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yard sign courtesy

A grandmother in Cary, North Carolina has found herself in the crosshairs of her homeowner’s association for posting the sign above in her front yard. Laurie Cherico moved into neighborhood back in November, and posted the sign a little over a month ago. Now the homeowner’s association notified her that the sign might violate community guidelines. Homeowner’s associations get a lot of flack, around here and in general, but the reality of the situation is that when you buy in their neighborhood, you’re buying into their system. So it would seem the HOA has the authority to limit things like this. The association spokeswoman said that the content of the sign isn’t an issue [except it is, to some folks; keep reading], it’s that Cherico didn’t apply for permission to post it. Cherico says that other homes in the neighborhood have security signs in their yards . . .

and this is her security sign. She said security signs don’t typically need prior approval, but the association spokeswoman said other residents have complained about the sign. So you see, the content of the sign actually is an issue, because someone else doesn’t like it. The dispute will end up before an association committee, and if they rule it’s not allowed, Cherico will have 15 days to remove it, after which she’ll be liable for fines of $100 per day. The association spokeswoman notes that no one in the 1,300 home community has ever been fined for a violation.

Your Lockdown of the Day™ comes from Denver, Colorado. Morey Middle School was placed on lockdown Monday morning after a threat was reported at the school. Officers responded to a report a little before 10 a.m., and there were reports of a tactical team seen in the area. The threat involved a student who had been in a fight last week and threatened to bring a gun to school. Officers interviewed those involved and determined there was no actual danger. No gun was found, no one was hurt, and no arrests were made. But hey, “at least the children were safe.”

SHGS rifle raffle

Tom in Oregon writes to us about a raffle that’s taking place near him. It’s being held to support the local St. Helens Girls Softball league, and the prize is a Barrett M107A1 rifle topped with a Leupold Mark 4 L/RT scope, and 100 rounds of ammunition. Tickets are $50 each and are limited to 1000 total sold. The drawing will be held August 23, 2014, and is open to residents of all 50 states and the District of Columbia who are over 18 and can pass a background check. (Also, of course, assuming it’s legal for you to possess it in your state. Sorry, New Jersey and California.) You do not need to be present to win, but you must accept the prize in Oregon within one year of winning. If this sounds like the kind of thing you’re interested in, you can find more information here and the official rules can be found here. According to the Facespace page linked above, you can mail your entry request along with a check for the appropriate amount to SHGS, 2034 Columbia Blvd, PMB 220, St. Helens OR 97051 and they will mail your ticket(s) back to you.

Tell me again how universal background checks will fix this? Police are looking to talk to a teenager in New York City who they believe gave away a gun used by a 12-year-old boy to negligently shoot his 14-year-old sister on Friday. The gun that the boy used to shoot his sister in his South Jamaica, Queens home is believed to be the same gun that fired a fatal shot in what police are calling a botched robbery on Tuesday, in which a 48-year-old man was killed. The boy will not say where he got the gun, giving police conflicting stories of finding it on his way home from school and it being given to him by a teenage friend. The friend in that second story is the one with whom police would like to have a conversation. So a gun that was obtained from an unknown source, and then used to kill a man in a botched robbery on Tuesday, and then possibly given to another boy who used it to recklessly shoot his sister on Friday. But having to do a background check if I want to sell a a gun privately to my best friend (or a stranger, for that matter) is clearly going to make any difference.

This video is from a month or so ago, but due to its length I finally got around to reviewing it before putting it here. Jerry really wrings out an IWI Tavor with a 9mm conversion, with different targets, different ammunition, and different scenarios. It’s got quite a bit of technical info broken up by some signature Jerry Miculek shooting. Be a good one to watch while you’re cleaning your guns. You do clean your guns regularly, don’t you? If it’s been a while, here’s your excuse.

And finally, Colion Noir delivers one of his brief poetic reviews, this time of the FN FAL.

Looks like a fun gun.

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  1. Raffling off a .50BMG for a girl’s softball league? More schools need to be like that. And it looks like the raffle will net them over $40k!

    • It’s pretty neat. Last year they raffled an AR.
      Got a whole bunch of panties twisted up. The support was pretty neat.
      FWIW, each raffle ticket is also worth one shot on the day of the giveaway.
      I’ll always support groups like this.

    • St. Helens, OR, is also the home of the wonderful family owned company Tactical Ammunition. They sell at the Washington Arms Collectors shows and are just the sweetest people.

