In the southern part of Texas, in the town of San Antone
There's a fortress all in ruins that the weeds have overgrown
You may look in vain for crosses and you'll never see a one
But sometimes between the setting and the rising of the sun ...
You can hear a ghostly bugle as the men go marching by
You can hear them as they answer to that roll call in the sky
Colonel Travis, Davy Crockett and a hundred eighty more
Captain Dickenson, Jim Bowie present and accounted for;
Back in eighteen thirty-six - Houston said to Travis
"Get some volunteers and go - fortify the Alamo"
Well, the men came from Texas and from old Tennessee
And they joined up with Travis - just to fight for the right to be free ...
Indian scouts with squirrel guns, men with muzzle loaders
Stood together heel and toe to defend the Alamo
"You may ne'er see your loved ones" Travis told them that day
"Those that want to can leave now, those that fight to the death let 'em stay."
In the sand he drew a line with his Army sabre
Out of a hundred eighty five not a soldier crossed the line
With his banners a-dancin' in the dawn's golden light
Santa Anna came prancin' on a horse that was black as the night ...
Sent an officer to tell - Travis to surrender
Travis answered with a shout and a rousin' rebel yell
Santa Anna turned scarlet, "Play [*Deguello]", he roared
"I will show them no quarter, everyone will be put to the sword";
One hundred and eighty five holdin' back five thousand
Five days, six days, eight days - ten; Travis held and held again
Then he sent for replacements for his wounded and lame
But the troops that were comin' never came, never came, never came ...
Twice he charged them to recall - on the fatal third time
Santa Anna breached the wall and he killed them one and all
Now the bugles are silent and there's rust on each sword
And the small band of soldiers ... lie asleep in the arms of the Lord ...
In the southern part of Texas, near the town of San Antone
Like a statue on his Pinto rides a cowboy all alone
And he sees the cattle grazin' where a century before
Santa Anna's guns were blazin' and the cannons used to roar
And his eyes turn sorta misty and his heart begins to glow
And he takes his hat off slowly - to the Men of Alamo
To the thirteen days of glory at the seige of Alamo.
The Ballad of the Alamo
(by Dimitri Tiompkin and P. F. Webster)
This post is triggered by an article over at The Cornered Cat that was notionally about why female shooters don't get advanced training. On that subject Kathy Jackson is the expert and I can find no fault with her findings.
But what triggered me screaming at the monitor was the same blind spot that the gunny community seems to have and seems to be willing to stubbornly excuse when pointed out. It might seem like I'm singling out Kathy for chastisement but I'm not. Most of the gunny community seems to share this problem. An earlier article by Kathy also stems from the same problem so I hoped that she'd spend a little time looking into the root cause. She didn't so I'm going to.
What's the problem? Well bust my buttons, there seem to be a lot of people shooting themselves with their own guns while holstering. Gosh, I guess it's just the way things are. Maybe some people can be trained out of the problem but I guess it's just something that happens and no one is to blame.
Let's reflect a bit on the way things used to be, shall we?
Once upon a time there were single action guns and single/double actions guns. Actually they weren't really called that because you had cowboy pistols (single action) and service revolvers and 1911s (single/double action).
Cowboy guns had holsters that usually covered the trigger but so what because you didn't holster while cocked. In fact the retention on a cowboy holster requires that the hammer be down since the loop is only long enough to go over the hammer spur when the hammer is down:
If you had a single/double action revolver, you carried it with the hammer down in a holster that fully exposed the trigger like this:
That's a modern reproduction of the Bill Jordan style of holster that was extremely common back in the day. The exposed trigger is no accident. It was purposely made that way.
This was considered common sense because only an idiot would have a holster that could push your finger into the trigger upon holstering a gun with no safety. Since revolvers don't have safeties the lack of material that might force an accidental pull of the trigger while holstering is a safety feature.
If you had a single/double action 1911, you carried it in a holster that covered the trigger but you also carried it cocked (pay attention here kids) AND LOCKED. This was considered common sense because only an idiot would carry a gun with a 4 lb. single action trigger without using a safety. Specifically, a safety that didn't involve the trigger finger.
