A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Self Defense in Arkansas

An elderly man, beaten unconscious by an assailant wielding a soda can, awoke and shot his attacker during a home invasion and attempted robbery in El Dorado Arkansas. Willie Lee Hill, 93, told police he saw the home invader while in his bedroom the night of July 25, 2007. Mr. Hill confronted the man and was struck at least 50 times. He was knocked unconscious during the assault.

Covered in blood, Mr. Hill regained consciousness a short time later and pulled a .38-caliber handgun on his attacker. The scumbag criminal, Douglas B. Williams Jr., saw the gun and charged the elderly man. Mr. Hill fired once and struck Williams in the throat. "I can't feel my legs and I got what I deserved," Williams, 24, told police when they arrived after the attack.

Paramedics took Hill and Williams to the Medical Center of South Arkansas for treatment. Doctors sent Williams to the Louisiana State University Medical Center at Shreveport, where he was listed in critical condition two days later.

Mr. Hill, recovering at an El Dorado hospital, said he would stay there through at least the early part of this week. After that, he will spend some time in a nursing home to recuperate. Bruises cover his body, and four large gashes cross his head. "You can't imagine what an experience it is with somebody on top of you trying to kill you," he stated. "I never had that happen to me."

Mr. Hill said he keeps his handgun "always loaded" near his bed. He carried the weapon outside to his porch as he waited for police to arrive, unsure if his attacker would remain down. Williams' first punch "hit me with all his might in the left side of my face," Mr. Hill said. "My teeth don't fit right now."

Officers reported finding a set of keys, two hearing aids, a CD player, an MP3 player, a Craftsman drill bit set and three pocket knives inside Williams' pockets. Police plan to charge him with residential burglary, second-degree battery, theft of property and theft by receiving. Charges of attempted murder have not been filed.

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The Pursuader

It's a design by James Piatt. Guaranteed to get attention.

This is a leather purse with a cellphone compartment in the magazine. $289


Monday, July 30, 2007

Robin Hood of the Gun Buy Back

by John B.

I left Champaign-Urbana at 0530 with 27 guns in my trunk and one on my hip. Given that Chicago Police reportedly now receive one vacation day and a $300 bonus on their paychecks for each gun they confiscate, I was very cautious. Visions of a car accident and subsequent police contact and discovery of the guns in my trunk filled the back of my mind. It would surely earn me the label of "gun runner" and incarceration in the disease-ridden bowels of Chicago’s city jail.

I'm sure the eyeballs first officer to find said guns would be wide with glee:

"Hoo YAH! Cha-CHING, BABY! I just got a month and a half off and a free trip to Aruba!"

I had 23 guns to turn in and didn’t want to take them all in at once as I expected that would raise suspicions. So I decided to visit three or more turn-in locations to “spread” things out. You know, take five or so into each location until I ran out of guns or they ran out of credit cards.

I had a map with turn in locations listed and had planned to be there at 0800, so as not to get there after they ran out of cards (as almost happened to us in Joliet a few years ago when we got there at 0930 or so). I went to the best location proximate to I-90/94 and found myself in the heart of the bad-news ghetto in Chicago. Fortunately, the city’s thugs were sound asleep at this wee hour. I found the door locked at the church and nobody around. Called 311 and found that the event started at 1000.

I killed some time by reconnoitering the second location I planned to transact business with and found a drugstore for a restroom. Returned to location #1 and guardedly read a couple of chapters of “Godless” by Ann Coulter. Towards 1000, there were a lot of folks around looking like they were going to be turning stuff in, so I grabbed two bags (of five) out of the trunk and went to the door at 1000 sharp. Didn’t want them to run out while I’m standing there with a bunch of guns. Didn’t figure they’d take too kindly to me walkin’ out with a bunch of guns in Wal-mart bags (hey, I double bagged them!) if they didn’t have enough cards.

I stood in line there listening to a bunch of hopeless sheep bleat for half an hour. It repulsed me. "I've been blessed," one man said. "When things happen around me, like shooting or people screaming, I don't even look up."

"I figure if something's gonna happen to me, it's gonna happen," he concluded.

Won’t look up if he hears a woman screaming? How pathetic is that?

Now, Chicago officials would probably tell you this program is helping to get guns out of the hands of criminals in one way or another. Well, the average age of the folks waiting in line there was about 60 and I’m not sure anyone there didn’t have at least some gray hair. Heck, tne fella next to me was on oxygen and at least one lady had a cane. These were law-abiding folk. Typically, they were there with a gun that had been in the attic or closet for the last thirty or forty years. They were not criminals or dope slingers who would use a gun to victimize anyone.

Sure, a burglar might have stolen a gun they came across, but do we worry about our cars being stolen and used in crimes that result in good people getting hurt?

You think about those things when you’re standing in the middle of some lousy ghetto in Chicago, disarmed and standing on a sidewalk with two bags full of guns, waiting for them to get around to opening, late.

They finally opened at 1030. They let us in, two at a time. I was first with a real gun... or ten, in this case. Older, but very nice, cop played the gun expert, but it was clear he was no expert. I had to help him show clear on many of the guns as he was painfully slow in his inept effort at opening old wheelguns. After professing an ignorance about guns, I had to pretend to fumble around with the mechanisms. I threw in a few muzzle sweeps for good measure to make it look good. I did keep my finger off the trigger though.

He took all ten, including the starter pistol, as real guns. Yes, a cheap .22 blank pistol that might have been used at a high school track match long ago. Not my problem that he gave us $100 for that pistol. He was just glad and happy I could show him empty cylinders, as he was initially taking about two or more minutes per gun to check them (until I started fumbling and sweeping) and there were lots of folks waiting outside.

They gave me ten credit cards and thanked me profusely, falling all over themselves to tell me what a great thing I was doing and I reciprocated, encouraging them to do it again!. I stuffed the envelopes into my back pocket after folding them.

I noticed that she was pulling the envelopes out of a box which contained an estimated 200 envelopes. ($100 x 200 = $20,000 x 23 locations = About a half-million in support of this program from someone. Looking back, it seems like a pretty fair estimate!) Separate box for the $10 cards for pellet guns and replicas. Similar number of envelopes there.

I left the building in condition orange, watching for any thugs waiting to ambush anyone coming out. The suspicious character watching me carefully with my two bags of guns wasn’t there any longer. Got into the car across the street and was giddy with excitement. I had just sold $10 worth of scrap plus maybe a $50 5-shot .22 "affordable" wheel gun for $1000! It seemed too good to be true!

On to location #2. I was a little worried, since I was a half-hour behind schedule, thanks to the late open at the first church. Still no thug-types on the sidewalks even though it was approaching 1100. I had reconnoitered the location #2 earlier, so it was effortless to find after a few minutes and a single turn. Found a parking spot fairly close to the door.

That was a good thing, because I had nine long guns in two bags, plus another small bag of handguns to go and I was still deep in the rough part of the nation’s murder capital (or close runner up). About forty awkward pounds of rusty (s)crap. I mulled over whether or not to split this into two take-ins (at location #2 and then #3), but decided that based upon my warm reception at location #1, I'd just take them all in.

Oops. One rusty revolver fell out of one of the bags on my way in and skittered across the sidewalk. Ah, crap. I picked it up and palmed it. Whew! Glad nobody saw that.

In I went, greeted warmly. "Whoa! I see you've got some guns!" says the lady at the door. She must have noticed the barrels sticking out of the plastic bag or maybe the rusty clunker in my palm. Clearly, she must have been a detective.

Waited in line, watching "the room". Hot shot young guy was clearing the guns on the table by the door. Very "friendly", but invasive at the same time. Classic "good cop". I’m sure he’d be a good buddy – if you were a fellow cop.

Guns were getting really heavy. I put them down. Whew!