      As for HOA rules, they exist because people can no longer choose their neighbors. Thus it makes it very difficult to hold up the property values on one’s biggest life purchase at a time when working and saving are no longer rewarded but exploited and reviled. Without HOAs, people who live in developed areas near to their work (or far from it because they work in crappy neighborhoods) would all end up having their house value eroded every 10 years or so by mobility, as well as by the trend of having the federal and state government settle people not prepared for the responsibilities or culture of maintaining a nice house and land in the middle of those who can and do.

      I rented in a neighborhood with a strong HOA and a lot of C&Cs, but then bought elsewhere. Still, I could afford to buy elsewhere. Then when degenerates were moved in next door (meth addicts, one of them violently insane even when sober) thanks to a variety of “policy” decisions by people far wealthier than I, there are days I wish the rest of us neighbors, who are responsible, law abiding, and protect each other, had an HOA to make there be consequences for degenerates who destroy what others create.

  2. That rifle isn’t illegal in NJ, Christie vetoed the .50 cal ban bill. Someone correct me if it’s illegal for a different reason.

  3. I know with modern rifles gripping the side rather than supporting the barrel from underneath is safe, but growing up shooting hunting rifles and pump shot guns, it just looks weird.

  4. This………why……..don’t….buy…..into…..a….HOA….development…..unless…’re….ok…..with….even….weirder…..laws…..than…..normal….muni-codes.

    You must ask for permission to basically do anything, not to mention paying extra $$$ on top of your mortgage to be told that you can only have 3 terra cotta planters on your porch since that dreaded kitten killing 4th one will obviously throw the planet off-balance and spin off into deep space.

    Don’t like it? Then don’t buy in a damn HOA development! You signed the contract to obey all their freak rules so its all on your if you violate them.

    • My wife’s aunt & uncle were forced by their HOA to take down a flagpole they had erected, flying the US, Marines, and Air Force flags. As the story was told to me, they didn’t violate any rules. The neighbors in Bush-era Seattle just didn’t like the overt patriotism, apparently. HOA voted on it and it was done. They moved out not much longer after that.

      • In a regular development, at most all you’ll have to do for that would be to get a permit for the pole.

        HOAs have the end answer and are the authority inside their development. The Board does whatever they want, it can change whenever they want it to, and you have little say in the matter. Since you sign the paperwork to live there…..

      • HOAs want everything to be cookie cutter identical. They don’t like people with unique/individual traits. Having an overly patriotic display in your yard will get their panties all up in a bunch.

    • Even worse than fines, there are those that claim that if you DON’T pay the fine, the HOA’s can SELL YOUR HOUSE.

      I’m not sure how all that works. I’m even less sure why people sign into that.

      Well, I do have a guess. The cultural pressure to “own your own home” has pushed people into buying before they are ready (financially and other). So, too often they rush into it.

      HOA’s, and the whole “protect my property values” seems to me like just more statist / collectivist cow feces. YOUR property values are not MY problem. What person in their right mind thinks property values are to be “protected” anyway?

      (I’ve got a few horror stories of things that have happened to friends and neighbors regarding experiences with HOA’s and their ilk..they are NOT in it for protecting the individual at all).

      • Homeowners associations are criminal organizations. When my parents moved into their house in 1985, dues were $30 a month. By the time they moved out in 2012 they were $400 a month.

        And what did it get them? No screen doors, no satellite dishes, no parking in your own driveway, no putting up a higher fence around your backyard, etc. Lawns were mowed and streets were repaved every five years. There was a little community pool. Worth it? Not hardly.

        • The $400 per month bought a lot of “undesirables” repellent.
          A special formulation of DEET.

      • It’s very rare indeed if you can find a good HOA.

        The vast majority of their ilk prefer to micro-manage what you bought to be your personally owned and controlled property, not some property you just get to claim you own while living under RENTAL property rules enacted by mob rule.

        “You must have a white house with black shutters, any other color variation is against the rules.”

        “Your lawn may not exceed 2” in length at any time. You’re “holier than thou” neighbor who only looks at their property value as another investment WILL be measuring it for you every night.”

        “You cannot park your RV,camper, boat, snowmobile, ATV, etc ANYWHERE on your property.”
        “You are limited to the amount of vehicles in which you can comfortably fit in your garage.”

        “Fido MUST NEVER EVER be of the dog breed that is in fashion as the most evil breed.”
        “Fido cannot bark at the neighbors.”
        “Fido can never ever exercise any trait of being a dog, and instead must act more like a cat.”
        “Cats are not allowed because they dig through the trash.”
        “Dogs are not allowed because they dig through the trash.”

