Friday, May 17, 2013


Well, except that it would hardly be Uncle Sam who wants this, wouldn't it?  Personally, I find the fella behind the sign to be far more authoritative.

Other than that, it's just about perfect.  :-)

H/T Wendy McElroy.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

No good deed shall go unpunished.


Summary:  Random acts of anthrophilic anarchy in New Hampshire disrupt the ch'i of Master's local enforcement apparatus, which goes into convulsions over not being able to "do its job".

It's like hugophobia all over again.


That is all.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The most interesting part isn't the rant.

But the rant, itself, does have some pretty choice moments.  Jon Stewart roasts the current Administration over...well, several things.  Article here, segment here:

It would be easy enough to skewer Stewart over his default worldview, which is that, despite all evidence of history and follow-the-incentive common sense, that "we" can actually vote effective restraint into institutions that have plenary, monopoly power over our lives.

Sure, Jon.  You go right ahead and show us how that works.

What I found more interesting than that, though--even beyond the unmistakable ire-of-the-betrayed vibe he gives off so strongly here--was that Stewart seemed to be most visibly irritated not by, you know, the actual abuses of power in re Benghazi, IRS oopsies, and the AP document much as the idea that these bits of executive-bureaucratic malfeasance were indicators of simple incompetence.

You know:  as if the current Administration, in permitting these blunders to be observed by the little people, is not helping in the ongoing deception campaign to keep said little people clamoring to keep getting it more and harder.

(I was kinda hoping he'd point out the irony that here, at last, is a case in which the Administration really is getting a little more serious about its transparency.)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ready for another failure, are we?

Hey, look:  thugs will be thugs.

The Department of Defense Trade Controls has “requested” Defense Distributed to remove files associated with its Wiki Weapon Project, an announcement posted on the DEFCAD website today announced.

“#DEFCAD has gone dark at the request of the Department of Defense Trade Controls,” the page announces. “Take it up with the Secretary of State.”

“DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls,” a banner at the top of the site explains. “Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.”

This development is occurring mere days after the announcement that a complete working 3-D printed firearm, the Liberator, had successfully been built, and follows speculation from earlier today when a “temporarily unavailable” message appeared when trying to access the downloadable files.

No surprise here--this was inevitable at some point--and with all the tools, time and (other people's) wealth at their disposal, chances are they'll succeed in making their example of Cody Wilson and DEFCAD.  No doubt there will be the usual share of jingoistic chest-thumping at the brave and nobly-embiggened takedown of (yet another) uppity peasant.

Yes, Leviathan, it's true:  you truly can crush and destroy whatever individual you like, with your laws, your courts, and your enforcers.  Fret not;  your ability, opportunity and nearly frothing willingness to do this is not in question.  And your propaganda machine, as always, will perform yeoman service in persuading the credulous of your absolute moral authority to do so.

But after all this time, you still haven't got it, have you?  Jeez, it's not like we haven't been here before, throughout human history, and the result is always the same:  you will fail to prevent what you seek to prevent.  Oh, you may well "successfully" destroy people's lives trying, but you can't stop the little people sharing information, no matter how hard you try.  As just one example:  remember the printing press?  You tried to stop that one too, dincha? 

You will fail.

You will fail because you don't understand your adversary.  You don't understand what motivates him.  You have no idea why he resists you.  You think you do, but you don't.  Throughout human history people have always found ways to avoid and resist your ridiculous attempts to control, control, control;  those aggravating plebes do it even when they know that the consequence of being discovered or caught is their own certain death, and yet you still proceed with the same strategies of ban!  confiscate!  destroy!  suppress!  punish!, as though after failing a thousand times they will suddenly work like magic on the thousand-and-first.  As Butler Shaffer is fond of saying, "this time for sure!"

You can even go here, and get everything you need to know about why you will fail now as you have always failed before, spelled out compactly but completely, and still you won't get it.

You will fail.

So, you've chosen Cody Wilson and DEFCAD as your next target.  Since you're going to lose, after you're done destroying him, this seems like a particularly vile and senseless thing to do, but hell, nobody does vile and senseless like you do, so what's new?

Enjoy your "success", while it lasts.  It won't, long.