Finally, after the 70-year-old man ahead of me has a pump action bird gun and a single-shot break-open shottie checked, it’s my turn.

I hand the bag with the sawed-off rifle and a pistol or two in it to the hall monitor after asking her ever-so-sweetly if she could hand the bag to the “nice young man” otherwise identified as Hotshot while I dragged forty-plus awkward pounds towards the table. She did, handling it like it had fresh dog feces inside.

"Hey, howya doin'" he greets me. "All these unloaded?"

"I dunno. I think so. I'm not real big on guns." My toes were crossed.

He has trouble getting the guns out of the duct-taped bag. I instinctively reached for my blade, which was not there because its four and a half-inch blade would have landed me in the slammer in disarmed-victim Chicago. Instead, I had my little Spyderco in my pocket (not clipped), but I wasn’t going to let them grab that as its blade was 2 1/2 inches long (also in violation of the 2” rule in Chicago).

“One of you guys got a knife to help him open this up?” I asked.

They all looked at one another like I just asked them for a gold brick or something. Not one of five cops had a blade. How sad.

Finally, some little old lady brings a pair of $1.00 scissors and Hotshot cuts the tape, with some difficulty.

He starts checking them, and notices the rust on his hands from a couple of really choice specimens. You could get tetanus from these if you had any open sores.

"Didja hit a bunch of pawn shops or something?" He asked. "Hey, Benny, come look at these."

Benny comes over and starts sweating me. He's playing "bad cop" in a restrained way. Same questions, only a lot more assertive. "Where'd you get all these? You buy them to bring here?"

They broke me in about as long as it takes in CSI or one of those other cheesy TV cop shows for David Caruso’s character to break down the bad guy’s will.

"Uh. No, they aren't really mine. They belonged to my grandfather and his father. I sold the decent ones and had this stuff in the attic for a long time until I saw you guys were giving $100 cards for any old guns."

Midway through his clearing of the guns, Hotshot motions for me to come closer while he was holding one of the guns.

"Hey, did you know this one was one of our sniper rifles from World War II?" he asked. "See this here," he noted, pointing at the elevation mechanism for the broken rear sight, "this is the windage adjustment."

I think I was able to keep a straight face, but it was really hard.

"Wow. If I'd have known that, I mighta kept that one," I replied. It was a broken down, 60s-era, hardware-store, tubular-fed .22 long rifle pump gun with the tube hanging out of the receiver. I later told this to the guy who donated this gun to the club, and he laughed. "It must have been a one-of-a-kind custom gun!" he said with a hearty laugh.

After showing clear on all thirteen, Benny showed me to the "money table." Similar number of envelopes, only the box was only 2/3 full here. Another woman was busy making notes for each of 13 envelopes and putting labels on the guns. I sashayed over to the other end of the table and had a peek at the "pistol" box. Total junk. Pot metal wheel guns. Maybe a couple of S&Ws, but more likely, just patent-infringement guns from no-name makers. No modern semi-autos.

"Hey you, get over here." Oops, they caught me eyeballing their treasure.

I sheepishly returned.

They gave me the envelopes and watched suspiciously as I verified the count. Gave them a big thumbs up and a smile and turned to leave. It was like they had formed a reception line behind me. Four or five of the women wanted to shake my hand and thank me profusely. Even took my photo with a big shot there. I remembered to stick my middle finger out a lot further than the rest of my fingers while trying to hold a fanned out stack of envelopes for the photo.

Ugh! Got out of there and I ran out of hand sanitizer and baby wipes in the car wiping the funk off my hands.

PLEASE NOTE: Everyone, including the CPD officers were very polite and kind (well, with the exception of ‘Benny’ who was trying to grind me at a “no questions asked” event, but he was still an okay guy). They all meant well, even if they weren’t nearly as proficient in handling firearms as they thought they were.

In my opinion, they should secure some of those “safe zone” pads or maybe old body armor as a safe backstop when handling these very old and possibly malfunction-prone guns (because of rusted firing pins or other issues). They might also do well to ask for firearms aficionados to help to volunteer to show these guns clear, because clearly (pun intended), the folks I witnessed fooling around with these guns were about in over their heads. Of course, it will be a cold day in hell before any of the “noble” class as for help from the peasants in Chicago.

We would like to thank the City of Chicago and George Soros, or whoever underwrote this program for their generosity. We think it will result in a safer society, just not exactly in the way Mayor Daley would have you believe.


So, Guns Save Life ended up netting $1700 worth of MasterCards from the event after those who split their donations with the club were “paid” in cards. The club has sold a dozen of its own cards to members for cash.

The last five of the cards are going to be spent at Darrell’s Custom Guns in Cayuga, IN for two CZ bolt-action .22s to be given away to two lucky kids participating in the NRA Youth Shooting Camp coming up over the first weekend in August.

All of the money (and then some) will be spent purchasing ammo for the kids to use during the camp or the rifles. The camp, located in Bloomington at Darnall’s, is the longest running NRA Youth Shooting Camp in the nation.

NRA Youth Shooting Camps teach young people gun safety and safe and responsible firearm use. Kids get a chance to shoot shotguns, rifles, handguns, black powder guns, archery and so much more as instructed by State and/or NRA Certified Instructors (like me) and/or Olympic-level shooting coaches.

I’m proud to say that Guns Save Life is a major supporter of Darnall’s NRA Youth Shooting Camp, donating thousands of dollars in ammunition to shoot, firearms as prizes for the kids, and dozens of volunteers including numerous instructors and staff. I’m quite proud to say that I’m vice-president of the organization and couldn’t be prouder at what we’ve accomplished this last two weeks. We rounded up these guns on short notice, executed our plan to sell them to Chicago and converted the gun sale money into education for young people about the safe and responsible use of firearms.

It’s sweet poetic justice here for Mayor Daley’s CPD Gun Buy.

You accounting wizards have probably figured out that I didn’t turn in the personal defense pieces that I keep in my trunk, especially when going to dangerous places like Cook County. No, I love my Garand. There are many like it, but this one is mine. As is my Beretta.

And they sure weren’t getting the pistol in my fanny pack!



Goodbye ebay

Hello everyone…In mid-August, we will be updating our Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy to place more restrictions around gun-related items. Once these changes take effect, we will prohibit listings of any firearm part that is required for the firing of a gun.
This includes items like bullet tips, brass casings and shells, barrels, slides, cylinders, magazines, firing pins, trigger assemblies, etc. Please read the Firearms, Weapons and Knives Policy for more details on our current policy.
As you may know, eBay does not allow the listing of any items which are regulated by individual states or the federal government; however, there are still a large number of firearm-related parts that are legal and are widely available in retail stores. These items have also historically been allowed on eBay.

After learning that some items purchased on eBay may have been used in the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007, we felt that revisiting our policies was not only necessary, but the right thing to do. After much consideration, the Trust & Safety policy team – along with our executive leaders at eBay Inc. – have made the decision to further restrict more of these items than federal and state regulations require.

This new update continues to encourage safety among our community members and brings our policies in the U.S. and Canada in closer alignment with our existing policies in other markets around the globe.


Matt Halprin
Vice President, Trust & Safety


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Forced to Kill: 4 Stories of Survival

Every year in the United States, about 200 people kill someone in self-defense. It's legal. It's often necessary. But it can emotionally scar the people who do the killing. From 2001 through 2006, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police investigated 25 homicides later ruled justified. Generally, police warn the public not to fight robbers because, they say, criminals are more likely to hurt or kill anyone who challenges them. But sometimes people feel they have no choice.

Clockwise from top left: Roy Parker, Julie Williams, Elijah Hackett III and Ruth Robinson.At least four times this month, would-be crime victims in Charlotte fought back against people trying to rob them. Two suspects were killed, two injured.

