26 August 2009

This Date In History: First 'Cannon' Fired

August 26, 1326, a date which will live in history. Or not.

I guess it would depend on your definition of a cannon . . . and its "projectile" -- a piece of stone that had been rounded off . . . a bit.

1346: Genoese mercenaries fighting under Philip VI of France are surprised,
unpleasantly, when they are among the first soldiers in history to come under cannon fire. It has been claimed that this battle, which occurred near Crécy in northern France early in the
Hundred Years War, marks the first use of cannon on the battlefield.

Like many claims that reach us through the mists of time, this one is hard to verify and is oft disputed: According to Arab historian Ahmad Y. al-Hassan, the Mamluks
employed the “first cannon in history” against the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260. In the end, it may come down to how the word “cannon” was defined in those days.

A great read. Check it out!

25 August 2009

Camp Perry 2009

Jude Cuddy, an occasional contributor to The Ready Line, competed once again at the National Matches this summer at Camp Perry. The Matches, organized by the Civilian Marksmanship Program with assistance from the National Rifle Association and the Ohio National Guard, brings together some of the best shooting competitors from every corner of the U.S., even from other parts of the planet.

Standing, seated or prone, civilians compete next to active duty military personnel. On the line you might have a plumber, a cop, a salesman, a member of the U.S. Navy marksmanship team, a retiree, a college student, a cattle farmer, and even a high school student. Unlike golf, there are no "ladies tees." No special line for younger shooters, no handicapping for less experienced shooters versus Army marksmen and markswomen. But, like golf, you don't compete against others. You compete against yourself, firing your best score and then comparing your results with hundreds of others on the line that day, or that week.

In his piece, Jude reflects upon his week and a half on the shores of Lake Erie, what it means to compete there, and why the very thought of of the phrase "let every man be armed" strikes such a raw nerve among those whose motivation to get involved in government is "control."

For you see, that phrase -- and that last word -- are in total contradiction with one another. I'll let Jude explain, in another of his brilliant essays . . . From Behind The Berm.

Camp Perry 2009

The Story Not Told

One year later and one year older, the annual sojourn to the storied Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio had concluded. Yet another memorable experience that reaffirms the responsibility that we all have as citizens to exercise our God-given rights, and to preserve, protect and defend the nation and our way of life.

What is newsworthy is what did not happen during the many weeks that the facility was packed with small arms of all descriptions: smallbore rifle, black powder rifles, pistols and of course the favorite scapegoat of the liberals – the Service Rifle. Popularly vilified as the root of all social evils, this fine instrument that protects our life and liberty was present in the thousands.

However, there was no elevated police presence, no riot gear, nor tear gas present. What the left assigns to the presence of firearms – carnage, mayhem, bloodshed and unruly mobs - never materialized. Quite the opposite occurred. I suspect that crime is actually lower than usual – which is probably fairly low to begin with – during the entire time the shooting sports are taking place. Millions of rounds were fired and no one was injured. Should there be something wrong?

What this underscores is the self-discipline, self-policing conduct of all participants involved. What will never be acknowledged by those clamoring for yet more gun control laws is that it is the individual who is responsible for his or her own conduct – not the instrument of choice. In the “Age of Blame” where there is always someone or something at fault – those engaged in the shooting sports are willing and expected to be answerable for themselves alone.

In the general demographic one can sadly conclude that we are no longer a nation of riflemen. But as long as there are those willing to display the necessary skill and dedication to engage in the shooting disciplines you will find solid citizens who reflect the values that this country was founded upon. Personal responsibility and accountability are a way of life.

I tip my hat to those fellow participants – regular folks from around the nation and world – who firmly believe in the right to keep and bear arms. Many are the same men and women who are currently serving our country and keeping us “safe from all enemies, foreign and domestic." Not the sinister, recluse loners the media portrays us to be, but everyday Americans passionate about exercising their rights affirmed by our Declaration and Bill of Rights.

Another successful trip to the shores of Lake Erie. Since nothing untoward happened it is therefore not newsworthy to the media types, and went unnoticed. Perhaps that is for the best, for what most shooters ultimately want is to just be left unfettered to engage in a very rewarding endeavor. Only those who fear citizen-soldiers that cultivate such skills would want to infringe the practice and possession of these same instruments.

Semper Fidelis,

Jude T. Cuddy

Nicely said my friend, very nicely said!

22 August 2009

On The Constitutionality of Gun Registration

A fascinating, and simultaneously disturbing discussion on the constitutionality of firearms registration is taking place within legal circles. A horrible public policy, everyone agrees. But would it be constitutional?

Read it here.

I'm no attorney, but the U.S. Constitution says the government may not infringe on the rights to bear arms. But could it be permissable to register all guns? Interestingly, the mood in the nation is toward the right to own guns. Women are buying firearms in record numbers. More people have concealed carry licenses than ever before. The Heller decision by the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the affirmation by the Founders of this nation that the Second Amendment is an individual right. Washington DC was forced to abandon its antiquated prohibition on the ownership of handguns. Chicago is on the ropes trying to defend its antiquated handgun regs.

Even President Obama, abandoning his traditional gun control position, noted that an african american gentleman carrying a competition rifle had a right to do so, when the man showed up at a rally. Official Washington, those that know how to get things done, and how to keep the peace, want no part of gun control right now.

The president's whacky health care initiatives are on the ropes, Americans of all colors, stripes and economic backgrounds increasingly are stepping up and protesting the intrusion of government into their lives, whether it be in banking, the automobile industry, insurance industry, or elsewhere.

So the liklihood of major gun registration initiatives picking up any traction right now are negligible.