Fast forward to today. The tacticool crowd says to use a hard Kydex holster that covers the trigger and a gun with no thumb safety and says to stuff said gun into said holster. Shockingly, sometimes the newbies (and some oldbies) make the gun go bang.
And the same crowd then lambastes poor newbies for doing it all wrong. Of course, that crowd never seems to get around to discussing what part they had in setting those people up to fail.
Let's sum up, shall we:
We went from the world pictured above to the world we have now because:
Double action guns should have single digit trigger pulls. (Because Glock)
Holstered guns should not have exposed triggers. (Because Scary)
Safeties are superfluous. (Because GLOCK PERFECTION!!!!)
All guns should be like GLOCK! (Because Marketing)
Yeah, people should keep their booger hook off the bang switch. It's one of the rules after all but why do we have three more rules? If you just obey that one rule all will be well, right?
As it turns out, not so much. People are fallible so we have other rules that will often save us from ourselves even if we violate one of them. But if we make changes to our guns and gear that increase the likelihood of disaster for violating one rule then we have departed from wisdom.
Setting up the trigger as a single point of failure is stupid. Compounding that with holsters that invite negligent trigger manipulation is dangerous.
Stupid and dangerous all in one package. How efficient!
So when the inevitable happens remember who owns part of the blame.
I have repeatedly said that I have very little use for the AR platform due to its inherent weaknesses, among these the direct impingment system, the under-performing primary caliber and its relative fragility. As long as there are better choices available the AR has been way down on my list of "must haves." I've not had a really good reason to own one.
That may have just changed.
Press Release: Olympic Arms, Inc. Announces New York State Sales Policy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Olympic Arms is a staunch believer in and defender of the Constitution of the United States, and with special attention paid to the Bill of Rights that succinctly enumerates the security of our Divinely given Rights. One of those Rights is that to Keep and Bear Arms.
Legislation recently passed in the State of New York outlaws the AR15 and many other firearms, and will make it illegal for the good and free citizens of New York to own a large selection of legal and safe firearms and magazines. We feel as though the passage of this legislation exceeds the authority granted to the government of New York by its citizens, and violates the Constitution of the United States, ignoring such SCOTUS rulings as District of Columbia v. Heller - 554, U.S. 570 of 2008, McDonald v. Chicago - 561 U.S. 3025 of 2010, and specifically the case of United States v. Miller – 307 U.S. 174 of 1939.
Due the passing of this legislation, Olympic Arms would like to announce that the State of New York, any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee of such an entity - will no longer be served as customers.
In short, Olympic Arms will no longer be doing business with the State of New York or any governmental entity or employee of such governmental entity within the State of New York - henceforth and until such legislation is repealed, and an apology made to the good people of the State of New York and the American people.
If the leaders of the State of New York are willing to limit the right of the free and law abiding citizens of New York to arm themselves as they see fit under the Rights enumerate to all citizens of the United State through the Second Amendment, we feel as though the legislators and government entities within the State of New York should have to abide by the same restrictions.
This action has caused a division of the people into classes: Those the government deems valuable enough to protect with modern firearms, and those whose lives have been deemed as having less value, and whom the government has decided do not deserve the right to protect themselves with the same firearms. Olympic Arms will not support such behavior or policy against any citizen of this great nation.
Olympic Arms invites all firearms manufacturers, distributors and firearms dealers to join us in this action to refuse to do business with the State of New York. We must stand together, or we shall surely fall divided.
Olympic Arms, Inc.
Let them eat progress.
A monument in Arlington, Massachusetts reads:
Near this spot, Samuel Whittemore, then 80 years old, killed three British soldiers, April 19, 1775. He was shot, bayoneted, beaten and left for dead, but recovered and lived to be 98 years of age.
That actual story is a bit more exciting than that.
