ray Nagin or the City of New Orleans, its agencies and/or departments;

3. C. Ray Nagin and P. Edwin Compass, III affirmatively deny that seizures of lawfully possessed firearms from law abiding citizens has occurred as a result of the actions of officers, city officials, employees and/or agents of the City of New Orleans or any of its departments and further affirmatively deny that any such weapons are presently in the possession of the City of New Orleans, its agents and/or departments;

4. C. Ray Nagin and P. Edwin Compass, III further affirmatively deny that it is the custom, practice and/or policy of the City of New Orleans, either officially or unofficially, to seize and/or confiscate lawfully-possessed firearms from law abiding citizens.

PDF file of the Temporary Restraining Order

So, if I read this right, they didn't do it, they couldn't do it, and they wouldn't do it. The old SODDI Defense. Some Other Dude Did It. "Me and my homie wuz home watchin' TV." When the lights are turned on, roaches and rats scatter.

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Executive Disorder...A Move for Impeachment

This is a sad time for all of us who live in Louisiana. While I'm personally thankful for the efforts of thousands of people from across America who have helped us in our state's greatest time of need, I'm enraged by the lack of responsibility displayed over the last few weeks by many of the officials we elected.

Kathleen Blanco, the Governor of Louisiana is completely responsible for our state's lack of preparedness and for mishandling the rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Governor Blanco's incompetence and disregard for the citizens of Louisiana before the hurricane struck and her inexplicable actions in the days afterward can only be considered dereliction of duty. Louisiana needs a new Governor, and I hope you'll join me in demanding a Recall Election.

Specifically Governor Kathleen Blanco:

1. Failed to execute the state's emergency plan to safeguard the citizens of Southern Louisiana by not ordering a mandatory evacuation of the affected parishes before Hurricane Katrina hit.

2. Purposefully withheld food, water and hygiene items from the tens of thousands of victims stranded at the Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center in an effort to get them to leave the area.

3. Delayed sending the Louisiana National Guard to maintain order in the city of New Orleans for four days, allowing snipers to hamper rescue efforts and permitting looters to ransack homes and businesses.

4. Chose to spend the days after Hurricane Katrina engaged in partisan bickering and finger pointing rather than giving FEMA and the U.S. military the authority they needed to take over the rescue effort, relieve suffering, and save lives.

Governor Blanco is indecisive, more concerned with politics than duty, and has demonstrated a serious lack of judgment that clearly shows she is the wrong person to be the chief executive of Louisiana. I believe Governor Blanco should be removed from office immediately and replaced by a competent individual with the ability to take responsibility and make the decisions necessary to lead our state. Louisiana state law provides a remedy, and that remedy begins with a Petition to Recall.

Governor Blanco, you can point the finger at whoever you want. You can shift the blame, obfuscate the truth, and deny culpability in as many press conferences as you like. Until the day you stand before the citizens of Louisiana, admit your mistakes, and accept responsibility for your poor choices, I will not rest. Your actions cost lives, and you will be held accountable.

-- Chuck DeWitt, ImpeachBlanco.org

Good people still in Louisiana and displaced residents of New Orleans,
It is apophthegmatic that a box of rocks could defeat Granny Blanco in 2007.
We do not have to wait that long.
Sign the damned petition.
In fact, take a copy to a shelter full of Louisiana evacuees and have a signing party.
Let's make this happen!
Recall Petition


Kathleen Blanco: I Should Have Called the Military!

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco's abrupt decision Wednesday night to take responsibility for her state's inadequate response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster followed an inadvertent confession that was caught on camera where Blanco admitted she blew it.

"I really should have called for the military," Blanco said, while chatting with her press secretary in between TV interviews. "I really should have started that in the first call."

Unbeknownst to Blanco, her bombshell acknowledgment was recorded on a network satellite feed, and by Tuesday the clip was getting wide exposure in Louisiana news broadcasts.

In the early days of the Katrina crisis, disaster management experts repeatedly blamed the failure to send in the National Guard for the city's descent into chaos.

Most observers blamed the White House for the blunder - a misconception that was thoroughly dispelled by the governor's inadvertent confession.
Some say Blanco's blooper was responsible for the abrupt change of tone in her speech Wednesday night to the Louisiana legislature.

Where earlier she and her aides had openly blamed the Bush administration for bungling Katrina rescue efforts, Blanco announced: "The buck stops here, and as your governor, I take full responsibility."

Just as surprising were Blanco's words of praise for the White House: "I want the people of Louisiana to know that we have a friend and a partner in President George W. Bush. I thank you, Mr. President."

