All posts by Animal

Rule Five Friday

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (3)Let’s talk about the War on Women.  No, not the infamous, often-abused Democrat claim about Republican policies (or vice versa, as has happened a time or two.)  Instead, let’s talk about the War on Women being conducted by gun-ban advocates.

“Wait, what?” you ask.  Well, have a read of these two articles, both from the Bullets First blog:

Gun Girls of CPAC – Killing the Stereotype

The Brady Campaign’s War on Women

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (1)Money quote from the second article:

The gun is the equalizer that can protect the 100lb girl from the monsters in the night.  From those who would rob innocence and shatter dreams.  The gun levels a playing field for the small and the weak so that we are not a society run by thugs and roving gangs of strong arms.

The Brady Campaign would deny the right of the small to defend themselves against the large.  They would promote reasoning with rabid animals and the moral authority of being raped over killing your rapist.

I would say to use every method possible that would stop one of the most heinous acts from being perpetrated against you.  If you think that the Yale study and the ISP advice is sound I won’t advise against it, it might work.  But I KNOW that 3 shots to the chest with a .45 will work.  If I were a woman I would prefer to have to deal with the fact that I put down 2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (2)a rabid animal than I would dealing with the fact that that animal raped me.

And that, True Believers, is the whole point.

As a CCW permit holder who carries regularly as I go about my daily business, I am on occasion drawn into the conversation about the merits of carrying a concealed handgun, and the likelihood of it one day saving my or someone else’s life.   Two common comments arise:

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (4)Comment: “You know, that gun won’t protect you in every situation.”

Reply:  “That’s true – but it will protect me in many situations, and if I don’t have one, it won’t protect me in any situation.”

Comment:  “I’d be afraid someone would get my gun away from me and kill me with it.”

Reply:  “If I’m ever killed with my own gun, they’ll have to beat me to death with it, because it will sure as hell be empty.”

My own dear Mrs Animal – a small, middle-aged, visibly disabled woman who always has a firearm and usually a blade of some kind concealed about her person – is even more adamant about it, agreeing strongly with the statement above that “3 shots to the chest with a .45,” or in her case, a .380 or a .40 S&W, will sure as hell stop an attacker.

2014_03_14_Rule Five Friday (5)It’s baffling why anyone could make the case for a policy that denies women the choice to defend themselves with the only completely effective tool for the job – the only one that will enable a small, disabled, middle-aged woman to defend herself against a six-foot, twenty year old, male attacker.

Do they truly, as BulletsFirst observes, believe a woman that attempts to foil a rapist with urine, defecation or vomit – or a woman who just submits – is morally superior than a woman who effectively and decisively defends herself with deadly force?

It’s hard to draw any other conclusion.  Fortunately, every year more and more women are calling “bullshit!”

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Animal’s Daily News

2014_03_12_Shotguns (1)Two ongoing shooting iron projects returned from the Colorado School of Trades today (photo, left.)

The iron to the left in the first photo still has more work ahead.  This is a Winchester Model 12, 12 gauge, solid rib, made in the late 1940s.  The gunsmith school applied a polish and gloss blue and tuned up the action.  Next will come a new stock and fore-end, and then choke tubes – a tricky proposition, that, as Model 12s have notoriously thin barrel walls.  Still, several choke tube installers/manufacturers have thin-wall tubes especially for these wonderful old guns, so while it’s limited to traditional, 2-3/4″ lead shot loads, it’s doable.

Model 12 Action closeup
Model 12 Action closeup

And doable is good in this case; the Model 12 is the gold standard of American pump shotguns.   The gun started in (obviously) 1912 as a redesign of John Browning’s Winchester Model 1897, and had an eighty-year history.  Model 12s saw service in game fields, duck blinds and trap/skeet ranges all over the U.S. and Canada (many other places as well, no doubt.)  They even saw service in the U.S. military from the First World War through Vietnam.

It’s nice to have a nicely restored example of this fine shotgun in the rack.

The second arm, the one on the right in the first photo, is the Sears-marked version of the venerable Stevens 520a, again a 12 gauge, manufactured in 1945 or 1946.  2014_03_12_Shotguns (5)This one is done as is, having been polished, blued and tuned.  Why put the effort into a gun with little or no collector’s value, even if it were untouched and original?

Simple:  This was the Old Man’s gun, purchased with some of his demobilization pay when he came home to Iowa at the end of World War 2.  Again a Browning design, the old Stevens has a lot going for it; like the Model 12 it’s a solid steel action, a breakdown gun that fits handily in a short carry case.  It’s a good solid pheasant-killer, in no way fancy but effective – and durable.

You can pick these old Stevens shotguns up for a couple of C-notes when you can find them, but this one isn’t for sale at any price.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!
Happy Hump Day!

Another Mittwoch, another week halfway through.

I find it more than a little disappointing that the Smithsonian magazine, a publication nominally concerned with science, would stoop to this:  On the Trail of Florida’s Bigfoot – The Skunk Ape.  Excerpt:

The first time Dave Shealy saw a skunk ape, he says, he was ten years old. It was 1974, a few years after his father had come upon a set of footprints left by the creature—an Everglades version of Bigfoot named for its supposedly pungent odor. Dave was out deer hunting with his older brother, Jack, in the swamp behind his house, in what’s now Big Cypress National Preserve, when he encountered the ape incarnate.

