Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Watching the Watchdogs: a resource to keep an eye on.

It's going to take a little time to digest the whole corpus of work, but for now at least, this needs to be bookmarked. Its topic is putatively narrow, per the title ("Still No Minorities at the Top After 42 Years"), but holy smackers, in making that case this one article presents quite a synopsis of the--ahem--business practices of our great good friends over at the SPLC.  As just one very tiny teaser:

Mr. Potok has no legal or law enforcement background and admits that all of his data are second hand, at best, and that his infamous Hate Map “does not include original reporting by SPLC staff.” The SPLC is a private fundraising group run by white millionaires. It has no mandate, receives no outside oversight and has no authority, legal or moral, to designate anything.

You can imagine where things might go from there, given that sort of heretically straightforward language, and they do.

I'll vet it some more, but this may well be a very valuable resource for calmly answering the questions of those who continue to suffer under the impression that the SPLC is anything other than what it claims to stand against. Based on the "about" article, I'm hopeful in this regard.

We'll see;  it would certainly be good to have such a resource to look to, since--sadly--the need is there.

Deep tip of the hat to perennial SPLC target Mike Vanderboegh.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

For no good reason at all...


Big deal, an M1 Carbine, right?  Perhaps you don't understand. It's a 22.  Saw one yesterday for less than four bills, which considering Alaska prices seems pretty good.  I'm thinking of getting a wood-stocked model, shortening the LOP to maybe 11", and having the ideal first-semiauto rifle for kids.  Start 'em on the Chipmunk/Crickett, move up to a manual repeater like the Henry Youth Lever, and when they're ready for semiauto, arrive here.  It should be Ching Sling friendly, and provided it runs (haven't heard anything about this yet), the excellent sight design and familiar operation should work out to be a great introduction to the semiauto rifle.

Still haven't found a viable serious rimfire pistol for kids' hands, but it's good to see options in rifles.  (If nothing else, it frees up energies to work on the former problem.  :-)

Range time! Test driving the 4-H curriculum.

Spent a marvelous day absorbing the curriculum for the 4-H "intro to rifle" program, which I will be deliriously happy to make available in Homer once all the pencil pushing gets sorted out.  It's a basic program, covering just safety, core marksmanship, and simple positions, but within those limits it's all there

The use of well-thought out pellet rifles strikes me as inspired genius.  Low noise, cheap to shoot, and adaptable to a huge range of possible venues;  we actually shot live-fire in a church gymnasium, into pellet traps in front of a portable Kevlar backing blanket.  Nice! 

The rifle (Daisy Avanti Medalist) was new to me, and other than the trigger being spongy and the system not being purely ambidextrous, it seems like a great choice.

The powerplant is CO2, which surprised me a bit (CO2 would seem to be at a considerable disadvantage in Alaska, because its performance drops off rapidly in the cold), but when I asked about this the team all smiled and said that this intro course is almost always done indoors, much like we did today.  Very well then!  At any rate, I can immediately see that the pre-charged operation is definitely the way to go with first-timers on a square-range, cold-line-driven course;  with either a breakbarrel springer or a multi-pump by comparison, simply working the action can invite bad muzzle discipline from someone who doesn't have that practice metaphysically embedded yet, and this course experience is designed to make it easy to get your feet under you before introducing complexities or distractions.  (This is something the curriculum seems to do well, at least at first glance.)  The hardest gunhandling manipulation is certainly getting those tiny pellets into the breech with the skirt oriented the right way (nothing beats a breakbarrel springer for ease of manually single-loading pellets), but theoretically that problem will be worst for the adults and less so for the kids, with proportionally smaller hands.  Other than that, it strikes me as a great rifle to learn on.

Personally, I somewhat deliberately stacked the deck against myself today, using a set of tinted shooting glasses with a prescription that is several years out of date.  Things were distinctly fuzzy even at the meager distance of 10m.  My eyes are also absolutely not accustomed to using a target aperture for a rear sight, and between the glasses' tinting, indoor lighting, fuzzy prescription and low light transmission from the pinhole aperture, it took some willful effort to aquire the right sight picture.  (My psychological need for peripheral vision is apparently very strong.)  Add to that the lack of a shooting sling, two shooting positions that are only relevant on the target range (true standing and unbraced kneeling), and a spongy trigger, and you don't exactly have the environment I'm most familiar with.  Nonetheless, I was happy with my consistency;  even with a called flyer on each of standing and kneeling, my composite group (total of 30 shots) was right at 1", and without the two flyers it was a hair under 3/4", with sitting being the best of the bunch (even better than bench, which always pleases me) at just under 7/16".  That's just about as well as I can see, even with the right prescription.  Now...my understanding is that this is pretty pedestrian by serious airgunner standards, but on rough glance it would have scored a comfortable second place today, among ten.  (Top score would unquestionably have gone to our one woman, a fairly common outcome and one that always makes me smile.)  Not bad for a rifle I hadn't met before today.

I'm most happy to say that the curriculum seems solid, well thought out, and very adaptable to plugging in additional items.  It will be easy to make this fun and build on success quickly.  And with a solid understanding of handling safety, core marksmanship and basic positions, progressing to lots of other things (e.g., shooting slings, alternate sight arrangements, compressed surprise breaks, snapshots, etc.) will be a logical step rather than a giant leap.  And the idea mill is now in business.

Man, I need more days like this.  :-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

In which I loves me some Feens.

Tough times lately.  At times like this, it's nice to have folks like the Freedom Feens around.

Love this observation about New York's new "narc on your neighbor" program:

I’m not a Christian. But all Christians should remember this: Jesus was killed by the government…with the cooperation of police and soldiers who were “just doing their job”…after a legal trial in a court of law. Christians should also remember that it’s not very Christian to nark out your peaceful neighbors. And you may be held accountable for this in heaven.

Non-Christians should also remember this: at some point this statist tyrannical insanity will end. And there may be Nuremberg-type trials for collaborators. In other words, you may be held accountable for this on earth.

Indeed.  This all seems very straightforward, if you put forward even a moment's thought about it, but then I'm a heretic already, so maybe it's just me.

It's not that I'm happy to hear about all this, understand, but still...I needed that one today.  Thanks, Feens.