Friday, March 23, 2018

In the Tank

The morning news, both local and national, was full of coverage of the planned Children's Crusade tomorrow.

Reporters were interviewing children, apparently exempt from school on a weekday, boarding planes for the flight to DC. No doubt they had purchased their airline tickets with their newspaper route and babysitting earnings.

Earlier this year these same fawning reporters had been making fun of these same wide-eyed naifs for eating laundry detergent.

I won't be able to watch the festivities on the tube tomorrow because I'm going to out on the range, apparently in the snow, learning how to run a pistol better from John Murphy of FPF Training.


It's Back!

Brigid has turned the lights back on at Home on the Range
Go read!

If it's you, shoot me an email or IM.

Departure From Controlled Flight

So, the stock market pretty much shit the bed yesterday. Global markets are doing likewise, because investors love them some trade war rumors.

Well, it's not like this part was unforeseen. Protectionism was baked into the core of the Trump platform, inasmuch as you can call an inchoate middle finger a "platform". We're gonna bring back all them jobs and you'll be able to buy $49 cell phones, $19 blue jeans, and 99 cent shower shoes made with good American union labor craftsmanship like your grandparents did. You can pay for them in the soybeans you can't sell in China anymore.

Yeah, this is hyperbole and everything's probably going to be fine. It just gets me nervous when people start yanking levers and spinning dials on machines as complicated as the global economy, because nobody's entirely sure how it all works (although plenty of folks think they are.)

Well, at least along with the protectionism comes isolationism, and frankly that was the most attractive part of the whole Trump movement. We've had enough foreign adventures in the last seventeen years. We need to take a less hawkish, less meddlesome foreign policy stance and...

Fantastic. That's exactly the kind of guy we need giving POTUS national security advice. Wonderful.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Prancing Pony or Dead Horse?

Got an press release in my inbox the other day announcing that the Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 NRA World Action Pistol Championship and the NRA Bianchi Cup this year was going to be Colt.

Now, at SHOT this year, Colt had a display half the size of the one they had last year, or the one they had at the last NRAAM. Floorspace in the main hall at SHOT ain't cheap, and that's not a good sign for a company that's been fighting off bankruptcy nearly as long as I've been in the gun biz.

On the other hand, they threw enough dough at NRA to be the Presenting Sponsor for Bianchi Cup, so who knows what's going on?

The Culture War Heats Up

Some of those magazines represent my livelihood.

My words, my name, are on their pages.

My first real job was bagging groceries in a Kroger. I rode my bicycle to the local Kroger to earn the money I used to buy my first car. I’ve retained a nostalgic fondness for the chain ever since. I have written often on this blog of our tiny neighborhood Kroger here in Broad Ripple and its convenience and friendly employees. I ride my bicycle there frequently in the nicer months to get groceries.

Forget abstractions like natural rights and constitutional protections, this is an outright attack by them on my livelihood. They are drawing a bead right on my wallet.

Kroger is dead to me. They’ll never again see one red cent of my money.

They probably wouldn’t want it anyway, since it came from those abhorrent gun magazines.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Guns & Pr0n...

"InRange TV, another channel devoted to firearms, wrote on its Facebook page that it would begin uploading videos to PornHub, an adult content website.

“YouTube’s newly released released vague and one-sided firearms policy makes it abundantly clear that YouTube cannot be counted upon to be a safe harbor for a wide variety of views and subject matter,” InRange TV wrote. “PornHub has a history of being a proactive voice in the online community, as well as operating a resilient and robust video streaming platform.” PornHub didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the matter."
Karl and Ian have hit on a creative solution. If you have a fetish for elderly French veterans like Ian does, you might want to check them out.

QotD: Enough Room In The Toes Edition

From PDB in a Facebook discussion:
"Why are we even expected to listen to kids? They're all idiots. Five years ago they were watching the Backyardigans with their fingers up their noses, and now we expect them to have meaningful opinions on natural rights, constitutional law, and criminology? They know less than nothing about the world and bear no costs for interpreting it incorrectly.

Using kids as political puppets is grotesque emotional manipulation and should be called out as dishonest bullshit at every opportunity.

Florence King's quote bears repeating:

Cards on the Table

MSNBC had not been shy about having a leftward editorial slant in the past, implicitly since '07 and explicitly since the "Lean Forward" campaign of 2010. It was their schtick to pass CNN and go after FOX News, by basically setting themselves up as the "AntiFOX".

By 2014 it was costing them viewership, as they'd pushed too far past the center-Left, and they were losing viewers in the crucial "Crackers in their prime spending years" demographic. They officially tried to steer a course back towards hard news back in 2015, but it's obvious that there's still an agenda, as is witnessed by the lavish promo spots for the Children's Crusade:

So, yeah, basically a straight-up commercial for gun control. Such evenhanded, very journalism, wow.

Of course, if you are a journalist working the Acela corridor, gun control is a very Centrist idea! Everyone knows that the NRA is funded by giant shadowy arms companies and nobody is actually opposed to "Assault Weapons Bans" and "Universal Background Checks" except a handful of camo-wearing kooks in Idaho. All our polling data tells us that!

Please let the Democrats make November 2018 a referendum on Gun Control rather than on Donald Trump.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

As it turns out...

...there are rather a lot of photographs here to sort through.

And that's just off the Pen. I still have to offload the pics on the OM-D.

Monday, March 19, 2018


The best part about Tactical Conference 2018 was that it was three days of being more or less entirely  unplugged.

We were leaving the hotel at 6:30 so as to arrive at the range before 7:00, in time to get signed up for some of the more in-demand classes. Lunch was on-site and we didn't head back to the hotel until after five, and then all three nights I had dinner with friends and colleagues (some of whom I hadn't seen face-to-face since last year) until late.

While I did my usual motel room habit of letting the TV drone softly with cable news while I slept, I didn't pay it a ton of attention. I'm also now three days behind on work and email, but it was worth it.

My batteries are pretty charged, and I added at least one more class to my training roster for the year (Gabe White in Missouri in June). Plus I have more stuff to write about. I may even try the novel tactic of pitching it to editors instead of waiting for them to come to me.

This was a good weekend...

Can't wait to start going through all the pics...

Look for write-ups on stuff I saw, both here on the blog and elsewhere.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

At gun school...

Students taking Claude Werner's Snubby Skills block of instruction at Tactical Conference 2018.

Friday, March 16, 2018

It's the lens, not the camera...

So, I really like my Sony a7. It's two generations out of date, sure, but that makes it pretty much the cheapest way to get into a full-featured pro-grade 24 megapixel full-frame camera.

I would have loved to use it at Tac-Con '18, but the longest full-frame E-mount lens I have is the Zeiss f/4 24-70mm, and that's just not long enough to hack it for outdoor shooting class photography. I need to start rolling my pennies for a Sony f/3.5-6.3 24-240mm lens before Blogorado gets here. (The fast 24-70 will make a fine walking-around lens for NRAAM.)

In the meantime, I'll be using my hipster street photography Micro 4/3 gear for Tac-Con. The OM-D E-M5 and Pen E-P5 are both solid bodies, and most importantly I have a good "walking around" zoom in Micro 4/3 format.

It's not the fastest lens in the world, but the 28-300mm equivalency makes it a super-useful outdoors 10X walking-around zoom.