The latest occurred Monday, police said, when a clerk killed a man trying to rob her northeast Charlotte store. Prosecutors haven't decided whether to charge her. But "she is emotionally devastated by the decision that she was forced to make," her lawyer said in a statement.

Four Charlotteans say they understand how she feels. All fatally shot someone while trying to protect themselves. None was charged. But all four say the killings altered their lives.

Roy Parker

• May 19, 2000: Roy Parker, asleep upstairs at home, heard the doorbell ring, then loud banging. Clutching a revolver, he ran to the sunroom. "Stop!" Parker yelled. Outside, a man threw an iron patio chair against the window, shattering it. Parker fired two shots, safety bullets that are designed to disintegrate on impact. The man swung the chair again. The remaining bullets were real. Parker aimed a third time and fired. Parker said he never second guessed his actions.

He said officers who responded to the shooting of Mitchell Regis, 24, told him they would have done the same thing. Parker said he never wrestled with guilt. Before the shooting, he believed deeply in the principle of self defense, and he and his wife had taken a course on carrying a concealed weapon. He'd owned his .357 Magnum for 20 years, though he'd never shot at anyone. What happened didn't change his views. "You don't retreat at 1:30 at night when somebody is breaking into your house," he said last week in his south Charlotte home. "He left me no choice. It was his choice, not mine."

But after the initial shock wore off, he found his mind replaying the event, the loop endless. "I cried for several days," he said. The former marketing executive, now 58, was in training for a new job. But he couldn't concentrate and didn't start work for more than a month. Police referred him to a therapist who works with officers who have killed in the line of duty. Parker showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

He took anti-anxiety medication and saw the therapist until, after three years, he could function normally again. "I killed a person, and I don't like to shoot animals," Parker said. "When somebody attacks you and you defend yourself, you still think, `This is a person who doesn't even know me, and he wants inside my house, and he's not going to stop.' I was trying to make sense of the whole thing."

Julie Williams

• Jan. 1, 2000: Someone had broken into Julie Williams' bail bonding business but the stillness inside made her think she was alone. She flicked on the lights and stepped through the mangled front door. Suddenly, a man lunged at her with a crowbar. She raised her gun and fired.

Today, two deadbolts secure every outside door of Julie Williams' home. A security system monitors the inside. Video cameras and a Rottweiler guard the yard. The retired Charlotte cop installed the security after the shooting because she was afraid. Now Williams says she keeps her house locked down because she doesn't want to have to kill again. "I just never, ever want to be back in that position," she said.

Williams, 55, fatally shot Judus Lewis Caudle, 38, on New Year's morning 2000. She'd stopped at Absolute Bail Bonding and interrupted the burglary. "There is no doubt in my mind, had I not defended myself, he would have killed me," she said. "But even though you take a life in defense of your own, it's something you have to live with. I live with it daily."

Williams never returned to the Kings Drive building where the shooting occurred. She now runs an embroidery and screen printing business. After the shooting, she became depressed. Then angry. At first, she said, she couldn't talk about the shooting. But now, she thinks it helps. "I don't think there are very many days that go by that I don't think about him," she said. "When I wake up, I think about it. When I'm on my (motorcycle), I think about it."

Williams had been a police officer for 20 years before she retired in 1996 as a sergeant. She never fired her weapon on the job. She has a permit and totes a loaded handgun in her purse or pocket. After dark, she lays it on the seat of her car. She carries it in her hand as she walks into her house. She still remembers Caudle coming at her. "He looked like he was 10 feet tall." She remembers him struggling to breathe after he fell to the ground. And she remembers stepping over his body to call for help. But Williams has forgotten his face.

"God blocked that image out to help me deal with it," she said. "I think that was God's grace."

Ruth Robinson

• June 10, 2000: Inside the Busy Mini-Mart, Ruth Robinson watched as her husband struggled with an armed teenager. She ran to the counter and grabbed a gun. Crouched behind the counter, she fired blindly. Ruth Robinson was 66 when she killed Marquis Sanchez Vinson, 17. It was only the second time she'd ever fired a gun, she said.

"I don't know how to shoot a gun," she said. "He was trying to kill my husband. When I shot, I didn't mean to shoot him. I was just trying to scare him." She returned to work at the northwest Charlotte store the next day. She and her husband, James, started closing at midnight instead of 2:30 a.m. And they hired a man, kind of like a security guard, to hang out in the store. Before the shooting, she and her husband had talked about defending themselves in a robbery.

"I wasn't mad. I wasn't sad," she said. "I was disappointed that somebody would come and try to rob you when you work so hard." Robinson, now 73 and a widow, still runs the register at a relative's store one day a week. She said she thinks about the shooting, most often when she hears about robberies on TV. "These young kids, they need to go to school and get an education so they can get a decent job. They don't have to rob people," she said.

She didn't know the teenager and can't remember his name now. His brother came to see her a few weeks after the shooting, she said, and let her know his family didn't blame her. Still, she said, she won't ever forget it. In yet another encounter with a convenience store robber, Robinson herself was nearly killed last year.

Two teenagers walked into her sister's store on Beatties Ford Road and ordered her to give up the money. As one came around the counter, she said, he saw her going for a gun and shot her in the mouth. She shot back but missed. She believes she would have hit him if not for her arthritis. Robinson spent three months in a hospital. Now she has to eat pureed food. Still, she'll probably reach for a gun next time. "If you work that hard for your money," she said, "you shouldn't let someone come in and rob what you got."

Elijah Hackett III

• Feb. 12, 2006: As he sat upstairs, he heard a thud and two bangs. Elijah Hackett III said he grabbed his shotgun. A second later, he heard someone charging up the stairs. Just as he fired, he recognized the man. Elijah Hackett III killed his mother's ex-husband.

Hackett said he still doesn't know how Joe Scott Odell, 42, got in that night or why he came rushing up the stairs. Because of break-ins, Hackett, 30, was staying at the west Charlotte plumbing business he runs with his mother. Odell used to work at the plumbing business, but he'd been on the outs with Hackett's mother. Hackett and Odell didn't get along.

"Why did he run up the stairs? My truck was parked outside. He should have recognized it," Hackett said. Hackett said he still doesn't know whether his former stepfather had a weapon. Prosecutors cleared him in the case.

Sometimes he and his mother, Jackie, try to figure out why Odell showed up there or what he planned to do. They both referred to his death as "a relief" in some ways. They said there had been tension and threats -- and his mother feared violence loomed. "I wish I had done it, not him," Jackie Hackett, 54, said. "I wish it were my burden instead of his."

Elijah Hackett said he had no choice, but feels for Odell's family. "This is nothing I'm proud of. It's not something anybody should have to do. I hate that had to be a part of my life."

The Charlotte Observer
Greg Lacour


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Rat Rod Saturday Night

Red tuck-n-roll.
Flat black paint.
No hub caps.
Chain link shifter with a skull knob.
Hard core grill.
License plate floor patches.
Drive-in change dispenser.
Die Hard.
Big red oil light.
Push button start.
Dual carbs.
Dice in the fuel bowl.


Carlos Hathcock Trophy Winner

Congratulations Gunnery Sergeant Julia Watson, USMCR, winner of the 2007 Camp Perry Carlos Hathcock Trophy.

Aggregate score: 1276 - 53


Friday, July 27, 2007


You owe it to yourself to start reading at Matt's blog. Then go to AD's blog. Then Babs.

Bobby never made it to me. Damn. Go read.



Rosie O'Donnell in stitches

But who cares?


California Cheese- Kustom Kruiser Ultra Glide

I have been given the opportunity to ride and review a Kustom Kruiser Ultra Glide, and to tell my thoughts. Click to enlargeWhen I first saw pictures of it on the internet, I said "Damn! That's a great lookin' bike!" It had the look of an old ballooner tank bike, with a modern flair. In short, it appeared to be what many people are looking for in a cruiser type bike. Here is what I found.

