Friday, January 28, 2005

Seven hundred dollars and a .30-06

I almost included this in the quotes below, but decided at the last minute that it deserved to stand alone.

Grandpa's Lesson

Pappy took to drinkin' back when I was barely three.
Ma got pretty quiet. She was frettin', you could see.

So I was sent to Grandpa and he raised me up real good.
He taught me what I oughta and he taught me what I should.

I learned a heap 'o lessons from the yarns he liked to tell.
There's one I won't forget because I learned it 'speshly well.

"There jist ain't many folk who live a peaceful, carefree life.
Along with all the good times there'll be lotsa grief and strife.

But ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

Grandpa courted Grandma near the town of old Cheyenne.
Her daddy was cantankerous - a very greedy man.

He wouldn't give permission for a fancy wedding day
'Til grandpa paid a dowry--biggest ever people say.

Her daddy softened up when Grandpa said that he could fix
Him up with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six.

Grandpa herded cattle down around Jalisco way.
Ended up behind some iron bars one dusty day.

Seems the local jefe craved my Grandpa's pinto mare.
Grandpa wouldn't sell her so he lit on out of there.

Didn't take much doin' 'cept a couple special tricks
plus seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.

Then there was that Faro game near San Francisco say.
Grandpa's cards was smokin' hot and he took all one day.

He woke up nearly naked in a ditch next early morn'.
With nothin' but his flannel shirt, and it was ripped and torn.

Those others were professionals and they don't play for kicks.
He lost seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six.

He begged some woolen trousers off the local storekeep there
Who loaned him both a pony and a rifle on a dare.

He caught those thievin' cardsharks at another Faro game.
He got back all his property and also his good name.

He left one bleedin' badly and another mostly lame.
My grandpa's trusty rifle shoots just where you choose to aim.

Grandpa's slowin' down a bit and just the other night
He handed me his rifle and a box sealed up real tight.

He fixed me with them pale grey eyes and this is what he said,
"You're awful young but steady too and I will soon be dead.

I'll bet this here old rifle and this honest money too
Will come in mighty handy just as readily for you.

There jist ain't many folk who lead a carefree, peaceful life.
Along with times of happiness, there's always woe and strife.

But ... aint many troubles that a man cain't fix
with seven hundred dollars and his thirty ought six."

Lindy Cooper Wisdom
December, 1995

Quotable quotes

In no particular order........originators identified where possible. Courtesy of The High Road

"Any one worth shooting is worth shooting twice" - Anonymous CCW Instructor

"Fast is fine, but accurate is final. The trick is learning to take your time when you're in a hurry." - W. Earp

If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. - His Holiness, the XIV Dalai Lama (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times), speaking at the Educating Heart Summit in Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate

.....Certainly, the intrinsic value of life and the duty to love oneself no less than others are the basis of a true right to self-defense ... legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life, the common good of the family or of the State. Unfortunately, it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose actions brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.
-Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter from 1995, EVANGELIUM VITAE

Though defensive violence will always be a "sad necessity" in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men.
-St. Augustine (354-430 AD)

Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep. Under democracy, individual liberty of opinion and action is jealously guarded.
-Mahatma Gandhi, The Essential Gandhi, Louis Fischer

I used to issue leaflets asking people to enlist as recruits. One of the arguments I had used was distasteful to the Commissioner: 'Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle class render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.' The Commissioner referred to this and said that he appreciated my presence in the conference in spite of the differences between us. And I had to justify my standpoint as courteously as I could.
-Mohandas Karamchand Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader (1869-1948), The Story of my Experiments with Truth - An Autobiography (1927)

I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.
-Mahatma Gandhi, The Essential Gandhi, Louis Fischer,

When there is absolutely no choice but between violence and cowardice, I would choose violence
-Mahatma Gandhi, The Essential Gandhi, Louis Fischer

Government control gives rise to fraud, suppression of truth, intensification of the black market and artificial scarcity. Above all, it unmans the people and deprives them of initiative. It undoes the teaching of self help that they have been learning for a generation. It makes them spoon fed. This is a tragedy next only, if indeed not equal to the fratricide, on a vast scale and the insane exchange of population resulting in unnecessary deaths, starvation, wand want of proper residence and clothing, more poignant for the coming of inclement weather.
-Mahatma Gandhi, The Essential Gandhi, Louis Fischer

If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.
-The Talmud

Death for the wicked, conclude our Sages, is a benefit for them and for the world while death for the righteous is bad for them and bad for the world.
-The Talmud, Sanhedrin 72a

When a strong man, armed, keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.
-Luke 11:21

Then said He unto them, but now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.... And they said, Lord, here are two swords. And he said unto them, it is enough.
-Luke 22:36

If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
-Exodus 22:2-3

Except those who believe and do good and remember Allah much, and defend themselves after they are oppressed; and they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back.
-The Koran, The Poets: 26.227

And whoever defends himself after his being oppressed, these it is against whom there is no way to blame. The way to blame is only against those who oppress men and revolt in the earth unjustly; these shall have a painful punishment.
-The Koran, The Counsel: 42.36 - 42.42

"Guns, like some peoples' brains, are inanimate objects." - some dude on another forum

"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic." --Ted Nugent

"I dream of a world where I can buy alcohol, tobacco and firearms at the same drive thru window and use them all on the way home" --Dogbert

"The unarmed man is not just defenseless, he is also contemptible." -- Machiavelli

"Remember folks, never assume malice where stupidity will suffice." --Tamara

"A gun is a tool, Marion. No better or no worse than the man using it." - Shane

A gun in the hand, beats a cop on the phone.

9-1-1 = Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer

"I said I never had much use for one, Never said I didn't know how to use one"
Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under

Good shooters are made - not born. - Fred Misseldine

Use Enough Gun -Robert Ruark

"Republicans act like every day is the 4th of July... Democrats act like every day is April 15th." I believe Ronald Reagan said that one.

"Democrats think that when they die, they'll be judged by a man in a wheelchair from Dutchess County." Lets see how many history buffs pick up on that one.