Hat tip to David Codrea.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Clint Smith on pistol malfunction clearances.

This is absolutely the finest demonstration of pistol malfunction clearances I have ever seen.  Entirely beyond the content itself, you can also watch a master instructor at work, developing his concept linearly, clearly, and completely.  It's simply outstanding.

Most of the mechanics and philosophy come from Jeff Cooper's Modern Technique (not all--and some of the refinements really do seem like improvements), but I'm not sure that even Cooper ever did it this well.  :-)

Clint Smith on the Four Rules

Ya gotta love master instructor Clint Smith.  I've long suspected, from reading others' accounts over quite a few years now, that he is the sort of personality that can get really aggravating, and certainly it would seem that I would have several profound disagreements with him on some pretty important items.

But...for the reasons that people go to him, I'm not sure there's anyone better operating today.  And that comes through loud and clear in what you can find of his work on YouTube.

I've written out The Four Rules before, as taught by Jeff Cooper...but I just don't have this kind of style to go with it:

Duly bookmarked, to share with others.

Jeff Cooper: the compressed surprise break

For anyone who doesn't yet know about this component of what Jeff Cooper brought to pistolcraft, here is a YouTube (bless YouTube, for all its faults) of the great man himself explaining the concept.

As with so much of Cooper's work, you get everything you need to know about the subject at hand, but there are dozens of other little plugs and lessons in there too.

I miss having him around--if for no other reason than to serve as a human inspiration for personal greatness. 

Documenting a useful resource.

At least initially, this one's for me, so that I don't mislay the link.

Despite having broken my heart years ago now, when I finally recognized with full-spectrum clarity that he will never, in any way, "turn against his own" (the irony of which is the more bitter given his reputation for "telling it like it is" and being a truly fine analyst of individual ethics, strategies, tactics, and mechanics), I still check in on Massad Ayoob fairly regularly.  I cannot discount the considerable volume of unequivocally good and useful information I've picked up from Mas over my lifetime;  I would even go so far as to say that what I have learned from him has probably saved my life.  But even this, to me, cannot excuse a repeated refusal to acknowledge the "Only Ones" problem for what it is, after all this time.

At any rate, Mas links here to an interesting and probably useful resource;  I'd like to have it available here so I don't forget it.  In sum, it's a sort of "open letter" from one who is (self-described) "far left of center", and its purpose seems to be to call out the current Establishment "surge" on their mega-galactic gun control push.  The big problem that I can see, at least on first read, is serious, but could get missed among a lot of words a "gunnie" might agree with:  The letter reads real nice, but what exactly is he trying to do with it?  Is he actually trying to help these people by suggesting ways to be more effective in their attacks, or is he trying to say "knock it off already"?  That latter message would of course be nice, but is not entirely clear.

Beyond that, the post/letter/document contains some nice sacred-cow slaughtering, in a voice far more patient than what I have in reserve, and coming from a perspective far from my own.

Some teasers:

Allow me this humble suggestion: The best way to convince the American public that you’re not interested in taking guns away is to stop talking about taking guns away. 

But the award for atomic facepalm goes squarely to Democratic representative Dianne DeGette of Colorado. During one of the many public forums on gun control that took place across the country recently, Dianne explained to the panel and a stunned audience that magazines and ammunition were the same thing, and therefore all the “high-capacity” magazines would soon be used up.

This person is making laws about the very thing she is completely ignorant of. How can people who actually understand the issue be brought to the table and expect to have productive, meaningful conversation when the people sitting across from them are this clueless?

Most Americans know when they’re being emotionally played for political gain, and so do the senators who voted against the barrage of legislation that went down in flames this week. Until you can stop marching children around as your cause celeb for no apparent logical reason, and until you propose legislation that at least has something to do with protecting them, no one is going to listen.

These figures speak for themselves. When the nation’s police force, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Justice Department aren’t on board, you might want to rethink your strategy.

