Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

After action report: Spokane, WA.

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

The Smith and Wesson Collector’s Association annual symposium was in Spokane this year.

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Quote of the day.

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

I was proud of that first Sharps of mine…At first it used a 320-grain bullet, but I experimented with one a hundred grains heavier, and thereafter used the 420-grain projectile. It killed quicker. In making this change I didn’t sacrifice anything in velocity, because by then I had begun to use the English powder…and it added 10 to 30 percent efficiency to my shooting. After a year or two, having plenty of buffalo dollars in my jeans, I talked myself into believing I needed an extra rifle in reserve–so I bought two. [Emphasis added – DB] One was a .40-70-320–a light little gun for deer and antelope but too impotent for buff. The other was another .40-90-420. Both used bottle-necked cartridges; don’t ask me how I fell for that sort of thing after vowing I was off bottle-necks for life.

—buffalo hunter Frank Mayer, quoted in David Dary’s The Buffalo Book.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Seriously, it just tickles me to see the “well, I had some money, and I thought I needed a second one” justification being used as far back as the 1870s. Also, I love that throwaway line, “So I bought two,” and the “don’t ask me how I fell for that sort of thing”. I’m pretty sure anyone and everyone who’s a serious gun person and been around for a while is familiar with all of those.

(Heck, you’re welcome to name your favorite “don’t ask me how I fell for that”, “so I bought two”, or “well, I had some money…” justification in the comments.)

Incidentally, I was curious about the reference to “the English powder”. A quick Google search turned up what looks like an interesting ebook, though I haven’t had time to go through all of it yet: “A memoir on gunpowder” by John Braddock, published in 1832. This looks to be one of the earliest extant books on methods for making and testing gunpowder, and falls squarely into “quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore” territory.

Quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore (#3 in a series).

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from Half-Price recently.

It wasn’t just that I was trying to save money for my trip, though that was part of it. (And I hope to have the report up in the next few days.) It was also that I kept going and not coming out with anything I wanted. The few things I did find that I wanted were somewhat overpriced in my opinion.

So I bided my time. Mom wanted to go last week to sell some books at the South Half-Price, so we went. And the drought broke: I picked up a stack of African hunting books (Peter Capstick’s Africa: A Return To The Long Grass, Robert Ruark’s Africa, and the Capstick library edition of Kill or Be Killed: The Rambling Reminiscences of an Amateur Hunter) for reasonable money.

(I miss Capstick. And yes, this does mean you will probably hear me ramble some more about Ruark. But not in this post.)

Emboldened by my recent success, I bopped over to the central Half-Price this afternoon. It isn’t a bad way to kill some time in an air-conditioned environment. And the latest entry in this series fell into my hands…

===

Back when I was taking “Modern Revolutions” at St. Ed’s (and if you’re out there somewhere, Dr. Sanchez, I hope you’re having a wonderful life), I noticed that Kermit Roosevelt Jr. seemed to pop up in a lot of places in the Middle East during the 1950s. I believe I made the observation in class that someone really needed to write a good biography of Kim, especially now that a lot of older material has been declassified.

I actually got that wish late in 2013 (though the book was a Christmas 2014 present from my beloved and indulgent sister) with the publication of Hugh Wilford’s excellent book, America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East. It isn’t exactly a biography of Kim, but it does contain a lot of biographical material about Kim, his cousin Archie, and Miles Copeland Jr. (another interesting guy, but I’ll come back to him).

I wasn’t really aware, until I read Wilford’s book, that Archie was almost as deeply involved with the CIA and the Middle East as Kim was. So when I saw this on the shelf at Half-Price today, I pulled it down for a closer look.

archie_cover

It isn’t a great copy: Lawrence would probably turn his nose up at it, as the dust jacket has a few small tears and some shelf wear. I wouldn’t call it much better than “Good”, and you can get copies on Amazon in “Very Good” condition for $2.50 or so (plus shipping). I paid $10 plus tax for this one; I do believe it is a first printing from 1988, two years before Archie died. Maybe I am a sucker, but it has one thing going for it that the other copies don’t:

lucky_signature

“For Douglas Brinkley–
With great admiration, a book I think you will enjoy – by someone I wish you could have met-
Fondly-
Lucky Roosevelt
Aug. 1997″

Lucky Roosevelt was Archie’s wife, to whom the book is dedicated.