A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. - Robert Frost

All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government. - Ronald Reagan

"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else thereafter." - Hemingway

“One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree the ‘violence begets violence’. I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would very much like to ensure-and in some cases I have-that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.” - Col. Jeff Cooper, from “Cooper vs. Terrorism” Guns & Ammo Annual, 1975

"Never look behind you, something might be gaining." Satchel Paige

"If money can fix it, it ain't a problem" anon

"We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us."
From King Henry V's St Crispian's Day speech, in Henry V

"Never point a gun at anything you're not willing to destroy. The corrallary to that is that if someone points a gun at you they're willing to kill you. You are authorized to take that hard." - Jeff Cooper

"This is my boomstick!"
-Bruce Campbell

"The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."
-- James Earl Jones, actor

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body, and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." - Thomas Jefferson

"...Let us then enunciate the functions of a state and we shall easily elicit what we want: First there must be food; secondly, arts for life requires many instruments; thirdly, there must be arms, for the members of a community have need of them, and in their own hands, too, in order to maintain authority both against disobedient subjects and against external assailants ..."
~ Aristotle

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms."
~ James Madison

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe."
~ Noah Webster

"After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it."
~ William Burroughs

If you are in a fair fight, your tactics suck!" - FedGunner

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." --Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, 1941

Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum."
(Thus, let him who wishes for peace prepare for war.)
-- Flavius Vegetius Renatus. ( fl. c. 375 AD)

When you need to shoot, shoot; don't talk. - Eli Wallach as Tuco, in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin

Clint Smith, director of Thunder Ranch, is part drill instructor, part stand-up comic. Here are a few of his observations on tactics, firearms, self defense and life as we know it in the civilized world.

"So a guy says, ‘I’m good! I move, I shoot, I communicate.’ Yeah, but can you do it on the ground? Because that’s where you’re gonna be in a fight."

"It’s real different when the bad guy shoots back. It doesn’t mean you’re going to lose, it just makes the story more interesting afterward."

"The best example of good training is to never get in a fight."

Defensive Driving:
"If you’re accosted, don’t get out of the car. Put it in some other gear and put both feet on the gas. Clint’s school of driving-add power!"

Running Out Of Ammo:
"If pointing an empty gun at your opponent makes him duck, you may live for an extra two seconds-and who knows? I may find another gun, the bad guy may give up, or the ammo fairy may drop me a magazine."

Target Recognition:
"If we’re going down a hall and I see the end of a double barrel shotgun, I better communicate to my partner, ‘cause I can be pretty sure it’s not the Easter bunny on the other end."

"Open up the ground between you and the threat. At arm’s distance, you opponent doesn’t have to be good, he just has to be lucky."

"It doesn’t do me any good to have a partner and shoot ‘em-although I’ve had some partners I’d like to shoot."

Verbal Skills:
"You better learn to communicate real well, because when you’re out there on the street, you’ll have to talk to a lot more people than you’ll have to shoot, or at least that’s the way I think it’s supposed to work."

Big Bore Sixguns:
"...He asked, ‘Did you hit him?’ Hey, I don’t know, but he was smokin’ when he ran outta here."

Counting Your Shots:
"It’s our experience that in a fight you will continue to shoot the gun until the threat goes away or until the gun is empty."

"Don’t be a deer caught in the headlights of the Kenworth of life!"

Long Guns Vs. Handguns:
"They say you can’t use a rifle or shotgun indoors because a bad guy will grab the barrel. Yeah? Well, he better hang on, ‘cause I’m gonna light him up and it’ll definitely be an "E" ticket ride."

Conserving Ammo:
"People ask, ‘What do you do if the guy’s on drugs?’ Shoot ‘em! ‘But what if it doesn’t work?’ Shoot ‘em some more!"

The Defensive Mindset:
"The only reason we would plant our feet is to dig ‘em real good so we can run, ‘cause we’re about to get the hell out of here."

The Survival Instinct:
"Anyone can understand shooting to protect themselves. You give me five minutes and I’ll make anyone on this planet mad enough to shoot me. The real question is, will they have that much time in a fight? You need to make that decision before you start to fight-only you life depends on it."

"The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight. I’d choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an atomic bomb instead."

"The two most important rules in a gunfight are: always cheat and always win."

"Every time I teach a class, I discover I don’t know something."

"Don’t forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

"Make (your attacker) advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, bet he’s gonna have to beat me to death with it, ‘cause it’s going to be empty."

"If you’re not shootin’, you should be loadin’. If you’re not loadin’, you should be movin’. If you’re not movin’, someone’s gonna cut your head off and put it on a stick."

"When you reload (in low light encounters), don’t put your flashlight in your back pocket. If you light yourself up, you’ll look like an angel or the tooth fairy - and you’re gonna be one of ‘em pretty soon."

"Do something. It may be wrong, but do something."

"Nothing adds a little class to a sniper course like a babe in a ghille suit."

"Shoot what’s available, as long as it’s available, until something else becomes available."

"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That’s ridiculous. If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid about?"

"Don’t shoot fast, shoot good."

"You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or use any other word you think will work, but I’ve found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much the universal language."

"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."

"You cannot save the planet. You may be able to save yourself and your family."

"(Thunder Ranch) will be here as long as you’ll have us or until someone makes us go away, and either way it’ll be exciting."

"They say you can’t use a rifle or shotgun indoors because a bad guy will grab the barrel. Yeah? Well, he better hang on, ‘cause I’m gonna light him up and it’ll definitely be an "E" ticket ride."
"Make (your attacker) advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, bet he’s gonna have to beat me to death with it, ‘cause it’s going to be empty."

"Gun Control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters," Gravano said. "I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety Locks? You will pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins."
--Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, the Mafia turncoat, when asked about gun control in an interview in Vanity Fair.

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; what would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty - so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator - and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree." --Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments 87-88 (H. Paulucci transl. 1963).-- (Thomas Jefferson copied this passage in full in his Commonplace Book 314 (G. Chinard ed. 1926), which was "the source book and repertory of Jefferson's ideas on government." Id. at 4.)

“Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments.”
—Frederick the Great

There exists among some a misbegotten notion that self defense is somehow incompatible with civilized society. –Anonymous

The weapon is a delight because it is simultaneously a tool, an artifact, and a symbol of a willingness to resist others who would, by unjust and injudicious force, attempt to impose their will on us. –Roscoe Benson

If you look like a rabbit, and act like a rabbit, you will be treated like a rabbit – prey for all predators. –Stony Loft

As with sharks, humans usually “bump” before they “bite.” –John Farnam

Blame, and complicity in murder, attaches to all those who willfully refuse to recognize the limits of diplomacy and the duty of active self-defense. –George Will

It does not do, to countenance the threat of being killed, to commit suicide.
--William F. Buckley

If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism. –Thomas Sowell

"If you are unwilling to defend even your own lives, then you are like mice trying to 'negotiate' with owls. You regard their ways as 'wrong.' They regard you as dinner." --John Farnam

I have yet to hear anyone afflicted with the "gun control" disability dial 9-1-1 and specify, "Now please be sure to send the kind of cops who are disarmed. If you can't do that, we'd rather you not send anyone at all to stop the men who are holding my daughter at knifepoint, because in this household we don't believe that guns ever solve anything." —VIN SUPRYNOWICZ

Other than supporting The Bill of Rights, does anything constitute treason in this country any more? — Minority Mike

When you come for my guns, bring yours. You’ll need them. -Larry Simoneaux

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation." - Thomas B. Reed (1886)

"That all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and free money when unemployed, and free medical care, and a free house with a yard for the kids, and free public transportation, and free education, and a guaranteed well-paying job, and cheap cable TV, and a pension that keeps abreast of inflation, and a steak every Friday, and free basketball hoops, and a new car." — The Declaration of Independence, Liberal Edition.