What you’re missing is that the vast portion of the NRA’s funds come not through corporate donors, but through contributions from average Americans. It was not a coincidence that between December 2012 and January 2013 the NRA grew 10,000 members every day, adding a full quarter-million new contributors to their roster since gun control reappeared in the national discussion last year. That’s just what happens when a populace that cares a lot about something gets mobilized. But the NRA – by which the Democratic party should mean “the American citizens who comprise the NRA because they believe in gun rights” – has consistently been characterized as the heartless, monolithic boogeyman.

Cum ulla sella in pugno taberna.  Methinks this link is going to get circulated to some folks who need to confront it.

Initial reactions to MB Studio Productions' PSA.

I'll just let David introduce it:

“What do you need that many bullets for?” is the typical line the antis use to scoff at those who argue their right to possess such magazines and the firearms that use them.

Forgetting for a moment the Founders’ intent as articulated in the Second Amendment and Article. I. Section. 8. of the Constitution, which clearly shows anything less than arms of military utility to be incompatible with that intent, a film company from Westlake Village, Calif., has produced a must-see video that demonstrates the real world dangers in something most people can readily identify with -- protecting our families and homes from violent predatory sociopaths.

MB Studio Productions’ “High Capacity Magazine PSA” provides a chilling unfolding of events in just over two minutes that demonstrates the “need” in a powerful and compelling drama. Everything about it, from the production values, to the writing, to the performances, is top notch, and this is something that gun rights advocates need to help make go viral.

And here is the "High Capacity Magazine PSA" from MB Studio Productions.

Just because nobody asked, I thought I'd document my initial reactions to the piece.  (There's a part of me that is interested in returning to these thoughts down the road, to see if and how they may change.)

Here's the executive summary, and the real, actionable endpoint:  it's really encouraging to see this out there, and with more promised.  My full thoughts are very mixed, but in the end, it seems unequivocally better to have this voice out there, than not.  If this is the starting point, and if the studio is serious about incorporating grassroots feedback, then we may be entering a space that simply has not existed before, and which is badly needed.

The full set of thoughts is mixed, and with it in mind that I'm actually fully in support of the effort, here is a brief collection of observations, ideas for improvement, etc., offered in the best possible faith.  Please forgive the stream-of-consciousness style and any sense that I'm being picky or harsh;  I'm just trying to get these ideas down, and hopefully it will be obvious that I pick these sort of nits specifically because the effort seems worth improving in the first place.  :-)


Question:  who is this for?  Viscerally, I react positively to the video, but I am hardly the target market, either.  The question deserves a serious and objective answer;  I am not at all sure that someone who has not already been persuaded by available evidence, is somehow going to be persuaded here.  This isn't an indictment of the message, necessarily--it may be more an observation about possible audiences.  The way I see it, for someone to be persuaded by this video, (s)he already needs to have accepted the legitimacy of a firearm kept loaded in the home for defense, but still believe that in-gun magazine capacity is a negotiable item to use in political "compromise".  I'll not argue that for someone who is in this space, it may be a very powerful argument--but how big is that demographic, really?

Question:  is this homeowner a good messenger?  I really struggle on him.  He's not much of a projection of confidence, is he?  His mindset needs a lot of work--enough so that it seems incongruent with the decisiveness that he does display.  It's not that every messenger needs to be a steely-eyed Eastwood, but I'd expect at least some more resolve to go along with his decisive fetch of the pistol.  On one hand, I can completely see the desire to avoid Dad being a tacticool badass--above all, he needs to be Dad--but I think there's plenty of space there on the continuum to move around usefully, without him having to look quite so much like a deer in the headlights.  This is, after all, someone who has come far enough that he will actually press the trigger at the moment of truth.

Observation:  plausibility in the details should be tighter.  It sounds picky, and is, but remember that one of the primary things that any "armed citizen" campaign does is to expose the absurd, the implausible, and the oversensationalized in the wild theories of the gungrabbers.  Our standards must be high or we'll needlessly lose valuable moral authority.  So, consider:  in this story, the non-dominant thug enters via the window after shots have been fired.  Not that this couldn't happen, but it would seem much more likely that he would have turned tail at the first shot, when things went downhill.  The above observation about the armed homeowner who will actually drop the hammer, but who looks like the gun just might shake right out of his hands, may carry a similar conflict of authenticity.

