27 November 2009

The Pneumatic Musket

So this Thanksgiving holiday finds my house filled with relatives, among them two of my genius nephews.

Both love to play with technology. The oldest not feeling well (cold, flu, who knows? we may all find out in a day or two. . . ). The younger of the two brothers is an engineering student at a Midwest college. He brought along his latest "creation."

The Pneumatic Musket, also known as the SARM (Squad Almost Repeating Musket).

Using compressed air that fills two tanks (one a reserve holding tank, the second a "ready" tank, the breech-loading PVC device shoots marshmallows (for now), but we had spirited discussions about the possibility of malted milk balls, candy mini pumpkins, crayons, nerf rods, and drill bits.
. . . Though I hesitate to sacrifice a perfectly good drill bit for science.
The potential for railroad spike launches, while elusive for now, remains an interesting ongoing discussion. Usually filled using a hand operated bicycle pump, we filled the tanks quickly with my air compressor.
More to come on this new toy . . .
What would Toby Hoover, Sarah Brady, Josh Sugarmann, et al have to say about this?

26 November 2009

Another Thing To Be Thankful For

. . . . The death of meaningless, feel-good "think-tanks" designed to brainwash the uninitiated.

Confirmation comes this week of the death of the Second Amendment Center at The Ohio State University, a thinly-veiled anti-gun "center" funded by The Joyce Foundation. A center that put out lots of reports, but always from one side of the discussion.

I tried contacting this organization numerous times, first as a representative of a statewide grassroots firearms rights organization, and later representing myself, a humble blogger covering issues regarding the 2A. Not once did anyone take my call, or see fit to return a call.

Eugene Volokh, on his blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, has described the Columbus-based center as such:

This “scholarly” center was one of the initiatives funded by the Joyce Foundation to support writings that opposed the academic consensus that had previously arisen that the original meaning of the Second Amendment protected an individual right. Readers of this blog will remember the infamous Joyce Foundation funded symposium at Chicago Kent from which any dissenting scholars were excluded in the interest of “balancing” all the rest of Second Amendment scholarship. Apparently, its scholarly purpose having been exhausted by the decision in Heller, it has ceased its scholarly mission. It is no more.

Saul Cornell, the lead researcher has moved on to another university. It was housed within the John Glenn school of public policy. Glenn was never a champion of the Second Amendment either.

This is a death that was long overdue. But reality caught up with fantasy and Joyce Foundation leadership quietly pulled the plug on a carcass that had already died, and was being kept alive with the artificial life support of false hope, doctored commentary and revisionist history.

Happy Thanksgiving

Much that bugs me these days, and much looming on the horizing.

But when it is all said and done, I have much to be thankful for.

I wish you and yours the very best Thanksgiving holiday!

23 November 2009

The Chicago Way: Where Politicians Get To Carry Guns, But Taxpayers Are Disarmed

There is only one word for this story . . .


Yet another example of things done "the Chicago Way," courtesy of Reason Online.

20 November 2009

For Mayor Daley Its Always About The Blame Game

Rampant crime in the Windy City?

-- Its the guns, Mayor Daley complains. (He forgets that "people" -- scumbags -- hold these guns, but he neglects to hold criminals responsible).

No Olympics to Chicago?

-- A kneejerk reaction (Never mind that crime is rampant in Chicago and the world looks at "The Chicago Way" with amusement).

Lawsuits filed to overturn unconstitutional laws banning firearms in Chicago public housing projects?

-- So much interference by outsiders. (even though the suits have been filed on behalf of Chicago residents, living in fear because of unprecedented violent crime, who are prohibited from defending themselves).

And now, perhaps his most bizarre "pass the buck, blame someone else" moment . . . his reaction to news that after a hugely successful 25 year run, Oprah Winfrey is leaving her television show to do other projects.

The good mayor's reaction? "It's the fault of the media."

Yeah right. I won't say that he is the reason Oprah is leaving. I think she's tired. And has deserved whatever break or change she wants to make after a very long series. She is launching a cable TV channel and has many other enterprises to oversee. But the mayor, true to form, has got to play the blame game.

Mayor, be glad this one isn't your fault. But you can't run away from the firearms issue and how your antiquated policy of keeping law abiding taxpayers defenseless in the face of horrific crime is getting people killed. That's on you and you alone.

Good luck Oprah. I may not have agreed with all your positions on issues, but I respect what you've done on TV. Mayor Daley . . . quit finding scapegoats. Do something.

19 November 2009

Failure To Connect Dots . . . And Bill Clinton's Fears

The Pentagon has its own investigation ongoing, as do base police at Fort Hood in Texas. Now Congress is looking into the shooting by the Army major that killed a number of soldiers and one civilian.

At issue are a number of questions. Was this a terrorist incident? In my pretty broad worldview, unequivocally I say "yes." How could this have been stopped is the other question.

Two answers. First, the screening procedure for mental stability needs to extend to the "watchers." As in, "who watches the watchers?" So, was this a form of reverse discrimination? In the private sector if you have someone who is incompetent, but you don't fire them because you are afraid you will be sued on grounds of racial discrimination, or sexual discrimination, or religious discrimination . . . that is a form of discrimination itself. The very act of NOT acting. Did that happen here? Was the major not fired because of fear over his religion? That it would look bad?

Those answers are likely to come to light very soon.

Here is reason number two on "why" this happened. Bill Clinton's paranoid fear. When he was U.S. president, he issued an order that military bases be "disarmed." That is, soldiers -- with the exception of gate MPs or gate guards -- no longer carried sidearms. His own paranoid fear for his life as commander in chief? We will probably never know.

But had the major pulled out his guns and started firing while on a base of armed servicemen and servicewomen, he would have been taken down far more quickly.

Nevertheless, my hat is off to the bravery and sharp shooting of the policewoman from the Fort Hood police force. Nicely done.

Now the question is whether Congress will thorough investigate this terrorist incident, or chalk it up as some anomoly. Time will tell . . .