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Looters in New Orleans

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Turd Suckers & Internet Commandos

Thunder Ranch Special
A while back I recall Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch fame calling people on the internet who disliked his latest collaboration on a gun with Smith and Wesson a derogatory name. I believe the term he used was turd suckers. More recently, I have read the words of a reknowned gunsmith, whose work I admire greatly. He called those who disagreed with him incompetent, and alluded to the possibility of fecal matter in place of grey matter. Then I read the musings of yet another famed gunsmith and was dismayed at how he demanded qualities in his customers that he himself was at a loss to display in his words. He called all who disagreed with him internet commandos.

I have but one one word here. Hubris.

The turd sucker name is not even intelligent enough to address. I would hate to be remembered for that comment above all else though. Calling your critics names does nothing to invalidate the criticism. Once you partake in name calling, your argument ceases to matter, regardless of it's validity, because it is obscured by childish behavior. Sometimes it is best to just buck up and take criticism like a man. Acting like a child diminishes oneself.

Now, on to the Internet Commandos. This term is often used to signify a person who is a know-it-all on gun forums, but a Walter Mitty type in real life. It's use is derogatory. Know what? So was the term Yankee Doodle.

To me, an internet commando is a gun person who is online and speaking the truth. Glock cannot hide frame rail failures from an internet commando. Kimber cannot hide poorly designed firing pin safeties from an internet commando. Smith & Wesson cannot hide failing locks from an internet commando. Ruger cannot hide dangerous loaded chamber indicators from the internet commando. The truth about a firearm one is about to purchase can be obtained from hundreds of online opinions. Consumers are no longer mislead by lone gun writers who cover up the flaws in their advertiser's guns. As a matter of fact, the gun rags have become pretty much irrelevant for anyone who is online, and that makes a lot of writers, editors, and publishers mad as hell. They want to silence the voice of truth online. They want a lost time when S&W made fine blued revolvers and the guy interested in one compared magazine reviews instead of doing a search on a forum. Know what guys? That time is gone. The internet has given voice to the Average Joe who carries the gun industry on his back, and the world will never be the same. The Emperor has no clothes.

Gunsmiths that do shoddy work fear the internet commando. Gunstores that cheat widows and ignore customers cannot hide from the internet commando. Gunwriters who lie to protect an advertiser cannot hide from the internet commando. Gun makers who produce guns that do not perform cannot hide from the internet commando. If I am an internet commando, I wear the title proudly. Let's face it gentlemen, there are opposing viewpoints here. For some it's a matter of buying a product that will work as advertised. For others it's a matter of making a living. For years, those who were buying a gun were in the dark, and those who were making a living selling guns or information about guns liked it that way. The gun buyer's world has now been illuminated, and that pisses some people off greatly.

UPDATE 11-9-05

Clint Smith's Thunder Ranch S&W Model 21, pictured above, is now on close out from CDNN for $599.

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The Pawnshop Circuit: Pythons and Fender Benders

I went on my pawnshop circuit today, a bi-weekly ritual of checking five area pawnshops for used guns. There is usually a plethora of guns, in all manner of condition available, but the pickings have been rather slim since Hurricaine Katrina passed through. I saw a couple of automatic shotguns, and one Steyr handgun. That was it. On the fourth pawnshop, I was ready to throw in the towel.
As I was backing out, a truck pulled behind me, and I T-boned him in reverse. Great......
I got out and asked if I had hurt him. The young man in the truck also got out, and said "Hey, it's an old work truck. Don't worry about it." True enough, there was next to no damage. Still, in today's litigous society, I was heartened to come across a young man who was a straight shooter. We shook hands and went our separate ways.
I felt so good about things that I decided to cross the river and go to the final pawnshop. Once there, I glanced down the long gun rack, and saw a few rejected deer rifles, several black powder guns, and once again, no shotguns.
Then I looked in the glass case. I spied a blued revolver. It had a ventilated barrel rib. It was a Colt. I asked Dave if I could see it, and he produced an imaculate four inch Colt Python. The gun locked up tight and had no turn ring on the cylinder. Unfortunately it had no box. I did the Jim March Revolver Checkout on it, and agreed to the reasonable price. I put it on lay away. We will see how long I can stand that. I must be doing something right.

UPDATE: Saturday, September 24, 2005 5:16PM

Colt Python $599I could wait all of three days. The Python came home today. Range Report soon!

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Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President Speaks on NOLA

Of any news story since New Orleans became the first venue in America to disarm its peaceable citizens house by house--at gunpoint--nothing brought home the sheer terror of it all more than two broadcast video segments: one on ABC News and another on Fox News Channel.