The Kustom Kruiser is made in Taiwan. This bike is not made in, or even imported through Southern California, as the logo would lead one to believe. No, the address on the back of the manual says Madison WI. Not a bad thing per say, no bikes are being made in Chicago or Nottingham these days, but let's be honest about it eh?

One of the first things I immediately noticed about the Kustom Kruiser Ultra Glide was the tank is plastic. Yep, plastic, susceptible to all the cracking, and deterioration in the sun that plastic provides. Give me tin any day. It may dent and rust, but it takes a lot longer to fall apart. Click to enlargeThe two piece tank was a pain in the ass to install, not a job for the impatient among us. Thumbs up on providing a tank, but thumbs down on the materials guys. For what it's worth, the white wall tires shown here came from my parts supply. The KK Ultra glide comes with blackwall Cheng Shin 26X2.125 tires. It deserves whitewalls. I do not know why they ship it without them. The old school round reflector up front is also my own. The bike shipped with standard square reflectors to attach to the handlebars.

The paint on the KK Ultra Glide was superb. The blue metalflake was deep and glossy, while the decoration was covered with enough clear coat that it took very close examination to determine that decals were used rather than actual masking and painting. This is heads and tails above the stickers found stuck on top of the clear coat on similar bikes such as the Raleigh Retroglide. Unlike the very nice Raleigh Retroglide seat, however, the Kustom Kruiser seat reeks of cheapness. It is covered in a single piece of heavy black vinyl with a molded in stitch pattern and a screen printed Kustom Kruiser logo on the rear. Chrome springs supply support from underneath. Click to enlargeIt is held in place by a clamp and one allen screw. I may swap that out later.

The KK Ultra Glide is a conglomeration of universal parts, some proprietary, others not. The rims are polished alloy. The hubs are Shimano. Oddly, acorn nuts were placed on the front, and regular nuts on the rear. The pedals are nice ovoid shaped retro styled rubber. I like them. The kickstand is of the old Schwinn type, with a tube welded to the frame to accept the kickstand.

The laid back coolness and swept back longhorn handlebars of the Ultra Glide have speed written all over them. Click to enlargeI like the looks of the bike. It looks like speed sitting still. Unfortunately the bike is absolutely unrideable with the bars lowered. The bars hit the rider's knees, and maneuvering is impossible. To make the bike ridable, one must raise the bars up to an angle that absolutely destroys the looks of the bike and causes the rider to have to cock their wrists at an uncomfortable angle.

This bike needs either an elevated gooseneck, or apehangers. I think I will order apehangers. The stem requires a 7/8 inch handlebar. The grips on the handlebars are as cheap as the seat, with plastic chrome bling. Those will be tossed out for old school blue sparkle grips.

Even with all I would like to change, I do have to admit that the bike rides well. It does not rattle, and it is easily pedaled. Once the bars are raised, it is maneuverable and nimble, although I can tell my wrists would not enjoy a three hour ride. The bike does not easily mount on a standard Saris bike rack for a car. The double tubed support underneath the tank will not go into the rubber bike rack bracket. Multiple bungie cords must be used to secure the bike. This is not a bike to transport across the state on a bike rack.

So, to bring this bike up to where I would keep it, I plan to install apehanger handlebars with old school blue sparkle grips. Blue dice will be placed on the valve stems. A better seat will be installed. I've already replaced the tires and reflectors. When I'm done, I may end up with a bike that I am proud to cruise down the road on.........Even if the tank is plastic.

Click to enlargeI ordered and installed ape hanger handle bars as well as an "S" seat stem on the Ultra Glide. A chrome crash rail made the seat a bit more tolerable to look at. I put on a old style revolving bell, and dice valve caps. The bike now fits me, and is smooth as ice.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yeah Toast!

Hat tip to Blogagog


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Courtesy of Oleg Volk


What's This?

Tam shows why it's handy to know what the hell you are talking about before you start saying someone is a fraud.

Yeah, it was probably a distinction overheard on CSI, but still, if you are debunking, it's best to know the facts yourself.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Robert Evangelist Cleared of Charges

Former New Orleans police officer Robert Evangelist, accused in the beating of Robert Davis, was cleared of all criminal charges today by Judge Frank Marullo. Evangelist (right) and his attorney"I didn't even find this a close call," Marullo declared. The decisive factor was the video evidence that showed Davis struggling for several minutes while police beat him. "This event could have ended at any time if the man had put his hands behind his back," the judge concluded. Robert Evangelist elected to have his case heard by Marullo, without a jury. He pleaded not guilty to second degree battery and false imprisonment. Marullo acquitted him of both counts.

Franz Zibilich, Evangelist’s primary attorney, declared his client “acted appropriately and well within police standards.”

Lance Schilling, another NOLA police officer accused in the same incident, blew his brains out before standing trial.

Stuart Smith, a third New Orleans police officer, was accused of a misdemeanor charge of simple battery against Associated Press producer Richard Matthews. Marullo dismissed that charge. Smith served a 120 day suspension and remains on the New Orleans police force.

New Orleans.......recovering as expected.


The Strong Did Not Stumble

"This is not euthanasia; this is plain and simple homicide," declared Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti, Jr. in July 2006. Dr. Anna Pou A New Orleans surgeon and two nurses were arrested and accused of second degree murder in the deaths of four critically ill patients under their care at Memorial Medical Center during the desperate days following Hurricane Katrina. The surgeon was led away after a long day of surgery in handcuffs by four armed agents. One nurse was arrested in a similar fashion on the floor of the unit where she worked, the other nurse in front of her children at home. The arrests left patients without primary care providers. Attorney General Foti kept himself in the media limelight, and just two days after the arrests, he hosted a lavish political fund raiser.

During the aftermath of Katrina, there was no electrical power. For five days Memorial Medical was isolated by flood waters, with no rescue in sight. Nursing and medical staff were exhausted, spent. Profoundly ill patients were rapidly deteriorating in horrid 110 degree heat and humidity. At least 40 patients ultimately died at the eight story, 317 bed hospital, which turned into a sweltering refuge for hospital staff, their families and patients.

Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti Jr.'s allegations that Dr. Anna Pou and nurses Lori Budo and Cheri Landry were conspirators in the second degree murder of four critically ill patients was a stark reminder of the responsibility placed on health care workers in dire circumstances. The integrity entrusted to professional health care providers is only needed more at those times.

Lori Budo and Cheri LandryThe DA had already declined to prosecute the nurses, in order to compel them to testify before the grand jury, granting them immunity, and leaving Dr. Pou as the only person accused of murder. Today an Orleans Parish grand jury refused to indict Dr. Anna Pou.

Last week, Dr. Pou brought suit against Charles Foti, stating he played politics with the dead of Hurricane Katrina and with her career, making her a scapegoat in an attempt to direct scrutiny away from the incompetence of many others in the blame days following the disaster.

Good show Dr. Pou. Give them hell. May your place never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

From The Dr. Anna Pou Defense Fund:

Statement by Dr. Anna Pou
July 24, 2007 - CNN
The last 23 months have been very challenging and painful not only for Cherie, Lori and me but also for our families and the family members of those who died at Memorial Hospital during and following Hurricane Katrina. This is not a moment of triumph, but a moment of remembrance for all those who lost their lives during the storm.

We need to remember the magnitude of human suffering that occurred in the city of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina so that we can ensure that this never happens again— and that no health care professional should ever go through this again.

I hope to return to work, doing what I love to do best and hope that the city and medical community continue to heal now that this is behind us.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me through this trying time—my family, friends, colleagues, patients and total strangers—for their generosity, their love and their prayers and I ask that they continue to pray for all victims of the storm, for our city and for us, as we try to rebuild our lives.