If you think it's wrong to kill someone who is about to kill you, you are too stupid to be allowed to vote. — Michael James

"If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees." -President Bill Clinton, August 12, 1993

This is not a quote but a funny little anecdote. I think is it great.

An officer in the U.S. Naval reserve was attending a conference that included admirals from both the U.S. Navy and the French Navy. At a cocktail reception, he found himself in a small group that included personnel from both navies. The French admiral started complaining that whereas Europeans learned many languages, Americans learned only English. He then asked: "Why is it that we have to speak English in these conferences rather than you speak French?"
Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied: "Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you would not have to speak in German."

‘‘The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.’’
— Patrick Henry

‘‘To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them...’’
— Richard Henry Lee, 1787

"A gentleman will seldom,if ever, need a gun. However, if he does need one, he will probably need it very badly." IIRC, Winston Churchill. I've probably misquoted Sir Winston.

"Suppose you were a congressman. Suppose you were an idiot. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain

"Democracy is when 2 wolves and a lamb vote for what to put on the dinner table; Liberty is when the lamb is equipped to dispute that vote."

Where's the bayonet?" Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, while examining a new model of flame thrower.

"In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was Protestant. Then they came for me - and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-Pastor Martin Nimoller

"The tradition of dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living."
-Karl Marx

The more people are dependent upon the government, the more controlled they are."
— United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright, 20 Mar 1998

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."
—Thomas Jefferson Letter to William Ludlow, 1824

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it."
— George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutions, 1903

"What luck for rulers, that men do not think."
—Adolf Hitler

"The watchword of the left in those days [1960's & 1970's] was 'Never trust the government.' Now, of course, the left IS the government, and the new watchword is 'Never mind.'"
—C. D. Tavares, 1997

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
—Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania Assembly to the governor, November 11, 1755

"...quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
[...a sword never kills anybody; it's a tool in the killer's hand.]
—(Lucius Annaeus) Seneca "the Younger" (ca. 4 BC-65 AD),
Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales,
[Letters to Lucilius on Morals,]
Letter 87, c.63-65 AD

"I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand."
—Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), speech in San Franscisco, July 1871

"Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power."
—Yoshimi Ishikawa, Japanese author, in the Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1992.

You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
—Winston Churchill

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say,
'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our
posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and
sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us
the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the
earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of
servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which
feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity
forget that ye were our countrymen!" --Samuel Adams

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
—Samuel Adams

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to stand by and do nothing." --Edmund Burke

"Whenever books are burned, men also in the end are burned." --Heinrich Heine

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal

"A friend is someone who will help you move. A GOOD friend is someone who will help you move a body." --unknown

"You may never know what results come from your action.
But if you do nothing, there will be no result." ~ Gandhi

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever does." ~ Margaret Mead

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
Steve Biko

There will come a time when our silence will be louder than the voices you strangle today.
Albert Spies

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. -- Mark Twain

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -- Albert Einstein

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. -- Jeremy S. Anderson

The definition of diplomacy is saying 'Nice doggie, nice doggie' until you can find a stick. -- Will Rodgers

The victor will always judge the defeated, and always find him guilty. -- Goering, during the Nuremberg Trials

``The great masses of the people . . . will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.'' [Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf [1933]]

``Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.'' [Ronald Reagan]

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt."
Cicero, 63 BC

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence."
Charles Austin Beard, historian

"We have rights, as individuals, to give as much of our own money as we please to charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of public money."
David Crockett, Congressman 1827-35

"Our schools have been scientifically designed to prevent overeducation from happening. The average American (should be) content with their humble role in life, because they're not tempted to think about any other role."
U.S. Commissioner of Education, William T. Harris, 1889

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"
Patrick Henry

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
Thomas Jefferson

"Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them."
George Santayana

"There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation."
James Madison

"Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas."
Joseph Stalin

"Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA - ordinary citizens don't need guns, as their having guns doesn't serve the State."
Heinrich Himmler

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
-- Abraham Lincoln

When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
-- Thomas Paine

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

''Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed."
Sarah Brady, Chair Handgun Control, Inc.

"I think you should defend to the death their right to march, and then go down and meet them with baseball bats."
Woody Allen, on the KKK

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria

"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoanlysis (1952)

More formidable is an army of deer, led by a lion, than an army of lions, led by a deer.
Rev. Bob Thieme

"We don't inherit the world from our parents, we borrow it from our children."
Sioux Indians

"If you're standing upright, don't worry if your shadow is crooked."
Chinese proverb

"... to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."
Captain Ahab - Moby Dick by Herman Melville

"If you teach someone what to think, you make them a slave to your knowledge -- if you teach someone how to think, you make all knowledge their slave."

"One ship drives east and the other drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
`Tis the set of the sails and not the gales
Which tells the way to go."
Ella Wheeler Wilcox - "Winds of Fate"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Thomas Edison

"It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees."
Dolores Isárruri

"If you have made mistakes ... there is always another chance for you ... you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
Mary Pickford

"Moses dragged us for 40 years through the desert to bring us to the one place in the Middle East where there was no oil."
Golda Meir

"The road to Auschwitz was built by hate but paved by indifference."
Professor Aron Rodrigue

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."
James Matthew Barrie

"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby."
Ruth Renkel

"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
George S. Patton, Jr.

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today."
James Dean

"A person will be called to account on Judgement Day for every permissible thing he might have enjoyed but didn't."