        Unfortunately the HOA is so pervasive, it gets pretty hard to find a property you like without one attached.

  5. For the thumb over bore haters: it’s all about body mechanics. That still shot of Collin is a great example. Notice his elbow position: out to the side so when he fires the weapon the recoil drives straight back instead of up.

    Most shooters, before this technique became prevelant, would tuck their arm/elbow in closer to their core. The mechanics of your arm wor against you there as your elbow would be bent upwards and actually allow the recoil of the weapon to more easily move up and take the sights off target.

    Don’t a bash a technique that you haven’t tried and is combat proven. You only display your ignorance.

  6. CARY: Containment Area for Relocated Yankees.

    Ya’ll can figure it out from there.

    I thought this problem was addressed when HOAs tried to prohibit political yard signs and was slapped down in court.

    • I made reference to the Cary acronym a couple days ago in a different article. So glad I got out of that busy-body town a few years back. People there think too highly of themselves…

  7. Everybody gates HOAs until they need them. That being said, I hate even the concept of HOAs. I’d prefer to live rural rather than subdivision.

    • “Everybody gates HOAs until they need them. ”

      Magically, human beings lived in communities for thousands of years without HOA’s. Life may not have been perfect, but they don’t serve any real purpose that good old fashioned “common values” don’t serve better.

      It seems to be that the whole HOA concept is driven by two groups: Real Estate agents and HOA-Czars (people that fancy themselves in power over others by no demonstrated virtue).

      The one an only HOA type deal I’ve been a part of that served any useful purpose was a group of 13 homes than ran a community water system. We had a common well, and collected money to cover the cost of running the system and make repairs, etc. The association had the legal power to cut off someone’s water if they did not pay, but that’s all.

      That kind of thing can be useful. Trying to fine someone because they have cardboard boxes on their porch while they are moving in is not (happened to a friend).

    • I lived in a neighborhood with HOA Czars/Czarinas and got out after 3 years to a nice little neighborhood that never reached the critical mass to become HOA governed. Now I can park my 4 cars in the front yard, start exterior DIY projects and not finish them for 8 months, leave my garbage can by the street 3 days after trash pickup…AHHH Freedom
      BTW My neighbors dont wave or say hi when passing by anymore, wonder whats up with that?

  8. HOAs are a microcosm of government. They issue a spurious claim over a certain geographical area and then demand that anyone within that area abide by their rule… or else.

    “Well, you can just move” It’s MY freaking property!

    • Except when you buy property there, you’re buying into their system. Your argument would have weight if the HOA was established after you already live there, but if it was there when you purchased, then buying property indicates assent to whatever covenants or deed restrictions come attached to it.

      • I’ve never understood the rationale behind anyone having any say whatsoever in the terms of a private sale between buyer and seller except the buyer and seller.

        It is an interesting bit of American sociology to see not only how this aspect of HOA’s came about how this particularly insidious version of small-scale nannyism has become normalized.

        • It comes from English common law where the King owned everything. You would obtain rights to use property. The deer that roamed land you lived on belonged to the King. That is what poaching is, stealing from the King, not violating DNR rules.

          In the US, you can buy, sell or keep rights as the original owner. If you buy a lot on a lake it may have attached a right to walk a path to the lake or lauch a boat on a certain ramp. When the original owner started to subdivide the property, he knew that lake access would make the non-shore properties more valuable so he takes 20 feet of lake front for access for everyone. Nobody owns that land, just a right to use it. You cannot stop any one else from using it. Hence you own a right ,not the property.
          That is the derivation of the HOA, The Original owner retained certain rights and sold the property without them. He then relinquish those rights to the HOA. Not unlike our Constitution. The by-laws may require a unanimous vote to change or give rights back to the property owners.
          I may like the HOA rules because I hate your brother in law hanging out in an RV in your driveway.

        • Good explanation, but how do you know my brother in law?

          All kidding aside, we are no longer talking about the King’s property. Well, in theory and I guess it depends on how you define “king.”

          It boils down to me that some people have managed a power grab and are creatively using the law to exercise that power over others. That could be said to describe government in general, but when it is your neighbors, it’s a little, uh, closer to home.

          It’s a side consequence of the suburbanization of America. There are merits to rural living.