Statement by Rick Simmons
July 24, 2007 - CNN
An Orleans Parish Grand Jury returned a “No True Bill” to allegations against Dr. Anna Pou brought to District Attorney Jordan by Attorney General Charles Foti. This finding by the Grand Jury fully and completely vindicates Dr. Pou of any criminal wrong doing in the wake of a miserably inept response by government at all levels to Hurricane Katrina.

For Dr. Pou and her family, today’s announcement represents the end of 23 months of pain and uncertainty, the hallmarks of which include suffering along with her colleagues, acutely ill patients, and far too many others in the sweltering heat and chaos of Memorial Hospital while local, state and federal governments wrestled and wrangled and twiddled their thumbs as more than forty people succumbed to third world conditions inside the hospital.

Another hallmark of the past 23 months for Anna includes emerging from a day long cancer surgery at Baton Rouge's Earl K. Long Charity Hospital only to be arrested as a common criminal; despite a prior agreement with the Attorney General that she would be allowed the dignity of self-surrender should an arrest become a reality. It should long be noted by anyone who questions the character of Dr. Pou that once arrested; she used her only telephone call to make arrangements for another physician to attend to her cancer surgery patient in her absence.

Yet another hallmark of these past 23 months came just hours after her arrest when Dr. Pou's mug shot was splayed across the screens of televisions around the country with the words "accused of murder" imprinted beneath it. Clearly, for Dr. Pou, it’s been a helluva 23 months.

Today’s events offer no comfort whatsoever for those whose loved ones perished at Memorial Hospital under circumstances falsely described by the state's Attorney General as murder.

The sad reality is that Mr. Foti has done a terrible injustice to the families of those who died at Memorial and other hospitals by building false expectations of having all the answers and by rushing to judge three of the most respected and dedicated medical professionals this city has ever known. It should not be lost on anyone that those who lost loved ones at Memorial suffer still while their search for answers goes on. Our hearts go out to them.

Our thanks go to the Grand Jury, to District Attorney Jordan for viewing this case impartially and to all who have shown such generous support for Dr. Pou for so long.

Rick Simmons
Counsel for Dr. Anna Pou
New Orleans, LA
July 24, 2007

The Man in the Arena- T. Roosevelt

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Edward Petrossi's Story

What can be gleened from Edward Petrossi's experience?

Mainly, just because a punk with a blade thinks he is Billy Badass doesn't mean he is!

I do not like to second guess those who have seen the elephant, but much can be learned by analyzing shootouts after the fact. God bless the defender with the gun, and may God damn his attackers.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Jet Bike on Ebay

2007 custom electric / jet turbine bicycle. The electric bicycle will go 18 MPH for 20 miles on a single charge. The jet turbine will go 1.2 miles on one gallon of JET-A and will reach a speed of 50 MPH! The jet turbine is a AMT 450 with electric start. This turbine cost $5,500.00 with electric control unit. The bike also has a custom smoke system built for this application, it uses aviation smoke oil. The jet can be ran on jet-a or kerosene. This bike is not a toy and buyer assumes all responsiblity. The turbine is very loud....the perfect toy if you don't like your neigbors very much. Do not bid on this bike if you do not like attention! First run down my street and thier wasn't a neighbor one not in his front yard to see what the ^$^% was that. Buyer reponsible for pickup and or shipping arrangements.

Current bid: US $5,000.00

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Armed Robbery in St.Louis

Note how quickly the rent-a cop chick places her revolver on the floor instead of using it. She quickly realizes her mistake and picks it back up, but it could have been a fatal error.

Next, she places the unarmed clerk between herself and the gunman. I guess he would make a nice bulletproof shield.

Finally, they all neglect to lock the door afterwards.

Just because you hire a security guard does not mean you have security. Carry your own gun, and know how and when to use it.

I do not like to second guess those who have seen the elephant, but much can be learned by analyzing shootouts after the fact. God bless the defender with the gun, and may God damn his attackers.



Click to enlarge
There are times that one comes across something that leads to total, unmitigating, unrelenting inspiration. Such was my response when I first saw this bicycle with a motor.

I will build such a bike! Soon! Life is to short not to!

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Roper Grips on Ebay!

Expect these to escalate. First, they are N frame grips. Next they are Ropers. Finally, they are damned nice Ropers.

Winning bid: US $932.64

Roper grips, associated with Walter Roper, a marksman from the time of Skeeter Skelton were actually handmade by an old world artisan named Matheis Gagne. The grips were usually crafted from a single piece of carciasian walnut. They were then hand chiseled to achieve a tight frame fit. Next, Mr. Gagne would work off a drawing of the purchaser's hand to design the form of the grips. He then used a file to shape the grip. Mr. Gagne would use an old v-notch cutting tool to carve the exquistite checkering. They were finished with linseed oil and some shellac was added to give them a sealed effect and slight sheen.

Each set of Roper grips is unique. They rarely appear on the market. As a period aftermarket S&W revolver accessory, Roper grips have no peer.

I am fortunate enough to own one revolver with Roper grips. It is a .22LR Colt Official Police. These N frame Roper grips are already bid up higher than I paid for my whole revolver and grips in a pawn shop last year. Yep, this is going to be an interesting auction!

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Hot Rodding is Dead?


Ilsa Goes to the Vet

Click to enlargeAfter her morning run, Ilsa went to see the vet today. It was quite an experience for her. I was very proud that she did not get car sick on the way.

She has doubled her weight since she arrived last month. The Vet lady was nice, and she had a pocket full of treats. Ilsa thought the assistant with the thermometer needs to stick it in his own butt though! Ilsa checked out with 5 stars on all accounts, and she even got to tell a Great Dane to shut his yap in the waiting room. All in all, Ilsa felt it was an entertaining morning. The Dr. Seuss dogs in the waiting room were bizarre. Ilsa's not certain those were really dogs at all.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Convenience Store Shootout

What can be learned from this shootout?

First, distance and movement are your friends, and it's hard to get either when lying on your back with an attacker shooting down at you.

Second, the defender probably lived because he had a gun and did not hesitate to pull and use it.

Third, even after the thugs ran away, the defender fires blindly through the door and into the parking lot. He is responsible for each of those bullets. Did he need to take that kind of legal risk?

Finally, with a deflated lung filling with blood, the defender kept himself alive until help arrived. He did not succumb to the notion that being shot equates with death.

I do not like to second guess those who have seen the elephant, but much can be learned by analyzing shootouts after the fact. God bless the defender with the gun, and may God damn his attackers.



More mug shot irony at The Smoking Gun

Hat tip to Sharp as a Marble


Heat Seeking Bullets?

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The Texas Star


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sign of the Times

They work to keep guns out of schools, right?

Hat tip to Sharp as a Marble.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lets Defend Our Rights


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Food Chain

Just because an animal is more evolved, the assumption that it evolves from the food chain is erroneous.

The relations between the law abiding and the criminal are much the same.


Monday, July 16, 2007



Good News~!

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it will significantly revise a recent proposal for new “explosives safety” regulations that caused serious concern among gun owners. OSHA had originally set out to update workplace safety regulations, but the proposed rules included restrictions that very few gun shops, sporting goods stores, shippers, or ammunition dealers could comply with.



Sunday, July 15, 2007

To See Where Gun Licensing Leads, Look To England


Ilsa Update

Ilsa is learning her lessons very well. She has learned sit, stay, down, and of course, "do bidness" which is our word for urination. She has a heck of a nose and loves hide and seek. She has great potential as a rescue dog. Her favorite thing to do now though is run along beside me on bike rides.........besides chewing bones, of course.


The World's Fastest Indian

At 63 years of age, after his first heart attack, Burt Munro left Invercargill, New Zealand and arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1962. He brought along an Indian Scout motorcycle that he had modified and re-modified after his own design over the past 40 years. Munro had a burning dream of testing himself and his creation of cobbled parts in the real theater of speed.