Opening with scenes of police and Oklahoma National Guardsmen entering homes on a block-by-block search, you cannot watch the ABC piece without fear and anger. Everybody I`ve spoken with who has seen it had the same reaction--the Constitution has been trashed. This was supposed to be a humanitarian effort, not a shoot-to-kill military operation.

If friends might think shoot-to-kill is overblown, tell them to imagine having a locked and loaded M16 or M4 carbine leveled at them by a youthful guardsman with fear in his eyes. Then imagine someone shouting, "He has a gun!"

This is the worst case for honest gun owners come true. But I promise you, when all is said and done by NRA, these scenes will become a nightmare for the gun-ban crowd, because they give lie to their false promises that forced gun confiscation would never happen in America.

With images of police and guardsmen clearing rooms, shouldered M16s at the ready, the ABC reporter explained that they enter homes "with guns drawn with instructions to disarm anyone inside." Then the New Orleans police chief says, "No one will be able to be armed. We`re going to take all weapons." Remember, this has always been the endgame of New Orleans politicians who were first in line to take a crack at suing the firearm industry out of existence.

In the ABC broadcast, young men are sitting on a curb with arms handcuffed behind their backs, surrounded by heavily armed police. They could be any of our college-age kids. Their crime as explained by the ABC reporter: "Homeowners had armed themselves to protect their mansions. Residents were handcuffed on the ground, and in the end, police took their weapons but let them stay in their homes."

In the close of the ABC footage, a very young guardsman says, "Walking up and down these streets you don`t want to have to think about the stuff you are going to have to do. If somebody pops around the corner . . . ." Off camera, the reporter interrupts and says, "You mean shoot an American."

The Americans this young man might shoot are not looters; they are not criminals. They are brave people who simply refused to obey an order by the same local authorities who indefensibly failed to protect them.

Keep in mind, those officials--who ordered every decent citizen of their city to be forcibly disarmed--also sent tens of thousands of residents whose homes were destroyed to endure the living hell of the Superdome and the Convention Center; where people died or were murdered; where bodies rotted; where medical practitioners were frightened away; where gang members killed, robbed and raped at will. All of this with virtually no police presence for a week.

For citizens in neighborhoods spared the flooding and wind damage from the hurricane, the evacuation order made no sense. And arming themselves to protect their persons, families, homes and communities from roving criminal predators made perfect sense. Self-protection is the most basic human right of all.

To see the National Guard troops in this ABC segment is to see them on a war footing. They are edgy. Fearful. But this isn`t war. This is a natural disaster involving innocent Americans whom are victims of nature. These are Americans who chose to be armed so that they would not further become victims of criminal violence.

Many of these people who stayed in their relatively unscathed neighborhoods couldn`t bring themselves to abandon their pets, their possessions. They feared leaving more than staying. Think of being disarmed at gunpoint by the very people who you thought had come to help.

For any level of government--state, local or federal--to disarm these good people in their own homes using the threat of imminent deadly force is unthinkable.

The Fox broadcast brought that message home with incredible force. Seeing a burly police officer body slam a frail, elderly woman who was showing officers her home protection gun--a little Colt Police Positive--is beyond imagination. (See Marshall Lewin`s powerful story on p. 72). Her gun was taken, and she was hauled out of her home.

Law enforcement? No. Tyranny. Clear and simple. And it is a tyranny that must be stopped--never to happen again.

NRA is committed to ensuring that innocent Americans always have the means to defend themselves in their homes and neighborhoods. We will do so by enacting laws to prohibit state and federal authorities from seizing firearms from innocent citizens under a state of emergency due to a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

Self-defense is and must remain the bedrock principle of the Second Amendment.
Posted on the NRA-ILA Website: 9/20/2005

I believe the NRA is stepping up to the plate. We have heard the barking, now let's see the teeth of this dog!
Here's a quick quiz. Pick the legally weilded firearm(s) below.
As a bonus, pick the appropriate response.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

A Miracle for a Child

My 10 year old daughter had one concern after Hurricaine Katrina. The Marine Life Aquarium of Gulfport, Mississippi was right in it's path, and she knew it. My daughter loved to take trips to Gulfshores, and our first stop would always be the dolphins and seals in Gulfport. I saw the destroyed tanks on the news from an filmed fly by, and I broke the news to her as gently as possible. The Aquarium was destroyed, and I did not know what happened to the dolphins. Then I saw this............miracles still happen.

Sept. 20, 2005 — The NOAA Fisheries Service and the Marine Life Aquarium of Gulfport, Miss., working with a number of other partners, rescued the last four of the eight trained bottlenose dolphins that were swept out of an aquarium tank torn apart by the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina on August 29. Normally held in captivity, the dolphins don't have the necessary skills to survive on their own. They have survived various injuries and predators and have stayed together since the storm.