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an
invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write
a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort
the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone,
solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program
a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die
gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
Robert Heinlein

"In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us,
'Make us your slaves, but feed us.'" Dostoevsky

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

no hope for Britain

Ahhh.....jolly old England. In the gun free utopia where "....burglars are members of the public who must be protected from violent householders" ( The Independent, May 2003) and where "....a 93 year old woman who put up barbed wire around her home after repeated burglaries has been ordered to take it down because it could injure intruders" (BBC, August 2001), it's good to know that the police are working hard to keep the public safe from serial apple eaters.

Northumbria Police bust apple eating driver
A NURSERY nurse was fined £60 yesterday for holding an apple in her hand while driving around a bend after police used a spotter aircraft, a helicopter and a patrol car to win the case.

Northumbria Police went to extraordinary lengths to gather evidence against Sarah McCaffery, 23, who had missed breakfast and grabbed the apple to eat on her way to work. Magistrates ruled that she had not been in full control of her car. Miss McCaffery was also ordered to pay £100 costs at the tenth court hearing of the case.
Chris Kay, for the prosecution, said that the bill was £425, not including the aerial photographs and the squad vehicle’s video. The full cost of bringing the case against Miss McCaffery is thought to have been about £10,000.

The cost of keeping a helicopter flying for an hour can reach £500. The police claimed that their helicopter was already on operations in South Tyneside when it took the photos, so the additional cost was just £66.

Geoffrey Forrester, for the defence, told South Tyneside magistrates that Miss McCaffery had been driving in dry conditions, that there was no traffic or pedestrians and that the manoeuvre was carried out perfectly.

The dispute between Miss McCaffery, who lives in Hebburn, and the police began on December 4, 2003. In an interview given before yesterday’s court hearing, she described how she took the same route to work in her Ford Ka as she had done for four years. As she negotiated a left turn with an apple in her right hand she was still in second gear when she saw the blue lights of a police car.

PC Lee Butler had spotted her driving with her right hand by her face and believed that she may have been using a mobile phone, the court was told.

When he discovered that she was holding a half-eaten apple, he issued her with a £30 fixed-penalty ticket. The nurse, however, said before yesterday’s 2½-hour trial: “I wasn’t speeding or swerving around. It was a small apple and I had both hands on the steering wheel when I turned into the road. The apple was in my right hand but I could still hold the steering wheel and steer the car.”

The court was told how police brought in a fixed-wing spotter aircraft to fly over Miss McCaffery’s route to work and take photographs. Later the force’s helicopter repeated the exercise before a patrol car made a video of the journey.

Mr Forrester said: “Nothing illustrates the nonsense of this case more than the resources that have been thrown at it.” Ken Buck, the chairman of the bench, concluded: “We accept that there are times when you can drive with one hand but, in holding an apple while negotiating a left-hand turn, we consider you not to have been in full control. We are therefore satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that this case is proved.”

I'm sure everyone in England feels much safer now. Perhaps we should liberate England after we finish up in Iraq.

Baby steps

Proposition 200 has passed yet another hurdle: Voting provisions get clearance.

Will Prop 200 put a significant dent in illegal immigration? We'll have to wait and see.

The idea does seem to be catching on in other places though. Colorado and Kalifornistan both have groups pushing for similar reforms. I remember seeing a reference to yet another movement in Arkansas, but I can't seem to find the link now.

This also has the do-gooders up in arms.

Getting fired because of your guns

This will be an interesting one to watch: Company fires all employees who smoke.

Weyco Inc., a health benefits administrator based in Okemos, Mich., adopted a policy Jan. 1 that allows employees to be fired if they smoke, even if the smoking happens after business hours or at home.

Company founder Howard Weyers has said the anti-smoking rule was designed to shield the firm from high health care costs. "I don't want to pay for the results of smoking," he said.

The article doesn't mention any court cases, but I certainly hope there are several filed very soon.

How does this relate to guns and the 2nd Amendment? Like this: Doctor takes aim at guns

.....Chinitz is confident that the message is getting through and that health-care workers in clinics will soon screen their patients about guns just as they now routinely ask about smoking or drinking habits.
......His work with domestic violence paved the way for his next big issue: Firearms violence as a public health concern.
Can you see where I'm going now? You're not really paranoid if they really are all out to get you. Regardless of how you feel about smoking, the case referenced in the first link sets a dangerous precedent for anyone with a "dangerous" hobby or habit. What's next? Firing people because they are fat or because they enjoy sky diving?

Busy weekend

I apologize for being AWOP (absent without posting) for so long. A trojan horse slipped past my Norton Antivirus software and hosed my machine up pretty well. I'm back now, but it took a complete format and restore to get rid of the little bugger.

I advocate the death penalty for virus writers. I won't give them the dignity of calling them "programmers."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Shooting ourselves in the foot (so to speak)

Ok.....I've put up lots of "nice" posts, and hopefully a few "thought provoking" posts, but now it's time for a good old-fashioned rant.

Just what the heck is going on at Caswell's?

Check this out: Man shot at Mesa shooting range

Other customers who were target practicing at the Caswell Shooting Range, 856 E. Isabella, reported hearing moaning and then noticing a man on the ground with a gunshot wound about 12:25 p.m., Mesa police Sgt. Chuck Trapani said.

Other customers? OTHER CUSTOMERS? Where the hell were the RO's? Who was in charge of the range?

There are four possibilities here: 1) accidental self inflicted wound 2) accidental wound, not self inflicted (from another shooter) 3) murder 4) suicide. An RO on the line might have been able to prevent #1 and #2 by keeping a close watch on his line. #3 and #4 probably could not have been prevented.

My problem isn't prevention. My problem is that the poor guy was left laying on the ground bleeding until other customers heard him moaning and went to investigate. Were all the RO's having a coffee break in the office? If somebody went down on MY range there would be somebody there to help him right now. The poor bastard wouldn't be left laying there with a gunshot wound to the head until another customer found him.

Way to go guys. Not only do the anti's have a case against gun rentals now (if it was #1 or #4.....he was using a rented gun), these bozos have given the anti's an "unsafe environment" arguement on a silver platter.

If there was an RO on duty and present on the range and he couldn't see every station and every shooter at all times, whoever designed the range should be sued and the range rebuilt.

If there was an RO on duty and he wasn't present on the range, he should be fired.

If there was no RO on duty, the place should be shut down. Period.

Either run the range properly or shut it down. Just one incident like this will do more to hurt our sport than 100 murders. How many people will decide not to become gun owners now because it's "too dangerous?" How many kids won't be allowed to join a shooting club because it's "too dangerous?" How many ranges will be shut down because they are "too dangerous?"

How many guns will be banned because they are "too dangerous?"