His passion helped him get into the door at Bonneville, although several officials were opposed to his running due to safety concerns. Burt Munro was a rebel in ways that the tattooed black clad greasers of speedways only hope to aspire to. When he needed slicks, he simply cut the tread off his tires with a knife. Right out of the gate, Burt set a world speed record of 288 km/h (178.97 mph). He went on to set the under 1000 cc world motorcycle land speed record, which still stands, at 295.44 km/h (183.58 mph). To qualify he made a one-way run of 190.07 mph, the fastest ever officially recorded speed on an Indian, regardless of cylinder volume.

If you have a love of motorcycles, if you have ever felt the need for speed, or even if you have a rebellious tattoo of a skull and crossed pistons from years ago, you will love this movie. If you have ever felt the pain of a dream dying and yearned to revive it, you must see this movie.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Now That's A Shotgun!


Friday, July 13, 2007

Jim Cirillo, Dead at 76.

I learned today that Jim Cirillo died last night in an auto accident. Damn.

From 1968 to 1973, Cirillo was a member of the New York City Stake-Out Squad. His job was to confront the worst in the criminal world. He lived through no less than seventeen separate shootouts. He was involved in many more armed confrontations. He later moved on to U.S. Customs. After retirement from law enforcement, Jim Cirillo took up writing. His book, Guns, Bullets, And Gunfights: Lessons And Tales From A Modern-Day Gunfighter is a compilation of articles he wrote over the years.

Jim Cirillo was the "go-to-guy" for street smart analysis of gunfighting theory. He was the real deal, a no bullshit BTDT guy with the scars to prove it. He had seen the elephant. Hell, there were some who said he ate the damned critter. Jeff Cooper dubbed him "Cirillo the Great." Massad Ayoob agreed that he was one of the great law enforcement gun fighters of the modern era. For many years, Jim depended on a revolver to survive. Later, after careful analysis, he accepted the Glock pistol as a sidearm.

Jim would tape over the sights on semi-automatic handguns to teach instinctive shooting based on the silhouette of the gun. He believed in utilizing the unconscious mind to get shots on target faster than the son of a bitch trying to kill you. He also taught other alternative sighting methods, all formulated to allow the practitioner to survive in a gunfight. Jim taught survival with a gun inside five yards. 15 feet. Beyond seven yards, he believed the odds were against an adversary, and the trained shootist had more time to go to sights or cover.

It seems ironic, therefore, that Jim would tell of being able to see every ding in the front sight of his S&W Model 10 in his first gunfight. Ironic, at least, until one realizes that Jim Cirillo was not in the business of selling a technique to dedicated legions of disciples for profit and fame. No, Cirillo was in the business of making it possible for people to survive when the chips were down, when lead would shortly be screaming by them. Jim Cirillo did not teach gunfighting. He taught fighting with a gun, and surviving to go home for supper. He did not care that there was apparent conflict in what he might say or teach. He just wanted to get at the truth, the crux of the matter, when it came to the survival tool pouch in armed conflict. That is what made Jim special. Because he did not care if he would be remembered at all, he will be remembered fondly and he takes his place alongside the likes of Cooper, Jordan, Applegate and Bryce. Godspeed Jim.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

FIGHT! Realistic & Practical Tactics for Concealed Carry

After much research into human nature we, here at ITC, decided to integrate the use of firearms and unarmed combat skills. We developed these techniques since there are a large portion of people who think that when you have a gun in your hands you should do something different than you would if you were unarmed. The fact that you have a gun does not necessarily mean your tactics should change, but rather that you have another option available to you. Your gun is a tool and NOT the solution to your problem!

Knowing WHEN AND IF you should draw your gun is critical to your survival. Our philosophy is to MOVE FIRST, DISTRACT (if possible), and then ATTEMPT to draw your gun, if that is the thing for you to do! Drawing and firing your gun will NOT guarantee your survival! Your drawing and shooting skills are only a small part of the formula for survival.

Part II

www.right2defend.com Turn down your speakers.......

Hat tip to Syd.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Matt Lisicki Interview




My Next Smith & Wesson (I Hope)

One Smith & Wesson revolver I am still looking for is a M&P snubbie. A two incher with a round butt, and a half moon front sight.

At one time, these fine carry pieces apparently cost all of $55. Heck, for that kind of money, I would buy twenty and then another twenty next pay day!

I have several Model 10 snubs, but the M&P snub seems to be as unusual as turtle teeth around here. When I finally do find a Military & Police snub, I hope it will be finish worn, so I will consider it for carry.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Hint: Not paying attention can harm you and your gun.

Got it yet?

I share this picture and accompanying story to serve as a reminder for those of us who send lots of lead downrange as well as those shooters who are new to shooting sports. Knowing how to recognize a squib load and what to do about it is a necessary fundamental of safe firearm handling.

I have only encountered a couple squib loads in my lifetime; this is the first time one has resulted in plugging my barrel.

On the 5th shot of a rapid-fire, double-action string, the sound and recoil resulting from pulling the trigger of my Model 19-3 were substantially different. Substantially different. The bang was more like the weak "pop" of a cheap firecracker, and the recoil was practically non-existent. Fortunately, and likely due to my having taught about squib loads and their potential hazards so many times in NRA Basic Pistol course, I didn't fire that sixth shot.

I was shooting .38 Special, 158 gran SWC Factory Reloads from The Outdoor Marksman.

It turned out to be a great object lesson for my two sons and wife who were watching. Being able to open the cylinder, see the slug lodged in the barrel, and to talk about what would have happened had the sixth shot been fired was a terrific object lesson.

I'm going to make a color copy of this picture and share it with my future students when talking about the various types of ammunition malfunctions. Feel free to share these pictures if you think anyone you know could benefit from them.

From orygunmike

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Monday, July 09, 2007

This Damned House

Monday morning........

"Hey Xav, Whadcha do this weekend?"

"Morning Kat. I bar-b-qued half a hog went bike riding went fishing went to hear Beausoleiu went to the range saved a couple of lives on overtime sparred in preparation for the next Friday night fights gelled out and did nothing don't want to talk about it."

"It's always good to talk about these things Xav........"

"So now everyone's a damned psychiatrist?"

"Relax Xav..... And change your shoes........You're tracking in mud."


"I understand you had an interesting weekend Xav."

"It was a good 'un Doc."

"Wife said she saw Lil Darling standing in a hole with a shovel on her morning jog........"

"Ya ever notice the varieties of palm trees that folks are planting around here? I bet three quarters of them won't make it past December. Stitch?"

"'Stat. You're planting a palm that close to your house?"

"No....How 'bout that damned Venus Williams?"

"You had a chance to watch Wimbledon along with all that digging?"



"Ever pay a man to clean out a drain and then have him go knock a hole in your damned pipe instead of using the clean out fitting you graciously provided when you laid the sonuvabitchin' schedule 40 field line nine years ago?"

"Yeah, the assholes generally toss half a coffee can on top of the hole they break in the pipe, and cover it right back up."

"Then the roots come.........."

"Yeah......Damned roots....."

"Stupid bastards."

Sonuvabitchin' brain surgeons."

"Hey......Didcha hear about the neurosurgeon who had to get his pipes fixed? After the plumber fixed them, he handed the neurosurgeon the bill, and the Doc almost went ballistic. He did a quick mental calculation and said 'Damn.....I need to go into plumbing.......I don't make half that, and I'm a freaking brain surgeon!' The plumber said 'Yeah, I know what you mean. I didn't make shit as a neurosurgeon either.'"


"Ya know....Next case is a plumber........"

"No shit? Got a coffee can?"


