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Grumpy Old Guy Day

Yesterday started off with a call from my Mother to evict kittens from her car. The situation escalated beyond the spray bottle to the Supersoaker, but stopped just short of the hose. The “Pump House Gang” was ready to make a stand, but they really didn’t like getting wet.

I have been working on a data base for a client. It is something I do every year, and it gets worst every year, because the people who own the data base are outsourcing the data input and obviously are spending no money on quality control.

In the middle of doing several extended searches to find the correct answer for what was obviously a corrupted entry, I got a phone call, and, I admit, I got rude with the caller.

The caller was from the NRA, and started by saying that the current Congress is the most anti-gun government we have ever had. I interrupted her and unloaded. I essentially told her that in my opinion the NRA propaganda was responsible for the deaths of several police officers recently as it feeds into the paranoia of unbalanced people in this country, and that everyone associated with the organization should look to the welfare of their souls for their guilt in the deaths. I stopped just short of quoting Scripture and hung up.

I’m sick of the propaganda, the spite, and the hate. They didn’t say a thing when Bush’s DHS decided they had the right to disarm the residents any time they felt like it, but, based on nothing more than having a Democrat in the White House, not a single bill in Congress that even talks about guns, these people start a fear campaign. The NRA is starting to look a lot like a terrorist organization, in the original sense of the word.

13 comments

1 Steve Bates { 05.09.09 at 6:03 pm }

Every year in my “fair city” (Houston), several people kill a family member by mistake, in part because a loaded firearm is close at hand, and in part because they lack the training to make the shoot/don’t-shoot decision on the instant, in the dark, with inadequate information. From this city-dweller’s perspective, the NRA’s biggest blunder is its promotion of the idea that possessing a gun protects you, under all circumstances, no matter what. I’m sorry, but the evidence is otherwise. And a lot of people… including, as you pointed out, some police officers… die because NRA promotes that misbegotten notion.

I am alive today because my granddaddy could shoot straight. His daughter, my mom, was a pretty fine shot, too. (Me? I can’t hit the side of the barn.) Both Granddad and Mom grew up on family farms far from any city; hunting deer, rabbits and squirrel was part of their livelihood. But Mom moved to the city and left her guns on the farm; I’m probably alive because of that, too.

2 hipparchia { 05.09.09 at 8:27 pm }

yay! let’s hear it for the grumpy old guys!

my ex kept loaded weapons lying all over the house in easy reach [revolvers and a shotgun or two, nothing remotely militaristic], and was the first to squawk about any encroachment on his right to do so, but he hated the nra, and considered them dangerous kooks.

steve, i’ve had the opportunity to try out the shoot/don’t shoot simulator training the police go through. count me underwhelmed.

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3 Kryten42 { 05.09.09 at 9:17 pm }

Agree Bryan & all. I was lucky that my Grandfather taught me well at a young age. Then a couple years in the Military and on the battlefield honed that mightily. The hardest thing in the World IMHO is to resist the urge to shoot at any noise and movement, especially after you’ve recently been ambushed and lost a couple team mates. The reflex to survive is a powerful one, takes a LOT of training and practice to resist the urge to use a weapon. Using one, is dead easy. 😉

4 Bryan { 05.09.09 at 9:48 pm }

Guns are tools. Like any tool you have to know what you are doing to use them. Owning a chainsaw doesn’t make you a lumberjack, and if you don’t learn how to use it properly it is easy and quick to end up a hospital or funeral home. The same goes for guns.

Guns are not a magic wand, and owning one doesn’t guarantee anything. People who think that guns are anything beyond a tool have a real problem. Can anyone imagine the treatment of an organization dedicated to the proposition that every American should own a chainsaw?

I still own guns because I have a specific use for them that is dependent on the particular place I live. I have a reasonable expectation that I will have a real use for this tool. If I lived somewhere with better animal control and police response, I probably wouldn’t bother. They are expensive and require maintenance, so owning them is not just a matter of a one time purchase.

The NRA has turned the gun into an idol. They are some seriously deluded people.

5 fallenmonk { 05.09.09 at 10:52 pm }

My caller id shows the NRA at least once a day. I own a few guns just because I think it might someday be a necessary part of my survival plan. They don’t get used just maintained. I have been trained in their use from the time as I was a little squirt on through nearly 10 years in the military. Several years on the US Navy pistol team allowed me to perfect my skill. How dangerous they are has been beaten into my skull for 4o plus years. The NRA is a terrorist organization in my book and inciting every bozo with a couple of hundred bucks to own one or two guns is insane. Considering how far reaching and brutal the wrongful use of a gun can be there should be a lengthy training requirement and even longer waiting period before one should be allowed that much life and death power.