I'm trying to introduce a shooting program to the public school system and these numbskulls let some poor bastard lie bleeding on their range until other customers find him? This ought to really improve my chances.

Just in case I haven't made my position clear:
- Accidents and suicides will happen. The best we can hope for is to minimize the number of opportunities for these thing to happen.
- Failure to notice a wounded man? That's just plain old fashioned incompetence.

EDIT: I had to go back and edit this mother (or yours) may read this someday.

Two preventable tragedies

From today's Arizona Republic:

2 boys shot, 1 killed and 1 critical

PHOENIX - A 13-year-old boy was killed and a 6-year-old critically injured Wednesday in two separate shootings apparently caused by youths playing with guns, police said.

I was originally going to put up a post about our responsibility as gun owners to a) teach people to be safe and b) properly control our firearms, but I decided that would be preaching to the choir. Instead, I sent an email to the principal of the school that my children attend.

I absolutely abhor the nanny state, and I think that a great many of the 'issues' our society is facing stem directly from a lack of parental involvement in the raising of children. Too many parents allow and/or expect the public schools to raise their kids for them. Normally I would be against another issue related program that would take the kids away from reading, writing, and ciphering, but in this case I'm willing to make an exception.

I asked about a school program on gun safety.

If you're worried that such a thing could be used by our opponents to preach the glories of an unarmed society of government dependant victims, I have news for you: It's already happening. The gun control freaks are already in our schools.

The death of any child is a tragedy. The death of a child due to unsafe gun handling that could have been prevented through education is horrible. The death of a child due to safe gun handling not being taught because it isn't politically correct is a nightmare.

"They're too dangerous to talk about, so we're going to send you into the world completely unprepared."

In my letter I asked the principal what his opinion of such a program was, and how he thought the school board would react. I offered to write and/or teach a basic course along the lines of the Eddie the Eagle program. I didn't identify it by name just in case there were any negative connotations attached to it being an NRA program. I made a point of saying that my program would be completely devoid of any political or societal overtones. Safety first, last, and always.

I'll let you know what I get back.................

Be careful what you wish for.....

One of the more common arguements against gun control is a comparison of the number of deaths due to automobile accidents to the number of firearms related deaths, followed by the question "If you want everybody to be safe, why aren't you trying to ban or regulate cars?"

Be careful what you wish for:

Safety chiefs ask America's drivers to let up on the gas

Some important lines from the article.....

Activists and officials are worried that decades of gains from safer vehicles are being diluted by a new crop of hot cars, hot drivers and overheated advertising. So they're pressuring the federal government to help, and organizing a safety "summit" to put on the brakes.

......carmakers have a responsiblity...... international group of safety experts and activists......

Does any of this sound familiar? Perhaps we pro-2A writers should start hitting the performance car boards and warning them of what they have coming.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Received this in an unsigned email today:

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington, but they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country? Maybe we should give them all a cow.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Terrorism as an excuse

John Lott has an excellent post over at National Review Online about the .50 BMG controversy stirred up by our friends over at CBS. Go read it and come back later.....I'll have more thoughts about this tonight.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The False Promise of the .22.....starting new shooters with major calibers

Benjamin over at Reasonablenut has a very interesting post up about the dangers of starting a new shooter out with a .22 rimfire.

"His argument is that consequently, people do not respect the .22 and Newbies treat it like it was a Red Ryder BB gun. We had a recent guest who managed to point a Model 41 S&W at his own foot when he perceived it to have jammed. In reality, it had, but this numbnuts had no idea how to diagnose that and should have kept the muzzle downrange."
I hadn't really thought about this until I read the article, but he (or rather his old man) has a good point. Even after the "watermelon demonstration" and the "full can of soda demonstration" to show what a .22 rimfire could do, I really think that my kids learned to be safe more from a fear of Dear Old Dad than fear over what a .22 can do.

Another reason I have for agreeing with the idea of starting new shooters out with a big bore is that for many of them it is simply more fun. My 11 year old son Nathan is a good example. I have one of the neatest .22 revolvers ever made: a Colt Frontier Scout. It looks and feels like a 3/4 scale Peacemaker -- because that's what it is. I think it's a blast to shoot and assumed my kids would like to shoot Dad's "cowboy gun." Wrong. Nate prefers to shoot a .45 acp.

Nathan with "his" .45 - note the ejected case in the right foreground.

Now before both of my readers (Ha! There are that many?) send me nastygrams telling me how letting him shoot a full size .45 at his age will cause wrist damage, terminal flinching, an itchy flaking scalp and that not so fresh feeling, I'll explain my twist to the "big bores for newbies" game.

I reload. I reload a lot. A typical day at the range for myself and the two kids involves several thousands of rounds. Don't get me wrong....there is no "spray firing from the hip" allowed. Every shot counts. There are 3 of us shooting and we shoot all day. All day. Dawn to dark all day. No matter what John Kerry says, I'm far from being rich. I have to reload in order to afford to shoot as much as I do.

This gives me an advantage.

My usual .45acp load is 4.7 grains of WST with a 200 grain lead semi-wadcutter. This load produces 875 fps from a 5 inch barrel and easily meets the requirements for a major power factor in IPSC competition. I run a Wolff 18 pound recoil spring with this load.

For the kids, I load 3.5 grains of Bullseye with the same 200 grain lead semi-wadcutter. This lowers the velocity down to 625 fps and requires a 12 pound recoil spring. If I remember correctly, this load doesn't even break the threshold for an IPSC minor power factor.

If all these numbers don't mean anything to you, let me just say that I've cooked up some special light loads for the .45 that my kids shoot. Loads light enough that I had to change the springs inside the gun in order for it to still function.

I did something similar for the .357 that my daughter likes to shoot. The powder puff .38 special loads that I developed for her actually have less recoil than the .22 Frontier Scout. I apologize for not having any pictures of Kathy shooting a 6 inch N-frame Smith and Wesson (think Dirty Harry). I'll get some ASAP.

Nate at work

Why do I go to all this trouble? Why not just hand the kids a .22 pistol and say "Shoot this until your bigger." Why? Because that's not what they want. They want to shoot the big ones....just like Dad. Who am I to argue with them? Especially when they're so well armed..................

At the range with my son........a mighty fine way to spend a Saturday.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

I met this young man on Saturday. His name is Bryce, he's 8 years old, he likes to wear his hat on top of his earmuffs, and he does a fine job shooting a CAR-15. This is an excellent demonstration of a practical use of a collapsible stock. His dad shoots with the stock all the way out.....Bryce shoots with the stock all the way in.