Rescued!On September 10, the team of NOAA marine mammal biologists and aquarium trainers first located the eight dolphins and began providing food and medicine to the animals. Over the course of a week, the team was able to capture four of the weakest dolphins, and has been feeding the others several times a day as they planned and performed the multi-stage rescue. The remaining four dolphins vanished over the weekend. Through reports from the Coast Guard, NOAA Fisheries Service scientists found the dolphins Tuesday morning while doing surveys in a NOAA boat near Biloxi, Miss.

"Among all the destruction and loss from Hurricane Katrina, this dolphin rescue is a bit of good news. It is a wonderful example of partners coming together to bring the dolphins to safety," said Bill Hogarth, NOAA Fisheries Service director. "This rescue effort is a success story for all the partners involved and for the public who have taken such an interest in the plight of these dolphins."

Due to the unclean condition of the water and the difficulty of the rescue, biologists captured the dolphins in stages. The animals were transported to nearby salt-water pools, provided by the U.S. Navy, where they will receive medical care and be evaluated for diseases, including contagious diseases. NOAA Fisheries Service lead veterinarian Dr. Teri Rowles said the dolphins will be kept in quarantine while scientists access their overall health.

"We're pleased we were able to rescue all eight dolphins," said Rowles. "They are now in a situation where full diagnostics can be done and medical care can be provided. The rescue team remains cautiously optimistic that they will recover from this ordeal."

The rescue effort involved partners including the U.S. Navy, the Air National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Gulf World Marine Park, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

DestructionDays before the hurricane, workers at the Marine Life Aquarium were able to move another group of dolphins into hotel swimming pools. These animals survived the storm and were moved to the Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The eight dolphins that were rescued from the wild had been left in a large Marine Life Aquarium pool that had survived Hurricane Camille in 1969. (Click NOAA aerial image for larger view of the damage done to the Marine Life Aquarium in Gulfport, Miss., by Hurricane Katrina, which generated a wave so large that it washed out bottlenose dolphins into the Gulf of Mexico.)

The NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving the nation's living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.

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Racism, Gun Confiscation, and Hurricaine Katrina

"Treat me with benign neglect." Ashton R. O'Dwyer, Jr. NOLA 2005

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is now telling his followers that the levees in New Orleans may have been deliberately "blown up" to kill the city's black population. "I heard from a very reliable source who saw a 25 foot deep crater under the levee breach," Farrakhan explained. "It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry." Farrakhan didn't say who he thought was behind the plot to blow up New Orleans' levees, nor did he explain how tons of water might have ignored the laws of physics and flowed uphill.

I am amused and dismayed to see that people like Farrakhan and his ilk are trying to make Hurricaine Katrina and New Orleans a race issue. In America, some people have made a living exploiting racial hatred, fears and injustice. Where were they on August 15, 2005? Were they in the 9th Ward of New Orleans trying to elevate their fellow man? No. They were elsewhere, seeking the latest race cow to milk. On August 28, with thousands of people in peril, New Orleans became that cow.

Some are saying this disaster lays bare the racism in our society. I suppose it does. A lot of people are seeing skin color and not actions. Then they think they have a right to render judgement because they saw it on TV. This disaster is not laying bare the racism in New Orleans, it's laying bare the racism all across our nation. How dare the news media and race mongers strip away the courage and commitment shown by family after family of poor disadvantaged black people and then paint them with a criminal brush? More on that issue here.

Even more troubling is Mayor Nagin and Police Chief Edwin Compass' ill advised decision to disarm those who have decided to stay. These politicians were willing to sell their citizens and constituents down the river as dangerous thugs and criminals to have the opportunity to trample on the Bill of Rights. People stayed for a myriad of reasons, and they were from all stratas of society. Some did not evacuate because they cared for elderly, or invalid bed bound relatives at home, who could not be evacuated without an ambulance. Other families might have one car but ten family members. Who would stay and who would go? Others did not even have a car, but had a job their family depended on, that they could not afford to lose. For these people leaving or staying was an enormous gamble. Most chose to face the storm as a strong, honorable family. They lost the gamble.

Other men evacuated their families but stayed behind armed to protect their homes and businesses. Why did they do this? Because ahead of the storm, before anything happened, they did not expect the New Orleans Police Department to be able to prevent looting. Little did they realize that the NOPD would seek to disarm them. I have a feeling the NRA and GOA will be getting a lot of dollars that would have otherwise gone to Ducks Unlimited. Many hunting oriented gunowners just became defense oriented gun owners by the actions of one misguided police chief.