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6 Badtux { 05.10.09 at 12:06 am }

As most “practical” survivalists have pointed out, if you want to survive the zombie apocalypse, move to a small town, join the Chamber of Commerce, and become personal friends of the Chief of Police and commander of the local National Guard unit. I have guns but have no delusions about their usefulness if the power establishment decided to squash me like a bug. Better to be part of the power establishment to begin with… just ask Dean Ing, one of the uber-gurus of survivalism, I just told you what his plan is. And as I’ve also pointed out, most of the pasty-ass Libertopian types would end up squealing like a pig if you dumped them out in a neighborhood full of real bad-asses. If they don’t shoot their legs off first.

Practically speaking, the person with the least qualms about using a gun — i.e., amoral murderers — win if we devolve to rule of gun like the NRA often seems to be advocating. I have firearms for home defense and for hunting, but even when I lived in a state that handed out concealed weapons permits like candy I didn’t carry outside the home. The reality is that in a face-off between me and an amoral murderer, I would still be trying to figure out whether the situation called for deadly force at the same time that the amoral murderer was plugging my plump penguin ass. As for the nonsense the NRA types like to spittle out about guns and resisting a dictatorship, there is no contradiction between a nation flooded with firearms and dictatorship. As long as the dictatorship provides special privileges and such to the minority of people who are amoral murderers, the amoral murderers will then keep the rest of the populace in check no matter how many weapons the rest of the populace possesses. Just ask the people who lived in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Iraq was flooded with guns (as we found out to our chagrin), but since most people only want to go about their lives in peace, handing out special priviliges to amoral murderers was more than enough to keep Saddam in power for over twenty years…

In short, guns are nice and all, but they simply don’t solve the problems that the NRA claims they solve, and add problems that the NRA refuses to acknowledge. I support the right to own and bear arms because it is the law as written in the 2nd Amendment, not because I have any delusions that guns are some sort of magical talisman that solve all problems.

– Badtux the Practical Gun Penguin

7 Bryan { 05.10.09 at 12:45 am }

This whole business is about money, because the NRA’s power is based on money, not membership. There are only about 4 million actual members of the NRA, and many of those are not of voting age, but the last available financial information put their annual take at around $200 million.

We saw how effective they were in the last Presidential election, so they only really have significant power with the Republicans who are are fading,

The best long term survival strategy is to learn how to farm. If you don’t have food, the rest is pretty silly.

I have a lot of tools, but I don’t worship them, and I can make do without. Things would be harder, but they can be done.

8 Kryten42 { 05.10.09 at 3:35 am }

The first thing I did when I returned from Cambodia was hand in or sell every weapon I had. I was licensed and trained on a dozen weapons and weapons system. I’d used every gun from a Ruger .22 survival rifle (we were issued because they are practical, light and pack into a small space, disassembled, it all fits into it’s waterproof stock with 2 ammo clips), up to a very deadly AMR. I thought about keeping the Ruger, but couldn’t justify it. If i lived in the country or the edges of suburbia, I might have. I still have a valid Security License, but when a new one is issued (every 3 years) I make sure they leave off ‘armed guard’ etc. Actually, I keep my security license up to date now because it’s worth 100 ID points and is useful if someone wants to be an as*h*le. 😉

My grandfather taught me two things. Never own a weapon unless you intend to use it. Never point a weapon at anyone unless you intend to use it.

Also, it’s a very dangerous thing to try to pull or point a gun at someone with advanced combat training. We spent well over a year training our muscles to react in specific ways under certain conditions. They don’t forget, and if I happen to have a knife, they loose. 🙂

I’m moving to a large country town in 5 or 6 weeks. I’m considering whether to get a hunting or varmint license, but probably won’t. Definitely be planting veggies and some fruit trees. 🙂

9 Bryan { 05.10.09 at 1:17 pm }

Concealed carry permits are easy to get in Florida, but there is no way I would get one because if I was carrying I would react like a cop and I don’t have the right to do that any more. [Besides, it’s too hot to conceal a weapon and the damn things damage your clothes.]

Depending on your laws, a crossbow is as handy as a firearm, and you can reuse the “ammo”, but a good, sharp hoe will deal with most problems very effectively if they won’t take a hint.

Everything else, and a move – you’re a glutton for punishment, Kryten.