It may not be much to other people, but it pushes a couple of my buttons. And I leave you with the quote of the day:

I have always found yogurt an excellent preventative against bacterial dysentery.

Now I’d like to find a copy of Kim’s book, Countercoup, at a reasonable price. And maybe copies of Copeland’s books, though Wilford states that they have something of a passing resemblance to the truth.

The time has come…

Friday, May 29th, 2015

…to purchase a nice holster.

Hmmmmm. You can get a Dragon Leatherworks Quantum for a Browning Hi-Power…

Well, isn’t THIS a shocker?

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant is suing Twin Peaks’ ownership company for damages related to the deadly biker gang shootout that left nine dead and 18 others wounded.

Also:

Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton now says crime scene officers have made a new weapons count and come up with 318 “and still counting.” Swanton said he expected the count to continue to rise.
Of those weapons counted so far, 118 are handguns, one is an AK-47 assault-style rifle and 157 are knives. Swanton says weapons still uncounted are clubs, knives, brass knuckles, firearms and chains with padlocks attached.

Yes, 118 plus one plus 157 does not add up to 318.

…it’s the hole.

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

From the NYT, a short documentary about Chris Burden and “Shoot”.

(Subject line hattip.)

Not going to go there. Wouldn’t be prudent.

Friday, May 8th, 2015

What prompts this? Today’s LAT:

Why the police shouldn’t use Glocks

I hate to be a wimp about this, but I don’t have either the time or the need to stress test my cerebral arteries this morning. I’m hoping that someone smarter than I am, like Tam, will take on this dreck: if not, maybe I’ll give it a shot at lunch.

What? What?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

An aide to [California] state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and two others are accused of operating a rogue police force that claimed to exist for more than 3,000 years and have jurisdiction in 33 states and Mexico, authorities said Tuesday.

This is not an Onion article.

Brandon Kiel, David Henry and Tonette Hayes were arrested last week on suspicion of impersonating a police officer through their roles in the Masonic Fraternal Police Department, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“The Masonic Fraternal Police Department”. You know what the difference between fiction and the real world is? Fiction has to be believable.

In other news…

Law enforcement officials have long focused on Georgia and neighboring states with looser gun laws as the starting point of a so-called iron pipeline of guns flowing north, to New York and other cities, where the restrictions on legal gun purchases are more stringent — and the profits higher for traffickers.

Odd that these places with “looser” gun laws have lower crime rates. Also odd that this is tied to the death of NYPD officer Brian Moore, because…

Early one October morning in 2011, two masked men with gloved hands smashed their way into a roadside pawnshop in rural Georgia, fleeing with 23 handguns.
Four years later, on a street in Queens on Saturday, a man raised one of those guns — a silver, five-shot Taurus revolver — and fired three times at New York police officers. A bullet struck Officer Brian Moore in the face; he died on Monday.

Yes. The gun was stolen, so of course Georgia’s looser restrictions on gun purchases are at fault.

A poor substitute for content…

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

…some random crap. I don’t really have anything to say about the riots, except: “It’s Baltimore, gentlemen. The gods will not save you.”

The Carnegie Deli is temporarily closed. Rent dispute? Insect infestation? Nope.

At the Carnegie Deli, however, Con Edison said about half of the gas that the utility was delivering to the building was being diverted before the meter and, therefore, not showing up on the deli’s bills.

Obit watch: Jayne Meadows, noted actress, sister of Audrey “Alice Kramden” Meadows, and Steve Allen’s wife.

Edited to add: Crap! And I completely forgot the original reason for this post. My friend Erin Palette goes to the Taurus booth at the NRA Convention, and gets treated like something scraped off the bottom of a shoe. Hilarity ensues.

Pratchett.