The film shot of a California Highway Patrol officer inside of Ms. Patricia Konie's home has stirred the embers it well should. Never again should anyone wonder what will happen in a major disaster with liberal politicians in control. There are some who want to wash this incident away, who want to ignore the painfully obvious. We have seen the Wal-Mart in Baton Rouge refuse to sell guns or ammunition. We have also seen every 12 gauge shotgun, and damned near every handgun leave the shelves of every pawn and gun shop in Northern Louisiana in under three days. There are thousands of evacuees in my own city who are able to legally buy firearms in North Louisiana. People are not stupid. Some may have had their eyes opened after the storm, but they are not stupid. I pity the souls who were bused out of state and are therefore unable to purchase a gun.

People want to say a mistake was made trying to confiscate weapons. They want to believe it will not happen again. When I see that CHP officer return a revolver and a pocketknife to Ms. Konie, drive her back to her home, help her up her steps, and apologize sincerely for his actions, and do this on public television, I may begin to feel the same. Until then, I will rest comfortable in the knowledge that hundreds of shotguns will migrate from pawn shop shelves in North Louisiana to the Big Easy and the surrounding areas over the coming months.

Until then, the CHP boys should know better. They are sworn to uphold the US Constitution (and were resworn to do the same in front of the LSP base office to operate in Louisiana). I, like every other citizen expect them to know what is written on the document they swear to uphold.

The good people of New Orleans have a problem. On one hand they have looting thugs roaming about with guns taking personal property. On the other hand they have jack booted law enforcement roaming about with guns confiscating personal property. There are many in Louisiana that no longer see the distinction that a badge once provided.



Imagine yourself marooned in this hellish nightmare of helplessness:
Hurricane Katrina has shredded your hometown down to bare foundations.
You have no power. No refrigeration. No A/C. No running water.
Phone lines are down, cell towers out. You can`t call anyone. No one can call you. 9-1-1 is MIA. Police are nowhere around. Bands of armed looters, thugs and rapists roam the streets with hard eyes and hungry looks.

Every outbound road and bridge is impassable. Leaving is impossible. But staying is unimaginable. Because for tonight, anyway, living has been reduced to its barest, bleakest essentials: Fresh water, some food and survival against those who would take your home, your wife, your child or your life.

When darkness falls, you huddle in the sweltering, pitch-black night--your lanterns and flashlights extinguished to save batteries and fuel, your windows and doors wide open, in hopes of a cooling whiff of fresh air. And there, you listen and look out on a civilization utterly transformed, where not a single streetlight burns, no car passes and the only sounds are the drone of a few generators, occasional shouts and gunshots in the dark.

Amid the chaos, you and a few neighbors who own guns have stepped forward--as civic-minded citizens have done since civilization was born--to protect those who can`t protect themselves or their property.
You help where you can. Where you can`t, you hold out and pray.
By the time authorities finally arrive a week later, they set about dismantling the one levee that stands between utter anarchy and you and your family- the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms--by vowing to confiscate your firearms and those of your neighbors.

This is New Orleans, September 2005: Where the most fundamental human freedom is all that stands between humanity and inhumanity, savagery and safety--and where authorities have vowed to raze that lifesaving safeguard.-----

By Marshall Lewin


A Call to Arms

The situation we`re seeing in New Orleans represents a complete vindication of everything we`ve been saying in defense of the Second Amendment," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
"All throughout history, what you have in the aftermath of disasters like Katrina is mayhem, looting, robbing, raping and killing by the evildoers, along with a complete breakdown of government`s ability to protect people from those who would do them harm," LaPierre said. "That`s exactly what the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was intended to address. The Second Amendment is the underpinning of citizens` efforts to stay alive."

Yet according to The New York Times and other media outlets, New Orleans authorities began seizing firearms from lawful citizens precisely when they needed them the most.
"No one will be able to be armed," said New Orleans Superintendent of Police P. Edwin Compass. "Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns." All firearms--lawfully owned or not-- would be seized, he said.
Ironically, Compass added, "there`s nothing more important than the preservation of human life"-- ignoring the reality that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was the only protection citizens had against violent predators roaming New Orleans.

