Happy Buy a Gun Day!

April 15th, 2017

You’ve still got time, if you haven’t been out yet.

Longer post to come at some point in the (hopefully) near future, but here’s my 2017 BAG gun:

Savage Model 11 Scout in FDE. Purchased new in box through GunBroker at…well, a hefty discount off of MSRP, and much less than I’ve seen it elsewhere.

(The book is H.W. McBride’s A Rifleman Went To War. I’m not a big WWI buff, but a lot of people I respect have cited McBride’s book as being a valuable work. And damn, the guy could write: there’s something I want to pull as a quote of the day in almost every chapter.)

Bonus, since I never posted it here: my 2016 BAG gun.

Smith and Wesson Model 19-4 in .357 Magnum with the round butt and 2 1/2″ barrel. Sort of the ultimate snub-nosed revolver. The holster came with it, too. Tam has a good post up about the Model 19, though she’s writing about a diffenent variant than mine.

(Book: Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 4th Edition, of course.)

Tomorrow, tomorrow…

April 14th, 2017

…I love you, tomorrow, BAG Day is only a day away.

My BAG Day gun actually showed up at the FFL on Monday. With all the personal stuff going on, I decided to pick it up early, rather than wait until Saturday. (I know I kind of bent the spirit and the letter of BAG Day, and I could have waited, but things got kind a little sideways for a while.)

If I can, I’ll try to get at least one good photo tonight and throw it up for tomorrow. A longer post on my Jeff Cooper fanboy-ism will probably have to wait.

(Is it “fanboy” or “fanboi”? Or is it both, and “fanboi” is the diminutive, more insulting version of “fanboy”?)

(In case you were wondering: the family member who was in the hospital was discharged yesterday and is currently recovering comfortably at home with their dog.)

Giggle. Snort.

April 14th, 2017

I can see myself totally rocking the “I’m Too Old For This Shit Division” wiht my Model 29 in a shoulder holster. As long as I can remove the sports coat between strings.

(As I’m sure Tam knows, Texas in the summer is just a little hot, even for a lightweight sports coat.)

And I’m kind of crossing divisions here, but those who have seen me in person will testify to my theoretical capacity to grow a truly magnificent porn stache.

Obits and firings: April 14, 2017.

April 14th, 2017

Dan Rooney, of Pittsburgh Steelers fame, and former ambassador to Ireland.

A powerful voice in the NFL for decades, often out of the public eye, he helped settle two players’ strikes, served on many league committees and was a confidante and adviser to three commissioners. He fought to give more opportunities for minority coaches to ascend in the NFL, an effort that prompted the adoption of what is known as the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority coach in the process of hiring a head coach.

As Lawrence noted in a comment yesterday, it looks like Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s death is being considered a suicide. I didn’t want to say so at the time, but that’s what I was afraid of.

Some wisdom from other, better people:

…as the Bloggess says, depression lies. Depression tells me that it’s never going to change. Depression tells me that there’s no hope, that I’m going to feel this way forever. Depression tells me I’ve tried everything to get better and it doesn’t work. Depression tells me that I’m a failure as a husband, a father, a friend. Depression tells me that I suck at my job — that if clients are happy with my work it’s only because they are deluded.

The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Firings after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Obit watch: April 13, 2017.

April 13th, 2017

J. Geils, of J. Geils Band fame. Remember “Centerfold”? I used to have that on a 45 somewhere.

(Kids, ask your parents about records.)

My brother mentioned Charlie Murphy‘s death yesterday, and I’m embarrassed to admit: it rang no bells with me until I read the obit and realized, “Oh, yeah, the ‘True Hollywood Stories’ guy from ‘Chappelle’s Show’.” (I didn’t watch the show first run, but Lawrence has some DVDs that we’ve been watching from time to time.)

And I think this is worth noting for news value:

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, an associate judge on New York State’s highest court and the first African-American woman to serve on that bench, was found dead on Wednesday in the Hudson River, the authorities said.

I don’t want to speculate, but it doesn’t seem like the authorities suspect foul play at the moment.