Observation:  beware of sending the message that hardware trumps training.  After all, one of the points we're really trying to make is that hardware characteristics (semiauto v. auto, wood v. plastic, "shoulder thing that goes up", etc.) do not suddenly imbue an inanimate object with any sort of moral let's be very careful not to send the conflicting message that hardware characteristics do matter, after all.  It's a tricky thing to come up with a scenario that really does showcase an actual combat need for a whole bunch of shots at once, and this screenplay doesn't seem particularly compelling to me.  If that had been me, with my own usual piece of choice, and provided I did in fact perform as I train, the gun in my hand would have come off the belt with seven rounds in it as well:  two would have gone into Thug One at 1:27, then a single CNS shot for the failure to stop at 1:35 (Mozambique Drill), leaving four remaining in-gun for Thug Two and a similar response.  It's arguable whether there was enough time to do a proper tac-reload, given how quickly Thug Two showed up, but for sure if Thug One did really require six rounds from a seven-round gun to put down, that piece should have been emergency-reloaded at 1:36 with a fresh magazine, and there absolutely was time to do that, even before the glass broke at 1:40.

Would a 15-round magazine have been mighty comforting there?  Hell, even I'd agree that it would have been;  who's to say that Thug Two was the end of it, after all?  But I'd want something that nobody could pick apart, if there was some way to get it. 

What I'd love to see out of subsequent efforts in the series.  All in all, despite the pedantica above, I think this is a great start;  nonetheless, I'd love to see a few things pan out over the overall series:
  • Don't just limit this to stereotypical freelance thugs.  If this is a Second Amendment argument, then we're not even talking about defense from freelance thugs anyway.  And I think the case for magazine capacity is much easier to make when discussing the sort of thugs that come with badges, titles, and the far more dangerous impunity of "legitimacy".  We're talking now about full-capacity magazines for rifles, not pistols.  This will be tricky, of course, to find the right balance of winning people who can be won without pushing away those who aren't ready to confront the ultimate problem yet--but if we are ever to sort that problem out, we have to do it some time, and this studio may have what it takes to do it well.
  • Don't fail to provide some entries with happy endings.  People certainly need to confront the horror of being rendered defenseless by edict--no question there.  But we also need to provide an answer.  Even a side-by side "episode", in which identical and parallel scenarios happen in two different jurisdictions, with attendant results, might be an effective way to balance this out.  Or, perhaps, an interactive "episode", in which the viewer has to choose where he lives, and gets the appropriate "ending".
  • Don't be afraid to show the success of the moral, but not law-abiding, citizen.   Sheesh, we're already long past the time when the term "law-abiding" was any sort of proof of human decency;  with every one of us committing our three felonies a day, that's just not much to lean on any more.  We need to remember that Americans have long admired not just the underdog, but the rulebreaking underdog:  is the very history of our country not the story of smugglers, resisters, seditionists, and so on?  What if this first episode had featured Thug Two quipping something pithy like "you've had your seven", answered by several more unexpected shots from Dad, along with a comment like "words on parchment don't impress me any more than they do you" ?  (Or something more elegant along the same lines of "would you rather be caught with your gun, or without it?"--you get the idea.) 
  • Lean on available and natural protagonists.  Here I'm both thinking very specifically about recruiting the indispensable Kurt Hofmann, who is already a fabulous and authentic voice for the defensive rights of the disabled, and also leaning on "unlikely" groups such as the Pink Pistols or various campus-carry groups, for protagonist demographics that the control freaks would rather not acknowledge at all. 
Okay, that's enough for now.  More ideas may come;  one of the things I appreciate about what I saw today is that it may foment ideas.  And as above, I'll be curious to see if my own opinion winds up different downstream.

We'll see.  In the meantime, I hope this project does really well.  In that vein, I am finding it interesting to follow the hits counter on the YouTube page.  Check out this screencap from 9pm my time:

(Click to embiggen;  the dimensions of this capture are certainly not Blogger-friendly.)

Now check it out as of midnight:

Obviously this is a somewhat crude measure, but still--over seven thousand hits in three hours, beginning at 1am Eastern time...for a video posted over a week ago...  Somehow this seems encouraging, for a gun-rights effort.

May it only pick up steam from here.