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Divine Intervention Takes Out Scum Bag

On Tuesday night, seventy-nine year old Dwight Cook, of Hickory, North Carolina, and his missus were relaxing peacefully at home when they heard a rattle of the front door knob. Mr. Cook went to the door, but found nobody there. Then he heard a crash. Derek Scott Frenceschini had used a piece of cement block to smash the glass in Mr. Cook's other door. After he reached inside, a quick turn of the deadbolt let the 23 year old criminal in.

Mr. Cook's wife ran to the neighbor's home to get help, while Mr. Cook quickly located his .22 caliber handgun. While confronting Frenceschini, Mr. Cook thought he saw something in the criminal's hands. He fired one shot into the ceiling as a warning shot.

“I went to get my .22 caliber gun that I keep in the hallway. I had it in my hand, and I asked him what he was doing. He turned around, and I saw that he had something in his hand. I didn’t know what it was, so I fired a warning shot up into the ceiling,” Cook said.

That's when Divine Providence stepped in. A fragment of the single .22 caliber bullet ricocheted and struck the intruder in the forehead, knocking the fight out of him. Cook then held the intruder at gunpoint while he dialed 911 for assistance. “I wasn’t aiming for him. I’ve handled guns since I was 12, and was a sharpshooter in the Army. If I wanted to hit him, I would have. If he’d moved, the next shot would have stopped him,” Cook said. “I stood to the side of him until the police got there.”

Frenceschini was subsequently arrested and charged with first degree burglary. He was hospitalized for the bullet fragment in his skull and a fractured hand he injured during the break-in, officials said. Mr. Cook was not arrested. As usual, the local constabulary advises against legitimate self defense.
Another Link.
Still another link.
And one more link.

I rarely second guess a person after a self defense shooting, but this account is ripe for discussion. I cannot avoid it.

First, there is no duty to retreat in North Carolina if one is within their own home. There is no need to make excuses, or God forbid blast ceilings in North Carolina. There is, however, a need for law abiding citizens to effectively defend themselves and their homes against criminal attackers.

Mr. Cook's statement, "If I wanted to hit him, I would have. If he'd moved, the next shot would have stopped him," although well intentioned, speaks volumes of his ignorance. Hitting moving targets is very demanding shooting, especially when one's life is on the line. It's a hell of a lot more demanding than hitting the ceiling of the room you are in. Former Army sharpshooters may have a lot of experience shooting rifles at stationary bullseyes at the range. That does not equate to life saving marksmanship with a handgun. As far as I know, the US Army has no job description of "sharpshooter". This designation is likely a marksmanship ranking, between "marksman" and "expert", a common and non-distinquishing ranking attained by farm boys and city boys alike who never held a rifle prior to military service.

The belief that a .22 caliber handgun will "stop" anyone is an fallacious belief bordering on the belief in magic. If a .22 caliber slug should stop an advancing assailant, it is because he wanted to stop. Yes, the lowly 22 kills more people than any other round. This is not a credit to the round's effectiveness, but rather a bow to it's overriding prevalence compared to other calibers, especially among untrained shooters. Unless the 22 slug penetrates into the CNS, the criminal will simply bleed slowly while he decides whether to flee or snuff the life from the defender.

And now, tactics. Warning shots are never a good idea. First, they deplete life saving ammunition in a life threatening encounter. The bullet you shoot in the air may be the one you need to save your life.

Warning shots are often fired in the hope that the aggressor will retreat at the sight of the firearm, and the defender will not have to take a life. This is the "Magic Talisman Presumption" that one often hears parroted off by those new to firearms. The truth is, introduction of a firearm into a conflict will escalate the conflict if the protagonist is not willing to utilize the gun effectively.

By their very nature, warning shots are often not aimed fire. As unaimed gunfire, they inherently place others at risk. Truth be told, Mr. Cook could have been struck by a stray bullet fragment just as easily as Frenceschini. If the warning shot is aimed, then the shooter has taken his eyes off the aggressor, making himself vulnerable while trying to save the criminal's life.

If a person is justified in firing a warning shot, they are justified in shooting the threat. Shots fired into the ceiling are as much an application of lethal force as shots fired center of mass. They are just a warm fuzzy touchy feelie excuse for not believing one's life is worth defending. They are a last plea for the criminal to stop his activities.

Finally, as in this case, if the "warning shot" should somehow find it's target, the shooter is then wide open for a civil suit. The warning shot will be interpreted and presented as empirical evidence that lethal force was not yet necessary, yet the shooter negligently injured the poor tortured soul who just happened to find himself in the wrong house. Yes, the civil suits are coming........Frenceschini is in the hospital, alive, with medical bills mounting. Meanwhile, Mr. Cook is going on record saying he fired a warning shot, which through Providence probably saved his life. Of course, Frenceschini will say he never threatened the old man, and a lawyer sleazier than John Edwards will produce a plethora of character witnesses who will paint him as a recently misguided choir boy almost killed by the evil old man with a gun.

I wish Mr. Cook the best, but he needs to stop speaking. He may soon learn that a warning shot between the eyes is preferable to one in the ceiling, and a caliber that starts with a four is preferable to a .22. Good luck Mr. Cook. God saved your ass a few days back. Don't place it on a silver platter for the attorneys to devour.

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Brady Campaign Lies


Cool Bicycle Modification

Read about it here.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

OSHA Threat

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed new rules that would have a catastrophic effect on the transportation and storage of ammunition and handloading components. The proposed rule indiscriminately treats ammunition, powder and primers as “explosives.” Among many other provisions, the proposed rules would:

1. Prohibit possession of firearms in commercial “facilities containing explosives”. This is an obvious problem for your local gun store, as well as police departments.

2. Require evacuation of all “facilities containing explosives” during any electrical storm. This includes your local Wal-Mart if they carry ammunition, and your local Sheriff's office if they have ammunition storage.

3. Prohibit smoking within 50 feet of “facilities containing explosives.”

It’s important to remember this is only a proposed rule right now, so there’s still time for gun owners to voice concerns before OSHA issues its final rule. The National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute will all be commenting on these proposed regulations, based on the severe effect these regulations (if finalized) would have on the availability of ammunition and reloading supplies to safe and responsible shooters.

The opportunity for public comment ends July 12. To file your own comment, or to learn more about the OSHA proposal, click here (pdf file) or go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and search for Docket Number OSHA-2007-0032. You can read OSHA’s proposal and learn how to submit comments electronically, or by fax or mail.

Update: OSHA has extended the comment period to 9/10/2007

OSHA Docket Office Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625 200 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20210

Re.: Docket No. OSHA-2007-0032 (Explosives—Proposed Rule)

Dear Sir:

I am writing in strong opposition to OSHA’s proposed rules on “explosives,” which go far beyond regulating true explosives. These proposed rules would impose severe restrictions on the transportation and storage of small arms ammunition, both complete cartridges and handloading components such as black and smokeless powder, primers, and percussion caps. These restrictions go far beyond existing transportation and fire protection regulations.

As a person who uses ammunition and components, I am very concerned that these regulations will have a serious effect on my ability to obtain these products. OSHA’s proposed rules would impose restrictions that very few gun stores, sporting goods stores, or ammunition dealers could comply with. (Prohibiting firearms in stores that sell ammunition, for example, is absurd—but would be required under the proposed rule.)

The proposed transportation regulations would also affect shooters’ ability to buy these components by mail or online, because shipping companies would also have great difficulty complying with the proposed rules.

There is absolutely no evidence of any new safety hazard from storage or transportation of small arms ammunition or components that would justify these new rules. I also understand that organizations with expertise in this field, such as the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Association, will be submitting detailed comments on this issue. I hope OSHA will listen to these organizations’ comments as the agency develops a final rule on this issue.


