Witness (at long last) our very first TTAG podcast. Enjoy!
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The Truth About Guns
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Guns are sexy. For one thing, there’s nothing more phallic than a gun. Except for the obvious. That said, the human penis tends to lack the perfect symmetry of a gun. And any man who can maintain the hardness of a gun barrel for more than four hours should seek immediate assistance from a physician. Still, guys, it’s OK to fancy guns. Indulging the love that dare not speak its name doesn’t men you have a repressed desire to listen to Broadway show tunes. And feeling a constant urge to fire a gun? Normal! A gun held and shot with Zen-like focus transforms even the worst nebbish into a Sean Connery clone. Yes, but, a lot of that cool comes from the gun itself. There are drop-dead sexy guns and there are guns that could make a train take a dirt road. The Calico Liberty I falls into the latter camp (so to speak). In fact, the Liberty I is so ugly I fully expected bemused onlookers to turn to stone. Like Medusa’s admirers, not Peter North. Sorry. Where was I?
“Spray and pray.” That’s how accomplished shotgun owners describe the home defense strategy deployed by “casual” shotgunners. It’s the gun-active gun owner’s way of sneering at people who buy a shotgun, load it, stash it under their bed and call it good. These self-anointed combat experts are highlighting the fact that most shotgun owners are unaware that their firearm is NOT a point-and-shoot weapon. At an effective distance (i.e. ten yards or so), a shotgun unleashes a tightly gathered grouping of pellets. With appropriate ammunition, a single shotgun blast will kill your target dead. Provided you hit them. Which requires that you aim the weapon accurately. In other words, yes, you can miss with a shotgun. Hence the shotguinista’s diss, laughing at the less-accomplished shotgunner’s need for luck and/or divine intervention. Only one problem: even the best shotgun owner can lose a gun battle and, thus, their life. They know enough not to spray but they need to pray, too.
A burglar alarm. Think of it this way: you don’t want to have to shoot anyone with a shotgun. For one thing, it’s a messy business. Imagine blasting someone with a cannon at short range. Like that. For another, it’s traumatic. Some shotgun gurus say that a successful shooting will not leave you emotionally scarred; you’ll realize that you did the right thing to protect yourself and your family. You’ll feel the satisfaction of a triumphant warrior. Bullshit. The moments preceding, during and after the murderous mayhem may not haunt your dreams, but they probably will. Besides, it’s not all about you; do you really want your wife and/or children to see a human being blown to bits? And then there’s the fun of dealing with the police and the judicial system . . .
Back in the day, stoners contemplated life’s mysteries from a tetrahydrocannabinol-enhanced perspective. So enabled, they’d confront cosmic karma with a simple statement: “that’s heavy.” Heavy was deep. Heavy was good. Even when it wasn’t. “Dude, your landlord’s here to throw you out.” “Whoa. That’s heavy.” Heavy was important. And then Japanese products invaded the America. Suddenly, small was beautiful. The Sony Walkman was infinitely better than the ‘rents entertainment center and the Honda Accord could run circles around a Buick. But something important was lost. Stuff became insubstantial. Cheap. Disposable. I first experienced the unbearable lightness of being when the computer guy threw out my Apple II’s motherboard, shoved in another one and called it good. Thank God for the AR 24-15C. In a world of cheap plastic guns (now including revolvers), it’s heavy, man.
A gathering of the clans today, northbound and down for Bass Pro Shops. This monument to retail-tainment lingers in the shadow of the Patriot’s palace (football, not Congress). I made the pilgrimage to watch my youngest fall into their pond and drop $3k-plus on a Browning gun safe. Not so fast, Mr. Bond. The salesman was about as interested in taking my money as a Franciscan monk. He opened the top o’ the line big ass metal box and told me that Bass doesn’t deliver or install its safes. Can you recommend a local company to get the safe safely into my home? “Nope. I don’t know of anyone.” I looked inside. It wouldn’t be long before bald patches appeared on the mouse fur. Shelves were stacked up willy nilly. Hang on; where are all those cool pockets, the lights and mirror? “They’re optional extras.” So why does this brochure say they’re included? “I guess they’re downstairs in the box. It’s like a romper room in here some days.” [crickets chirping] Can I order one with a biometric lock? “Biometrics are an unproven technology.” Could it get any worse?
As part of this website’s ongoing evolution, I’m heading out to Colorado to investigate the possibilities of relocating TTAG to The Centennial State. More specifically, that bastion of liberal thought, Boulder; where I’m looking to build a TTAG members-only gun range. A video and web-enabled facility for research, analysis and reportage on various issues surrounding guns and gun ownership. I also envision a thoroughly modern handgun, shotgun, stun gun and rifle range where [both] TTAG readers can join us for private instruction and, well, fun. This range reconnaissance will take me away from my RI keyboard until next Thursday. I will, of course, bring my mini-me Apple and blog as much as I can from Boulder. Brad Kozak will be blogging and helming TTAG during the interregnum. While the posting pace may slacken slightly, we will maintain the writing and reporting quality that has brought us this far. Meanwhile, thanks for your time and attention. That’s why we’re here.
Pete Eliadis is officer.com‘s Mass Violence Incidents Contributor. Imagine handing that business card to your daughter’s prospective private school headmaster. Still, someone’s got to tackle the issues raised by spree killings and other large-scale horrors, and Eliadis does it better than anyone. His columns offer a practical, no-nonsense take on terror, encouraging readers to think the unthinkable. And then prepare for it.
Inspired by its success with land mines, various groups within the United Nations are busy creating a Small Arms Treaty. The international body is devising a legislative framework for the international trade in small arms and light weapons that’s not a million miles away from America’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Bottom line: the U.N. Small Arms Treaty is about preventing illegal trade in military small arms—not dictating to whom civilian arms may be sold or calling for their collection and destruction. In other words . . .
I thought Avatar was an incredibly silly movie. Why weren’t any of the blue people fat? And I don’t care how imperialistic, amoral and greedy humans are, when you get right down to it, I’m not going to root against my species. There are more serious criticisms: what makes James Cameron think he can rip-off Dances with Wolves whilst being hailed as a creative genius? More thematically, why do white guys consider it some sort of sacred duty to go native and become better natives than the natives so they can organize the natives to oppose the non-natives? It’s a question that sprang to mind whilst reading The New Yorker cover story “The Hunted.” Simply substitute the words “so they can save African wildlife” and there you have it: the twisted tale of Mark and Delia Owens, wildlife crusaders and accomplices to murder.
Don’t tell my kids, but I toured Europe on a BMW K100RT motorcycle. The “flying brick” was utterly reliably and Germanically comfortable (tough yet firm). When I returned to base, I looked for something suitable for intra-automobile London commuting AND long-distance tours. I bought a series of motorcycles, from extreme sports machines to urban two-strokes. They were all great bikes, fondly remembered. None lasted more than six months. And then I bought a Harley Davidson Fat Boy. It was slow, loud, ill-mannered, unreliable and woefully lacking in the braking department. And it was the best donorcycle I ever owned. That two-wheeled dinosaur had charisma. Charm. Personality. Presence. It even had nickname. Ditto the Henry Repeating Arms Golden Boy, or, as my family has come to call it, Franny.