  9. Agreed w/ JR on HOAs. The worst part is like what Jase from Duck Dynasty said. I’m paying them so that they can tell me what I can and can’t do on my own property. But of course HOAs didn’t come out of thin air. They evolved because everybody got sick of having that bad neighbor and looked to restrict them. But I do hate keeping my garbage can inside the garage, the whole garage smells of garbage. The next time I buy a house, I’m gonna try to pull a fast one on the HOA form and remain unenforceable. We’ll see how that works.

      • Or, if I buy a house from someone, it should be pretty much just between the seller and me.

        Since we all love car analogies so much…if I have a car to sell you, but I require that you insure it with Nationwide, you could make the choice to buy or not. Fair enough.

        But, what these HOA’s have managed to pull off is that I HAVE to make that kind of requirement. I can’t sell my own house on my own terms to a buyer willing to agree to those terms…

        In other words…private property is a farce in this system. This is but one example that shows this.

        • HOA or non HOA, private property is a farce. Miss a tax note and see how long you own your property. Buy a rifle that was legal when bought and then have a pol say you have to register it or destroy it.

          Private property is a scam. I do live in a HOA. Ours is not hard to get along with. Others are. It’s a crapshoot.

          Nowadays if you want real freedom you need a motor home. Keep the tags and insurance updated and park in the industrial side of town. Watch for street sweeping signs.

  10. HOAs are another layer of government, but it’s even worse than that. To buy the house you have to sign an agreement to abide by their decisions. You basically sign away your property rights.

    HOAs create more problems than they solve.

    • Read my comment above,
      You haven’t signed them away.
      The property you bought, did not have these rights attached. They were retained by the original developer and placed with the HOA.
      It is from English Common Law. Rights and property can be separated.
      An easment is an example of this.

      • How can you get those rights back?

        I mean, I kind of want to tell the HOA (hypothetically, I don’t have to deal with this right now) that if they want the grass cut to less than 3″, they can damn well do it or pay for it.

        I know I’m missing something really fundamental here, but how does the paying good, hard money for the deed to a property really stand separate from the rights to use that property? Is the point that every property “owner” in the country that is part of an HOA is really a property renter with a lease agreement?

        That’s what it seems like in practice.

        (Oh, and I do get your point about easements, though…HOA’s just seem so far beyond that).

      • Ooops, sorry…follow up.

        But the “sub division” developer that created the HOA is not the original owner. Generally, he bought the property from someone else…THEN subdivided it and created all this HOA stuff.


        So it’s HIM that did the separation of property and rights?

        If so, could original property owners that sell out to developers make “no HOA” a stipulation of the sale, and the stipulation remain binding throughout development and subsequent resale of the property?

        • As a seller, you would have to find rights that you retain to prevent this.
          Could be tricky to acheive negative rights.
          Like, Walmart can never own this property. Not sure how to construct that kind of thing.
          Realestate attorney anyone?

      • An easment is a tightly defined right of a specific use.
        You can drive the boat trailer to the water, launch your boat but you cannot park the car/trailer on that same property. Every one is familiar with and accepts this kind of separation of rights and property. So Caveat emptor, know what rights are included with the property and what was retained by the seller or HOA. Simple.
        And I’m a libertarian.

    • HOAs are a layer of governance, not a layer government. Any real Libertarian would support the existence of a HOA to provide basic services instead of the government. It is aprivately organized, financed and governed. All this done through a private contract. You don’t like it don’t buy there. I for one would never submit my property rights to a collective.

  11. Grandma is a blithering idiot. Want to put up silly signs? Fine, buy or build a house on a piece of land you own outside of a subdivision. It truly is astounding to me how many people don’t understand the concept of subdivisions in this country. They come for the swim / tennis / adultery and then are shocked, shocked to hear they cannot do whatever they want. I bet Grandma did not read the convenants and she deserves every bit of hell she gets from the subdivision. As far as the content of the sign itself, all it does it lets a thief know there is a Gun there to steal, especially after he cases the house for a while and sees an old lady living there all by herself.

  12. >>>>> Attention Those Interested in the SHGS Raffle <<<<<<

    I just spoke with Jeff from St. Helens and there are two incorrect pieces of information in Tom's post.

    1) Tickets CANNOT be purchased by mail. They must be bought in Oregon.

    2) You DO NOT need to be in Oregon to take delivery. The club can ship the rifle to a local FFL.

    So, it would appear that you need a friend in OR (sorry PA) to buy your ticket(s) which cannot be mailed to you and if you win, the rifle can be shipped to your state.

    I'm kinda bummed. 8~(




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