OSHA Docket Office
Docket No. OSHA–2007–0032
U.S. Department of Labor
Room N–2625 200
Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

RE: Docket No. OSHA–2007–0032
Request to Extend Public Comment Period and Request for Hearing on
“Significant Regulatory Action” as Defined in Executive Order 12866

Dear Secretary Chao:

I am writing to request an extension for public comment set to expire on July 12, 2007 for Preliminary & Initial General Observations on OSHA Explosives Proposed Rule (29 CFR Part 1910) - Published at Federal Register Vo. 72, No. 71, at P. 18792 (April 13, 2007).

After reviewing the proposed regulations it is my belief that the proposed rule is a "significant regulatory action" as defined in Executive Order 12866 (1993) Sec. 1(f)(1) in that it will clearly "adversely affect in a material way" the retail sector of the firearms and ammunition industry, productivity, competition and jobs and that the annual compliance cost for all retailers of ammunition will far exceed $100 million dollars.

Below is a bulleted list of what I am most concerned about:

• Massive Costs: The cost to comply with the proposed rule for the ammunition industry, including manufacturer, wholesale distributors and retailers, will be massive and easily exceed $100 million. For example, ammunition and smokeless propellant manufacturers would have to shut down and evacuate a factory when a thunderstorm approached. The proposal mistakenly states that this is an industry standard practice. A retailer would have to do likewise. Thus retailers, such as Wal-Mart, selling ammunition would have to close down and evacuate customers. This is simply not realistic.

• Exacerbate Ammunition Shortage to DoD and Law Enforcement: The proposed rule has major national security and homeland defense implications. There is already a shortage of ammunition for our troops and law enforcement. The Department of Defense has contracted to purchase ammunition from the commercial market because the Department's arsenal cannot meet demand. The rule will delay production and massively increase prices, making the ammunition shortage even more severe. In addition, the rule applies to the DoD arsenal, which is run by a commercial manufacturer under DoD contract.

• Unrealistic Assumptions: Portions of the proposed rule are not feasible and cannot realistically be complied with. The concept of evacuation to "a safe remote location" in case of thunderstorms or accident is untenable to manufacturers and retailers and is in disagreement with the DoD Safety Manual for Ammunition and Explosives.

• One Size Fits All Approach: The provisions in this proposal treat all explosives as if they have the same degree of hazard to employees. Retail outlets for small arms ammunition, primers and smokeless propellants, including massive facilities such as Wal-Mart, must maintain a fifty-foot barrier and specifically authorize all customers to enter only after searching them for matches or lighters (c.3.iii.A) and determining that they are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol (c.1.vii). This is despite the fact that small arms ammunition is extremely safe even when subjected to open flame, heat and shock. A customer still wouldn’t be able to purchase the ammunition because under this rule they are not allowed to carry it from the counter to the exit (c.3.iii.C). Even more damaging, the many “mom and pop” firearm outlets located in strip malls would be forced to shutdown as they have neighbor stores fewer than 50-feet away.

• Shipping is Halted: Proposed restrictions on transportation exceed current DOT Regulations. Mandating wood-covered, non-spark-producing material in trailers for small arms ammunition shipments would bring the transportation of ammunition to a near halt. There are simply not enough trailers in existence today that would be able to substitute for traditional, metal covered surfaces. Small package carriers such as UPS and Fed-Ex would be prohibited from carrying ammunition and components which would shut down mail order houses such as Cabalas and Bass Pro shops and many business to business transactions. This section alone, with all it would entail (such as two drivers at all times), is capable of paralyzing our industry.

• National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) Rules Exceeded: Proposed restrictions exceed NFPA regulations and would, for example, reduce commercial establishment displays of smokeless propellant from 50 to 20 lbs with no commensurate increase in safety. This will only add to dramatically increasing the cost to manufacturers and consumers.

It bears noting that scientific testing and safety records clearly illustrate that small arms ammunition is inherently an extremely safe product. I cannot recall a single instance where fire, shock, heat or lightening has resulted in injury from the accidental detonation of small-caliber ammunition. Billions of rounds of ammunition are sold each year in the U.S. and records demonstrate that current production and safety requirements are working.

I urge OSHA to grant an extension to this critical regulatory process.



1936 Schwinn on ebay

1936 Schwinn straightbar autocycle with a jeweled tank. Original paint.

Winning bid: US $3,690.00

I'm looking for an old straight bar frame, but this 'un's a bit much!


Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Raleigh Passage 4.0

When I was a boy, we all had bicycles. It did not matter what you rode really, it was all in how fast you rode, how far you rode, and which dares you would take. I remember riding for two hours in the summer heat on a single speed scratch built bike to swipe peaches from an orchard. I remember the arc a bike would make underneath a rider as he sailed through the air and into a water filled quarry. That was a fitting burial for a recalcitrant bike, burial at sea, beneath a laughing boy. Other times, we would strap twenty plastic milk jugs onto a favorite bike, so it would bob back up to the surface of the water for the next escapade. As I got older, I gave up bicycles for LBCs, little British cars. Those morphed into motorcycles, vintage aircraft and Land Rovers.

I finally decided to get back into bicycling, but over the past two decades, it seemed the spandex wearing skinny tired weight wienie race boys and their outdoorsy testosterone poisoned mountain biking brethren had taken over bicycling. Bicycling was no longer fun. It was no longer a way of getting around. It was a "sport", a way of life, and worse, a fierce and distasteful game of one-up-manship. I was much more of a beach cruiser type guy, but I could still appreciate the lightweight, geared mindset, just to get around town quickly, cheaply, efficiently, and to carry a few things on the way. I wanted a durable bike though, not a finicky carbon fibered anorexic space aged contraption.

Thus, when I went shopping for a bike, I was pleased to find a Raleigh in traditional British Racing Green. Click to enlargeYeah, OK, it's fabricated in China, not Nottingham, but the thought processes are still Raleigh. It's a Raleigh Passage 4.0, a nicely conceived hybrid bicycle. The "Hybrid" class of bikes is a blend of the mountain bike and the lightweight road bike, giving birth to a new breed, a bike for people like me, people who just want to get around efficiently and in relative comfort.

The riding position on the Passage can be altered through manipulation of the adjustable handlebar stem and seat post. I purchased a 21 inch version, and it seems like the first time in years that a bicycle has actually fit me. It has a pneumatic seat post to help smooth out bumps, as well as an oil filled SR-NEX 4010 hydraulic front fork to dampen knocks awaiting me ahead. The white tape trim is reflective, providing an additional margin of safety at dusk.Click to enlarge The frame is lightweight aluminum. The components are made by Shimano. Rubber is 26 inch Kenda 700's.

The Raleigh Passage 4.0 came with a very cushy spring laden seat made by Avenir. For me, it just did not sit right. I was starting to see this bike as a reincarnation of the Austin Healey Sprite. Only one seat would do, a Brooks, so I ordered up a Champion Flyer Special. This is a sprung single rail saddle that fits right on the Raleigh micro-adjustable seat post. In a honey color, is the perfect complement to the British Racing Green.

The Raleigh Passage 4.0 has a total of 24 gears, selected by Shimano EZ-Fire levers on the handlebars. Gear swaps are performed by a Shimano Acera rear derailleur matched with a Shimano C50 forward derailleur.Click to enlarge Good, reliable stuff.

It is difficult to not like this bike. It has the feel of quality that exceeds it's $349 new bike shop price. It's understated and classy, without a bunch of stickers in eye assaulting colors to grab attention. I did not have to do much more to make it into exactly the bike I wanted for standard get around and get the job done duty. I removed the rubber pedals and installed aluminum platform pedals. They will be more durable, and the spikes help keep my feet on the pedals despite dew or rain. I eschew toeclips. Finally, I installed a rear rack on the bike. A rack increases the utility of any bicycle immeasurably.

So, if the thought of being unable or unwilling to blend into the beautiful young Tour de' France wannabe set, the tanned and rugged mountain bike crowd, or the pierced and angry punk bikers has kept you away from bicycling, think again. There are bikes out there for the rest of us.

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