"When law enforcement isn`t available, Americans turn to the one right that protects all the others--the Right to Keep and Bear Arms," LaPierre said. "If authorities are denying the Second Amendment rights of lawful citizens- especially during a crisis like this--those authorities should be condemned and their actions immediately reversed."
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox addressed the legal, tactical dimensions of any firearm confiscations in New Orleans. Louisiana state law does allow the chief law enforcement officer to "regulate possession" of firearms during declared emergencies, Cox noted, "but `regulate` doesn`t mean confiscate," he said.
"Armed gangs of from eight to 15 young men are riding around in pickup trucks, looting and raping."
"We`re exploring every legal option available to protect the rights of lawful people in New Orleans," Cox added, "and we`re immediately taking steps to overturn laws that allow that kind of oppression in every state where they exist." "This isn`t just about New Orleans, Mississippi or the Gulf Coast," added LaPierre. "It`s about all of our rights as Americans and, for that matter, as human beings, to defend ourselves from harm when no one else can or will. "the lesson of New Orleans is that citizens must be able to rely on their own ability to survive. The answer once and for all to politicians who say Americans don`t need the Second Amendment, government will protect you, the answer forevermore is New Orleans."

Descent into Mayhem

With one of the highest murder rates in the United States, New Orleans has long been one of the roughest towns around. Katrina didn`t help.
Within hours of the hurricane`s landfall on the Gulf Coast, looters had begun breaking into stores and homes. But what the media were quick to characterize as a simple search for water, food and the essentials of survival quickly degenerated into rampant theft , rape, vandalism and violence.
Looters ran down a state police truck filled with food. Carjackers seized the bus from the Covenant Home nursing facility, then gangs of people drove by the nursing home, shouting, "Get out!" at residents-- who did.

The home`s executive director, Peggy Hoffman, said, "We had enough food for 10 days. Now we`ll have to equip our department heads with guns and teach them how to shoot." Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Cathy Flinchum said criminals were filing fake emergency reports to draw police away from places where they planned to commit crimes.

One criminal with a long arrest record was charged with raping a 13-year-old mentally handicapped girl from New Orleans at an Assembly of God campground.
A police officer was murdered.
A rescue helicopter was attacked.
Police killed at least four people who had assaulted U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors who were crossing a bridge to try to close a gap in the 17th Street Canal.

Captain Jeff Winn of the New Orleans Police swat team said, "Armed gangs of from eight to 15 young men are riding around in pickup trucks, looting and raping." Policeman Charles Hoffacker, whose beat includes Bourbon Street, said that at times, "it was like Mogadishu."
Within a week, for whatever reason, hundreds of New Orleans police had gone awol, and two--including the department`s spokesman--had committed suicide.
According to Sgt. Stephen Villere, night-patrol commander for the French Quarter, "It felt like a year, not a week."

The "Hue and Cry" that Keeps the Peace

Faced with this total breakdown in civil order, residents throughout the Gulf Coast quickly took steps to protect property, life and limb.
In Gulfport, Miss., one of the hurricane`s hardest-hit areas, after police reported that looters had completely cleaned out a nearby strip mall, resident Billy Bova and his neighbor took down the plywood covering their windows, and painted signs: "My best friends are Smith & Wesson," and "Owner home and will kill." Standing guard one night, Bova reported seeing several young men roaming the neighborhood carrying backpacks after curfew. "We pointed our Mag-Lites at them, and they saw our shotguns and rifle, and they took off running."
In effect, in the aftermath of Katrina, in much of Louisiana and Mississippi, peaceable armed citizens like Bova and his neighbor kept the peace as well as peace of mind.
9-1-1 didn`t exist, and police who were there advised citizens that they wouldn`t be around to answer any calls for help.

This real-life experience mirrors National Science Foundation funded research in the wake of Hurricane Andrew`s devastation of South Florida in 1993. Interviewing residents, researchers found that, "those who did have firearms gained a sense of security from them, even when they were never confronted with an intruder or any other situation where the fi rearms were actually needed." "We`ve got a lot of single mothers with kids in the neighborhood," Bova said, "so we`d walk through at dusk, make sure everyone was safe, and let them know that we`d be around. with no air conditioning, everybody`s doors and windows were open. So we said, `If you have any trouble, just scream. We`ll hear you.`" In the Garden District of New Orleans, residents John Carolan and Charlie Hackett armed themselves with a pistol and shotgun to deter looters. At one point, three men appeared at Carolan`s home, showed him a machete and asked him about his generator. Carolan showed them his pistol. they didn`t pursue things further.

In the city`s French Quarter, resident Joe Campiere tried for seven days before he finally reached police through 9-1-1. the three Texas officers who arrived on horseback after that were the first Campiere had seen since the hurricane. "I tell you, I`ve been terrified," he told the Christian Science Monitor, a holstered pistol at his side.

Across the Mississippi from the French Quarter, in the historic neighborhood of Algiers Point, after a resident was carjacked on the day after Katrina struck, several neighbors worked together to protect their homes. they armed themselves and patrolled the streets by day, and at night they took turns standing guard over their part of the lawless city.
It worked: Looters left , presumably to look for easier pickings.
Resident Alexandra Boza posted a sign on her front porch reading, "Pit Bull Will Attack. We Are Here and Have Gun and Will Shoot." "I`m a part of the militia," she said, perhaps not realizing that her statement was true in the most accurate, historical sense of the Second Amendment.