For those of you with sharp eyes, yes that is an SP-1 upper receiver.

Stick your butt out

Stop thinking that. This isn't that kind of blog.

One common problem that is encountered with new shooters is the tendency to lean back when holding a rifle or shotgun. We've all seen someone do's natural to stand that way when holding a heavy object. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard someone say "bend your knee" or "lean forward" while teaching another person to shoot I wouldn't have to work. I could just shoot and blog.

When an inexperienced shooter has assumed the "lean back like a question mark" stance and he or she is told to bend at the knees and lean forward, it usually results in an even more screwed up stance. They normally will squat instead of leaning, or in some cases will manage to bend the forward knee enough to move the gun forward even though they are still leaning back. Most uncomfortable.

The tried and true "push" demonstration (have the student lean back and push on their hands...they fall over - have the student lean forward and push on their hands....they can push back) works well for some people but not for everyone. The next time you run into a person who just can't seem to keep from leaning back, try this: Tell them to stick their butt out.

No, sticking the butt out from a 'question mark' stance does not automatically create the perfect offhand stance, does get the shoulders at least in line with the hips instead of behind them. Once the students get used to having their shoulders and hips in line a proper stance is not far away.

Try just might help.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Other company cars....

Here are the other "company cars." These cars are actually going to be given away to our customers. This shot was taken while they were being appraised. According to the appraiser, the Road Runner is probably worth more than the rest of them put together simply because of the unusual combination of options it has. Who ever thought of an Air Grabber hood and a column shift automatic?

Is it wrong to love a machine?

Just in case the story about the Corvette seemed too good to be true, here it is:

not much posting going on

I apologize for not posting much tonight, but I've been catching up on the organizational efforts of the International Defensive Shooting Association. This really looks like fun. Go check it out.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Are there guns in your house?

Kirk over at Limpidity asks if I've ever run into the "Are there any guns in your house?" questions from the parents of my children's friends. Nope. Not a one.

I live in a Red State. :-)

If I am ever asked, I plan on replying with "Of course I do, and rest assured that your children will be protected as well as my own while they are here."

If anyone ever decides that their kids can't come to my house because I have guns (relax....with the exception of my carry gun all of them are in the safe), I will have to forbid my children from visiting households that DO NOT have guns. If people aren't willing to protect and defend themselves, they certainly won't be able to protect and defend my kids.

Now that I think about it, perhaps I should start asking.

No sleep tonight....

I was checking my site meter results and found several hits from Fun Turns To Tragedy! Between that and Reasonable Nut I won't be getting any sleep tonight. Two new blogs to read!

Thanks for the links guys!!

Red, Blue, and Shall Issue

While surfing around the Kentucky Coalition for Concealed Carry website, I stumbled across a map of states which honor the Kentucky CCW permit. Here it is:

When I saw that map, I said to myself, "Self, that map looks familiar. Where have I seen it before?"

Then I remembered......

Does anyone else see a similarity?

Refuse to be a victim again

An excellent essay on the merits of concealed carry by a female date rape victim who also happens to be a former police officer.

Read it here, then spend some time surfing around the rest of the site. Lots of good stuff in the editorial pages.

So there I was.........

.......sitting in my office, trying to get some work done, when our company fleet manager walks in. "Do you have time to help me with something?" she asks. Thinking that she probably needs help setting up a query, or rebuilding her mailbox, or some other IT related issue, I answer in the affirmative.

"Sure, what do you need?"

She gets a pained look on her face and says, "I need to go pick up one of our vehicles from the shop and bring it back here, but I'm afraid to drive it."

Hmmmm.......this could be interesting. "Afraid to drive it?"

"Yeah, it's a manual shift and the clutch is so hard I can barely push it in, I can't reach the steering wheel, and the shifter is all weird. It's a beast. I hate it. It's horrible. Will you come drive it back?"

At this point I'm assuming that this thing must be one of our big delivery trucks. No problem. I won $50 once by parallel parking a 24' Ryder box van. I can handle it.

"Sure, I can drive it. What is it?"

Are you ready for this?

"It's a 1964 Corvette."

Hmmmmmmm. Let me think about that. Here: twist my arm. OUCH! Not so hard!

I'll never understand why she thinks this car is "horrible." It's got to be the sexiest car I've ever had the pleasure of driving. Manual steering, manual brakes, a 327 small block and a close ratio 4 speed. WOOT!! The temptation to go for an 18 hour joy ride and kiss my career goodbye was so strong that I was actually seriously considering it.

Why did I decide to pull into the parking garage and not just mash the loud pedal and wave bye-bye?

Because if I did that, I wouldn't have a chance to drive the 1970 Road Runner. Or the 1970 Mach I. Or the 1967 GTO. Or the 1955 Thunderbird. Or the 1957 Belair.

I love working for a company run by gearheads. I'll take my digital camera to work tomorrow and try to get a picture of the 'Vette.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Gun control study, part II


A not-unfriendly report by Yahoo! News about the National Academy of Sciences report mentioned below.

Is it getting cold in hell? This makes the second pro-gun item I've read today that wasn't on a gun related site.

Thanks to Geek with a .45 for spotting it before I did.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pictures to piss off Liberals.....

Here's my son (9 years old at the time) shooting a full size Kimber 1911.

A new game in town......

As IPSC becomes more of an equipment race and the IPDA chases shooters away, a new group is being formed. The International Defensive Shooting Association is in the planning stage. This looks like it will be a "run what you brung" organization with the philosophy of "fewer rules are better."

I intend to be at the first match held in Arizona.

Time to play dress up...

All of my other handguns have custom grips, so I couldn't leave the new Kimber out. I just ordered these from Hakan Pek. They should be here in about 2 weeks...........

HR 47 - Citizen's Self Defense Act of 2005

A few years ago I wouldn't have given this legislation the proverbial "snowball's chance," but after the expiration of the AWB, passage of the national LEO CCW bill, and passage in the House of a measure to end the DC handgun ban, it might just work.

Hat tip to Ironbarr at The High Road and CRC at ARFCOM for information on the bill. The main stream media doesn't seem to be covering this one.

Big surprise.

CNS news is covering it, though.