But is it constitutional?

14 August 2009

Gun Control Anniversary Shows Just Far Control Theory Has Fallen

?It’s been ten years, according to this Brady press release, since the Million Mom March popped onto the scene, spured by a mass shooting at a Jewish community center in 1999. That got me to thinking what some of the missteps the Brady organization had made, mostly under the leadership of former Maryland congressman Michael Barnes."

In the time since that news release was issued, things have gone from bad to worse. That is, it's gotten far worse for the proponents of gun control (later morphed to "gun safety" because no one would pay attention to their whacky policy proposals to license and/or disarm American moms, grandmas, dads, etc.). Since those days, far more states have concealed carry, and the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Heller opinion, has decided -- once and for all -- that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the individual right to possess arms (this isn't limited to firearms, folks).

Rough sledding for the Bradys, the MMMs and the folks over at Violence Policy Center. None of their shrill whining has caught hold with the American public. To the contrary, Americans have embraced firearms for personal protection, sporting purposes, collecting and hunting.

Robbers 0, Harlem Store Owner 4

The 72-year-old store owner was viewed as an easy mark by some local hoods in Harlem, New York City.

When the dust settled, two of the would-be thieves/killers were dead, and two more were wounded.

It is events like this that make the scumbags think twice about pulling a gun or knife on a senior citizen. Mr. Augusto should be hailed for not backing down. If you show them once you are willing to be a victim, you will always be a victim.

When Banning Something That Wasn't Used In A Crime Makes Sense

Of course, if you read the headline, it makes NO sense.

Apparently nothing, even fact, will prevent U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak of Pennsylvania, in his announcement for a run at the U.S. Senate, to clamor for restoration of the widely discredited ban on so-called "assault weapons." Not even the truth.

Adding to his credibility problem is that his statement about the need for implementing such a ban mentions the murder of three women at a health club by a deranged man. The story made national news.

Of course, Rep. Sestak either intentionally, or negligently, never mentions the fact that the criminal was armed with two handguns, a 9 mm and a .45 caliber pistol.

But then, like some of the legacy media, it appears Rep Sestak doesn't like the facts to get in the way of a good story.

12 August 2009

I Knew This Day Would Come

The bragging was never thrown my way. I was totally unaware of it. In retrospect, I know why. Because I knew the truth.

There was a statement (not so much a request) about a certain circle of mutual friends. "We probably shouldn't let them know how far back we go . . . it just raises questions." I had no objection. It didn't matter to me. So I obliged. In retrospect, I know why. Though I was unaware of the "past" this individual had shared with these same people, I knew the truth.

Little by little, I heard things. Once, I overheard a conversation. It startled me. But I am one of those guys who likes to ferret out my own intel. Original sources of information do it for me. I don't like hearsay. But what I was hearing troubled me.

I have three nephews in the service. All three are U.S. Army. One is a communications expert who was retrained to be an M.P and was assigned twice as a guard at a 15,000 person detention center in Afganistan. He is currently posted to Alaska. The second is an Army Ranger. He has seen battle in a number of sandy places these past few years. The third is a Green Beret, who also has seen battle more numerous times in the sandbox. He has recently been reassigned to the States and is a drill instructor.

All three have been shot at IN BATTLE, and have returned fire.

I guess I can claim I have been shot at, too. But only in the most technical sense. To elaborate, to put it into perspective, I was behind a berm, scoring and changing targets. It's not the same is it?

But these three young men who mean so much to me, along with their peers, put themselves in harm's way quite often. That someone is putting themselves out to be what they are not in this fashion, in this place this week, is more than insulting. Not just to my three nephews, but to anyone who has ever truly been in battle. Who has shed blood for this nation that I so love.

But I digress. The day "the question" first came was while I was attending the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor induction ceremonies two years ago. In the beautiful setting that is the Ohio Statehouse Atrium, I bumped into a friend. We were standing there watching this very important ceremony, taking it all in. Listening to the citations of very brave men and women who risked their lives for their country, for their brothers and sisters in uniform.

During a brief break, my friend says to me (without turning to me) and asks, "hey, do know if (name) truly served in the military?"

I paused. I had known the day would come when someone would ask.

I turned to look at him, and I was getting this skeptical look, eyebrow raised. I paused as I carefully chose my words. "I honestly don't know, but I don't think so," I answered. His reply, "the math doesn't add up, does it?" "No," I said, "it doesn't." The question had finally come. What I had heard previously, and heard far more of later were little stories by this individual I have known most of my adult life. He served in Vietman? Was hurt jumping out of a helicopter there? That would be rather difficult since we were in 10th grade study hall at the time, making fun of the teacher assigned to babysit us.

A few months ago I travelled to Arlington National Cemetery to bury a good friend. One of the most honorable men I have ever met. He was not only a paratrooper, he later was a jumpmaster. A Green Beret whose stories were real. Who had been shot at. And who, while he was proud of his service, didn't go around bragging about it. Didn't go out of his way to tell stories.

But when he did, his stories were real. My nephews serve with honor. The uniform they wear is real, not purchased out of a catalog. The stories they tell are real.

To them I say "thank you for your service." To the posers, and they are many, I just shake my head.

It is so very wrong. People who do, and have worn our nation's uniform, call such fakery "douchbaggery." To me, it is more than wrong. And so very much without honor.

04 August 2009

USA Today Reports CCW License Requests, Issuances Up Across The Nation

The economy, fears over increases in crime, and the enlightenment that comes with examining the record of President Barack Obama, and his political cronies, has CCW license issuance up all across the United States.

USA Today has the story.