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

NYT. BBC. Tam. A/V Club. The discussion there, and on Fark, is surprisingly civil (at least, last time I looked).

I think I’m an outlier here. I’ve only read one and half Pratchett books. The half was Good Omens (which, as I recall, I read in an advance reading copy I picked up at an ABA convention).

One of my friends and cow orkers at Dell pushed Guards! Guards! on me when he found out I hadn’t read any Discworld novels. I liked it about as much as I liked Good Omens, which is to say quite a bit. But one thing that struck me about it was that, buried in this funny story, was actually a kind of nice and sweet vision of how the police should work: how they should combat crime, and how they should relate with the citizens they protect. In some ways (and I’m not sure Pratchett knew it), Guards! Guards! was very much like “Dragnet”, except funnier. Other people have made a similar point: Pratchett overlapped silly fantasy with contemporary social commentary.

I haven’t picked up any of his books since Guards! Guards!. That’s because I wanted to hold them in reserve. Now, I feel like I’ve got enough to keep me busy for several years.

There may be additional links tomorrow, but I’ll leave off with this. I wanted to purchase a membership in the NRA (or the British equivalent) for Pratchett when I first encountered it. From Night Watch:

There had been that Weapons Law, for a start. Weapons were involved in so many crimes that, Swing reasoned, reducing the number of weapons had to reduce the crime rate.
Vimes wondered if he’d sat up in bed in the middle of the night and hugged himself when he’d dreamed that one up. Confiscate all weapons, and crime would go down. It made sense. It would have worked, too, if only there had been enough coppers – say, three per citizen.
Amazingly, quite a few weapons were handed in. The flaw, though, was one that had somehow managed to escape Swing, and it was this: criminals don’t obey the law. It’s more or less a requirement for the job. They had no particular interest in making the streets safer for anyone except themselves. And they couldn’t believe what was happening. It was like Hogswatch every day.

Edited to add: LAT.

Edited to add 2: WP.

Obit watch and other randomness: February 11, 2015.

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Jerry Tarkanian: LV Review-Journal. LV Sun. ESPN. NYT.

(I care very little about college basketball, except for the annual Gonzaga bet. But anyone who ticks off the NCAA gets points in my book.)

“No. Really. I didn’t realize the women at those orgies were hookers. I thought they were socialites.”

Both Lawrence and I are still trying to sort out the implications of this, but I believe it is huge.

…Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing these provisions.

Perhaps one of my readers who has something more than an Internet GED in law can comment: does this injunction against enforcing the ban on interstate handgun sales apply only in the district in which the ruling was issued? Or does it apply nationwide unless a higher court voids the injunction?

Edited to add: It looks like David Hardy over at Of Arms and the Law has the same question.

…if he enforced it in Maine or in Washington, he’d have violated the injunction, and could be held in contempt by the Texas court.

I would pay money to see that.

Hey, remember when Ray Nagin was convicted of corruption and sent to prison for 14 years? Good times, good times. Anyway, Frank Fradella, the granite countertops guy, is going to do one year in the federal pen for his part in Nagin’s downfall.

The Covington businessman pleaded guilty to stock fraud and bribery charges in 2012, and became a key witness in Nagin’s trial two years later. Fradella testified that he steered a $50,000 payment to Nagin in hopes of winning city contracts, and gave a free shipment of granite to a countertop business owned by Nagin’s sons.

Fradella is getting off light because he rolled on Nagin.

But the police are the only ones who can be trusted with guns!

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Two Austin police officers were suspended after they fired their guns accidentally last month, according to disciplinary memos made public Wednesday.

Both officers were suspended for “accidentally” discharging their “patrol shotguns”. One was suspended for three days, and the other officer was suspended for one. (The reason for the difference is not clear. Based on the Statesman‘s reporting, it doesn’t seem that there were any injuries.)

Not gun related, but another officer is being suspended for 16 days. Apparently, he violated guidelines in his handling of a sexual assault case involving a child, and became “involved in a civil matter in violation of the department’s policy”. (These were unrelated offenses, just to be clear.)