Police suddenly body-slammed the elderly woman into her kitchen wall, sending dishes and a trashcan flying. Then they confiscated the gun and dragged her out of her home.
As Thomas Paine put it in 1775, "Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived of the use of them." Tragically, horrid mischief still awaited the besieged residents of the Gulf.

Dispossessing Victims, Disarming the Defenseless

It was a week after Katrina struck before many New Orleans residents saw any of the thousands of federal, state and local emergency officials-- from the California Highway Patrol to the NYPD, the 82nd Airborne to the National Guard--who`d been dispatched to help them.

First those forces were focused on search and rescue. then they aimed at deterring and detaining looters.
Finally they were detailed, under Mayor Ray Nagin`s order, to evacuate the Big Easy--willingly or not.
Then, 11 days after Katrina hit, local police began confiscating firearms from civilians in preparation for a forced evacuation of the last holdouts.

"We are going to take all the weapons," Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley told the Associated Press.
But many residents didn`t want to leave, for fear of losing their pets, their possessions or their homes.

Fox News cameras caught one violent confiscation on tape. Police entered the residence of an elderly woman, Patricia Konie, demanding evacuation. "I don`t want you in here, period," she said, pointing out her street was dry, she had adequate food and water, and if looters came, she had a gun.

When the police asked to see her gun, she showed them a small revolver, which she carefully held safely in her palm--no hand on the grip or finger on the trigger.
Police suddenly body-slammed the elderly woman into her kitchen wall, sending dishes and a trashcan flying.
Then they confiscated the gun and dragged her out of her home, dazed and staggering, for processing.

New Orleans attorney Ashton O`Dwyer, whose house was intact and who had plenty of food and water, also resisted, as shown in a CNN.com segment. "Let them be warned," he said. "they try to come to my house, they try to evict me, they try to take my guns, there will be gunfire." Yet while authorities sought to disarm ordinary citizens in New Orleans, they had no plans to disarm private security guards hired to protect businesses, the wealthy and connected. Which means that, as is so often the case throughout history, freedom and safety are reserved for the well-to-do- while ordinary citizens most in need of protection are left with little more than their prayers and pleas for mercy.

Bova, the Gulfport resident quoted earlier, brought the situation into the starkest focus. When I told him of New Orleans` policy of disarming honest citizens, he was speechless at first, for he hadn`t heard the news. then he grew livid.
"These are people who have lost everything," he said. "their kids, their homes, their life savings, all their possessions. All that`s left is that they`re still alive. You mean to tell me, after losing all that, politicians want to take away their guns--the one thing that can keep them alive? "Who do they think they are?" he shouted. "these people ought to be indicted and put in jail!" "For generations, anti-gun politicians have claimed that honest citizens don`t need firearms because the police or the government will always be there to protect you," said NRA`s LaPierre. "that`s nonsense, it`s naive, it has never played out that way in history, and New Orleans proves it once and for all.

"Authorities are trying to do what the looters and criminals could not: disarm the law-abiding citizens of New Orleans trying to protect their homes and families," he said.
"The NRA will not stand idly by while guns are confiscated from law-abiding people who`re trying to defend themselves." NRA-ILA chief Cox agreed.
"We`re going to do what it takes to ensure this never happens again," Cox said. "First, we`re going to go into every state that has laws allowing authorities to confiscate firearms from lawful people during a state of emergency, and we`re going to change those laws. Second, we`re going to get legislation on Capitol Hill to amend the federal disaster laws, so that governments never have the authority to confiscate firearms from peaceable citizens--whether under a state of emergency or not.

And third, we`re going to go to court to defend the Second Amendment rights of people whose firearms have been confiscated, and we`re going to get those firearms back," Cox said. "The NRA will not allow this travesty to stand."

Xavier's Note:
In preparation for further lawsuits over gun confiscations the NRA and SAF are looking for people who actually had guns confiscated. If you have personally had a gun confiscated in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina hit, please call (888) 414-6333. Be prepared to leave only your name and immediate contact information so we can get back to you. Once again, they are seeking contact information from actual victims of gun confiscation in Louisiana only.
Contact SAF via e-mail at safalert@liberty.seanet.com. Please be ready to provide them with your full name, address, current working telephone number and the date and time of the firearm(s) seizure, as well as any other pertinent information.

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The Best 1911 for You

What is the best 1911?