An alternative solution for cross-dominant vision

Ok…I said I’d be sending out my thoughts on cross-dominant vision and how to compensate for it and here it is. There are several subjects on which I disagree with the “experts,” and some of them are explained below. I don’t consider myself an “expert”….I’m just a guy who has broken a hundred thousand or so targets and formed some opinions along the way. -Len

Shotgun shooting, like all other aspects of life, is subject to the whims of the latest trends and fads. One of the more recent fads is the concept of ‘switching shoulders’ to compensate for cross-dominant vision. Many (but not all) of today’s coaches recommend switching shoulders immediately upon the diagnosis of cross-dominant vision in any shooter, regardless of the shooters’ experience level. In my opinion, this practice will help a select few, but is more likely to produce confusion, discomfort, embarrassment and missed targets. Switching shoulders should not be the only solution to the issue of cross-dominant vision, but one of many possible solutions tailored to the needs of the individual student. Turning out a large volume of “cookie cutter” shooters using “one size fits all” solutions is not and should never be the goal of the BHSC shotgun program. As coaches, it is our responsibility to bring each individual shooter to the highest level of performance they are capable of reaching, using whatever methods work best for that particular student. Each student has his or her own unique abilities and challenges and must be coached accordingly.

Before discussing the various methods of compensating for different types of vision, a review of vision itself is in order. Humans, either through design or evolution (we won’t get into that here) are predators, and therefore have eyes that are pointed in the same direction. This provides humans with binocular vision allowing great perception of visual detail and depth at the expense of a smaller field of view than prey animals which normally have eyes which face in opposite directions. Two by-products of binocular vision are eye dominance and parallax. Eye dominance occurs when one of the two eyes is used by the brain to provide a greater amount of detail or focus. Generally the dominant eye is on the same side as the dominant hand, but occasionally the dominant eye is on the side of the non-dominant hand – a situation known as cross-dominance. A much smaller percentage of the population has eyes which are co-dominant, meaning that both eyes are used equally with neither one “in charge.” A search of internet sites related to shotgun coaching reveals quite a few generalities (“the majority of men that are right-handed are right eye dominant and a large percentage of women that are right handed are left eye dominant”) but no actual statistics as to the true proportion of the shooting population that experience eye dominance issues.

Parallax is the apparent movement or displacement of an object when viewed from two different positions that are not in line with the object, and is another function of binocular vision which is often confused with cross- or co-dominance. Our eyes are only 2 to 2 ½ inches apart, but that separation is essential to depth perception and three dimensional vision…..and also enough to produce parallax. A quick and easy demonstration of parallax is to focus on an object across the room (such as a doorknob or light switch) and alternately close one eye, then the other. You’ll notice a slight change in the apparent position of the object. The object isn’t moving, you are simply seeing it from a different position….that is parallax.

The following picture is the best visual representation of the issue of cross-dominance that I have been able to find (picture courtesy of Clay Shooting Magazine):

In the second and fourth frames, the shooter thinks that he has the shotgun in line with the target, but in reality only his dominant eye and the front bead are in line….the barrels are pointing off to the side. A shooter with co-dominant vision will demonstrate similar tendencies but to a lesser extent. The co-dominant shooter will appear to be aiming the shotgun with his nose instead of his eyes…..or will wave the shotgun back and forth in a figure 8 pattern as his eyes subconsciously “argue” over which one is in charge.

Today’s popular coaching methods would have the shooter in the second frame switch from mounting the shotgun on his right shoulder to mounting on the left shoulder. This method is advocated for all shooters, regardless of experience. This is where my opinion differs from the experts. In my opinion, the only shooters who should switch from one shoulder to the other are adult master level shooters and children who have never fired any form of firearm before. Adult master level shooters who have years of experience will be able to switch shoulders effectively because of their greater than normal motor control and mental discipline. Children who have never shot before can switch because they don’t know any different. It is the “in between” shooters that present the greatest difficulty. People of any age with some shooting experience (rifle, pistol, or shotgun) or adults who have never shot before and are not ambidextrous will have great difficulty switching shoulders simply because it doesn’t “feel right.” They can’t usually articulate exactly what feels wrong, they just know that it does. Adult non-shooters have trouble because they don’t normally use their non-dominant hand for activities which require fine motor control. An example of this would be to write your name with your non-dominant hand. You’ll get something that is identifiable as your name, but unless you are ambidextrous it will appear to have been written by a child. People who have some shooting experience (especially children) will have difficulty switching shoulders because everything they know about shooting centers around their dominant hand. Common examples are mounting the shotgun to the left shoulder and trying to pull the trigger with the right hand or mounting to the left shoulder with the left foot in front. Master level shooters can overcome these “short circuits” by consciously forcing their muscles to duplicate the required positions and actions in a mirror image of their dominant side functions. Inexperienced shooters simply do not have this much control.

Many master level shooters have reported that switching shoulders resulted in an immediate improvement in their ability to shoot a shotgun. Manny is a prime example. My contention is that it usually is not switching eyes that improves the performance, it is the act of re-learning everything else. I believe that re-learning the proper stance, gun mount, head position, muzzle insertion point, swing, trigger control, and follow through accounts for 99% of the improvement experienced by these shooters simply because it erases all of the bad habits that have accumulated throughout a lifetime of shooting. Watch an experienced rifle shooter switch shoulders for an example. Their weak side stance will most likely be absolutely picture perfect because they have to force their muscles into the proper position and they have the control to do so. When they switch back to their strong side stance, they will “fall into” the stance they have developed over the years….their own particular “style.” Generally the two positions are not exact mirror images of each other. In my opinion, the overwhelming majority of problems shooting a shotgun can be traced to the stance, the head position, or the follow through. Only after these things have been corrected should eye dominance or parallax be brought into play. A shooter who doesn’t bring the stock to his cheek will have problems no matter which eye they use. A shooter with a stance that looks like a question mark will have problems no matter which eye they use. A shooter whose feet are positioned so that they cannot swing to follow the target will have problems no matter which eye they use.

The one thing all of the “experts” agree upon is that it will take at least 1000 targets to truly master shooting from the opposite shoulder. A dedicated competition shooter can do that. The kids we are working with won’t wait that long. They’ll lose interest and quit. We need solutions that will help them now.

Other ways of dealing with cross-dominance are closing the dominant eye or obscuring the vision of the dominant eye with a piece of tape or a smudge of chapstick. These methods are actively discouraged by the “experts” because they reduce the visual capability of the shooter. Generations of shooters have learned to shoot with one eye closed (including myself), so I still consider this a viable option. In fact, I would highly recommend trying one or both of these solutions before switching shoulders simply because they are small changes that have less chance of “freaking out” the student. Some people are not able to close one eye independently of the other, so partially obscuring the vision of the dominant eye is an option for them. According to the “experts,” these last two solutions are the “only” options available to shooters with co-dominant eyes.