10 Kryten42 { 05.10.09 at 9:23 pm }

Crossbow’s are illegal here. If you need a concealed weapon, you need a proper holster and tailored suit or jacket. I remember…

We decided the big city sux. Got a good price on the unit and moving to clean air and friendly people. The town is Bendigo, about 2 hours out of Melb. There’s a good new freeway connecting Melb to Bendigo and a train service every hour, so it’s well connected to the city. It’s one of the original old Gold mining town, but has grown a lot. I like it because they are doing all the right things to attract people and want to grow. Everything there is cheap! Can get a decent block of land for about $75k compared to $160k in Melb. And rent is half what it is here. And, the people are very friendly, even the service in stores etc. 🙂 I went to a cafe when we went up a couple weeks ago, and got a coffee (a real one! Mmmm) and they gave me a choice of a free pastry! I got a cinnamon donut. 🙂 Nobody in Melb does that, unless they charge $8 for the coffee. 😉 We found a place in the heart of Bendigo less than 2km from the main exchange that services my ISP, so I won’t loose my great Internet service! That was a prime criteria. 😉

Glutton for punishment, yeah… I musta been a right evil bastard in previous lives! I really have tried to be pretty good in this one. So I must be paying for past lives, either that, or life just seriously sux! 😉 😆

Maybe, that will change after I move. I’ve always been happier in the country. 🙂

11 Bryan { 05.10.09 at 10:29 pm }

I had ankle and “pancake” holsters for both my Colt with a 2-inch barrel and my Walther PPK, but the hammer spurs shredded the linings on my jackets. The shoulder rig for the Walther was better, but I’m not a fan of reaching that far.

Too bad about the crossbow. Actually, if I could find a paintball gun that would hold pressure, that would take care of most of my issues without anything having die. They all suck, and they use CO2, which I’m not happy about releasing into the atmosphere.

It is sort of weird, but I have found that people who are born and raised in a place are generally easier to deal with, than people who came because they didn’t like where they were born, or were forced by a job. It is probably the fact that if you stay, you are comfortable in your environment.

I’ve always had friendly neighbors when I lived in cities, so experience colors my perception.

If you aren’t happy, you should move, because life is too short to spend it in an uncomfortable environment.

BTW, the trains would sell me on the town. That is one big problem with the US – a lack of mass transit.

12 Kryten42 { 05.10.09 at 10:59 pm }

Yeah, the train is good, and cheaper than petrol (gas) for a car for the same trip. I think a 1st class return ticket is about $16. 🙂

I had to learn to use a bow & crossbow in adv. training. I liked using the bow, felt right to me. I preferred it to a rifle actually (at short-medium ranges obviously, though a 80-120lb war bow has an amazing range and can send an arrow though a tree)! I must be old fashioned, the military had special light-weight alloy bi-flex bows with the pulley system, and they were more compact and easier to use, and pretty accurate once you got used to them… but I preferred an old-fashioned composite bow. I got frowned at a lot, but I rarely missed so they just decided to go with it. Military is funny that way. 😉 I tried dozens of different bows until i found one I really liked. Apparently, it was an ancient Chinese design. The ancient Chinese knew how to make weapons that worked! 😉 The thing with an arrow is, if you want a guaranteed kill from even a flesh wound, you can dip the tip in curare or blow fish toxin. I read that somewhere… maybe a movie… Rambo or something? never did that, of course, Military would never sanction anything like that. That wouldn’t be cricket. Mind you… The ancients never had a problem doing such things. Nice that we are so much more enlightened, eh? 😆 Most people (who only read fiction or watch Hollywood propaganda) probably wouldn’t realize that ‘curare’ was a name for a broad range of plant toxins. Only few of which were used by the Sth. American natives as a weapon. Some were used as effective medicines. 🙂 See, military training isn’t all about death and destruction. Just… mostly. 😀

13 Bryan { 05.10.09 at 11:54 pm }

The compound bows are an acquired taste. We made our own bows when I was a child down here, and using palmetto fronds as arrows, they had no problem with penetration, even without any metal tip. The sightline is wrong for me with a compound bow and the composites currently offered in the US are too light to be effective, which is why I suggested a crossbow. Anyone with rifle training should be effective with a crossbow with minimum effort.

I can think of a half dozen local plants that can produce some nasty things for an arrowhead, but a well placed arrow doesn’t need any help. There is always coral snake venom if you are looking for a sure kill, and they aren’t that dangerous to handle if you know what you are doing.

It is only for educational purposes that the Ranger Training Camp has a poisonous reptile collection. Education is important to Rangers, in case anyone was wondering.

It sounds like the recurved composite bow for mounted archers on the Steppes. They really were an effective design, and compact.

Hey, we had advanced first aid to help people. How people-friendly can you get?