Whittemore walked to a secluded position behind a stone wall on Mystic Street, near the corner of what is now Chestnut Street in Arlington, and calmly settled in. Some of the Minutemen pleaded with Whittemore to join them in their safer positions, but he ignored their admonitions. Soon the 47th Regiment of Foot, followed by the main body of British troops, appeared in view. On both sides of Whittemore, Minutemen were shooting at the approaching Redcoats and then sprinting away to where they could reload in safety.
Waiting until the regiment was almost upon him, Whittemore stood up, aimed his musket carefully and fired, killing a British soldier. He then fired both dueling pistols, hitting both of his targets, killing one man outright and mortally wounding another. Not having time to reload his cumbersome weapons, he grabbed his French saber and flailed away at the cursing, enraged Redcoats who now surrounded him.
One Englishman fired his Brown Bess almost point-blank into Whittemore's face, the heavy bullet tearing half his cheek away and knocking him flat on his back. Undaunted, Whittemore attempted to rise and continue the fight, but received no less than 13 bayonet wounds from the vengeful Redcoats. They also mercilessly clubbed his bleeding head and drove their musket butts into his body as they ran by.
When the last Britisher had left the scene and was far enough away for them to come out in safety, the villagers who had seen Whittemore's last stand walked slowly toward the body. To their astonishment, he was still alive and conscious--and still full of fight! Ignoring his wounds, he was feebly trying to load his musket for a parting shot at the retreating regiment.
When the local doctor saw the horrifying wounds he initially refused to treat them as it would be a waste of time to treat an obviously dying man. Whittemore's family insisted and the doctor eventually agreed. One can only imagine what his healed wounds looked like in a time before reconstructive surgery. Then again, no one who saw him could doubt that Mr. Whittemore had done his duty for his country.
February 3rd is Samuel Whittemore Memorial Day, celebrated by American patriots of advancing age.
Sam Whittemore ignored his creaking joints and went forth to battle the enemy. What's your excuse?
Representative Brandon Phelps (D-118) has filed HB997 in the Illinois General Assembly that would allow for shall-issue concealed carry. Rep. Phelps is the representative for some of the most southern counties in Illinois, including Massac, Johnson and Pope counties.
The permit would allow a permit holder to (a) carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded, "concealed or otherwise", on his or her person; (b) on his or her person in a motor vehicle; or (c) in a vehicle either openly or concealed while not on the person. Concealed is defined by the law to mean "completely or mostly concealed".
The requirements set forth in this bill are:
- Age 21 or more
- Valid FOID card if a resident
- Not prohibited by either state or Federal law from possessing a firearm
- Not under pending arrest warrant that would be a disqualifying offense
- Not a chronic abuser of alcohol in prior 3 years as evidence by either (a) residential or court-ordered detox or treatment for alcohol abuse or (b) 2 or more DUIs.
- Has completed approved training and education component
There is both a training and a shooting requirement but they are substantially in line with many other states.
The restrictions on carry would be:
- Any building under control of the Illinois General Assembly including district offices. Members could carry concealed in their district offices.
- Meeting places of local governments
- Bars but not restaurants that merely serve alcohol
- Airport secure areas
- Area prohibited by Federal law
- K-12 schools without consent
- Child care facilities without consent
- Gated areas of amusement parks
- Stadiums and other sports venues
- Colleges and universities without consent
- Public libraries without consent
- Police stations and sheriff's offices without consent
- Prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities
- Permit holder cannot be under the influence of alcohol while carrying
The bill provides for reciprocity with other states that recognize the Illinois permit and that have substantially similar requirements to that of Illinois. So I'd get to visit family there. Yay!
Businesses would be allowed to post against concealed carry and the bill does specify the posting requirements. Local governments and school boards may prohibit by a majority vote concealed carry in any building controlled by them. However, they cannot prohibit carry in public housing, rest stops, public right of ways, or parking facilities. State buildings under the control of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, or Treasures would be allowed to be posted against concealed carry.