An issue which I have never seen discussed by any of the “experts” is the shooters’ self image. We are dealing with kids…..not adults. Kids have fragile egos, embarrass easily, and are still developing their self image and self confidence. ALL of the “approved” methods of dealing with cross-dominance and co-dominance involve CORRECTING something that is WRONG with the shooter. No matter how much we sugar coat the subject, that’s what it will be seen as by most children. Heaven forbid that we ever get a student who has been teased about being different and we confirm all the bad things that have been said about them by telling them that they actually ARE different, especially if we’re wrong. We are in the business of building kids up, not tearing them down.

This is where we come back to the subject of parallax. In the previous demonstration, we were working with an object across the room. In shooting clay targets, we are dealing with an object at a distance of 10 to 50 yards. Positional distortion of the target resulting from parallax is minimal at that distance, but positional distortion of the shotgun itself IS an issue. Close one eye and point at something across the room. Now open the other eye while remaining focused on the object. If you are a normal human being, you now see two images of your finger pointing at the object that is in focus. If you focus on your finger, you will see two images of the object in the background. Focus on the object again and there will be two fingers pointing at it. This is because there is one object in focus, one finger pointing at it, but two eyes seeing everything from two different points of view. The same thing happens when mounting a shotgun with both eyes open. If you are focusing on the target, there will appear to be two shotgun barrels pointing at it.

This all seems perfectly normal to us because we’ve been shooting for years. The kids haven’t. They don’t know it’s normal, and they don’t know which shotgun image to aim with.

Think about that for a moment. They know that there is only one shotgun in their hands and only one target in the air, but they either see two shotguns or two targets. This confuses them, but they don’t ask about it because it sounds silly and they don’t want to be embarrassed. Watching a student trying to figure out which shotgun image to aim with can easily give the impression of cross-dominant vision. This leads to switching shoulders and now everything is backwards and they still have two shotgun images to deal with. The result? A really confused kid who can’t hit the broad side of a barn while standing inside it.

I’ve thought that Kathy had cross-dominant vision for quite a while and have been putting tape on her shooting glasses because she can’t close her left eye by itself. Tonight I stood across the room from her and asked her to point at my right eye. She held her finger up and then moved it back and forth instead of pointing directly at me. I asked her why she was doing that and she turned bright red. That’s when the realization hit me that she didn’t understand about parallax.

I sat down with her and said, “Let me tell you what I see when I do that. If I focus on your right eye and point my finger at you, I see two fingers in the air. Does that happen to you?” She was very surprised to find out that I had the same “problem” that she had. That’s the way she thought of it: a problem with her eyes. I explained parallax to her, had her perform some simple exercises with her eyes, and told her what I saw when I did those same exercises before she told me what she saw. This helped convince her that she’s not a freak and that she doesn’t need special glasses or anything like that. Then I asked her if she saw two shotgun barrels when we were shooting clays. She said, “Yes, and it really sucks because I never know which one to aim with.”

I told her to point with the image on the left (she’s right handed) and then demonstrated by having her point at a light switch with the “finger on the left” and then covering/uncovering her left eye several times.

She hit me with a pillow.

“That’s it? That’s all I have to do? Why didn’t you tell me before?” Now she wasn’t embarrassed, she was pissed. It’s like I had been hiding something from her.

Reflecting on all this over the last few hours has lead me to the conclusions I explained earlier. Why put the shooter through the discomfort and wasted time re-training their muscles when you have a chance to fix the issue by simply telling them to “shoot with the one on the left?” Ten minutes of practice pointing at objects around the house had Kathy trained to be right eye dominant.

Will this work with every shooter? I doubt it. Is it something that I think we should try before we start shifting shooters to the other shoulder? Definitely. Eye dominance can be trained. I would even go so far as to include a discussion of parallax with all of our new shooters and explain to them that what they see is normal. Shoot with the one on the left. I’ll bet lunch for everyone that if we explain parallax and spend a few minutes pointing at things, most (if not all) of our cross-dominant vision problems will go away.

- Explain parallax and “shoot with the one on the left” at the very beginning
- Make sure all the elements of stance, swing, and follow through are as good as possible before worrying about dominant eye issues
- Have the student close one eye if possible ( or obscure the vision of the dominant eye with tape or chapstick ) instead of changing shoulders. This will also re-train the dominant eye. After a few hundred shots the strong side eye will be hard wired into the sight picture.
- Don’t assume someone is cross- or co-dominant after a few misses. Everyone misses, especially on days when it’s cold and wet. Pull the bolt out of a shotgun and perform a test similar to the pictures above and then get a second opinion before making any really major changes.

Capt. Brian R. Chontosh, United States Marine Corp

Rochester, N.Y. Marine receives Navy Cross

Here's a big HOO-RAH for Captain Brian Chontosh for his actions in service to our country.

He had his driver move the vehicle through a breach along his flank, where he was immediately taken under fire from an entrenched machine gun. Without hesitation, Chontosh ordered the driver to advanced directly at the enemy position enabling his .50 caliber machine gunner to silence the enemy.

He then directed his driver into the enemy trench, where he exited his vehicle and began to clear the trench with an M16A2 service rifle and 9 millimeter pistol. His ammunition depleted, Chontosh, with complete disregard for his safety, twice picked up discarded enemy rifles and continued his ferocious attack.

When a Marine following him found an enemy rocket propelled grenade launcher, Chontosh used it to destroy yet another group of enemy soldiers.

When his audacious attack ended, he had cleared over 200 meters of the enemy trench, killing more than 20 enemy soldiers and wounding several others.

Capt. Chontosh posts on ARFCOM as Diesel06.

Thank you, Sir, for your service. If you are ever in Phoenix, the beer is on me.

San Fran gun ban

The proposed San Francisco gun ban is creating some interesting discussion in, of all places, the San Francisco Chronicle. I'll be the People's Republik of Kalifornistan I didn't really expect to see opposing viewpoints presented to "the people" prior to the election. Here are two links to

For the ban

Opposed to the ban

My opinion? How's this:

Criminals, by definition, do not care what the law says they can or cannot do.

Hat tip to Oleg Volk for the picture.

Gun control doesn't reduce crime

Per WorldNetDaily: Pro 2nd amendment folks have been saying this for years, but now it's been backed up by 2 studies - one from the National Academy of Sciences and one from the National Research Council.

The National Academy of Sciences report is located here ......I'll wait until I've finished reading it to post my thoughts on the WND story. I will say that I like what I've read so far.

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