Memo from the DA’s office.

April 12th, 2017

For a long time now, the policy of the Travis County DA’s office has been to present all cases involving police shootings to a grand jury for review, no matter what the circumstances where.

That was the case, for instance, for Austin police officer Carlos Lopez, who a grand jury no-billed 11 months after he shot and killed a gunman who was randomly shooting inside the downtown Omni hotel. The gunman had already shot and killed taxi driver Conrado Contreras by the time Lopez arrived.
It also happened with Austin police Sgt. Adam Johnson, who a grand jury declined to indict in 2015 for shooting and killing a man in downtown Austin who was standing in the middle of Eighth Street firing a rifle at police headquarters, and had already sprayed several government buildings with gunfire.

Not any more. The new Travis County DA, Margaret Moore, has decided that her office is going to review officer-involved shootings, and only present the ones that they feel require review to a grand jury.

She will only take cases to grand jurors if she thinks the shooting was unlawful or if facts about what happened are in dispute.
Unlike predecessors, who have viewed grand juries as independent reviewers best equipped to determine whether to indict an officer, Moore said she also will issue an opinion, with help from the new Civil Rights Division she has established, and provide a recommendation “as to the legal sufficiency of a case.”

Bad idea, as I see it.

There are a lot of problems with the criminal justice system, including grand juries. Jurors sometimes aren’t much more than rubber stamps for the DA’s office. But at least they are independant. At least grand juries offer some kind of outside review, flawed though it may be. This is going to backfire badly on DA Moore the first time a shooting that didn’t get reviewed blows up.

I’m baffled by the NAACP’s support for this: you would think they’d want the additional scrutiny, but perhaps the DA was persuasive. The support of the police union makes a little more sense:

Moore said those cases often have taken months to present to a grand jury because of workload and a backlog of other cases, leaving officers in limbo and sometimes preventing police officials from closing administrative investigations.

The people who have spoken to our CPA classes and that have been involved in shootings have said that there is some stress involved in waiting on the grand jury verdict. But they downplayed that specific part of it. Yes, the aftermath is highly stressful (and the department has good programs in place to deal with it). But it seemed to me that they felt the grand jury verdict was just the end: by the time that came in, they’d already been cleared by Internal Affairs and the Special Investgaions Division, and had usually moved on to other assignments.

(I can’t recall a case in…well, ever, where APD ruled a shooting okay and a grand jury indicted. Maybe the Kleinert case mentioned in the article, but I’m not clear on what action APD took in that case. In the most recent case that I know of where there was any controversy – the naked 17-year-old – the grand jury no-billed but APD fired the officer anyway.)

Obit watch: April 12, 2017.

April 12th, 2017

Dorothy Mengering, David Letterman’s mother and sometime “Late Show” correspondent.

“He kidded me in Norway,” she told the St. Petersburg Times, explaining that he asked her whether she’d seen any fjords lately. “‘I was supposed to say ‘No, but I’ve seen some Chevys.’ I didn’t get it until after we were off the air. I saw the tape of the show, and then it dawned on me.”

You’re going down in flames, you tax-fattened hyena! (#38 in a series)

April 11th, 2017

This broke kind of late in the day yesterday. I’m a little behind because of that, and because I was distracted by the situation I alluded to in a previous post. (They’re still doing well, but still in the hospital being observed. Thanks for asking.) Also, Alabama isn’t part of my usual beat, though I was sort of vaguely aware the governor was embroiled in a controversy.

He resigned yesterday.

Even better:

Before making his resignation speech in the Capitol, Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor violations of the campaign finance law under a deal with the attorney general’s office. He agreed not to seek public office again. He will serve one year’s probation, perform 100 hours of community service, repay $8,912 he used from his campaign account to pay legal fees for former advisor Rebekah Mason and forfeit the remaining $36,912 in his campaign account to the state treasury.