“It was walking across the swamp, and my brother spotted it first. But I couldn’t see it over the grass—I wasn’t tall enough,” Shealy says. “My brother picked me up, and I saw it, about 100 yards away. We were just kids, but we’d heard about it, and knew for sure what we were looking at. It looked like a man, but completely covered with hair.” He and his brother stared at the creature, mouths agape, but almost at the same time, as he tells it, the skies opened and rain poured down. The ape hurried away, into the cypress hummocks scattered amongst the marsh. “Holy crap,” he remembers thinking. “I finally saw this damn thing, and it got away, just like that.”

An expert.
An expert.

Here’s the point:  He didn’t see a skunk ape.

There aren’t any skunk apes.

There aren’t any Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) Yetis, or any other mysterious, hairy, bipedal apes.

Why so confident, you ask?  Simply this:  Biology.  There can’t be just a few of these creatures running around – there has to be a population.  A genetically viable, breeding population – thousands of animals.  In the heavily settled Southeast, it’s staggeringly unlikely that a population of thousands of giant, hairy bipedal apes exists and yet not one has been killed by a car, or shot by a hunter, or died and left remains anywhere where a human could stumble across them.

A corpse, now that would be proof – inarguable proof.  But we don’t have a corpse, we’ve never had a corpse, and unless the dumbfoundingly unlikely actually happens, we won’t have a corpse.  And what’s more, in this era where every cell phone has a camera, nobody manages to get an unarguable photo.  Let a cop start smacking around a gang punk and everyone and their brother is taking video, but a giant, bipedal hairy ape?  Somehow we’re still stuck with grainy, crappy video that could be anything from a man in a gorilla suit to a rerun of I Love Lucy.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.  In this case, there just isn’t any.

But still – videos keep surfacing:


Animal’s Daily News

Relaxing BearThanks once again to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links!

If you haven’t read George Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century, or his equally excellent Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World, then do so at once; until you do, have a look at his nutshell explanation of capitalism and why it’s the best economic system:

What does the admittedly-brilliant (on economics) George Gilder leave out?  Simply this; the best justification for capitalism is that it is the natural product of free people deciding for themselves what to do with their own resources, skills, talents, abilities and labor.

There’s no better argument for capitalism than that.  Unfortunately it’s been a long, long time since the United States had a completely capitalist economy; probably not since the middle 1800s.  And we’re moving farther away from that state every time Congress is in session.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Here’s an interesting critique of the Obama Administration’s ongoing abuse of executive power – and from that notorious right-wing rag, the Los Angeles Times, no less.    Read for yourselves:  The President’s Power Grab.  Excerpt:

Recently, a bizarre scene unfolded on the floor of the House of Representatives that would have shocked the framers of the Constitution. In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced that he had decided to go it alone in areas where Congress refused to act to his satisfaction. In a system of shared powers, one would expect an outcry or at least stony silence when a president promised to circumvent the legislative branch. Instead, many senators and representatives erupted in rapturous applause; they seemed delighted at the notion of a president assuming unprecedented and unchecked powers at their expense.

Last week, Obama underlined what this means for our system: The administration unilaterally increased the transition time for individuals to obtain the level of insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act. There is no statutory authority for the change — simply the raw assertion of executive power.

The United States is at a constitutional tipping point: The rise of an uber presidency unchecked by the other two branches.

Now, all Presidents have used executive orders.  Some more than others.  But what’s different this time is this:  The Obama Administration is (ab)using that authority to circumvent legislation (the previously mentioned and badly misnamed Affordable Care Act) for no better reason than the fact that this poorly planned, poorly thought-out, disastrously incompetent piece of legislation would cost Democrats heavily in the fall elections if it were to take full effect.

Bear SpeechIn other words, now that the President’s signature piece of legislation is passed, he is arbitrarily enforcing/not enforcing bits and pieces of it, for political gain.

That’s not how the system is supposed to work.  As the Democrats in Congress are fond of pointing out, it’s the law now.  It has to be enforced.  The Democrats have made their Affordable Care Act bed, and the President is sheltering them from the consequences of having to lie in it.

Rule Five Friday

2014_03_07_Rule Five Friday (1)This is going to be brief, as a long drive followed by a plane ride beckons, and that’s coming off a late night (working) last night and a nearly-full day working today.  Add to that no prep since there was no telling when our hosting service’s server crash would be resolved, and add in a touch of procrastination…

…well, sorry.

But the big deal in the news lately?  Well, if you’re interesting in geopolitics, Cold War-like military posturing and possible sparks to regional warfare, then surely the Russian boots-on-ground in the Crimea are on your mind.  Some relevant stories:

Things Are Getting Dicier in Crimea.

What Game of Chess?2014_03_07_Rule Five Friday (2)

Obama Signs Executive Order on Ukraine Sanctions.

Crimea Sets Referendum on Joining Russia (Shades of 1930’s Austria!)

Russia Blows Past Obama’s Off Ramp.

What will the Obama Administration do about this?  Other than some sanctions that Vladimir Putin will laugh off, nothing.  Putin knows this.  He seized the Crimea knowing this.  He will keep the Crimea knowing this.  Down the road, he may indulge in more 2014_03_07_Rule Five Friday (3)military adventurism elsewhere, knowing this.

Remember what started the first World War?  A minor arch-duke got himself popped, and the world was plunged into war.  WW2 was arguably a continuation of the Great War, with a second theater opened in the Pacific.

Is the world ready for Round Three?

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