There is an old shooter who gave the best 1911 recommendation ever voiced. It goes like this......"100% reliability, sights you can see, a trigger you can manage." That fellow was Jeff Cooper, the father of Modern Combat Handgunning. It still holds up today. That is ALL you need, the rest is just convienence. The journey is finding the sights you can see and the trigger you can manage. Realize that this first 1911 will likely not be your last 1911 and take some of the pressure for the "right" gun off your shoulders.

Now, I'll indulge in what I have found is right for me in a carry 1911. This might not be right for you, but it is posted as a seed for thought. 100% reliability. Wilson magazines, low profile base pad. Fixed sights. 2 inch accuracy at 25 feet under stress, handheld. A 3-4 pound trigger. Ed Brown grip safety. Single sided thumb safety, extended. Pearce rubber double diamond grips. No front strap checkering. Flat MSH, either checkered or serated. A decent dehorning. A tough finish. Things I prefer but don't insist on are a high ejection port, and a barrel bushing. Things I refuse to have on my carry gun include ambi safeties, magwells, extended slide stops, FLGR, extended magazine releases, any kind of locking device.

No out of the box guns fit my criteria, so I built my own. As far as recommendations of makers, I like Colts. It's a quality/pony thing for me. I also own Springfields and have found them to be a great value. I have shot the S&W guns, and found them to be good stuff. If I wanted an out of the box CCW/shooter, the S&W 1911PD would be my pick. I realize that I like to modify though, so Colt gets my spending money. As long as a buyer sticks with Colt, S&W, Springfield or Kimber Series 1, there is a high probability that he (or she) will be happy with their first 1911. I'm not listing the higher priced stuff, but they make good guns too, obviously. Over time you will either modify your 1911 to suit you better, or trade it off for one that suits you better. That is the nature of the beast. The thing to do is get into the game with a quality 1911. As you become a seasoned 1911 shooter, you will learn what is right for you.

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Who is XavierBreath?

XavierBreathI am XavierBreath. My wife calls me that when I try to justify a new gun purchase to her.

I am a consumer in the gun market. I buy guns new, used and broken. I will consider almost anything in my price range to be a prospective purchase. There are few guns I do not like in some way. There are also few people that I do not like in some way. There are many people (including gun owners) that I will not talk guns with though. There is just to much arrogance based on ignorance in that arena. It is a wise man who knows what he knows not.

I enjoy working on my own guns. I am a self-taught gun tinkerer. Some would call me a "Kitchen Table Gunsmith" and that's OK. I am not above using a kitchen table. I taught myself how to work on my guns for a simple reason. There are a lot of incompetent gunsmiths in my area. The good smiths and custom shops have a waiting list six months long. By doing my own work, I get the job when I want it, how I want it, and at a price that is hard to resist. The added advantage is that I learn more about my guns. I get satisfaction working with my hands. It is good therapy to take a gun that nobody wants and work it into an accurate and beautiful tack driver. I do this for myself. I will not work on other's guns. I am slow to advise others to work on thier own guns unless they have the skills to do it. My past experience involved fabrication of parts from raw stock for the F/A 18 aircraft. I have hand built vintage automobiles that are raced. I figured if I was qualified to fabricate parts that hang bombs under aircraft that fly over our cities, and to fabricate parts for cars that speed past spectators at 100MPH, then with the right manual I would be qualified to put a trigger in a 1911.

I enjoy collecting old guns. I found that the ones that I enjoy the most are the ones with a history. I enjoy the scars an old CCW piece wears. I don't mind a bit of muzzle wear on a K38. I do expect them to be in working order, because I like to shoot my guns. Having a gun you cannot shoot is like having a horse you cannot ride. Sooner or later you will try it.

Finally, the thoughts expressed here are my own. I choose to remain anonymous because I do not want to become involved in the pissing matches that I have seen over the years in cyberspace. I do not want to place my family nor myself at risk. There are a lot of nut jobs in the gun world. I prefer the peace and sanity that one can achieve by clicking on the "Turn Off Computer" icon. I will not relinquish that in a vain attempt to establish creditbility by publishing my name. A name published on the internet does not create credibility, nor does the lack of such diminish credibility. Credibility is founded on one principle.......... Truth. Repeat. Truth. Repeat. Truth. Repeat........

In a world where many people judge others based on what they have, what they know, who they know, or what they take in each year as income, I subscribe to a very simple precept in dealing with people. I will judge a person on one criteria. The strength of thier character. To make that judgement, you have to listen. You have to watch. Integrity is not granted. It is earned. It can only be destroyed by oneself. When I am dead and buried, I have one thing that I wish to be remembered for. My integrity.

Have fun, shoot well.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina Storm Surge