The NYT also has a summary of events. The whole thing seems to have started with former advisor Mason, who was also having an affair with Governor Bentley. Which, you know, consenting adults, their thing, not my place to pass judgement and all that. But former Governor Bentley apparently decided it was a good idea to use his office and state resources to try to cover up the affair, and to intimidate people who knew about it. Funny thing is, that didn’t work out too well for him: there are supposedly copies of text messages and recordings of phone calls between the two circulating on the Internet. (I haven’t gone looking for those. While I take pleasure in the downfall of a tax-fattened hyena, even I have my limits.)

When will people learn: the cover-up is almost always worse than what’s being covered up?

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and NASCAR.

April 11th, 2017

Remember BATFE’s secret slush fund?

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used a secret, off-the-books bank account to rent a $21,000 suite at a Nascar race, take a trip to Las Vegas and donate money to the school of one of the agent’s children, according to records and interviews.

I could see maybe, possibly, someone making an argument that the NASCAR suite and Vegas trip were for legitimate investigative purposes. I wouldn’t buy that without a lot of supporting documentation, but I can see someone thinking that.

Giving money to “the school of one of the agent’s children”, though? I think someone’s going to prison over this.

(Speaking of going to prison, flaming hyenas watch to come.)

(Also, I think I need a BATFE tag. Should it be a subset of “Guns” or “Law’?)

April, come she will.

April 9th, 2017

I intended to throw this up yesterday, but got overtaken by events. A close family member had to go to the hospital and ended up being admitted. (They’re doing fine now, thank you for asking, but I expect they will be in for a couple more days at least.)

Anyway, with slightly less than a week’s advance notice: April 15th is National Buy a Gun Day. And while the pressure might be off for the moment, why not go out and buy a gun to celebrate (or commiserate) over recent events?

Even better, BAG Day falls on a Saturday this year, to make your BAG shopping just that much easier.

“Are you celebrating this year?” Yes, I am. This year, I actually had something I wanted as a combined BAG/birthday present for myself, and planned to pick it up on BAG Day. However, while I was checking GunBroker, I found a pretty good deal on the item in question, put in a bid…and, shockingly, won. (I believe this is actually the first contested GB auction I’ve won, as opposed to “buy it now” deals.) I’m hoping it gets to my FFL before Saturday; the weekend promises to be busy, so it might be the Monday or Tuesday after BAG Day before I can throw up pictures. I will give a hint, though: I am indulging my inner Jeff Cooper fanboy.

If you can’t buy guns, buy ammo. If you don’t want to do either, well, you might throw a few bucks in the direction of the blogger McThag. He recently went through a difficult personal legal entanglement which could have cost him his right to keep and bear arms. Fortunately, he’s free and clear of that now (the whole story is on his blog) but he’s somewhat in the hole for legal expenses and could use a hand from those so inclined.

As always, I would not ask you to donate if I hadn’t already done so.

(Hattip to the great and good Erin Palette for first making me aware of this.)

Obit watch: April 7, 2017.

April 7th, 2017

Don Rickles: NYT. LAT. AV Club.

Joe Harris passed away on March 26th, though the NYT didn’t get around to reporting it until a week later. Mr. Harris was a commercial illustrator who is credited with creating the original Trix rabbit. Later on, he joined Total TeleVison, a company that produced Saturday morning cartoons. There he created Underdog.

Yeah, the animation may not have been great, but it did have one of the best cartoon theme songs ever.

Question for the huddled, wretched masses yearning to breathe free: what are some of the other great cartoon theme songs? Off the top of my head, I love the themes for “SuperChicken” and “George of the Jungle” (I have been known to quote the “SuperChicken” theme at work.) Oddly enough, I also have fond memories of the “Hong Kong Phooey” theme (and when are we going to get a live action “Hong Kong Phooey” movie?). Am I just a sucker for good theme songs wrapped around bad animation?

Obit watch: April 6, 2017.

April 6th, 2017

I’m seeing reports from reliable sources (and CNN) that Don Rickles has passed away, though I’m not seeing anything link-worthy.

If I get a chance, I’ll update later today: otherwise, it may be tomorrow before I’m able to throw up a good round-up.