The bill contains a very strong state preemption clause. It prohibits any home rule unit from regulating the possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms. The only exception is that local governments can post buildings owned by them against carry. In addition, no home rule unit can regulate the number of handguns owned or require the registration possessed by a person under the act. Violation of Section 95 brings a $10,000 per day per individual affected punitive fine.
There is a notification requirement so it's not perfect. Oh well.
If you live in Representative Phelps' district give him a call and thank him. Rep. Phelps' district covers Alexander, Pulaski, Massac, Johnson, Pope, Hamilton, Galladin, Hardin and White counties.
If you don't live in Representative Phelps' district give your State representative a call and insist that they vote in favor of HB997. If you don't know who your state representative is (really?) you can find your state representative by calling the State Board of Elections Springfield office at 217/782-4141.
This is a very strong concealed carry law and it deserves to pass. In some ways it is a better concealed carry bill than what we have here in North Carolina.
Come on Illinois! Join the rest of us in freedom!
H/T to John Richardson at No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money
Born this day in 1855, he made his first firearm at age 13 in his father's gun shop, and was awarded his first patent on October 7, 1879 at the age of 24. He is credited with a total of 128 firearm patents.
Thank you Mr. Browning for bringing us these:
U.S. M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun
FN Browning M1899/M1900
Colt Model 1900
Colt Model 1902
Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammer
Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless
Colt Model 1905
FN Model 1906 Vest Pocket
Remington Model 8
Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket
Colt Model 1908 Pocket Hammerless
FN Model 1910
U.S. M1911 pistol
Colt Woodsman pistol
Winchester Model 1885 falling-block single shot rifle
Winchester Model 1886 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1887 lever-action repeating shotgun
Winchester Model 1890 slide-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1892 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1894 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1895 lever-action repeating rifle
Winchester Model 1897 pump-action repeating shotgun
Browning Auto-5 long recoil semi-automatic shotgun
Browning 22 Semi-Auto rifle
U.S. M1917 water-cooled machine gun
U.S. M1919 air-cooled machine gun
U.S. M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR)
U.S. M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun
Remington Model 24 semi-auto rifle Also produced by Browning Firearms as the SA-22 and several others
The Browning Superposed over/under shotgun
Ithaca Model 37 pump-action repeating shotgun<
A number of them are still available as new in-the-box firearms.
David Gregory needs to please turn himself in to the authorities.
Mr. Gregory has been accused of having a piece of metal of the wrong size. We've all seen the video of him waving that metal box and spring about on Meet The Press, a box and spring that is illegal to posses in the District of Columbia. We can debate the logic and sense of the law and how it is interpreted at a later date. There is no time for that now. Mr. Gregory needs to act before this spins out of control.
He needs to do the right and merciful thing and turn himself in before someone tells a member of the FBI HRT where his family lives.
Officially the penalty for his crime is 1 year in jail. Unofficially the penalty is much, much more. Vicki and Samuel Weaver are sadly unavailable to comment but before their fate is repeated I beseech Mr. Gregory to do the humane thing and surrender himself to the authorities. It's not worth having your children watch their mother die. A year in prison is nothing compared to knowing that your son will never see his 15th birthday because you thought that being punished for having a piece of metal of the wrong size is not a serious matter.
It's a very serious matter. Deadly serious. Turn yourself in, Mr. Gregory. Turn yourself in now.
Well, not quite.
But we're up and running on our new circuit. I had hoped to postpone this transition for another week or so but Friday night at around 10pm Eastern Daylight Time our existing circuit went down and stayed down. We had already provisioned the new circuit and had it up and running that morning but the transition would require all the systems here to have new IP addresses assigned. The outage motivated me to go ahead and do it.
We had a bit of a bobble this morning with routing but that's all cleared up now and we're on a faster circuit with a more reliable provider. The random outages that plagued us throughout November and early this month should be a thing of the past.
The last few times I've sworn I'm not going to buy a gun at the gun show I've made a liar out of myself. So no promises.
I and the Mrs. will be attending on Sunday afternoon. Hope to see you there.